Every day we exercise faith by the choices we make whether or not we are conscious of this. Through each decision we feed either our ‘self’ nature or our spirit. The struggle most believers have is understanding the consequence when we feed one or the other. The reward of faith comes when we feed our spirit over our ‘self’ nature.
The reward of 'self'
Since feeding ‘self’ is our default behavior we easily see the results. There is immediate pleasure associated with feeding that nature. That is why the choice is easy. There doesn’t appear to be any downside… at first. As time passes, however, we pay the price for the ‘pleasure’ we get from feeding ‘self’. Short term pleasure bleeds into long term pain.
Like an overdue credit bill we cannot sow to the ‘self’ nature and not expect the negative consequences to bite back.
The cost may come quickly or it may take years but it will come as surely as the dawn. If the believer does not turn to Jesus in repentance, the results will be far worse than they can imagine. Many believe this is only true when we pass from this life but this is not true. The negative effects of serving ‘self’ will burden a person until they die and then beyond.
The reward of faith
Feeding spirit is not an easy choice. When a person follows Jesus in faith, the negative consequences are swift to arrive. Satan designs his resistance to discourage the believer and prevent any future action. Satan cannot afford to lose any of his own so he deliberately obstructs any choice a believer makes for faith. There is short term pain leading to long term gain.
Resistance makes faith grow.
If we don’t succumb to discouragement, our faith will lead us to increased spiritual maturity. The greater the step of faith, the greater the resistance. As our faith steps increase so will the negative consequences; to a point. The reward, however, will also increase proportionally. Since Jesus is our reward, as we walk in faith we lean on Him and intimacy grows. Rewards that come in this life only grow after we pass.
In a world addicted to receiving immediate gratification many believers will not accept that the reward of faith will not come until after we step out.
The majority will miss out of the benefit of being an overcomer, spiritually mature and intimate with Jesus simply because of shortsightedness. They are not willing to take steps of faith in God that costs them something first. In consequence we will continue to see weak, ineffectual Christians that profess faith in a perfect Jesus but do not live accordingly. Look around the church, observe, and you will find a great sea of believers that act like unbelievers. Is this the future you desire?
It's our choice
Faith boils down to a choice. What you believe inside is what will manifest outwardly. The price of faith in ‘self’ will be pleasure now and pain later. The price of faith in God will be pain now and pleasure later. Choose wisely for one is the path to death and the other a path to life.
Homer and Wanda