People sometimes question what it means to be a faith person, to live a faith-filled life. Some refer to faith people as that “name it and claim it” bunch. They assume that we try to pass off wishful thinking as some form of Christian practice. Others assume that being a faith person means simply that we believe in Jesus, that somehow living a faith-filled life is another name for being a Christian. That would be nice, but living a faith-filled life means so much more. It means approaching life in a specific way. Here are five principles of the faith-filled life:
If you want to live a life of faith, then you must focus on the Word of God. The Bible isn’t simply a sweet storybook or a list of do’s and don’ts; it is a manual for life. The faith person believes what Hebrews 4:12 says: “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Therefore, the faith person makes time to study and meditate on God’ Word regularly.
A person of faith experiences situations and circumstances that scream something contrary to the Word; however, the person of faith trusts that God’s Word is the ultimate authority. So, when symptoms arise, a person of faith says, “He was beaten so I could be whole, therefore, I trust that by the stripes of Jesus, I am healed” (see Isaiah 53:5b). This same approach is used for every situation—healing/sickness, prosperity/lack, peace/depression, joy/brokenheartedness. No matter what is happening in his or her life, the faith person ultimately trusts the Word.
Conventional wisdom may say that things like truth is relative, marriage is obsolete, putting yourself first is paramount, and honor and virtue are outdated; but the person of faith knows better. The faith person lives according to God’s truth. He doesn’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but lets God transform him into a new person by changing the way he thinks. Then he will learn to know God’s will for him, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2).
Living a life of faith requires more than lip service. It takes action. That means the person of faith listens to the Holy Spirit and obeys what He instructs him to do. So, if the Holy Spirit directs him to minister to someone in a specific way, the faith person does it. If the Lord impresses on him to give of his time, money or resources, then he obeys without hesitation (James 1:25).
Many Christians focus on who they were before their salvation. The faith-filled person focuses on who he is as a result of his salvation. He understands the work that Jesus did in his life and lives thankfully because of it. The person of faith doesn’t see himself as a lost sinner who’s barely scraping through the doorway of heaven. No, he understands that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, he is a new creation in Christ Jesus—in His image and in right-standing with the Father (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:17).