We buy fire insurance with the hope that we never need it. In the natural realm, it works reasonably well. Even if the policy is not that good, fire insurance works well to gives us peace of mind and even a poor policy will mitigate the devastation if a fire happens. So, a fire insurance policy is a solid investment for our earthly concerns.
Eternally, though, fire insurance is another story. In fact, it is a false hope based on deadly deception. Faith as a ticket out of hell is really a ticket to a dead end. On earth, fire insurance is bought with hope that it will never be used. In the spiritual realm, there is no such hope. Death is a certainty. It makes sense then that much more care be given to eternal insurance…assurance.
Just as earthly death is certain, Scripture reminds us that faith without works is dead. (James 2:17). That verse is not speaking about earning salvation. Salvation is not based on us; it is faith in the completed work of Christ that saves. But faith is evidence of what we believe; if we don’t act as if we believe, where is the evidence. James 2:17 is saying that the way we live reveals the faith we possess. Faith is belief…our actions reveal what we believe more than our words do. Our minds can agree to something but unless we actually believe it, our hearts will not feel it and our feet won’t walk it. Fire insurance faith gives mental assent…living faith gives united assurance.
Walking out faith
The shoes we are to wear as armored believers are Good News Shoes! Our walk is to be one of peace…restored to a loving relationship with the One True God. Any time our lives have ‘compartments’ or places where the sweet peace of God is not felt, we need to stop and seek the face of God. Nothing can separate us from the love of God–unless we allow it to. James tells us that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. The cry
of the Father’s heart is ‘come to me’ — Christ’s prayer before He endured the cross was that we would be united with Him because He was united with the Father. Total immersion in the holy goodness of God is the desire of God for each of us!
No matter what the battle feels like…the raging war and waves of horror…the end is sure. The life of faith requires the death of self. And death is not pretty. Have you walked in the valley of death with a loved one? The physical and emotional toll is great. Scripture says Jesus endured for the joy set before Him. That is our hope as well as we battle through to confident assurance of our unity with Him.
Engaging in Battle
Make no mistake: spiritual battles are real and necessary. Putting to death the old man is not easy. There is a deadly, dangerous self-protective deception that can keep us from ever seeing the depths of our own depravity. We can study the Word and love its beauty–and think that our studying and appreciation for it is enough. It is not. Appreciating art does not make me an artist. The Word is pure and holy–but we are not. Mental assent does not create unity with God. Fire insurance faith is not assurance. It is a deception that can kill.
So, how can you know? Eternal life is the gift of God Himself. Read that slowly. It is not a gift of God…it is God. Eternal life doesn’t start when we die; we live it now. We live it when we receive it. When we receive the gift of God, there is a war between good and evil. It is a war that is won but it is not one we can excuse ourselves from.
But you, O man of God, flee from these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession before many witnesses. I Timothy 6:11,12
And never give up. It is always too soon to quit! Press on for victory by renewing your mind with Truth from God…and then committing to act. Strongholds come from conditioning of the past…negative thoughts & actions that you cannot control are conditioned responses. What you have conditioned yourself to do can be changed as you remove anything that does not align with the Word of God. Seek unity with Him and the double-mindedness that kills will be eliminated. That is the death of self…that is participating in the crucifixion. It will be painful…but it is the only way to life.
Seek to know God. Surrender to His way. Sacrifice to obey Him.
And see the miraculous ways He works. God is faithful. Christ is victorious.