Faith—Do you know where you have active, believing faith? It’s easy to confuse the faith or intellectual belief in some body of truth with true active faith. The active faith I’m talking about believes God will be there to hold you when you press toward spiritual breakthroughs within yourself that will impact your primary relationships for God’s glory.
The Scripture tells us that true belief is in the heart. It’s “with the heart man believes…” and “believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord…and you shall be saved.”
God wants to continue His saving work in your life toward mending areas of brokenness in you and in your family relationships. He wants to rescue you from your self-centered heart that contributed to relational brokenness and that keeps you stuck in your fleshly, unloving ways. He wants to rescue you from your need to be in control of everything. There are some things you need that only God can give you. All any of us can really do is to cooperate with what He is showing our heart.
Our self-centeredness and need to be in control of everything is the same self-centeredness and self-righteousness that put Jesus on the cross. Thinking that your efforts to help heal your family are the best you can offer is a form of self-righteousness. Your human capacity is finitely limited! But God within you (when you let go of control to Him) will change your spirit to one of love, and that love—His love flowing through you—will do far more healing than you can do on your own.
These sins brought a measure of brokenness to your relationships, and hurt your influence toward your family’s heartbeat. You need to give your family Jesus living through you. Jesus will put His love into your heart as you exercise your faith in Him toward the good works of changing your relational ways. Jesus has good and holy relational works for you to walk in—with Him.
The Scripture shows us that God created us for the good works of healing our lives.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” ~ Ephesians 2:19 NASB
The good works are toward the formation of Christlike character in you and your children. Let me show you how God pairs your faith—the very faith He gave you—to the good works of holy character in your relationships.
Pairing Faith with Developing Virtue
Here are three Scriptures that strongly connect the work of God in our heart to our active faith toward repentance and holy character.
Timothy 1:19 connects the workings of our conscience with faith:
“By rejecting and thrusting from them [their conscience] some individuals have made shipwreck of their faith.” (AMP)
2 Peter 1:5 exhorts us to exercise our faith toward virtue:
“…Employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence)…” (AMP)
2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us to test our faith to see if we are growing spiritual fruit:
“Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it.”
So, by pairing faith with virtue, we see where God wants to work in our lives. He will guide us into a life-long inner growth process that will dramatically alter the nature of all of our primary relationships, and overflow to the world around us. What hope we have in Him for the real concerns we have in our family!
Faith to Admit Wrong
We also need faith to believe in God’s goodness toward us when we admit wrong. Admitting wrong is a fearful experience if we haven’t been loved through a process of being corrected. If we’ve never been lovingly taught heart-level honesty before, we come to this place with insecurity about our identity.
If you are unfamiliar with this process of reconciliation, just come to God and believe He is who He says He is (a loving and forgiving Heavenly Father). He will reward you with peace of mind and good fruit when you turn from your unloving ways, repent and make things right according to His standard for righteousness. In His love, He will heal the land of your family relationships.
Dear Hearts, you are given charge over such precious hearts. Your children are dear to the Lord. Unselfishly seek the best for your kiddos. Children who experience lots of loving parental instruction to their hearts grow up loved and secure with a healthy identity forming within them. I love this passage that points to the fruitful and productive purpose of growing toward spiritual maturity and helping our family to do the same.
“For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to … [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit]. For as these qualities are yours and are increasing [in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ 2 Peter 1:5-8 AMP
Have you ever thought before about your faith in connection to developing virtue and character? What have you thought you were supposed to be activating your faith towards, if not first the quality of your morality in relationship with God? Please let me know your thoughts!
If you missed the introduction to this series of messages, you can find it here.
Recap of the First 5 Functions of Your Relational Heartbeat
As God reveals His standards (3rd function) of sin and of righteousness, by His influence (1st function) to your conscience (2nd function), He is showing you where to point your moral compass (4th function). This relational activity of your heart is where He wants you to apply your faith in Him to receive His personal work in your life so you can grow to Christlike maturity.