cultivating our faith
Some years ago I walked out my front door and noticed a small vine (that I knew to be a weed) growing around one of my good plants. I made a mental note to pull it up by the roots as soon as I came home from running an errand. Being the mother of three sons and in the kitchen, laundry room, grocery store, gym, baseball or football field at any given moment in time, my mental note slipped from my memory.
In a few days and headed out the front door again, I happened to notice the same vine. It had grown several feet and entwined itself around my poor little plant to the point of strangling the life out of it.
I stopped abruptly when the analogy of the spiritual truth hit home with me. If I do not let God pull the little weeds in me early before they take deep root and develop a stronghold, my faith is in danger of being choked to the point it is not very effective.
But, how to do this--
What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.
I must put my faith in God--He must do the weeding but I must let Him and I must not resent it or be discouraged when He yanks those weeds in me up by the roots.
My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
For the pruning and weed pulling to be beneficial to cultivating my faith, I must cooperate. I must be willing to lay aside every weight and sin which so easily snares and entangles me--keeping me from being the faith-filled believer God intended.
I must trust Him who is the author, the finisher, the perfector of my faith.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
From Romans 10:
Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
Through the years I have found that when I read and study God's Word, listen to sermons from my pastor and Godly scriptural wisdom from friends, my faith is stronger. Also, I like to take God's word very literally (hearing the Word) at times, so when I find my faith weakening I find that reading God's Word out loud to myself or listening to it online--pure scripture--no one else's "take" on it--just pure scripture is a great antidote.
I long to be weed-free.
Thanks to my calligraphy friends, Travis and Carolyn, who inspired me so yesterday and made me laugh. The above photographs were taken of a canvas about Faith that Travis painted and calligraphed.