Genuine Faith
Micca Monda Campbell

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" Titus 3:5 (NKJV)

Today if you were to ask someone what a genuine Christian is, you might hear something like this: "They are someone who is at church every time the doors open. They serve on committees, teach Sunday school, sing in the choir, feed the hungry and pray for the needy. They never get discouraged, never doubt, but have little time for fun. They're too busy working for the Lord."

I think Satan has deceived us with the illusion that a busy Christian is a genuine Christian. It's just not true.

Don't misunderstand. I'm not saying these are not good things to do, but I fear we've turned our walk with God into a frenzied pace by adding to our faith a lot of extra baggage that we don't need. We need to get back to real, genuine faith.

The trouble is we are no different than the Galatians. They started with faith, but then added works as well. In Galatians 3:3, Paul asks the people this question: "Have you lost your senses? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?" (NLT)

Good question. I can't tell you how long I lived doing that same thing. I tried to live for God by my own efforts instead of allowing Him to live in and through me by faith.

Genuine faith is not about doing. It's about believing God. It's a relationship between us and God that begins by faith, is lived by faith, and ends in faith. It's that simple. Everything else - such as good works - flows from the source of this relationship.

However, some Christians fall into the trap of organized religion instead of practicing simple, genuine faith. This kind of oppression is growing in our world today because nothing is simple anymore, especially our faith. We do a lot of extra stuff for all the wrong reasons, such as impressing others or trying to win God's approval. It's not that we shouldn't do good deeds, but we need to ask ourselves, "Why am I doing what I'm doing, and who am I doing it for?" We just might surprise ourselves with the answer.

Life is heavy enough with the responsibilities God has given us. I'm finding that women today are burned out from trying to do it all and then feeling guilty because they can't. I know. I was a lot like the The Little Engine That Could. Do you remember that children's story? At some point in my life, I adopted the engine's motto as my life's purpose. "I think I can, I think I can…" Whenever someone asked me to do something - especially at church - I quickly responded, "I think I can!" Only to discover, I can't do it all.

I had the same problem that plagued the Galatians. I was practicing religion instead of relationship.

Genuine faith is not a long list of performances we do to impress others. It's about maintaining our relationship with God. This is the secret to the Christian life. Perhaps you've been trying to do all the work yourself. If you and I will daily stay connected to our source, then the natural outcome will be a simple life of genuine faith.

Dear Lord, I humbly lay all my works, efforts, and life before You today. I long to pursue You. Draw me closer to You, Lord. Teach me to live by simple, genuine faith in You alone. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Him?

Piecing It All Together CD by Micca Campbell

Pre-Order your copy of Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst

Visit Micca’s blog for step by steps instructions on how to maintain your relationship with God. Make sure to check out her other resources here!

Application Steps:
Cultivate your relationship with God through daily prayer; join a Bible Study; fellowship with other believers; walk in obedience to God's Word. Finally, trust God to produce in you the fruit of His character found in Galatians 5:22.

Reflections:
Ask yourself, "Why am I doing what I'm doing and who am I doing it for?"

Are you trying to win God's approval or impress others with your works?

Power Verses:
1 Timothy 1:19, "Holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith." (NIV)

Jeremiah 17:7, "But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him." (NIV)

2009 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

so it's ok if i don't make church every sunday as long as i keep my realationship with God on track?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you have that relationship with God you want to attend on a regular bases not because you have to but because you get to. think of all the ones who would love to attend openly and can't or the ones that are home bound and can't get the fellowship that is needed, i think the writer was saying it is not by our works that we are saved but only be the Blood of the Lamb. I too have found myself over busy with committees and do this and that and only to find a void because i wasn't fulfilling my relation with God. I think this is point the writer is making. it is only by God's grace we are SAVED not by our works.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We used to go to church, then we moved and now with 4 kids I'm not sure how to choose a church that will be good for myself and my husband but also for my children. Any suggestions would be great. I don't want to hop from church to church with my kids.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For#3 you need to find a church that teaches there is only 1 true God,triune God
that the bible is the Word of God,not just part of it and that it does not contain errors.
that Jesus,true God is the only Savior from sin,death and the power of the devil.
that a person is justified by faith without the deeds of the law(Romans 3:28).
that faith in Jesus is a living force within the Christian that will produce works that are pleasing to God. "faith by itself,if it is not accompanied by action is dead, is dead" (James 2:17)God Bless you and your family!

Blogger Rachel B said...

Thank you for this devotional today! It is something that has been sooooo on my heart for quite a while. I don't want to be a "religious person", but a true believer in Jesus! I want others to see in me the difference between religion and relationship! Great words!

Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Yes, this is so true. When I am surrendered to the Spirit, in other words, asking the Lord to lead me and order my steps, it is amazing how my priorities change. Every time I try to live up to my idea of what a "good Christian" looks like, I am humbled. So thankful for His grace, His patience and His unconditional love as I grow in my faith walk. Insightful post.

Blogger seesawfaith said...

I truly believe that God has given me a servant's heart. I love nothing more than to serve others to glorify God. BUT!!!

When you are like me, you tend to forget that you can say "no" to things, to people, to situations. You get stuck in this mind-set that if God has given you a servant heart, then you must serve, serve, SERVE!

Figuring out that he has given you that kind of heart to serve HIM helps you to know when to say no.

Sure, there are times when you get stuck in that "any good Christian would say yes to this" mentality. But, I am in the middle of a great Bible study that is helping me with this. This week's topic is meeting the need vs. meeting the call. It talks about how there will always be a need, no matter where you look, but our job is to learn to distinguish between the needs that we are CALLED to meet and the ones that we FEEL we should meet.

Passionately pursuing a relationship with Christ will instill in you the deep desire to be close to Christ, whereever you find him. The key is to make sure that you are not pursuing him to the extent that you are too busy to sit down and spend some time with him once you DO find him.

Just some insights from my own struggles.

Blogger Marilyn said...

Going to church will help keep your relationship with God on track. We need to ask God to help us to see it as privilege and not a duty. Worshipping with songs, praises, giving our money with others who love Him is a very special thing and a great comfort as is the sermon which helps us in every way. God has helped me go to church with a real attitude of giving Him praise, honor and glory instead of a critical attitude. Attending church regularly does become a good habit and one that is easily abandoned because satan whispers in our ear that it would be so nice to stay in bed, rest, read the paper, relax, do what I want for myself. Perhaps that is what God wants once in a while for us, if we are feeling overwhelmed or ill but that is between each person and God. The Bible does encourage us to keep the habit of gathering together at church with other Christians. I am sorry though because I can't recall where that verse is located.

For the gal who is looking for a church home. Visit different churches that teach the Word of God, the Bible. Ask God to show you where He wants your church home to be. He will make it clear to you.

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