Are You In The Faith?
After getting saved, people often expect to be magically transformed into model Christians overnight. This is a prevalent, but unrealistic expectation. So what, then, should a daily walk with Christ look like? Without daily immersion in the Bible and the fortification of prayer, it quickly becomes discouraging trying to decipher if we are in God’s will. Ever reach a point where you can’t figure out if God is in working in your life at all? How do we know if we are in the faith? 2 Corinthians 13:5 teaches, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified”(NKJV). How can we do this successfully?
The conviction of the Holy Spirit, coupled with a repentant heart, are the key indicators that you are “in the faith.” Depending on your level of commitment to your walk with Christ, sinful habits you formerly found desirable will become immoralities you strive to avoid. The development of your maturity in Christ is directly contingent upon your willingness to obey Him. If you are a Christian, you are exhorted to “not be conformed to this world, but [to] be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). Yet, rejecting the behaviors characteristic to secular living is often an exacting task. Our sinful nature pushes us to pursue our own interests above holy living. Happily, we have the supernatural strength of God on our side. The Holy Spirit helps us to spurn the enticements of sin. John 14:16-17 says “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
One way to test your faith is to actively obey God’s commands. For instance, are you heeding God’s commands about marriage? Wives, be submissive to your husbands, the leaders of your family (Ephesians 5:22). Husbands, show your wives you love them in the same way Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). What about loving your enemies? Instead of loving only the lovable, start loving and praying for those who mistreat you, swear at you, take advantage of you, gossip about you, lie to you, steal from you, and hurt you. Essentially, start showing love to anyone who qualifies as your enemy (Matthew 5:43). If you do exactly what God’s Word instructs, you will see results this world cannot give you.
This is not to say that our obedience to His commands is enough, as James 2:17-18 explains, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” Choosing a saving faith in Christ is the first imperative step. If you don’t have Jesus, any tasks performed and any commands obeyed will be in your own strength.
Another way to test yourself is to ask where your hope is found. Is your hope in yourself or is it God? Hebrews 11:1 states, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” “Hope” means “strong confidence” in biblical terms. Do you hope in God, or do you hope in the world? We can know that we are in the faith if we are relying on God, rather than ourselves.
These are just a few ways to determine if we are in the faith. Matthew 6:33 exhorts, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Keeping in the faith requires us to always keep our eyes on Jesus; it is only then that we can see God clearly moving in our lives.