Within one of the replies from a post written by a fellow blogger someone asked this question:
If we are “not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead” am I willing to follow Christ’s teachings, and THEN while living this way then to patiently ask Him to reveal Himself. And not to just give up, but to continue to ask Him. However this requires a decision to trust His teachings, and therefore to trust Him. . . . What I was trying to ask is, has anyone here committed themselves to these things, and what happened? did Christ reveal Himself to you?
It got me to thinking about all my family and I have gone through and done in the last almost six months now since I walked away from the retail jungles of Barnes & Noble; since the time I wrote (from A Simple Yes or No):
Faith—you either have it, or you don’t!
It’s not a question of degree.
You either believe that I will walk with you through this, or you don’t.
You either believe that I will work this out for what’s best for both of us, or you don’t. There’s no degree…no sliding scale…no averages.
It’s a yes, or no.
You either have faith, or you don’t.
You either have hope, or you don’t.
You either believe . . .
or you don’t.
That was in early January. Since that time, I think of the relationships we’ve been able to nurture and develop; through church, small groups, even within our families. I think of the relationships I’ve been able to build right here in the blogosphere with such great people as Guy at Holy Ghost Bumps, JaneEmily at Jane’s Unsound Mind and Nate at Finding Truth.
I think of the time commitments I’ve been able to make within my kids’ lives and the lives of others (moving party anyone??) I think of the relevancy of my relationship with God; being able to spend time with Him, with other believers, with still others far from God or having no interest in knowing him . . . every one of these times seen as a growth opportunity–either spiritually, emotionally or intellectually–I’ve cherished them all.
I think of the fact that I’d budgeted out our savings for this time away from an income, and how we’ve gone through only HALF of what I’d budgeted out–including paying off a $6400 debt a month ago.
So, did Christ reveal himself to me? You tell me. I can’t otherwise explain how I’ve been able to accomplish all of these things–truly important, meaningful “things”–apart from God.
Do I feel his working in my life? Most definitely. There are too many “right things” happening. Too many key opportunities. Too many “Ah ha!” moments NOT to think that I’m doing this by merely my own good fortune. This, to me, is the most apparent yet most difficult manifestation of Christ working in my life to try to explain to those who are far from God. The intangibles. The personal experiences that send a chill up your spine when you realize them but in trying to explain, or encourage someone else they just go, “Ehh.”
Still, I hope to continue to live as I’m currently being called. I hope to one day be a “light unto the darkness”, a “city on a hill”.
Trust His teachings? Yes.
Trust Him? Most definitely.
I haven’t left myself any other options. Yet, I think that’s exactly what he desires and exactly where I ‘m supposed to be.
“Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast.
Shout aloud! Don’t be timid.
Tell my people Israel[a] of their sins!
2 Yet they act so pious!
They come to the Temple every day
and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation
that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf,
pretending they want to be near me.
3 ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say.
‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
and you don’t even notice it!’
“I will tell you why!” I respond.
“It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
you keep oppressing your workers.
4 What good is fasting
when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
will never get you anywhere with me.
5 You humble yourselves
by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
Do you really think this will please the Lord?
6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.