As followers of Christ, we are called to be carriers of His message. We are witnesses of the One who saved us from our sins. Within us, we bear the message of salvation, deliverance, redemption and prosperity. We must let it come out. That is what this series is about. As mentioned in our preview, each week we will cover a topic as it relates to the Three D's of witnessing: devotion, determination and direction. Through these filters, we will see how to utilize our witness in a deep and fully-developed way. We start our journey with Faith and our devotion to it.
Devoted to Our Faith
What does it mean to be devoted to faith?
As we mentioned in our preview, devotion is our commitment to a desire of our heart. It is what we are passionate about enough to pursue on a daily basis. Most certainly, faith deserves our devotion, but what really constitutes faith? Concerning the Bible, there are two primary definitions of faith:
The belief in God as the One true God and our reliance on Him as such
The expectation of salvation that comes from being in relationship with Christ
Those are two very simple but straightforward looks at faith as it pertains to God. We believe that He is God, and we believe that by being in covenant with Him we can attain salvation. This is not a foreign concept for most Christians. However, we need to look at both of these beliefs in our regular daily lives to ensure that we are as devoted to them as is needed.
Devotion To God's Identity
God has a lot of qualities and descriptors throughout the Bible. There are some verses of the Bible that describe God in multiple ways (Isaiah 9:6). There are so many descriptions of God in fact, we could do a year long study on each description and probably not get to them all. If you would like to get a full breakdown for most of the descriptions of God in the Bible, this link has a great reference for you.
With so many different ways to describe God, it's easy to find a descriptor that fits our current need or desire in life. Unfortunately, we tend to only look at God through the filter that best suits us at the time, and we miss out on understanding all of who He really is. We trap ourselves in the idea that we can treat God's identity as a buffet, picking and choosing what suits us in the moment. Instead, we need to look at the identity of God as a full course meal that takes time to digest. Everything on the plate may not suit our taste at the time, but it is there because it will benefit us down the road. We must devote our lives to discovering more of God each day. It has to be a passion of ours to look for and understand they mystery of Godliness (1 Timothy 3:16).
How To Be Devoted To Knowing God More
Take time each day to read something about the identity of God. Look for scriptures that describe God or tell of His actions and prayerfully read them looking to see the mystery of God and His deity revealed to us. Then, commit to believing God will be that description both in and through you that day and beyond. Doing this will give us a fuller picture of God that will not only bless us but also give us a greater witness to bring to those around us.
Devotion To Covenant With God
It's interesting that the other definition of faith relates to how we come into relationship with God. It seems that God has set a premium on what it takes to come into covenant with Him. After all, without relationship with someone, we can only go so far in our understanding of them and can only receive so much from them. Thus, if we want to build our faith in knowing God and realize all of the blessings he has for us, we must come to understand and believe what it takes to be in relationship with Him.
More Than Initial Salvation
Many will read the above paragraph and think the remainder of this devotion will focus on salvation and skip it, knowing that they have that part locked down. While there exists a lot of scripture and depth to that subject, it is only the beginning of covenant with God. Salvation acts as our entry into relationship with God. Christ tells us in several instances what it takes to be saved (John 3:3-5, Matthew 28:17-20, Mark 16:16-17, Luke 24:45-57, etc.) However, Christ spent far more time talking about what it means to live as one in relationship with God rather than what it took to come into relationship with Him.
The apostles followed suit. The Book of Acts outlines the salvation process in detail (Acts 2, 8, 10, etc.) and the epistles reference the initial salvation experience at times. However, we see in those epistles and even in the Book of Acts lengthy discussions on what it means to live as one in relationship with Christ. To attain salvation unto eternal life, it is going to take more than just an experience with God in a church service. It's going to take more than a baptismal ceremony showing our commitment and getting our sins washed away. It's going to take living for God every day. We do this by daily being devoted to God and the precepts he lays out both in His Word and in our communication with Him.
How To Be Devoted to Covenant With God
Each day ask God to reveal how you should live. Look through the scriptures for answers, but also allow inspiration through prayer provide you with the challenge of living for God's Kingdom while being surrounded by the kingdoms of darkness and iniquity. Doing this will give you a clearer understanding of what it takes to live for and in the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 13:12).
So what does this have to do with witnessing?
While this study seems to be focused on ourselves, most of our devotion studies will do this. We have to make sure we have the right understanding in our hearts and our passions are correct if we want to bring the proper message to those around us. However, think about this. Have you ever learned something new and wanted to go share it with someone right away? You figured out this new and awesome thing and you had to tell your friends. Maybe this brings you back to your childhood when you learned to do a cartwheel, solve a puzzle or in general figured out something you didn't know before. Probably, your first reaction was to show off your newfound knowledge/skill to your friends and family. You were so excited to share this new thing that you couldn't contain yourself.
That's the kind of faith we are growing when we look to know more about God and what it takes to be in relationship with Him. Childlike faith-the faith that Christ himself endorses (Mark 10:14-15, Luke 18:16-17, Matthew 18:3)-is the greatest faith. It's faith that has to be shared and it will take hold of us when we start to truly seek out the answers to the two items in this study. If we will commit to devoting time to knowing God and coming into greater relationship with Him, we will have a passion and desire well up within us that cannot be contained. It will burst forth from us as living waters and pour into the lives of those around us. That is the result of devoted faith. Now determined faith...
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.