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Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Heb. 11:1)
It’s been said that Hebrews 11 is the Red Bull chapter of the Bible. It’s about people who have Red Bull in their faith, who attempt great things and don’t worry about the consequences. This definition of faith is iconic.

We hear people preach about this kind of faith, and we go “Yeah!” But what does it really mean? If we’re going to be people of faith, we’ve got to at least try to know what it is.

When someone’s asked, “Do you have faith?”, a lot of things are meant by that and there are a lot of ways it could be interpreted.

There’s a very casual faith that says, “Yeah, I believe in God.” It’s a an acknowledgement that God, or Jesus, exist. People actually use the word “faith” and “belief” interchangeably. Some people “believe” in God and would call themselves Christians, but they don’t have a thriving personal faith.

There’s a distinction between casual faith and thriving faith. Are you relying on Jesus, depending on Him? A thriving faith says, “I depend on Jesus so much that I submit all of my life to Him.” A thriving faith is where you and God have a collision and He wins, and in Him winning you, He has changed you and you win. He gives you a new heart.

How is your personal faith? Is it thriving?

The verse above says “Faith is being confident of what we hope for, assured of what we do not see.” I’ve never seen Jesus with my eyes. I’ve never seen him in a vision or walking down the road. But I know He’s real, and I know I’ll see him in person one day.

I think the movie “The Passion of The Christ” is a good depiction of Jesus. They tried to portray what I know is real. I was invited to a pre-screening of the movie in Washington, D.C. and Mel Gibson was there. I remember seeing it and weeping through it. Afterward, I was walking through the streets crying. I thought to myself, “I knew it! Even though it’s the best Hollywood could depict of you, Jesus, I knew it! I knew you were worth my all! I knew it was worth being called a freak, a weirdo, way too committed. Now everyone’s going to see you are worth it! I knew it!”

Do you have a logical deduction about your faith, where you just say, “I need to pray this prayer and acknowledge Jesus is the savior.”? Or, have you had a personal encounter with Jesus, a raw earnest dependency on Him?

I’m talking about a real, authentic encounter with God, one that happens on a regular basis. Do you rend your heart in your daily prayer? Do you humble yourself, get on your knees and have God’s grace renew you and prepare you for each new day?

Paul wrote a letter to the early church telling them they should be eating meat, but they’re still dependent on milk, like babies. He equates their faith to eating habits.

What are your feeding patterns? Are you still drinking milk while you should be eating meat? Spiritual eating patterns are a big determination of how you thrive.

We eat regular meals every day. Eating and drinking are things we have to do in order to survive. Nutritionists say that what you eat will determine your body makeup more than anything else, even exercise. Our bodies are in the shape they’re in 80% because of what we eat, and only 20% because of our physical activity.

What do you consume with your eyes and ears? What information? I find at times that I’m too overdosed on news. I love news, I crave it, I want to know what’s going on in the world and I want to know it now. But sometimes I’ve got to shut it off. I want to be sharp on the issues, but I don’t want the news to consume me.

What spiritual stuff do you let in? What are you consuming spiritually to let your faith thrive? Whether it’s music, media, movies, books, teachings, or podcasts, think about what you consume spiritually.

Besides talking about our kids, perhaps the most-common conversations Katie and I have are books we’re reading, sermons we’ve listened to, or what we’ve read in the Bible. It’s because that’s what we’re trying to feed ourselves on a daily basis.

Some seasons I’ve eaten better than others.  When I trained for the marathon, I listened to sermons. I looked forward to the runs, in spite of the pain, because I got to listen to 4-5 great sermons while I ran.

But sometimes when you’re sick, you don’t have an appetite. You still have to eat, or you’re never going to get better. Sometimes getting spiritually fed feels like a chore. But just go ahead and eat. You’ll develop an appetite for the spiritual food.

Sometimes we crave things that are unhealthy. You like the taste of things that will lead you away from the Lord. Just like with a real diet, you’ve got to eat things that will make you healthy, even if you don’t crave them. You’ll begin to be hungry for what’s good for you and you won’t crave the junk anymore.

Take responsibility for your own spiritual nutrition. We get used to pastor preparing a big meal for us, but why don’t we learn to fix our own food? You wouldn’t move away from home and still expect your mother to prepare your meals or you’ll starve. At some point, we have to learn to take responsibility for our own spiritual food.

With a thriving faith, we’ll be able to face challenges with a whole new perspective. You see this giant, and he’s taunting you. You’re just a little guy like David, but your faith is so big that you’re not afraid of this giant. You’re not discouraged. Instead of seeing yourself as defeated, you see an opportunity. The glass is never half-empty. Somehow, God’s going to pull you through, and you’ll rise above the challenge.

As Christians, we can build each other up during challenges, but don’t expect anyone to spoon feed you. If we can see the challenges of these heros of the faith through eyes of faith, then we can keep our own circumstances in perspective and see them through the eyes of faith too.

Copyright © Teen Mania Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Ron Luce
Web site: Ron Luce
 
Ron Luce was the co-founder's and president of Teen Mania Ministries from 1986-2015. Ron and his wife Katie dreamed to raise up young people who would change the world.
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