Do you ever come to a place where you wonder what you have been believing in? You wonder how you continue to walk down the path of faith when everyday seems to be a struggle to understand who Jesus is, what He did, and if you even really believe that it is true. Not too long ago I thought I was the only one. I thought that this struggle to understand my beliefs was an original thought for me. Little did I realize just how wrong I was/am. Every day I encounter people that are perplexed by faith. They feel like the deeper they get into knowing who God is, the more they get away from understanding Him. It seems to be this crazy battle between what we want to believe, and what is truth. We want to make our own way, figure it out, but we are unwilling to sacrifice time and people to do it. We don't want anyone to look down on us for our beliefs, we don't want to stand out. We just want to keep going on this path that makes us look good to the world, but is doing just enough to get by with Jesus.
I am guilty of it. Guilty of wanting to "fit in." Wanting people to like me, and so I don't stand up for my faith the way I should. I give in when it is convenient, and I let others determine what my faith means to me.
Today's sermon had an illustration about water. Righteousness is obtained by thirsting for it. Thirsting for it like nothing else. When I examine my depths, and look at who I am. My thirst isn't for Jesus. Not like that. Not like He is the only thing I want and need.
My thirst is often times for things that easily distract me. Drinking my problems away, or gossiping, or just filling my time with people before I go to the throne of my King. Leading a life that is trying to fill the voids with anything and everything but the love of Jesus.
How different would my life look if I found as much joy from getting up early to read my Bible and pray, as I do getting up early and teaching kids in China. I don't know how to describe how happy it makes me. I hate mornings. I really hate them, and I never once hit my snooze button and go back to sleep when I have a class to teach. Why can't I never hit my snooze button when it comes to getting up to read my Bible and pray?
Why am I not longing for time with Him the way that I long for time with my students? Why is He not bringing that kind of joy to my life?
Sometimes I think it is because I don't feel Him all the time. I don't always understand his presence, and I can't just check him off a list of things to do.
It takes time and effort. It takes moments of longing. Moments of quiet. Moments of pondering who I am, and where I come from. Moments of understanding that I don't deserve to be saved, but I have been anyways.
Mostly it takes moments of boldness. Boldness to sacrifice a little bit of sleep in order to pray and read. Boldness to stand up for what I believe, even if I am going to get scoffed at. Boldness to love from the deepest part of me. Boldness to be a follower of Christ. Boldness to hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Boldness to stay focused and keep moving forward on the journey.