Sometimes we have something, but because we’re missing one crucial piece then, we have nothing. Like hopping in your car, and you’re missing the key. Or being at the grocery store line but missing your wallet. Or having a job interview but missing your pants.
It’s the same thing with faith. When you’re missing one part, you have nothing.
I previously defined faith in this equation because I’m a nerd…
Knowing God’s Word + Believing God’s Word + Applying God’s Word = Faith
So let’s say I punch you in the face because you said something like you love Pirates of the Carribean 2 & 3, which are absolutely horrible movies. The Bible says you should ‘turn the other cheek’. You know that, and you believe it, but you don’t do it, and try to punch me back. You are not acting in faith. (Neither am I, but at least I’m right).
So missing one piece of the equation isn’t faith.
But you can miss more than the “Applying God’s Word” element.
What if you’re missing the first part, “Knowing God’s Word”?
Now this is also a huge problem, and it happens all the time and we all do it.
If you don’t base your faith in God’s Word, then who’s word are you basing it in?
Yours, the world or Satan’s. Let’s just lump that all under ‘temptation’.
The problem is if you think that you’re basing it God’s Word, but really aren’t, and you sincerely believe it and act on it, you’ll be sinning while calling it faith (or God’s will) the whole time.
An obvious example is when you see Christians yelling at a group they see as sinners. You know these Christians are sincere, because the Bible says certain things are wrong, but then they don’t base their actions on God’s Word (the parts talking about acting in love).
What about all these following questions? Can you base your actions in Biblical principles?…
How should I discipline my child? Is it okay for me to watch this R rated movie? How should I talk to my friend who is in adultery? What college should I go to? What friends should I have? Should I eat this Big Mac? Should I save money and calories by cooking dinner?
Life is a series of endless questions that we answer – and most of the time we have no Biblical basis for our actions.
That’s living in non-faith.
Just because we’re not actively ‘sinning’ by killing people, stealing or watching Pirates 2 and/or 3, doesn’t mean we’re living in faith.
And if it’s not in faith, it’s sin.
So now what?
Since life is lived with a million decisions every day, we need to have God’s Word with us at all times, in our hearts. That only comes with a devotion to His Word.
Study and be familiar with major verses and principles. Yeah, you might not be able to recite a verse word for word when you get in a car accident or when your kid talks back to you, but hopefully you can at least paraphrase it to yourself as you are coming up with your response.
So, be devoted to God’s Word through personal study so that you can recall His Word in any situation.
And to help you think of some verses on a daily basis, might I suggest a certain amazing online devotional written by one the cutest theologians of all time .
Note: I’m talking about me.
Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Romans 14:23 Everything that does not come from faith is sin.
Take Time To Pray: Ask God for the motivation to be dedicated to His Word so you can base your faith in it.
P.S. A couple helpful verses that come in handy in most situations are Romans 8:28, Gal 5:22-23, James 1:2-5, 1 Cor 13:4-7.