For every article I write or every lesson I teach on the subject of faith, I begin by reminding readers/listeners of what faith is. So…
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” ~ Hebrews 11:1
That’s faith—believing and knowing in your heart because you just know it’s the right thing to do.
Knowing what faith is, is one thing. Having faith and putting your faith to work? That’s something else altogether. But today I’m here to tell you that if you say you have faith but aren’t applying that faith in your life, you are lying. Harsh? Maybe. True? Definitely.
Think about it like this: If a man or woman possessing the qualifications and licensures to practice medicine went around calling themselves a doctor but never treated anyone and even refused to help someone in need of emergency care, is that person really a doctor? No. He or she is nothing more than someone with knowledge and potential—or rather, wasted knowledge and potential. The same thing applies to people who say they are Christians but don’t live by faith.
Christians, in the truest sense of the word, are people who:
- Believe God is the only and almighty creator and master of the universe.
- Believe that Jesus is God’s son in the flesh and that He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, was buried, resurrected back to life, and returned to heaven to be with God.
- Believe that the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, who is basically the conscience of God, is given to us when we accept Jesus as Savior according to scripture (Acts 2:37-38).
- Live their lives according to scripture.
- Seek God’s will and direction for their life and follow the direction he gives.
- Believe and trust in God’s provision, comfort, protection, leadership, and wisdom in ALL things.
How many of those can you check off? Now I’m not saying you won’t ever have doubts, get scared, or hit the panic button and try doing things your way. We all do that and because God made us and knows us so intimately, he expects it to happen. Just like we expect our children to mess up now and then.
If the faith you have is genuine faith, you need to be applying it to all aspects of your life. And here’s how you can do just that:
#1: Your finances
It’s true, you know, what they say about your life-story being told by where you spend your money. So live by faith and tithe first. Even when you don’t think you can, faith says you can.
You can also live out your faith through your finances by giving over and above your tithe, trusting God to stretch your dollars if you want to become a one-income family so Mom can be a stay-at-home-mom, downsizing your house and other expensive non-essentials for the purpose of giving/ministry, and listening to God’s voice calling you to relocate, open your own business, or work less to have more time for family.
I cannot tell you how many times I have seen faith in action in my own life and the lives of others when it comes to relationships. The Bible is filled with examples of this as well (Esther, Job, Hannah, Mary, the Shunammite widow, Elijah, Peter, and Paul—to name a few).
Two people I dearly love had a bitter argument that turned into a two-and-a-half-year period of angry silence between them. I prayed non-stop that God would give me the words and opportunities to fix the situation but no matter how hard I prayed, nothing happened. Then one day as I was praying, I heard God say in my heart, “This isn’t yours to fix, but if you just have faith, I’ll fix it for you.”
From that day on I didn’t worry about the situation. It was still painful for me to watch but I knew it wouldn’t last forever. And sure enough, about a year later one of the parties involved decided the loss of the relationship wasn’t worth the pain it was causing and that if he didn’t forgive and move forward, he couldn’t ever be right with God.
Today the two are in a great place because I got out of God’s way and had faith in him to do what he said he would do.
Not all relationships can be fixed. I know that, but I also know that not all relationships should be fixed. When you are in a relationship with someone who is abusive or with someone who is pulling you away from God rather than encouraging you to grow in your faith, you shouldn’t be there. That’s where living by faith comes into play.
Living out your faith when it comes to your relationships happens when you:
- Remove yourself from relationships with people you depend on in place of depending on God.
- Trust God to take care of you and provide for your needs and safety when you leave an abusive relationship.
- Give your rebellious child over to God in faith instead of wallowing in guilt, anger, frustration, and the stress of trying to fix something beyond your ability to fix.
- Ask God for the measure of faith you need to forgive deceptions by a spouse, parent, child, or friend for the building up of the relationship.
- Step out in faith that God will protect your job situation when you stand for Him at work.
- Trust God to do what is ultimately best for you and your loved ones even when His plan isn’t yours.
#3: Your health and daily living
I could write a book on this category. Who knows—maybe I will, because this is where the “rubber meets the road” when it comes to living by faith. This is where it gets personal.
Living your everyday life in such a way that you apply your faith to every situation and circumstance is something that needs to develop into your character rather than something you do once in a while, e.g. when you’ve exhausted every other possibility.
So how does one go about making that happen?
- Pray. A lot. When you spend time in prayer asking God for what you need/want and consulting God about the decisions you have to make, faith will grow because when you ask, you receive.
- Listen and act. Remember the example of the doctor who was only a doctor in word but not deed? Your faith can’t grow if you don’t act on the answers you ask for and receive. God speaks and God provides the way to go, but He won’t drag you kicking and screaming down the road.
- Know He has a reason for everything and that His reason is always in our best interest.
- Know that God’s timing is perfect even though we may not understand it… or even like it.
- Believe that God ALWAYS has your best interest at heart. And that includes those times when you hear words like “cancer”, “terminal”, “divorce”, “fatal”, “you’re fired”, “bankruptcy”, “foreclosure”, “I hate you”, “addict”, and so many other painful and potentially devastating words.
- Share your faith with others. Faith isn’t faith unless it is expressed and lived. When you exhibit your faith in the little things as well as the big things in life, two things happen:
- Your faith grows. When you see faith in action you can’t help but want more action.
- Others can’t help but notice. When you live out your faith, people notice. When people notice, your faith and your words are a testimony to the Good News of the Gospel. And when that happens, you have faith in God and are faithful to
Faith is technically a noun, but in reality it is a verb—a call to action.
~ By Darla Noble