Thursday, February 24, 2011
I've been doing my devotional out of 2 Corinthians the last couple months and God is revealing some great stuff that I haven't seen before. For example, this morning as I read, listened to some Jazz (which is weird during devo time, but that's what happened to be playing) and made my way through chapter 13, I was halted at verse 5 which reads,
Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Paul tells us that we should examine ourselves to ensure that our faith is genuine. I started asking how we do that. What should we be asking ourselves to ensure whether our faith is genuine? What are the areas in our lives that we can look at to determine if we have genuine faith in our Jesus and if He is among us and lives in us? I think there are three areas (questions) of our life that we can look at that will reveal our genuine faith (these are not the only areas I'm sure, but this is what God showed me this morning).
1. How much time do I spend with God? (This area will effect every other area.)
Do I read the bible? If so do I read it as part of a routine or do I read to actually hear from God? Do I pray? Do I pray a list of needs to God or do I seek God's face and humble myself in praise, worship and awe of who He is?
2. How do I interact within community?
Do I use community or give to community? Am I in it for me or do I concern myself with with filling the needs of others in my community? Am I about what I can get or what I can give?
3. Do I follow the leading of the Holy Spirit?
Do I allow His conviction to draw me towards God or do I allow the worldly guilt to push me farther from Him? Do I seek the Holy Spirit to be my comforter or do I seek the pleasures of the world to comfort me?
Like I said, these aren't the only ways to examine the genuineness of your faith, I'm confident there are more, and it isn't about keeping a list of rules either. Things like, I don't watch certain movies or listen to certain music, I don't curse and I attend church, I even give my money and time to my church are absolutely not good measures of genuine faith. In fact, that's legalism and is more focused on behavior modification. Sadly that mindset traps so many people into this idea of Christianity that is no more fulfilling than obeying laws like don't speed. Not speeding might make you a good citizen of the area you live in, but you're not invested in your city, you're not a real part of the community. There is no loyalty or devotion, at best you're just good at staying within established boundaries. Eventually though, after not being stopped by or seeing a police officer for awhile, you'll speed.