Centered Part Three: Following By Faith
I am a follower
I’m a bit of worrier, I tend to do my best worrying at about 3 am and I don’t think I’m the only one.
Following is often a journey of faith. Hebrews 11:1 is one of my life verses: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Almost without fail, I pray this passage for my life daily. It encourages and motivates me; it keeps me focused on the priorities of my life. From these priorities my plans and resolutions are molded.
I like to write down the bits and pieces that really matter. I find it serves the same purpose as putting rebar in the concrete: it adds strength and resolve. Consequently, Hebrews 11:1 is a written prayer. In addition, my personal mission statement contains the following statement: “To live beyond my natural abilities: to live by faith spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially.” I consciously choose to follow in this manner, and it was birthed out of an intense aspiration that began a few years ago while I was reflecting on our changing culture. There was a time when thrill-seekers and risk-takers were on the perimeter of society, and when they performed they drew a crowd.
Today the extreme has moved to the middle. Feats unheard of a few years ago are now being performed by the boy on his bike who lives just down the street. My reflection transformed into a tangible thought, and this is what I wrote in my journal:
I want to be risk taker too, Father, but please let me be a spiritual risk taker. Please help me go beyond myself as I climb spiritual mountains and explore mental caves. Help me to maintain my physical health on these excursions. As I go beyond myself spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically, I am sure to go beyond my means financially. I ask that you finance the expeditions.
Gently but firmly the Holy Spirit impressed something on my spirit. It was this question: “Darrell, do you really know what you are asking for?” I didn’t because, to be candid, while I enjoy a thrill, an adrenaline rush is not what motivates me but if believers are called to live by faith, then I would trust God to help me.
Faith is a necessary ingredient to be a successful follower.
Christ’s example underscores the amount of faith invested in following. Fear and confusion is implicit in “…My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). This was followed by overwhelming reliance on God, ‘“…Father, into your hands I commit My spirit.’ When He had said this, He breathed His last” (Luke 23:46).
Traditional hand-woven Persian carpets do not achieve their full color or patina until they are used under foot. To increase the value of the carpets, they are placed on the street in front of the merchant’s store. The wheels of carts and along with hooves and feet literally pound these carpets to their full potential.
The patina of our lives is brought to full expression, and we begin to look remarkably like Jesus when we follow by faith.
Question for Reflection:
What challenges do you face in following by faith?