Walking without faith is like wearing ski boots in the summertime. Every step becomes much harder. It doesn’t matter what task or ministry Jesus has given you to do; doing it in your own strength is frequently tiring, frustrating or both. So here’s a key question; how do we know if we are walking by faith, or just relying on our own abilities?
First, let me provide a little more information for the people who have never tried snow skiing.
Ski Boot Troubles
The ski boots firmly lock your feet to a pair of skis and provide good ankle support. With a few lessons and some practice, snow skiing can be a lot of fun. There is a down side though; it’s called walking. A pair of women’s ski boots weigh about 5 kg–or roughly 11 pounds. To a novice like me, it felt like each foot had been strapped into a block of padded cement. Being a beginner skier, I couldn’t steer or stop very well. In order not to knock other novices over, I would deliberately fall down if my skis aimed me in their direction. I spent my entire day struggling back up to my feet, or clumping inside–in my cement shoes–to get some lunch or hot cocoa. During my one feeble attempt to learn skiing, my boots didn’t support me. Instead, I did all the work and heavy lifting.
Like skiing, learning to walk by faith is a process, but it’s not mystical or mysterious. In the simplest terms “walking by faith” means trusting God–wrestling people, circumstances and even small problems into His hands and leaving them in His tender care.
Here are 4 Ways to Check if You are Walking in Faith
1 Do you believe your own prayers? One day, I was praying for a Christian friend and suddenly realized my faith tank was empty–I didn’t believe any of the words I was praying! I prayed for help and immediately the Holy Spirit gave me the faith I needed.
2 Check your emotional temperature. Are you running hot? Are your emotions boiling over with worry, self-pity, anger, hatred or fear? It’s hard to trust God when our emotions are scalding us inside.
3 Do you have peace? If we are in faith, placing even our most heartbreaking problems into God’s hands relieves the pressure; it causes us to sigh with relief. True trust in God is very like a being a small child again, believing someone older will “Make it all better.” Twinges of anxiety may still come, but underneath lies a quiet certainty; “Lord, you’ve got this.”
4 True faith feels solid. When I really grab hold of God and His promises, I experience a breakthrough. I am on solid ground again; my heart is relying on Him.
Because we are human, our level of faith continuously rises and falls. Jesus is not disappointed in us; He loves our honesty when we tell Him, “I’m struggling to believe for this breakthrough right now.” During a crisis when life gets really painful and our emotions become inflamed, it gets even harder to trust God.
But there are some practical things we can do.
How to Nourish Your Faith
In next week’s post, “I’ll talk about why Joshua and Caleb trusted in God’s promises when the other ten spies didn’t (Numbers 13:1-14:11). Moses’ people experienced more of God’s supernatural power then any other believers in history. So why did their level of belief remain so low? I believe it’s because they never nourished their faith.
Please feel free to comment on this post or share your own thoughts about this topic–how do you know when you’re walking by faith?