When you go to the doctor, each of these vital signs is checked. They aid your doctor in determining the status of your body’s life-sustaining functions. Medical doctors use these signs to assess the general health of an individual and make adjustments where necessary to improve health, strength and longevity.
In the spirit realm, it is no different. We can check in and see how we’re doing spiritually, and make the necessary adjustments to enable us to obtain the desires of our hearts and live the best life possible through Jesus.
It’s time for a spiritual checkup! Pastor George Pearsons recently shared how you can get a clear picture of your current spiritual condition, so you can make adjustments that will develop your faith and move you on to your next victory with The 7 Vital Signs of Faith.
1. What Are You Saying?
“The words you speak come from the heart.” –Matthew 15:18
Hold the stethoscope up to your words. What are you saying?
Are you positive and expectant? Or are you expecting to get bad test results, have negative experiences at work, or get sick?
Your words are an indicator of your overall spiritual health—they come from your heart, as Matthew 15:18 says. So, if your heart is filled with faith, those are the words you’ll speak; but if there is fear, doubt, anger or sin lurking within, your words will show it.
If you want to change what’s coming out of your mouth, first change what’s in your heart. It requires a continual going in and going in and going in of the Word of God and the keeping out, keeping out and keeping out of the world. It is also a diligent practicing of the words you speak. Most of us have to overcome old habits when we’re learning to speak faith.
Take an honest inventory of your words this week. Better yet, enlist a trusted friend to listen and report back what they’re hearing in this vital sign of faith—what you are saying. Check the pulse of your faith through the words you speak, and write a prescription for change!
Something to try: Make a determined effort to speak faith, love, kindness, positivity and optimism, rather than trying not to speak doubt, fear, sickness and poverty. As you do, you’ll naturally eradicate those negative words because you’re so focused on speaking God’s truth!
To change your life by changing your words, keep in mind that you don’t get free from old habits through willpower, but through the power of the Spirit (Romans 8:13).
That’s why the devil will keep you occupied with trying to get rid of things that don’t belong in your life. He knows you can’t get rid of them by struggling in your own ability. You get rid of them by pouring in the Word that washes them out. Rather than trying to remove wrong words from your life, just pour in what’s right and flush the wrong words out of your vocabulary!
2. What Are You Thinking?
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O LORD.” –Psalm 19:14 (NKJV)
A lot goes on each day in that space between our ears. Thoughts flow minute by minute, day by day. But have you ever stopped and taken your faith pulse by examining what you are thinking?
Worried thoughts, fearful thoughts, angry thoughts, sinful thoughts or thoughts of self-pity are all vital readings that are cause for concern. Bitterness and unforgiveness are also the result of an uncontrolled thought life, and these things will hinder your faith. If the devil can find his way into your thought life, he will…and once he’s there, he’ll have a field day. So, what can you do to improve the health of your thoughts?
Second Corinthians 10:5 tells us to take every thought captive. That means if it doesn’t line up with the Word, it doesn’t belong in your mind. So, when you hear thoughts like, you’re not going to get healed; you’re going to die; you’ll never get promoted; how do you cast them down? Resist them. Answer them. Don’t let your thoughts go unanswered. Say, “I’m not taking that thought.”
Another part of the treatment plan for unhealthy thoughts is meditating on what is right—the Word of God. That’s how you enlarge your capacity for faith and cancel out wrong thinking. Kenneth Copeland recommends speaking the Word out loud whenever wrong thinking comes into your mind. He reminds us that as soon as we start speaking out loud, our thoughts have to stop and switch over to what we’re saying. It works!
3. How Are You Responding?
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” –Romans 12:10-13 (NKJV)
Let’s check your faith temperature by asking this: How are you responding?
When bad news comes, when challenges arise or agitating people come your way, what is your response? Is it in anger or is it in love? Do you have self-control, or do you lose control and give in to your emotions?
