Until recently I thought of faith as an exercise in will—if I choose to believe and then act as if I believe and pray to believe, then I will believe. But in truth, that is a rather egocentric view of faith. If I believe scripture, then I was chosen by God to believe, rather than the other way around. In a sense I’m still hanging on to my will, my ego, when I say that my choosing to believe makes it so, for it was God’s will—not mine—that put the choosing on my heart.
I was a little Catholic girl and was baptized as an infant. I sort of always believed in God—more from a distance than in a personal way. Several years ago I was visiting my son in
and we went his Acts 29 church there. The pastor was preaching from Ephesians. He said that we are not saved by good works, but by faith. What?!! Then why had I been so concerned about good works, why had I been doing all that rote prayer for so many years, thinking I was solely responsible for praying myself and everyone else into heaven? The pastor said that we should take that knowledge—that by grace we have been saved because Jesus has already atoned for our sins—and have fun, be joyful. It was a huge revelation to me. I had always felt that I would never be good enough to merit salvation. And then, right there in scripture, in God’s own words, I could see that I was off the hook. I realized that I needed to pay attention to scripture and understand what God was telling us directly, not to rely on someone else’s interpretation. I realized it was not my job to earn salvation, that I didn’t have to be perfect, that all I had to do was to believe in Him and act accordingly. Seattle
I chose to know God directly and personally. I chose the joyful route.