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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Exercising Faith

Lord, you will give perfect peace to those who commit themselves to be faithful to you. That’s because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3, NIRV).

Commitment to trust in God's faithfulness is a decision. Commitment to act on that trust and be faithful to Him is another decision. These are both conscious acts of the mind that will eventually result in a faith that cannot be shaken. The NIV version of this verse says that “you will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” You can have a steady mind that trusts! You can “be made new in the attitude of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23, NIV). You can get off the roller coaster ride filled with emotional hazards that wreck havoc in your life. Consciously “put on your new self” and allow the Holy Spirit to change your attitude–the way you think, live, and act (Ephesians 4:24 and Romans 12:1). Begin to exercise faith, and before long His peace will guard your heart and mind.

Think about what you are thinking about,” Joyce Meyer writes. Instead of obsessing over and analyzing what is wrong in your life or the lies Satan throws at you or a promise that you haven't yet received, dwell on what Christ has done for you. Dwell on His love that gave His life for you. Dwell on the fact that He loved you enough to take your failures and your sins to the cross so you can be free. Stay in His Word, and learn of His constant and abiding presence. Think continually about the strong omnipotent power that God promises for your life, and ask Him for it. Think constantly about laying your heart before Him, and seeking open heart-felt prayer with Him. Seek Him without ceasing. Focus your heart and mind and all your attention on the Almighty God who brings you new life. With a steadfast mind and heart, you will know His peace and receive greater faith.

Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Pray for greater faith. Think about the positive changes that will come in your life from having greater faith. Get into the Word and learn that faith comes by hearing and understanding the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Read and pray for wisdom to discern the Word. He does not withhold it from you. He gives it generously (James 1:5). That wisdom helps you discern the author of your thoughts, and offers you God's power to bring your thoughts under His control (2 Corinthians 10:5). He extends the power to you, but by faith you choose to exercise it. When you exercise your faith, it grows stronger.

Faith in God—faith in the truth of His Word—faith in His promises—faith in the fact He will never leave or forsake you—faith in who He says He is—all these enable you to receive His power in your life. As you give Him the gift of your determined and mustard-seed faith, He gives His faith back to you with increasing power to believe. But never forget that faith and power must be exercised! Determine to overcome Satan's lies or your own fearful thoughts, and determine to believe in God's truth. His power and your faith go hand-in-hand. God's power in your life is realized by the faith you exercise.

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