Going Deeper {Heart-Strong Faith}

A couple of weeks ago, Brent surprised me with a date night.

He called me around 3:30….  You know the time of day we open the refrigerator and ask ourselves, “Self. What are we fixing the chilrn’ for dinner?”

Brent said, “Hey, just curious what we are doing for supper tonight.”

“Well it’s Wednesday so we could go to “kids eat free” at Jason’s Deli or we could have left overs.”

(I know, right.  My domesticity is overwhelming you.)

Brent replied, “How about neither.  Katy is coming at 5:45 to feed the boys and I am taking you out for an early Valentine’s dinner.”

Stud.

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So, off we went, down the road to one of our favorite spots.  After the waitress took our order and brought us two waters, Brent reached across the table and grabbed my hand.

“Pull out the chalkboard and tell me everything that is going on in that head.  Nothing has to be in any order.  No rhythm or rhyme. I just want to hear all about you.”

We joke that Brent thinks in drawers.  Everything has a place.  When one drawer is open, the others are closed.  He is a compartmentaist. Which allows him to laser focus on one thing at a time.

I, on the other hand, think on a chalkboard.  Every player is on the field at the same time, running plays and charging different directions.  One conversation we may be talking about American Idol and the next I am tearing up over an adoption story.  And my sweet compartmental husband trails along, the best he can.  Smiling and nodding and following me ’round my sporadic stream of consciousness.

BM-Chalkboard

I love how God created us all so differently… how we think and process and dream.

But I realize that my chalkboard tendencies spill over a little too much in my walk with God. Causing me too focus less on my Coach and too much on the field.

In order for us to grow a deeper, more intimate relationship with God, we have to ask ourselves, “Do we have head-faith?  Or do we have heart-faith?”

Let me explain.

For years I’ve been the poster child of strong faith …. as long as circumstances were favorable.

I’d pray and believe God for an answer to prayer.  I’d stand firm on His promises, trust in His Word, but when the game changed, and my circumstances seemed to derail, I’d get into my head and doubt God.  You see, head-strong faith sees and understands God, but focuses too heavily on surroundings, difficulties and hindrances.

BUT HEART-STRONG FAITH keeps her focus on God and His promises.  Heart-faith is seen in the Proverbs 31 woman as she “is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.”   Why does she laugh?  Because she has heart-strong faith in God.  No matter what comes her way, her faith is secure in His promises.

For example, head-faith prays and says “I know God is for me and hears my cry, as soon as I see a result.”

Heart-faith lays hold of Hebrews 11:1 which says, ‘Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see.

I don’t like to admit that I have lived much of my Christian life as a head-faith girl.  It’s an ugly truth. But intimacy with God does not lay circumstantial qualifiers on Him.  Heart-faith says, “I believe God hears me and answers my prayer according to His Word, no matter what my eyes see.”

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Are you a head-faith or a heart-faith believer?  The best way to find out is to ask yourself which of the two sentences below describes your faith best.  Honest. Your answer will tell you.

Head-faith is strong when things are favorable.

Heart-faith is strong when all things are against it.

So how do we become Heart-Faith believers? Your answer is found in 2 Corinthians 10:5

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Over and over again, I must take my head-faith tendencies back to Christ.  Numerous times a day.  This unbelieving world and that ruthless enemy of ours see to it that heart-strong faith is difficult.  But confessing our unsteady faith and taking “thoughts captive,” making them obey God’s Word is the first “how-to” of strengthening your heart-faith.

And two, I encourage you to look back to Brent’s compartmentalism!  Brent is laser-focused on what is before him.  Let our laser focus be on Christ!  Not our circumstances.

No matter what we face, God’s faithfulness to His Word should be our focus.  His promise “to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” should be on the forefront of your heart.  Open the drawer of God’s Promises and shut all the drawers of fear, doubt and discontent.

No matter what, let our faith be secure in our Hope, Jesus Christ.

Today, take note of your faith.  Are you more like me? One who has erred more on head-strong faith?

Then join me as I discipline myself to “take every thought captive!”  Join me as I say, “No matter what God, I am going with You!  No matter how grim life looks, I trust Your promise.”

Today, let your heart-faith lay hold of things beyond all reason.  Pray big and hold fast.  Expect God to do things that are impossible!

Faith, mighty faith, laughs at impossibilities, and cries, “It shall be done.” Charles Wesley

Great Examples of Faith

Hebrews 11 (various verses)

11 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.

3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

7 It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.

8 It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. 9 And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise.

11 It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. 12 And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.

17 It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, 18 even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” 19 Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.

20 It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau.

21 It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff.

23 It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command.

24 It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. 27 It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. 28 It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons.

29 It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned.

30 It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.

32 How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets.

33 By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength.

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