How Is Your Faith?

I believe that one of the most difficult spiritual practices to follow is walking in faith at all times. 

It’s relatively easy for us to say that we have faith, but it’s something else altogether to maintain this faith day in and day out as we deal with the stresses of living in a fallen world.

However, we know that as believers we are commanded to have faith. Hebrews 11:6 tells us:

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Also, in 2 Corinthians 5:7, we are told:

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Therefore, we must have faith if we want to please God and live our lives as He would have us do.

If we know we’re to live in faith, why is it so hard to do? 

I have found that just reading about the concept of faith seems to strengthen my own faith. This strengthening will last for a little while even if I don’t do anything different.

However, the cares and worries of life usually creep back in and I begin to look at my circumstances instead of God’s promises.

Pretty soon, I’m again living like somebody who has never known the Lord and His word. It’s far too easy to keep my focus on what’s going on around me, rather than what God has said.

I believe that we must make a conscious effort to focus on scripture, rather than the narrative that’s being played over and over in our minds.

Even though we know that God will reward our faith, that doesn’t make it any easier, as the enemy is constantly whispering lies in our ears. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 is a good place to start:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

These verses have been among my favorites in the entire Bible for many years. I have read them over countless times as a way to bolster my faith in the face of life’s struggles. 

While it is comforting to read God’s truths, the truth doesn’t do us any good if we don’t take action on it. 

James 1:22 says:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 

We’re only fooling ourselves if we don’t take action on the word of God. We can never expect to receive God’s blessings on our lives if we don’t walk in faith.

One good way to build your faith is by starting small. Pray to God about something minor going on in your life that you need His help with. However, make sure that it lines up with His will. 

Then, as God answers your prayer and you see His hand operating in your life, build on that faith. Go to God with a slightly bigger need and watch Him work.

Keep cultivating your faith as you slowly but surely work toward trusting Him for help and provision in every area of your life.

He may not give you everything you ask for, but rest assured that His work in your life will always be for the best:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Rom. 8:28

Treat your growing faith as if it were as valuable as gold, because it truly is. As your faith deepens and you see God working in your life in an ever increasing way, you’ll find it easier to maintain your faith.

Of course, I’m talking to myself as much as I am to anyone else. I need to walk this path so I can increase my faith and live the way God intends.

Let’s do it together, what do you say?

Jehovah’s (False) Witnesses

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“Come over here for a second. I want to show you something.” My coworker, a devout Jehovah’s Witness, summoned me to his work area.

Generally, I try to avoid any sort of in-depth conversation with him, because the subject always gravitates toward his deeply-held beliefs. This belief system, by the way, is dictated by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, using the New World Translation (their translation of the Bible) and the interpretation thereof. The tenets of the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith are disseminated throughout their worldwide membership from their headquarters in Brooklyn, New York.

As soon as I heard him say he wanted to show me something, I knew it would be something related to the JW religion.

In this case, he wanted to show me a video the media arm of the organization had produced that describes God’s wishes for the marriage relationship. With all the LGBTQ headlines in the news lately, this certainly has been hot topic.

I was somewhat surprised by the JW video’s content. It was interesting how closely much of the short video agrees with the interpretation of scripture that most evangelicals would hold. The Jehovah’s Witnesses espouse a one man/one woman marriage, denouncing other types of unions.

The video quoted several different verses which, of course, were taken from their New World Translation (which has been proven inaccurate many times – here, here, and here just to reference a few). The cartoon mother in the video even references “the resurrection”.

However, the mention of Jesus as God was blatantly missing, as was the concept of salvation by faith in Jesus alone. In fact, the video says that we can someday go to “Paradise” if we follow God’s guidelines, completely leaving Jesus out of the picture.

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Watching the video made me think of the passage in scripture where the scribes accuse Jesus of being demonically possessed by Beelzebul because of his own ability to cast out demons. He retorts the scribes and explains the impossibility of their accusation. “And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end” (Mark 3:26 ESV).

If we believe the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion/cult was engineered by the dark side (which I do), then at first look the organization appears to be working against itself. Even though the JW’s are missing key beliefs that are necessary for the Christian faith, isn’t their positive message (such as in this video) working against the cult’s overall insidious intent? Are you confused yet?

Much of the group’s theology agrees with evangelical beliefs, and to some degree has probably brought its adherents closer to God, at least as they themselves see it. Perhaps the organization’s work actually ignites in its followers a passion to search for and cling to God the Father. And because these people seek God, they are more likely to do good works for others and to live an overall more moral life.

All this sounds good until you realize that anybody who seeks God in this way, without looking to Jesus his Son for salvation, is missing the boat entirely. Without salvation in Christ alone as the fundamental piece of their faith, everything else is for nought. They have denied him as Lord and Savior and instead tried to attain righteousness in accordance with man’s interpretation of morality.

Perhaps the dark side is willing to let morality and good works be an outcome of the JW organization, so long as its adherents never come to a saving belief in the deity of Jesus Christ. Indeed, that might be the ultimate win for that side — deceiving people into thinking they are truly seeking God, doing the right things, improving their lives, etc., when in actuality all that effort is for nothing.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6 ESV).

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