Do you too often feel like you are doing religion instead of living out an abundant relationship with Jesus? If you tend to fall into legalism, busyness, or burn out, your faith just may be “inside-out!”
In Monday’s blog post, we defined inside-out faith and explored three consequences of doing Christianity instead of being in a relationship with the Object of our faith. Today, we will consider three practical steps that will help us turn our inside-out faith right-side out.
Unlike inside-out faith, right-side out faith is characterized by surrender and discipleship. One verse that consistently challenges me describes what it looks like to be completely surrendered to Jesus.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Our culture has a negative view of surrender, but if we want to experience the full, abundant life Jesus promised, surrender is vital. Surrender means we “die” to our own will and way and yield to the authority of Jesus. We no longer live for ourselves, but we allow Jesus to live His life through us.
Discipleship goes hand-in-hand with surrender. After we surrender to Jesus’ lordship, we then purposefully follow Him wherever He leads.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Luke 9:23-25
3 Practical Steps for Right-Side Out Faith
So, how do we do this? How do we purposefully live faith with our focus on Jesus and our relationship with Him instead of going through the motions of religion? The following three practical steps will help us put the relationship first, allowing the works of service and obedience to flow naturally from Jesus through us.
- Seek Jesus First – Our top priority should be to foster our relationship with our Savior. That means spending regular time in His Word and prayer, listening to Him. Initially, it make take disciplining ourselves. (For some helps, tips, and resources for spending time with God, check out my resources page.) But just as we can develop a craving for sugar – the more we eat, the more we crave – our discipline will turn into delight! Soon, we will run to meet with Him each morning. (See Matthew 6:25-33.)
- Follow His lead – God has a specific purpose for you. He has specific works for you to do. And His way in every circumstance is always best. But how can we know where He wants us to go and what He wants us to do? If you have a saving relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit lives within you. He is waiting for you to listen to His leading and follow Him. Read Romans 8:5-14 for more about following the Holy Spirit.
- Live it in Community – God has designed us for community, to do life with others. We cannot be everything God wants us to be or fulfill the purpose for which He has called out, outside of a vital connection to a local body of believers. A church will encourage, support, equip, and challenge you! (See Ephesians 4:11-16.)
Don’t keep living your faith inside-out! You will miss out on God’s best for you.
Have you been living your faith inside-out? Maybe even in little ways? What do you see that needs to be turned around?
My book “Fed Up with Flat Faith” may also be helpful as you seek to turn your faith right-side out.