Life At Its Best: Faith is substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen
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As a kid, I grew up in church and heard a lot about faith. I thought because I heard all about it, I knew all about it.
But when I was 17 years old, I met a pastor who began to challenge me. He explained to me that faith was more than a belief in God; it required learning to consistently seek and obey him.
When I started viewing faith from that perspective, my life began to change. It was no longer simply about believing God was real. I wanted to know and follow him in every part of my life.
As I did, I began experiencing his favor like never before.
That's what God desires for each of us. He's called us to live confident in him and in what he can do. Hebrews 6:1 says, "Without faith it's impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
Having faith is vital in fulfilling God's plan. When we live convinced of who he is and committed to earnestly seeking him, he promises we'll be richly rewarded.
In the Bible, we find the story of Abraham - a man who really knew what it meant to live by faith. He was successful, working a great job and living in a thriving city when God asked him to pack everything up and leave his home behind.
Scripture says, "By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went even though he didn't know where he was going."
Abraham could've stayed in the comfort and security of his success, but he didn't. Instead he left, unsure of where he was going but confident that God would take care of him. Because of his faith and obedience, God blessed him incredibly.
That's the kind of faith God's called us to live with, and it starts with consistently seeking him. Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."
Faith doesn't come simply because we pray for it; it comes when we value God's presence and study his word, allowing its truth to build assurance in our heart.
Then, not only must we seek him, but we must be obedient to what he says. James 2:17 says, ".Faith without works is dead." Abraham not only heard God, but he obeyed him.
Living a life of faith usually isn't easy. Sometimes it requires stepping out of our comfort zone and following God, even when we're not sure where he's leading us. However, when we, like Abraham, decide to walk in obedient faith, he'll lead us into tremendous blessing.
What's God asking you to have faith for? I encourage you to seek him daily.
Allow his promises to build your faith. Then, put that faith to action as you walk in total obedience to him. Your blessing is waiting on you.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.