Is Reasoning Getting in the Way of Faith?

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The age of reason.  Whether it is defined in the historical sense as the age of enlightenment the 18th century brought forth or an actual numerical age when an individual determines between right and wrong, reasoning brings with it the idea of intellect and thoughts coming together to form conclusions on certain matters.

Reasoning is not all bad.  It gives us a premise for investigating facts about the things we are thinking about and it helps us to make conscientious decisions regarding the best course of action to take; to study and be informed with the knowledge to go forth into whatever endeavor one is contemplating.

While reasoning is certainly a useful tool (and one is expected to use it every day in their life), there are some things we just think about too much.  There are some things we just analyze too much.  And, there are some things we just want to know too much about, too much (yup, I went there).

Never once in the Bible did God instruct one in their calling to go, to research what He is offering and make an informed decision of whether you agree or not, to see if everything is up to par according to our terms, and then give Him your decision.

Nope.

Our intellect, our reasoning capabilities cannot even touch the scaffolding of God’s high and holy intellect.  He said, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

When God calls someone to some extraordinary feat, all He usually says is, “Go, or do.”  He doesn’t give the ins and outs of details.  He doesn’t even give the ending away of how it will all turn out.  He just gives the command and it is up to the heart of the hearer to respond positively like Isaiah did, and say, “Here am I; send me,” (Isaiah 6:8).  With total abandon, he offered himself to God for His holy service.

Today, it is not so common for one to be as generous in their faith and obedient in their walk with Him; to let go and follow through without a certain amount of reasoning involved.  We want clarity on all the if’s, when’s, what’s, how’s, where’s, why’s, and who’s that are involved.

But, this quote really struck me as powerful.  It says, “The more you go with the flow of life and surrender the outcome to God, and the less you seek constant clarity, the more you will find that fabulous things start to show up in your life,” (Mandy Hale, Quote Source: Goodreads).  And, in a moment of personal confession, I realized when it came to certain things, that’s exactly what I was doing: seeking more clarity.  I wanted questions answered or I reasoned within myself with my personal “know-how” of why it wasn’t feasible for me to do such and such.  That outlook got in the way of just stepping out in faith and going or doing.

When Jesus called Peter to come on the water with Him, Peter didn’t question.  He just went (Matthew 14:28-29).  When God called Abraham to leave his homeland without even knowing where he was going, “Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him,” (Genesis 12:1-4).  There are oodles of examples in the Bible of people who just go or do with faith as their only method of reasoning (see Hebrews 11 for some examples).

Faith is most perfectly defined in God’s written Word where it says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” (Hebrews 11:1).  But, clarity and reasoning beckon for the “substance” to be uncovered and the “evidence” to be exposed.  And, that’s not what a true faith walk is all about.

Whatever side we are leaning on determines if we are letting our reasoning, and our desire to know, get in the way of our faith.

I don’t know about you, but I want to see the wonderful happen.  I know that God has so much more in store for His people.  But, we must not be our own greatest hindrance.  When human reasoning comes before Him, it must bow down, and we must walk forth in faith.  We will never see the fabulous until we stop reasoning ourselves out of faith.

“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.” (Hebrews 11:33-35)

Imagine what your faith can do if you unleash it today!

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“When Jesus Cleansed our Temple…”

 

One of the events most etched in people’s minds and history when recalling the events that occurred during this blessed time of the years was the cleansing of the temple (Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45-46).  It is during this time when Jesus had had enough! It was time to get the house of God cleaned up! Unashamedly and without regard for roving eyes and the tsk tsk tsking of the people’s lips, He flips tables over and starts throwing people out to get His Father’s house back in order.  With holy force, He sought to reclaim what was rightfully God’s.

But, can I tell you, His fight didn’t stop there.  He wanted more than a building to reclaim for God, He wanted people that rightfully belong to Him.  He wouldn’t gain that by flipping over tables, rather He flipped over the gates of hell.  He wouldn’t get there by driving people with wrong intents away, but with force, He drove the enemy of our soul away and crushed him under His feet. He wanted to win the temple of people’s heart for His Father and this fight could only be won on the cross.

The whips that were used against Him were nothing in comparison to the sting He was delivering to the enemy.  The ridicule He experienced couldn’t overshadow the words of comfort and the prayers of forgiveness He offered as He hung there.  The thorns that were placed on Him and the sword that pierced His side couldn’t contend with the piercing plea of souls searching for everlasting freedom the cross could provide.  On the cross, He would remain until the victory to reclaim the lost and hurting world to His Father was won.  On the cross, He would stay until the temple of the one who would believe in Him could be cleansed and made new that true worship and true fellowship with the Father could be restored.

