Practical Christianity

Living By Faith? Here’s a Practical Test

We have so much faith in the chair that we don’t even realize we have faith in the chair.

There is a barometer, a quick way to take a self assessment and see how well you are living by faith. Because, to be true, we are all living by some sort of faith every moment, but how can we tell which one? Practical vs. theoretical?

When we place our faith in Christ, we do Christ-like things. When our faith is in the world systems of power, we do worldly things. We know what we believe (have faith in) by our actions.

Here’s an example: I walk into a room and I see a chair, a person directs me to sit in the chair and I sit down. Now, this is a chair I’ve never sat in before, I don’t know if it’s safe, I don’t know if it will hold my weight but I sit in it nonetheless. What have I done? I have just acted on faith. Even though I have never sat on this chair before I didn’t question whether or not it would do its job. What made me so sure? In fact most of us would sit down on a strange chair with such assurance we wouldn’t even recognize this action of sitting as informed by faith – but I guarantee you it was. We have just become so accustomed to the shape and presence of such pieces of furniture and dealings with similar such contraptions that we don’t even think about it – we don’t ask the person inviting us to sit, where the chair was made, has it been sat in by someone of our stature before or even for them to sit in it themselves before we trust it with our own heft. No, we are quick to follow directions because we have so much faith in the chair that we don’t even realize we have faith in the chair.

This is the kind of faith that is at the core of Practical Christianity. When God says something we believe it and everyone around us knows we believe it because we do it. This is what James means when he says, “I will show you my faith by my works…” James 2:18. That is what Practical Christianity is all about: using the faith that brought us to Christ to live for Christ. This is what we want. We want to have lives that testify of the mercy and grace we have received so that others may receive that same gift. This is in direct obedience to the command of Christ at his accession, so we know it to be a worthwhile endeavor.

Faith is required at every step along our journey with God. It brings us to him and carries us with him and delivers us into eternity. The goal is to allow him to develop our faith to the place where the reaction time between hearing his word and doing his word is instantaneous. We get there through one act of obedience at a time. Each act of obedience declares more and more the power of Christ in our lives which results in His name receiving the glory it deserves.