Christianity 201

February 16, 2022

When We’re Not Walking in Faith

One year ago we introduced you to the writing of Doreen Eager who lives in North Carolina. Her blog is Doreen Eager’s Blog   . In two recent blog posts, she spoke about times in her life when she was not walking in faith, or in God’s word, and the consequences. Click the headers which follow to read this at her site. Once there, other great content awaits you.

Resemblance of Faith

As a teenager I did not have a strong faith walk; the resemblance of my faith was scant. I knew from my Catechism classes that I was made in the image of God, He loved and resided in me through the Holy Spirit. This I knew to be true but outside of my confirmation classes I did not seek the Lord or His ways. If anything I was walking in the complete opposite direction of where He was leading me.

In high school I had a small group of friends that I would roam around with, mostly to drink and listen to rock music in our cars until the wee hours of the morning. I was not of drinking age and can affirm there is no reason to be drinking before the age of 21. This was what all the cool kids did and of course I desperately wanted to fit in. The friendships I had were shallow and they cared little about others or the consequences of their actions. Myself included. Had I been walking in faith and not in the flesh I would have realized this behavior only leads you down a cold and lonely road with no life giving purpose.

Therefore, we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight.  We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So, we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:6-10

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Romans 8:5-7

It took many years before I realized that I needed to turn my internal focus outward and upward. To the one who created me and everything around me. To be grateful for all that God provided and start listening to that still small voice telling me to put that drink down and pickup my bible.

Paul had to go through a conversion, after he persecuted those who followed Christ. Jesus met him on the road to Damascus and blinded him. This was done so in the end Saul could see the true the light of the world and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah. See Acts 9.

I am forever grateful for God’s intervention in my life, which allowed me to dig into His word and know whose I am. This provided me with direction, to reach out to others who are hurting, to listen more, and lend a hand to those in need. Ultimately it gave me the identity that I was searching for through people in my life, who could not provide it to me. That identity can only be found in and through God.

“Aim at Heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.” C.S. Lewis

As I grow closer to God, through His word and listening to the Holy Spirit, I find myself resembling Him more and more. I pray you do too!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22

Hibernation of Faith

Hibernate has two main definitions; (1) to pass the winter in a resting state or (2) to become inactive or dormant. When I think of the word hibernate, I always think of a bear hibernating for the winter. The second definition lends more toward a non-active state, like placing your computer in hibernation mode.

We can become neglectful in our faith walk and at times it can seem like we are hibernating in our faith. If you get into a routine of not spending time with God, rarely reading the word, or infrequently listening to a good sermon, you can feel it in your soul. I find myself having less patients with people or situations and I neglect serving others in the way Jesus taught me to. When we neglect our relationship with our gracious, redeeming, loving Father, we become inactive in our faith.

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:15-17

When my children where young and I was working full time, I was not in the word at all. I felt like a good Christian when I attended service on Sunday but the rest of the week my mind was far from God and so were my actions.

Looking back, I can see how the hibernation of my faith caused me to lack empathy or to be tolerant of another person’s behavior. Even the slightest things would throw me off; my husband didn’t pick up the kids toys before he went to work, or the dog needed to go out immediately after I walked in the door from work. These instances should not cause someone to get really upset but for me they did.

In my late 30s I finally did find a relationship with God through Joyce Meyer’s teachings and books. Since then, I have read countless books about God and how to build your relationship with Him alongside reading the bible. This has opened my eyes and showed me what I need to work on. It has brought me out of my hibernation of faith.

I am in no way perfect now; just today, while walking the dog, I had to pause and listen to the Spirit moving me to calm my thoughts and focus on His peace and not the dog pulling me to pick up a stick. I have learned how to stop and listen to the Holy Spirit speak to me when tensions run high.

Continue seeking God in each day, in each instance of your life, and you will work toward becoming more and more like Him. Coming out of hibernation, into His glorious light!

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matthew 6:33