In my last post, I talked about how I've really witnessed God working in my life to strengthen my faith. This is the second part of that post. I talked how I've noticed the change. Now I want to talk about HOW that change came about. (And I'm sorry it's so long! I tried to be brief!)
There is a secret to having growth in your faith. The secret is seeking God and opening your heart to the way He wants to move it. God wants to move our hearts, but because God gave us choice, we have to allow Him into our hearts to work. (Now, I still think that God can move us when our hearts are hard- goodness knows I don't want to deny the grace of God and how powerful it can be! But when we feel something missing and we long for a stronger faith, this is how we can do our part to let God to achieve it!) When we are focusing on God, we will see how He works in our lives. We will be continually moved by His grace for us.
Several people have said to me, and I've noticed myself, that when we're digging in the word and studying the Bible we feel closer to God. After all the Bible is God's word, so it seems like the first place to go when we long to feel closer to Him!
I think that the following 2 passages really show me how to strengthen my faith. Even though these are so familiar to us, I encourage you to really thing about what they say.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eves on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scoring its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the thrown of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and loose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3
Did you catch that? If we want to avoid growing weary and loose our passion for God, we need to continually consider Christ and what His sacrifice meant. We also need to constantly be focusing on Jesus because if we do, He can can impact our faith, because he is the perfecter of our faith! It's like the magic words... right there! That just makes me so excited to see that!
Now.. the next verse of wisdom:
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
We gain the peace of God by thinking about good and pure things. It's time to put away those awful magazines full of immoral tips and articles telling us how to think self-rightously. Time to toss out the music that makes our minds tolerant to filthy and suggestive lyrics. Time to cancel our DVR on the shows that fill our minds with garbage. Instead we need to be thinking about things that are holy. That is how we get the peace of God!
I tell you all of this from my personal experience. Because when I started putting my focus on rejoicing in God, thanking him, praying to him about my troubles, and focused on pure things- I found peace and joy like I'd never experienced it before.
THAT my sisters, is how you find God, and how you open your heart to him!
So fix your eyes on Christ and and fill your mind with what is pure. It'll take your relationship with God to new heights!