Ever wonder if you’re really in faith or not about something? Actually, if you’re wondering, you’re not, because faith is the certainty of something you can’t see yet. If you’re really in faith, you know you are, and no one can talk you out of it. If you’re still uncertain as to whether you have something, you don’t have it, and you are not yet in faith. You might be in hope, and that’s a good starting point because faith is the substance of things hoped for. It’s a good starting point but not a finishing point.
I’ve found that sometimes people are convinced that they are in faith when they really aren’t. There are some cheap substitutes for faith going around. One is the so-called “faith of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.” This supposedly means that you just trust God whether He chooses to come through or not, and it’s based on a sloppy reading of Daniel 3:17-18: “If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
If what is the case? To listen to the “faith of Shadrach…” theory, it’s “If God delivers us.” And the same for “But if not”, which is taken to mean, “If He doesn’t.” But that’s not the right reading of this passage. The “if that is the case” and “but if not” refer to the king’s statement that he would throw them into a fiery furnace in the previous verses. In other words, they weren’t saying, “God might or might not deliver us, but we won’t worship you idol anyway.” They were saying, “If you do throw us into the fiery furnace, God will deliver us from it and you, and even if you don’t, we still won’t bow to your idol.”
A similar substitute is resignation, as in, “Whatever happens, I’ll just trust God.” That’s a red flag for the devil to beat you up. If you’re in faith, you know exactly what will happen in the matter because you’ve already received the answer in prayer.
Another classic Christian mistake is mental assent. Mental assent says, “I know what the Bible says about my circumstances. Here’s what it says.” But a few sentences later, mental assent says, “But I don’t understand why I don’t have it yet.” Well, one reason you don’t have it yet is because you are confessing with your mouth that you don’t have it yet! When you ask, “Why isn’t it working?” you’re really making the declaration, “It isn’t working.” That is totally different from declaring that you received your answer when you prayed and that it is working regardless of what you see or feel right now.
Another sign of not being in real faith is agitation or worry. Are you “sweating it” over your issue? If so, you are NOT in faith. How do I know that? Hebrews 4 makes a couple of statements that apply: “For we who do believe have entered that rest” (Hebrews 4:3). “For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.” (Hebrews 4:10) So one giveaway that you’re not in faith is that you’re still praying for whatever it is to happen. If you’re in faith, you have entered into rest. You have ceased “working” for your answer. You have a quiet confidence that you already have received the answer and it will surely manifest in the natural. You are no longer asking God to do anything. You have “believed you received when you prayed” as Jesus told us to do in Mark 11:24. Any prayer about the matter is simply thanksgiving and praise for what God has already given you.
A classic non-faith mindset is “I believe God will do thus and such.” If it’s future tense, it’s not faith; it’s hope. Faith says, “I have it now. God already did something about it.”
Are you full of joy and peace? Romans 15:13 refers to God filling you with all joy and peace in believing. Believing produces joy and peace; doubt produces depression and anxiety. Which are you experiencing?
Finally, are you telling other people that you have your answer, or are you saying on the inside, “I’ll wait until I see proof before I say anything”? With the mouth man confesses unto salvation. If you aren’t willing to say that you have it, you’re just kidding yourself – you don’t have it yet.