The reality of Christ living in us is not about how we feel from day-to-day, but how we are resting in God’s promises. We taste and see His grace by the fruits of His Spirit within us. They take visible form in how we respond to life with a measure of patience, joy, peace, and kindness. These fruit are not a byproduct of strenuous effort, nor are they a reward for good behavior, but an outward result of an inward presence of Christ.
By remaining in Christ, we witness well to others. We not only are willing to step out of our comfort zones to proclaim the good news, but we introduce His presence in two distinct ways: 1) through His Word, and 2) through His fruits of the Spirit within us.
Sharing God’s Word with those lost in unbelief is not necessarily about what we say, but who we are introducing!
Am I telling the truth? Can we truly rely on His promises? How can believers grasp the reality of Christ in our lives?
The Bible gives us two words to help us bring reality to our faith…. Examine yourself.
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5)
“A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.” (1 Cor. 11:28)
“O LORD, you have searched me and you know me…. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:1, 23-24)
The Lord inspired the Apostle Paul to ask about God’s reliability. Are not His promises true? Has he ever failed to provide? If a Christian struggles in taking God at His Word, then God asks us to test Him. Live according to the pattern that Christ has given us. Pray regularly. Be in His Word. Recognize that when a believer is weak, then they are strong. Walk in God’s way, remain in Christ, and… you WILL bear fruit. You will NOT fail the test.
Here are five tests to help bring reality to our faith and trust His promises:
- We test God by looking back
When we take the time to examine our past, we discover that God has truly worked out things for His good and our good pleasure. Worry and anxiety did not help God, nor were they a by-product of our trust, but a lack of it. It is in recollection that we can see God passing the test for us. We discover that God’s track record is perfect and that realization deepens our trust.
2.We test God by looking forward
We can test God by examining the Scriptures and be reminded of what’s really important in life. Heavenly treasures are far more valuable than earthly ones. By keeping an eternal perspective, the day-to-day can create a far greater context for us to rest in Christ.
3. We test by living in the present
There are days when all we can do is to grasp on to the moment. The future may seem too cloudy or the past too painful. But that is where God wants us to be. Trust redefines the day as an opportunity to grow in His grace – and our eyes, ears, our attitude and our tongue reflects that trust. We can examine ourselves by asking, “What fruits of Christ’s presence are being revealed today?” The answer, more than likely, is dependent upon our trust.
4. We test God by proclaiming His truth
Perhaps the greatest way to exercise our faith is by proclaiming our faith to others. God has granted all His believers with the spiritual muscles of evangelism. We are asked to “work out” our salvation and one way of doing that is sharing the message of salvation. The amazing truth are the blessings we receive by strengthening this spiritual muscle. We can’t help but to grow in grace. You don’t believe me? Test God and see for yourself.
5. We test God by asking Him to test us
Like the psalmist, we ask God, “Search me, O God – and reveal to me. Test me and show anything that needs to be addressed so that I can grow in your grace, deepen my love for you, and remove any obstacles that are not allowing me to fully place my trust in you.” It’s a scary request. It means asking God to prune us so that we may grow … and sometimes that is painful.
The world today is in desperate need of fruit-filled Christians who are proclaiming His Word and living His Word. Test God and examine yourself today. Taste and see that the Lord is good – and by resting in Him we are assured of His presence.