My mum text me last weekend saying that her car wasn’t starting and she was concerned it was the starter motor, which was a big deal for her as she does a lot of running around for our family! My immediate thought was the memory of a friend of ours who had a “pray and push” car. If you wanted it to go, you couldn’t just pray, and you couldn’t just push-start it, you had to pray AND push!
One of the aspects of living the Christian faith that I find hard is that I don’t know when to struggle on, and when to acknowledge “maybe this isn’t what I am meant to be doing!” The problem is that when you get into the habit of doing something or if you felt you should be doing it, then time has gone on and you suddenly realise it isn’t “fulfilling you” or making you feel “alive”, you may have forgotten to persist in prayer about it!
I joined an after-service prayer team at a church once, and I began to get frustrated that no-one seemed to want to come to me to be prayed with, most of the time I sat and prayed in my head for the congregation, as a whole, as they left the room! After discussing it with one of the church leaders however, it dawned on me that I wasn’t praying enough about the situation before the service started!
I have been involved with other christian-based work, and I have come to realise that when we have prayed beforehand, things are better! It’s not that we have got God’s help solely because that time we asked for it, but our attitudes and mindset was more God-centred and openly aware that we are not doing it in our own strength but in his!
Last night I watched Soul Surfer, this movie is about a young female surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack, but had an overwhelming desire to get back on the surfboard, at the first competition after the attack she fails to stay on the board long enough, so she gets disheartened and disillusioned. She goes on a “mission trip” to Thailand and in an attempt to encourage a young boy to enjoy the water she borrows a surfboard and shows him that it’s ok! She suddenly realises that her accident had enabled her to “embrace more people than she would have been able to if she had both arms” and perseveres to become a professional surfer!
Situations, are in our lives to mould us and make us who we are, when the struggles come, our spirit and determination is put to the test. If our first point of call is a prayer of “Ok Lord, I need your help!” that’s a good start but we need to act too! Or we will be like this:-
Each week a pastor kept saying “Please Lord, help me win the lottery I need the money” and then because he didn’t win he asked “why didn’t I win this week?” after the tenth time God eventually replied “meet me halfway! Buy a ticket!”
What I want to know is:-
- What excites you?
- What skills do you have?
- What do you enjoy doing?
- Are you in a church that you are able to use these skills, abilities, talents or desires?
- Are you in a job where you can?
- Have you been involved in one area of life/ministry/church team for a long time and it no longer feels enjoyable but more like a struggle each week?
When we each look to our future (which always looks to me like I am looking into a mist!), We should look out for opportunities that appear to need the skills, abilities and experience that we have acquired through life and gifts from God, but sometimes disappointment and disillusionment cause us to doubt those skills, abilities and gifts, it even could make us doubt our calling, purpose or faith!
I heard of a guy (honestly I have never met him!) who was involved in working in a church, he apparently completely lost his faith due to disagreements with the church! Now I cannot comprehend anyone’s actions taking my faith in God away! “nothing can separate us from God’s love” so nothing is going to take away my relationship and adoration of him! We are servants of God, wherever we are whatever we do, we should do everything to glorify him!
When we pray the Lord’s prayer “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, we have to take an active role in that! It’s actually not a passive statement, despite the innumerate times it is spoken (sometimes as if we are drones, monotone, void of emotion and passion!). For God’s will to be done, we need to know what it is and do it!
The only way we will know when to persevere and when to walk away is by:-
- reading God’s word as much as i can,
- Praying always
- Seeking God in every situation
- and listening to the Holy Spirit convicting you
The only way we will truly enjoy life is if we are doing something and God is in it too!