Take your faith from shattered to shining!
Twice I shattered my phone and both times I carried it around for a while because it still worked fine, only the face was cracked. Nevertheless I was exposing my phone to further damage from water, debris etc. and I had an obstructed view due to the cracked surface and when I did live videos on social media people would always complain they couldn’t hear me. As I lay in bed one night looking at the screen “I thought our faith is sometimes like this shattered screen.” We have the gift of our faith, but it’s been shattered so we in a nonchalant way carry it around without developing it or in my case fixing it. We expose our lives to further damage because we carry around principles that are partly working, burdens that are heavy, living life with an obstructed view of God and ourselves while feeling bad all because we are forfeiting our faith and God’s promises.
We can go so long in cycles that it shatters our potential success because we are not using our faith to move forward. Sometimes faith is simply putting one foot in front of the other, if you are a writer like me, one key stroke after the other. I believe empowered living is having faith in God and faith in yourself to live the abundant life God designed you to live; whatever that looks like for you. Faith is a universal concept no matter what your religion. It is the thing that helps us see beyond our current circumstances into the light of which we desire to travel. Faith is like the black dot on the A Snellen chart, you know the chart the ophthalmologist asks you to focus on so he can tell you what you can actually see versus what you think you can see? What can you see by faith for your life? The Snellen chart is an eye chart that measures acuity. Faith like acuity is the substance that helps us remain sharp through life’s tests and trial’s. Faith is the declaration of “I can see it, I can do it” when all hope seems to be lost. Faith helps to focus on our objective like the mark on the target paper at the shooting range. It’s the energy that causes you to look at a dead situation and say, “You will live again or I can do this!” This conviction gives us a point at which we can focus our energy to see a range of possibilities in us and around us. Most importantly, faith in God’s word is a conduit of power coupled with our works allows us to see the results we’ve been hoping for in our lives. Faith is the currency God has given us to manifest His good plans for our lives.
God gives each of us a measure of faith but sometimes in the face of supposed defeat the greatest of warriors can lay his/her faith down for many reasons. That warrior like you or me may choose not to fight after strong attacks that attempt to wipe us out. In my experience, your faith can get fatigued when you’re at the brink of a breakthrough and that fatigue comes from picking up the stress of life believing you can bear the burden all you’re own and then you lay your faith down. Once you do finally come to yourself –you will cry out with collapsed emotions, “God, I’m tired and I’m scared, I can’t go another step without you, “Please help me.” He will gently remind you, “My yoke is easy child, and my burden is light. Why are you in my lane? You are frustrated in your faith because your focus is solely on you and your deficiency instead of My all-sufficiency. Look to me, learn of Me, be transformed by me, and let me revive your tired spirit; let me lift your burdened head. Let me refresh you, renew your mind and shift your paradigm. Turn your focus to me by getting into worship and My word. When you do this I can show you where you need to develop personally and I can bless you with my peace so you can recuperate and even recline to find a real soul rest. Let me breathe on you afresh to give you strength to move forward.” Somehow a supernatural exchange takes place when we whisper prayers of total dependence like that and then, we find something special happens- our faith is revived, our head is higher and our step is lighter. This happens because we’ve decided to be intentional about giving in to that blessed quietness that comes from God’s presence and revelation from His words.
The fruit of faith
Cyclical situations can bring us to a place where we find we are so tired of ourselves and our situations.
Then eureka you either hear a fresh word from God or remember the Word and start to speak it again and agree with abandon; you cash in all your chips and just trust God! I remember one time at a hard place of transition during my divorce, my funds were very low and I needed to fill my tank for the upcoming week. I had no idea where the money would come from since I’d exhausted all my resources. I was so frustrated because I knew I was called to live in abundance based on God’s Word. All I had left was something immaterial but powerful: God’s Word. As a giver, I declared I believe it and I will speak it with an expectation that God will make good on His Word to provide for me. I drove home on what seemed like my last ride not knowing how I would make it the remainder of the week. I got home, placed my work things away and started talking to God. I said, “This isn’t it, I know you’re going to show up I just don’t know how and I thank you. You’re Word says that when I give you will cause men to give into my bosom.”(Luke 6:38 my paraphrase) Well, about 15 minutes later as I pondered on God and how He is a present help, I looked at my phone and noticed I‘d missed a call and a text. The text said, “I felt like I was supposed to fill up your gas tank.” I marveled at God’s timing and I marveled at how he met my need so specifically. I simply had to respond to his instruction to rest to see the fruit of his promise and I did. I marveled because while I busy trying to figure something out (which only made me fearful and frustrated) earlier in the week God saw down the line and already worked it out. God is faithful to deliver you from all of your fears if you let him. (Psalm 34:4)
Now, I realize faith is a lifestyle and we shouldn’t have to live from miracle to miracle because abundance is our portion. You might be thinking, “Why waste your faith on believing for gas?” Well I don’t think anyone gets married to only wake up one day to say, “That’s it it’s time to be miserable and get a divorce.” Divorce is not something you plan on and it can devastate you, your family and your finances. Sometimes we get into places where only Jesus can get us out of and this was one of those times. I texted the individual back and asked where they would like to meet and told them thank you. We met and I gave them a great big hug and told them thank you again. Now had that been about 3 years ago I would have reasoned my way out of blessing due to pride, perfectionism and embarrassment. Life has a way of teaching you how to humbly receive God’s blessing even if you don’t agree with how it comes. We talked for a bit and I filled up my tank. I was so in awe of God and “thank you” could not describe how grateful I was to the person who listened to the leading of His Spirit. The lesson: If I can use my faith and rest in God’s ability to provide gas, I could absolutely use my faith to rest on God’s promise to change major things in me and in my life. Fresh faith rose in my life because through the hard transitions I kept making room to hear the Word of God so when a problem arose I had the wherewithal inside of my spirit to activate my faith for a solution! In your obedience to rest in God’s promise and pray His word you draw God’s power into your situation to bless you and those around you.
