In Faith Moments, Odalis Turincio shares her thoughts on living out her faith and how we can grow closer to God. Take a moment to join other members of our community every other Thursday at 8:30A.
Good morning. Hi to everybody who’s joining in. It is Thursday morning, and I’m sure most, if not everybody’s home or in the car. I’m so glad that you’re here for this first of our Faith Moments. These are spaces where we just spend a few minutes together to talk about life, faith, and where’s God in the middle of it. My genuine desire is for all of us to just hear from the Lord in it. One thing I just adore about our community is the diversity of not just people, but of experiences, gifts, and the different facets of the kingdom of God that we all get to be together. There’s a real gift in doing life together. That’s how God created us. That’s part of what we get to do here at this time. Before we do anything else, I would love for us to pray together. If you can pray from your side of the screen, I’ll pray from mine. Then we’ll just get started and spend a couple of minutes with a thought I want to share.
Father, we thank you for this time that we have. I thank you for everyone who has made it here this morning. I thank you for this morning, for the beautiful day. It already seems to be a demonstration of your goodness, of your beauty God, in the creation that you have given us to enjoy and to be good stewards over our lives and this city. Father, we ask for you to be present. Holy Spirit, I ask for you to be here in every exchange that occurs, verbal chat. The internet is in a sense, a gift you gave us to be able to stay connected in this time of physical separation, Lord. We give this time to you and ask for you to have your way with it. We pray these things in Jesus’ name amen.
Faith Moments. Really, where I want it to start on this first one is actually talking about moments. Our lives, we live them from moment to moment, one at a time. Each moment informed by the ones that preceded it. Moments are formed by our experiences, by a minute, an hour, or a day ago. Also by our concerns for the future, by the influences around us, the goals we aspire to. Even some of our limitations like Pastor Terry was teaching us about last night in our midweek service, the gift of weakness. Sometimes we hype ourselves up for moments we’re excited about. Sometimes we just absolutely dread that meeting, conversation, responsibility, or even the deeper, harder things of life.
There’s this habit we have where we relive moments from our past. Things that we just loved that were delightfully good. The harder things that we wish we could just travel back in time to change the outcome of what happened. There’s another layer I want to mention, something a little bit more here and now. That’s that for all the things we experience, everything is affected by our very approach to them. Our perspective in each moment, our understanding of what happens as it happens, deeply affects how we walk from the previous moment into and through the next moment into the next one.
There might be ingrained patterns in our minds. Myself, I’m a bit of a realist, which sometimes means I come out a little pessimistic on the other side of it. Or there’s another side of me that’s less experienced, maybe a little bit more naive. With innocent unawareness of other factors that might be at play. Essentially it’s about how we think about what’s happening in real-time. For Christ-followers, regardless of the predispositions in our souls, our perspectives are deeply influenced by how we do or don’t look for the Lord in each moment.
These days, my heart is moving toward gaining a greater perspective, not just of my life, of those closest to me and gaining a greater understanding of those. But a deeper desire runs through me to have a greater perspective of God at work. Whether it’s when we suffer from an immense difficulty and we wonder how a loving God would allow this thing to happen to us. Or when our work worlds are thrown into chaos and we realize how much our lives depend on not just the structure of a 9 to 5, or a 10 to 6. Also on the stability and the provision that our understanding is while a good father would make sure that doesn’t get affected.
Or, where there’s deep brokenness in us or those we love, and we can’t figure out how to get past it even though we know God is a healer. We’ve had many moments of pain and confusion. Things maybe we think we’d never get over. I know you have, I know I have. Maybe you’re in the middle of one right now. This is what’s so powerful about a Christ perspective. The scriptures teach a lot about this, about how purposeful God is in each moment.
From 2 Corinthians 4, we can read verses 16 to 18. It says, “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we’re wasting away, yet inwardly we’re being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes, not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” These verses press us to have hope in all circumstances because we’re being renewed internally, slowly but surely. This is where I want us to focus. We’re being renewed for purposes that are not just earthly, but eternal. There’s this core lesson, and I found this to be so true in my life, that the more I learn about God, the more my own perspective grows over time and experience over each moment. The more I realize that everything we do affects our spiritual journeys, drawing us closer to God or pulling us away.
