Radical Faith

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Today you have the pleasure of meeting Debbie Bryant. Debbie and her family moved from Los Angeles to Austin last year to be part of the Gateway family. Follow her on Twitter @dreamerdebbie

Debbie is a free-spirited, generous, and creative soul. Her creativity supports unique perspectives, loving relationships, and joyful encounters. Enjoy her creative challenge today!

Following God is an adventure, to be sure. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on one’s perspective, it is not however a “choose your own adventure”. We often think we would like it to be such. If we had God’s power at our disposal along with our dreams ready to fashion into reality….oh the adventure we could imagine and create. Secretly, this is what we hope. Yes. This is just what would bring us the happy, contented life we seek: we’ll provide the inspiration, and he, the man power. Perfect.

Then a thought (we shudder to think it could be the Holy Spirit) completely intrudes our mind and psyche. We feel guilty for ignoring the prompting at first, but what a silly, little, annoying and intrusive thought. The thought of course referring to this sense of “knowing” that God can do very little with half-hearted devotion….that he wants everything including our most vivid dreams, motivations and inspiration. Then, and only then does he fully endorse our dreams with his power. God will not be an accomplice to fulfilling our selfish lusts or pursuits. Our hearts sink as we begin to reluctantly acknowledge the truth. Perhaps the loss feels insurmountable. Maybe we’re angry. Yes, very angry that indeed it seems this adventure has no “choice”. It is then we are forced, ironically, into a choice.

The choice is simple, but not easy. Our way or His? We can choose to blindly obey and surrender all our expectations and longings with the faith that we might experience God’s blessing and will in our life. This option feels risky, and it is. God’s ways are not ours and his plans are higher than ours. We intuitively know this would mean potential pain and sacrifice. Hmmm…like a living sacrifice, perhaps?

The other, more seemingly attractive option is to choose our own way as we continue believing we know best what we truly need and thereby alienating ourselves from his endorsement. We may rationalize: “How much will I really miss his approval?” I’ve made my own way before and things worked out okay. God forgave.

In light of this choice between surrender and self-fulfillment, I feel challenged by the words of Peter when Jesus asked if he too would leave as many of his other followers had in response to the “hard” teachings of Christ; Peter replied “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” What would we possibly think could offer us life outside of Christ? Plenty of things could bring satisfaction at first glance when we use our eyes of worldly reason. When we use the eyes of faith and of the Spirit, we know with certainty a different reality. Our hope, our help lies in no one and in nothing other than Christ himself. If Christ alone has the words of eternal life, I long to jump in with both feet…. To surrender and obey with radical faith…Otherwise, what really is the point? The choice is ours after all.

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