Tuesday, February 3, 2009

just as I am...

I was reading a prayer from the Valley of Vision this morning and a phrase caught my eye:

"Help me to honor thee by believing before I feel, for great is the sin if I make feeling a cause of faith."

It was a great reminder to my heart. Just because I don't feel fully in love with God on any given day does not mean that I am not in love with him. What matters is what I choose. Often times when I pause and consider my heart, I guilt trip myself for not dwelling more consistently in the throes of passion for my Savior. But the emotion isn't the most important. I hope it is there some days. It is sweet when it comes. But on the other days, the dull ones when getting up to have a quiet time seems more like a chore than a delight, its nice to know that my relationship with Christ does not completely hinge on the way I am feeling.

The real test of my faith is what I am choosing to believe, and hence, how I am choosing to act on that belief. If, by lack of passion, I mean a lack of obedience or neglect of vital disciplines of the faith, then that absence of passion should be a concern. But if I am merely referring to the ideal emotions that most expect to be there when they spend time with God, well, they are not indispensable.

I've watched so many people stay at a distance from God for years because they just can't "feel" Him. They are waiting for the perfect surge of emotion to push them into the kingdom. Sometimes that happens. But a lot of times it doesn't. Perhaps its healthier if the surge comes after. Then we won't come to God just to get an emotional high. We will come because He is God, because no matter how we are feeling at any given moment, He is worthy of worship, worthy of believing in, worthy of everything there is to offer.

Some mornings all I have to offer God is a groan as I roll out of bed as the result of not getting enough sleep. Some mornings all I have to offer is a plea of "just get me through this day." Some afternoons I would much rather take a nap than pour over the scriptures. There, I've said it. But every time I choose to turn my heart towards Him no matter if I enjoy it or not, those are the moments of my belief. They too are the moments of my worship. They are not often beautiful, but they are genuine. I think He understands that, and I think His heart smiles at any feeble attempt at being with Him, whether or not the emotional high comes attached.

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