Everything about ‘faith’ goes against our natural lives! Faith is putting a belief into action, here and now. Faith is submitting the facts and figures, to the authority of spiritual values. Faith is not acting on what our eyes can see and people are speaking into our ears, but what our heart knows is true and God is whispering to our soul. To live like this is to go against the flow, to walk up-stream, to defy very real forces of this world – it is hard!
Jesus called us to live by faith and not by sight. (2 Cor 5:7) Jesus called us to ‘strive’ in this direction. (Heb 4:11) Paul gives us a picture of what it takes to actually put faith in motion in our earthly lives; he writes:
‘I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 3:12-14)
Jesus called us to prioritize his Kingdom here on earth – going so far as to say that we should worry more about his Kingdom than about our own provision. (Matthew 6:25-34) This takes faith, and this is hard! Jesus called us to pray and live for bringing his Kingdom to earth, and making it invade and be a part of our lives. (Matthew 6:9-13) This takes faith, and this is hard!
And then we are told, ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God.’ (Hebrews 11:6)
Jesus came to light our hearts with revelation, and then to call us to a life of faith. My friends, if faith is going to be a real part of your life, if Jesus is going to actually move by his Spirit in your life - your work, your heart, your relationships, your eternity – it is going to take investment! It is going to take determination!
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Faith is not the same as belief. I like to describe faith as, ‘belief in action’. Faith is that spiritual engagement of truth that cannot be seen or even proven by the systems, values and experiences of this world. Faith is about truths that pertain to another world. However, faith is what makes that other world’s truth, a reality here and now.
You see, ‘belief’ is not so much something you choose to have, but choose to acknowledge. I remember when I took a serious, honest look at Jesus Christ. Belief was upon me. I could have refused to go with my belief, but honestly I could not deny in my heart that Jesus was true. I looked at him, and I believed. When I decided that I was going to walk in that belief, or actually have faith, it was a hard decision. My belief I could hide, and still go and live as I wanted; but faith – putting my belief in practical action in my personal life – was going to cost me. And it cost me! I had to repent of my sin, and change my friends, language, thoughts, life style. I thank God for his practical demands on my life, in and through Jesus Christ, because I would not have the relationships I now do, if not for his ‘Rehab’ program of repentance!
In the eyes of the world, my friends, faith is crazy! You are walking in a revelation of truth that the eyes cannot see. Your heart sees and knows, because of the revelation of Jesus Christ. Look up these powerful verses about the nature of seeing and believing on Jesus Christ: Matthew 16:15-17; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Mark 4:11-12; 2 Corinthians 5:7
But we are called to walk in faith, and make our faith in Jesus a living reality in our lives here. Jesus taught us to pray that the Kingdom of God would come down and be real in our Kingdom here on earth. (Matthew 6:9-13) We are called to make our faith a reality in our lives here! How? Well, start by spending quiet time alone with Jesus. He is your friend. Get a bible and read a chapter a day (maybe start with the Gospel of Mark?), and just sit a few minutes and listen to Jesus, and speak with him – which is prayer!:)
'Without faith it is impossible to please God.' (Hebrews 11:6)
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Peter Walker. I hope you enjoy these reflections. Please feel free to comment!:)