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Subjective Faith

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Galatians 5:22 KJV

What is subjective Faith and how does it apply to us as believers?

There are actually two kinds of faith mentioned in scripture. One is real faith and one is a lack of it. So before I dive off into a deep subject let’s define a few things. Please be patient as I explain where I am going with this.

First, what does subjective mean exactly?

sub·jec·tive
səbˈjektiv/Submit
adjective
1.
based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.
“his views are highly subjective”
synonyms: personal, individual, emotional, instinctive, intuitive
“a subjective analysis”

This is just the first meaning but the one that is the closest related to my text.

When we say subjective we are in essence saying that our lives are centered around our subjective thought, feeling or emotion.

So just for a further breakdown lets see how faith is used in scripture.

Greek: ὀλιγόπιστος
Transliteration: oligopistos
Pronunciation: ol-ig-op’-is-tos
Definition: From G3641 and G4102; incredulous that is lacking confidence (in Christ): – of little faith.
KJV Usage: of little faith (5x).
Occurs: 5
In verses: 5

This kind of faith is mentioned four times in Matthew and once in Luke. It is always preceded by “Oh Ye of little faith”

Matthew 6:30 speaks of clothing

Luke 12:28  speaks of clothing

Matthew 8:26 speaks of protection

Matthew 14:31 speaks of healing

Matthew 16:8 speaks of food

Do you see the pattern here? In all of these circumstances Jesus spoke of their lack of faith.

Do we have this same kind of faith perhaps?

Now, the other kind of faith is what we would call the good one and the one everybody believes they have.

Greek: πίστις
Transliteration: pistis
Pronunciation: pis’-tis
Definition: From G3982; persuasion that is credence; moral conviction (of religious truth or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher) especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: – assurance belief believe faith fidelity.
KJV Usage: faith (239x), assurance (1x), believe (with G1537) (1x), belief (1x), them that believe (1x), fidelity (1x).
Occurs: 244
In verses: 228

This is the faith that is mentioned throughout the NT such as in the verse in Galatians.

So let’s just do a little maintenance in our heart and see if we have this kind of faith or if it is subjective to our thoughts, feelings and emotions.

If you are like me and want to be honest our faith is subjective at best and non-existent at the least.

We want to be seen as having faith but even in the smallest details of our lives we prove time and again it can be and will be sacrificed upon the altar of our subjective thought, actions or emotions.

I’m not one to be talking as I too struggle with this daily. Will I have enough food, shelter and clothing? Maybe not today so much but next week, next month or year. Will God take care of me beyond today? We say we trust Him and have faith but when He doesn’t come through for us like we think He should, suddenly we are back peddling into worry, doubt and fear.

Gently He whispers “Oh Ye of little faith” and trust me that’s not a good thing.

When we hear that, what He is saying is that we do not have any confidence at all in Him to take care of us. This could include anything from food, shelter and clothing to even salvation itself.

Listen to these verses in Habakkuk

Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.
Habakkuk 3:12 KJV

I’m only putting verses 12 here because it gives you an overall idea what Habakkuk was experiencing. This was the true anger and fierceness of the Lord of Host.

When he heard it, when he walked through this experience, this is what he said:

When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.  Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Habakkuk 3:16‭-‬17 KJV

This is serious stuff going on. All of sudden food, clothing and shelter were gone.

The prophet understood that this was a bad situation indeed and it scared him so bad he was trembling.

You might think this is the end of the story but it’s not by a long shot.

This is the part where you and I bail out, jump ship and say adios. We cover our heads and cry God has forsaken me and I’m going to die, His mercy is gone forever.

This is subjective Faith.

Faith that is not at resting in assurance in Christ and His word. It’s subjected to our own inability to trust that He is faithful.

Storms come, we lose things, sometimes people as well, but this is the part we have to have true genuine faith in who Christ is and what He’s accomplished on our behalf.

I’m preaching to the choir I know

I just want us to get a true picture of faith and be doers of the word and not hearers only.

Faith is not supposed to be subjective to how we think or feel. It’s not supposed to roll up and down with every emotional tidal wave we encounter. It’s supposed to be steady and sure according to our complete trust in Jesus.

Can you imagine the outcome for us if Jesus had had faith like us? I shudder to consider it.

Lets return to Habakkuk and see how he handled the whole situation coming apart at the scenes scenario.

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord , I will joy in the God of my salvation.  The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
Habakkuk 3:18‭-‬19 KJV

He rejoiced.

What, is he crazy? Did he lose his mind? You mean he didn’t rail against God and ask Him why are you doing this? Don’t you care we are perishing, we are hungry, we are naked and we have nowhere to rest? Hey God have you forgotten us?

