Believing in God is not simply standing still and expecting Him to do the work in your life. It’s not passively praying, hoping that He’ll make moves or bring you what you desire. It’s not expectation in the sense that He will give you what you think you want, simply because you want it or because you asked.
Faith is the active belief in a Savior who gave His life for your sins—a belief that is not shaken when prayers aren’t answered or life doesn’t fall according to your plans, a belief that isn’t stuck or static but moves forward in the direction He calls.
Something I personally struggle with in my walk with God is patience. I like to have the answers, I like to know where I’m headed, I like to be in control. And with God, that’s not His desire. Again and again I’ve talked with friends who have told me that when they surrender to God, when they stop trying to shape or change the trajectory of their life—that’s when they experience their Father the most. And so I keep running in circles, trying to make sense of how it feels to let go, to let Him.
But I struggle. So many of us do. It’s our human nature to want to be able to move our lives as we see fit; giving that power to something or someone else feels like we’re losing.
But the truth is that when we surrender to our Father, we don’t lose—we gain.
We gain love, strength, power, hope. We gain the answers to questions, some we didn’t even realize we were asking. We gain the freedom to move forward without the pain of our past holding us back. We gain a new life, a new chance, a new beginning.
As I’m learning how to be patient, how to wait, how to listen to His answers, even when they’re not on my timing, though, I’ve realized that patience doesn’t mean passivity. Just because I’m waiting for God to show me the way doesn’t mean I’m just standing there, hoping something will work out.
For the longest time I thought faith was about stillness, about trusting and letting God move, and don’t get me wrong, it is. But it’s not about doing nothing. True faith is about allowing God to push you in whatever direction He feels is best/is according to His plan, but to be moved, you have to be bold to begin with. You have to take that first step. You have to do something, not just wait for something to happen to you.
The truth about faith is that you’re believing in, trusting in, and abiding by the unseen. However, you can’t expect your life to change if you’re just staying in the same place hoping or praying. These desires, these prayers are beautiful. But if they are not supported by action, they mean far less.
The truth is, if you want something to happen, if you want your faith to deepen, if you want to watch God move in your life—you have to be active. Faith is active.
Nothing is going to happen or change if you’re just ‘hoping’ it will. Nothing will deepen or grow if you’re just stuck in the same place. Faith begins by trust, yes, but there is more to it than that.
Faith is the manifestation of that trust into action.
It is standing there saying, “Yes, God, I surrender” and then actively surrendering, actively changing your behavior, actively surrounding yourself with people and things that will help you fall deeper into a relationship with Him.
In my faith, this has been the hardest thing, and yet the most rewarding. As I’ve learned (and continually learn) how to be patient and trust His plan, I’m simultaneously reminding myself that waiting on the Lord doesn’t mean standing there twiddling my thumbs.
It means pushing myself forward, it means taking the right steps, it means walking in a way that’s aligned to His light looking for the answers. It means continuing, trusting, doing, and actively becoming whom He desires me to be.