You can get to a place where no matter what is going on around you or how people are treating you, you can respond in love and compassion. Building faith on the inside of you and developing the fruit of the spirit will help you. When you first start out working on how you respond, you may get frustrated at how many times you mess up. But don’t despair! One day, something that normally would have triggered you won’t even bother you. Instead, you’ll have a supernatural response of peace, joy, love and faith. Then you can rejoice that faith is growing and maturing inside you!
4. Where Is Your Chokepoint?
“I believe! Help my unbelief!” -Mark 9:24 (ESV)
A chokepoint, as Pastor George Pearsons explains it, is how far you’re willing to believe. For example, maybe you can believe to pay off a small credit card debt, but not your whole house! Everyone has a chokepoint. Where is yours?
Pastor George encourages us to remember that “none of us should be under condemnation about where we are in faith.” He recommends that instead, we should face where we are and build from there. Identify how far your faith will go, then set a goal to develop beyond your chokepoint. And don’t forget to ask the Lord for help!
5. Are You Hopeless and Fearful About the Future?
“Perfect love casts out fear.” –1 John 4:18 (NKJV)
We’re checking the state of our spiritual lungs by asking this: Are you hopeless and fearful about the future?
If the Great Physician listened to your heart, would He hear faith or fear? Are you afraid of losing your job, never finding a spouse, catching COVID, dying young, being without enough money? Fear draws life and peace right out of you, but the breath of faith brings life, peace and joy to you.
Fear tolerated is faith contaminated. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking fear and worry are the “responsible” things to do. Fear is harmful to your mind and body, and it is known to cause people to make poor decisions. Fight fear with everything in you to keep yourself spiritually healthy, and do so by studying the love of God and focusing on showing His love to others. Before you know it, fear will be a distant memory.
Learn more about How To Pass the Fear Test HERE.
6. Are You Angry, Short-Tempered or Touchy?
“The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”—James 1:20 (ESV)
Anger is the outward expression of a heart that’s short on faith. It’s one of the most obvious vital signs, and it requires immediate treatment.
In other words, anger is a symptom of a greater problem. Pastor George says, “A short temper is an indicator that there is something wrong on the inside.” It’s a sign, he continues, “that your faith is not developed.”
If you’ve struggled with anger, condemnation isn’t the answer. Second Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow produces repentance,” but falling into guilt and shame is not the same as godly sorrow. Acknowledge where you are, and strive to grow in faith.
That’s what Brother Copeland did years ago. He has often shared that he used to be a short-tempered person. Gloria, on the other hand, demonstrated self-control and love. He recalls how she would walk around the house quoting scriptures concerning walking in love and in that way maintained a mellow and even-temper.
“It was the temperament of Jesus coming out of her,” he says.
So, he began to mimic her. He knew who he spent time with would influence how he behaved. And over time, he gained control of his temper and grew in love.
A strong love walk is an indicator of strong faith. It is the development of controlling your flesh. Pastor George says, “There’s a control to faith. That’s what Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians 5:14 when he said, ‘the love of Christ constrains us’ (MEV).”
Faith works by love. So, to grow in faith, study and practice walking in love.
7. What Is the Reading on Your Peace, Joy and Rest Gauge?
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” –Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
When faith is at work, peace, joy and rest will be also. That’s because healthy faith believes before it sees. It can rest even in the storms of life with a certainty that God is the Healer, Provider, Restorer, Deliverer and Redeemer.
If you’re losing sleep at night or have lost your joy, this vital sign of faith is showing need of repair. Study the scriptures about peace, joy and resting in the Lord, start a gratitude journal and spend time worshipping and praising the Lord daily to restore the health of your faith and get you back on the road to victory.
These seven vital signs of faith are a great way to give yourself a spiritual checkup. Just as when you visit a physician, if something is a little off, you simply make some changes—whether it be diet, exercise, supplements or more rest. Feeling guilty about your physical condition won’t change it one bit! The same is true of the state of your faith. Don’t get down on yourself when something needs adjusting—just put the treatment plan to work, and get back to the work God has for you—living from victory to victory!
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