Isn’t that what we do most of the time?

No you see Habakkuk rejoiced and had joy, yep joy in the God of his salvation. Why is that? It is because Habakkuk had the kind of faith that wasn’t subjective to his circumstances. He walked with complete trust and reliance upon God. He wasn’t moved by what he saw, felt or experienced. He moved by faith alone in God alone.

This guy had a relationship with his God and sink or swim you could not move him.

Can you say that about your walk with Christ?

Consider Job, poor guy went through stuff none of us ever will. Can you say as Job said, “Even if God should slay me, I will trust in Him”.

If you cannot say that may I suggest to you that your faith is subjective at best and non-existent at the least.

Jesus said that He came that we might have life and that more abundantly. So what is the problem?

The problem is that we don’t find Jesus trustworthy

Ouch, that really hits me square in the face.

Do I find Jesus trustworthy?

More often than not I have to say no. If I found Him to be trustworthy I would be at complete rest. I would not abandoned Him to the rolling tide of my emotion. I would have unwavering peace.

If I found Jesus to be worthy of my trust I would relinquish complete and utter control to His unwavering love for me.

What a faith to have. I won’t beat you up or myself because this is a lesson even Jesus closest disciples struggled with.

I will urge you to stretch your faith a little farther. Sink your toes a little deeper in His love and eventually we both will find that place of unwavering faith.

I’m going to leave you with a couple more verses and I hope over the coming days that you will meditate on them and change your faith. At the very least make strides forward.

Ask the Lord, He will help you. I know I’m doing inventory myself because I don’t have that faith He’s looking for when He returns.  You and I can do this together and we can become the people of true faith He’s called us to be.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 KJV

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

God bless and if I can help in any way let me know.

I’m hid with Christ,
Shawn

Journey

So excited to be starting a new journey this year. I’m not making any resolutions or goals. I am trusting the Lord to lead us as He wills. My family will be starting a new journey through “The Forgotten Way” by author Ted Dekker. It’s going to be so much fun as the Father reveals His heart and we answer the call. To all my Dear friends “Merry Christmas” revolve to make this year the year you follow Christ in all that you do, think or say. The journey mat be difficult at times but it’s worth the struggle.

As much as lies within you be at peace with all men…

Look up continually, pray unceasingly and love abundantly…

I’m hid with Christ!
Shawn

“Whose Life Matters?”

As I sit here days in the aftermath of all that’s occurred. There is a question burning in my heart that is lit like the flames of hell. A question that should never be asked much less spoken in a land where we have such plenty yet lack such love.

It’s a question I hate to the very core of my being, not because of its answer, because it should never have to be asked of civilized people. Yet here I am pondering it over and over in my mind weary from its pointless madness.

I’d like to share my burden with you and ask you, “Whose life matters?”

In the wake of all the recent tragedy one must ask themselves what is at the very root of all this madness and what causes such a question to be at the very root of the turmoil?

What dormant seed has lain within the soil of America and finally is rearing its ugly head?

Sure there have been racial divides longer than I have been alive. There has been anger and death on both sides of the aisle. Bigotry, racism and just plain old meaness for as long as I can remember.

This however is different. This is something that is awakening and it’s frightening. This will set us further back than even Dr. Martin Luther King feared.

This is stronger and more powerful than even death itself could be.

This is a world strangled by fear and choked by violence no longer able to live as before. We have become something we were never created to be. We have sadly become animalistic in our need to survive

By sheer instinct every race, culture and ethnicity is now fueled by the need to survive.

When this occurs the moral, civil and basic needs of society begin to unravel at the seams. Every man for himself/herself.

Adrenaline constantly pumping, suspicion always the first assumption and survival the only instinct before thought. This makes a bread basket of death, destruction and decline to every society caught within its grip.

Whose life really matters then? A certain color of skin, a certain race of people? No, the only life that matters is mine or yours. Your need for survival and my need for survival make us enemies regardless of the color of our skin or the race we belong to.

The tragedy is not only are people losing their lives in this race for survival if we don’t wake up to the conditioning we too will be caught in the trap. The chaos and madness will become the norm and the America we once knew no more.

Look at the horrifying results of the root beginning to shape our culture. Look at the tragedy our children, grandchildren will one day assume is normal societal behavior. All because we have allowed this to continue.

The men shot by police officers, the police officers as well, the families of both sides, they all died that day. These lives will never be the same and neither will ours.

 The concussion that came from those shots fired were heard around the world and every single person was hit in the heart by the projectile.