When you relinquish your right to carry all your burdens you will have a greater sense of peace, your belief becomes stronger and God can give you instructions so your direction is clearer, I call this, “fresh faith”. Fresh faith is like gas to a car, sun to a plant and water to a fish. Fresh faith can move us toward our kingdom reality in Christ. Allowing you the opportunity of believing again in God’s goodness will calm the worst of anxieties and the deepest of fears, I am a witness.
To each of us is given a measure of faith, which means this is the faith God has given to each of us by and because of His kindness. (Romans 12:3 Message) The reason I know this is because the scripture says it like this, Apostle Paul speaking:
“I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.”
A little bit of faith will move mountains in our lives if we take the chance to open ourselves up to new ways of thinking and responding.(Matthew 17:20) When my son was in grade school I got a call from a state trooper that he’d been in a car accident with his step-father on a major freeway. In that moment my breath was heavy and my heart was racing as I hung up the phone as I hurriedly prepared to drive to the hospital. As I drove to the hospital shaking and scared I immediately started whispering simple prayers of faith that slipped through my quivering lips. My husband and my son had been in a terrible accident. My husband woke up but my son didn’t and that made me feel paralyzed. As I walked back and forth from the regular hospital floors to the children’s ICU I became exhausted physically and mentally. I prayed, “God help me.” After four long days of waiting, sleeping at the hospital with my infant daughter in the waiting room I absolutely had to engage my faith to believe God for a turn of events. I’d seen family, friends, investigators and even teachers come and go and my son was still in a coma after 4 days. I was young in my faith and hardly knew a great deal of scripture, I was a scared mom but I invited God to step in over the bad report and my fears.
The specialist could find no valid reason that he should still be unconscious so I went to God in prayer
believing by faith that His Word could override the doctor’s report. I needed a miracle. I could have just accepted that this was my son’s fate but I didn’t- as I stood over his bed, with the hospital glaring in both our eyes, I called on God to get involved not because I deserved it but because Jesus Christ is faithful to His Word. I must have slept longer than usual because the next morning when I woke up to go and check on him the nurse informed my son was up, playing video games nonetheless. “What?” was my reaction as a smile slipped onto my face and the tears rolled down my face, I whispered, “Thank you God.” I didn’t truly understand the gravity of that divine intervention until recently when my son called to say I spoke with the admissions office at Arizona State and “I got in”. So today, I am not whispering “thank God” I am shouting “Thank you Jesus!” This verse teaches us not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to because it is God’s goodness and his nature to give us good gifts and exert His power to bring change in our lives. I un-wrapped my gift of faith in that situation and saw God’s healing power take precedence over a life threatening report and give my son a future and hope. My son is in his twenty’s now and doing very well I shudder to think what would have happened had I not given heaven an opportunity to invade earth. Faith makes God the object of our belief instead of our gifts or our even troubles.
Faith is defined as belief, complete loyalty or trust to a person or thing. In the bible it says of faith, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) So is it magic or voodoo? Absolutely not! The reason it is not magic or voodoo is because its basis is in God’s word and his mighty acts. Using our faith sometimes must be violent in its approach; in that you will believe nothing else accept what God said and so you move forward in calm confident courage trusting what God has spoken and his ability to act for you no matter what. With that being said, faith is contingent upon the revealed Word of God so when you hear God’s word your faith is ignited. The question is, “what will you do with the flame?” Hopefully you will open the gift of faith to pray prayers of faith that affect change in your life and the lives of others.
