I started to go to church regularly by my own decision from when I was 14 years old. I was young and very naïve. I had my pre-conceived ideas of God and what it was to believe. However, this frame of mind that I had regarding the things of God was gradually being unpicked, broken down and built again. I saw faith, real faith through testimonies. I watched as people I rubbed shoulders with took part in the same meetings as me and left totally different. They came with a pain, they left pain free. They came looking and feeling burdened, they left on top of the world. It was amazing. I liked this new place. I liked this God I was discovering. I wanted to see this stuff happening in my life. So, I began to change some things; pray the way I saw people praying in faith, talk the same kind of talk that seemed to bring blessings in to other people’s lives. I was going have me some of this power!
As I sat in the congregation one meeting, I listened intently as this woman just had to testify to the power of God in her financial life. She had my attention! The £3 I had left from my £5 a week pocket money was feeling kind of light in my purse, so the prospect of having a blessing of this kind swing my way was very appealing and close to my heart. I was fascinated as she explained how she was frustrated with her situation (me too) and how she couldn’t buy the clothes she wanted (me too!). She was revolted (well now I am too!!) because she remembered that God promised to open the windows of heaven and pour out His blessing therefore she had to do something to show her faith and change the situation. She spoke with confidence as she explained that she made a challenge with God and threw away her purse that to her represented her misery as it never held any money. This was sounding familiar… She determined that her new purse would never lack provision and guess what? It didn’t! She finished up explaining the increases in her income and how happy she was that she used her faith to bring results in this way.
“Right” I said within myself. “Now I know exactly what I’m going to do.” Yep you guessed it. I left that service and immediately threw away my purse too. I was tired (!) of my £5 a week and God was going to bless me with more money too… Bear with me a moment and let’s back to a couple of weeks before when I went to the market with my mum who is giving me pocket money and I spot a purse that I like that won’t “break the bank.” I purchased it being happy that I had most of my pocket money still intact. Now let’s go back to me a few weeks later throwing it away “in faith.” It’s important to consider a few differences between me and this lady who was my inspiration.
- I was fifteen and a student. Too young to work, I earned my pocket money by doing well at school and doing my chores. This lady was a grown woman who had long entered the world of work.
- Though she took this action of faith, what I failed to pick up on is that she had ideas she was yet to execute which she did after throwing away the purse. I however, had not a clue. I threw my purse away and kept going to school.
- Her faith was inspired by the word of God. Mine was fuelled by her.
You see, she used her faith and it worked for her. I tried to use her faith too and got nothing.
There is a proverb that says ‘Do you know the saying, “Drink from your own rain barrel, draw water from your own spring-fed well”? It’s true. Otherwise, you may one day come home and find your barrel empty and your well polluted.’ (Proverbs 5 v15-16 The Message) I was reading this the other day and it reminded me of this situation. Faith is a personal thing. Your personality is unique. Our faith must be our own. There are so many women frustrated in life because they followed the career their parents had faith for. Women who married the guy that everybody else said was their perfect match. What about those old pictures in the closet where you wore the clothes that everybody else said you should wear?!
We cannot put ourselves in the position when our faith relies on somebody else, because, one day that person that person’s faith may run dry. What will you do then? Collapse like them too? Some people are not all they seem, so when you follow them blindly, sometimes you are contaminated by their inner corruption. By the time you realise, it’s too late.
People who do things in faith do it because of who they are, their particular situation and their inspiration. We have to have our own source of faith. Mine is the Word of God. Many times we are inspired by a person’s faith, but we cannot copy it. We have to meditate on it and how it relates to our life. See where it is based on the Word of God (a foundation that will not crumble) and translate the spirit of it to our lives. Faith is giving 100%. If you’re not being yourself, but doing something because others are doing, then you will never give 100% therefore you will never see results. It’s like trying to pay for goods with somebody else’s credit card. It’s fraud. The only thing you stand to gain is criminal record! Have your own mind, your own faith and go for it. Let’s drink water from our well and be satisfied. At least we then know that our success depends on us and that’s what we have to work to maintain. Many things we cannot achieve on our own and that’s why we have to make sure that what we draw from our well is ‘Living Water.’ This comes from God above, but we still draw it from our own well.