Location, Location, Location...
Some of you may or may not know that I will occasionally write faith-based blog posts on my personal social media pages. With all of the uncertainty that we are experiencing, I felt the need to also share with my Funky Debutante family.
It is my faith that motivates everything that I do, including my work. Whether I speak about it or not, my faith is the filter that I use to make all decisions including those related to my work. With that being said and as a result of the Covid_19 Pandemic, I am going to share my latest blog post here.
This post was influenced by my meditation on Luke 6:46-49. I pray that it brings you both comfort and encouragement.
Where have you chosen to built your foundation of faith?
Is it through your perception of your circumstances? Your loved ones? Your job? Other people? Your government? Your bank account? Your accolades? Your number of friend? Your social media following? People that you idolize, etc?
You get the idea...
There are many appealing places where we can choose to build our foundation of faith.
I love the parable that Jesus chose to use when speaking about the importance of location as it relates to the strength of your foundation Luke 6:46-49.
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.
48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.
49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
As an interior designer, my brain connects with references to building houses. Perhaps it will connect with you...
Jesus starts off by saying: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not do what I say?”
How many of us only call on him through our distress in prayer, but fail to read His word or put it into practice?
Prayer is a very important part of building “the house” of our faith on solid ground. Speaking to God daily is definitely an important step in laying this foundation.
However, we also need to listen...
Relationships are two sided. We can’t just go to God with our problems and expect him to send miracle after miracle without learning who He is or listening to His instruction.
How can we possibly know where to lay the foundation of our faith without God's instruction?
It is important to learn how to discern the difference between the promptings of the Holy Spirit and our own thoughts/desires. Sometimes our desires line up with God's plan and sometimes they don't.
For this reason, we need to test ourselves with God’s word.
The only way to do this is to read it directly. Not by cherry picking convenient bits and pieces that fit our selfish narrative, but by really digging into it in its entirety.
Jesus reveals in Luke 6:46-49 that the word of God is the rock on where we are to lay our foundation.
As we strengthen our knowledge, we strengthen the "ground" beneath us. Digging into God’s word is how we wisely begin to lay our stable foundation.
Meditating on it until it becomes written on our hearts is how we continue to build and grow stronger.
Heeding the advise given by scripture and humbly putting it into practice is what strengthens our house (faith) and prepares it to withstand the storms of life.
I think that we can all agree that, for the first time in our lives, we are literally in the midst of the same relentless storm.
This is when having a deeply rooted foundation on solid ground matters most.
No matter how strong the winds of uncertainty blow against us or how the intimidating waves of fear seem to threaten us, this type of deep rooted faith will keep us intact.
By placing our foundation on the solid rock of God's word, our spirit of faith remains steadfast.
Our faith is what elevates us above our circumstances.
Does this mean that we will not get sick, not lose loved ones, and/or our livelihood in the near future?
No, unfortunately, it does not.
I feel that it is important to really understand this or your trials will absolutely shake (or even destroy) your faith.
We are not promised to be delivered from every earthly trial in a physical way. Spiritually and mentally, YES!!! However, sometimes our physical circumstances can remain difficult. Anyone who tells you differently is doing you a disservice and setting you up for dissappointment.
As we mature in our faith, we begin to understand that the ultimate goal is not maintaining our own comfort.
The real goal is to maintain, grow, and share our faith in Christ. It is to be a beacon of strength and hope in spite of our circumstances. We must keep our eyes fixed on heaven and always glorify God.
We are called to share God's love with all people regardless of our circumstances. Even (and especially) when the physical outcome is not what we had hoped (or even prayed) for.
The good news...
So...what IS promised?
We ARE promised peace that surpasses all understanding.
We ARE promised a way out when we are tempted.
We ARE promised that there is more awaiting us beyond this life.
We ARE promised freedom from the chains that hold our minds and spirits captive.
We ARE promised that we are okay even when life isn't.
We ARE promised that whosoever calls on the name of the Lord and believes in Him will be saved!!!
That is the greatest news!
Does this means that miracles, relief, and healing will not happen?
Of course not. Miracles and healing absolutely happen and we should never cease to pray for them in faith. Relief also happens. However, sometimes it happens in unexpected ways.
As we mature in our faith, we still pray and desire for these things.
However, at the same time, we learn to shift our focus on the way in which God teaches us to view our trials.
Once we discover how to view trials from a heavenly perspective, we begin to understand the ways in which they benefit us. We learn to view them as reminders to return to God and to squeeze out every single lesson, so that we can increase our wisdom and strengthen our faith.
This method of strengthening our faith is how God successfully uses our trials for our good and His glory.
Every trial prepares us to be better equipped to face the next one. They also prepare us to help others who are struggling.
Trials teach us compassion and empathy. They humble us. They even teach us to unlock the beautiful gift of finding joy in the midst of struggle. We learn how to no longer place our trust in the physical comforts of this world. We discern that temporary peace may come from worldly comforts, but permanent peace comes from God.
Having our foundation built on the rock of God's word will help us maintain a deeper peace (that often defies logic) during the most difficult of trials.
With this heavenly perspective, we realize that our struggles create an obvious thirst within that can only be satisfied by remaining close to God.
God uses our trials to both mature our faith and draw us close to Him.
Being equipped with the knowledge of God's word evolves our ability to effectively respond when we experience these hard times.
You may find yourself fearful, defeated, or even feel little hopeless as you are weighted down with the heaviness of our current situation...
Please know that you are not alone and that I know how you feel. I have been in your shoes and still fight against these feelings from time to time.
Knowing, first hand, the feeling of helplessness that comes with going through the unimaginable is why I chose to share this post.
I can attest to the validity of Jesus's instruction to build your "house" (faith) on the "solid rock" (God's word) because that is what has worked and continues to work for me.
There are so many unknowns about the near future as we experience the shock and trama of the Covid_19 pandemic. The unknown is scary. Especially when your foundation of faith is on fragile ground.
I encourage you to use this downtime to open your bible and discover your own rock, so that you can lay your foundation in a place of strength and peace. Pray without ceasing and then read God's word. Meditate on what it is teaching you and allow the Holy Spirit to move peacefully within your heart. This will strengthen your faith and increase your wisdom.
Please know that I am praying for you and your families (regardless of your beliefs). I love you just the way you are, where you are because that is how Christ loves me. I stand in faith with you and/or intercede on your behalf in prayer during this uncertain time. We are all in this together!
May today be the day that you discover (or rediscover) the rock of God's word and begin to lay your own foundation. May you increasingly fortify your "house" on this beautiful rock of strength and peace.