I ask myself a lot of tough questions. Not all the time, but a lot of the time. Sometimes you have to do that to get to where you want to be or to uncover the nasty hidden truth about yourself. One of the questions I asked after a counseling session with a client was…
What’s Keeping Us From Mature Faith?
Why do some of us not have mature faith by now? Why are some things so hard to conquer and others seem very easy? And, what does that even mean, “mature faith” anyway?
Have you ever wondered that? Have you ever come to the end of yourself and wondered “why am I still struggling with this same thing in my faith?”
Well, you’re not alone. I think we all have times like this. We question our beliefs. We question our doubts. Honestly, we question our questions.
Taking a Personal Inventory
It’s good to take a personal inventory of our lives from time to time. We need to take some long hard looks at our life and the why we do what we do, where we are and where do we want to be going in terms of our faith. Why do we struggle with things when we know we shouldn’t?
Life seems to talk a lot about growth and maturing. We, who have children, we want our kids to grow and mature in a healthy way. We do things to help this along, but nature seems to do the most part.
Questioning The Process
As a parent, we would be considered incompetent if we didn’t give some instruction to our kids in their maturing process. But, what about in our own maturing process with God.
How does that look? What instruction does He give to us in our struggles to mature? How do we mature in the things of God or in our personal growth?
Is there more than just going to church, reading a bible, or serving the people of my church body to grow and mature by?
I asked these questions several years ago when I began to get really hungry for God and He answered. When He did, I felt like I was on my way to maturing and being a mature person in my faith. But, recently I had to revisit some areas that have come up again that I thought had been dealt with.
A Spirit of Fear
One of those areas was fear. I desperately wanted to grow up and mature from the spirit of fear. It seemed like this was an area that I just couldn’t seem to conquer.
To the outward world I didn’t seem fearful, but let a circumstance come that I couldn’t control. I would go to full-blown fear and anxiety inside. How many know that the fear inside of us is probably worse because you can’t get away from yourself. The fear of something or some situation would eat at me and eat at me until I worked myself into mental exhaustion and then and only then would I go to God and get relief.
The fear that recently came up again was lack of money and place to live. I just couldn’t find that peace of God inside when I was faced with a having to deal with the consequences of divorce and living in my home or not.
Identifying My Fear
You see, I feared the things that I needed to handle. I feared the details of the situation. I felt I wasn’t equipped to handle anything concerning this situation. I wanted to bury my head and life in the sand. I want this problem to go away.
But, phone calls needed to be made. Lawyers needed to be called. Banks needed information and more. I was literally petrified inside of what would happen. I was not ready to deal with what I thought might happen or come down the pike.
I was praying and trying to hear God and couldn’t. Fear.
I was afraid because I had already lost so much and didn’t want to lose anything else. Fear.
Life just seemed out of control to me and I couldn’t pull it back into orbit. Fear.
I was hyperventilating and had no one to talk that I felt really understood what I was going through. More fear.
My Fear Led To Isolation
I couldn’t talk to my ex-husband because he was the problem causing everything. I felt I had worn out all my friends and family with the situation. Frankly, I wanted it all to be over and isolate.
See fear will do that. It will have you just isolated and not talking to anyone except that voice in your head called self.
I was trying to handle the situation myself. I wasn’t hearing God (so I thought). You and I both know that will never work. God wants us to give all the fears and cares of our life to Him. All I did was make the situation worse by “trying” to handle it myself.
It Was Time To Give Up
So, what did I do? After many restless nights and fighting in my sleep, I gave up. Yes. You heard me right I gave up. I finally came to the end of myself and said, “No more God. I give all this situation to You. You work it out. I don’t have to be afraid. I know you love me and have my best interest at heart. This situation is in Your hands now.”
I gave the situation up. I stopped trying to work with it and fix it and do something. Anything.
4 Steps To Mature Faith
When I did that, I could hear Him clearly. I could hear His steps to the situation and so will you. They were not as bad as I thought.
Step #1) Listen & Obey
Obey the last word you heard God say to you about this area you are struggling in. Whatever instruction He told you, do that. It may something very simple or something more challenging. It may be something you are to implement in your life or let go of. He told me that it would be okay. To believe that. See I wasn’t simply believing that it would be okay no matter what I felt. I needed to believe that instead of it won’t be okay.
Step #2) Trust God
I know this sounds simple, but it really is. Just trust God like a child. Don’t overthink the thing. Just trust.
Step #3) Don’t Put Yourself Down
Stop listening to the negative self-talk in your head. Stop it. Turn that voice off. I had to literally tell my “self-talking” self to be quiet. When the voice in my head wanted to speak I didn’t listen or I told it to be quiet. Tuned it right out.
Step #4) Step Out In Faith
This one was hard… I had to just do it afraid. I had to do the thing I didn’t want to do. God said to me to just make the phone calls. Here is what you say. “Breathe. You can do this.”
I had to have the conversations I didn’t want to have. And, when I did, something great happened—I realized I was not that afraid. The thing I feared the most never happened. It wasn’t as bad as I thought.
I realized at the end of the pressing through that I had conquered the fear. I had not let it win. The same will happen with you. Trust me. The smokescreen of that fear is just that—a smokescreen.
Mature Faith – From Me To You
I matured in my faith in this area. Now, the next time something comes up it will be easier.
Maturing faith is a pressing in, obedient, face it faith. You got this faith. I got this conquered. So, keep moving forward ladies. Keep moving forward. God will not let you down and you will mature in the areas that you think you are the weakest in. For when you are weak He is strong.