Activate your faith. What a simple, yet profound statement. I heard it proclaimed yesterday at a ladies' meeting. The speaker spoke of how the phrase changed her life, and in the moments after she said it, I realized it was going to change mine as well.
I had always compared my faith to an automatic function like that of the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland is the part of the body that senses danger or excitement and automatically activates to send the body into "fight or flight" mode. You know--adrenaline rush. This process is not something we have to think about. When being confronted by a frightening situation, we don't have to tell our hearts to beat faster. It just happens. It's a reaction. It works the way God intended for it to work. It's our bodies' automatic response.
Faith is not like that at all, and until yesterday, I hadn't really thought about it. To be honest, I've often felt that I must be the lousiest believer on the planet because every time stormy circumstances come my way, I find myself running for cover instead of braving the winds. Faith? What faith? Why can't I be like Paul who boldly said, "Infirmities. Persecutions. Trials. Bring it on. It's no big deal"? What? Are you insane? Of course it's a big deal.
But now I understand the difference between Paul and myself. Paul activated his faith; I've merely been waiting for mine to automatically kick in. It just doesn't work that way. Activating our faith takes time, effort and a willingness to be uncomfortable for a little while. Activating our faith requires us to study, memorize and claim God's promises. It requires us to be on guard against the
such as destructive thoughts and attitudes, "little sins," and feelings of envy or bitterness. It requires a conscious decision of "No, I will not give in. No, I'm not running this time." And it requires us to give up the reins. We must stop trying to live our lives by our plans and agendas, and must instead completely surrender to God. (I never said this would be easy!)
Activate your faith. It doesn't work on auto-pilot. And the process will not be an easy one. But I guarantee you this: it will be rewarding!
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. - Hebrews 11:6
*Excerpt from Rise Up and Build Devotional: 52 Inspirational Thoughts for Dealing with Anxiety and Depression