"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me." --- Isa 43:10
Nearly three years ago Beth Moore's Breaking Free study challenged me with this verse. Do I really believe God? Not believe IN Him but BELIEVE Him? I struggled through that lesson for a year. Then everything else in my life fell apart.
Two years later I find myself faced with the same lesson. With God asking me, point blank, "Do you believe Me?"
It seems that I am re-evaluating everything I once believed about who God is. I realized recently that up till now I have pretty much rested in the faith of others, allowing their faith and belief in God's character, their definitions of who He is and their trust in those definitions to carry me through life. I think God is using this time in my life, with all the losses I've suffered, to help me face the reality of what I really believe and re-examine if that is indeed the truth. Events of the last two years completely demolished my faith-house of cards, completely stripping away all I once trusted. I saw this as a horrible thing; a disaster equal to a 10.0 earthquake in downtown LA.
Until last night.
A couple of weeks ago I realized the truth that the events two years ago didn't destroy my faith and trust as much as it uncovered my lack of it. Its as if God took my life, turned it upside down and shook it with mighty force. Everything was dumped out and I was left to pick up the broken pieces. However, I realize now that what I thought was broken from the shaking was actually broken long ago.
I'm not a more broken person now. The truth is, I was ALWAYS this broken. I just had lots of things in my heart and life I could hide that truth behind. I hid it so well, I couldn't even see the truth of myself.
Again, I saw this as a "bad" thing. An ugly truth. A failure. An unfixable situation.
Last night God got in my face about another aspect of His character. I'm still struggling to believe Him. Was it really Him I heard? Or was it the enemy trying to puff me up? What is the Truth?
In the midst of all that questioning, and a long conversation with Adria, I began to think that perhaps all the shaking of my life isn't such a bad thing. Perhaps all this questioning and seeking isn't a bad thing either. At the end of it all I will know what I believe. And be convinced of its truth.
I want to know God. I want to believe God. I want to come out of this time of pain and fire refined by my encounters with Him.