Early in my walk with Christ I remember being told to “fake it till you feel it.” I was advised that when I don’t feel like reading God’s Word, praying, or obeying him in some specific way, just fake it, “just do it” anyway and the feelings will follow. The Apostle Paul would have nothing to do with this kind of talk, but would instead suggest that we “faith it” whether we feel it or not.
Paul said that the life he now lives he lives by faith in the good news that Jesus loves him and gave himself for him (Galatians 2:20). Paul said that we should “consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” and based on that truth and grace urges us to resist the rule of sin and “present [ourselves] to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and [our] members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Romans 6:11-13). To consider myself dead to sin and alive to God when I don’t look or feel like I’m dead to sin and alive to God requires an act of faith grabbing hold of the gospel. Living as if I am dead to sin (by resisting its rule) and alive to God (by presenting myself to his rule), behaving what I’m believing even though I don’t feel like resisting sin or submitting to him? Now that’s an act of faith!
There is nothing fake about living by faith. There is nothing emotionless about living by faith, either. Faith is a repentant reliance upon the love of Christ for me. How can that possibly not engage my emotions? How can I look with the eyes of faith at my crucified, but conquering king and not be moved? If I live by faith, I will feel something, and it won’t always feel good. In fact, Paul might say that “Living by faith feels a lot like dying” (Philippians 3:10; 2 Corinthians 1:8-9).
So, when God asks me to do something, I’m going to stop “faking it” in hopes that one day I’ll “feel like” doing it. I’m going to take Paul’s advice and faith it . . . whether I feel it or not. Paul says that when I hear the message of the cross and embrace it by faith, then I’ll be empowered by the Spirit to love God and others (see Galatians 3:1-5, 5:6b). I cannot behave like Jesus without believing in Jesus. Apart from living in him, there’s no living like him (John 15:5).
Oh, if I would only live like the gospel is true!