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Half-Baked Faith

Half-Baked Faith

If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods . . . and direct your heart to the Lord . . .I Samuel 7:3

When I first encountered recovery, my commitment was less than stellar. I sort-of wanted sobriety, but I still wanted to be able to indulge here and there. I got what I put into recovery – very little. My occasional indulgence and lackluster commitment led me straight back to active addiction in little time.

Most of us are like this. Though we are burdened by some struggle and though we would like to be free from its destructive consequences, we really are not willing to do what it takes to get there. So, we do little and we pray, asking that God would magically take away our appetite for drugs, food, anger, lust, resentment, money, status or affirmation.

We want God, but we don’t want to get too crazy and above all, we don’t want to disrupt our lives. We wish to maintain dignity and we do not want anyone to know. We desire God’s miraculous intervention to come without any cost to us.

Samuel, God’s prophet in today’s passage, addressed this sort-of faith. In the passage, the Israelites had again wandered and suffered painful consequences. Samuel told them there was but one way out. Put away your foreign gods and follow God with everything that you are. Half-measures are of no use. You do not sort-of follow God.

If I want change and if I want God, then I must be willing to do whatever it takes to get there. God draws near to those who draw near to Him (James 4:8). If I want to leave behind the old mess and follow Christ, I cannot over-commit to this and I cannot take it too seriously.

Those of us who have struggled know this. We have given our half-baked efforts and found they are of no use. If we want freedom from ourselves and if we want God, He is there, but we cannot cling to the old life while trying to find the new one.

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  1. Sarah says:

    I feel that (some of?) our trouble may lie in asking God to walk with us, where our own desires are leading us, rather than in us walking with HIM, following His plan. Asking God to walk with us while fulfilling our own selfish desires does not allow His plan, which we know is greater than ours anyway, to come to fruition.

    Here is an excerpt from my bible study homework (today’s assignment even!) I do love the visual it provides and how humbling it is.

    “Walking with God in the pursuit of daily obedience is the sure means of fulfilling each of His wonderful plans. Imagine in Heaven God lovingly shows you His plan for your earthly life. You see footprints walking through each day. On many of the days, two sets of footprints appear. You inquire: “Father, are those my footprints every day, and is the second set of prints when you joined me?”
    He answers, “No, my precious child. The consistent footprints are Mine. The second set of footprints are when you joined Me.”
    “Where were You going, Father?”
    “To the destiny I planned for you, hoping you’d follow.”
    “But, Father, where are my footprints all those times?”
    “Sometimes you went back to look at old resentments and habits. Sometimes, you departed from my path and chose your own instead. Other times, your footprints can even be seen on another person’s path because you liked their plan better. At other times, you simply stopped because you would not let go of something you could not take with you.”
    “But even if I didn’t walk with You every day, we ended up OK. didn’t we?”
    He holds you close and smiles, “Yes, child, we ended up OK. But, you see, OK was never what I had in mind for you.”
    “Father, what are those golden treasure boxes on certain days?”
    “Blessings, My child, I had for you along the way. Those that are open are those you received. Those still closed were days you did not walk with Me.” – Beth Moore (Breaking Free)

    • Scott says:

      Yes, I’m pretty sure that most of the time, I pray for God to perform my will. It is sometimes hard to pray for His will, as I still think I know best. Stupid pride. I like that story. Thanks Sarah

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