Thursday, August 7, 2014

Fortify Your Faith

And Jesus answered saying to them, "Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” Mark 11:22-24

The way we came to know God is through the exercise of faith.  The way we develop our spiritual strength and knowledge of God is the same.  The way we began is the way we continue.  For some, after receiving Christ by grace through faith, they begin the futile practice of trying to please God and grow through religion.  God is not pleased with religion in place of faith.  As a matter of fact the Bible says in Hebrews 11:6 "Without faith it is impossible to please God."  You can do the right thing and still not be pleasing God because you’re not doing it in faith. You are in control and not God.

The Test of our Faith
Paul tells the Corinthians they should not be afraid to test their salvation faith: 
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test? 
2 Corinthians 13:5

However, when we test ourselves, we tend to compare ourselves to others: What good does it do to test against a false standard – the Standard of Religion?  A danger is that I can compare myself against that standard and come out feeling good about myself in comparison to others.  It is the test of the Pharisee, “Thank you God that I am not like that other man.”

The real test of faith comes separate from religious duty, service or actions.  A faith test is when our concept of God and the reality of our lives conflict and we can’t understand why something is happening. 

If we had really had our way, our faith would never be tested…but God would never have the chance to prove that faith worked.  Our declarations of faith would ring hollow.  We would simply be echoing empty religious clich├ęs learned in church and Sunday school.  No skeptic is ever convinced or won over by that kind of faith.

In Luke 17:5 the apostles said to Jesus, "Lord increase our faith." How do we do that? Here’s the secret: God builds our faith by testing it.

·      Faith is like a muscle that develops when exercised.  And faith develops as it is tested. You don’t develop your faith just setting on your blessed assurance in church.

Job says the same thing speaking from experience in Job 7:17-18 "What is man that You make so much of him and that You give him so much attention and that You examine him every morning and test him every moment."

So, here is an eye-opener!  God tests us every moment of our lives!  The way we live our lives is under His watchful eye.  Why?  Job says it is because we are so important to Him

The testing of your faith is more about who God is than who we are.
God’s desire is that we know Him and experience His goodness in our lives. The positive end of a test of faith may not be a change in circumstance, but a greater knowledge of God and His love and power in our lives. 

Scripture to Claim:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3

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