What defines us? Lately, I have been contemplating this question. I look at the past and realize there are so many things I could have done differently, wondering if I was given the chance to go back, would I? An understanding has dawned, no, I would not! Yes, mistakes were made..I was hurt, people I love were hurt, but I live today from a stand point of victory, not defeat.
The question, what defines us, should be a question we all ask ourselves occassionally...do our kids define us? Does our husband define us, our health, our church, our job? I heard a few years ago that our faith is what should define us. Okay, that sounds good, but what does that mean..seems a little broad to me. So I narrowed it down for my simple mind.
If my faith defines me, What is my faith? Is it a belief system, a religious practice, a person? Again, much contemplating..
Tomorrow, i leave for Ethiopia. I am a little fearful of what I will see. I have been warned that I may see desease, death, children taken into sex slavery against their will, living in squalor. I don't really know what I will see, people explaining it probably could never prepare me. So, if my faith defines me, how will that definition react in a complete different environment? The reason I ask that is because I realized so much of our faith is in the familiar practice of it..our church, our family, our friends, the sweet spot we sit and pray each day. Is our faith really applicable to any situation? Is it alive and powerful-enough to help us cope in every circumastance? Does our faith conquer the past, prepare us for what lies ahead?
A word the Lord has given me recently is, Victory. I have begun to see that it isn't "practicing"my faith, but it is what we allow ourselves to receive from what has already been done for us. Do we receive the promises available to us? Do we WALK in the faith we read about? Do we claim the forgiveness that is ours? Jesus told a man that had a shriveled hand to REACH out his hand, and Jesus healed him.. I have pondered that so often, why did Jesus tell him to REACH OUT his hand? I see over and over in studying the gospels, that Jesus asked for action..he told Zaccheas to come down from that tree, he told Peter to come out on the water, he told the rich young ruler to give away all his wealth, he asked the disciples to pray with him, but first to follow him.
Let's face it, when you put action to something that you say you believe, it takes on a whole new level to your belief-you are so called, putting your money where your mouth is. Taking the risk of action, is saying, I have hope that when I take this action, something is going to happen. This is not blindly DOING something, but it is having the willingness to respond to what Jesus is asking us to do. I believe that when you hear, your faith should define you, that is what it is, living in RESPONSE to what Jesus has already done..He conquered the grave, we live in victory becasue of it, we seek Him, when He directs, we act. As you act, your life will take on a whole new dimension. You will hear from God more and more, and love Him more and more as well.