Examples to follow.In Scripture every notable achievement is described by the phrase “by faith.” In the 11th chapter of Hebrews there is a list the great men and women who did amazing things by faith. They acted on what they believed, AND what they believed was based on what God said.
For instance.God told Abraham he would have a son when he was 100 years old. If he had considered his old worn-out body, he would have responded with, “No way!” But he knew God had the power to do what He said. So Abraham believed God, and the next year his son was born.
Does God still speak to us? Yes!God seldom speaks out loud as He did to people in the Old Testament. Primarily He speaks by bringing Scripture to our mind when we ask Him a question. He also used teachers and preachers to convey His message.
A sure thing.If we believe what is written about Jesus dying for our sins and accept Him as our Savior, God forgives us. Believing is an inner conviction that what the Bible say is true.
The ultimate truth is God’s word, the Bible.The basis and object of our knowing God is that Christ will come into our heart and forgive our sins if we ask Him. He is not far away in heaven. His Spirit is right within us when we ask Him to come into our heart.
Is there proof that He answers?We prove that He is within us by what we say. It is with our heart that we believe and with our mouth that we confess and confirm our faith. We can say, “I have put my faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and He has forgiven all my sins,” and know it is true.
What Jesus said about faith.To emphasize the absolute necessity of faith, Jesus questioned people who asked Him to do something for them. He asked one man, “Do you believe I can do this?” When the man said yes, Jesus said, “according to your faith will it be done to you.”
I wish I could see Jesus.You may think that if you could actually see Jesus and hear Him you wouldn't have any trouble believing. But that is not true. There were people who saw Him after the resurrection and yet they still doubted. To Thomas, the disciple who would not believe until he saw Jesus’ wounds and touched them, Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Is there a key to faith?The key is believing God. We must depend on what He says by reading the Bible and praying for guidance. He never says something that is the opposite of what is in the Bible. There are all sorts of people who claim God told them things that are the opposite of what is in the Bible. They are liars and no matter how firm their faith, they are wrong.
Confirm your faith.It helps our faith when we say what we have believed. “It is believing in your heart that a person is made right with God, and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming what he has believed” (Romans 10:10). This is the way God still works today.
Where does Jesus reside when we invite Him into our heart?In your mind, emotions and will. Jesus’ Spirit comes into our heart, or the “me” who lives in my body. He doesn't improve our old self but gives us a new one that is united with His Spirit. Gradually He changes our attitudes and actions to more and more resemble His.
One man whom Jesus changed.A football player at the U. of Oregon who was self-centered and egotistical became a Christian. He drank too much and loved to party. Watching the Lord change him into a loving, kind, and considerate person reflecting the character of Jesus was wonderful to see. That same man is now a pastor.
Will we ever lose our connection to Jesus?When Jesus comes into our life He never leaves us. The inflow of God’s almighty power into our life is ceaseless. We can depend on His presence to make us like Himself. He is loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self controlled. Isn’t that everything we would like to be? Those qualities will be more and more ours as we turn our attention to Him and ask Him to change us to be like Himself.
What is the Holy Spirit like?He is just like Jesus, and He compared the work of the Spirit to the wind. The wind is not stationary. Sometimes it blows as strong as a tornado and sometimes as a gentle breeze. Thus the Holy Spirit is always moving in our life. He will “blow” through us to bless those around us. He is not just deposited within us.
Another illustration.Jesus also illustrated the Holy Spirit in us as a river, not a pond that can become stagnant. Rivers are constantly flowing. But rivers can be slowed by trash and logs. Unconfessed sin is “trash and logs” in our life. The Spirit’s power can be slowed and stopped in us by sin. When we sin, whether in our thoughts, words or acts, we must quickly confess to our Father. He promises to forgive us when we do.
Don’t make excuses.Don’t say, “It’s not my fault.” We always have our share of blame to confess. I can always blame my husband when our disagreements get over heated. My problem is not what he does. My problem is what I do. If I’m letting Jesus’ personality flow through me like a river, I wont stay mad at petty or even big things. Love overlooks others faults. When our sin is forgiven, we can acknowledge our faith and confidently say, “God is almighty in and through me.” And “God will answer my prayers.” It is important not only to believe these things, but say them.
The wrong way.Let’s not be like Moses when God told him, “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people out of Egypt....” Moses believed God could do it but not through him. We know God can do anything but stagger at believing He will use us and His tool to accomplish a task. It is our believing what God has said and obeying that gives us confidence God can and will use us. Moses obeyed God “by faith.” He believed God told him to go to Pharaoh and demand the Israelites freedom, and he did it.
Our influence should be obvious.“The quality of believing God makes the dividing line between Elijah and the 7,000 true believers who had not bowed the knee to Baal. They had so little influence on their generation that Elijah did not know they existed.” James says Elijah was a man just like us. Will we be like Elijah and believe God and let our faith show by what we say and do?
Why are we so weak in faith?We don’t boldly grasp the fact of “Christ in you.” Declaring “I am one with Jesus” shatters the illusion and weakening effect of a false sense of separation from God. Most Christians are sure about their salvation and eventually going to heaven, but have a vague awareness of His daily presence. The transforming truth is that Christians have an inward union with God! Our connection with Him is described as “he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit” (I Cor. 6:17). We can do all things in Christ because we are united with Him and He strengthens us. The center of our personality, or spirit, is joined to His Spirit. Yielding to His control enables us to see life like He does. He changes our attitude so we love people. His power gives us the ability to do what pleases the Lord.
A good prayer request.“Lord, give us eyes to see that the invisible truth about You is real.” Turn from just physical sight to see the reality of God’s presence and our union with Him.
Becoming more aware of God.The invisible spiritual world is very real. Its resources can become more dependable than the visible. “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” Another translation says, “The visible is made out of the invisible.” (Heb. 11:3) When we believe the truth that the invisible is the only permanent and solid reality, we live at the Center and Source of all things.
The great blessing of being a child of God.When faced with a need we can say, “God, You are in me and I take my supply from You.” We are not limited to our own resources when the treasury of the universe is open to us. We prove our faith by believing and declaring and acting on the truth. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things on earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
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