It is so amazing to me that God – the God of all the Universe, the God of all generations, past, present and future, has given us the sweet and immeasurable gift of faith. In the Kingdom of Heaven, faith brings movement in the lives of His people. It connects the people of God to the purposes of God. Every God-given destiny, assignment, relationship, and gift is accessed through faith.
So, imagine my surprise (or lack thereof) when I read the promises of the Bible and compared those things to my own life. I realized that there were some things missing.
“The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.” (Deuteronomy 28:12-13)
Why was I in debt if God called me to be a lender and not a borrower? The head and not the tail? Above and never beneath?
“The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:2-3)
Had I allowed the Lord to fully heal and restore me from past disappointments, fears, and heartbreaks?
My answers were no. At some point in my walk with Jesus, I stunted my faith. And I tricked myself into believing that I was walking by faith and not by sight.
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Wanting More Faith in God
I’ve decided that I don’t want to live on the side of safe anymore. I want the Lord to give me opportunities where my faith can be stretched. I want deeper and stronger faith in my God, my King – the only one who can love me fully and save my soul.
I think it’s important for us as God’s sons and daughters to evaluate our lives in accordance to the scriptures. Are we walking, loving, listening, teaching, and submitting the way we should? If not, why not?
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"...run towards the things of the Lord."
While difficult to sift through, questioning our faith in the different areas of our lives will only strengthen our resolve to running our race as believers with grace and passion for Jesus. I’d like to share with you some of the ways I questioned my faith to make it deeper and stronger than it’s ever been.
I pray that this article encourages you to never grow stale in your faith-walk, but rather, to run towards the things of the Lord. And if you feel like you’re in a faith rut, then my friend, peace and solidarity. I get it. I’ve been there – I’m still working through some things, too.
We never arrive. The point, though, is that we never stop running our race.
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1. Why Don’t I Believe You, God?
I’ve learned that whenever I lack faith in God for something, I’ve stopped believing Him at a certain point for that thing. For instance, maybe I’m unemployed and I have faith for a job, but not for the job that I truly want and know I was created to thrive in. Maybe I think that God won’t meet my full desires, so, I won’t chance the disappointment that I know I’ll experience in case he doesn’t.
I’ll settle on working for someone else instead of pursuing the business idea that’s in my heart.
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"I didn’t really know my Abba the way I thought did."
We do this, don’t we? Hey, I’m not pointing any fingers at you. I know exactly what being here is like. For me, the reason for my lack of faith has been my lack of belief. The reason for my lack of belief? Because I didn’t really know my Abba the way I thought did.
In 2017, I had a lot of dreams. One of them was to be a homeowner. My husband and I were renting and, to be honest with you, even though I wanted a home, I didn’t believe we were ready to purchase. I had a large amount of student loans to pay back, and the last thing I wanted to do was to add to our pile of debt.
So, I kept my agenda of settling for rentals, and tucked away the desire to own deep within my heart.
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"...my husband believed God could do it. I didn’t."
One evening, my husband and I were having a fun conversation about what we wanted our home to look like and, you know, all the things that you can finally do when you own and no longer rent.
We both wanted to own, no doubt. But, my husband believed God could do it. I didn’t. Realizing that made me really sad. Maybe I was the reason why we didn’t have a home. Maybe it was my thinking.
So, I do what I normally do when I think that my way of thinking isn’t lining up with the word of God, and I stepped away from the conversation to talk to the Lord.
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Asking God For More Faith in Him
As I sat there crying out to God, I asked Him to help me believe for a home. I wanted to believe so badly, but the fact of being in debt held me hostage. I heard the Lord speak to my heart. He said that the problem was not that I couldn’t believe for a home, it’s that I couldn’t believe that he could help us get out of debt.
I sat in silence. He was right. I looked at our debt as way too big for me, and thus, way too big for God.
Then, He asked me a question. He said, “Do you believe I can give you the money to buy a home in cash?” I wrestled with my answer. After a few moments of jostling between the obvious right answer and how silly it was for me to give him the wrong one, I replied, “Yes God, you can do anything.”
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"...God’s ability has no limit."
That was the moment that I realized my faith wasn’t reliant upon me and my ability, but on God and his ability.
My friend, God’s ability has no limit. No. Limit. The only limit He has are the ones you place on Him.
That was the very last day I made debt, of any kind, an excuse for anything ever again. While we don’t yet have our own home, I know that we are well on our way because I took the borders off of God.
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2. Do I (Truly) Believe I’m Healed, Whole, and Delivered?
Fast forward to Spring of 2018: my water broke a month and a half earlier than my due date with our second daughter, Wiloh. I was forced to level with the Lord about the true condition of my heart.
Bailee’s birth experience started to replay in my head, and I felt the fear trying to resurface. Was I really healed from the pain, disappointment, and fear that I experienced with Bailee’s birth? I really wanted to be, but I didn’t know if it was my truth yet.
When we are still broken in areas that we think we are healed in, we can inadvertently block ourselves from having deeper and stronger faith in those areas. Our lack of faith can keep God from moving on our behalf. I wanted a strong and healthy baby girl. I wanted a full and whole heart with which to love and care for her.
I wanted Him to bring her to this earth healthily and beautifully.
I didn’t want to be plagued by past brokenness that I was unaware of. I needed to address any and all of it with God before that baby was born.
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"I gave him my past disappointments and my future fears..."
So I prayed one of those raw and pure “I-don’t-know-why-this-is-happening-but-please-take-the-reigns-God” prayers. I gave him my past disappointments and my future fears and left them at His feet.
When my husband and I were in the hospital waiting for Wiloh’s arrival, we prayed about everything. Whenever we were asked about a certain procedure or medicine, we would ask the Lord to lead us. It didn’t matter how much education we had on the subject, we left nothing to our wisdom and understanding.
We gave it all to the Lord.
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"Dare to be honest with the Lord about where you are."
Wiloh was born healthy, thriving, and better than we had planned, even with her coming to earth sooner than expected. Her birth was so beautiful. Her’s was the redemptive birth experience that my heart truly needed.
I had faith that her birth could be sweeter than our plans because I double checked my heart. And I gave the Lord the space to really heal it.
We all want to have greater faith for the things that God has for us in this life. But sometimes, having faith is just downright hard. Dare to be honest with the Lord about where you are. You’ll be surprised by how much His mercy and grace will meet you, carry you, and sustain you in levels of faith that He’s calling you too.
Grace and peace to you!
Britnee Bradshaw is a free-spirited, Old Navy-wearin', coffee-shop lovin', wife and momma. She serves in the worship ministry with her husband at their home church in Glendale, AZ and writes with the sole purpose of pointing others to Christ. You can catch up with her on her blog, On The Way Up, or via social media @b_brdshw!
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Originally published Wednesday, 29 August 2018.