Do you want to live by faith, yet you feel doubtful and anxious? It feels as if you always lack faith? You seriously want to live by faith, but what you feel and see is totally the opposite of what you believe for. Is that you? Believe me, you are not alone.
Everyone agrees that we should live by faith, but how do you do it?
“I want to live by faith. I want God’s Word to be final authority in my life.”
I uttered those words many years ago and I wasn’t prepared for the response I was going to get. I got bombarded with all the reasons why I should remain realistic and how I should consider the circumstances around me. To be honest, that response eventually caused me to go silent, but by God’s grace I never gave up on my commitment and conviction about what I believed.
I have faced many set-backs and challenges along the way, but I do believe that the time has come to speak out and do what needs to be done.
Faith is not to believe that God can, but to believe that God will. ~ Anonymous
Faith is like electricity. It is invisible, but you can see the light. ~ Anonymous
“Have Faith In God”… That’s Easy To Say; But Can You Really Live By Faith?
Have faith in God. That is all you need. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But it’s easier said than done. Yet it remains a reality and it is the way God would love to see us live our lives.
When I read Yvonne’s great article – ‘Walk By Faith and Not By Your Emotions’ – I just couldn’t help myself. I had to start writing this article about how it is not only possible, but it’s actually how God wants us to live.
Nobody said it’s going to be easy. If it was, we all would have been faith giants. Along the way we will face challenges. Nowhere in the Bible is it documented that Jesus said it would be plain sailing and that we would never have to face any difficulties. No, it is a known fact that we will face trials and temptations.
Will these trials and temptations be too much for us to handle? Romans 8:37-38 (NIV) says “37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Trials and Temptations
Trials and temptations will come, but it will not be too much for us to handle. By faith we can overcome them all.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) goes on to say “No temptation[c]has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[d] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[e] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
It might not be easy, but it is possible. God would never expect anything from us if it’s not possible.
James 1:2-8 (NIV) says “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
How can we consider it joy when we are facing trials? Think of it this way; the bigger the trial you face – the bigger the victory will be. See every trial as an opportunity for God to be glorified by showing His power in your life to be victorious once again. God is God, He cannot be defeated.
How Can We Develop Our Faith?
One of our priorities should be to develop our faith, because it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). God has distributed faith to each one of us (Romans 12:3). It is now up to us to develop it.
We exist here on earth in the physical realm and therefore it is much easier to respond to what we physically see and feel. But in order to develop our faith, we need to make the quality decision to make God’s Word the final authority in our lives.
Although God is continuously communicating with us, many people claim that God never speak to them or that they never ‘hear His voice’. The fact is that God will not necessarily speak to you in an audible voice.
How many times have you had the experience where you did something and you couldn’t explain why? You took a different route and avoided being involved in an accident. Or you made a decision at work and it just turned out to be the perfect solution to the problem.The popular explanation is normally to say that “something just told me to do this or that….”
That ‘small voice’, or ‘inner voice’, or whatever you would like to call it; have you ever thought of acknowledging the possibility of God speaking to you?
What about the Bible on your coffee table? As soon as you start reading your Bible, God is speaking to you. What about your local church? In every service God speaks to us through His anointed preachers. What about all the church services on television these days?
We often miss the point when we start complaining that we don’t really like the preacher leading the service. We shouldn’t be listening to the man; we should be listening to the voice behind the voice. Have you ever experienced where two people came from the exact same service, yet both got an entirely different message? Each one received a message that was applicable to his / her personal situation. That is the power of listening to the voice behind the voice.
Although we experience our existence in the physical and think of ourselves as physical beings, we are actually spiritual beings. We have a soul and we are living in a physical body (1 Thessalonians 5:23; James 2:26). There is an ongoing battle between the flesh and the spirit.
Matthew 26:41 (NIV) says “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” We need to start by praying. We are not able to do anything in our own strength, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Do not focus on what you see or feel. Focus on what God’s Word says. Don’t believe people when they tell you that you are a loser; what does God’s Word say about you?
Secondly, get confirmation. As mentioned before, the Word of God should be the final authority in our lives. If you sense in your spirit that you need to do (or avoid) something, but you are not sure whether it is from God, test it to what is written in the Bible. If it lines up with the Word of God and you feel at peace with it, you can take that as confirmation. If it is in the least contrary to anything written in the Word of God, it is most definitely not from God.
You can often get confirmation in various ways. Without you saying a word, your husband/wife can start talking to you about the exact same thing that came up in your spirit.
I often experience it during my Bible-study time. I am subscribed to more than one group that sends me daily messages. At the same time I work through at least one book about faith. Frequently, as I open these messages, I would get confirmation as the one would confirm exactly what the others are saying. Often, as I open the book, it would even be on the same topic as well for that day.
Let me give you an example with short excerpts from the messages I opened this morning:
- Spirit of Prophecy: The message was based on Hebrews 13:5b – “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
- Alive to God: The message was based on 1 Corinthians 10:13 – ‘God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.’ (The theme of the message was based on God’s faithfulness and that He will always provide a way for you).
- Neil Vermillion: (First sentence)… Even in your frailty, in your weakness, in your limits I am with you even still, for I will never leave you.
Can you pick up on the confirmation here….?
After getting all this confirmation it becomes easier to make decisions and take action based on your faith. When you then start seeing positive results based on those decisions, you become stronger in your faith. It is not something that happens overnight, but the sooner you start, the sooner you will start growing in your faith. Nothing will happen unless you start doing something about it.
Faith Is Less About Talking And More About Doing.
Once you’ve made up your mind to walk by faith, it is time to take action. To have faith doesn’t mean you should become passive and that things will start happening as if by some magic. You need to do in the physical what needs to be done, and by faith leave the results in the hands of God. Show me your actions, and I’ll tell you what you believe. Faith without deeds are useless (James 2:14-26).
Faith is not about talking. Even spreading the gospel, is not always just about talking. You don’t have to be a preacher to spread the Gospel. You don’t have to walk around ‘Bible-Bashing’ other people either. Without saying a single word, you can live out your faith. Stand by your morals. Set high standards and moral values as you will find them in God’s Word, and live by them, not because you are so smart, but by His grace.
Without you saying a word, people will start taking note. They will want what you have. They will want to be blessed – like you – and they will start asking questions. They will start asking you what you are doing and how you are doing it.
Do You Want To Live By Faith?
I have set myself a challenge as a goal for this year. My challenge to myself is to win over negative stress for at least 300 days over a period of one year. I believe this can only be done by the grace of God and it can only be done by faith.
I have various daily goals and check-lists to form new habits to achieve this goal. Who is going to join me in this war against negative stress?
Are you living by faith? If so, please share more about your victories with us? If you want to become stronger in your faith and you want to live by faith; how do you plan on doing it? Share with us and let’s go on this journey together.