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The Essence of Faith

Interest or Identification

Faith comes on many forms. At first thought we assign faith to religion or spirituality, which is the framework for this article. However, faith is found across the landscape of life. Faith conceptually is utilized throughout our day and many times subconsciously. We have faith that our car will start. Faith that our schedule will fall into place and our day will go ‘as planned.’ Faith makes up for a large majority of our decisions. Let’s explore how the spiritual aspect of faith infiltrates our lives and the part it plays that we may not be aware of.

The foundational truth about faith coming from a spirituality / religious angle is determining whether or not a person is just interested in foundational faith or if they identify with faith as a major player in their life. Faith ironically enough comes down to a choice we make every day. That choice distinguishes whether or not we see faith as something that is interesting to us or something that we identify with.

Interest

When we are interested in something, we take a look at it, play with it, toy around with the idea of whatever it is. Typically, there is no solid attachment to something that interests us. We can take it or leave it. That is what interest does, and it can be good or bad.

What is good about being interested in something is that we will take the time to explore what it is. We ask questions about alignment with our being – those morals, values, and ethics we adhere to (more about that in a moment).

What can be bad about interest is that we develop this ‘take it or leave it mentality’ that infiltrates down to our core. Knowing our foundational truths (those morals, values, and ethics) are what guide us throughout our day, and those truths must be in alignment with what we firmly believe in. Having an interest in something is awesome, however an interest with come and go with emotions and feelings and not necessarily be based in facts or relatable to our core being. We make hundreds of decisions each day based on interest. We eat what we feel like. We play games or watch TV when we want to. If you are still not completely sure if this, walk into any car dealership… there is a color, style, and mood for whatever you desire or our interested in…. that day. Go back on a different day and you may look at an entirely different vehicle.

Faith interest works the same way. This is one reason why we see a myriad of religions and spiritual walks. Importantly though, having interest is where we start at. Interest is good because it causes us to dive into something and flush it out on our lives. At some point, there must be a ‘growing up’ distinction that moves us from merely interest into identification.

A Quick Review Of Faith

From a religious perspective, personal faith began and showed itself as a separation. Biblically speaking if you look at say the life of Abraham, he separated himself from his country and his family to live in what God asked of him. In today’s society that separation looks more like a moral and/or mental separation from those closest to us that do not share our same views.

Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading

The root of faith is the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest snares to creating faith is believing that God is certain to lead one to success. The final stage in the journey of creating faith is the attainment of personal character. The life of faith is not in the ‘mounting up like eagles’ but more in the walking out of what you believe in without giving up (or the old English word “fainting” creates a better word picture here). Faith is not about the process (journey) but more so that faith has stood the test and therefore can be the foundation throughout the journey.

Identification

To be identified with something means that we have chosen to align ourselves with it. In simple terms our driver’s license identifies us with where we live… where our physical foundation (home) is planted. Faith is no different. Identification does not say ‘I am determined to…” or “I will attempt to…” it says, “I am known as, I am recognized as, I am acknowledged as.”

Identification aligns us to the point that others can also see. Think about who and what you identify, specifically when it comes to faith. If other people can see your identification, then you are most likely in the right track. If though, others cannot tell what you identify with, perhaps you are still in interest mode.

You Are Still You

No matter where you are in your journey of faith whether at interest or identification, I want to impart a key concept that I have seen many people struggle with and end up staying in interest or neglecting faith all-together.  Faith is (and I love this term) a free committal of myself to God. That commitment allows God to impart His Spirit into my being. This (and here is where the hang up happens) does not mean that I give up my individuality. Each of us have been created uniquely and for a specific, unique purpose (my faith) and thereby removing our individuality would ultimately remove our purpose. What identification in faith becomes grounded in is in how we see ourselves, our motives, and the disposition within our heart, soul and mind has been radically changed to align with God. It is no longer faith in faith, but faith that is identical to the faith of God.

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