You’ve likely read books, seen movies and heard songs all about an extraordinary thing called faith. The Bible tells us that ‘faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.’ (Hebrews 11:1)
Our faith in the Creator carries substance; it evidences itself in a multitude of ways, in our very ordinary lives.
Perhaps you are similar to me and you love to read narratives of people who have lived life BIG for God – in whatever way that may be. You may love to hear about miracles and unbelievable provision, salvations, Godly business success stories and the like.
These sorts of testimonies spark a childlike awe within us that gets our spiritual salivatory glands hungry for our faith to grow...
And when it does; it expands three dimensionally.
Faith enlarges in depth, digging into the tender soil of our guarded hearts. It gently clears away the agitated, rocky ground and pulls out tangles of weeds making way for a new solid foundation.
Faith spreads in width, brilliantly flinging wide every door in the house, and, if we’ll allow it, throws away our ‘Do not disturb’ signs for good.
Having filled us to the brim, faith expands in length. It opens up the gate, invites in the next-door neighbour and lets the overflow of its ministry splash out of open windows in melodies of sweet laughter.
What about faith in my life?
So, most of us are very normal people, and were wondering ‘what does faith look like in my ordinary life, and, how can I grow it?’
That is a question that I came across when I came home from YWAM (Youth With a Mission – a missional organisation which focuses on knowing God and making Him known).
At YWAM I was constantly being challenged to grow in my faith and put in challenging situations which demanded that I do so.
Coming home to ‘normal life,’ I had some preconceptions about what my faith walk with God would look like – what my life would look like. Arriving back in Australia revealed that I was pretty far off the mark, so like many others, with regards to faith in the ‘real world’ I was at a bit of a loss.
What’s in the word?
Let me define what I mean by faith.
When I refer to faith, I mean our living, breathing relationship with God. The hope we place in Him for the love, joy and peace that are our inheritance. I include every element of hearing from Him, trusting for miracles, letting Him teach us and then learning to translate everything that we’ve learnt to those saved and unsaved around us.
Expectations vs reality
In my naivety I thought that I was going to be not far from perfect when I came home from YWAM. Although I knew I was by no means ‘finished’ yet, I thought that I wouldn’t be tempted by the same old sin that I had struggled with before YWAM.
I thought that I was just going to be super tidy and not at all passive, and of course be 100% perfect at relationships.
I suppose I had hoped that I would have perfected myself enough to not need the grace of God.
Don’t we all get like that sometimes?
Every day grace... every day
In reality, it turned out that I would still really need God’s grace, and the truth is, in our ordinary everyday lives; we all do.
And hence God taught me that He loved me and will always choose to pursue me regardless of my actions.
Sometimes it takes a double measure of bold faith to believe that we will never be able to clean ourselves up enough to deserve God’s grace. If we were, then it wouldn’t be grace after all.
Everyday faith is much messier than we sometimes like. We tend to trip up as often as the little girl dancing with a pink feather boa longer than she is. But the result is a beautiful expression of heart and the Father looks on lovingly, and oh boy is He proud of His daughter.
Where the cultivation takes place
I have found that faith amongst the mundane, is actually quite wonderful.
Cultivating my relationship with God at home has taken routine; having my set time everyday for quiet time with God and reading the Bible... It’s not glamourous, I usually sit on my bed, still in my pyjamas and just see what happens.
Often times I find the Bible really interesting and revelations jump off the page, other times I get bored. Either way it gives life to my being, so I just keep showing up.
This practice, along with praying and trying my best to live a Godly life, has actually impacted me in a very profound way. I have naturally grown, God has opened doorways for me to reach out to others, and my days have been much more filled with life than I have experienced in a very long time.
Faith in an ordinary world
I believe that faith in ordinary life is actually a whole lot more extraordinary than I once thought. It’s also a lot more messy, but the realness delights me.
God wants to expand, enlarge and grow our faith right where we are. He wants to meet us with the kiss of life and saturate us in His presence until we can’t help but drip that presence onto the ordinary people living their ordinary lives all around us.
Lucy Miles can often be found singing or dancing her way through any one particular moment. Such joyous expression is brought forth from her love of the Lord, learning and people. She currently lives in Australia and has applied for a Ministry and Leadership Development School with Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Switzerland and is excited to see where life will take her.