Losing Your Faith?

faithfeedOn my deck are a couple of pots containing beautiful flowers. Throughout the Summer months I watered them and fertilized them. Keeping them alive, through 95 degree heat, in blazing sun, demanded consistent effort on my part. More than once, I forget to water them and they wilted.  To all appearances they were gone but when I ‘refreshed’ them, they revived.

My life is built on faith in God. Believing that He cares for me, that He has a purpose for me, that His ways lead to joy now and life eternal, I live for Him. My faith has been battered at times. My late wife’s illness and death made some heavy demands on my faith in the Lord. I felt tempted to doubt His love, to question if He knew me or cared for me. At times I wondered if this life of submission to Christ was worth the effort required. Are you surprised? Do you think that ‘faith’ is somehow detached from everyday life, that a relationship with Christ is unaffected by the seasons of life?

Faith is a gift of God, but it must be fed and cared for, too!  A vibrant, healthy life with God does not just happen nor will one remain spiritually strong without consistent soul care.  Paul wrote these instructions for us. “And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” (Colossians 2:6-10, NLT)

When the Spirit draws us to Christ, we respond with a “yes.” Can you remember when you first trusted Jesus? Remember the joy you felt when the truth about forgiveness settled over you, when your guilt and shame fell away, replaced by a real sense of the love of God? The Word reminds us that we must ‘continue to follow Him!’  Each day we renew our response of trust, saying “Yes, Lord.” And faith grows! As we mature, He begins to ask us to work on character, to shift our values to spiritual things. Choices, sometimes difficult and costly, have to be made that either feed faith or starve it. If we let the Spirit take control, we find that the ‘roots’ of our life go deeper and as they do, faith becomes more robust.

We consistently and constantly go back to Christ Jesus.  While we live in this world, we will come against questions. Why? What? When?  The Word warns against letting philosophy replace Christ. Knowledge is a gift. Study is rewarding. God desires to reveal Himself and His truth to us, but we must never replace the foundation of faith in Jesus with “big words and intellectual double-talk” … or with “ideas based on the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings.

Feed your faith!

Take in the Scripture on a regular basis, both in personal reading and through preaching. “For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; Let them all be fixed upon your lips, so that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you.” (Proverbs 22:18-19, NKJV)  “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17, NKJV)

Stay connected to the Body (the church).  We need each other – to celebrate, to mourn, to lean on, to share our gifts mutually.  “God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.”  (Ephesians 4:12-13)

Deal with temptation now, not later.  James talks about the progression from temptation, to sin, to death.  We want to blame the Devil, life, or others, but he tells us that we must deal with ourselves.  “The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.”  (James 1:14-15)

Here is a word from the Word. Celebrate the joy of a mature faith. Keep feeding it, so that you will remain strong until the coming of the Lord or the day that you enter His Presence. “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:3-5, NIV)

_______________

Overcomer

Staring at the stop sign,

Watching people drive by,

T-Mac on the radio.

Got so much on your mind,

Nothing’s really going right,

Looking for a ray of hope.

 

Whatever it is you may be going through,

I know He’s not gonna let it get the best of you.

 

You’re an overcomer!

Stay in the fight ’til the final round.

You’re not going under,

‘Cause God is holding you right now.

You might be down for a moment,

Feeling like it’s hopeless,

That’s when He reminds You;

That you’re an overcomer!

You’re an overcomer!

 

Everybody’s been down,

Hit the bottom, hit the ground;

Oh, you’re not alone.

Just take a breath, don’t forget,

Hang on to His promises.

He wants You to know,

 

You’re an overcomer!

 

The same Man, the Great I Am,

The One who overcame death.

He’s living inside of You,

So just hold tight, fix your eyes,

On the One who holds your life.

There’s nothing He can’t do,

He’s telling you-

 

You’re an overcomer!

 

So don’t quit don’t give in you’re an overcomer

Don’t quit don’t give in you’re an overcomer

Don’t quit don’t give in you’re an overcomer

You’re an overcomer

 

Ben Glover | Chris Stevens | David Garcia

© D Soul Music (Admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.)

CCLI License # 810055

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