Do you ever wonder if God's tired of you or has grown annoyed with your prayers? Like you've exhausted His patience and should've reached a certain level of spiritual maturity by now? Today our guest Julie Arduini shares her thoughts and experiences on what she's termed "add on faith."
God's Open Invitation (Without an Add-on Clause)
by Julie Arduini
It was a circular, red birdfeeder and the answer to my search. I wanted something near my office to watch as visiting birds often entertain and inspire. I placed the item in my virtual shopping cart and clicked the box that announced my purchase was complete. A message popped up on my screen.
This is an Add-On item.
If you shop Amazon, chances are you’ve come across an item listed as an add-on. It means they won’t place it in the shopping cart until you’ve spent a certain amount of money. Once you hit that mark, then they will take action.
I saw the phrase add-on this week apart from Amazon, and I thought of God’s approach with us. I’ve recently battled fear and anxiety for the future. I doubt this is a coincidence given the theme of my book is surrendering one’s dreams for God’s plans.
This year we’ve faced transition with our kids, and although I know God’s promises for them, I want to handle the job losses, relationship bumps, school miscommunications and bullying. To see a glimpse of what’s next for them. I’ve fought prayerfully for their futures, and for peace.
Experiencing peace has been a battle. And a choice. I’ve been like a toddler trying to share a toy with a friend. I hand it over, then take it back. And repeat. I beg for answers and justice. Cry when I see loved ones hurting. Then, I hear a sermon or a song, or I read a devotional that talks about fear versus faith, and then my peace returns.
I ask for forgiveness for the times I want to take justice into my hands, and when issues aren’t resolved in my time and way.
What if God shook His head and told me I needed to reach a bigger level of believing Him before He’d respond? What if He said He couldn’t complete my prayer transaction because I didn’t do enough for His heavenly cart?
My heart hurts to even think about it.
I rejoice, because Christ didn’t die for add-on faith. Because of Christ’s work on the cross, we can come to Him completely broken. Desperate. Completely hanging by a thread of faith that He might hear and answer. And God’s there.
Add-on might be a strategy for Amazon, but it’s a lie from the pit of hell when it comes to prayer and accessing God’s power through Christ. (Eph. 1:19-20) I resisted accepting Christ into my life for years because I thought God was mad at me. That I didn’t bring enough to the proverbial table. I was right about the latter, but the image in my head was wrong. God’s arms weren’t closed, and He wasn’t shaking His head at me. His arms are wide open, ready to receive. Every time. Even if it’s the same request, 1000 days in a row.
I definitely want victory over fear and to choose peace in this turbulent season. What a blessing that, no matter what our struggle, we have His love and attention. Even when I take a step back in my journey, God’s still there, waiting for me to call on Him.
He’s waiting for you, too.
Is there a struggle you’ve had where you approached it like add-on faith?
Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. The last book in the series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, is coming soon. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
Entangled: Surrendering the Past, is her latest release. It's book #2, Surrendering Time Series.
Back Cover Copy:
“You need to leave me alone. It’s the least you can do.”
Carla Rowling has been given her dream of attending cosmetology school. The gift is so generous she feels unworthy because of choices she made as a teen. The pressure mounts as Carla juggles school, is a single mom, helps her best friend Jenna plan her wedding, spends time with boyfriend Will Marshall, and deals with the fact that her son's father is back in their lives.
Will Marshall is the one Speculator Falls resident everyone can count on. His truck deliveries are reliable. He's the first to help friends like Ben Regan with boat work or be a card partner with Bart Davis. Will's ready to settle down with Carla, loving her is natural. He's bonded with her son, Noah. But when Carla starts cosmetology school, she puts emotional distance between her and Will.
Can Carla release her past and create a future full of highlights, or, will she burn her options worse than a bad perm?
Although Entangled can standalone, if you’d like to read Entrusted: Surrendering the Present first, click here: https://www.amazon.com/Entrusted-Surrendering-Present-Time/dp/0692709177/
Let's talk about this! It brings me such comfort to know God is always with me, always listening, and always welcoming me into His presence with open arms. This begs the question: How often do I accept the invitation? Or, do I shy away, because I feel inadequate or like I've prayed for help in a certain area more than it seems I should?
What about you? Have you approached a problem or struggle as if God expected you to have an "add on faith?" What thoughts or feelings arose as you read Julie's post? How do you feel knowing God "bends His ear" to listen? Do you take advantage of that? Join the discussion on our Facebook page because we can all learn from and encourage one another!