Levels of Faith
21 When Enoch was 65, he had a son, Methuselah.
22 After that, Enoch lived in fellowship with God for 300 years and had other children.
23 He lived to be 365 years old.
24 He spent his life in fellowship with God, and then he disappeared, because God took him away.
6 No one can please God without faith,
for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him. (Good News Bible)
If we are going to walk WITH God as a lifestyle, we have to be like Enoch: spend our life in fellowship with God.
Fellowship begins with FAITH. So, what is faith? You ask.
Faith begins when we decide to believe that God exists.
But that is just the beginning of faith.
19 Do you believe that there is only one God? Good! The demons also believe - and tremble with fear. (Good News Bible)
So merely believing that God exists is not lifestyle faith, because then demons would be able to walk with God and we know that they certainly do no do that!
The next level of faith is to know God personally; that is to have a personal encounter with God which causes us to put our eternal future into His hands.
16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.
18 Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God's only Son.
(Good News Bible)
Many believe in Jesus Christ so that they will escape eternal judgement. But this has not yet reached the level of lifestyle faith.
The Apostle Paul describes it this way:
8 . . . I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have thrown everything away; I consider it all as mere garbage, so that I may gain Christ
9 and be completely united with him. I no longer have a righteousness of my own, the kind that is gained by obeying the Law.
I now have the righteousness that is given through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and is based on faith.
10 All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death . . . (Good News Bible)
Here in verse 10, Paul declares that his desire is to "know Christ". This is the lifestyle level of faith.
Knowing Christ in this way means to know "His thoughts, feelings, actions, attitudes, goals, values, compassions 1", and how He deals with human beings.
This is the kind of fellowship that Enoch had with God.
This is lifestyle faith. This is the kind of faith that draws rewards out of God.
Great Father in heaven,
I desire the kind of faith that You can reward.
I desire the kind of faith that knows You personally, like Paul.
I desire the kind of life-time fellowship with You that Enoch had.
I desire to please You like the Lord Jesus did.
Thank You for putting these desires in my heart and thank You for bringing them to pass in my life, Amen.
1 from A Word for the Day: Key Words from the New Testament by J.D. "Doc" Watson