By Miao Xiao
Every brother and sister in the Lord has their own different experiences of coming before God. However, so similar are most Christians’ experiences of faith in God after believing in the Lord: We read the Bible and pray to the Lord day after day, go to the church for gatherings regularly, spread the Lord Jesus’ salvation to our relatives and friends ardently, bear the cross, practice tolerance, patience, and loving others as ourselves and so on. In doing so, we think that we are believing in God. Moreover, we are envious of those brothers and sisters who know the Bible thoroughly, sacrifice and labor tirelessly for the Lord. Most of us think this kind of faith in God should be commended by Him. And we think if we believe in God this way, we will surely be raptured into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord Jesus returns.
One day, I read a passage of words in a spiritual book, which mentions that this kind of faith in God isn’t in line with God’s will. This is what I couldn’t be receptive to by reading the Bible. The spiritual book says: “You may think believing in God is about suffering, or doing many things for Him, or for the peace of your flesh, or for everything to go well for you, for everything to be comfortable — but none of these are purposes people should have for believing in God. If that is what you believe, then your perspective is incorrect and you simply cannot be perfected. … Even though people with religious beliefs have faith in God, they don’t seek dispositional change, don’t pursue knowledge of God, and only seek the interests of their flesh. Many among you have faiths that belong in the category of religious convictions. That is not true faith in God.” These words are practical. After reading these words, I got to know that it’s an incorrect viewpoint of believing in God that believing in God is about nothing but just suffering and doing things for Him, or for pursuing fleshly peace, or for gaining grace and blessings. Besides, we believe that the belief in God is about running, expending, and toiling for the Lord and blindly pursuing fleshly interests with the intent to receive blessings. Comparing our viewpoints to these words, I knew that our belief isn’t the true faith in God.
This is just like the belief of some followers of the Lord Jesus. They preached, worked, bore the cross, suffered and cast away. However, they didn’t focus on practicing the Lord’s words in real life but set aside His words and usually acted based on their will and personal likes. Especially when in the church, they coveted fame, profit and status, blindly exalted and testified to themselves by explaining the Bible, and even created factions and set up independent kingdoms. At last, they brought brothers and sisters in front of themselves. In God’s eyes, they were hypocrites and enemies of God. Thinking back, God shows us clear requirements in His work, in which there are His intentions for us. Further, He is for the purpose of achieving a certain result among us. If we just focus on working and suffering for the Lord and keep to some outward practices but don’t emphasize practicing or experiencing His words, then even if we believe in the Lord this way for many years, we still can’t understand the truth, much less come to know God. More importantly, such manner of faith in God can’t be approved by God, but instead, it will be condemned by Him. It’s just as the Lord Jesus says, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22–23).
I remembered that the Lord Jesus once said to His disciples, “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed” (John 8:31). Similarly, this spiritual book says, “Believing in God is for the sake of satisfying Him and for living out the disposition He requires, so that His actions and glory may be manifested through this group of unworthy people. That is the correct perspective for believing in God, and also the goal you should seek.” From these words, we can understand that only by following God’s way and practicing God’s words, and thereupon satisfying God with living out and witness, can such manner of faith in God conform to God’s intentions and requirements. This is just the right viewpoint of believing in God, as well as the goal we believers in God should pursue. This made me think of Peter. He offered his entire life to God. Even in tiny things in life like what he ate, wore, and where he lived, he never acted as he pleased. In all he did, he practiced the truth with a heart of loving God to satisfy Him. Peter shepherd churches in strict accordance with the Lord’s will and requirements. Besides, he didn’t pray to God for his own gain or loss but only wished to love God within himself. Peter paid attention to listening to and practicing God’s words, finally submitting even to death and loving God to the utmost. Due to this, God gave him the key of the kingdom of heaven. Hence, Peter’s faith was most approved by God. There is also Job. In the Old Testament, it records that God called Job a perfect and an upright man in the earth who feared God and shunned evil. Trials coming to Job, he lost all his possessions and sons and daughters, and his body became covered with sores. Then he could come before God with a heart of reverence for Him and seek how to satisfy Him. Through his seeking, he believed God’s sovereignty and determined to worship God and praise His name no matter whether God rewarded or smote him. Eventually, he stood witness for God, causing Satan to be humiliated in defeat. From these we can see that their faith is the genuine faith in God, and we should follow the example of it. Now I finally have some practical knowledge of the true faith in God. I wish that God has mercy on me and guides me to go ever deeper into my pursuit of the truth, so that I can walk the path of believing in God according to His words. Only so can I have the opportunity to be raptured into the kingdom of heaven by the Lord.
Source: Grow in Christ — The Second Coming of Christ
These Bible verses about faith will tell you the importance of faith, the reason for losing faith, and how to restore the lost faith, and show you the way to increase your faith.
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