Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Lately, God has been stirring my heart in the direction of growth in the area of faith. So many times I have doubted His leading, voice, direction and even sadly at times, the very promises in His written Word. Now I am certainly not proud of this but if I am being completely honest with myself and others I don’t always respond to God with bulletproof faith.
However, in prayer the Holy Spirit has been faithful to show me this scripture:
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
At times, I find myself to be “double-minded”. In all sincerity, I have prayed for answers and God is faithful to speak or provide an answer. My response at times, may be filled with enthusiasm and I may find myself ecstatic. However, I find that as time goes on I begin to forget what God spoke to me as I was seeking answers or really needed Him to come through. Or maybe even begin to doubt. I figure as humans, this is our tendency. We may seek God when we are at the end of our rope or in desperation, only to hear God and then later forget or doubt His voice. Or maybe even at times, when what He spoke does not happen immediately and our faith is tested with patience.
In Mark 4 we read the Parable of the Sower. Jesus teaches us a parable regarding a sower who went out to sow. Some of the seed fell by the wayside, some fell on stony ground, some fell among thorns, but some seed fell on good ground.
The seed that fell by the wayside was eaten up and devoured by the birds of the air.
Next, the seed that fell on stony ground, where there was not much earth, immediately sprang up, but was soon scorched by the sun because it had no root and withered away.
The seed that fell among thorns was choked when the thorns grew up and it yielded no crop.
Lastly, the other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.
I have read this parable many times, however yesterday morning as I was reading this I saw this parable in a way I had never seen it before. As I applied it to my reality of faith and trusting God’s plan for me I began to question the soil in my heart and the seeds that have been planted through faith. Faith in His Word. Faith in His timing. Faith in His faithfulness. And faith for His plan in my life.
When I hear His voice or trust in His promises, is it quickly planted and rooted but then just as easily taken away because of my lack of belief? Or maybe it is like the seed that fell by the wayside that does not take root at all. Is it a feeling kind of faith that is planted on good feelings but then quickly dissolved once the feelings are gone? Is it faith that is choked up by the obstacles or trials that may come along with the promises? Or is it faith that has fallen on good soil, a heart that hopes and trusts that what God has spoken will come to pass? And that God is faithful to those that call upon Him.
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
My hope is that we may ask our Father in faith believing and not doubting and respond in faith to what He has spoken in our hearts that we may see His plans fulfilled in our lives.