See Luminosity

The Miraculous Hear-Correctly-and-Obey Faith-Building Plan

The Miraculous Hear-Correctly-and-Obey Faith-Building Plan

The Lord had told me, over and over again, through this pregnancy, to trust Him. To hope in Him. To have faith that He is the Truth, not what I see.

This has been a true battle – a war in my soul. To keep looking at mounting physical evidence and deny that its logical outcome will occur, because of a belief that Jesus has told me otherwise…

At what point do you cross the line from being a faith-infused disciple to a foolish, reality-denying nut job?

I’m really not sure, but I have a feeling I’m going to know, for better or worse, before this whole journey is through.

 

The Fire Faith-Building Plan

The news, up until this point, hasn’t been good. And I have not, in any way, walked a straight and narrow path of faith in Him, in spite of copious and repeated words He shouts at me, over and over again. To be honest, every time I see a piece of physical evidence that indicates I am having a miscarriage, I doubt. I don’t doubt His ability to bring this pregnancy through – not at all. I doubt my own ability to correctly hear His voice. As Luke 1:37, one of the scripture readings I had recently, says, “For no word from God will ever fail.” The question, here, isn’t God’s faithfulness or power – if He said it, He will bring it about. The question is my ability to hear whether He is speaking to me.

I think that is where many well-meaning Christians get it wrong – and I might be one of them. Many who “claim God’s power” for healing, or stand strong in absolute assurance that “He will come through” neglect to recognize that His power may be manifested in ways different from what they are hoping, and that Him “coming through” for them may happen via the route of suffering. They don’t factor in the strength of their own desires – of their will for the outcome – and erroneously apply to the Lord and to faith their own longings. Simply being strongly convinced that God is going to bring about the outcome we desire is not true faith – it is ardent, passionate want cloaked as religious belief. The reality is that most of God’s best work is done when we don’t get the results we want, when we are forced to walk, with Him and nothing else, through the valley of death and pain and suffering. True faith is trusting that, no matter the outcome, God is fundamentally good, that He loves us, and that He is working for our best.

And it is, most commonly, through the fire that faith is refined and character is forged.

 

The Miraculous Hear-Correctly-and-Obey Faith-Building Plan

But I believe that there is another aspect of faith that God builds, in a completely different way.  Whereas the fire displays God’s power over time through the slow and painful process of sorrow and hurt transformed into character, this other, very different method displays God’s power in awe-inducing, mind-blowing moments of miraculous wonder. This is a new level of faith, a super-charged faith – the kind of faith that comes when Lord gives us specific Words about something He wants us to do – something contrary to the logic of this world – and then comes through with precisely what He said He would do once we obey.

Let’s call it the Miraculous Hear-Correctly-and-Obey Faith-Building Plan.

Think Abraham being told to leave the land where He lived and go to the place God would show him, because He was going to become a father of many nations when he was in his 90s and childless. Think Noah being commanded to build an ark, when it wasn’t raining, so after God destroyed the world at the time with the flood He could start everything over again. Think Peter being called to walk on the water during the raging storm. Think the disciples being requested to put their nets over the edge of the boat to catch the biggest haul of their lives, even though they had just done that, and had caught nothing previously. Think Mary being told by the angel that she was to carry the Christ child.

This faith-building plan is profound, unmistakable, astounding. In contrast with the slowly-refined faith of the Fire Faith-Building Plan, it is a jolt of lightning that shocks our system and leaves us breathless. It is complete defiance to everything our rationality, the culture around us, and the laws of nature say are true and, because of that, it leaves us in humble, panting awe of God’s omnipotence and glory.

In the cosmic game of eternity, it is God – 1, physical world – 0.

We don’t see this faith-building plan a lot, but when we do, we are changed by it forever. It is the one we all want, (we think) because the end result is always better than we could have possibly imagined. But here’s the thing about the “miraculous” method of faith-building…it requires FAITH, and it requires OBEDIENCE. God’s power doesn’t manifest itself in miraculous ways simply because we want it badly enough, or because we believe strongly enough that what we want to happen He will do. God’s power, through this faith-building plan, is displayed because:

1) The Lord is doing something important and calls us to be a part of it

2) We have heard the Lord speak to us and we correctly know what He is saying

3) We obey Him, in spite of the fact that it seems crazy to do so.

