Do you work out? I do. Well, at least since the first of the year, I do. We all know regular physical workouts keep us physically fit and give us the sustainable energy we need to succeed.
But what about exercising our faith in God?
On my last visit to Guam, I chatted with my friend Pastor Albert Alquero of Abundant Life Church. He and his wife Judy are fellow FaithWalkers who followed God all the way to Guam many years ago. As we chatted, I shared how I didn’t want my faith to settle. I wanted to keep walking by faith after seeing God move so mightily in our lives over the last few years. I had reached a comfortable place and that had me worried. I was concerned my faith would become fat and lazy once again.
Albert nodded, understanding my concern and agreeing on the need to keep our faith fit. But after a brief pause, he asked what both of us were thinking, “So how do we do that?”
8 Tips to Keep Your Faith Fit
I’ve given the question some thought in the months since that chat with Pastor Albert and offer a few tips here for being intentional about keeping your faith active and healthy:
- Realize God will grow your faith if you are His child. He has promised to continue the work He has begun in you. He has promised to complete the job, so it’s going to happen. You can fight it, ignore it, resist it—but He will still do what needs to be done to take your faith where it needs to go. Settling for your current level of faith is not an option.
- Recognize our tendency to avoid the faith workout. We all have a natural inclination to avoid anything difficult. But success, in the gym or with your faith, doesn’t happen that way. John C. Maxwell said, “When it comes to success, we’re better off hopping to it than hoping for it.” [Tweet this!] When we know we’d prefer to creatively avoid what produces the greatest growth, we can more easily identify pious excuses to avoid hitting the trail.
- Invite God to work in our daily lives. When faced with challenging commands, the disciples cried out to Jesus, “Increase our faith!” Why not start your day with a similar cry—and see what happens next? And why not? Don’t you want more of whatever your loving Father knows is best for you?
- Position yourself to maximize His work. You can walk on a treadmill in God’s gym or get out on the trail with God as our Guide. The latter requires faith, the former only activity. Look for opportunities to attempt something so big it will only get done if God is in it. As my friend Steve Smothermon says, “God can find you better when you’re moving than when you’re standing still.”
- Seek the supernatural in the everyday stuff of life. God’s work of faith in you is nothing short of a miracle. To be re-born as a new creation in Christ, to be adopted as a child of God after having been His enemy, to be overwhelmed by His grace—it’s all miraculous. But your rebirth includes an ongoing process in which you are led every minute of every day by the Spirit of God. For the FaithWalker there is no normal, only the supernatural we’ve dumbed down to fit our faithless expectations.
- Ask God to exceed your expectations. Remember the last time God wowed you? Well, do you? Remember the prayer of Jabez, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my border….” (I Chronicles 4:10) Jabez asked God to exceed his expectations, to blow him away with undeserved goodness, and God did it. Jesus warned, “You have not because you ask not.” So ask. And then supersize your request. Dare God to blow you away and grow your expectations of what is possible for those who believe.
- Give away more than you think you can afford. Nothing compels you to live by faith more than cultivating the habit of living generously. Give generously of your resources—money, time, clothing, you name it—and trust God to make up the difference. Go ahead, try to out-give the God who promised, “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38)
- Find what scares you and run toward it. Where do feel fear in your life right now? Anxiety is often a symptom of Faith Deficiency Syndrome, a sign that we’re creatively avoiding trusting in God. But you can choose to see your fear as an invitation to cast all your cares upon him and watch Him work. The young David ran toward the giant Goliath. He had a plan in place, but he had even more faith in God to honor his humble efforts to defend God’s name and deliver God’s people.
Question: Do you ever try to avoid a good faith workout? What ways have you found to keep your faith fit? Share your thoughts by clicking here.