If you are a Christian attending a bible believing church, you have definitely heard of faith and most likely have some level of faith in God. More ordinarily, every individual has some kind of faith, albeit not in Jesus.
At the basic level, faith in Jesus is believing that He is (exists) and that the things we desire of him will come to fruition. Faith is one of the most talked about subjects in the bible and in christianity but that does not translate to increasing faith amongst christians.
Quite frankly, it often gets tough to believe against evidence which is what faith is. Hebrews 11:1 says ‘it is the substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen’.
Generally, I consider myself to be a person of faith but recently, I had an encounter that challenged that and brought to the fore some issues that we have as ‘faith filled’ christians.
Have you ever listened to a sermon and the preacher starts talking about a mighty miracle that happened and then you just roll your eyes to the back of your skull because of unbelief? Yes, that was me a few weeks ago.
We put up defenses to some testimonies because we believe this is just an exaggerated story and we are way too educated to fall for this concocted story. After that service, I went home and started reading a book which interestingly gave me even more reason to roll my eyes and ‘yimu’ as the Nigerian that I am.
However, a day or two later, I was reading my bible and I was so receptive to all these miracles which humanly speaking were much more ridiculous than the ones from church and the book.
And then the Holy Spirit taught me a lesson that challenged my faith. I am going to share five things that will let you check your faith to see if you truly are a faith filled Christian.
You never see results– The purpose of having faith is for it to produce results in the given area. Sometimes, the results may not come at the time we want or in the form we want but effective faith MUST produce results.
As a Christian, saying you have faith, praying for something and never seeing results is not enough. It means that there is a need to reevaluate your understanding of faith or grow your faith. You can’t just go on your whole life claiming to have faith and never seeing any result.
You are a doubter at heart– You have a natural inclination to disbelief. You are always critical and never thankful or receptive. Sometimes, even after praying for something and seeing the result, you begin to wonder if it was God or it was just the ‘universe’. You wonder if that blessing was not a coincidence and if it would not have come anyway.
How can you believe that Jesus rose from death? and the sun stood still, and that Enoch never saw death but you struggle to believe God can heal your illness? It means you actually do not believe the bible as much as you think you do.
You have faith in words but never act on it– You are always so quick to ‘believe’ in God not because you actually believe but because it is the Christian thing to do. You definitely do not want to be the outcast in your Christian circle who has doubts.
So instead of actually learning about faith to grow yours, you get the ‘Christianese’ on lockdown that everyone believes you are a mini Abraham. Sadly, you can’t fool God nor can you fool yourself.
You always have faith for others but never for yourself – In the same vein as the earlier point, when people have worries or doubts, you are quick yo ask them to pray and have faith because it is what a good Christian would say. Or because that’s what you heard in the sermon last week.
But when you get away with fooling others, you still have to face the truth when you need to apply faith. You realise that you lack faith. Faith is not theoretical but practical.
You use it as a filler word or tool of encouragement– People often make sentences like ‘I have faith that…’ or ‘I believe that…’ without knowing the implications.
Talking about faith is so easy but it is not meant to be a tool of encourgement or motivation. Faith is claiming the promises of God based on his word and so anything that is not based on God’s word cannot be faith.
The next time you believe or have faith that something will happen, ask yourself what God says about that issue?
Finally, and on a slightly related note, one evidence of having faith in God is giving thanks for the miracles we did not ask for. There are blessings that God gives to us before we ask and it is only when we are conscious of them that we can show appreciation.
In my observation, the norm is that people will only testify about victories that they prayed and waited on God for. But we need to testify of the blessings he freely gives us as well.
These lessons have been a true eye opener for me. Faith and doubt cannot co-exist and its funny to claim to believe the mighty miracles in the bible and then doubt when you hear them happen today. It might just mean that you’re not as faith filled as you think. Maybe you do not even believe Jesus rose from death.
Please share your thoughts.
Heart to Heart: Has this challenged your faith? Are there any other areas that were not mentioned?