Christian Living · Faith

Faith Requires Movement

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.  John 12: 42-43 {NIV}

 

These verses are a gut punch for me. While this was written regarding unbelieving Jews, I am touched with the same pride bug. It’s tragic to think of the number of times I’ve been prompted by the Holy Spirit, but insisted on standing where I was comfortable.

 

What have I loved more than the praise of God? My success. My job. My comfort. My right to be angry. My own understanding. Yes. I hate to admit this, but all have taken my affection at one time. Just like the leaders mentioned above, I have been led but unwilling to follow. When my husband is struggling and the stirring inside me says to pray but I opt to rub my hand on his back. When my children are discouraged and need to be held but I offer words instead of an embrace. When the hurting neighbor needs words of hope and I remain silent. Yes, I have often loved my comfort more than the praise of God.

 

Recently-my mom was telling me how sometimes she goes for a couple of walks a day. She wondered aloud if she was just doing this as a way of keeping herself busy. As I listened, a phrase bubbled up inside me. Faith requires movement.

 

We’ve done a good job of muddying the waters regarding what’s right and almost right. I think we’ve been sold a lie that all movement is busyness. We’ve indeed been instructed to observe the Sabbath; an attitude of reflection and rest. In this time-we are invited to remember God and His provision. That’s right. However, all movement is busyness is not right.

 

Faith requires movement. Think about the woman with the issue of blood. She had to move into the crowded area to be healed. What about the woman at the well? She moved from an encounter with Jesus to her scary, score-keeping community. With her decision to move, many came to know Jesus. Abraham was called from his country to a land yet to be determined. Each of these stories illustrate that faith requires movement.

 

Jim Elliot surely taught us this through the story of his life. He was determined to reach a people group known to be violent and he knew the only way to stop the violence was to tell the people about Jesus.  Jim and the other missionaries moved out of their comfort zones, and likely against the recommendation of onlookers. Although the families had to suffer hardship and loss, I suspect they were also changed by witnessing the active faith of their husbands and fathers.

 

Not all movement is equivalent to busyness. Can we just agree to fire ourselves from such faulty thinking? The enemy has gained too much ground by feeding us things that are “almost right.” Yes, we need to rest and remember, but I don’t think we can assume all our movement is rooted in an unhealthy motive.  It’s wise to examine our choices and establish healthy boundaries by way of learning to say no, but I don’t think we can quit everything and be “right.” Faith requires movement.

 

I don’t want to be counted among the leaders that are moved, yet remain planted in pride, comfort, or faulty thinking. Not wanting to “be put out of the synagogue” resulted in a missed opportunity to follow the Savior. I want to strengthen my faith by moving when He leads.

 

I told my mom to enjoy her walks and ask Jesus to strengthen her faith as she moved. Not all movement is equivalent to busyness. Sometimes movement is exactly what births a new freedom in faith.

 

2 thoughts on “Faith Requires Movement

  1. As always, God’s words via your writing encourage me and remind me that my faith requires movement!
    Thank you for your faithfulness, Alyssa! You’re an inspiration to me. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s