The moment we trust Jesus as Lord and Savior, we enter into a life of faith. That is, we live by the assurance that God is all He claims to be and will do all He promises. Salvation is instantaneous, but it takes a lifetime to learn and understand what that entails.
So as soon as we are saved, God begins the process of sanctification, teaching us to be like Him. This is a process, as it takes time to learn to walk by faith, trusting what we cannot see.
Even with God’s Holy Spirit living inside of us, we nonetheless battle our “flesh.” We desire to do what God says and to see as He sees, but because we have behavior patterns left over from our old sinful nature, we will falter and do things in our own strength, according to our own rationale. We must choose daily to follow His way.
One of the most important ways to grow in godliness is by learning to listen to our Father. Since doing so is not a natural tendency, self-discipline is needed. It is best to set a specific time each day to meditate upon God’s Word. Eagerly expect Jesus to speak to you, and listen to what He is saying. Write notes in your Bible with the date and what the Lord has impressed upon you. Then, apply the truth you learn, and observe the results.
Hearing God’s voice and being in tune with His Spirit are a vital part of walking in faith. But these things don’t just happen; they require determined persistence. As with physical exercise, the more we strengthen our spiritual “muscles,” the more the process becomes part of who we are.
Through faith in Jesus Christ, we become children of God and citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20). We no longer belong to this world. Our allegiance is to the Lord. To live in a way pleasing to Him, our beliefs must align with His. These include:
- The Bible is true. It contains the self-revelation of our heavenly Father—His nature, plan of salvation, and dealings with mankind. God in His omnipotence made sure that His Word was recorded accurately (2 Tim. 3:16). There, we find everything we need for the Christian life (2 Peter 1:3). Since Scripture is the final authority on faith and conduct, embracing its truth is essential for all believers.
- The Lord created the heavens and the earth, including each of us. Genesis reveals a personal God who was intimately involved in this work. As Creator, He has authority and power over what He made.
- There is only one God, and He expresses Himself in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The terms Godhead, Trinity, and Triune God are all used to describe this concept, which is supported by numerous scriptures. For instance, both the Spirit and Jesus were active at creation (Gen. 1:2; Col. 1:16) and identified as divine (John 10:30; 16:7-15).
Ask yourself, Do I believe that the whole Bible is the inspired, infallible word of God? Am I growing in my understanding of it? Am I learning to know the Holy Spirit as well as God the Father and His Son Jesus? Have I accepted the Lord’s authority over my life, my family, and my world?