The sniper on the roof, the police officers on the ground, people running for their lives, some struggling to keep their children out of harms way. These were families, they have lives, they had/have purpose on the earth.

The chaos,the confusion, the echoes of the snipers rounds are still being heard today. Once again we’ve all been hit with another piece of projectile straight in the heart.

Do you know what happens when you keep getting wounded over and over in the same spot. The skin eventually hardens like leather making each new wound increasingly more difficult.

This is what is happening we are getting hit over and over again and instead of people stopping the madness. We dial our compassion down a little more each time. Pretty soon we won’t even be a resemblance of what we should be.

 America the beautiful will become America the desolate.

We are not created solely to survive. Nor are we created just to tolerate other people. We are created first to love God and then love people. Jesus said no-one would hardly die for another, except maybe a friend. Yet, He called us to lay down our lives for His sake just as He did for us. He told us to bear each other’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Driving out the root with love will conquer even the greatest of enemies.

How are we going to kill this bitter root rearing its ugly head? We will kill it only with genuine, true love for each other. Not fake it until you make it love.

Real love that reaches across aisles, sails across borders, tears down walls and builds foundations of peace, respect and dignity for all people.

We were all made by the hand of God Himself out of the very dust of the earth. We are uniquely His in every way. The only creation to bear His image, His unique signature.

My fellow Christians, I beg of you, stop the rhetoric dialogue and reach across the aisle. Mend the broken pathways, restore peace to all. Spend your time making brothers and sisters and so fulfill Christ law.

Return to a time when thought is the first thing you do and survival the very last. Stop lashing out and be the evidence of change you keep talking about.

In the end all lives matter. That is the true answer. Until we see that we will continue to be divided and manipulated until the point of extinction.

If you want it to be different then do something different. You can only change the status quo by being an individual. It’s time we stop responding in hate, lashing out with angry words. 

Can we not see what it is doing to our children and grandchildren? Effectively and efficiently we are killing their hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow, a brighter future. Is this what we really want? 

I will ask you one more time, “Whose life matters?” 

Reflect deeply, love strongly and let your hate be buried in the dust of broken dreams and empty promises. Rise to the occasion and make the America we love beautiful again. A land of the free and the home of the brave…

I’m hid with Christ,
Shawn

Past the Point (when illness doesn’t have a name)

4987a-committmentThe point of no return often starts at the moment of lost hope

What can I can say, the last month’s I have been living in a nightmare. Endless days of pain unbearable wavering on feverish dreams of rest.

What do you do when your life unravels at the seams and there seems to be no thread able to hold you up?

The point I’m in at the moment seems more worthy of a Dean Koontz novel and the victim here is the life I once had and the cure is just out of reach.

I’m no stranger to trouble I’ve had my share and I’ve held tenaciously to hope even against all odds.

This time it seems so different, so finite that I hold my breath only to release it in pent up frustration and despair.

Endless doctors, specialist and more have taken a look at me and pass me off as if I was a bad choice of dinner for their day.

I want to scream, to cry, to laugh like an idiot because it all seems so surreal. I keep wondering if I’m ever going to wake up. Surely this is just a dream within a dream.

Plodding through days and night like a steady soldier ready for battle, longing for sleep I march onward in hopes that this will be the day. The day I’ve long waited for that will end this nightmarish hell I’ve been forced to live in for so very long.

I know it sounds whiny and I’m not trying to be at all.

I’m just tired. Tired of being in pain, tired of nights with no sleep. Tired of endless doctors shooing me onward with little to no effort to get to know me or hear my story.

Surely if only they knew I have a life somewhere, a family I desperately want to be involved in and a job I need to keep my family sustained. Surely if they knew they would listen.

I know if I treated my job and colleagues like they do potential patients I would be jobless and my butt living under a bridge.

I’m past the point of listening to the same tired and rehearsed speech over and over.

I never knew doctors had gotten so smart nowadays that just a five minute glance and they know unequivocally I’m not sick.

What a profession.

Of course they aren’t hobbling from point a to b nor are they crying when they take a shower because the pain is so intense you can’t even breathe.

If that isn’t enough they add insult to injury by putting on my records I am a male. Excuse me if you had looked at me when you spoke you wouldn’t have called me a male.

Not only are they insulting my intelligence by talking down too me they are insulting my appearance by calling me a male.

If this sounds like a bitter diatribe I suppose it certainly is.

Writing is the one and only way to release the frustration that has taken residence in my battered body and wounded heart.

