Where do you actually place your trust on a daily basis? Are you inadvertently dividing it between two views of God– one we call “practical reality” and one we call “heavenly truth”? Take a moment to really consider your answer and how it aligns with what you truly believe. What does the evidence of your faith (in the form of daily routines and habits) suggest?
The point here isn’t to argue against the value of practicality, but rather to deeply examine the difference between how we answer the question and how we actually live. Most of us will adamantly agree that God has bound Himself to being “good” not practical – meaning His goodness isn’t merely the better choice, but the only choice worthy of our trust. Yet, we eagerly compromise this agreement the moment it begins to conflict with our daily, personal view of reality.
Which God do we honestly prefer? In the context of putting your faith into practice, consider the following question and how it might look if you had to answer honestly: What would you give up if you knew it would bring one lost person to salvation – a week’s pay, your home, your livelihood? For some it’s a challenging question worth considering. For others it’s merely an impractical waste of thought to be quickly dismissed.
- Based on the evidence of your faith and its daily reality – where do you stand?
- What do you truly believe?
- Are you willing to wrap the remaining chapters of your life’s story in the package your answer presents?
Before you decide where you stand, or where you’d like to go from there, consider this statement by a writer who once had everything a practical view of God could offer, yet threw it all away, along with his own reality, in order to truly know the God who is always good, and almost never practical. As a result, he stepped into his true identity and set the world on fire.
“Christ knows and the Holy Spirit knows that it is no mere pretense when I say that I would be willing to be forever damned if that would save you.” Romans 9:3 TLB
Did you catch that last part – the really impractical part where a mortal man is so taken by God’s love that he’s actually willing to forfeit his own soul so others might know it as well? If not, read it again, and let that part sink in to give you a true perspective on the boundaries of faith, compared to the small things we hold back from the very same God.
Perhaps by some rationale, we could argue this as bravado or a moment of unfounded passion, but the key isn’t whether or not God would permit Paul to do such a thing. It’s whether or not he absolutely would, if he could. In other words, he either meant it wholeheartedly, and was utterly willing, or the book of Romans is worthless.
Truth is a powerful thing when it comes to shifting our perspective, but seldom an easy thing to swallow without taking time to chew it slowly and savor every bite. This is the difference between milk and meat – between being being saved and actually following Jesus.
As you reflect on these ideas and how best to begin putting your faith into practice, honestly reconsider the difference between how you currently spend your time (daily routines and habits), and how much of it you actually give to God. Our time is something we claim to have so little of, and yet something we so easily give to practical things (in the name of reality), before or instead of giving it to an impractical God, we equally claim is always good.
Remember, salvation is free, but following Jesus is not. The next step of putting your faith into practice is not by simply agreeing that you should, but by acting on what you truly believe.
So which do you really prefer? Only your daily routines will provide the answer or compose the remaining chapters of your life’s story.
What will your story be for 2017?
As the new year approaches please consider the following questions in your own life, and whether or not you’re honestly satisfied with where you are.
1. Are your serious about growing your faith?
2. Do you believe there is more to life than the comforts of God’s blessings – family, career, church and entertainment?
3. Are you tired of trying to figure out what “more” looks like?
4. Are you ready to fully live out the desires of your heart as God’s expression?
5. Will you be in the exact same place a year from now?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these, and meant it – join us now as we help you truly put this into practice.