When your past results are good and favourable, then this feeling that 'I know I can do it' or self-belief would become so strong that it may even begin to affect your faith. If a few results are unfavourable in the past for certain decisions that you have indulged in, then you take refuge in faith so much that there is no more self-belief in you.
Faith is in knowing that there is a cosmic system that is acting between your choices and consequences. Choices are the steps that you take that is born out of human intelligence and consequences are born out of the infinite intelligence. For every choice executed we invite a consequence. While we can have control over our choices, we can only have expectations over consequences. which are,
1] I get more than what I expected, [>]
2] I get what I expected [=].
3] I get less than what I expected. [<]
For example, when I execute the choice of starting a business on my own, the four possible consequences are, [>] The business might turn out to be roaring success, [=] The business return might be up to my expectations, [<] It might go through slump. [X] It can turn out to be an utter failure. Whichever may be the consequence, I can take it as a feedback and still execute another choice.
So there is a cosmic intervention between the choice and consequences, by whatever name you may want to call it, god or law of karma, which determines the consequences of your life.
When every choice that you execute expecting something in life, turns out consequences that you expected, or more than what you expected, you start feeling 'Whatever I want is happening'. When this happens repeatedly, it results in a self-belief which is shadowing your faith. You may fail to realize that the cosmic intervention is right now happening in your favour because of certain alignments in your life. Knowingly or unknowingly that karmic actor is working in your favour right now. The favourable results can make the 'I' in you very loud, muffling your faith.
This happened to even Arjuna and Krishna had to remind him saying, 'Arjuna, from where are you getting this feeling, that you are doing all these things? The truth is, not a single arrow from that other side has touched you and every arrow from you is producing the results you wanted on the other end. Because of this happening, Arjuna you have started feeling that only you are producing all these results; you are not realizing that, this thumb of yours cannot move without my providential sanction.'
The other extreme is, if every choice that you have executed has somehow resulted in consequences less than what you expected or completely opposite of what you had expected, you feel like a victim in life. When nothing seems to be working as planned, you understand the helplessness of your finite intelligence and begin to understand the power and the potency of that cosmic intervention. At that point most will run towards faith, hoping that it will alter the circumstances for you. If Krishna could do everything, then Arjuna need not have fired those arrows, isn't it?
When belief is delivered from the womb of faith, neither self-belief becomes arrogance nor spirituality becomes a refuge. When you realize "Without me God will not, Without God I cannot, God plus me miracles are possible' neither the desperate running towards spirituality will be there nor will there be a haughty tone in your activities. You will understand that 'Divine energy' plus 'my intelligent effort' plus 'my faith in that energy' - a threefold combination produces the desired results.
Sri Ramakrishna, by himself, wouldn't have cared to take his wisdom to the world. Swami Vivekananda, by himself, couldn't have enlightened the world. Yet, the energy of Shri Ramakrishna plus the efforts of Swami Vivekananda plus the faith Swami Vivekananda had in his Master Shri Ramakrishna - caused a renaissance in the world.
Rama, by himself, could not have traced Sita. Hanuman, by himself, could not have crossed the seas in search of Sita. Yet, the energy of Rama plus the efforts of Hanuman plus the faith Hanuman had in his Lord Rama - caused miraculous possibilities.
Krishna, by himself would not have fought the war. Arjuna, by himself, could not have fought the war. Yet, the energy of Krishna plus the efforts of Arjuna plus Arjuna's faith in his Bhagwan Krishna - was an absolute winning combination.
The energy of Jesus Christ plus the efforts of Mother Teresa plus her faith n her Good Shepherd - made a difference to millions of lives.
Even from an organisational parlance, the energy of a visionary plus the effort of the team plus the faith of the team in the vision of their visionary - builds a legendary organisation.
But the intelligent effort is still dependent on you; this effort is the human manifestation in all the providential plans and it has to be executed only through you. There has to be tremendous amount of self belief to put in the intelligent effort and f the self-belief is born out of your unshakable faith then your life becomes a series of win.
Energy is the spiritual aspect of life and intelligent effort is the material aspect of life. The formless by itself has no way to manifest and the form by itself is still a spiritual orphan. The bridge between these two ends is the faith, it bridges spirituality and the material reality.
The energy of Ramakrishna, Rama, Krishna and Jesus didn't work for all those who put in their efforts, but it did work for Vivekananda, Hanuman, Arjuna, Teresa and the likes who worked with faith in their sources of energy. It is Faith that connects the object of your effort with the source of energy. However, remember, faith does not free man from the responsibility of his efforts. For the effort to be consistent and wholehearted you need self-belief. Faith without effort is expecting God to do man's work, which is mere foolishness.
'Energy plus Effort plus Faith' is a miraculous combination. Explore the infinite possibilities with self-belief rooted in Faith.
Source: Excerpts from the Article published in Infinithoughts magazine.