Answer: I don’t.
Just look at how often I blog.
In all seriousness, the question really was, “Just how do you do it…how do you keep the faith?”
The truth is that in our daily earthly lives we’re in a battle. The last few weeks I’ve had to keep faith, too. My actions and reactions have come from a place of fear, not faith, so this post is a great reminder for me. I couldn’t keep the faith without the following:
Worship – The key to drawing near to God. And, without God I couldn’t keep the faith.
So worship. What exactly is worship? I found this great definition online:
“True worship is a heartfelt expression of love, adoration, admiration, fascination, wonder, and celebration. It’s something that happens in your heart and soul when you begin to praise God for who He is and thank Him for what He has done.” (source)
“Thank” Him?! We keep the faith during struggles by “thanking” Him for our struggles?! Yes.
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
What happens when we worship? We start to gaze upwardly towards God and we begin to only glance at our circumstances. I love that worshipping brings me back to an eternal perspective.
How? It’s hard to turn on praise music and shout to the Lord when we’re struggling. But try it. Believe it, it works. We’re made and called to worship. Next time you’re in the middle of a struggle, turn on Pandora and find a station (my favorite is Chris Tomlin) and give it 10 minutes. We’re foul and the last kind of mood we’re in is one of worship, but He desires and deserves it. Just remember He is at work in the midst of your pain and He has a plan for this situation. He will provide and He will reward. Just worship!
Die & Pray – die to self daily and pray for intercession.
This is hard to do and hard to remember, but guess what….it’s scriptural:
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses is life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. (Mark 8:35)
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Now I must admit that I’m NOT good at this. I know it’s crucial. I believe it’s crucial. I don’t do it enough. To completely die to self is probably the hardest thing about my walk at this time. I can’t let go of things and as I type these words, it’s as if I hear God whispering in my ear — Yea, but if you would, you’d see what I’m up to and it’s beyond what you can imagine!
I pray an intercession prayer also. Pray to God and pray for the things HE is up to….not your agenda. Pray for His Kingdom to come and His Will to be done. Pray for Him to reveal to you how you may be hindering growth or change in the struggle or situation you’re facing.
Declare – Words are the most powerful thing in the universe. Faith filled words will put you over. Fear filled words will defeat you. (taken from Charles Capps’, God’s Creative Power)
To keep the faith, our words are extremely important. Every time we open our mouths to speak, we’re choosing to speak death over our circumstances or life over our circumstances.
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21)
Our mouths speak what our heart is full of. Think about your circumstance — is your heart full of bitterness, unforgiveness? Is something you’re doing (or not doing) hindering you from moving forward?
Man, I’m getting a big heart check with this post!
Well, to keep you AND me in check, I’m including some declarations that I have in my journal. How bout we declare daily and cut out struggles off before they get the best of us on a daily basis!
* I declare by faith that for today I have received everything I need *
I have grace and peace from God my Father and Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:2)
I have already received every spiritual blessing (in Him) in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3)
* Today I have His pleasure and love, not based on my feelings but on His character *
In love He chose me in Him, before the world was made, to be holy and blameless in His sight (1:4)
* Today I receive His unconditional love and His choosing me *
In love He adopted me as His own child through Jesus, just because He chose to do it.
* Today He is showing me His Will (His sovereign purpose in Christ) for me *
In all wisdom and insight, God the Father has a sovereign purpose for me; and He is completing His Will in history: to sum up all things in Christ (1:9-10)
* Today I see God’s glory in my daily nitty-gritties and I am trusting Jesus in me to live out God’s purposes *
I have been chosen and predestined to live in Him for the praise of His glory. (1:11-12)
* Today I am overcoming, seated in a position of victory at the right hand of God *
He has already raised me up and seated me with Him in heavenly places, demonstrating to me the incredible riches of His free grace to me in Christ Jesus. (2:6-7)
* Today I’m remembering that faith is evidence of things not seen and our ‘evidence’ for things being true is not our circumstances, but God’s promises *
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance in what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)
(declarations taken from Prayer Portions, Sylvia Gunter and Changing Lives, Gregory Dickow)
I hope this post encourages you in some way. It sure has reminded me of things I can do to “keep the faith”. Like my friend who texted me, if you’re struggling to keep the faith, just remember…..
Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of the one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Choose to let Jesus uplift you. Be willing to ask where you’re being disobedient to His rule and be open to His answers.
Hope you all have a wonderful week! I’ll be back this week with a REALLY fun give-away!