Guest Column:Walk in faith of God
Was man's fall from God the result of sin, or the result of our independence to follow God in all of our ways?
Are choice and decision rendered without God to be considered another choice and decision withheld from him, weaving our own will into the fabric of our lives?
Much like a rifle sighted incorrectly, the discrepancy is seemingly negligible at close range, but becomes far greater along its path.
So, too, is our relationship with God in that every unguided step leads us further and further away until life pauses, and we wonder how we strayed so far.
We can determine it was not just the decisions we made, but because we made these decisions without God's guidance.
Walking in faith means not only believing in God, but believing his divine words.
Proverbs 3:5-6 instructs believers: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
Surrendering not only our lives but also our choices, decisions, and desires allows the winds of the Holy Spirit to carry us according to his perfect will. Then we no longer keep a foothold upon the world or maintain a direction we cannot ascertain.
Reflected in the story of our biblical sister, the widow and her mite, is a prayerful faith.
Giving not from diligent planning, but from faith, she gave far in excess of a comfortable budget.
She allowed God to move her in the way he would have her move, knowing that his guidance for her to give all, also instilled her with a sense of peace that surpasses all human understanding.
God tells us we know not how, nor for what to pray, that he will intercede on our behalf through the Holy Spirit in an effort to bring our will in alignment with his.
Do we trigger God to act or react by our prayers? According to Bob George in his insightful book, "Faith That Pleases God," prayer is "...a response to God, to the leading of his Spirit, not an attempt to initiate God's action. He initiates prayer by giving us his desires and a heart to pray as we should."
1 John 5:14,15: "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything, according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of Him."
George points out the order of prayer: "He initiates; we respond."
This dialogue is our intimacy with God. Prayer has always been God's attempt to turn people back to him.
If prayer was about getting God to do or stop doing things, then prayer would be about turning God to us.
The book of James reveals that the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 5:16-18: "Elijah earnestly prayed that it would not rain, and it did not rain for three and a half years. Again, he prayed and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops."
George interprets this to mean that Elijah knew God's will: "His prayers were only powerful and effective because they came straight from the word of God."
In Deuteronomy 11:16,17, God said to Israel, "Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. Then the Lord's anger will burn against you, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you."
Israel had turned away from the Lord and was worshiping Baal.
When did the rain start? 1 Kings 18:1, "After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: 'Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.'"
God was not interested in Elijah's will, but in Elijah understanding the will of God.
Prayer brings that understanding. We cannot understand God's ways by intellect.
Only through entering a personal relationship with God through the Holy Spirit will we understand that our will does not define the Spirit's direction, but is defined by it.
Pat Welder lives in Inez. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.