Monday, May 3, 2010

The Correct Equation

“Prayers arising from my needs are preparations for future mercies; Help me to honour thee by believing before I feel, for great is the sin if I make feeling a cause of faith.” From the book, “The Valley of Vision” a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions.

I love reading the prayers of the Puritans. They are so full of worship, humbleness, and awe and centered around God that they don’t even tell you what Puritan said what prayer because it wasn’t important. It makes me stop and wonder about my own writing and how I go out of my way to take credit for all I write. Wrong formula!

Whoever said this particular prayer doesn’t matter as much as the words they said in it. Some day I’d like my writing to be that good, something that the words matter more than who the author was.

No surprise to God but a big surprise to me the Chritian growth I’ve experienced over the years came from the prayers that arose from my needs. With my eyes squinted tightly shut to prevent even an ounce of sun from entering and my hand in my Heavenly Father’s hand I finally cracked an eye open long enough to peak out to ask “Is it over yet?” When I did I found I was in those “future mercies.”

Over the years as I have cried out to God many times, sometimes in a gentle way, most the times in tears. Other times the nature of my prayers was pleading harsh words. At the time the prayers were said I had no idea the prayers arising from my needs were indeed preparing me for future mercies. They taught me how to reach out and keep my arms open wide waiting for God’s answers. Some of the verdicts of my prayers are still out but some day they will all be answered.

It’s so important to our spiritiual well-being that we do honor God by belieieving before we feel. Too often we turn away things because we just don’t feel like it. We don’t “feel” God’s presence therefore we don’t believe He’s there. We don’t “feel” like He’s listening to our prayers so we don’t believe He ever did. We don’t “feel” like God is real so we don’t believe He ever existed. We don’t “feel” like going to church to worship God so we believe it’s not necessary. We don’t “feel” God loves us so it must not be true.

What a sad thing it is when we make feeling a part of our faith. No, no that’s not what the Puritan said. He said, “It was a SIN to make feeling a cause for faith.” Our feelings are too fickle to give them such a tremendous task as basing our eternal life on them. Our feelings change with the wind, the time of month, the hour of day, the circumstances pending. When we believe, truly believe that doesn’t change. We can anchor our life on that where our feelings allow us to drift all over the place.

Recently I didn’t “feel” like going to the mother day’s tea at the church but I went because I had a task to do. I walked away from it totally ashamed I didn’t “feel” like going as it turned out to be the most awesome worship of God I’ve experienced in a long time. Afterwards as I walked around Wal Mart doing my shopping I looked at the women who were there thinking about what they missed out on. Women doing their Saturday shopping without a clue to what was going on down at the local Christian church.

Instead of waiting to believe when we feel like it let’s get the equation right and put believing first. Feeling God’s presence will come, feeling He does answer our prayers will come. Feeling I need to go to church to worship God will come. Feeling loved by God will come.

God is coming back. We may not feel like He is but we can believe He is and we need to be ready. We need to be using the correct equation. Believing first and letting our feelings follow its lead not the other way around. Wow, what an honor to God is that, the true author of our faith instead of letting our feelings do it. Sign over the copyright to Him today and get going on the correct equation.

© 2010 Jesus Christ, thanks Jesus for making my life your writing board to a bigger story yet t be told

**In the typing of this message no keys were injured, no nails broken but I did a typo you didn’t see. Only one? Okay enough of that smarty pants. I typed sign without the “G” in it and the word you get is……. Yeah you’re right, “sin.” Interesting without the “G” for God it becomes sin. Without God in our lives doing the leading what we end up with is sin. Unfortunately it’s our human nature, we need God. That’s probably not where the Puritan got his statement about sin, feeling and faith but I thought that was interesting.

Anyway let me rattle on another direction, I wanted to let you know what an honor it is to host our weekly fellowship of writing. I look forward to reading everyone’s intake on this. If I don’t get back to you immediately today bear with me. I’m giving a test at the college and I want to make sure I’m ready. It’s not because I don’t “feel” like getting back to you immediately. Take care, you really should have gone with me to the Mother’s Day Tea.


Tami Boesiger said...

We were thinking the same thing, Karen, about believing. Thanks for a good quote!

Denise said...

I really loved this post.

Patricia said...

Thank you for hosting today. I love the quote! I also love to read the faith of the Puritans.

You will see that my post is from a different location, but it's still me, Patricia @ Typing One-Handed.