Just Enough To Be Strong

A few months ago a purchased a new Bible. My small metal one that I had used and loved for years was highlighted beyond belief, was falling apart and didn’t really have any references or study notes, which I really wanted to get into. It was pretty hard to open my Bible and go to something random when every passage was highlighted in different colors from different dates and times. : ) I haven’t in any way, shape or form gotten rid of that Bible – it goes to work with me in my purse every day and on the days when I don’t go home, it stays in my bag so I can read whenever I would like to.

Anyway, with my new Bible, I’ve started penning in notes and underlining things that have interested me. A month or so back, Pastor Paul was reading a passage in James. We were reading in Chapter 4 when I got sucked in and just started reading to Chapter 5, and that’s what’s been on my mind today, particularly 5:13-18.

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
~James 5:13-15 (NLT)

Many of you know that this summer changed so much for me and my life. Prayer, healing, joy and faith took on all new meanings. As I began to look more and more into the Word to understand some of these new things I was being introduced to like the power of healing and speaking in tongues, I learned more and more, but over time, I started to feel like I was on overload. “Do this more, don’t do that, you’re doing this wrong, do it this way…” That’s all I started to hear in my head. My entire relationship with God had changed and I didn’t know how to handle it all. I had started to lose any real connection other than duty, though I knew He loved me and had done so much for me. I knew I loved Him, it just seemed so hard to love Him in return the way He loved me. I started to lose faith in the power God has given us to heal the sick and to make people well, to conquer any kind of sin and to get through any hardship. I started feeling like since I was doubting in any way, no matter how small, God wouldn’t fulfill all of His promises because I wasn’t fully “into it”.

Then I read these verses. Pray in hard times, praise in happy times, ask for healing and anointing when sick. It doesn’t matter if your heart’s not into it, if you’re not sure if you really believe in it or even if you don’t believe in it. Faith enough to try these things is faith enough for God to act. Faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains, remember? Sometimes I just need to conk myself on the head with that. And then Luke 6:46, Matthew 7:23 and Hebrews 10:26-29 were thrown into my head. Shouldn’t I get it by now? Shouldn’t we get it? Faith starts with giving things a chance, because there is a part of you somewhere that, no matter how small, that thinks it might come close to being possible that something small could happen. That’s all He needs!

Confess your sins to each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was a human as are we, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield crops.
~James 5:16-18 (NLT)

Yet again we run into the importance of prayer. Attention SoulFesters: we all know that it rains every year at SoulFest. And sometimes it’s fine when it rains for a little bit to cool things down, but can you imagine what it might be like if it didn’t pour all week and the grounds didn’t become completely mud so all your camping gear wasn’t completely disgusting? Just saying. We have been given the opportunity to move mountains, heal the sick, cast out demons and evil spirits in the name of the God Most High as his glorious and honorable children!

You are not what you think you are. There is a glory to your life that your Enemy fears, and he is hell-bent on destroying that glory before you act on it… But once you begin to see with those eyes, once you have begun to know it is true from the bottom of your heart, it will change everything.
The story of your life is the story of the long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears it.
~Waking The Dead by John Eldredge

You are to be feared! As a new creation in Christ, His blood flows through your veins. His love beats from your heart. His glory flows through your actions. His power comes from your lips. One more thing to remember: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. So many of us learned Phil. 4:13 when we were younger – why are we stopping it from applying to so many aspects of our lives now? God is all about loving us with unconditional love, and this is something we have never encountered elsewhere! Unconditional love means staying true to His promises even if we don’t stay true to ours – delivering us from pain, fear, trouble, addictions, sin and so much more even if we have forgotten that He has the power to do so if we just call on His name. What a love our God has for us!

At the end of James in my Bible, there was half of an empty page. After reading all through James, reading and following all the reference notes and reading through all the study notes available, I wrote this:

If we could all love God like we love the person we care about most in this world – give Him a physical form and “real” feelings, we would all be better connected to Him. It would be harder to go even a few hours without His touch or His voice. It would be harder to go against Him and we would realize that we can hurt Him. He loves us more than anyone on this earth loves us and more than we love anyone on this earth. How can we not reciprocate a love willing to give such a perfect, glorious sacrifice and to give us such providence and mercy?

I have a wonderful boyfriend who is a great gift from God for me. I never thought I’d be “that girl” but I do talk to him a few times a day and I see him at least twice a week. I’m not going to lie that I start missing him not long at all after he’s left or after I’m off the phone with him. I start missing him hugging me and talking to me and listening to me and laughing with me and feeling my pain with me.

That’s how our relationship with God should be. I want to jump on Him and tell Him how much I love Him as soon as His presence is near. I want to feel like something’s missing when we’re not as close. I want to have the need to talk with Him if it’s been even a few hours since we last talked. I want to long for His touch any time I feel His presence even the slightest bit farther away. I want to strive after and love God the way He strives after and loves me.

I’m a Jars of Clay fan. Have been for years. So often I find my moods and such relating to music, but more often than not, I can find a song by Jars of Clay specifically. Here’s one to reflect on about having enough faith. You already have enough. : )

The ice is thin enough for walking
The rope is worn enough to climb
My throat is dry enough for talking
The world is crumblin but I know why
The world is crumblin but I know why

The storm is wild enough for sailing
The bridge is weak enough to cross
This body, frail enough for fighting
I’m home enough to know I’m lost
Home enough to know I’m lost

It’s just enough to be strong
In the broken places, in the broken places
It’s just enough to be strong
Should the world rely on faith tonight

The land unfit enough for planting
Barren enough to conceive
Poor enough to gain the treasure
Enough a cynic to believe
Enough a cynic to believe

Confused enough to know direction
The sun eclipsed enough to shine
Be still enough to finally tremble
And see enough to know I’m blind
And see enough to know I’m blind

It’s just enough to be strong
In the broken places, in the broken places
It’s just enough to be strong
Should the world rely on faith tonight

Should the world rely on faith tonight

~”Faith Enough” by Jars of Clay

Have a good night, everyone. Your faith is enough. : )

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One Comment to “Just Enough To Be Strong”

  1. Just wanted to say I love you and to thank you for the reminders – I needed them today.

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