I’ve been having a great conversation via email with my good friend Mark from Called Out in Kansas. He has taken the time to write some great stuff that God has put on his heart about the topic. It was stuff that has been very encouraging to Stephanie and me. I asked Mark if I could share our correspondence and, as you may assume since I am now sharing it, he said it was fine with him. I hope you find his thoughts as encouraging as I did. Thanks Mark!
Me to Mark:
God has been really working on me in reference to the second part of your email. I feel like we were exhausted because much of what I wanted to believe was “faith” was really just something we were trying to muster-up in ourselves. But I guess that is where this stuff gets complicated: how do we avoid that? Like you said at one point “Faith is a process of continuing to refocus our minds on the truth of scripture, and not giving up our stance.” It felt like it was that continual refocus that was so tiring. You can never let your guard down. You can never say “finally we’ve arrived” because whenever you do the bad stuff starts coming back into your mind whether it’s fear, anger, doubt, or whatever. So constantly trying to oppose that stuff with the truth is tiring. So I guess again I would say: how do we avoid that? or is it growing pains? or what?
I don’t ask these questions as an argument against your wonderful words of encouragement. I agree very much with everything you are saying and much of it God has been working in me, but these are the hard questions I struggle with in my heart, these are the stumbling blocks that always seem to trip me up.
As a side note, another difficult thing is shifting focus from the “all these things” to “the kingdom,” what I tend to do is think “OK, I need to focus on The Kingdom (still not entirely sure what that means!) instead of my problems so that God will take care of my problems.” As you can probably surmise, that is a situation where the cart is driving the horse. Ultimately my desire is to have my problems taken care of, NOT focusing on the Kingdom. So like before I am left with the question: How do I avoid/overcome this?
I don’t pose these questions because I think you have some easy answer, or any answer for that matter, but because I want you to know that what you wrote really connected with what God is doing in my heart.