What is Faith?
My faith in Christ began at a young age. Not because I fully understood what Christ did for me on the cross, but because I saw my parents live out their [faith in action] and knew that what they believed in MUST be real. It wasn’t until later that I chose for myself what I believed in.
I grew up in church. We were there anytime the doors were open: twice on Sunday, Wednesday nights, and anytime there was a special event going on. I watched my Dad sing on worship team and was heavily involved as an Elder, my mom lead women’s ministries, spoke at retreats and conferences… We were a part of the Christmas and Easter productions, which were epic in the 90’s. Later my Dad would take a pastorit position and my mom would continue on in different areas of ministry.
At the age of 9 I gave my heart to the Lord after my friend put me in her closet and said I couldn’t come out until I said the sinner's prayer. So I did. I really did mean it, but I also wanted to get out of the closet. I don’t recommend this tactic in telling your friends about Jesus. It might get a little weird. LOL But that was one of the moments I remember in my faith journey as a believer.
I cannot say that my faith has been unwavering. That it has withstood temptations. That I haven’t had to choose who I would serve on many accounts. High school was a constant tugging of two worlds. College, even though it was a Christian University, was another tugging. Do I follow the tide of Ministry Majors? Or does God have me on a different path? Post college continued the continued that tug-a-war and brought about other frustration, bad relationships, and frustrations with choices. It was a whole lot of Romans 7:15-20: “I do not understand what I do. What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.”
But one thing I know for certain is that even while my faith, hope, and trust haven’t always been unwavering, JESUS is unwavering. HE refines, strengthens, and perfects my faith in Him. HE takes the broken pieces and makes them whole again. HE will get me through trials and temptations, AND - HE continues to get me through the storms that life likes to try and beat us down with. He will also not leave us nor forsake us when He calls us to do something that takes shear faith, trust, obedience, a tad bit of terror, as he says “WALK. Follow me.”
Follow Me || Have you ever given that statement much thought?
I mean, it’s two words. So we often just read over that statement quickly and think, “Yeah, Jesus was calling his disciples saying, ‘Follow Me.’ “ But the power and magnitude that is in those two words is LIFE CHANGING. It changes the trajectory of your life. The power of hell no longer has a hold on you.
Follow me into the uncharted waters. Follow me even when you can’t see where you’re going. Follow me because I called YOU by name. Follow me out of obedience. Follow me because I am the WAY, the TRUTH, the LIGHT.
FOLLOW - ME.
That moment we choose to follow Jesus is the moment our lives take a different path than the rest of the worlds. No longer are we beating to the beat of our drum, but we are following the footsteps of the One whose ways are FAR superior to ours.
Jesus did not say, “Follow me and the rest of your life is going to be easy. You will not deal with trials anymore…” No - but He DID say that He would never leave us nor forsake us. He also said, “Walk as I walk. Do as I do.” His life was not without pain, ridicule, or heartache. But it was triumphant. And this, this is where Faith comes into play.
I pray these posts refresh your faith. If you are in a place where you’re uncertain. You’re questioning. You’re frustrated. You’re not sure about this whole “faith” thing anymore. I pray these posts rekindle and refresh the reason you chose Jesus.
If you’re like, “Nah, Michelle. I’m good. I’m a beast when it comes to Faith. I’ve got the armor of God on. I know who's got my back.” Then I pray God takes your faith and prepares you to get ready to move even more mountains. That He stretches it, builds it, and uses it in a way where at the end of the day the only words that can be uttered are, “Because of God. Not me.” That He uses you in such a mighty way that it rocks your soul to its core. That you allow Him to use you to speak to those around you in love, confidence, and truth.
Or maybe you’re in the middle. You’ve got faith, but feel like you really haven’t ever had to use it. You’re a rule follower. Faith is more of a word verses an action. Then I ask you to pray this simple, yet dangerous prayer, “Jesus - stretch my faith. Make it fierce in Your name alone.” Then buckle up and get ready, because Jesus is going to take you at your word and your life will NEVER be the same.
No matter where you are at in your faith journey, I pray these posts are encouraging. That you feel refreshed, equipped, and strengthened.
But before we move on, I want you to ask yourself this question:
“How would you define “Faith”?
Take a moment and jot down what you first comes to mind.
Growing up in church, faith to me equaled believing.
Faith = Believing. Believing = Faith. Somehow those two words were one in the same. I grew up thinking that Faith shouldn’t ask questions. I just needed to “faith it.” Or if I created an idea of faith and believed it hard enough, it would somehow become truth. But they are not, in fact, the same. Similar, yes. Identical in meaning, no. And this idea that I had wrapped around what I thought faith was, was really distorted.
The world we live in has misrepresented what Faith is. Faith defined by today’s dictionary is this:
Confidence or trust in a person or thing:
Belief that is not based on proof:
Belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings or religion:
Chris Cree, a professor, missionary, and pastor helps explain that “our beliefs are things that we are thoroughly convinced of. Usually (but not always) they are ideas, concepts that we gather through acquiring information and experience. Because of that, our beliefs can change over time as we gain more knowledge and experience more things throughout our lives.
Faith includes our beliefs, but it is bigger than that. Faith requires action. Your beliefs don’t. If it doesn’t move us to do something or say something – actually take some kind of action – it is not really faith at all. It is just a belief.
To be a Christ follower, we believe that Jesus is God incarnate. That He [Jesus] died on the cross to save us from our sins, rose again, and is the One and only True God. We are Christ followers if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead, we are saved. (Romans 10:9)
Yet, we cannot just merely believe this. Faith in Christ REQUIRES action.
We all place our beliefs in something. Even those who believe in nothing, have a “faith” in the nothingness that they believe in. And sadly, our world has defined faith to be a belief system in anything we choose. The world has defined faith to be a belief that is not based on proof. The world says there are no longer any absolutes in Truth. My so called “faith” becomes more of a fantasy, a fictitious idealism that plays to my fancy. However, Christ-centered faith must be defined and redirected back to its true definition in which it was originally translated, and NOT redefined to be something else.
But before we look at what faith IS, we need to look at what faith is NOT.
In the posts to follow we are going to dive into this big word called FAITH. We are going to take an apologetic approach in look at what faith is NOT, what faith IS, and how God is calling us to USE our faith. And I pray these posts are encouraging to you.