Do any doctors care anymore? Has this society  become so challenged and charged physically we’ve been relegated to the never ending referral list of obscure illnesses?

Please let me know because it feels anything but obscure too me.

I too have a job and I too am responsible for people and their paychecks. If I fail in my job I cost a colleague a paycheck or my company the payment owed by the client.

I take my job very seriously because I actually care about my colleagues and I care about my company.

It’s too bad that doctors waste so much money on education because somewhere most of them have lost their heart and their compassion along with it.

Me, I just want to get back to the life I know how to live. The one where I’m involved not drugged up waiting on that ephinany to hit some doctor square between the eyes that maybe just maybe I’m telling the truth.

I’m not an isolated case for sure. There are countless others who wake up in the same living hell I endure on a day to day basis. Lives of precious people who just want answers not a pharmacy full of meds used to treat a symptom that the doctor in unwilling to find a cause for.

I wish I could say I was walking this out by faith, clinging to God in trusting abandon but I cannot lie. I’m full of doubt, fear beyond breathtaking and tired more than any other trial I’ve endured so far.

Its not that I think God is not faithful or able I know He is. The deal is that after awhile you wonder if God knows where you are and the struggle you face.

Deep down I know He loves me and He cares about me but is it one of those parenting things that you have to watch your child suffer knowing you can’t intervene?

I have friends and family all praying for me which is beyond humbling. I’m so grateful for their endurance with me in this race. At this point I’m willing to just crawl over the finish line if this madness will end when I do.

imageI don’t mean as in taking my life I mean as in just getting the race over with so I can live again. How I get to the finish line at this point is irrelevant. Somebody just cross the line already.

Can one doctor, just one doctor please sit long enough and have enough compassion to seek out the answer no matter how hard it may be? Will one doctor please just care for once?

My cousin who is a doctor herself has been trying to get someone to listen. She feels the burn everytime I’m not getting the help I need. If only she could be my doctor and she had the answer I would be on my way to recovering.

I feel hopeless and I don’t like feeling hopeless especially when I know God is so very good and Jesus is so very near. Especially when I know His abundant grace towards me and the unending support as a Father He gives.

If only!

Sigh…

I’m hid with Christ!
Shawn

Writers Imagination

How do I feel after months of not writing anything? How does it feel to be trapped so very long within the illusions of my overactive imagination?

Lost and small within the limitless void of possibilities. Trapped within the rip tides of an endless supply of words. Nouns, pronouns, verbs and more line up in twisted and bending sentence structures crashing through my brain like the caustic sands shifting beneath my unsteady feet.

Do I wade in and catch the roll of the sneaky and overwhelming tide hoping that maybe just maybe all those words will come together as one in a beautiful display of prose or a fascinating story plot line full of suspense, mystery and thrills?

Do I wait, just as I have many times before while opportunity slips through my fingers like sand in a sieve pulling the tides back out to the vast oceans beyond?

Oh to be a writer, to share with you the words that haunt me, thrill me and exhilarate me. That send my thoughts soaring high above with the birds over the clear blue oceans below. That dive deep within the murky depths in search of its next unsuspecting prey.

To take you soaring through the breezes of my unfettered imagination that runs wild and free like the mustang stallion and his brood on the vast wilderness plains.

Just to capture the moments that forever take my breath away causing me to gulp in great gasping waves of tortured delight all at the exact same time.

If I could just convey the depths of my heart and make you feel even the tiniest pings of my emotions whether good or bad, I’m absolutely certain I would have fulfilled my lifelong dream to become a writer, a creator of words that express the hidden emotions of the soul.

Yet, as the clock silently ticks away, I realize I’ve wasted another precious day overthinking the possibilities and bemoaning the lost slips of time lost forever.

You, who surely would be my most cherished reader and friend have once more been slighted by words I cannot begin to say and feelings I cannot possibly express.

Forgive me this intrusion into your world as I leave you now to take solitude in my own lively mind once more.

Words, words, words continuously echoing off the caverns of my self absorbed mind and bruising my ever weary heart.

Listen, can you hear it?

Watch, can you see it?

Stop, did you feel that?

Mhmm, can you smell that?

I’m sorry to cut you off so abruptly, so quickly but I need to go now. I know it seems rude when I’ve spent all this time trying to capture your attention. You see, I really cannot delay, I cannot afford to wait another second or I will lose that priceless thought, that glorious vision, that vivid emotion and surely that wonderful smell.

I’ve enjoyed the pleasure of your company immensely. Please do have this walk with me again, another day. I must bid you farewell so that I can write that down and that, and that…

I think I finally feel a story coming on…

Stay tuned!