Living by Faith

faith

Let me start off by saying that I fail God daily. Every. Single. Day. I. Fail. Him.

I don’t really know if this blog helps anyone else, but it helps me and it keeps me in check. I write a new post whenever God lays something on my heart. Usually it is on what I am dealing with or going through. God’s been working on me a lot here lately. I am thankful for that!

I have been lacking in my faith. I used to have so much faith but it seems here recently that my faith is lacking. I’ve been questioning myself as to why my faith is lacking. God hasn’t changed, so I know that isn’t it. He never changes. I started examining my life and trying to pinpoint exactly why, when and how it happened. What have I let get in the way? What has gotten in the way? The answer? Iva has gotten in the way. Iva has doubted God’s love. What does God’s love have to do with my faith? Everything. Faith doesn’t work without love. Galations 5:6For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Faith works by love. At first I was confused by this. Utterly confused. I heard it explained like this. Imagine curtains. You have to have a rod to hang curtains. Try to hang curtains with the curtains on the hooks and not have a rod. The curtains will end up on the floor. Love is the rod that you hang your life on and faith are the hooks. When I heard this analogy, it was like a light bulb went ding ding ding! Bingo! Yatzee! Here it is Iva. Here is your answer. Deep down I have been doubting God’s love for me. I know. Stupid, right?

When I got up the morning that this all me I was in a horrible mood. Some possibly bad news had been given to my husband the day before. I was angry that God would give something then take it away especially something we needed. I drove to work angry. I was moody and grumpy at work and then out of no where the song Living by Faith came to my mind. Living by faith in Jesus above. Trusting confiding in His great love; from all harm safe in His sheltering arm, I’m living by faith and feel no alarm. I love when that happens. God always puts a song on my mind right when I need it. I looked up the hymn and read all the lyrics. I am a lyric nerd. I have trouble with lyrics. Just ask my husband. I sing songs around the house all the time and if I don’t know the lyrics I make them up. Kyle calls me out on it and I say I was just freestylin. Because of this, I like to look up what the lyrics actually are to songs that pop in my head. I also like to hear the song so I typed in Living by Faith on YouTube. I listened to the song and in the suggestions was a message by a preacher named Creflo Dollar. I listened to it and I was blessed. I highly recommended that you watch it. You can listen to it here: The Just shall live by faith

There are 4 verses in the bible that specifically say the just shall live by faith. If it says it 4 times you know it is important!

Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by faith.”

Romans 1:17 “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

Galatians 3:11 “But no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”

Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”

So we know the just shall live by faith but what does that mean exactly? What is faith by definition? Merriam-Webster says it is: (1) allegiance to duty or a person: loyalty; belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2)belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion: firm belief in something for which there is no proof: complete trust (3) something that is believed especially with strong conviction; without question.

What is the biblical definition of faith? Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Faith is the substance (stuff or essence or base) of the things we hope for but have not actually seen. The bible tell us to walk by faith. (2 Corinthians 5:7) We are to live our lives by love and faith. We need love to have faith. Faith is the belief in God’s love for us. God loves me and I am confident that he will provide for me. He loves me and that is why I have faith in Him and His ability to take care of me. He loves me so much that he would send His only begotten son to die on a cross, bare the sin of the world so that we all could go to Heaven if we accept Christ in our hearts.

I listened to lies from Satan. He is good at his job. Satan will whisper lies. Things like, God isn’t going to take care of you, God will not do that, don’t count on God to make that happen, God doesn’t love you, God won’t forgive you, God can’t use you because you failed, God can’t use you because you’re different, God doesn’t care about you having a car, God doesn’t care about you having a house and so many other lies straight outta the pits of hell. We start to lose our confidence. We doubt ourselves and we doubt God’s love. Hebrews 10:35 “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.”

Satan will attack your confidence. He will remind you of past mistakes, shortcomings and failures to get your state of mind to make you feel like you are under God’s judgement instead of the blood.  It will make you think that God won’t help you because of something you did in the past. That is not true. If you are a born again Christian, you are under the blood! Yes we will fail and fall short. When you do you can go to God in prayer and ask for forgiveness and he will lift you up.

When you pray, pray with the confidence that God will do what you have asked Him. I think faith and confidence go together. I sit in my chair because I am confident it will hold me. Because God loves me, he will provide for me. Phillipians 4:19 “But God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” The bible says it right there. He will provide my need according to HIS riches in glory. All that I have is His. Anything that I get it His. I just get to borrow it.

