Thousands of books have been written on how to live out the discipline of faith. Perhaps that is so because it is such a difficult thing to do. For me the discipline can be captured in one simple phrase:everyday to live and lead like Jesus.
While the words are simple,following through is not.The following are suggestions for managing the discipline of faith.
Embrace The Value Of Faith
There are some things in life you will arrive at only through faith. In the past,many people hoped that science would provide the answers to life’s questions. But science cannot do that. Ironically,what is embraced as scientific infact changes from generation to generation. Just look at the way scientist have viewed our solar system. Ptolemy believed the earth was at its center. Corpernicus asserted that the sun was at its center and the planets moved in circular orbits around it.Kepler proved that the orbits were elliptical. Today,scientists no longer argue the structure of the solar system,but ideas about how it was formed change continually. Sometime ago,scientists found what they are calling the oldest known planet in the globular star cluster M4. They say it is a “stunning revelation that will force scientists to revise their ideas 8of planetary formation.” Contrast science with faith.The core beliefs of judaism and christianity have not changed in thousand of years. There is a spiritual aspect to human life that cannot be denied.Spiritual needs must be met spiritually. Nothing else will fill the void.
Put God In The Picture
There’s a story of a man driving a convertible on a mountain road who took an an unexpected turn too quickly and went right over the edge. As his car fell,he managed to grab on to a tree sprouting from the cliff face as his car dropped a thousand feet to the canyon floor.
“Help” he screamed. “Can anyone hear me?” An echo was the only response.
“God can you hear me?” he cried. Suddenly, the clouds rolled together and a voice like thunder said, “Yes I can hear you.”
“Will you help me?”
“Yes I will help you. Do you believe in me?”
“Yes I believe in you.”
“Do you trust me?”
“Yes,yes I trust you. Please,hurry.”
“If you trust me,then let go of the tree,” thundered the voice.
After a long silence,the man cried, “can anyone else hear me?”
If you want to embrace faith,you must let God into your life. No one else is worthy of our absolute and unconditional trust . Theologian F.B Meyer said, “Unbelief puts our circumstances between us and our circumstances.” Who wouldn’t like to have the creator of the universe helping them? James,one of the fathers of the first century church advised, “Come near to God,and he will come near to you.”
Associate With People Of Faith
Comedian Bob Hope once went to the airport to meet his wife,Dolores,who had been doing some charity work for the Catholic Church.When her private plane pulled in,the first two people to step off the plane were catholic priests.Then came Dolores,followed by four more Catholic priests. Hope turned to a friend near him and quipped. “I udon’t know why she doesn’t buy insurance like everybody else!” It’s a fact that you become more like the people you spend time with.If you desire to increase your faith,spend time with others who exercise theirs.Learn from them. Find out how they think.
Explore And Deepen Your Faith
Developing your faith is very similar to developing yourself physically. Perhaps that’s why the Bible contains so many athletic metaphors for spiritual growth. If you don’t,you need to exercise your body regularly. If you don’t, you not only lose strength and conditioning,you begin to lose what you once had.
D.L Moody,a nineteenth-century lay preacher explained how his faith developed. He said, “I prayed for faith, and thought that someday faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to come.One day,I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, ” Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” I had closed my Bible and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible and began to study,and faith has been growing ever since.”
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