We know and understand “life happens” and human nature can have the tendency to sit down in the victim seat because it feels better than faith to be a victim. We’ve all been there, myself included but what I found is that the ideology of being the victim simply does not get the results we so desperately need. I have honestly been the victim in situations of betrayal and it was warranted for me to feel bad about what had been done to me but if I were to see the real freedom I desired I needed to be strong enough and smart enough to switch my mentality from victim to victor. God I pray for anyone reading this, “Bless us Father to choose faith in you over our fears or problems. Ignite our faith again and use our stumbling blocks to produce the best blessings for our lives and the lives of those we come in contact with as a witness that you are real and that you love us in Jesus Name get your glory Lord!”
The goal of this blog is to optimistically take you from what has been shattered in faith back to a shining lifestyle of faith. I myself can remember times where I got tired of believing the best about God’s intentions toward me. Like King David I questioned God (Psalm 13), “How long oh Lord will you forget me forever?” I was going through a great time of transition in my life letting go of old relationships and moving into new territory; separation from marriage and family as I knew it was all so overwhelming and I felt like God was hiding from me. I felt like I needed him to intervene fast but all I felt I was experiencing was one difficult time after another. I asked God, “Why are you allowing this haven’t I suffered enough? Isn’t going through the despair of infidelity enough, isn’t losing my family enough, isn’t losing my dignity enough, and isn’t being broke enough? Where is my breakthrough, where is the God who breaks through for His people like he did in the Word of God?” I cried in utter honesty day after day asking for relief. It seemed there was none in sight until I decided to move out in faith and:
Pour out my pain in prayer
Find verses that correlated with how I was feeling
Talk about what I was experiencing in a safe place
Take my focus off of others and work on my value, vision and re-gaining my voice
Circumstances like divorce can be significantly bleak and you can feel like your back is against the wall but we must come back to a place of faith to see again and to sing again (Psalm 13). In other words you’ve got to tell yourself, “Come on, remember how God moved before, he hasn’t changed, he can do it again, get your faith in gear. Believe again, God is bigger than this!” The part we struggle with the most is when God and how God? I’ve learned along the way that the hell you may be going through is not as powerful as the heaven inside of you so trusting God means trusting his timing and his tactics. So with that being said our job is to believe God and His job however he chooses to do it is to perform his promise in His timing and with that the blessing will always be with our best interest at heart. God intends for his blessings to bring us a joy we never have to feel guilty about.
Faith on Fire
There are times when our faith is tested to get us out of the status quo zone into the promise zone. This promise zone is a place where we put God first no matter the cost; which in turn puts us in the place of living into his promises. It’s in this place that God shifts things in our favor to accomplish His will and establish his covenant in the earth through the lives of His believer’s. In order to get to the promise zone we must worship God in faith; over our circumstance to experience His peace that surpasses understanding and manifestation of His promise for us. Grabbing hold to faith gets you to the point where you stop telling God how big your problems are and start telling your problems how big your God is! This place of worship brings you to a resolve that you don’t need to see exactly how God is bringing about the promise because no matter what happens you know His promise to never leave you nor forsake you is at work so you can deduct that you will come out the fire on fire for the things of God. Remember the three Hebrew boys that got thrown into the fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar for not bowing to his decree? They didn’t see God with them but he fulfilled his promise to never abandon his children. In addition to this they all were walking around loosed in the fire which says to me that you can be going through a tough time but it doesn’t have to restrict your freedom because you have faith that God is with you and that he will deliver you. In time they were delivered out of the fire with no funny smell and everything about them was left intact. In the story, what was intended to persecute and kill them only promoted them because they refused to worship the problem but instead resolved to worship the one true God. When we worship God with our lifestyle and our lips we are worshipping not to get something but worshipping the unchangeable attributes about God like His faithfulness, His power or His love. This place of worship is where we grow through things instead of just go through things and we show up in our walk with Christ out devotion not emotion!
As I exercised my measure of faith for healing during divorce, I grew to know God’s care and concern for me were real and His power was un-intimidated by my problems. During that transition I would realize I can work with God or work against myself; I chose to work with God. I witnessed God move me from one state to another and back with every need supplied and on time. I watched God bring increase into my life and provide my every need. God protected me in the air and on the ground as I traveled through my transition making it safely to my destined place. Tough situations are simply scenes in our lives that call for us to stretch toward the real reality in our story; whether personally, professionally, spiritually, emotionally or even financially. What you’re dreaming of God already dreamed for you.