I love when God takes the veil off so that I can see the things I need to. I don’t know if anyone else ever feels or has felt the way that I had been but this helped me. God loves His children. He will take care of us. That doesn’t mean we won’t have trials or hard times. This means that God will provide for us when we need it.

God I ask that you would lift the veil off those who need it lifted off so that their eyes can see what you need them to see through your word. Help those today who may be struggling and those whose faith is being tested. Give them the strength they need to endure and let them feel your loving arms. I ask all these things in your name. Amen.

May all of you have a blessed Easter. He is risen!! Today is Friday… but Sunday is coming!!

Love from above, Iva Mae

he is risen

P.S. I apologize if this post seemed scatter brained. It took me 3 days to finish this.

 

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His Eye is On The Sparrow

A A Sparrow

His Eye is on the Sparrow by Civillia Martin

Why should I feel discouraged? And why should the shadows come? And why should my heart be lonely? And long for Heaven and home? When Jesus is my portion. My constant friend is he. His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me.I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free! His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me.

Let not your heart be troubled. His tender word I hear. And resting on His goodness I lose my doubts and fears. Though by the path He leads us but one step I may see. His eye is on the sparrows and I know He watches me. And Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free! His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me.

Whenever I am tempted. Whenever clouds arise. When songs give place to sighing. When hope within me dies, I draw closer to Him. From care He sets me free! His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me. I sing because I’m happy! I sing because I’m free! His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

I never paid attention to the lyrics of this song. It was one of those songs I never paid attention to at all. I don’t even know how I stumbled across this song and the story. I read the lyrics. REALLY read the lyrics. Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come? Why should my heart be lonely? When Jesus IS my portion and a constant friend is He.

Those words stuck out to me. Why have I been so discouraged when Jesus is my portion. No job, no person, no wealth, no fame and no material thing can make me happy. My joy comes from the Lord. I read the story of how Mrs. Martin wrote the song. She met a sweet old couple, the Doolittles. Both the Doolittles were in bad shape. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for almost 20 years. Mr. Doolittle was wheelchair bound, an incurable cripple. They were both happy Christians even though they had it bad off. Mrs. Martin’s husband commented on the couple’s hopefulness and asked what the secret was. Mr. Doolittle said, His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. The Martins were touched by the faith and the simpleness of Mr. Doolittle’s answer. His answer inspired the song that Mrs. Martin wrote that night.

I have been feeling so alone and so discouraged. Hearing this song reminded me that I need not be discouraged. I really like the 3rd verse of the song, Whenever I am tempted. Whenever clouds arise. When songs give place to sighing. When hope within me dies, I draw closer to Him. From care He sets me free! When songs give place to sighing really really stuck out to me. I shouldn’t only sing when I am happy. I should sing through the pain, the trials, the sadness, the joy, the happy times and ALL the times because God has given me that capability to sing praises to Him. My Daddy preached a message a couple of weeks ago about this very thing. He said we can’t lose our song.He preached about how he helped me tare up some carpet and how I was singing. He said that I didn’t my song even though I had gone through so much. Our song leader sang His Eye is on the Sparrow and I was so touched. I love when God speaks to me. He speaks to us in many different ways. He speaks to us through His people, like preachers, and He speaks to us through songs. Songs have always spoken to me. I love lyrics. I read them and I try to study them and think about their meanings.

Psalms 100:1 &2 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

I am always singing around the house and in my car. I challenge you to really read the lyrics of your favorite song and to think about the meaning. It will really bless you!

 

Love from above,

Iva Mae

God’s Will?

giving thanks

I recently read a verse in my bible that reached out of the page and slapped me. It cut me. It made me angry because I knew it was true.

The verse was 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

I read that and thought oh yah?!? Really?!?! I should be thankful for all the crap we have been going through recently?! This is stupid! I am not thankful for this pain, the burdens, the worrying or anything else! I was angry. I was not happy. I was full of rage. My husband was upset and feeling down and when he hurts I feel the pain. I hate to seem him upset. It kills me. I just wanted to hold him and take all the pain away and make it better but I couldn’t.