When we have an eternal perspective, which is the perspective that Christ had when He walked this earth, when He did the will of the Father, this is how the game changes across the board. It affects everything. I’m not trying to scare anyone, I promise. I’m not trying to be, ‘Oh be careful, everything you do.’ Not even a little bit, we have a gracious and loving Father. Instead, I’m sharing this from a deeply hopeful place that you on the other side of the screen are here listening. Whether it’s now, or later, something about this is going to strike a chord with something God is inviting you deeper into. Something that you’re registering an aspect of your soul that is longing for God.
Like CS Lewis talks about, we all have a God-shaped hole in our hearts, things only He can fill. I live with this push-pull. It’s familiar. If I’m honest, I don’t follow up on it nearly as often as I should. I get wrapped up in momentary distractions, little businesses that take up my attention. Honestly, I excuse them. Things like, ‘Well, I’m just wired that way.’ Or, ‘I’m stressed out.’ Or, ‘I have a bad memory.’ My husband can attest to this, or the excuse, ‘You know, I never learned how to deal with that, no one taught me.’ Or, fill in your own insecurity, your own pain, your own life’s struggle there.
We are being renewed and not to our earthly limited perspectives. Not even the greatest minds of history, the most intelligent, most well-learned, most broad perspectives could grasp the unseen that God is renewing us toward. The eternal that far, far, far, far, far outweighs the struggles, the real struggles that we experience here and now. For how real they are, the eternal, I promise you, the scriptures promise us. Jesus promised us in everything He taught, the eternal is worth contending for.
In this first Faith Moments, my humble desire for all of us, is to walk intentionally with God in ever-increasing moments and in more areas of our lives. Walk with God in those spots where maybe we haven’t brought Him in out of nervousness, discomfort, or sometimes out of just not realizing that’s an area God wants to dig in. I just haven’t thought about it yet. The things we’re walking through are real. The implications affect our seen worlds, but the renewed is also, and maybe more importantly, real toward the unseen. The unseen, that heart set toward eternity work, those deeper things of God, they are so worthwhile. They are worth the difficulty of it, all the pain and all the transformation.
If you’re up for it, we’ll pray this together here, let’s ask God to reveal just one area of our lives, our physical lives, one area of our hearts, our emotional lives, or one area of our minds, our thought lives, where His work and loving hand wants to expand our perspective. Wants to change how we look at one moment or another, for what we know about ourselves, to expand to what God wants to show us about who He’s inviting us to be. Our Creator, our loving Father, who has a wonderfully enriching plan, for His glory and for our lives.
How about we pray together? Let’s pray. Father God, we thank you just for the richness’ of the promise in Your Word. That no matter what we are wasting away from, inwardly we are being renewed, and because of the strength you provide us in our weakest places, we don’t lose heart. God, we thank you that everything we experience is covered in your presence. Or that you are in every moment of us, God, in every struggle and in all the casual things that we experience our regular everyday moments.
Lord, and we bring our hearts toward you in whatever posture of openness looks like for us. God, we bring ourselves towards you and we ask, loving Father, faithful friend, our good savior, would you speak over us? Whether it’s now, later today, or sometime this weekend, would you speak over an area of our lives that you’re inviting us to see things a little differently. Where you’re inviting us to press into you and to hear from you, ‘Hey, what about this? Or maybe have you considered this aspect of the word, spiritual practice, or a deeper relationship?’.
God, I don’t know what it is you’re speaking to each person, but I know that you care about every aspect of their hearts and their lives. Our Father in heaven, would you just turn more of our hearts toward an eternal unseen perspective and help us to live each moment in light of our faith that we have in you Jesus, as our savior. We thank you, God, for moments like these. We thank you for our church and this community, where we can pursue you with all we have. We thank you for your gracious hand, your loving provision, and your strength, which is with us in all moments. We ask for you to help us be more like your Son. We thank you, Jesus. We love you and pray for your glory in our lives. Jesus, we pray these things in your name. Amen.
God bless each of you, I’m so glad you have joined. That’s it for today for this Faith Moment. So, we’ll see you next time, same channel. God bless you.