Monday, September 24, 2012

Faith vs. Belief part two

(See part one here)

Alright. So last week we were talking about how the Israelites might have believed that God was there with them (there was a pillar of cloud for crying out loud!) but they didn't have faith that He would provide for them. This week I want to take a bit of time to talk about having faith in God's plan for you and how to know if you are putting your faith in Him.

Phillipians 1:6 says: "[Be] confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus". That is a promise that God makes to all His people. If you have faith in God then you must also have faith in His promises. He says many times that He won't leave us hanging. And when there are times of trouble in your life, He asks you to trust in Him. As Jenny B. Jones puts it in her book "Save the Date": "Satan plants questions in your mind and says, 'answer this with logic.' But God says, "No, answer with faith." When things are not making sense in your life, you need to be confident that God is in control. "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases" (Proverbs 21:1). "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths will I guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them" (Isaiah 42:16).

Now what if you belief in God and you put your faith in Him, how do you know if you are showing Him your love? Take a moment to step back from your life and examine your actions. What you do with your life gives people a good image of what you, as a believer, put your faith in. Humans were wired to worship, what you spend the most time on is what you worship (I will unpack this statement on another day). Jesus says, in John 14:21: "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

I love that verse. Basically what He is saying is if we follow God's commandments (one of which is love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength) then He will reveal Himself to you. And when someone asks you why you put your faith in a God that is invisible, you can tell them about your personal experience with God. No one can argue with personal experience and God provides us with those experiences because He wants us to be able to show others His amazing love.

He loves us therefore we should love Him. We do not deserve His love, but He gives it freely to us. 
So next time you find yourself wondering about God and His plan for you, ask yourself if you are just believing in God or if you are putting your faith in Him as well. I can guarantee it will make a big impact in your life, at least it did in mine! 

[All Biblical references are from the NIV unless otherwise stated]

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