Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lord, Change My Attitude - 7/8

Replace a doubting attitude...with an attitude of faith.

Doubt is a lack of confidence or assurance that God will keep His promises. Doubt involves a settled and persistent choice to live with uncertainty. Such doubt is dangerous. It's destructive and completely detrimental to any kind of relationship with God. I mean, if you don't have confidence that God will keep His promises, what do you have?

Faith is important and doubt is so detrimental that God places regular tests of faith in front of His children. These are not intended for our failure, but for our success. The Israelites failed the test {in Deut 1} because they wouldn't trust God. {V26,32: Yet you were not willing to go up, but rebeled against the command of the Lord your God...But for all this, you did not trust the Lord your God.}

Am I going to trust God? Or I am not going to trust God?

When you're bumped, you spill what you're full of. If you're filled with faith, that's what comes out. If you're filled with doubt, that's what comes out.

God doesn't test your faith so He can know how much is there - He already knows. He tests your faith so that you can know how much is there and see it grow. Either we get closer to Him and more filled with faith, or we get further away from Him and more filled with doubt. In those critical moments, you make a crucial choice: Either you let your faith grow and flourish, or you choose doubt. {NOTE: choose doubt or choose faith - our decision}

God will go a long way in revealing Himself to a person who honestly wants answers.

Christians are sometimes genuinely puzzled, asking,"why do I find it so hard to trust God? God's been faithful to me. God's provided for me. He's done a lo tof good things in my life!" I find the reason usually is this: Instead of talking often about God's grace and recalling His miracles and thinking about all that He has done, people choose to focus on the obstacles, and they welcome doubt.

When surrounded by doubters, doubting comes easily. Those primary relationships with other believers are foundational to faith.

Why does doubting come so easily? Doubting is contagious, doubting is passive, douting satisfies our tendency towards self-protection, doubters are easier to find than friends of faith.

Doubting takes over when you do nothing. Faith requires doing something. You have to get focused and active to be filled with faith. Doubt never stands still. It's always sliding somewhere worse. It's a short journey from the doubt to despair.

I have never trusted God and regretted it. But I can think of many times when I have chosen doubt and missed incredible opportunities to prove the faithfulness of God.

Only when faith replaces doubt in the life of a believer can the joy of knowing God become a reality.

We may decide to change during a crisis, but we actually change mement-by-moment in the process of living. Every decision we make contributes in some way to the pattern of thinking that becomes your attitude.

Faith finds itself founded on a person - the creator God of the universe. Faithis active confidence in the God who has revealed Himself.

My faith, my active confidence in God, is the thing that I hold on to while I wait to see how the Lord is going to answer what I've brought before Him.

Faith is believing the Word of God and acting upon it, no matter how I feel, because God promises a good result. I believe in a God who wrote a trustworthy Book.

Do I act upon what I say I believe?

As you pursue the answer to the longings of your heart, faith determines where and to whom you turn.

God is true to His Word and can be trusted to meet all of our needs if, by faith, we choose obedience and refuse to be guided by emotion.

Faith, however, is not part of the Christian life; it's the whole thing.

Genuine believers trust God and exercise active confidence in God. Every good ting that God wants to bring to our lives comes through faith.

I John 5:4: This is the victory that has overcome the world OUR FAITH.

Pick up your hopes and lay them before the Lord. God is the One whom we're trusting. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. There is no other way.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God. As the Word of God is sown increasingly into our lives, we find our faith growing and flourishing.

If you want your faith to grow, confess your faith.

Choose to live your life in such a way that God has to come through for you. Make decisions that will cultivate and build your faith during tough times.

You may wonder, "But during those tough times, can I hang in there?" and "Can Jesus sustain me in faith?" Remember Jesus' admonishing words, "If You can?" All things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23).

{This was a tough couple of chapters for me. I didn't think doubt was issue for me - but it is. I don't live in faith like I'm called to. I believe God - I trust Him. But do I live it? I'll be reviewing these chapters again.}

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