Belief

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I’ve known for a long time that belief was not merely intellectual assent to an idea/truth. I’ve known that belief is reliance upon that truth/reality. As I sit here typing this morning, I am so humbled by God and I rest with a gratefulness because He has been gently teaching me/reminding me of what it means to believe – to believe Him.

For the last seven days, I’ve been confined to the house – except for a trip to the doctor and an ill-advised half-day at the office. Starting last Monday morning at 4:00 – I’ve been quite sick – a strain of the flu that has kept me awake at night (either shivering or sweating) and has kept me coughing with little ability to do much except sleep and lay in bed. My mind has not been very acute – so reading hasn’t been an option. I’ve not been sick like this ever in my life, and in the midst of it – God has faithfully, graciously, gently, and yet boldly worked in me …

On Thursday night, as I lay in bed (my wife sleeping soundly next to me) – I was sweating like crazy laying on top of the sheets, waiting for the medicine to kick in so that I might get a little sleep. I began to pray and plead for God to help me get better. I had been banking all week on the idea that I would be able to finish my teaching preparation on Friday and Saturday and be ready to go to teach/preach on Sunday AM. Very clearly, God impressed upon my heart that I needed to let go. It felt very clear that God was saying, “I’m in control of this universe – the church is mine … we’ll be fine without you, just let go and allow your body to get better.” In my heart, I said, “No, I can’t do that … I’ll be ok.” As I wrestled with God – I was convicted by just how much I like to feel useful. It is so much about me. I was humbled by all the pride and independence in my heart that didn’t want to let go … I had to do it, I couldn’t show weakness. I started to feel guilty when I thought about not teaching on Sunday AM and I spent much time praying and asking the Father, and it became very apparent that I gain my identity from what I do – I gain significance from feeling useful —- that is why I struggle so much to rest. I am in charge of giving myself an identity and significance, etc. The Father was gently calling me back to Himself once again & when you’re laying bed – and sickness has you helpless and vulnerable, I couldn’t hide any longer. So, I joyfully gave in – humbly surrending, and finding myself so greatful to my good Father. Someone else is teaching and leading Sunday and I “believe” that my Father has it and me completely under His good control.

I am also quite convicted that a likely culprit for being “so” sick was a weakened immune system from not slowly down and not taking a day off in the last three weeks. All very “justified” in my own little brain, but planned sin none-the-less. I had told myself that it was ok to work on my day off for the next couple of months because of situational factors, and in this time where the Lord slowed me down – I was able to hear Him say, “Take the time off – it is a very clear way to believe in Me, to believe that I am in control, to find your significance in Me.”

As I sit here typing right now, our second church service is going on & there is a part of me that is feeling guilt or shame for not being there, but I hear the quiet voice of the Father impressing on my heart that He is my significance – He is my joy. In the past, I have “believed” but not really — I am now starting to believe … “O, Father, please help me overcome my unbelief.”

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~ by Ted Wueste on February 10, 2008.

2 Responses to “Belief”

  1. The Lord has brought to mind the concept of Sabbath over and over to me, and each time I set aside for another time. Thanks for sharing this; it serves as yet another reminder to me of why God designed the concept of Sabbath and how it’s not only about getting much needed rest – but trusting in who God is.

  2. I’m struck again by the way you wrote this… Sabbath seems to be an expression of Trust more than Rest.

    D.

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