There's more to faith?

I often heard people say that being a Christian is so easy, you just need to have faith in God and that's it, you can go to heaven. Most of the times, they take God for granted. In fact, because they think that it's so easy, they would not believe in God. Isnt that strange? People would rather go the hard way and not believe in the Only God and would rather find something else to worship to. Well, I would not blame them because I was in their position. In fact the bible has already clearly stated about the state of unbelievers. 

Isaiah 6: 8- 10:

He said, “Go and tell this people:
   “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
   be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
   make their ears dull
   and close their eyes.[a]
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
   hear with their ears,
   understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”

In fact, Jesus also quoted this verse , in Matthew 13:

 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
   “Though seeing, they do not see;
   though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

   14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
   “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
   you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
   they hardly hear with their ears,
   and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
   hear with their ears,
   understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]

   16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

God gave me this revelation when I had my quiet time yesterday. I have never understood these verses about not hearing or seeing until yesterday when I read it in Isaiah and compare it with the one in Matthew. Before this, I would have thought that God hardens people heart so that they do not see or hear. However, when I analyse it further , i realise that it is the people themselves who choose to not see or hear because in verse 16 it says that "blessed are your eyes because they see and your ears because they hear". That means that we get to choose to believe, see and hear. In fact, it is the Holy Spirit inside us as a believer who gives us the faith. 

However, having faith is not as easy as saying I believe.
This is another the revelation that God gave me. I came across 2 Corinthians 13:5 during my quiet time. 

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

When I read this, I was taken aback, I asked the same question to myself, am I in faith? How do I know that I really put my faith in Jesus? 

Now, the answer is in 2 Peter 1:1-10:

 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
   To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Notice the verses that are in italics. To simplify it, basically it says that to know whether we trully have faith in God is by having KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. 
The way to have knowledge of God is that on top of faith, we should have GOODNESS, KNOWLEDGE (which I assume about the Bible), SELF CONTROL, PERSEVERANCE, GODLINESS, BROTHERHOOD, and LOVE. 

In other words, if we claim ourselves to have faith but we do not have knowledge of God, that means we should search our heart again whether we really believe in Christ or not. It's not hard to search our heart, in fact I have just mentioned all the criteria of someone who have faith in Jesus. Well, of course we are all human and no one is perfect, so definitely no one can have everything perfectly. However, when you have faith, you can see a significant change in you because you will start to have all these :

a.Goodness - meaning the ability to be kind, to have moral excellence, to be generous and to have virtue
b. knowledge- meaning you know who you worship, sound knowledge about the Bible (cos again the bible is not just a normal book , it's God-breathed. every single words that are there are from God which was written down by anointed servants of God).
c. self control - meaning that in whatever we do, we are not controlled by our sinful desire, instead, we are controlled by the Holy Spirit. For example: before I was a believer of Christ, I easily get angry at someone who doesnt treat me nicely. Ever since I become a Christian, I find that I have more self-control because everytime when I am about to react according to my selfish desire, the spirit will convict me. this doesnt happen overnight but slowly when we become more sensitive towards God's presence, we will be able to understand what is right and wrong.
d. perseverance - meaning that we are able to carry the cross. The bible says that to be Jesus' follower is to be someone who can carry the cross.  as we all know, everyday we are tempted, we are persecuted in different ways, we have to force ourselves to not conform into the pattern of the world, this is not easy, and only through perseverance that we are able to stand out.
e. godliness- which means... CHRISTLIKE. again, this is interrelated with the previous point about knowledge. Having knowledge about God will intrigue us to become more like him, if we are true believers. When we become a believer, our goal is not to go to heaven anymore (why? cos we are definitely going there). Instead, our goal is to be like Christ. we were all born as a sinner, but that doesnot mean that we are forever a sinner. We can choose to be like Christ (even though sometimes we may stumble). A simple illustration, some people were born from a poor family, but does it mean that they have to stay poor forever? 
f. brotherhood - meaning that we have empathy towards our fellow human beings, loving one another, keep on looking out for others' interests
g. love - i guess I dont have to explain this rite? =)

To close this sharing, I just want to thank God that He has brought me to know this truth. It's really amazing walking everyday with God, I will never have enough of Him. Hope that little sharing will encourage you to seek Him even more. If you find that all the while you havent had real faith in Him, dont be discouraged. In fact, it is not a coincidence that you come across my sharing, because it is God's will that you know the truth and pursue it. Keep on asking, seeking and knocking and the door will be opened to you. 

God bless 

All glory to Him

Orange girl ^^


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