Monday 22 November 2010

Faith Greenhouse I by Susie Golman Cox

The Authoring of our Faith
by Susie Golmon Cox on Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 01:40 on Facebook
When I was growing up my family used to travel and sing Southern Gospel Music. Every weekend we were in a different church. My Mother and her siblings were all born with the gift of each singing part of the quartet. My Daddy is an ordained Pastor so he held the invitations at the end of every concert. Every family member had their part in making it all happen. Most of the spouses were not singers so they helped with the setting up and taking down of the equipment and the record table and such. Weekend after weekend we sang and we sang. Our families were rather large in number. There were five children in my family alone and most of the time everyone's children would go. Somehow, someone in the family found out that Barbara Mandrell was selling her bus and buying a new one and it was a real thrill for our singing family to purchase it from her! Now we could all be together when we were on the road instead of travelling in separate cars. Oh, the wonderful times we had singing and seeing the sights and meeting new people everywhere we went. The family got to sing with various groups along the way. One time they sang just ahead of The Oakridge Boys in a Gospel concert. Those were very happy times for me. I was young, innocent and very open and sensitive to the Spirit because of the lifestyle of our family and the Spiritual environments we were always in.
I remember many times when we would be travelling on the road at night; my Dad would be driving the bus while everyone slept. He loved it. He's one of those men who loves to takes long trips and enjoys everything along the way. He was gifted with the ability to drive for long stretches at a time. Because he was my Dad I always felt safe because he was the one doing the driving. But sometimes, because I was very aware of how big and long our bus was I'd tense up when he had to maneuver it in and out of tight spots depending on the Church's parking accommodations. But nevertheless, remembering who was at the wheel always calmed me back down. When we were on the road at night I remember how many times I found myself consciously giving into my Dad's ability to take care of all of us and totally relaxing and falling asleep and then waking up safely at our destination. This would be my experience over and over again. Weekend after weekend...we would travel to our destinations arriving safely, sing and have a glorious time and then arrive back home safely.
Because this was my experience in my formative years, trust was being ingrained in me. Those experiences went a long way in nurturing in me the faithfulness and the power of God to guide and to protect His children. Because my parents were in the will of God when we were travelling and singing back then, I have come to understand that my personal experiences of all of those singing trips had been planned by God Himself for me as a child. That being the truth, I cannot separate my experiences from the fact that God is the Author and Finisher of my Faith and that with every mile He was, in fact, 'Authoring' it. He was writing Himself and penning understanding of Him on my heart with every mile.
I have always known from Scripture that there is one Faith. I understand this very easily when I understand that there is only one God. Since there is only one faith then faith has only one source. That Source is God, Himself. When my Dad was driving the bus and I would experience a measure of fear God would always bring my mind back around to who was driving the bus and then bring my heart to the place where my trust in my Dad's ability was. It would serve to calm me down every single time. If I got too scared I would ask my Dad out loud if he thought he could do it! He would assure me that he could. My Dad knew what he was capable of doing and over and over again I experienced his ability until it was as natural as breathing to trust him. All of those years God, as The Author of my faith was writing and writing with one experience after another His faithfulness into my heart just like He said He would in His word.
God knows His own ability to do what He is doing. He believes in Himself. He has no reason to doubt Himself. Faith is God's own knowing of His very own capability of His power to do His own will. This is very exciting to us as His children because He has given all of us a measure of His same Faith in Himself. We don't have anything that we have not received so even our faith is a gift of God, our Father. We know that our faith is His because, once again, there is only one Faith. It has to originate from Him. What does that mean then for us to possess His very same Faith? To get an idea, let's look at Jesus' life with His Father while He was here on the earth.
We know that when Jesus was here He did everything His Father told Him to do in complete assurance of the outcome, because He, too, has the one faith of His Father. He was a living demonstration of His Father and the capability of His power to work through Him. Jesus' Source of power was God just like He is our Source of Power. His same belief in Himself to do what He says He will do resides in us to utilize moment by moment every breath that we breathe. But sometimes we feel we are lacking in faith in God and we feel we need to cry out to Him like I did to my Dad when I needed reassurance. Many times we will encourage one another with the same words Jesus said to His Disciples. We may feel He is telling us to have more faith in Him! It is helpful at this point to remember once again, that our faith originates with Him because soon we will see just what He means when He tells us to have faith in Him. So, how do we get more faith if it's His faith and not our own to start with?
Everything He has is ours so when He is telling us to 'have faith', He is not telling us to come up with more belief in Him own our own somehow...for we have nothing apart from Him. Rather He is saying..."Here, have some more faith." I have all that you need...just take all of my belief that I have in myself to perform my will that you need. His belief in Himself is inexhaustible!
