Yahweh has shown me how much I've bought into the lie of fear and furthering my own ego, especially recently in my approach to Scripture. I have been used by God to facilitate a weekly Bible study for guys in the program at the Lighthouse and lately I've been distracted by the temptation to put together good intellectual Bible studies that reflect my abilities in order to prove myself to them and God. God is certainly putting me through some purging right now to purge that very desire from me. What I'm seeing is that the rhetoric of faith is not just rhetoric. I have believed the lie (not whole-heartedly, but subconsciously) for much of my life that the Scripture was just good philosophical rhetoric without truly practical application and that to live life, it was really just up to me to produce. God has been using this time in me to expose that lie in the strongest terms.
The rhetoric of Scripture is actually absolute truth with practical application! I say this not from a dogmatic, agenda-driven perspective, but because I have truly experienced the actual reliability of faith! Hebrews 11:6 lays it out: "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." If I'm going to truly let go of my ego, my abilities driven by fear, and my desire to please and impress people so I can land a good job, then I have to truly believe that God exists and rewards those who follow His rhetoric laid out in Scripture. We all claim to "believe in" God. God will bring all who claim to believe in Him and who actually think they do to an ultimatum; a test to see if that claim is really true. "If you really believe in Me, you will lay down every aspect of your life: ego, pride, abilities, control, etc." If God does not exist, then it's stupid to do that, but if He does, then we are resting on the surest foundation, the foundation of all foundations: the unchanging faithfulness of God.
In my attempts to put together a lesson in the Scripture, the Lord would not allow me to because of my motives, laced with pride. All I did was get stressed out and I couldn't think straight. I have to keep taking the leap of faith and saying that "I walk by faith, not by sight." My ability at working a job will not take me from the streets. My ability to teach the Scripture well will not land me a job at a church or as a missionary. My efforts at controlling my life will not get me anywhere. Faith will take me from the streets, faith will lead me to the next assignment. Faith ALONE will write the next Bible study for the next meeting. Faith ALONE will bring wisdom and understanding from the Scriptures to people.
I'm not in place to display my cleverness in interpreting Scripture to people. My role as a facilitator of a Bible study is to be a vessel through which the Holy Spirit can fan the flame and water the seeds of faith in other people. The Holy Spirit will teach the Scripture to these guys' hearts. I'm just a vessel to fan the flame of that inside these guys through prayer, fellowship, teaching, and imparting wisdom which I've gained through years of prayer and study.
Faith must be the foundation for all, even the smallest things in our lives. It's the only foundation on which to build EVERYTHING. Surely we'll fail without it. Surely we'll fail without prophetic vision. Surely we won't receive faith will an ego. Surely the only posture to be in to receive faith is one of spiritual poverty before an all-powerful, loving God who is strongest in my weakness. Total reliance overcomes my total depravity. Faith is the vehicle of a successful life.
Glory to Almighty God who has rained down MERCY on me.