When growing genuine belief, it’s easy to ignore the overall changes needed in your life to make belief effective. Why? Because; “if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lords” (Romans 14:8). Jesus is NOT an add-on to life, He is your life! Jesus does not want your religious good intention. The Lord requires all of you so that He can change everything, NOT just the comfortable things.
Jesus question to His disciples is still valid; “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Human pursuits may be good in and of themselves, but we fool ourselves by trying to find spiritual security in them. Anxiety over this temporal life is symptomatic of a far more serious spiritual anxiety which is often overlooked.
Counterfeit or Genuine?
Listen to Jesus words of caution about counterfeit faith; “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 7:21). You see, counterfeit belief thinks of itself as being very religious, and therefore safe. Yet it fails to satisfy God, which makes spiritual anxiety all the more torturous. You may tick all the religious boxes, yet your anxiety continues to rise due to the spiritual disconnection with God.
Counterfeit belief seduces by luring you into applying emotional and religious sticking plasters over the cancerous tumour called sin. Sin will do everything to go undetected; rationalising God’s Word so to prevent you from identifying the source of spiritual anxiety which only Christ can remedy.
Invite the Lord to make this very clear to you. “Since we have been justified (acquitted of guilt) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Christ’s death in your place for your sin is what purchased peace from God. Religion, the Church, or any person in the Church, cannot do this. However, Christ has already done it on the cross of Calvary 2000 years ago.
“So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17). Saying a prayer is only the first step of belief. If belief is genuine it will be seen in actions, not primarily the actions of good social deeds, but actions which directly express dependence in Christ alone. James’ point is that works can’t save you, just as faith without action can’t save you.
This means Christ, along with His biblical truths and moral values, come before all earthly relationships and worldly ambitions. It also means we stop approving of sin in both our lives and the lives of those we love. There is no peace in amalgamating Jesus with sin; they will never be compatible. Jesus is not the God of compromise.
There is not greater joy, no greater security to be found than knowing that God is at peace with you. ”Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). “…Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1). With Jesus Christ in control, you’re OK. As Jesus said; “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Luke 21:33). “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). When the Holy Spirit of Jesus truly controls your life “peace and joy” will overshadow life’s circumstances and anxieties.
I encourage you to choose belief that changes the big picture in life.