Heart Questions: An Active and Dependent Faith

Just recently I had a job interview for an intern position (first-year-out doctor) at my local hospital. This interview, alongside a couple of references from doctors I had worked with, determined whether I got to stay where I am currently living and my husband keep his job or if we would need to pack up and move away from our church and families next year. The interview went averagely. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t amazing- I really had no idea what the result would be.

It was a month-long wait to receive offers, and during that time, I questioned what I would do if we had to move; Where would we go to church? How would I cope having to move away? What if my best friend got a job elsewhere? How do I support my family if I’m not here? How will we cope without their support? (especially getting clothes dry in winter, we would probably be wearing damp clothes if it wasn’t for our parents…). But whilst I questioned these things, I was never worried or concerned. I was Never anxious about the potential outcomes, because I had a full trust in God and his sovereignty.

Now by no means does this mean that I trusted God to give me what I wanted, or for things to work out according to what I thought or perceived to be best. Rather, I trusted that God in his goodness knows best, so if we did have to move, it was because He had a good reason for it, and it would result in us growing in greater likeness to Jesus.

What I realized in this season of waiting and trusting, is that sometimes it can actually be a lot easier to trust God with the big things than the small things. Now you may be reading this, thinking, ‘I find it hard to trust God all the time, in small and big things’ – however in this case, I would be surprised if your desire to be able to whole-heartedly trust God was not greater when the stakes were higher.  When things are really quite out of our control, and the options are really to trust God or be stressed, anxious and uncertain, it makes trusting a much easier default, and seemingly more essential for our mental and emotional well-being. It becomes a greater priority to put our whole faith in God when we are needing a job or looking for a house than it does for aspects of our daily life, especially as many things, such as having enough to eat, fresh water, sanitation and access to transport or healthcare, we have never had to think twice about.

I recently read about Jesus sending out the 12 disciples in Luke 9.

And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, ‘Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart‘” (Luke 9:1-4)

Jesus sent out his followers to do His work, to proclaim the Kingdom of God’s arrival, and told them to not take a single thing. No money, no food, no spare clothes. Why? So that the disciples would be continually aware of their need and dependence on God. Jesus had just given them incredible power and authority, to go and heal the sick, to cast out demons, yet they would constantly be reminded that this was not in their own strength, but in the Lord’s. Their mission required an everyday dependence, and active trust in God. So not only were they trusting God for the big things, (preaching the gospel, curing diseases and casting out demons), but the ‘small’ everyday things too.

So from this comes our next heart question:

DOES MY DAILY WALK DEMONSTRATE AN ACTIVE AND DEPENDENT FAITH IN JESUS?

Now of course the application of this passage is not for us to do the same – travelling and living our lives proclaiming the Kingdom news with no money, food, or clothing. But it is for us to apply this same heart and mindset. We are completely dependent on God, and our lives should demonstrate a deep-rooted trust and faith in Him in the everyday things.

What does this look like? Of course probably different for each of us, but here are some further questions to kick-off your reflection:

  1. Does my attitude towards money and generosity display an active trust in God to provide for my needs? (both now and in the future)
  2. Am I thankful for the gifts I receive?
  3. Am I disciplined in expressing my dependence on God? (Through fasting and giving)
  4. Does my conversation with others speak of God’s character being trustworthy?
  5. Is my default response or mindset to situations peace and security, or anxiety and stress?
  6. Do I require seeing fruit in my ministry, prayer or works to trust that God is at work, or do I rest securely in his promises?

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