Faith is the organ of knowledge, and love an organ of experience. God came to us in the incarnation; in the atonement He reconciled us to himself, and by faith and love we enter and lay hold on Him.
A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy
Love is not a static word, it is a verb and so by definition expresses action. The action love expresses is displayed through selflessness, & service. Jesus said that our love for God would be seen in our love for the least of these. (I have already written much on this point.)
Faith, likewise, is also a action word. However Faith is either continual tense, or past tense. You either had faith, or you continue to still have faith. We best understand faith by the words we use to substitute it with like trust, and belief. I trust in God, I believe in God, I have faith in God. Yet, we use the word belief or believe to talk about faith a problem arises. Because when when many of us talk about belief or believing in something we can do it without effecting our present reality. Belief has become nothing more than a statement or agreement. A common point to gather, but leave separate when its over. Trust on the other hand is a good substitute. Because when we trust we are moved to a place of reliance, beyond mere belief. Yes we believe in God, but we also trust in God. As Tozer wrote, Faith is that organ of knowledge, but it does not stop there, it moves past belief to trust and in trust we are required to act. If your faith is alive and well it will be displayed through your life and deeds. You faith is in a state of continual use, or it is in past tense…dead.
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.
The History of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God.”
“ The most portentous facts about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he is his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul move toward our mental image of God.”
“Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, ‘what comes into your mind when you think about God?’ we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man. Were we able to know exactly what our influential religious leaders think today, we might be able with some precision to foretell where the Church will stand tomorrow.”
-A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy.
This could not be truer. The theologies that emerged from the previous generation are shaping the face of the Church today. And the theologies that are being forged today will play out tomorrow. This is why Doctrine and theology are so important. The study and pursuit of theology are not just academic efforts, but should be the efforts of all people. Our understanding of God shapes how we live our lives. Either man mimics the true God, or man makes a God who will mimic him. But in the end all men have a God in whom they follow. Even the atheists have a god, that god is self.
As believers in Christ we must aspire to know God, and let him know us; to search him, and let him search us; to love him, and let him love us. It is only first, with a proper understanding of God, that we have any hope to mature into his image, which is the pursuit of every Christian.