We tossed around thoughts and a few personal stories. We looked up scripture. Then one friend shared her experiences.
It was the kind of testimony shared with fellow sojourners, not casual seekers. She talked about intensely difficult struggles, about shattered expectations and disappointments so great they took her breath away—and knocked her to her knees, literally. As the storms raged, she went to her Lord. In sorrow she prayed. In anger she prayed. Through tears she prayed. Through confusion she prayed. With love, she prayed. With gut-wrenching honesty she prayed.
Through days and months and years, she brought her broken parts to the cross. To Jesus. She’d give and He’d take away.
Did He make the storm stop or give the answers she sought? An outsider might look at the evidence and say, “No.” But as we listen we know differently. Jesus might not have changed her circumstances, but He changed her heart. The more of it she gave, the more of it He transformed. Her spirit shines so radiantly that everyone sees the light within.
As she spoke, it struck me—this is what faith looks like. The persistent, passionate, pursuit of our Savior. The willingness to trust, regardless of the outcome. The courage to come with open hands and let go of whatever holds her back, no matter how precious it is. The desperate need for divine sustenance. The humility to realize when she’s getting in the way of God’s doing … again.
Surely this is why she has a faith we admire, and has experienced deliverance again and again.
Looking at my friend’s walk with Jesus, I think about the line from When Harry Met Sally, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
I’m tired of the status quo in my faith. I’m tired of believing the lies of the enemy. I want the kind of deliverance that Jesus promises in the Bible—not as an eventual victory in eternity, but as a here and now reality. I want to walk in the power of the Spirit and be used by the Lord to do great things for His kingdom. I want to get out of my own way and stop tripping myself up before I even get started.
How about you? So many women I’ve met through the years want a deeper faith. They want to forgive or change or heal or experience intimacy with God. But they are stuck and discouraged.
Jesus didn’t walk this earth and die on the cross for us to live this way. He says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
So what’s the difference between us (or at least me) and my friend? I’ll tell you one thing is clear. She approaches her faith like an athlete in training. Disciplined, obedient, committed, passionate. She puts in the time, works through the pain, looks to improve and stays singularly focused on the goal—Jesus.
If you, like me, want to experience the abundant life that Jesus promises. Here are some bad habits I’ve observed that WON’T get you there:
- Just going to church on Sunday and spending a few minutes every day reading devotions
- Holding Jesus as arms’ length
- Adding faith as a hobby or an accessory to life
- Not reading the Bible
- Sitting back and hoping for the best
- Dictating the outcome
- Giving Jesus your leftover time and money
- Thinking, “I’m not that bad”
As the author of Hebrews tells us,
“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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (12:1-3)
Paul instructs, “Run in such a way as to win the race.” Win the race. Not participate in, observe or dabble in.
Where are you in the race?