It was fascinating for Ruth to watch God work in her life.
She purposed to look out for signs of God’s work as she went about her life. She found that this practice strengthened her faith and belief in God. Trusting God is made a lot easier when you see His work in your life. Seeing God’s work in your life simply means noticing every good thing that happens to you or for you and crediting it to God.
Ruth credited God with everything good she could think of including not falling down if she tripped, remembering something important just at the right moment, things falling into place perfectly, there not being traffic when she was in a hurry to get somewhere and easily finding a parking space at a busy mall.
James 1:17 – 17 Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God, the Creator of the heavenly lights, who does not change or cause darkness by turning.
She met Sam again another time and found that his desire for alcohol was dying out. He was still drinking but occasionally. Ruth started to fit into the clothes she had been wearing before going on medication and putting on weight. She was yet to get to her ideal weight so she continued on her diet and exercise routine.
In her walk with God, Ruth had come to realize that what God has to give her, no man could give her. God gave Ruth a sense of safety and security which she desperately needed in order to make choices in life. Without safety and security, the outcome of any choice that you make would be wholly uncertain. There is no man who can give you safety and security since we are all mortal and nobody knows the future. Only an immortal God who holds the future in His Hands can give safety and security.
Recently, Ruth was battling a challenge to her faith which had come in the form of being fearful that what she believes in is dangerous. The daughter of a good friend of hers committed suicide and then Ruth’s friend had sank herself into the Bible and become almost insane. She was clearly in need of therapy as her grief was destroying her but she insisted that she was fine. Her husband was concerned because she was saying things like she did not need any doctor or medicine for anything because she had figured out how to heal herself. Her sense of reasoning was warped because she paid attention to every little thing that happened around her and came up with an interpretation of what it meant spiritually.
Her friend’s behaviour made Ruth focus on her own plight because she had a mental condition. Seeing what her friend was doing made her wonder whether the habits she had formed of reading the Bible and praying daily were normal. Fortunately for Ruth, she had Tim to consult on the issues that disturbed her and Tim always had a way of clearing up any confusion Ruth had.
“Tim, how do I know that I am not like this friend of mine?” Posed Ruth. “It is easy to know Ruth. You just need to ask the people around you including those who you look up to in faith like your Pastor. If your friend asks those around her, they will tell her she is going wrong. She is however not willing to listen to anyone and that is where the problem lies. You on the other hand are open to discussion with others about your beliefs and that is what makes the difference. You are willing to accept criticism and correction and to ask questions like you are doing now,” responded Tim.
Proverbs 15:31-32 – 31 If you pay attention when you are corrected, you are wise. 32 If you refuse to learn, you are hurting yourself. If you accept correction, you will become wiser.
It was a great relief for Ruth to get to know how to tell the difference between normal and abnormal religious practice. After her session with Tim, she called her mum and asked her what she thought about Ruth’s religious practice and her mum assured her that she was definitely normal and on the right track.
At Ruth’s request, her mum, assured her that she would immediately tell her should she see Ruth going overboard. “Mum, it saddens me that it is possible to have an abnormal faith. The enemy is so efficient he attacks every area of our lives, even our faith. I wish reading the Bible and prayer was immune from attack. But now I realize that we are constantly under attack even when we are grieving. The enemy takes advantage of every situation that makes us weak!” Exclaimed Ruth. “Yes, my dear, the enemy we fight is what is called a roaring lion. He is out to kill, steal and destroy. He is vicious. This is why we need to read our Bibles so we can equip and arm ourselves with the reactions and responses necessary in the battle. Prayer empowers us by drawing us close to God and into His protective Arms. We are in desperate need of God’s protection always,” responded Sara, Ruth’s mum.
1 Peter 5:8 – 8 Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.