Have you ever noticed how some “Christians” seem to continuously struggle throughout life while others just glide through without any issues? Maybe it’s because some have more faith than others. Perhaps it’s because the others fail the tests of faith and so have to repeat the lessons. Regardless, it seems that our prosperity is all dependent on how we succeed with the testing of our faith. Or is this even the real purpose of our faith?
The issue of faith is popular among Charismatic Christians and so their quality of life is believed to be a result of the level of faith they have in God—to get those things. However, this is a deceiving doctrine that is luring thousands away from God because they are being taught that faith is about them and for their benefit; whereas, faith is a gift of God, given to us by God so that we can know Him.
- For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.—Ephesians 2:8-9
When we first came to the Lord, it was because God gave us a measure of faith to be able to believe that He is God! Without that gift of faith, there would be no one saved. Why? Because before we are saved, we belong to this world, run by the devil, and there is no way that he is going to give any of us that gift. So God gives to each of us a gift of faith to open our hearts so we will accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. And once we’re saved, the old nature in us is removed, our sins are forgiven, and God fills us with His Spirit. We are redeemed back to God! We heard the good news, received it, got the gift of faith to accept it and we were changed!
That faith is the perfect amount for salvation but it isn’t enough for us to move mountains. It’s enough to get us out of the world and into God’s family, but it can’t end there. We need to increase our faith, and there is only one way to do that: read the Bible! The Scriptures are all about God, the love He has for us and the judgments that came upon the people because they chose to live in sin and corrupt His world with evil. God’s purpose since Adam first brought sin into this world has been to defeat sin and death and bring His children Home. And Jesus accomplished that on the cross!
- For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.—john 3:16-17
As we study the Bible, our understanding and our knowledge of the truth grows, and as we learn, so does our love and our faith in God. It all begins to make sense to us. We feel in our heart to share the truth with others, just as Jesus told us to in Mark 16:15, and this is good. However, we must focus on the gospel when sharing, and not on our own faith because it’s not about us; it’s about God! If God said it, then it is so!
- All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.—2 Timothy 3:16-17
Many new believers are over-zealous and want to share what they’ve discovered before they’ve learned to apply it to their own lives. So they read and go to Bible studies and then proclaim that they can do this and that because of their faith; yet, they don’t have the faith to believe it themselves. When a situation arises in their lives, they lose everything they’ve learned and fall back into the ways of the world. Why? Because they filled themselves with knowledge but they didn’t build their faith from that knowledge and never proved to themselves that they had that faith.
We can compare our faith in God to a secular school classroom. The students learn a certain amount of information on a specific subject and then they are tested to see if they actually know it. So it is with life. As we learn, God allows us to be tested so that we can know just where our faith is.
It’s not so much that God needs us to prove ourselves to Him; He already loves us and we’re already saved and on our way to Heaven one day. And it’s not that God demands a certain level of faith so that we do it His way or else! That is not the purpose of God allowing us to be tested. The reason is so that we can understand within our own heart just how great our faith in God is. It’s so that we can know we have a relationship with God and that He is not just a hero we read about.
Do we trust God? Do we have faith in God to believe Him to do the thing we’ve asked Him for or to live freely and without fear? God will not allow us to be tested beyond our faith level because that will discourage us when we fail, and we’ll give up. So God allows the test so that WE can know what our real faith level in God is.
- No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.—1 Corinthians 10:13
If we don’t apply what we’ve learned as we’re studying the Bible and spending time with God in prayer, then we will lose the faith we have. So as we learn, we need to constantly apply the faith we’ve gained to real life situations, and if there are none, then God will allow some to come our way so we can know what we really believe.
Those people who never seem to get tested are the ones who have nothing to test. They may proclaim to be wonderful Christians, and their actions and their words may be impressive, but if their heart isn’t focused on God and if they aren’t growing in faith towards God, then there is nothing to test. They need to go back to step one where they first met God, repent and start all over. And those who seem to live in a mode of constant testing are either growing in faith where God is allowing them to be tested so they can grow some more, or—they think they have faith because they watch others and so step out “in faith” but fail repeatedly because they don’t know God to have faith in Him.
God allows our faith to be tested because He loves us. And if we love Him, we will want to know Him, obey Him and do His will to bring others into His Kingdom. We will want to know what our faith in Him is, not to use that faith to our own material advantage, but to know God and know that we have faith in Him so we can do His will on this earth, and to His glory.
- So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.”—Mark 11:22
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Thanks for stopping by and have a great day! … ronnie