Three Measuring Sticks for Your Faith

by Mar 27, 2012

In the interactions Jesus has with the temple, fig tree, and religious leaders in Matthew 21, it’s clear that he’s looking for much more than outward religiosity. He wants to see a deep, intimate childlike faith that matches our outward passion.

He’s looking for three things: spiritual fruit, prayerfulness, and submission. All of these things are the inevitable out-workings of vibrant faith, which means we can use them as measuring sticks to assess our faith.

Here are some questions that will help you measure these three things in your own life:


“Seeing a fig tree by the wayside, Jesus went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” (Matt. 21:19) | “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23)

  • Am I more in love with Jesus than I was 6 months ago?
  • Am I joyful and content, even when life isn’t going the way I wanted it to?
  • Am I gentle and patient with people, even when I’m under stress, or when people are opposed to me?
  • Do I stick to the spiritual commitments I’ve made, even when they’re not fulfilling or enjoyable anymore?


“Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matt. 21:22) | “Everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matt. 7:8)

  • Do I seek God and ask God desperately and spontaneously, like a little child?
  • Do I discipline myself to regularly spend time with my father out of genuine dependence?
  • Do I enjoy God and praise God out of heartfelt joy?


“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21)

  • Do I increasingly desire to spend time reading the Bible?
  • Do I draw encouragement from the Word about God’s glory and grace?
  • Do I see more of my sin in the Word every day, and do I allow the Spirit to change me through it?