One day as I was pondering this God quite simply told me to look at the word FAITH spelled out. So, in my mind's eye I did just that. As I went over each letter The Holy Spirit brought my attention to the AI in the very middle of the word. He said, "Right off the bat, what does your mind think of when you see those two letters?" I said, "Air." He said, "You are right. The amount of my faith in Myself to share with all of you is just like the air. It will never run out and when you need more of it, all you have to do is just draw it in from Me, just like you do when you need to take a deep breath." We don't even think twice about there being enough air for us to breathe. In fact, it's so commonplace that we forget that it's there and just take it for granted that it will always be here in abundant supply when we need more of it. On most days we just simply 'abide' in the atmosphere without thinking about it! He said His yoke was easy didn't He? Having faith in Him is easier than we thought! Oh, its exercising it that gives us the shakes sometimes!
Think about this comparison of how He tells us that The Just shall live by Faith. It has now been revealed to us that we, as God's children, are to live by our Father's own belief in His own power to do what He knows He can and will do through us. Now compare this to us only being able to live our lives with the air that is supplied to us. Our air is supplied without measure from the atmosphere. Just like we can't live without air, we, as God's children, cannot live our lives in the Spirit and do the works of Him Who sent us without having the Supply of His own belief in Himself to do it through us! Because we were dead in our trespasses and sins before, we did not have a life. The only way we are truly living now in the Spirit is because we were reborn when we received His life. The life that we now live is lived by THE Faith of the Son of God. When we understand that we received Christ into us as our very life, then we can begin to understand that it is His very own faith, trust, firsthand knowledge of and experience with our Father's ability to perform His word that He is Supplying us with by His life inside of us. Read Galations 2:20 now very carefully in this light...I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I NOW LIVE in the flesh I live BY THE FAITH OF the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. So faith is F-ather's A-bility I-mparted T-o H-is children. This is our inheritance. This is a 'Family' thing passed on to us by our Father through our Brother, Jesus. He came to reclaim us as our Father's sons and daughters so this is just natural for us, as His kids, to trust our Dad's ability to do what He says He can do and to do whatever He says in His name and know that He will come through. That's what Jesus did. We are in our Father and He is in us. Just like we are in the air/atmosphere and the air is in us...this is our normal to be filled with the Power and ability of our Father.
Air is very light but it is also very powerful when it is somehow captured and then propelled through something. This illustration is the same way our faith works when we gather it together for a specific purpose on the earth and direct it towards whom ever needs it. Now think of how when the Christians were filled with His Power at Pentecost. Just like being filled up with alot of air and being able to project it onto something or someone the Holy Spirit filled them with a concentrated amount of Faith in God's Power to do what only He could do at that time. They were some pretty powerful Christians by the time the Holy Spirit filled them with a concentrated amount of Faith. What a magnificent and Powerful start the Church had because of the concentrated amount of faith all in one place which has gone out from there ever since! God's powerful faith residing in us, like air, is very light to carry around. And to utilize it is to be as natural as breathing. We can trust Him to do for us every word He says. It's a family thing! That's the same thing He was teaching me as a child as we were having all of those experiences travelling, singing and trusting the bus driver. He, not I, was Authoring His faith in me.
I do realize that all of us are coming from very diverse backgrounds and all of the grace we need is provided in abundant measure to us as we are learning every blessed aspect of our life with Christ. Every day He is writing His one same faith into our hearts no matter where we have come from, 'Authoring' it for us for our sakes so that we are being carried safely and triumphantly everywhere He has planned for us to go while accomplishing those things that He has before ordained that we would do in His name. And He is the finisher of our faith so we can look to Him in the middle of a situation knowing with assurance that our Father is writing His-story for the entire world to read. It's the wonderful story of His ability to perform His own will, which cannot be thwarted, by the power of His Love.
An everyday example of my faith: When I am cooking supper and find that I cannot open the pickle jar. I simply set it aside for my husband to open when he comes home from work and I keep on going confidently with everything else. The whole time I am in this situation I am not losing any ground with my preparations, for I have faith in his ability to open it when he arrives home. Early on, in my mind, when I see us sitting at the table I see the pickles already opened and set out for our enjoyment on the table because I've never doubted his ability to perform that task. When he does come home I make my request known to him that I need him to open the jar and my request is an automatic expression of my faith in his ability to do it. He does not disappoint me either as he does not question his ability as he picks up the jar and opens it. So in that case we both agreed, my agreement being ahead of time, and his was his resident knowing of his capability that got to display itself when it was called upon. So, it was as good as done before it ever actually was done...that's faith. It's agreeing with God's belief in Himself to do what He knows He can and wants to do in and through our lives and acting upon it by calling upon it and confidently living accordingly.
Think about the sliver of belief that was spontaneously quickened in Peter when Jesus told him to come to Him on the water. In order to come to Him He had to trust Him.Deep calls unto deep and when Peter heard Jesus say "Come" the faith that was deep down inside of him as if called forth, welled up and responded with two feet stepping out of the boat and onto the water!Wow! I get excited just thinking about it! He trusted Jesus' ability enough in those few moments that it was enough to keep Him up on top of the water...albeit for just a bit!...till he turned and looked at the waves instead! Lol! Can you relate?
God bless you all, Susie

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