Today I had a wonderful visit with a friend I have not seen in a year. We had so much to catch up on in each other’s lives, especially since we both had a difficult – but very spiritually rewarding – year! As I was sharing some of the ways I have grown in my faith through the trials I’m facing, my friend pointed out that I have some very practical ways of applying God’s Word and prayer to my life. She encouraged me to share them somehow because she thought others would benefit from them…so after some thought about it, I compiled a list of my “practical faith applications” and decided to write them here on my blog.
The title I came up with for these applications is “Visible Faith” – an idea which comes from Joshua 4:19-24. The Israelites had just crossed the Jordan River on dry ground, and they took 12 stones to set up as a memorial. Joshua said these stones would serve as a reminder for future generations “so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” It was a VISIBLE, physical symbol so the people would not forget the power and deliverance of their God.
Many times, if I don’t write something down, it escapes my mind in the busy-ness of life. Over the years, I have developed some reminders for myself to help make my Lord and Savior an integral part of my everyday life. I do not think you should commit to doing ALL of these things at the same time, but they are things that have helped me greatly at different points in my life. I plan to post one idea every week, so be on the lookout! :) These practical applications will fit into one of three categories: SCRIPTURE, PRAYER, or THANKSGIVING. I would like to begin by giving a brief explanation of each category.
SCRIPTURE: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 The Word of God is powerful. If you are in the Word, saturating your heart and mind, the Spirit will work in your heart. This section will contain practical ways to keep God’s truth at the forefront of your mind.
PRAYER: 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” Having a relationship with God means we must be speaking to Him and listening for His voice. This section will not explain how to pray but will instead have ideas for physical reminders to pray and ways to hold yourself accountable in prayer.
THANKSGIVING: “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” 1 Timothy 4:4-5 God is sovereign over every situation in life – the good and the bad – and for those who trust in Him, He works all things for our good and for His glory (Romans 8:28). A thankful heart is one that acknowledges who God is and is able to praise and glorify Him, even amidst the trials and sufferings of life. Many books have been written on how to be thankful, and I am by no means an expert on thanking God in the middle of my trials. But I have set up some physical ways in which I consistently seek to develop a habit of being thankful, and that is what I will share in this section.
Well, the introduction of my sharing has come to a close. My plan is to post the first practical idea of “Visible Faith” in the next couple of days, so keep your eyes open. In the meantime, feel free to give feedback or ask questions in the comments section.