By Ray Gano
This is an interesting question and one that a lot of us kind of overlook.
Being a Christian, we talk about faith all the time, study about it, even memorize scripture referring to faith.
But what is amazing is why so many people who are good Christians do not have faith?
Man is a very visual species. We often must see it to believe it. I think it must be part of our DNA makeup.
If you are one of my long-time readers, you know that me and Tracye’s “life verse” is Proverbs 3:5-6
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Not a day goes by where I want to take that steering wheel and take control of everything. That is what most people do. Like I said, it’s part of our DNA.
So how do you get to the point of “trusting in the Lord with all your heart”?
Faith is A Muscle & You Got To Exercise it
We get emails from time to time from people saying that we have a lot of faith or they wish that they had faith like we have.
Let me tell you, my faith gets wobbly kneed from time to time.
But our faith and learning to trust in Him did not happen instantly. God did not come with a magic wand and bing us on the head and said, you now have tons of faith. No, it took time, trials, and trust.
What is faith? God’s Word defines it for us…
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is a muscle that you must work daily for it to become strong. It takes time to build this muscle up and part of that involves trusting in God that He will see you through.
How Tracye and I’s faith grew is by taking baby steps and witnessing the evidence of things not seen.
As some of you know, Tracye and I call Proverbs 3:5-6 the “Third Party Rule.”
We call it that because if I cannot change what is happening with my gifts and talents and Tracye can’t change things with her gifts and talents, then we take it to God, the third party, and lay the problem at His feet. Then we walk away knowing that God will take care of the problem.
That “knowing” part is faith. Because we have exercised our faith muscles we know that God has our best interest at heart and He will take care of things. Sometimes it is a bumpy road, other times we are amazed that the solution came about so quickly.
I have to admit that there are times that I am scared because I am dealing with the unknown, things not seen.
Exercising Our Faith
As many of you may know, we moved back from Panama for multiple reasons.
People ask us what were some of the reasons and it is the normal ones, missing the kids, grand kids and such. Missing a good burger and fries (thus why I am on the Keto Diet). Missing getting things we need without going to 4 stores before finding what you need.
But the biggest reason is that God asked us to come back.
I remember around June or August 2016 and it is one of the few times where I heard God speak audibly to me.
He asked “ Are you willing to give all this up for me?”
WOW… well, I have to say that I did not say yes right away. I chewed on it for about 3 days, then finally I told God … OK.
What is really interesting is that the next day Tracye came up to me and asked what I thought about going back to the US.
WOW … it seems that God was working in Tracye’s heart as well.
We were excited, but I have to admit that there was some trepidation about things we have no control over.
We were literally “giving it all up” for the Lord.
When we came back we had 6 suitcases, 5 dogs and $5,000 to our name.
We left everything behind. All our furniture and almost all our personal belongings.
We were able to sell some of it, but when it came down to last few days, we just gave things away, just to clear out the place.
We were able to ship a pallet of personal stuff like family pictures, Tracye’s sewing machine, my swords, and other small things like that.
But there was so much we lost and left behind.
We gave it all up for Him, like He asked us.
Was it a good decision?
Yes, it was. It is amazing how much we compromised living in Central America. Yes, it was a good time and God really used us in big ways. So, there are no regrets what so ever.
What I have to fight though is becoming complacent and going into what I call “auto-pilot” mode.
See, when one is in auto-pilot mode life is …
Wake up, get out of bed
Freshen up and get dressed
Make our morning coffe and maybe some breakfast
Walk upstairs and get to work
Update all my social media, answer email….
Etc, etc, etc…
It is so easy to remain in a daily auto pilot mode, but how much does your faith get exercised doing that?
I know that when I slip into auto pilot mode, I am not to effective and all I am doing is just going through the paces. No need to exercise one’s faith when in auto pilot mode.
We are living in the last days of the last days. Now more than ever I think that we need to make a stand for God, His Word, His Son and living a right life in these last day.
I ask myself a lot, “Am I doing all that I can for Him?” and I have to admit that there are times when I say no.
Moving back to the US with just a few things in hand was and is still scary. I am not lying. We are still getting settled in and still trying to create our little niche here in the US.
Moving back to the US with Tracye was stepping out of the boat once again and walking on the water with Our Lord. I have had some butterflies in my tummy and at times I still do. The wonderful thing is that God has been with us every step of the way.
These next few months I have some pretty cool things going on. I am heading up to SkyWatchTV to be part of an uber secret movie project and in March I am speaking in Dallas at Hear The Watchmen Conference.
So, these are good things and I thank the Lord for the opportunities He is presenting.
It is the unknowns that we are currently facing that is troubling me, but I must put my faith in God that no matter what, He will work out the details.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. It is an easy thing to say, but unless you work that faith muscle daily, it becomes a hard thing to do.
If you have not exercised it in a long while, I will admit that it is really tough, and the enemy gets hold of your ear telling you that God does not care, does not love you, He really isn’t there. A lot of lies that you must tune out and push forward.
James tells us to “Submit to the Lord, resist the devil and he will flee.
If you have not exercised the faith muscle, this is where it really gets hard. Because once you start listening to the devil and his lies, you start taking that steering wheel back and when you do, you just mess things up worse than if you just left well enough alone.
I am writing this because we are there right now. Walking in faith is on the forefront right now in our lives. Please keep me and Tracye in prayer asking God’s favor to be on us. Please pray that God pave the way ahead of us with as few obstacles as possible. Pray that He will provide the resources needed to make our commitments.
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Great article and I can relate to what you’ve gone through. If I hadn’t obeyed God and gone to China and other places when He told me I would be living a very quiet, and deadly boring life. I’m not sure about faith being like a muscle. I’ve heard to much from the blab it and grab it crowd to be wary of the expression. We do find our faith, better translated Trust, grows as each section of our walk with Him develops, but it’s because we trust a Great God. By the way, the armour which Paul spoke about was the High Priests’ outfit and not the Roman army which was an anathema to Jewish thought. I can’t direct you to a particular teaching right now but something will turn up. I’ve lost a lot of books on my travels as I’ve passed them on. In my day it was only books and letters.