Faith for the Future
During those trying times of transition God was after something: my faith in Him which creates relationship instead of dead religion. You see Jesus wants your faith rooted in Him not what he can do for you. He wants to show you that He is the answer and the closer you get to him, the closer you come to your answers. You learn to trust that He knows the way you take, this reality reminds me of the old song lyrics, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand.” (Edward Mote) There are times we won’t know what to do or the next step we are to take but to be in relationship with the One who does is the key to moving forward and getting unstuck. It’s in these times that our faith is tested and so is our character.
When our faith is tested it is a time of purging our motives; it is in these times life is asking us two questions, “Who are you and why do you do what you do?” We begin to see what’s really important during the process and something happens and we start shedding unnecessary habits and begin to get in agreement with God. We will also know what is for us and be wiser about the decisions we make for our lives because believing for change in us and around us has shown us what is really important. Going through tough time’s means life is asking you, “How are you going to use your faith and what are you going to use it for?” When you can answer these questions you begin to see what is really important to you and why. When you are in the heat of battle and believing God you will shed unnecessary emotions and poor decision making because you will develop a no-nonsense attitude about what you carry into your promised place. Faith is difference between manna (a monitored measure of blessing) or milk and honey (a permanent lifestyle of abundance), your choice. Living by radical faith is a new place of understanding that God’s intention toward you is always good band understanding we also have to do our part in believing right in order to build right for the future.
So my friend in the faith, how do we go from being shattered to shining in the faith? How do we become whole again? Let me say this first, faith makes things possible not easy. I believe half the problem with our current generation is the fact that we’ve been bamboozled or even lulled our own selves into thinking somehow if problems arise we blame others because it’s easier than doing the work of solving. Faith without works is dead.
Living in comfort zones and cycles diminishes your authenticity and creates a false sense of security. Instead of creating and building a “boss life” you end up settling for shell of life that includes mediocrity, dumbing yourself down and passive potential none of which you really need to exercise faith. Shining faith takes a decision out of the ordinary; it takes massive action when problems come about to wake up to God’s dream within us and for us that is screaming to get out. That massive action moves us into a decision to make the call and say, “Lord help my unbelief and strengthen me, I want to see you move in my situation in a powerful way.”
I believe frustrating times are God‘s way of alerting us that something greater is on the horizon,
something has the potential to be healed or some barrier wants to give way to new birth in our lives. In the same way, we would never get off of the roller-coaster of repeat if we didn’t get shaken to our core some way somehow. We would never have to exercise our faith if we weren’t so irritated that it moved us to try our hand at the impossible no matter how crazy it looks or feels. How do we move from shattered faith to shining faith?
Get out of our current story where we keep repeating the report of defeat to ourselves. We have to stop believing that our historic and present trouble is restricting of the power of God and even our ability to build again. Get a new story! You know the thing you long for? That’s your real story.
Get a pen and paper and write a new story for yourself. Once you do that put your faith in motion and corresponding action in place to see it come to pass. You also need a new strategy because the one you are using now just isn’t working for you anymore.
Once you have noted your goals, read them aloud and make sure they are worth you pursuing. Do not waste time on what is not purposeful.
Turn those macro goals into micro steps toward seeing what you need or dream realized.
When fresh faith arises, it creates a place of hunger that drives us to be fulfilled and established in a way that only God’s majestic power can reveal. The Great script writer is trying to get us to tell our story through the vehicle of the Gospel for our good and His glory. As they say in the movies he is trying to move us from the best friend role so we will take the leading role in our own lives. God wants you to experience his abundance and just because you go through a pruning process doesn’t mean he has left you it means he loves you. You are not a victim of your circumstances now that you know that truth multiply it in your life. So there, whether you had a horrible childhood, you were an uninformed young person, modeled by negative culture in your neighborhood now you know you can use your faith to ferociously excavate your way out of the pit you feel you’ve been thrown into. You see God loves you but it is the enemy’s job to make you feel like God is not listening to you nor will he answer your prayers. So when you feel like that, say out loud, “God loves me, God hears me and God is going to answer my prayers.” So the question remains are you ready for change; are you ready for fresh faith?
I’ve listed some questions to help you identify where you are and hopefully get out of your own way.
What experience have you had that God has proved his love for you?
God loves you, how does that make you feel?
What bible verses can you recite or remember that have to do with faith?
Which of those verses are you willing to stand on and speak daily to renew your mind and experience change in your life?
Move forward in faith because God already gave his best in the way of his beloved Son Jesus Christ, why in the world would he leave us in situations that devalue us, or leave us with unfulfilled dreams that he himself put in our hearts? He won’t do it, it is not his modus operandi and as you exercise your faith and do your work be convinced that sometimes it may not be good or feel good but it is working for your good.
Speaker and Author