We come to the final part of this series. The question is, how is your faith reflected in your life? I cannot give you the answer to this because it is our own personal journey. There are many factors that contribute to living out our faith. In this blog, I want to focus on three: daily discipline, being an influencer within your environment and being willing to change. Living out my faith is something I struggle to do daily. Regardless of my own imperfections, God still loves me and calls me his child. I pray that you may know this same truth too.
Each day we need to be refuelling ourselves spiritually. I was reminded that God’s word is meant to be our spiritual food. John 6:35 ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’ It is something we need daily, to nourish and to strengthen us. Yet many of us, myself included, can go days without reading God’s word. It got me thinking, we do not last long running on yesterdays food. We get tired, irritated, and our body lacks the nutrients it needs. If we make sure our body gets food, why do we find it so hard to spiritually feed ourselves. For many of us we do not see it as appetizing, we can be doing something better with our time. Some/ if not most of us struggle to make sense of what is actually being said. Sometimes we believe that we know that scripture so well, what is the point in reading it again. Some of us are generally lazy, we want others to tell us what it says and what it means. I know I struggle with reading God’s word daily but when you take the time there is always something new to learn.
May we make more of an effort to fulfil ourselves with God’s word. There are many resources online and hundreds of books that are accessible to give you help and guidance as you read God’s words. Authors such as: Timothy Keller, Tom Wright, Francis Chan, Jefferson Bethke, etc are some of my favourites.
Keep your prayer life strong. Psalm 17:6 ‘I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.’ Truthfully prayer does not always come easy to us. There are various reasons why we struggle. Prayer is not about praying about the right things with all the right/fancy words. If we flip through the Psalms and see how they communicate with God. It was raw and honest. We should use prayer to give over our worries and our concerns ; not just for us, for the people around us and for the wider world. Prayer is raw because it is us laying our hearts before God and giving over what we worry about and has held us captive for a long time. Prayer changes not only us but how we react to what happens in the world. Luke 18:1 ‘The Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and never give up.’
Each day we should be allowing ourselves time to spend with God. In prayer and through reading God’s word. Turn on worship music, dance and sing because this is your time with God. It is through daily discipline that living out your faith will become easier and natural. When you are transformed from the inside, it will always flow out.
Using your environment to be an influencer.
For some of us we only believe we are living out our faith if we are out changing the world. Out in a foreign country, helping to end poverty. Building churches or campaigning for this and that. While those are all amazing things to be doing, we are not all called to do that. Some of us are called to live in the environment we are in. To be a light where maybe there has been darkness for a long time. Matthew 5:18 ‘In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven,’ At the moment I do retail work, which means dealing with people constantly. That is where I try to, live out my faith. That does not mean I try to convert everyone into being a Christian. I just try to live a life of love and understanding to all the people I meet. I try to have an upbeat attitude, also the willingness to not be afraid to talk about my faith when people ask me why I have such an attitude. It is not something that I do in my own strength, it is something I have to pray persistently about. It is something I believe we can all do, we do not have to be doing something big to be living a life of faith.
In the environment we are in, may we all pray about how God can use us to be an influencer. It could be going with a positive attitude into a stressful environment. Being the listening ear/voice for those who normally go unheard. It could look like anything, continuously trust God to lead you. What you are called to do may not always be easy but to remain faithful will lead to amazing things happening. It is about doing the everyday with a faithful spirit.
Being willing to change
Living a life of faith, means we will not always be in a comfortable place. That is okay, it is not easy, but it is something Jesus warned us all of. Matthew 16:24-26 ‘The Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for the sake will find it. For what will it profit a mean if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
If we want to remain faithful, then we cannot become complacent. It is all about moving forwards and pressing on. Sometimes what we are called to do will be well beyond our comfort zone, but we are in good company. Some of the key characters in the Bible struggled with what they were called to do: Esther, Jonah, Abraham and Moses. One promise that we can use as steadfast anchor for our life is Deuteronomy 31:6 ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’
Living a life of faith will change our perspective on life and how we live it. For some of us it may come easier than others. Remember to not compare but to continuously strive forwards. I pray this series has helped you in your faith. Whether you are coming to it for the first time or reconnecting with your faith. I started writing this series when I was in a hard place with my faith. Rediscovering these truths has benefitted me in being able to connect with my faith again. I have shrugged off a lot of the burdens I had put upon myself and came face to face with my Saviour again. If this is what you need to do too, then soak in the word of God and there will be release and freedom again. You are so loved and so precious. May you let God have your heart, mind and soul.
Have a blessed week. Love Victoria. xx