Faith is important to me. The ability to let go and trust in God's goodness and His ability to catch me when I fall. Great things happen when you put the ball in God's court. That's when lions don't eat and people can die joyfully and fires don't consume. I want faith like the Great Ones had. They didn't all survive their physical ordeals--many of them died or are dying horrible deaths--but they have seen great works of the Lord because they trusted and relied on Him. I am not a faithful servant. I don't read the Bible every day. I don't pray every day. I don't go to church. I don't memorize Scripture. But I love the Lord. I guess, though, I should do some of these things more...it's just that they seem to turn into meaningless rituals. I don't want meaningless rituals though. And yet, I suppose growth comes with slogging through it too.
What is the essence of God's will? Here I mean His general will for mankind. A place to start would be the law. That seems to be what Judaism is based on. And the law is summed up as "love the Lord" and "love others". That's God's will. Jesus said we are His friends if we do what He commanded us, and in that same passage He commands us twice to love others and once to bear fruit--presumably to spread the love. Virtually everything else He tells us to do fits under the heading of 'love'. So if you think about it that way, His will is simple: Love me, love them. Simple, but not always so easy. I guess that's where the faith comes in. When you're faced with a situation where you can't find love for someone, you have to act it anyway, trusting that God will provide it. Love is a choice, not a feeling, so when you choose to love someone you don't like, God will provide the strength to show it. Maybe He'll even send the feeling. But if you do it without grudging, He can show you the things about that person that He loves.
I have failed miserably here. I've bad-mouthed people, ignored them, ridiculed them, and dishonoured them in so many ways and I wish I could go back and change that but I can't. All I can do it change my responses in the future and pray God will help me next time.