I was on a retreat this past weekend and we learned something about faith that was always in the back of my mind, but was never really brought to the surface. It’s so obvious, yet so many of us overlook it.
Faith isn’t something that you wake up with. Yes, one can surrender their life to God and make a proclamation of faith, but that does not mean that their faith is automatically and infinitely 100% from then on.
Over the weekend we read the first chapter of The Sacred Slow by Alicia Britt Chole, the same author of 40 Days of Decrease. In her first chapter she describes what is known as “fast faith.”
I think that college students understand more than anyone what it means to be in a hurry. We are always in a hurry, aren’t we? We go from class to meeting to class to activity #1 to homework to activity #2 to bed just to do it all over again tomorrow. As Alicia starts out her book with saying, ours is a hurried age in which speed is deified and waiting is demonized.
How true is that? Waiting is totally demonized in today’s adrenaline-driven culture!
People. Hate. Waiting.
I’m not taking myself out of this majority either, by the way. I hate waiting! Waiting to get a haircut, waiting to get my food at a restaurant, waiting for my package to be delivered, etc.
BUT, there are so many verses in the bible that tell you be patient.
Psalm 37:7 says “Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the person who carries out evil plans.”
Luke 21:19 “By your endurance, gain your lives.”
Romans 8:25 “Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.”
Hebrews 6:11 “Now we desire each of you to demonstrate the same diligence for the full assurance of your hope until the end, so that you won’t become lazy but will be imitators of those who inherit the promises through faith and perseverance”
True faith requires steady practice. I’m not undermining that people can have amazing spiritual experiences that spike our faith or serve as benchmarks in our faith journeys. I think that everyone can and should experience something like that sometime in their lifetime. Here I am stressing that people rarely have steadfast faith when they rely on spiritual spikes. Faith is to live in and with him. He doesn’t just show up when you think about Him- He is always there! Haven’t you read that Jesus always remains? It’s not symbolism. He is truly with you always.
In addition to this, God is not a feeling. He is truly there with you. You just have to learn how to “listen” for Him. Are you having trouble on discerning His voice versus your own thoughts or the situations surrounding you? I will be posting a post on a few amazing tips that I learned this past weekend. It changes my whole viewpoint, and I hope they’ll change yours too!
Don’t rely on spiritual spikes, for they will not keep you above the water. As Dory says, just keep swimming!
Now go live WITH Jesus!
How would you characterize yourself in terms of waiting? Do you have a tendency to demonize slow and deify fast?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your level of intimacy with God? Are you a spiritual adrenaline junkie? How do spiritual spikes impact your intimacy with Jesus?
Take 5 uninterrupted minutes to close your eyes and allow God to “speak” to you. Write down what comes to mind.
Lastly, pray that God will prepare you heart to truly listen to Him. If you want to pray this on your own, then go for it! If you want some guidance, here is a prayer that came to me that you can say aloud or silently.
Please prepare my heart so that I can better hear You. I want to hear You regularly. Please take away the distractions and noise in my life so that I can understand You and feel your presence. Please help me live more with steadfast and faithful practice rather than spiritual spikes so that I can learn more about You and from You.
In your loving name we pray, Amen.