Wishful Thinking or Faith?

Written by Les Dahl on October 25th, 2014. Posted in Peace, Sage's Scroll, Uncategorized

Prayer by stockimages

 

What is the difference between faith and wishful thinking?

The dictionary defines faith as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something”. Wishful thinking is “feeling or expressing strong desire or hope for something not easily attainable”.

The difference?

Complete trust and confidence vs feeling and strong desire.

But, isn't feeling and strong desire part of faith?

Most certainly!

Sadly, 'religion' conditions us to exercise faith devoid of feeling and strong desire. Jesus referred to that when He said, “You worship Me with your lips, but your heart is far from Me”. (Mark 7:6 paraphrased) Our heart is not in it! Neither feeling nor strong feeling is attached.

Another difference. Wishful thinking sees the object of desire as something not easily attainable. Faith sees the same object with complete confidence, even though, in fact, it may be not easily attainable. Faith, however, dispels limiting beliefs lurking in the inner recesses of the heart, replacing them with complete trust.

How do we transition from wishful thinking which leaves us with unfulfilled pipe dreams to faith which moves mountains?

An important key is prophetic act--a simple action that seeds our mind and heart with confidence that grows, as we nurture it, into the manifestation of the very thing for which we hope.

The following story illustrates.

A severe drought held a small town in a stranglehold. Prayers were lifted toward heaven in hope of rain, but the heavens remained brass.

At a meeting of pastors and lay leaders, an elderly saint announced, “Two things prevent the answer to our prayers, faith and unity. We must urge our congregations to believe. United and sincere, our prayers will be answered.”

The elderly pastor proposed a date at which all the believers in the community would gather for united prayer. “I assure you,” he continued, “if we come together in faith and unity, no one will leave that prayer meeting without getting drenched!”

For the next weeks, sermons, Bible studies and prayer meetings throughout the community focussed on faith and unity.

On the designated day, believers from every denomination gathered on the community field for the special prayer meeting. Anxious faces, haggard from the affects of unbearable drought, turned to the podium as the service commenced.

Anticipation mounted as the elderly pastor rose to address the crowd. His eyes slowly scanned the men, women and children standing before him. A hush settled upon the multitude.

The sage's countenance fell; he shook his head in dismay. “This will never work,” he muttered. “The rain will not come.”

The stunned crowd watched him turn and slowly leave the stage. In shock, the chairman of the meeting questioned, “But brother, don't you see all are here united in purpose?”

“No,” sighed the seasoned saint, “It is true, they have all come hoping for the rain; but as I survey the crowd, not one has even brought a raincoat.”

A simple prophetic act initiates the process whereby wishful thinking is transformed into faith. Faith is that attitude in which we are “confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 CJB)

Under The Shadow

Written by Les Dahl on October 12th, 2014. Posted in Peace, Sage's Scroll, Uncategorized

ID-100168605

 

document.write(" geneva; font-size: 14px;">Shalom!

Psalm 91 is a signature affirmation of my faith. It aligns my spirit, soul and body with truth that sets me free. 

My morning declaration is: I live in Your shadow, Almighty, and I say, “You are refuge! My fortress! My God! I trust You!” You rescue me from the trap of the hunter and from the plague of calamities; You cover me with Your pinions, and under Your wings I find refuge.(Psalm 91:1-4 paraphrased)

My challenge is to actually believe this truth and then conduct myself as though I truly believe!

Jews around Buczacz in western Ukraine hid the forests to escape Nazi extermination. Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Horowitz gives this personal account: “The tramp of the storm troopers came suddenly to our ears. I was sitting with my son Shmuel in our Sukkah in the midst of the forest. All the Jews, who were with us, hurried out and escaped to their hiding places. We two, however, could not do this, since our hideout was only a little away from the Sukkah, and if we went there we would could easily be tracked and found by our searchers. I decided that we would do best to stay in the Sukkah and leave the rest to HASHEM (Hebrew for 'God').

Circumstances had brought me to such a level of faith as I had never before experienced, and I think I never will again. I said to myself that if HASHEM wished us to be revealed to the enemy and be killed, I was prepared to accept this. I only asked that it not happen here in the Sukkah. What a (testimony) it would be if I could tell my fellow Jews that HASHEM had saved me from death while sitting in the Sukkah! 'Not for my sake, HASHEM', I prayed, 'but do it for Your sake (Psalm 115:1) that Your Name may be sanctified before everyone.' I recited Psalms in a whisper (trusting) divine protection.

Then we saw the evil ones approaching. The thud of their boots came closer and closer. They walked back and forth in front to the Sukkah three times but they did not seem to see anything. It was as if they had been struck blind. We peeked out through the cracks in the Sukkah’s walls. We saw them standing right next to us. We saw every detail of their uniforms, but they could not see the Sukkah. Suddenly one of the evil ones pointed off to the distance, indicating that he spotted something suspicious, perhaps a Jew’s hiding place. Immediately they all set off and disappeared into the forest. We took a deep breath, thanking God for taking us from death to life. Later on others were all wondering where we had been while the thugs were searching the area. When they heard that we had been in the Sukkah, they were astonished, and agreed that a miracle had occurred. Even the scoffers among them admitted that God’s hand had been at work. King David’s words had come true for us: “He will hide me in His Sukkah on the evil day.” (Psalm 27:5)

The shadow of the Almighty is my sukkah and in His Presence I find shalom.

Blessings,

The Sage