 

That’s the plan I think we’re on, at this juncture.

 

Having been through the “Fire Faith-Building Plan” for quite a while, I have to say this one is looking a tad bit brighter. But once you’ve spent a good long period of time in the fire, you can kinda only go up from there, no?

Contrary to popular belief, though, this plan is NOT easy. No, to get the miracle – to get the awe-inducing, mind-blowing display of miraculous power – it requires tremendous risk. It means I have to hear Him correctly, first of all. I have to be right about what He is telling me to do – in this case, trust Him that, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, this pregnancy will be ok. Second, I have to trust that He will do what He has told me He will do. Third, I have to DO what He has told me to do.

The second part, trusting that He will do what He has told me He will do, is actually very easy for me. I know my Lord well enough at this point to know that if He did, in fact say it, He will do it. Period. So the real question remains…

Have I heard Him correctly?

To be perfectly honest, I think it would be hard for Him to shout it any louder. Except for the physical evidence, every other word I have heard through scripture, prayer, and other Christians has been consistent: “Trust me; this pregnancy will be ok”. But, as I’ve written about a number of times through this journey, there is good reason to question my “hearing from the Lord” when it’s about something I desperately want. In full recognition of that reality, I am moving forward in belief that I have heard Him correctly, and that, in this specific situation, He doesn’t just want me to have faith in the “God-works-all-things-out-for-good” way, but in the very specific “this-pregnancy-will-be-ok” way. So I’m moving on to the third part of this faith-building plan:

Obedience.

He wants me to show evidence of my trust in Him by letting the world in on my journey while it is happening. So, I am. I’m putting all of this out there, for better or for worse. It will either be God’s incredible power displayed, or it will be Rebecca’s great public, humiliating disaster.

And, remember, this is the faith-building plan we all think is the easier of the two.

 

Some Good News

No matter what plan you’re on, I believe the Lord gives you just what you need, at the moment, to keep going to the next step. And, for me, that need was some sort of positive physical sign. Well, I got it:

My bleeding has stopped.

Suddenly, inexplicably, the day I went to the doctor for my second hcg bloodwork, it all stopped. It has now been a week since then, and my pregnancy symptoms have actually increased, not decreased. Never did I think I could possibly be so crazy thankful for complete exhaustion and nausea, but, for the first time in what seems like forever, there are some (albeit modest) physical signs that are hopeful. This is not cause for a party. It’s not jump-up-and-down in hope time. But it is what my battered and wounded soul needed, to stay the course.

There is still a long road ahead of us. But my hope is in the Lord. And it will remain there, because, this time, I think we’re on the Miraculous Hear-Correctly-and-Obey Faith-Building Plan.

 

I said, ‘You are my servant’;

I have chosen you and have not rejected you.

So do not fear, for I am with you;

do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

For I am the Lord your God

who takes hold of your right hand

and says to you, Do not fear;

I will help you.

Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,

little Israel, do not fear,

for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,

your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

“See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,

new and sharp, with many teeth.

You will thresh the mountains and crush them,

and reduce the hills to chaff.

You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up,

and a gale will blow them away.

But you will rejoice in the Lord

and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

“The poor and needy search for water,

but there is none;

their tongues are parched with thirst.

But I the Lord will answer them;

I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.

I will make rivers flow on barren heights,

and springs within the valleys.

I will turn the desert into pools of water,

and the parched ground into springs.

I will put in the desert

the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.

I will set junipers in the wasteland,

the fir and the cypress together,

so that people may see and know,

may consider and understand,

that the hand of the Lord has done this,

that the Holy One of Israel has created it. (Isaiah 41)

 

If we are, in fact, on this faith-building plan, then at the end of it there will be absolutely no doubt that the hand of the Lord has done it all.

 

 

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