When Jesus stepped in the place for us, He cleansed our temples with the only thing that could work: His Blood.  His blood is the only thing that could turn the enemy of our soul upside down.  His blood is the only thing that could deliver from the eternal death to come.  His blood is the only way to reclaim the hearts of the people; the temple of their souls for the Father.

When Jesus cleaned our temple, He did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves.  More than a building was rightfully returned to God.  You and I and everyone who believes were won by the cleansing power of the cross.

When Jesus cleansed our temple He did more than flip over tables.  He took who we used to be and made us brand new.  He turned our world upside down and gave us entrance into the kingdom of God, and we are so glad He did.

“Religion says earn your life. Secular society says create your life. Jesus says, ‘My life for your life.” – Timothy Keller

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Only the blood of Jesus can cleanse us, yet if we withhold ourselves from that blood, we will be unclean forever.” – Aiden Wilson Tozer

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Titus 3:5

“What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” – Robert Lowry

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

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“When it’s too heavy to carry…”

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When it’s too heavy to carry on our own, we look to others for help.  Think about it, if we need to move heavy boxes, furniture, grocery bags, or what have you, we call out for help.  When we come across something physical that is just too much for us to lug from point A to point B, we seek assistance.

But, what about heaviness of the heart?  Often when we are facing emotional and inner turmoil of the spirit, we continue to try to press on our own, hesitant to ask for help or support.

Burdens, they’re so heavy.  Many times they can feel like a ton of bricks just sitting on you, slumping your posture and bogging down your heart.  With the brow creased in concern and eyes moist with hurt and confusion, it’s hard to raise one’s self to the position of being alightened in happiness and hope.

The thought hit me during one of my prayer times – I wonder if it’s harder, at times, because we look at what we can do to press out some joy in our own lives.  Our real joy comes from a natural flow due to our relationship with God.  Any ounce that we can squeeze out in our own time, strength, and power is just a temporary fix.  But, what we find in Christ is pure, real, genuine, and it lasts.  Oh, we will still experience moments and times of sadness from time to time.  But, what He offers us is filling, it’s encouraging, and it’s overflowing into all those cracks and crevices where our own abilities have fallen short of reach, if we will just seek Him for it.

Recently, I had an experience with an artificial or substitute sweetener that I didn’t care for.  I’m not knocking on no one else’s preference of what they put into their drinks and such, but for me, I didn’t like it one bit.  It took away from the pure taste of my coffee that I was accustomed to and it made it taste funny.  When we try to substitute or exchange what God can bring into our lives with our own attempts to patch the burdensome holes we feel with band-aid like plans and faith, it’s not as pure and strong as what He can do for us, and like any band-aid, it comes off easy showing itself weak in really being able to help us.

We need something more.  Rather than temporary relief, we need something or Somone stronger to help us carry the burdens that are weighing us down (remember the furniture above); to assist us in the troubling times we are facing.

We can find that help when we draw closer to God in our search for relief from the heaviness we carry.  One of the ways we can do that is to meditate on what He already speaks to us through the promises He has given us in His Word.

It is there, where His Spirit speaks through those words, to help remind us of the peace we can obtain when we give our worries over to Him.  “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:6-7).  And, the peace He gives is not like the world’s, therefore we can rest securely in it (John 14:27).

Those words tell us of the joy and love that is part of the package deal of being in this sweet and wonderful relationship with Him.  “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing,” (Zephaniah 3:17).

In those words, we find that we are not walking on this journey alone.  Our steps may be heavy at times, but even when we can’t physically feel it, His promise says, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” (Hebrews 13:5).  No matter how fearsome, His Word speaks to our hearts, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you,” (Isaiah 43:2, NASB).

And, in the time of our sorrows, His promise declares, “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds,” (Psalm 147:3).

Yes, it definitely can get heavy at times.  But, in those times, we remember, we don’t have to carry it alone.  For every burden and heavy load we are given this promise: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you,” (1 Peter 5:7).

He cares for you, are those last words.  Look to God, He is there for you.  When something is too heavy to carry, God invites us to come to Him to find the help we need.

This is my heart, Lord.  It has its failings at times.  It has its inadequacies, too.  But, it also has You.  And, where You are, O God, there is help, wholeness, completeness and healing.  Therefore, I pray, wherever there is brokenness, cover with Your salve of love.  Whenever there is confusion, whisper sweet words of peace to calm it.  And, in the times of heaviness, I pray that You would help me to carry that which is too much for me to bear on my own. AMEN!