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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Living Out a Life of Faith

Living Out a Life of Faith

Every believer in Christ is called to live out a life of faith.  Scripture says: “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”  (Hebrews 11:6)  It seems that faith is the main ingredient we need if we are to follow God’s call.  The world calls us to follow a thousand seductive paths, but God calls us to follow Him.  If we answer God’s call we are promised His presence and His provision!  If we follow God’s call to believe and to trust Him it will be a grand adventure!  No mundane and boring journey here!  But what does it mean to follow God with a life of faith? 

First of all, faith must be based on a foundation and Scripture says that the foundation of our faith is the Word of God.  Scripture says:  “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”  (Hebrews 11:3)   This scripture says that the Word of God framed our very worlds!  The Bible describes God’s Word not just as ideas written on a page but as “living” and pregnant words with miracle working power!   The Word is alive. 

  Scripture says: “It is the Spirit who gives life: the flesh profits nothing.  The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”  (John 6:63)   Jesus’ words were not just precepts and principles written on a page.  They were the very Spirit of God and life being released through the Word.  Scripture says: “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are One. “  (1 John 5:7)  The truth is that Jesus is the Word. (John 1:1)  

Our faith is only as good as what it is built on.  If we put our faith in anything else other than God’s Word it won’t last. Fame or fortune or even faith in another person won’t make it. Gotta have the real thing. Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and Righteousness.  Jesus is the solid Rock and everything else is sinking sand.

The definition of faith is to have confidence or conviction of the truth of something.  But in this world, our faith in God is constantly under attack.  Scripture says that God gives each of us a “measure of faith”. (Romans 12:3)   The measure of faith that God gives us is precious and we need to protect it and exercise it and build upon it.  Unbelief is a system of thinking that is contrary to the Word of God.  Unbelief puts limits on our faith.  We get discouraged and start believing that God can’t do what He promises to do.  We need to watch and pray!     

When the Israelites left Egypt, God promised them that He would take them back to their own land.  Many of the Israelites didn’t believe that God could keep his promise and get them back.  They were afraid of the people in the land who were as tall as “giants”. The Bible describes how the generation of Jewish people who left Egypt had a hard time believing God. Here is what Scripture says. “The good news was preached to us as well as to them: but the word which they heard did not profit them, because it was not being “mixed with faith” in those who heard it.  (Hebrews 4:2)  What a verse!  The promises of God were helpful to some of the Jewish people.  But God’s promises were not helpful to the other group of the Jewish people who also were given the same promises!

 Why ? Because, Scripture says that Gods’ promises were not “mixed with faith” or believed by these  people!  Scripture says that God wants us to believe Him!  God’s promises need to be mixed with our faith.   

The Israelites had been promised that God would let them enter the Promised Land.  But when the time came for them to go into their land, their lack of faith prevented a generation of Jewish people from entering their land.  They refused to go into the land and they didn’t trust God to help them as He promised He would.  A whole generation of Israelites wandered in the wilderness for many years, finally dying there and never enjoying the fruits of their promised land, because of their lack of faith in God’s promise to them.  Let us not make the same mistake they made!

We can stop looking at our “giants” and our limitations and set our eyes on God’s Word.  We realize that the “impossible” things in our life right now are temporary.  God tells us that He will answer our prayers if we ask Him in faith.  But our faith is everything!  It is the supernatural “key”.  If we dare to believe God we will see the glory of God in our lives.

This doesn’t mean that we won’t have “giants” in our lives.  Faith in God is not a formula that we can use to get everything we want!  We are called to have faith in God, not faith in getting things!  Sometimes God over rides our requests for reasons that we have to trust Him for. Isaac was the son of Abraham, a gentle kindly man and one of the patriarchs.  And he had a great faith in God.  But Scripture says that Isaac didn’t get everything he wanted in life.  Isaac’s faith did not keep him from physical problems. Isaac was blind for many of his mature years until his death.  His oldest son Esau was a great disappointment to him and to his wife Rebecca. Esau did not care very much about the blessings of God that he was in line to receive.  He sold them to his brother Jacob for a bowl of beans.

 It seems that Esau did not try to follow his father Isaac’s God.  His parents taught him that he was not to sacrifice to idols but he married women and raised children who sacrificed to idols.  As an adult, Esau lived near his parents with several of his heathen Hittite wives and children.  Their evil lifestyle was so upsetting that his mother, Rebecca grumbled to her husband, Isaac saying that her life had become miserable because of them. Then Rebecca added that if Jacob followed Esau’s example and married heathen women she might as well be dead.  (Genesis 27:46)  Isaac’s life wasn’t picture perfect even though he trusted God and tried to pass his faith on to his sons, Jacob and Esau.      

The Bible gives us many accounts of people of God who had faith and were able to experience the supernatural moves of God!  Moses was one of those men.  Scripture says:  “By faith he (Moses) forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.”  (Hebrews 11:27)  Moses looked beyond the natural to a world filled with unlimited possibilities.  Because Moses had faith in God, God was able to use him in a mighty way to lead his people out of Egypt to the Promised Land. 

God wants to use you and me and our faith too.  How can we grow a strong faith?  Jesus said in Luke 4: “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”  Our faith grows by getting into the Word of God.  Almost every habit and behavior we have is a result of what we think about or study or meditate.  Scripture says: “As a person thinks in his heart, so is he.”  (Proverbs 23:7)  What are we thinking?  Are we filling our hearts with God’s Word or are we filling our mind and our mouth with doubt and unbelief?

Another thing we can do to strengthen our faith is to watch our words. Our words have the power to hurt or heal.  Romans 10:10 says: “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”   It would seem that believing requires speaking!  What we say, what we confess- is important. 

I want to live a life of faith as I am sure you do too.  But sometimes I have hardened my heart to God’s voice when it wasn’t convenient to hear! I am asking that God will forgive me and speak to me and help me hear His voice and live out a life of faith.   

Some of the ideas in this blog are taken from Kynan Bridges’s book, “The Power of Unlimited Faith.”   

1 comment:

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