I think the Apostle Paul gets a bad rap as a VERY arrogant man. The way that he comes across in his books in the Bible could very easily lead one, such as me, to assume that this man, who talks A LOT, is very self assured. He's pretty bold...no, he's bold to a point that makes me feel UNCOMFORTABLE. Maybe that is why Ephesians hits me in areas of my life that bring me to tears...LITERALLY.
Recently I was talking with my sister inlaw. We had been talking about faith. What does it mean to actually WALK IN FAITH...what does true faith look like? My faith and my perspective are quite different than anyone I know. That is also not in arrogance that I say that boldly. My convictions and dreams and my heart, though battered and scarred in some areas, are important to my Jesus. But they are as different as black and white to anyone else's...that is what I LOVE about faith! My decisions shape my faith. My dreams shape my faith. My struggles shape my faith. To WALK in that faith, knowing INTIMATELY that Jesus whispers things to God on my behalf! HE BRAGS ABOUT ME! WOW!? To walk in faith is to know that I am IN God's will for my life and when I pray, I'm praying not to manipulate God in my favor...no, I'm praying for His glory to be revealed! Holy cow, its hard to walk in that kind of faith daily...*scoff* wait, lets be honest here people...MOMENT BY MOMENT its a struggle to walk in THAT kind of faith. I see snippets of it in my prayer life and the joy that comes from that is so sweet.
But after my conversation with my sister inlaw it hit me: I want faith like Paul. I want my faith to be mistaken for this severe arrogance! Think about that! I mean really, to be SO SURE of your God. Knowing that you are IN His will. YOU KNOW HIM THAT INTIMATELY that when you pray, "God, ....." you have absolutely NO doubt in your heart and mind that IT WILL COME TO PASS. How many times do we pray and not really mean what we say or not really think God will do it, much less take time to even consider it? Uhhhh, guilty of that one...many times. Is that what we want our faith to look like? A flippant comment said with no conviction and definitely no meaning behind it. We might as well tell God that we are just saying we hope our friend recovers from cancer because we felt obligated to due to a sudden awkward moment of not knowing what to say except, "oh I'll pray for you." If we pray, good grief, SHOULDN'T WE MEAN IT!? SHOULDN'T we EXPECT that because its IMPORTANT to us and its heartfelt and its not about manipulation that God would WANT TO HEAR OUR PLEA!? Lets not even go to the extent of a horrific situation such as cancer... even considering a decision about educating your children...praying in faith and asking the Lord for wisdom...we should be expecting the Lord to give us that wisdom! And when we pray that way, I really believe that the Lord desires this confidence in Him...HE IS TRUSTWORTHY! Why is it so hard to trust and boldly declare God's will in our lives? We are to SAY IT OUT LOUD! DECLARE IT! Obviously with this kind of faith and boldness comes GREAT responsibility and constant checking to make sure our hearts are in line with God's.
This is where I want to be.
I want to be accused of ARROGANCE. Because that kind of arrogance is ONLY found in deep, intimate relationship with Jesus.