Often times God asks us to lay down things we enjoy and show Him faith. This sometimes happens when we are least expecting it, and we usually react with an array of different emotions from joy, to sorrow, to anger, to feeling hurt.
Just recently I have had to practice faith.
*I want to add that this is a hard post for me to write, because it is forcing me to reveal that I have some personal things I struggle with God about, and I am not always the “perfect Christian” that most people strive to be.*
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Samantha and I am a published author. Because of this, I’ve recently gotten in contact with some other authors who are published or are in the process of being published. One of my recent interactions was with a woman (let’s call her Debby) who asked me to read and edit her manuscript (which is, like, HUGE in the writing world!). Well, Debby is the owner of a pretty big writing website, and this was the opportunity of a lifetime for me! Since I’m still fairly new in the writing realm, I immediately responded with a big “YES!” After that, Debby gave me articles to write, a writing partner to help critique me, and several kind notes of encouragement. Life in my writing world was going pretty smooth…
After about two weeks of editing Debby’s manuscript, I began to have huge convictions about it. It began talking about some things that I would not want my name attached to. I couldn’t call myself a Christian writer and have some new believer or non-believer read that novel and get confused about the Lord. I immediately recognized the Holy Spirit convicting me.
So, I concluded that I had a huge decision to make. I could either continue to edit this manuscript, edit another manuscript she wanted me to take a look at and continue growing my friendship with Debby, all the while I would have the Holy Spirit nagging at me, OR I could email her and tell her I couldn’t edit it, thus severing the bond I had with her and the writing website.
When I asked God what I should do, I was angered at His reply. Deep down I knew I should be emailing her right at that second and tell her I was having my own personal convictions about her manuscript.
But do you know what I did?
I pushed away the Holy Spirit for another month, acting like I was fine with it the entire time. Only when I got physically ill because of the whole situation did I realize that this was not God’s plan for me (I was definitely acting like Jonah, pushing God away and doing what I wanted to do). I realized He was asking me to practice faith in Him. I reluctantly opened up my email, and with tears in my eyes, I emailed the woman and told her I couldn’t do it.
I had to have God beat me down before I obeyed Him.
Now, just take a minute and ponder upon what I just gave up. With this writing website, I was given the opportunity to write for them. I was given the opportunity to read others manuscript and give my opinion because they valued what I had to say. I was also given many opportunities in publishing. This was literally the writers dream!
Giving up this was a big deal, because that meant that I would have to start from ground zero all over again, and I really didn’t want to do that.
But, surprisingly, once I sent that email I felt as if a boulder rolled off my shoulders. I felt the Holy Spirit cover me in an embrace-like fashion. I felt content. Believe it or not, but I felt good about what I had just did. I think it was a mixture of releasing the pressure I was having between God and Debby, and the warm feeling I get when I feel God’s presence.
But I regret that it took me a month and a half to obey God. I regret that I pushed the Holy Spirit away. I regret that God was asking me to show Him I had faith in Him, but I didn’t.
I would like to share a few passages of Scripture that came to my mind during the duration of that month and a half:
Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?.”
Isaiah 1:19 “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.”
2 Corinthians 2:9 “For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything.”
Now I would like to share with you some Scripture concerning faith in God:
1 Corinthians 2:5 “So that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”
1 Peter 1:21 “Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified, so your faith and hope are in God.”
Please, dear ones, heed the words of the Lord.
I was disobedient. I did not listen to what He had to say. I pushed Him away. I was foolish.
And because of that, I disappointed God. I made Him sad, and making the Lord sad is probably the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced, even above the horrible feeling of disappointing my parents.
The Lord prompted me to write this post to be an encouragement. At first, I wasn’t going to write it, because it seemed too personal, almost like a biography about me, and not helping you. But after some thought, I realized that this is one of the things that most people struggle with. So many people push God away because they are scared, lazy or prideful.
I want you to know that the Lord will bless you because of your obedience and faith. He might bless you here on earth, or He might bless you in Heaven. But always know that those things don’t go unnoticed under the eyes of God.
In fact, literally minutes after I sent the email to Debby, I got a message from Deanna asking me to write an article for her. She didn’t know it then, but she was an opportunity God was sending me. I couldn’t believe that after my unfaithfulness to the God Almighty, he was blessing me by sending me an opportunity to encourage all of you.
In conclusion, dear ones, I would love to tell you that everything will be alright, and life will always be smooth sailing, and you will never, ever have to prove your faith to God.
But I can’t, because that isn’t how life is. Just keep in mind though, that God will always bless you after showing Him faith. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next year, but it will not ever go unnoticed.
Note from Deanna
Sometimes it can be difficultto put down the wants we have placed in this world and take up our faith. On a daily bases teens are tempted to push away the Holy Spirit much like Samantha was into his own little drawer.
Most Christian teens can relate to the fact that our friends live a more worldly lifestyle with lust, cursing, alcohol, drugs and the bad fruits of society. It is hard to not put away God. While Samantha did not struggle with any of those particular problems, she did however struggle with thinking of herself and not herself and God.
Next time you find yourself in a situation where you know you should give up a want so that you can practice your faith, think of Samantha and the sacrifice she made. Like her, you will feel the Holy Spirit overcome you and the satisfaction God has for you when you obey his command.