I need to start this post by giving thanks and praise to God Almighty, for His goodness, His love, His grace and mercy. Thank You Lord for considering me. My lips shall praise Your Name forever and ever.
At the end of May I was at a church service where my pastor was talking about an upcoming fast that the entire congregation would be embarking on, starting on the 1st of June. As he said that the fast would be pivotal and mark a turning point in our lives, I experienced a nudge in my spirit; a sense that my life was about to change. I did have one regret though, I was due to fly from London to Denver 2 days later and I didn't think I would be able to go through the entire 21 day fast if I was away from my London church family.
God in His infinite wisdom heard my heart's cry, knowing how vital it was for me to take part in the fast, which by the way, was themed 'The Dynamics of Faith.' I didn't know that my faith was about to be tested as never before in practically every major area of my life. What I would like to share here today are some of the lessons I've learnt over the past few weeks about faith. On the surface it may seem that this topic has nothing, or very little to do with writing, but I'd like to submit to you that if we call ourselves people of faith, then faith should be a central theme in our lives and affect everything we do.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. You're probably thinking, "that's obvious, we all know that. It's in the Scriptures!" Yes it is in the Scriptures, but as I've learnt common sense is not so common. Meditating on that verse with the following in mind gives it a deeper meaning: "for whatsoever is not of faith is sin" - Romans 14:23b. Everything we do as Christians must reflect our faith in God. We are not supposed to have a Plan B, for that is indicative of reasoning things out for yourself instead of seeking God for wisdom about the situations you face and trusting His direction, His word and even His silence.
Love and faith are intricately connected. Regardless of your need or pressure you face, hold on to the truth that God loves you. This becomes the anchor for your faith because you know that no matter what happens God will always do right by you; He is always motivated by love for you. The mistake we sometimes make is to think about our works as a basis for receiving from God in times of trouble, but never let the devil take you on the "merit" road. It leads no where. Everything we get from God is as a result of His love and love never fails but merit will.
Growing in love is the key to faith and brings deeper intimacy with God. The more we love Him, the more we trust Him and the more God's power and presence is created in our lives, which then increases the love we have for Him. This makes it easier to obey in things that appear risky because we know that God's instruction is borne out of love. The degree to which you know God is the degree to which you can trust Him.
The consciousness that God is with me gives me boldness in the face of a collapsing world and attracts the anointing. The reality never scares me and I never give up.
Lack of trust is a reflection of the quality of one's love for God and can make a person self protective, i.e feeling the need to have a Plan B.
Everyone will be tested; and probably many times. When you have everything sorted in your life, and all your contingencies are in place, watch out, because you're in the perfect position for a shaking. If your trouble doesn't bring you straight to God, you'll probably stay in if for longer than necessary.
Never let a situation linger. The moment it develops is when you pray and ask God for a solution; for direction. Respond to the situation quickly (by going to God), to "reads" its spiritual significance otherwise it may very well consolidate.
Some final thoughts:
The people who succeed in faith are the people who trust God instead of themselves.
Sometimes things get worse before they get better, but don't get exasperated. Hold fast. Faith is a lonely word. You have to resist all ridicule. To fight doubt, go straight to God. Constantly. You may know that you've been called by God to write but after rejection upon rejection you begin to lose the initial excitement you had, and even begin to doubt your ministry, but don't give up. If God called you, He has equipped you for the journey and He knows how and when He will bring it to manifestation. It's all for His glory anyway, so trust Him. He may not tell you, but the purpose for your writing may be the relationships you develop along the way, and not the publishing of a book.
As writers we must have faith that God will touch lives through us and this should give us a level of expectation and God Himself will honour His name.
Charis (Grace to you...)
Ufuoma Daniella Ojo is a technical writer, having the time of her faith, working very hard to finish editing her first novel and trusting God for it's subsequent publication.