Last month I began to explore a process meant to help lead a Christian from a borrowed faith to a genuine faith.
Although this intentional process can occur through different approaches, one that I’ve found works well is the process found in “The Seven Most Important Questions You Will Ever Answer” by Daniel Henderson. The first question that we began to look at last month is, “Who is God?” Psalm 9:10 states, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.” Did you notice the phrase, “those who know your name“? This knowledge is based not only on head knowledge but also on how you experience God in daily life.
To begin chronicling your knowledge of God, I encouraged you to try an exercise in the month of May. This was to pick one of God’s attributes and fill in the blank:
“How is God’s _________ making a difference in my life today? How have I experienced this today? How can this inform my prayer life and my mindset as I walk through the day?” For example, “How is God’s goodness making a difference in my life today?”
This month I’d like to build on this by suggesting that through examining the trials and triumphs of life you can discover character qualities of how God has personally revealed Himself to you.
My friend Daniel Henderson puts it this way, “Learn to trust your great moments.” This is actually something that is seen many times in the lives of Old Testament characters and the nation of Israel.
One example of this is Hagar when she fled Sarah due to the harsh treatment she received after conceiving Abraham’s child. She was desperate and desolate and sitting by a spring in the desert. There she was sought out by ‘the Angel of the Lord’ and instructed to return to Sarah, assured that she would bear a son named Ishmael and his descendants would be too numerous to count. As a result of this encounter Hagar calls God, “the One who sees me”.
What an amazing experience for Hagar, but she is not unique. Think of the many names of God associated with Jehovah. Names such as:
Jireh = Provider
Rapha = Healer
Nissi = Banner
Rohi = Shepherd
Shalom = Peace
Tsidkenu = Righteousness
Each of these names illustrate a different facet of God’s character and how he revealed himself to individuals and groups in the Old Testament.
How about you? As you look back over the timeline of your life where did God clearly intersect with you and what did God reveal about his character? Write out the situation. Next, ponder what God taught you in that great moment. What character qualities and attributes about God did you experience?
One thing to keep in mind, it is easy to think that if you’ve never seen God split a river for you to cross on dry ground than you haven’t had a ‘great moment’. But in reality many great moments are not that dramatic so don’t discount your encounters with God. If you need a starting point begin with the moment you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior. As you create your list think about how you can turn your discoveries into renewal statements.
One question that I’ve been asked when coaching people around this topic is, “How do you go down and pick the attributes that are really going to be the core things you’ve got to bring yourself back to each day?” This question goes to the heart of growing into a genuine faith vs. a borrowed faith.
I simply respond by asking, “What struggles do you deal with on a daily basis?” Listing these daily struggles allows you to create an opportunity for God to connect with your life every day.
So go ahead and try this. Create two columns and list the great moments on one side and the struggles you deal with regularly on the other side. After you have several things listed in each column look for ways to connect what God revealed about himself in your great moments to the daily struggles. Doing this will open the door to spiritual growth. As you begin to know God’s name, you will be able to truly ‘count it all joy when you fall into various trials’ because these will be opportunities to grow in your trust and knowledge of God.
I’d love to hear from you. Please post a comment or email me and share how you are experiencing God in your life today. If you would like to learn about coaching for spiritual formation email or call me at 484-461-6403 for more information.