Growing Your Faith

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Do you doubt God?

How do you grow deeper faith?

How do you Notice God?

 There is nothing wrong with doubting God. Uncertainty is part of the Christian walk, but doubt can grow if you get stuck there. 


My doubt was sometimes the result of specific expectations of God or impatience with how seemingly slow he brings healing or needed change. It has been my experience that God never works on my time table, or in the specific way I envisioned. This fact has, in the past, stopped me from seeing God at work. 


Being too busy also has stopped me from seeing God at work. When I am frantically busy sometimes I don't even notice the dogs need food, so why do I expect I will notice the soft whisper of God. 


Finally, my doubt grows when I don't take time to remember what God has done in the past. It is the same with any relationship we have. If we concentrate on the good, our love for our spouse or children grows. If we rehash their flaws we nurse the agitation. Remembering what God has done in the past shores up our faith because it is like remembering the amazing amount of good he has done in our lives!!

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How do you Notice God?

How do you grow deeper faith?

How do you Notice God?

When you read the Bible there are a whole lot of stories about God interacting with humans. Jonah, Elijah, Ester, Elizabeth: their prayers seemed personal and powerful. Does God still listen, speak, and stop the rain when a holy person prays? Let me assure you that he is listening to our prayers, he is speaking to us, and he is working in our lives and world.


Prayer is just a holier word for communicating with God. When I wasn't experiencing God a lot, I realized part of the problem was with how I was praying. Before I learned about contemplative prayer my prayers were simply a  honey-do-list for God. I was always yapping and not leaving any time for him to reply.  


Hearing from God is a bit different than talking to a friend, but it has, all the common elements. As in any communication it can be helped by simply getting good tools of communication, taking the time to actually do it, and opening your heart. As I said before, prayer is communicating with God. In that communication I include talking to, listening, and just being with. In any healthy friendship, sometimes you are the speaker, sometimes you are the listener, and sometimes you just want to hang out. When was the last time you just listened to God? or just enjoyed His presence. For most people the speaker comes easy, but the rest takes disciple. Contemplative prayer practices can help. 

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How do you grow deeper faith?

How do you grow deeper faith?

How do you grow deeper faith?

As a Christian almost since birth, I struggled with being honest about what I believed and what I didn't. There was little room for open struggle and forthright conversations at home or in the church. Honestly, I would often pretend to agree with others in Bible studies or not allow myself to question long professed tenets. The problem with pretense is you spend so much energy pretending that you often can't get to the real beliefs underneath. It was only in accepting where I truly was in my faith, that my faith began to grow.  A lot of this work happened through the help of spiritual direction. 


Spiritual direction gave me that space to talk things out with another. Openly. Honestly. Vulnerably. And they heard what I said and accepted me right where I was. Through this experience I began to realize that God also accepted me and my faith right where I was - there was no threat of hell weighing over my head making me need to figure it out quickly. God instead was everyday calling me into a closer relationship and welcoming any new breakthroughs with the same excitement a parent does the first time their child walks.  


The term for this line of work is strange: Spiritual Direction. It seems to mean, by the combination of the words, to direct people spiritual, which of course only God can do. In reality it is more deep listening, asking questions, listening for God's direction, and helping people learn how to discern God's voice and grow a deeper and more solid faith. 


I have been seeing a Spiritual Director for two years now and am currently receiving training to practice spiritual direction. I never knew what Spiritual Direction was before, but now that I've see the many rich blessings, receiving it will be a life long practice.