Dare To Practice Your Faith
Have you ever thought that your preacher just "gets" faith so much better than you do?
Or that, that Christian writer you love so much is just so much better of a Christian than you are? That they just understand everything so much better than you ever will?
Maybe you think your community group leader is just a phenomenal Christian, but that that's just a gift he/she has.
Some People Just Understand Christianity Better Than Most...
In fact, I don't think anything could be further from the truth.
But boy, do I understand those feelings.
Even in knowing the truth I am about to share with you I find myself in rooms with people who I just think are phenomenal Christians, incredible leaders, and whose words are always flawless and filled with wisdom and in those moments the enemy whispers to me and says:
"Be careful. Don't say anything stupid. Actually you probably just shouldn't say anything because you might be wrong."
"Is that really all you got out of the devotional? You know everyone around you got something so much more theological and spiritual out of it."
Or sometimes I find myself in situations with nonbelievers or people who haven't quite gone all in with Christ and the enemy tries to convince me that if I talk too much or if my words aren't perfect, that they will think I am a fake - and in turn believe Jesus is too.
But it's all a lie. And so today I have a dare for you...
I Dare You To Practice Your Faith
I think many of us today are under the misconception that you simply "get" faith.
You accept Jesus as your savior and then all of a sudden you have faith.
And some people just get it better than others.
But simply having or getting faith is like getting the new iPhone for Christmas, leaving it in the box and telling all of your friends you got the new iPhone for Christmas.
Neither you or your friends really get to see you having this new phone or using it and benefiting from all of its many purposes!
You are not reaping the fruit of your iPhone - you just say you have it.
The visible fruits of the Holy Spirit - that you see in the lives of biblical pastors, Christ-filled authors, and in your friends and family around you who have been transformed by His spirit - do not come by simply getting or understanding faith.
The fruit comes when we practice our faith - when we actually use it.
When we abide and obey.
John 15:5 - "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
John 14:15- "If you love me you will keep my commandments."
Recommended Article: Why We Must Work Out Our Salvation
5 Ways To Practice Your Faith
1. Read & Memorize God's Word Daily
I know it sounds like such a tedious and legalistic challenge, but it is so incredibly vital when it comes to growing in our faith. If we are not in God's Word every day we can not possibly know what it says. And if we do not know what God's Word says, we can not possibly know who He is. And if we have faith in a God that we do not know, we have a faith that is still wrapped up in the gift box that we received it in - not being used, and getting left behind when the next new thing comes along.
2. Pray Boldly
I can honestly say that I have struggled a lot with this one. While I may occasionally work up the courage to pray bold prayers, I often find myself doubting whether or not they will actually be answered.
I heard it said once that if we don't believe God will come through, then we are practically atheists.
And I was convicted. Because so often I pray for God to work, but proceed to take things into my own hands - I force things that aren't ready yet, I worry about things I can't control, and continue on as though my prayer were just words spoken into thin air.
But if we aren't actively, faithfully, and hopefully praying and communicating with the God we claim to know, our faith will never grow and our lives will never be transformed.
3. Get Uncomfortable
It is incredible to me how comfortable we are here in America. Many of us go about our day to day lives without thinking once about the fact that we might die today or about what we even really believe in.
Despite the controversies, headlines, and major news stories, most of us remain unaffected and feel as though we have this world by the horns. Even if this life is all we have, we don't care, because we love it so much.
If you really want to grow in your faith and learn how to trust in God more than you trust in yourself, get uncomfortable. Go to a 3rd World country. Volunteer at church somewhere where you aren't comfortable with - somewhere where God will have to show up to make it work. Go 21 days without TV or social media.
Put yourself into a situation that takes away your control and your comfort and forces you to rely on God's.
Y'all I promise you, when we do this, our worries are less, and our God becomes present.
God's not going to yell and try to be louder than all of the noise and little comforts we have selfishly surrounded ourselves by. His loud profession of His love for us was when He sent Jesus to die for us.
But when we actively remove our control, seek His voice, and rest in His peace, He is there, waiting for us with open arms.
4. Live In Community
Community, community, community. I can not emphasize this enough. Like I mentioned in my last post talking about what my pastor said about how we do not naturally become more like Christ. Also meaning, we do not naturally grow spiritually or have our faith strengthened. If anything, this world will completely destroy our faith if we do not actively fight against it by practicing our faith.
Community keeps us accountable. Your community should be filled with people who will encourage you as you grow, admonish you when you fall down, and walk with you through the many hills and valleys of this life.
Community that cultivates growth isn't just meeting once a week to do a Bible Study. Community that cultivates growth takes watering, nurturing, and time - it takes an investment of your time and their time into each other's lives.
5. Use Your Gifts & Serve
And last but not least, serve. In every way and in every moment of your day. When you accept Christ as your savior and surrender your heart to Him you become filled with the Holy Spirit. And with that spirit you have been given a gift. Maybe it is to lead, maybe it is to counsel, maybe it is to parent. Whatever it is, you have been called to use that gift to glorify God with.
How can you turn your home into a church?
How can you be an example of Christ to your coworkers?
How can you counsel biblically or pursue justice faithfully?
Figure out what your gift us. Pray about it. Seek wisdom from your community and those who know you well. And then, use it. Day in and day out to glorify our great God in heaven.
When we recognize our gifts we become grateful to God not just for our salvation, but also for the work He has set out before us to do.
So what do ya say? Are we going to take our gift of salvation and leave it in a box to collect dust? Or are we going to accept our gift of salvation and then choose to follow Christ every single day?
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