Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
Most Christians can quote verbatim the definition of faith found in Hebrews 11:1. However, not many Christians live by that definition. Yes, "faith is the substance of things hoped for and surely it is the evidence of things not seen," but when the going gets tough some people tend to forget what the Bible says faith is.
Genuine faith is not limited to merely quoting scriptures about it. You must embrace full-hearted faith. That means you must believe with every fiber of yourself and act accordingly with your mind, your emotion, and your will. It is only then that the inner workings of your faith will be in full operation.
Test your faith in the following three ways right now for whatever you are believing God to do for you.
The Mind Test
You should be realistic about what you are believing God to do for you. Everything should be according to God's promises in the Bible for you to have that thing. There is no need for your mind to think something is going to happen if it is not lined up with the will, word, or way of God.
Don't think God will circumvent His plans or go against what He said in order to please you. If it is not a promise of God, then it will not come to pass. Make sure your request is based on what God says you can have.
Take the mind test to confirm that what you are requesting is not what you think it should be, but know without a shadow of a doubt that it lines up with God's plan, promises, and principles in the Bible. In other words, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5).
The Emotion Test
Just like your mind, your emotion must be involved in your faith. The highest Christian emotion is love, and the highest recipient of your love should be God. Therefore, wholehearted faith should be motivated by love. According to Galatians 5:6. "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love."
Whatever you are believing God to do for you, it must be something for which God Himself will get the glory. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want this for selfish reasons?
- Do I want it to help others?
- Do I want it to bring glory to God?
- Is love the motivating factor for my request?
Make sure you are requesting something for the right reasons. In order to do that, test to see if your request is based on the emotion of love.
The Will Test
Whether you are believing God for something big or small, there is always something you must do in order to express your faith. It doesn't make sense to want something and just wait for it to happen on its own. It could miraculously happen that way, but biblical examples prove that you must use your faith for something to happen.
- You must give God something to work with. The little boy gave Jesus his lunch to feed 5,000 men and women (Matthew 14:13-21).
- You must participate in your own blessings. God told Moses, "Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it (Exodus 14:16).
- Your will must be involved in your believing. Jesus told the crippled man. "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk" (John 5:8).
You should express your faith in every situation. God can do it all by Himself, but He wants you to show some indication that you believe something will actually happen. When you request something from God, expect Him to answer your prayer. Then consider how to show your will. No matter how small it turns out to be, do something to express your faith.
You must pass all three tests to enter into full-hearted faith. You must believe with your mind, your emotion, and your will.
It might feel a little strange when you first start to test your faith in the three areas mentioned. After you develop the habit of testing your faith in those three ways, it will become automatic for every decision you make. It will be a demonstration of true faith the way it should be.