Thursday, July 23, 2015

Devotion: Follow God Not People


We allow the circumstances of life to direct what we should do; how we should act or react; and the direction that our faith should head.  As long as we look at the circumstance of life, as long as we look at what happens to others, doubt can enter and cause our faith to leave.  Here is the problem with using others to measure the gifts and blessings of God.  Unless you are there with that someone every second of every minute of every hour of every day, it is impossible for you to know what he or she was believing God for or the level of his or her faith.  With so many variables that can come into each individual equation, it can prove to be almost impossible to gauge the amount of faith, the amount of doubt, or even the amount of fear one has.  Could the person have been like Peter (Matthew 14:23-33)?  How strong was their faith when he or she stepped out onto the water (Matthew 14:29)?  Could they have seen the wind boisterous and become afraid (Matthew 14:30)?  Could they have started to sink but did not cry out for help?  Could their doubt have caused their faith to decrease?  Could this have caused their faith to flee?  On the other hand, could the person have been like Job (Job 1-3)?  Did the thing, which they greatly feared, come upon them (Job 3:25)?  Did the thing, which they were afraid of, come unto them?  Could their fear have caused their faith to decrease?  Could this have caused their faith to flee?  We look at the lives of others that we classify as saints and allow the circumstances that happen in and around their lives to dictate things in our lives.  This problem has plagued many Christians and non-Christians alike.

In a rare interview by CBS News, they reported that a certain women had a calling based on unquestioned faith, which cause her to start her ministry.  She went on to become a world-renowned symbol of religious compassion, strong faith, and a commitment to kingdom work.  She was an icon for many believers just because of the work she appeared to do for God.  She even received the Nobel Peace prize for her humanitarian work.  In letters written to her friends and priests, she confessed her doubt in her own faith.  She questioned her faith, something she felt she had been lost because the Spirit had left her shortly after she started her ministry.  She even questioned the existence of God.  Although few knew, she searched to reclaim her faith for many years.  She died with unresolved doubts about God, about Jesus, about her faith, and about her labors.  She even had stopped praying.  With a smile, she was able to mask the internal conflict she carried for many years, where her biggest fear was that of being a hypocrite.  Many considered her the embodiment of a saint and looked to her as the iconic symbol of Christ-like faith.  They perceived through her ministry works, that she was full of faith and had the Spirit working inside of her.  Many put their faith in her, making judgment calls based on their emotions and feelings.  They have based so much of their opinions, so much of their decisions on what they see.  We have to wonder the impact on those who were loyal to her and her ministry when it was revealed that Mother Teresa had doubts about her faith, about her ministry, about God, and about Jesus.  We have to wonder what they thought when it was revealed that she had lost her faith, shortly after she had stated her ministry.  We have to wonder how many had lost their faith after hearing about her letters.  We have to wonder how Satan has used her doubt, her lack of faith, and her questions about the existence of God and Jesus to affect others.  We have to wonder about the domino effect surrounding the discovery and release of her letters.

This is why it is so important that we not look at the lives of others as a measure or gauge for our lives.  Had she not written of her thoughts, no one would have known the truth about the internal turmoil she endured during her ministry.  She appeared to be, for all intent and purposes, the perfect example of a worker for God.  One who answered the calling to start a ministry based on her unquestioned faith.  Could she have been like Peter?  Was her faith strong when she stepped out onto the water?  Could she have seen the wind boisterous and become afraid?  Could she have started to sink but did not cry out for help?  Could her doubt have caused her faith to decrease?  Could this have caused her faith to flee?  On the other hand, could she have been like Job?  Did the thing, which she greatly feared, come upon her?  Did the thing, which she was afraid of, come unto her?  Could her fear have caused her faith to decrease?  Could this have caused her faith to flee?  Are you one who allows the circumstances of life to direct what you should do; how you should act or react; and the direction that your faith should head?

We forever pray that this inspirational message will abundantly bless you, greatly inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings. - KW

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