When I was pregnant with my girls we encountered a lot of complications. It was my first viable pregnancy after two that had ended in miscarriage years before, and at our 12 week appointment when I saw two still beating hearts and babies that were growing, I was elated. Everything was going to be perfect, I knew it.
But it wasn’t. About a week after that appointment we found out that there was a minor size discrepancy between the twins, it could be nothing more than the ultrasound tech’s miscalculation, but to be safe we were told to go back in for a second look.
It wasn’t a miscalculation. My twins were growing at different rates – and continued to throughout the pregnancy. Doctors speculated and diagnosed, and almost every single appointment after that was filled with fear and anxiety. We were told more than a few times that it would be in our best interest to abort baby B – Evie – to hopefully save baby A – London. We refused, were challenged and chided, but went out on a leap of faith that God would save both of my children.
Only, at the time, it didn’t feel like faith at all. I felt stubborn and argumentative. How DARE they tell me to kill my child, how DARE they suggest murder on pure speculation (which turned out to be inaccurate, by the way. Had I taken their advice I would have murdered my child for absolutely no reason whatsoever). But I didn’t have very much faith. In fact I left every appointment filled with fear and tears and doubt. I
all but begged God on a daily basis to spare my daughters, all the while bracing for the bad news.
During this time, though, I was on bed rest, which meant plenty of internet and Facebook time. I began posting bible verses about faith in the Lord’s deliverance, trusting in Him, believing His promises, but they were only words. They were the things someone of faith would say, and so I said them, less than half heartedly believing them myself. At first. Then a
strange God thing happened. The more I posted these verses, the more I searched for them, the more I began to believe them. Eventually when I posted Psalm 23 or Jeremiah 29 I was speaking out of confidence and belief, instead of desperation and pleading.
Our faith is like any other trait, in order for it to be strengthened it must be pursued. Imagine someone trying to lose weight and build muscle. Every day they go to the gym and lift weights and run on the treadmill. They don’t really believe in their weight loss though, because in those days they can’t see any evidence that it’s working, but they trudge on anyway. Even in their doubt they would begin to see changes reflecting their obedience to working those muscles, until eventually they would see the reality of a changed body and believe in the method that got them there.
Our spirits are the same. We cannot expect God to make us more like Him if we don’t actively try to be more like him. We need to work our spiritual muscle. I did, unknowingly, and His word held true;
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:31-32
Jesus knew that there would be times when we just don’t feel spiritual. It happens, our emotions are fickle and carnal, and if left to their devices we would all be as stable as men on stilts in an earthquake. But He says that we don’t need to feel it for it to be true, we just need to be there. When we choose to be in the word, and to fill our minds with God’s commands and promises, it is impossible not to grow.
Right now my song of the week is “Your Heart (David)” by Chris Tomlin, which you can find on the album Music Inspired by The Word, and there’s a line at the end that always sticks with me.
“Unashamed I will dance, in Your name lift my hands, until my heart looks like your heart”
I love the wording here. Not “when”, or “if”, or “after”, but until. If we sit around and wait for our spirits to magically transform into creatures of holiness, we’ll end up in eternity with little more than we began our walk with in this world. We are to press into Him until we look like him, seek him so that we find Him. It’s the way our minds and bodies work, what we continuously put in is what we get out. So if we put words of faith in, in, in, I encourage you that soon you will see faith growing out, and what you merely spoke about, you will have become. Just try and prove me wrong, I dare you!