Becoming More Consistent In Faith

Becoming More Consistent In Faith

Sister Miki Terayama - 11 April 2021

Weekend Devotion: Becoming More Consistent In Faith

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At work, in school, with family or friends, when we are enjoying our hobbies or being alone, we all take on some sort of different facade or behavioural patterns in these different settings. I used to be a very different person when I am with my family and when I am with friends. And even among different cliques of friends, I could take on different personas as well. Like being more outspoken and loud with the hippy group, or more reserved with the quieter ones. Then, as I came to church, I started to struggle a lot with having a disparity between how I appear in church and how I live when I step out of it. I did not want to give up the thrills of the old life I led, yet I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit and I wasn’t at peace. I mean, of course, we would have differences with different kinds of environment we are in. Like when to work, when to have fun, when to be serious, when to relax. However, if the spectrum we are going is too far and too frequent, like when we start to let loose in our faith or compromise easily in areas we ought to stand firm as a child of God, as we tip to either sides of the scale, we become a very inconsistent person in our living and thus, our spiritual life as well. And the result could lead to a lot of after effects on us and the people around us.

The Dark Side of Inconsistency

While we are reaping the temporal pleasures of being different in our worldly roles and in our faith living, like just striving for our career with our own desires, partying with our friends without boundaries or speaking without love for people, we are in fact, slowly crippling our faith. Why? Because this can lead to a lot of future accusations, regret and of course, an even higher inertia to come before the Lord. This will eventually become Satan’s hold on us. And when all these happens, we may start to be defensive or seek coping mechanisms outside of God. This was what happened in my younger days and I see some of my youths struggling in this way as well. Now this is not just for those who have outward inconsistency, but even those of us who are inconsistent within us. Like how we feel or think in church, and how we perceive and reflect on things outside of church. We could be able to discern better and show more love when with brethren, but when we are with our colleagues or friends or spouse, we could have a different thought process, like how we judge a person or plan our way around things that are all from our own perspective. Over time, we may just become a very conflicted person and it gets harder for us to be more genuine about who we are. Also, as Genesis 1:26 says, God has made us in His image and likeness. We are image bearers of God and also a testimony for His works. So when we continue to lead our lives in inconsistency, it may stumble the people around us, especially non-believers, when they look at our patterns of speech and actions. This is very much like how my friends used to question about how I am a Christian now and it really got me thinking about how I was testifying for God, not just with a label that “I am Christian”, but with my everyday life.

Inconsistency in living is not a novelty

Now, after seeing inconsistency in living for what it is, let us not remain in accusations or become guarded about our outward appearance first. God’s intention is never for us to be this way. Firstly, we must understand that it is never too late to realise certain disparity in living and faith we have, and to deal with it. Inconsistency is going to happen throughout our lives when we hit different phases, we have different temptations and desires. I was pretty consistent in faith for awhile after I came to church, but when I had my first kid, it threw everything off the balancing scale. I go to church and rely on God, but when I go home and think about my kid’s welfare, I google search all sorts of worldly solutions. I am quick to worry and slow to cast my cares to the Lord. So what I am saying is, this will come along the way here and there. However, God has His mercy in our weaknesses and also, His grace to guide us to a more blessed life. As 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “”No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” So let us not be discouraged or too rebuked within us that we cannot come before the Lord to wrestle, test, affirm and be assured to then, respond in God’s leading.

How to be consistent in Christ?

The truth is, inconsistency in our lives stem from the very root of inconsistency in relying on the Lord. So to really nib this at the bud, we need to get our consistency right from our faith, not on trying to alter and change some character or behaviour first. With consistency comes intimacy with the Lord. We are all fickle and weak, so sustenance can only come from first looking to the Lord. As James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” But how do we go about having this consistency? We need to learn from the great example of Daniel. Through the many challenges he faced, he kept to having an intentional pattern and practice in looking to the Lord. Regardless of threats and changes around him, he kept praying to and worshipping the Lord in his quiet time daily. And all while he did this, God told him this in Daniel 10:12, “”Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” God even prepared him to be ready for the great moment of testifying the Lord’s power when he was thrown in the den. To testify his faith and the power of the Lord’s presence and help before men. So similarly, God has the same heart for us but we need to build up a pattern and practice in looking to the Lord. A pattern of coming to church and listening to the word of God through the sermon, making notes that we can reflect on throughout the week, have our daily moments to pray and keep laying out all our cards before the Lord to be guarded against Satan’s foothold and of course, to take time in reading the scriptures. If we are not sure where to start or whether we will give up halfway, we can always join a bible reading plan, get a bible reading buddy, like our spouse, a cell group brethren, or even a church leader that we can seek advices from. If we are well immersed in God’s word, we will gradually have quicker spiritual reflexes to sense incoming temptations or to have more resistance in getting into our flesh again. It is a process, but the Lord will definitely help us as we continue to wrestle and affirm. Then, it will also naturally flow into how we are like with the people around us. Should we know we are meeting a group of friends that we tend to stumble in faith with or get into conversations that will lead to gossip, we will be more conscious about what not to say or do and vice versa. You see, when we are immersed and equipped in the word, we have a way to deal with future attacks to our spiritual living. As 2 Corinthians 10:4 says, “”The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” When our spirits are right with God, it will proportionally affect how we live our lives eventually, to become a more consistent child of God inside out. It took me a long while to resist many things that I used to do, but through the struggles was how I came to understand the depth of my sinful nature and the prompting and enabling power of God to cause a transformation in me. It trained me to really identify and take captive any “arguments, pretension and thoughts” that are leading me away from the Lord.

Brothers and sisters, it is inevitable that we will meet with many small and big difficulties in life that will tempt to break our pattern in relying on the Lord. But may we continue to remember the effects of inconsistency in faith and have a heart of Daniel that is always preparing and keeping ourselves guarded in this era. God bless.

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Miki Terayama
miki.terayama@gmail.com

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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