Do you believe that God exists?
I'm guessing that if you subscribe to my email list and opted-in to receive biblical teaching every week, you believe.
If you believe in the existence of God, that means you have faith, right?
Yes … but it's not that simple. According to the Bible's definition, if you have faith, it also should mean that you have drawn near to God, that you seek to please him, and that you value what he values (Hebrews 11:6)
Is that the reality of your everyday Christian faith?
I'll be honest - I know my faith isn't always that strong. While I absolutely believe in the existence of God, there are times when I feel far from him. There are times when I only seek to please myself. There are times when I value earthly treasure more than eternal rewards.
This is so important to understand: our Christian faith is dramatically more than just an intellectual belief.
It's not enough for your faith to simply believe in the existence of God. A strong faith should radically change your life at street-level.
So how do we strengthen our faith from where it is to where God wants it to be? There are many ways, but here are two truths that I try and meditate on all the time:
1. God Is Sovereign (Acts 17:26) - "And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place."
It's easy for us to proclaim that God is in control; it's a lot harder for us to believe in faith that he actually is. Many of us are paralyzed by regret from yesterday. Many of us live in fear of tomorrow. Many of us are way too controlling of today's situations, locations, and relationships.
But if we meditate on the sovereignty of God, our hearts can be at rest regardless of external circumstances. We need to always remind ourselves that everything we experience has been determined in advance by the good will of our Father, and nothing can touch us that he hasn't lovingly ordained.
2. God Is Near (Acts 17:27) - "That they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us."
If you were to study the history of mankind, almost every sovereign (that is, a government leader) has ruled from a distance. It was, and still is, impossible for a common person to get a personal audience with a head of state.
But not so for the Christian. Remind yourself that at any moment, you can reach out and touch the King of the universe, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. When you're in the shower, when you're driving, when you're struggling to sleep in the middle of the night, you can drawn near to your God and say, "Lord, please help me. I need you."
In good times and in bad, God is ruling over every detail of your life, and he is doing so intimately. As you face today, remember that your faith is much more than intellectual: it is deeply transformational.
- Identify one area of your Christian life where faith has been more intellectual and not as transformational. What may be some reasons behind the struggle?
- How has God proven himself to be sovereign over your life in the past? Identify one area of your life where his proven sovereignty should give you rest today.
- What are some potential spiritual barriers that you have put up which make God feel distant, when he is actually not far from you?
- In addition to being sovereign and being near, choose another aspect of God's character to meditate on this week. How will this encourage you, regardless of circumstances?