Practical Faith Insight by Gary Ellis

Faith is critical to Christian life.  Actually, it’s vital to living, period.

There’s been an exhaustive amount of teaching on the subject; And, in many ways the overabundance of opinions on the issue have born the fruit of confusion rather than clarity.  Therefore, my hope is to bring at least a ray of fresh, unconfusing light to the topic of faith.

So, please consider this…

Let me start with an example from my life.  Back in 1979 I found myself on a little dirt trail in the country of Kenya.  I was amazed at how things had come together to make this possible.  As I looked down the narrow dirt path that morning… (taking in the unique sights and sounds) …I felt like the Lord asked me the question, “Do you know why you’re here?”

I looked around a bit more and responded, “No, Lord…I don’t.  Why am I here?”  Almost immediately the inner voice of His Spirit said, “Because you decided to be.”

You see…I had made a choice.  Another way to put it…I’d taken a step of faith.

Faith…and knowing what it is…has become too complicated and “spiritual-ized.” The truth is that faith is a practical practice … and it always works.

Here’s another way to look at…or describe…the anatomy of faith:

  • You know about something
  • That knowledge becomes a desire
  • The desire becomes strong enough that you choose it – or you commit yourself to it

I heard about the possibility that I could take a ministry trip to Africa (In my case I was personally invited).  The more I pondered it, the more my desire grew and as I prayed it “felt right.” (Peaceable)

One day I made the choice to go.

<In place of the word faith, change it to the word “choice…decision…or committing yourself to something” and see if it clarifies your “faith question.”>

A process became apparent, but I wouldn’t have begun the process if I hadn’t made the choice to go.  Obstacles arose along the way…further choices (steps of faith) had to be made.  Then one day…

I was on a little dirt path in the country of Kenya asking the question, “Why am I here?”

I hope this sheds some fresh light on your faith path.  What things do you know about, and desire?  Is the next step…CHOICE?

Gary

How To Under-Whelm Yourself (2)

Over the course of several blog entries, I am presenting what I’ve discovered to be authentic keys to getting off of the “Overwhelmed” Freeway.

Although I’m posting this as (2) the second in the series, it’s probably better as number (1).

The Power of Choice is Huge

The fact is that a person will never do anything effectively that they haven’t first decided to do.  And that applies solidly to this seasonal malady of feeling overwhelmed.

The first real decision is as simple yet counter-intuitive as this, “With everything in and out of my control, I have decided that I will not be overwhelmed!”

Sticking to the Decision is Also Huge

The first chapter of the New Testament book of James tells us that “waffling” is not a good thing.  It doesn’t produce results.  In fact, even God can’t do anything for the “waffler.”  Circumstances will keep presenting logical reasons to become overwhelmed.  They must be met with the decision, “Nope.  I’ve decided.  Feelings of being overwhelmed is unacceptable.  Not doin’ it.”

You Can Control What You Think About

In daily life circumstances are most often out of our control.  Stuff happens.  Often at the seemingly worst possible moment.  However, did you know that being overwhelmed is more a fruit of how you think about the circumstances than the circumstances themselves?  Dale Carnegie once said, “It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy.  It’s what you think about.”  That can be accurately applied to feelings of being overwhelmed.  That’s why the Apostle Paul stated, “Take your thoughts into captivity!”

Everyone Deals With Feelings of Being Overwhelmed

It’s also important to know that feelings of being overwhelmed is common to man.  So, accept that as a reality.   But also embrace the reality that you can firmly deal with those feelings regardless of the prevailing circumstances.

I Will Not Be Overwhelmed

That’s your choice, your determination, your decision, your resolve.  Stick to it and discover a more satisfying journey of being led, in your heart, by the still waters.

Paint An Inner Picture of Peace

This is HUGE.  What we see inside has a powerful effect on how we feel.  That, in turn, has a great impact on how things “turn out” for us because how we feel affects how we act and how we act affects the results around us.  I’ll blog more about the power of imagination in other posts and how the New Testament word for positive imagination is “hope”….but that’s for later.  For now…with the Lord’s help choose the inner images of hope.  You can.  If it’s difficult it’s because you are too well rehearsed at adding to the negative inner vision and calling it “reality.”

<You practice this inner seeing thing ALL the time…and it DOES affect how you feel.>

You Decided To Be Here

Back in 1979 I was walking down a dirt path near a village in Kenya, East Africa.  I heard the Lord say to me, “Do you know why you are here?” <The facts are that it had not been a smooth road getting here>

I was ready to receive a revelation of wisdom, from the Lord, as a secret to winning over adversity.  I did, but not what I expected.  He said to me, “You are standing here on this little path, today, because you decided to be.  I’m so glad I did.  That was the trip where I literally saw the dead raised.

To Be Continued…

Gary