If you've been keeping up with my blog, particularly with the faith section of this site, you've seen over this past year (or almost year as I started this blog in July or August of 2012) that I have wrestled with my faith in who God says He is and that He can do what He says He can do. (Time to read that Beth Moore Book again!) Thankfully we are called to wrestle with our salvation in Phillipians 2:12b&13.
"...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."
Last week I was let go from the job I desperately needed and that I had started just 4 weeks prior. I don't believe in being cursed (though I do believe in being persecuted by Satan and his demons) but I admit it's very easy for me to feel like I am cursed. I haven't had a job where I could financially support myself since Bed Bath and Beyond in the Summer of 2011. I don't count my brief 4,000 a month job as a nanny because that was only for 2 months.
When I was told I was being let go, I didn't cry. I grinned and took it. I didn't cry on the way home until I heard this verse on KLOVE and I knew it was for me: "The Lord will work out his plans for my life-for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for you made me.” Psalm 138:8 NLT
I wish I could tell you I've been filled with peace and hope but that moment on the drive home was pretty fleeting. The afternoon I got let go I was digesting the information, but by the next evening I was using language I shouldn't have and was really angry. It wasn't a matter of feeling picked on or that the universe was against me, it was that it didn't seem right. I get that life doesn't work out the way I want it to a lot of the time and I accept that that is the way life works. But it isn't fun and it keeps happening.
What bothers me is that though I had that word from the Lord moments after my dismissal, I failed and am failing in implementing that truth into my life. I have always struggled with believing that God can do what the Bible says, which is kind of an issue since I call myself a Christian. It's pretty much the most basic but vital part of being in a relationship with the Creator of the Universe. So not only have I been dealing with the stress of this situation I'm having to deal with figuring out my salvation with fear and trembling.
At church a few days after being let go, the sermon was about putting on the full armor of God. At the end of the sermon, the pastor asked for those to raise their hands if they were willing to commit to placing their faith in Christ by putting on the full armor of God on a daily basis. This was a significant question to ask of me because it fully made me realize my lack of faith in the one I say I am in relationship with.
What has become clear to me is that the following verses which coincidentally(?) I found in looking for scripture related to my situation... ended up being verses that precede what my pastor was preaching on Sunday: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12)
My battle is not the absence of a job but with the one who wants to steal my joy and have me believe that God has abandoned me. The simple truth is that I need to trust in his unfailing love and remember that He knew this would happen and will give me strength to keep going. And this can only be done if I put on the full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17)
"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, (My God is greater than my circumstances) with the breastplate of righteousness, (live as if my life is exactly where I want it to me in the midst of all circumstances: living righteously should be done at all times) and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace (be firm in my relationship with the Lord so that I may know his peace and also pass it on to others). In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (I need to choose my faith over what my reality is now so that I can be protected from my enemy). Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (My armor is made complete by immersing myself in God's word).
My circumstances will always be unpredictable and I have learned to a pretty tremendous extent that my circumstances can no longer be what I put my trust in (which is what I always do). Only God can be trusted to work out my life through the power of His Holy Spirit. Like Jesus said: "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)
My faith can no longer be in the world, it's let me down 100% of the time. What or who are you putting your faith in? Have you asked the Holy Spirit to reveal the Truth to you? No one and nothing is worth your attention and affection over Christ; He came FOR YOU, He died FOR YOU: "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all- how will he not also, along with him (Christ), graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:
I feel it's important to add here that everything I've just shared is absolute proof that God exists. There is no way I'd be able to turn my heart away from the world. My desire is to have a lot of money and give in to every indulgence I want, so what motivates me to change? God: Jesus: Holy Spirit. Only He can reveal Truth to me and change my heart. Only He is capable and able. All he asks is that we accept Christ as His Son, believe He died for us, accept the gift of grace and allow the Holy Spirit access to our hearts. Yes. It's that simple.
So what are we waiting for?