Every now and then, to maintain optimal spiritual health, we need to give ourselves a faith checkup. We need to pause and examine our hearts, consider what we’re thinking and what we’re saying, and then evaluate how we’re approaching that for which God wants us to believe. Whatever we’re walking through, God wants us strong. He wants us to stand in faith, declaring the end from the beginning and watching His Word work in our lives. And yet, admittedly, we all experience life events from time to time that challenge our strength, our faith and our practice of consistently walking in that faith.
To help you stay strong and answer the ultimate question, “How Are You Living a Life of Faith?” consider the following five fundamentals of faith to help you with your faith checkup. Each one is an essential step to living a life of faith, and when we walk them out consistently, we’ll see the results we want.
1. Believe in your heart.
“Then Jesus said to the disciples, ‘Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, “May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,” and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”’ –Mark 11:22-25
This is where Jesus put forth the absolute law of faith. It’s His classic teaching on faith. When He said, “and have no doubt in your heart,” He was referring to our inner man—the part of us that Peter called the hidden man of the heart (1 Peter 3:4, KJV).
When we desire something then pray, our belief comes from our hearts. How important it is then that we guard our hearts, because they determine the course of our lives (Proverbs 4:23). Notice that Jesus said we must forgive before we pray. “When you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against.” Pay attention to whom the Holy Spirit brings to your mind. Go ahead and forgive them now so the unforgiveness in your heart doesn’t interfere with the working of your faith. You see, faith won’t work in an unbelieving heart.
2. Say it with your mouth.
“We continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, ‘I believed in God, so I spoke’.” –2 Corinthians 4:13
In the King James Version, Mark 11:23-24 reads, “…but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you….” Did you catch how many times saith or say is used? Jesus told us to believe once, and then He repeated “say” three more times. He was telling us how to exercise our faith. First, say what it is we believe in our hearts, and then we keep saying it as long as it takes to see the physical reality of what we’re saying. When we put words to our faith, we’re declaring, “It’s mine,” about whatever it is for which we’re believing. It’s important that this is not after we see it. It’s not after we feel it or after we wander around wondering about it for two or three years!
God wants us to find the answer to our prayers in the Word before we ever pray the prayer of faith—and then He wants us to consistently believe it and declare it. All the promises of God are yes and amen (2 Corinthians 1:20); therefore, we can stand on His promises and have what we say. Like the psalmist said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”
3. Receive it by faith.
“You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” –Matthew 21:22
We must receive what we’re believing God for and what we’re speaking into existence by faith. When Kenneth Hagin was standing in faith, standing on God’s Word, and speaking and declaring health over his body, he was known to say, “I receive. I feel good. I feel fine. Body, you get in line.” What a great confession to make when you’re releasing your faith for your healing, wholeness and divine health!
In Mark 5, this is what one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus, did, and it is what the woman with the issue of blood did. When Jairus went to Jesus, he fell at Jesus’ feet and pleaded fervently with Jesus saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live” (Mark 5:23, NKJV). Notice his faith statement: “She will live.”
So Jesus went with Jairus, but on their way to Jairus’ house, the woman with the issue of blood interrupted their journey with her faith. “And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole” (verses 25-28, KJV). Did you notice her faith statement? “I shall be whole.”
Both Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood received what they wanted by faith. They believed it and they spoke it. They declared it. Can you imagine if Jairus had stepped out of faith and became offended with the woman with the issue of blood for slowing them down? Or if he had taken offense at Jesus for stopping to see who touched Him and received power from Him? He would have had unforgiveness in his heart, which blocks faith. With his daughter’s life hanging in the balance, it was essential that Jairus stay in faith—and stay in a place of receiving by faith.
After the woman with the issue of blood was made whole, Jesus went on to Jairus’ house. On their way, they were told that Jairus’ daughter was dead. It appeared they were arriving too late. Thank God; with Jesus, it’s never too late!
Jesus’ response to what looked like a hopeless situation was to say to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith” (verse 36). Always remember to stop the fear; embrace faith and you’ll receive what you’re believing for.
Jairus had already said all that he was going to say. He had said, “She will live.” That’s where his faith was, and that was where it had to stay. When Jesus reached Jairus’ daughter, He said, “The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep…. Little girl, get up!” (verses 39, 41). Then, she did! In the same way, the woman with the issue of blood declared her faith, acted in accordance with it and then was healed. Jairus said it, he did it, and his daughter was healed. Now it’s our turn.
4. Speak to things that do not exist as though they do.
“(As it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations’) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” –Romans 4:17 (NKJV)
God wants us to call things as they should be, not how they are. Otherwise, things will just stay as they are. When we declare the truth of God’s Word about our lives rather than the physical reality, it releases our faith, and our faith produces the result. Speak to the mountain in your life. Command it to be thrown into the sea and watch what happens!
5. Apply corresponding action.
“So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless…. Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: ‘Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.’ He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.” –James 2:17, 21-24
Faith without works is dead. Faith without corresponding action doesn’t yield the results we’re believing for. What is it that you want to see come to pass? Be sure your faith and your actions are working together because actions make our faith complete.
So, How Are You Living a Life of Faith? If you’re practicing these five fundamentals of faith and renewing your mind—and speech—with the Word of God, then you’re on the right track. Keep believing God and His Word. Keep declaring His Word over your situation, calling those things that do not exist as though they do! Never be moved by what you see or feel, but instead, only be moved by what you believe you receive based on the Word of God. Finally, remember, our faith and actions are only complete when they work together. After you perform this faith checkup, you will be ready for all that 2024 has for you, and you will face it all with a heart full of faith!
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