Messy, dirty faith… the kind that pleases God, isn’t displayed like the beautiful china in your china cabinet. Rather it looks like the well used, messy workshop of a master mechanic.
Rather filthy, though somewhat organized, and definitely not the kind of place you’d invite your mother for tea.
This is faith, tested and understood. Faith that has lasted long enough to know what type of trial awaits and how to navigate the storm.
God’s Messy Dirty Faith Club
A quick look at God’s Raw, Messy Dirty Faith Club includes men and women who struggled with real sweat, blisters, trauma, dirt, slander, drama, and promises given them by God, yet never fulfilled during their lifetime.
Ordinary people who suffered financial hardship, rejection, physical abuse, and loneliness. People who gave up their lives in the service of the King of Kings.
All because they were willing to spend their time following the One who called them by name and promised them a forever home.
This kind of faith doesn’t come easy…
We often casually declare that God will give us the grace we need when hard times come. We say that because it freaks us out to think about actually having to develop the faith-muscles needed to survive life’s coming trials and storms.
But strong faith (the kind that keeps you from imploding or self-destructing during the difficult and stressful seasons of life) isn’t handed out by God like free cookies at a bake sale. Instead, it’s matured, strengthened, and refined over much time and through thousands of small, daily choices to trust Him. -Jeff Kinley in “As It Was In the Days Of Noah”
How to join this faith club
You’ve been sent an invitation to join God’s Messy, Dirty Faith Club. If you choose to accept, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Learn God’s Word well. People with raw, dirty faith know where to grab assurance, validation, and hope from the worn pages of their Bible and apply those Scriptures to whatever ugly life situation they are facing at any given moment.
- Learn to face big challenges with the same trust in God’s presence and peace that you do with small challenges.
- Don’t look for public recognition. Live only to please the Father.
- Remind yourself often that following God’s direction isn’t necessarily fun, safe, or easy. But the rewards are eternal.
- Get used to being rejected, misunderstood, and misrepresented. These are all part of the faith package you signed up for.
For those of you who already are a part of God’s Messy, Dirty Faith Club, look over your faith journey.
Don’t ignore the mess and dirt. Be proud of it.
You’ve grown, learned, and you continue to develop strong faith muscles.
You’re ready to face new challenges.
Eventually, in eternity future, I’ll look forward to seeing your name posted in God’s Faith Club Hall of Fame.
For now, don’t forget to journal your messy, dirty faith… someday someone will need the notes you’ve left them as they navigate their own journey.
Getting messy with you,
P.S. Who do you know that would be encouraged by this post? Pass it on.
This Post Has 8 Comments
Powerful and truthful words! Very inspiring! Things are messy out there…. especially in our owns lives! Great reminder to press in more and more to God and his word!
Encouraging and powerfully true words. 🙂
So thankful you found them encouraging, Vitoria. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note. 🙂
Hi Clare, “pressing in to God’ is spot on. ! I’m with you there!
I know a good many folks who really need to hear this message. One of my biggest struggles as a Christian in my church has been encountering the kinds of people who believe that faith isn’t messy; that if you’re faithful, if you have a strong faith, and you follow God, hardship should not befall you, nor should illness, struggles etc.
It took a long time for me to be able to overcome that fear that they were right, and the illness and hardships in my life were not a punishment for lack of faith, or Satan being able to attack me because my faith wasn’t big enough. God’s promise for true joy in our lives is not a promise of prosperity, of good health, or of worldly things going well. It’s a promise that even in the midst of darkness and hurt, he is there, giving us an unexplainable joy, and helping us to carry through.
That idea that faith can’t be messy, can’t be dirty, can’t be a struggle nearly destroyed me, until God fully opened my eyes. Faith is always messy. We live in a world that is not of God anymore; serving God in a world that is against him will always be messy. Life is messy. But God’s promise reminds us that the mess is something worth fighting through, even if we won’t see that promise fulfilled ourselves.
You’ve hit upon a common Christian myth, Tabitha. Jesus had great faith, obviously, yet He encountered great hardship. So did John and the other disciples. Why believers tend to think that strong faith and hardship don’t go together is beyond me.
“Serving God in a world that is against Him will always be messy” is so true, and sometimes the promises we fight for won’t be seen in our lifetime.
Those promises are often for our children and grandchildren to inherit. God promised my mother that my brother would be saved, but she didn’t see this fulfilled in her lifetime. Now my sisters and I have picked up where she left off and continue to remind the Lord of His promise to save my brother.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They’re gold. 🙂
How many times have I reflected on the messy faith I witnessed in both you and Tom? Your examples of faith have encouraged me to yet again dig into the word, thank God for His goodness and carry on. Your are so right, our faith isn’t a shiny and new display to show off but a well worn Bible that may have a page or two flutter to the ground while reading. What falls out? The underlined and highlighted go to scriptures, Psalms 103, the gospel of John, Colossians, Corinthians, Philippians 4 telling me to meditate on what is good, Zeph 3:17 and so many more. I need the solid foundation of the Word to stand on when the trials come. And that foundation must be well worn, tested and aged. It is splattered with tears and a few drops of coffee. It tells me and keeps reminding me of who I am and that I am loved completely. It counsels me, guides me, encourages me, and fulfills me. Again I thank you and Tom for your mentorship, your guidance and love.
Love you, Francie. You have been through so much and stand in the ring with those listed in Hebrews. I’m not only proud of you, but know you as one of my heroes.