Saturday, March 11, 2017

Is my faith real? Is my relationship with God genuine? PART 1

Is my faith real? Is my relationship with God genuine? 

Why do we do what we do? Is it for self-promotion—to please another person—self-satisfaction—obligation? We need to keep our motives under the examination of the Holy Spirit—NOT so He can hammer us but so our spiritual walk can remain wholesome.

7 Questions to ask yourself to help you know how genuine your faith and relationship with God really is:

1- Am I obedient to God?
My friend, Lori, has said, “As a child, I was obedient to my mother because I loved her so much. I really wanted to make her happy.”

Let’s ask ourselves if we feel that way about God. So then, what does it mean to obey God? Is it to not break the Ten Commandments? I would say that’s a good starting place.

But even beyond the big ten we each need to consider what God is telling us, individually. For each of us, God has an ILP (Individualized Life Plan). Those of us who are or have been in education, as well as many parents, are familiar with IEPs—Individualized Education Program. Well guess what—God has an ILP for each of us. He proclaimed it over us before we were even born (Psalm 139:16-17).

How to know God’s ILP for me?

The best way to know what that is is to get to know God through His Word and to spend quality time with Him in prayer—listening to Him as well as talking to Him. In addition to that, we need to be in fellowship with other Believers by connecting with a good Bible believing church, sitting under sound Biblical teaching.
In addition to these things, we need the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit to give us the courage and power to follow through. When we believe and receive Jesus as our Savior the Holy Spirit moved into our own spirit to help us in all things.

Although we’re each imperfect and won’t get it right every time, the way we live really should match up with what we say we believe. AND we can be sure that living according to God’s ILP will bring us into the abundant life our Creator wants for us. Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

2- Am I seeking to know Truth?

Truth with a capital “T”—that is God’s Truth—the Truth of God’s Word. We must be convinced that anything conflicting with the Truth of God’s Word is simply not truth. 

It’s sad to see that on many college campuses, young adults who grew up in church and even sat under Biblical teaching are being drawn away from God’s Truth. Many probably left the shelter of God fearing parents without having ever made a genuine profession of faith in Jesus for themselves. I believe a large number of people, young and old, have not taken time to read and study their Bibles for themselves. It has simply not been a priority in their busy lives.
Consequently their foundations are not sound or for some other reason—ie. maybe rebellion or just not paying attention—“they have changed the truth of God for the lie, worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25 NKJV).

It’s true that some people don’t want to know the truth. We’ve heard it said, “The truth hurts.” That’s certainly the case sometimes. Also some don’t want to know the truth because it requires something they don’t want to give or be responsible for.

No matter the reason, not knowing and living in truth is harmful in this life and even more so in light of eternity. 

“And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32 NKJV).

So, how do we know the Truths of God and then live accordingly?
I refer you to the How to of question #1. These same strategies help us stay on track with the Truth of God.  

3- Am I morally pure?
In today’s environment a term like “morally pure” could mean many different things to many different people.
Have you heard of situation ethics? Basically, it means to set aside absolute moral standards and apply behavioral flexibility, according to the circumstances of each individual situation. In other words, do what feels right at the time—justifying behavior outside of God’s Biblical plumb line. 



As followers of Jesus, we shouldn’t concern ourselves with anyone’s definition of “morally pure” except for Jesus, the Lord of our lives and Lover of our souls. We should strive for God’s standard of moral purity because we can be confident that His way is what’s best for us and His desire for each of us is to enjoy an abundant life full of love, joy, peace, accomplishment and success.

A word used in the Bible a lot that depicts moral purity is righteousness, appearing over 600 times. The root word for righteousness is just, with synonyms such as virtuous, pure, moral and ethical. 

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 3) And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:1, 3).

Are we to be pure like Jesus?! Of course it’s impossible for us to be that pure because as human beings, still on the earth, we are not sinless. Christians sin, yes, but we should not be characterized by sin. We will occasionally sin but should not continue in sin. 

In Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, after devaluing his own worldly accomplishments, he professed his desire to gain Christ instead “and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but righteousness which is from God by faith that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection (Philippians 2:9-10a NKJV).

So, with the help of the Holy Spirit indwelling us, we have the power of Jesus Himself to be righteous—morally pure—according to God’s standards—that is God’s Truths. Therefore, when we can get our own will to line up with the Spirit’s directives we can live a life that does what is right. 

So as we contemplate the questions: “Is my faith in God real?” AND “Is my relationship with God genuine?” we need to consider our responses to the three questions: 1- Am I obedient to God? 2- Am I seeking to know Truth? 3- Am I morally pure?

Please prayerfully ponder your answers and search God through prayer and His Word for His response to your answers. I’m doing the same thing.
Yes, I said 7 questions we should ask and this was just 3. Please tune in to my next post for the next two of the questions. 

Your comments are welcome. 

©Copyright 2017 Connie Wohlford


  1. Connie, This is a great far. I'm looking forward to the rest. God is really driving home the message,"obedience is better than sacrifice." Your post is yet another confirmation.
    Thanks and blessings on your future writing!

    1. Thanks so much, Beckie. These days, many people don't care to hear about things like obedience. I appreciate your comment and encouragement.

  2. Thank you for the challenge to live out our faith in these 3 practical ways. I am looking forward to the next 4.

    1. You're so welcome, Karen. Thank you for stopping by and for leaving a comment.

  3. As a former high school teacer, I particularly like your idea of an ILP. Isn't it amazing that the God of the Universe would have an individualized plan for each of us?? I marvel at that every time.

    Heather Bock

    1. Yes, Heather, it is truly amazing and humbling. I'm glad you like my ILP idea. I believe it was actually God's idea. I appreciate your comment.

  4. Connie, I loved this list. So practical. I look forward to the remainder.

  5. I appreciated these questions too, Connie. Thank you!