Faithful And Lacking Faith

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FAITHFULNESS

For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it.
~John Ortberg

“What’s it about?”

That’s one of the questions you hear a lot when you publish a book. Experts advise creating a compelling, one-line response that fosters an irresistible desire to read the story.

Relentless Grace is the story of God’s perfect faithfulness in the face of my incessant lack of faith.

I’ll wait if you suddenly experience an overwhelming need to learn more about the book …

When I hear the word faith I tend to think of belief. But I never stopped believing in God or wanting to follow Jesus. He certainly doesn’t need to believe in me. So faith and faithfulness must involve something more than belief.

… my incessant lack of faith.

I always believed. The problem was (and still is) that what I believe doesn’t impact my behavior. I believe, but I don’t trust.

When things get tough, I too frequently default to self-reliance. If it’s going to get fixed, I’d better draw the plans and get out my toolbox. I’m going to do it my way. I’m supposed to have all the answers.

I once described this repeated pattern to a friend/pastor who “sympathetically” replied, “So, how’s that working for you?” When you get to know them, pastors can be sarcastic.

But he was right—my lack of trust doesn’t work all that well. I stumble along on my own. I congratulate myself when I accidentally cross the correct path, certain that I’ve finally got it figured out. Then I wander off course once more, crash into another obstacle, and wonder why God doesn’t help.

God’s perfect faithfulness …

When I started arranging the episodes of Relentless Grace to create some sort of coherent story, I thought I was tracing my journey through recovery from a devastating injury. I had this image of somehow giving the reader a sense of hope by revealing my own weakness. I wanted to say, “If I can do this, you can as well.”

A single-sentence synopsis of the story I envisioned: Rich recovers from tragedy despite incredible stubbornness, resistance, denial, and stupidity.

Doesn’t that get you scrambling for the Amazon listing?

But the account I planned wasn’t what emerged. Turns out—amazingly enough—that the story really wasn’t about me at all.

As I read my own words, I watched in amazement as the unmistakable pattern of God’s faithfulness unfolded on the computer screen.

God refused to break His promises. He pursued me despite my best efforts to drive Him away. His faithfulness was relentless.

The Message describes faithfulness as “involved in loyal commitments.” That’s how God’s worked in my life.

I make a commitment and break it; He always does exactly what He’s promised. I can’t trust; He’s right there, just as He said He’d be. I grope along in self-imposed darkness; He patiently shines His light and points to the path.

My lack of faith, always overwhelmed by the grace of His perfect faithfulness.

We often think of great faith as something that happens spontaneously so that we can be used for a miracle or healing. However, the greatest faith of all, and the most effective, is to live day by day trusting Him. It is trusting Him so much that we look at every problem as an opportunity to see His work in our life. Rick Joyner

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Dixon
Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance
. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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