I have the honor of writing on the Do Not Depart team with Kathy Howard, a friend I’ve come to know as a lady who loves God’s Word, knows it well, and has a passion for seeing it change people’s lives. Kathy knows what it feels like to have a faith that feels flat and a faith that feels alive. Does “flat faith” mean anything to you?
In her new book Fed Up with Flat Faith, she helps women take an honest look at their faith and unwraps the mystery of experiencing faith that’s real. I’ve asked her to share some of her passion behind writing the book. Welcome Kathy!
I told her things I had always been too afraid to tell anyone before. My faith felt dead. I doubted my salvation. God seemed so distant. I saw something in Susan’s life I longed to have in mine. Her faith was vibrant and real. Even the way she talked about God demonstrated a dynamic in her relationship with Him that I lacked. I had been a Christian since childhood and actively served in church, but my face never lit up when Jesus was the topic of conversation.
While our toddlers played on the floor together nearby, I tearfully shared with Susan the doubts that had plagued me for nearly two decades. She listened with compassion, but she also challenged me to not be content with my condition.
Desperation gave way to vulnerability that day. Fed up and tired of trying to ignite my faith through my own works and activity, I humbly admitted I could not do it. Honesty with myself, Susan, and ultimately God opened the way for His activity. I could not make myself into what God wanted me to be. I could not find the abundant life Jesus promised. But God could do it all.
The encounter with Susan jump-started my journey toward a fiery faith. Along the way, God shifted a few of my attitudes and changed some of my actions to fire up my faith. God can use these same attitudes and actions to start a flame in your life.
What is Flat Faith?
The word flat can be defined as “without vitality or animation; lifeless; dull.” Many Christians with flat faith love Jesus and continue to serve Him, but they often feel as though they’re simply going through the motions of Christianity. Their love for Christ is short on passion. They serve largely out of a sense of duty or because that’s what they’ve always done. The routine of the Christian life may even feel superficial and directionless.
Although not an exhaustive list, here ten signs that may indicate your faith needs some pumping up:
1. Relationship with Christ is not deepening and growing.
2. Religious activities overshadow your relationship with Christ.
3. Life of faith feels boring, tired, or overwhelming.
4. Feeling of disconnect from God; no real sense of His presence or voice.
5. Little excitement over or awareness of God’s activity.
6. Little or no anticipation that God will work.
7. Praise and worship feels dry and forced.
8. Nagging sense you should be experiencing more.
9. Notice fiery faith in others’ lives that you desire.
10. Efforts and activity produce few results of eternal value.
Countless Christians experience flat faith. Some have never experienced a vibrant faith characterized by real intimacy with Christ. Flat faith is all they’ve known. Others have lost the passion for Christ they once had and desperately long to find it again.
Are You Fed Up? Let God Pump You Up!
What about you? Do you see yourself in the description above? Are you fed up? Pumped up, fiery faith is not only possible, God wants it to be yours. God never intended for our life of faith to be boring and cold. You can connect with God in real ways. You can experience His activity in and around you. Your life can bear fruit that lasts.
While we cannot grow our own faith, God expects our cooperation. He calls for our active and obedient participation in His work in our lives (1 Corinthians 9:24–27; 1 Timothy 4:7; Philippians 3:12–14). We can learn to position ourselves before God so He can accomplish in our lives the things that only He can accomplish.
My book, Fed Up with Flat Faith, highlights ten key attitudes and actions found in Scripture that help God’s people position themselves for Him to work in their lives. These ten practical, biblical steps of faith will shift your attitude and change your behavior to put you in the center of God’s activity.
Are you ready to let God pump up your flat faith? You don’t have to give up or pretend. You don’t have to settle. Instead, get fed up with flat faith and embrace the full life of faith Jesus offers.
This article is excerpted from the first chapter of Fed Up with Flat Faith
by Kathy Howard. Find out more about the book at http://www.kathyhoward.org/fed-up-with-flat-faith/ Fed Up with Flat Faith is available from your local Christian bookstore and all online stores. Find out more about Kathy, her ministry, and her other books at www.kathyhoward.org