I couldn’t understand why God would allow us to have our “bottom” fall out. One thing after another kept happening. I got pregnant then lost the baby. Kyle left his job of 2 years for another job that was supposed to give great benefits and supposed to be great, and it wasn’t. My car decided that it no longer wanted to be alive and started falling apart and we didn’t have the money to fix it. My husband was struggling with not feeling like he was a provider and feeling upset about his job situation. The devil had launched a full blown attack on our home and I was angry at God for it. Even writing this makes me feel embarrassed that I was mad at the wrong person. It’s like DUH IVA!! Hello McFly!!

That is what Satan does. He uses smoke and mirrors to distract us. He is really good at his job. We have to be ready for him. We’re constantly in war. He will do whatever he can to destroy us from doing what we are called to do for God. He doesn’t want us to succeed. He wants to use our failures, past sins, downfalls and mistakes as ways to keep us from moving forward. He will bring up the past and make you feel like God can’t forgive you of your sins. John 10:10 “The thief (Satan) cometh not, but to steal, and to kill and to destroy…”

The bible clearly states that Satan has come to steal. He will steal things like your joy, your peace of mind, your happiness, your health, your finances and whatever else he can get his grimy nasty claws on. He will kill your ministry, your relationships, and try to take your life.He ultimately wants to destroy you.

The second part of John 10:10 says …I (Christ) have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Jesus died for us so that we could live. He was tortured and beaten for you and me. He performed miracles, including calming the raging sea.

I’ve seen little pictures and blurbs around the internet that say Jesus either calms the storm or he calms his child. I think that sometimes he does both.

I’ve always loved the stories in the bible where Jesus calmed the storms. They are some of my favorite ones. Matthew 8:23-27 talks about such an instance. Verse 24 says “And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.”

I love that last part, but he was asleep. The storms were raging, the boat was filling with water, fears were high, there was chaos all around and Jesus was asleep. The next verse talks about how the disciples awoke him and said Jesus save us!!! He immediately said (vs 26)”Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”

Sometimes it seems like God doesn’t see what we are going through. It feels like he doesn’t care and that he is a million miles away. That isn’t true. He does care and he will help you through these storms and give you the strength you need to get through. Sometimes he is quiet. I’ve always heard that a teacher is quiet during a test.

When I was about 5 years old, I was outside swinging on my swing set like most 5 year old girls like to do. I probably had a stuffed animal and had been picking dandelions. A drunk man came from the back of our property and came up close to the house where I was swinging. He didn’t say anything. He just looked at me and my danger alarms started going off. I started screaming to the top of my lungs for my Daddy. My mom came out and the guy kept walking and walked down the road. My Dad wasn’t there, he was at church that evening. Even though my Daddy wasn’t there, I wanted him because I knew he would keep me safe. He went through the park minutes later when he got back home and kicked ever beer can he could find looking for that man.

When I was about 6 we went Easter egg hunting in the park. My Daddy took me and they lined all of the kids up on the spray painted line. They blew the whistle signaling the start of the hunt. All the kids took off. I did too because I was so excited to get some candy and stickers. That didn’t happen though. Most of the kids started pushing and shoving other kids. Every egg I reached for someone took. Someone even took an egg right out of my hand. My Daddy came over to me and grabbed my hand and walked me back to the truck and we went home. He had enough of that and he could see me getting upset.

God is that way too. He sees what we’ve gone through. Just because he doesn’t come when you first call for him to save you doesn’t mean that he doesn’t hear you or that he doesn’t care. Daddys are good for holding our hands and holding us making us feel safe. Even to this day I still feel that love and that his arms are a safe place to be when he hold me.

God answered mine and Kyle’s prayers and our bottom isn’t falling out anymore. All the hardships and all the tears shed and the worry and fear and anger is mostly gone. We always worry a little too much about some things, but for the most part God has given us that peace that passeth all understanding. There isn’t understanding sometimes.

My husband Kyle got an opportunity to work for a Christian man. This man and his wife are wonderful people. He gets to work with two other guys who are also Christians. They pray before going to work and get devotions to read. God laid this job in our laps. I love divine plans. His timing is truly perfect. I also got a new car thanks to my parents. They are amazing and bless me. God has blessed us so much! The other prayer that we have been praying about, a baby, hasn’t happened yet but if it is God’s will it will. It will be perfect as well.

May God bless you all!

Iva Mae