Faith Fuels a Firm Foundation

photo by Chris Esty

“God, who knows the heart, showed that He accepted them (the Gentiles) by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as He did to us.  He made no distinction between us and them, for He purified their hearts by faith.” – Acts 15:8-9

God is not interested in our pedigree nor our position (though He can and will use both if we are willing); rather He cares only for the condition of our hearts.  He accepts and blesses with the presence of the Holy Spirit, all, who by faith, come to believe.  Our hearts are not made pure by piety (works), but instead by our faith in the Father, and through the work of His Spirit in us.  We each hold equal and infinite value to our Creator.

God grants each of us the grace that is needed to share our story, and to impact the internal condition of the hearts of all whom we call our community.  It matters not to Him, our position, nor history, and yet He utilizes both to breathe life and hope to all who hear.  He uses the least of us to touch lives and transform communities, when we have a willing heart that is founded in faith.  Our influence reaches far beyond what our eyes can see.  Who but God, truly knows the reach of a redeemed heart that is ready to serve?

For me, it was the willing hearts of teachers, Sunday school staff, grandparents, great family and friends, who were full of faith and obedient to the Father, that led me to believe and trust our Beloved, from a tender age.  Though I knew not the full historical significance, nor the Hebrew, I knew that Jesus had come into my heart, and was granted the grace to grow my faith that taught me to trust that He would remain.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son because You love us, and longed to make a way to lead us back to a restored relationship with You.  Forgive us for when our faith is lacking, and remind us again of the mountains You can move, if only we are willing to walk in Your way.  Teach us, lead us, and guide us I pray, so that a firm foundation of faith will fuel us to follow You all of our days.  May our willing obedience open hearts to hear the truth.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Faith Flips the Impossible

image by Andrea Hurley

“Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with men is possible with God.” – Luke 18:27

What we cannot see through the haze of our human hearts, is completely clear to Christ.  He who created everything, is more than able to accomplish what is seemingly impossible through the eyes of each of us on earth.

When faith is our focus, rather than merely accepting the obstacles beheld before us as barriers, we make way for the Almighty to move.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:6

Faith is formed as we find out the facts about our Heavenly Father, and receive the grace that God extends to each of us as we earnestly seek Him and enter into an eternal relationship with our Redeemer.

When we seek, we find.  As we find, faith is formed.  By faith, we are able to appear before our amazing God, covered and called clean through the cross of Christ, and witness the impossible being made possible, by God alone.

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24

Ask.

Believe.

Receive.

Faith fulfilled.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the seemingly impossible is made possible in You.  Thank You that faith is not something we manage to muster, rather it is something that builds and grows as we seek You, find You, and allow Your Spirit dwelling in us to direct our steps.  Grow our faith Father, as we seek You with our whole hearts.  Teach us to trust not in ourselves, but in You alone, who equips us for all that You ask.  Lead us by Your love, and may we each begin to see the possible through Your perception, rather than our own.  May mountains be moved as we magnify Your majesty.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Our Cause for Courage

photo by Binaural Beats

“When I called, You answered me; You made me bold and stouthearted.” – Psalm 138:3

When I asked, You answered.  You granted me the strength and the courage necessary to fulfill what You had asked of me.

Though I have experienced God’s equipping and strengthening for the task at hand many times and in very tangible ways, none resonate quite so clearly as how He did just that, this past Sunday.

The very idea of public speaking has always brought terror to the very core of my countenance.  Despite being a teacher, the thought of actually speaking in front of an audience of adults, is agonizing.  That being said, God had begun whispering to my heart that a time would come, when He would be calling on me to use my voice, and not just my pen. (Which is also a story of His faithful equipping with boldness and strength that I had not known before…)  It took time, but I had finally reached a place with God, where I had said to Him, “Whatever You ask, I am willing.”  Interestingly enough, a few folks soon followed with presenting possible plans for me to speak…  The first, I found my response to be “Yes”, but quickly followed with conditions to my compliance.  Fortunately, it took but my drive home, for Daddy God to remind me of my own words, “Whatever You ask, I am willing.”  I immediately repented of my rule-making response, and changed my reply to “I am willing.  Terrified, but willing.”  I found the first task asked of me was without a timeline.  It was simply a sometime sort of space.  Safe in the not yet.

However, last week came the true test when my pastor called to ask if I’d be “willing” to share my story about how I blog and what God is teaching me through it as part of the message “Sharing Our Stories” on Sunday.  Thankfully, I had the previous request still fresh in the forefront of my mind, so this time my response was, “I am totally terrified, but I am willing.”

All that to say that as I called on Him, He made me bold and gave me strength.  Yes, I was nervous and a bit shaky, but when I opened my mouth to speak, words found way out.  For me, the boldness and strength was most evident in the actually making way up to the front.  My head told me to run, but my heart said, “Trust Me.”

No, I am not lining up to make a habit of public speaking, but I recognize that when He requires it of me, I will be willing – not in my own strength, but in His.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are always faithful to answer when we call on You.  Thank You too, that You do not call us to anything that You are not also willing to equip us to do.  Thank You that in You, there is confidence and assurance that You will never leave us nor forsake us, which supplies the strength necessary, to do as You ask.  Teach us to trust You more.  May our movements in faithful obedience, create connections between You, the supplier of our strength, and a world that needs to know You and receive all that You offer, because of the cross.  Thank You that You are good and that Your love endures forever!  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present