Thursday, September 26, 2013

Filibuster Faith

By Brenda Black

The word of the week: Filibuster -- An effort to prevent action in a legislature by making a long speech or series of speeches (Merriam-Webster). The Senate glossary defines it as "any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions." Others say it can also be one member's effort to get word out and educate people without intending to specifically stop legislation. All I can say is it takes a lot of wind and words and the ability to stand!

Oh that we would have a filibuster faith to stand before God and speak to the heavens without ceasing! That we would appeal to the Almighty for action rather than hindering it with our silent indifference. With wind and words and heart stirred, we are called to pray as persistently!

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: 'In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea,”Grant me justice against my adversary.”

“'For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, “Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!”'

“And the Lord said, 'Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?'” (Luke 18:1-8)

If Christ asked it in the first century, how much more important that we ask it again, all these years later: “Will he find faith on earth?” We are called to pray. But we are also called to action, not to just provide lip service. Faith comes with a filibuster tenacity to stand for the long haul and speak the truth. It also demands engagement.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22) “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead...Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do...As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2:14-17, 18b, 26)

Pray without ceasing. Go into all the world. Love your neighbor. Pursue peace. Be holy. Forgive one another. Speak the truth. Lay down your life. Turn from sin. Hunger and thirst for righteousness. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord. Be joyful, patient, kind. Repent. Encourage each other.

The list goes on and on and on. It would take more than 21 hours and 19 minutes to itemize God's calls to action. And it's going to take a lifetime to demonstrate them! Filibuster faith is not about delaying an outcome, it's about fulfilling the call. Filibuster faith is endurance and purpose. When we walk in such persistence, the process is more about changing us than it is about altering the end result.

God isn't looking for long-winded delayers, He's waiting for faith-filled, consistent pray-ers. The Lord wants His people to stand for truth and speak it and act upon it!

 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-14)

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