How much do we really live by faith? When you believe something to be true, you live accordingly. For example, if I believed that my bank was giving a charity $100,000.00 at 9 am to the first 3 customers in line, then I would camp out the night before, sleep in a tent, and wait outside until 9 am until the bank opened. I might even have to wait for several weeks outside, but if I BELIEVED it was going to happen, my actions would follow my beliefs.
So, what do “believers” believe about Christ? If we really believe that He is the Son of God, then we would DO what He said to do in His Word of truth – the Bible.
Why don’t we DO what the Bible says? There are many reasons:
1. James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Most of us deceive ourselves by listening to the Word and not doing it. We have a great time of worship at church services on Sundays and then we go home. When do we pour out and share our faith with others?
2. Ephesians 4:15 …Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ… Many people “listen to the truth in love” but most do not “speak the truth in love” to themselves and others. This verse emphasizes the importance of “speaking the truth in love” for spiritual growth! Don’t speak your own thoughts and ideas but speak God’s Word – His divine thoughts! Speak those to others! It’s time for opinions to cease.
3. Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Most of us really do not live by faith in Christ. Instead, we trust ourselves (Prov. 3:5-8). We trust our abilities, our reasoning, and our own intellect but not God’s Word because He requires us to do faith-filled things that are difficult and might even look impossible. We like the “sure thing” but must trust God.
4. Heb. 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. It’s not a “blind faith” that the Bible teaches but a faith in the God Who can be known through Jesus Christ and the Word illuminated by the Holy Spirit. Too many people say, “The Lord told me…” and they then state something CONTRARY to the Word of God! Believers have GOT to stop doing that because it is sinful and dishonoring to Christ. When people say that, they are often doing what they want to do and what they think God is ok with but it is akin to trusting in oneself.
5. Heb. 11:35-40 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy— wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Living by faith is HARD. This entire chapter 11 of Hebrews is about walking out one’s faith and the first portion of the chapter deals with the triumphs of living by faith. However, these last verses in that chapter cited above, deal with the tragedies in THIS life of living by faith. Bottom line: we must set our minds on things above and not on things of this earth which are temporal. We must have an eternal mindset to be believers because our surrounding circumstances and situations are fallen, sin-cursed, and do not always look very promising. Our hope is eternal.
-Mark (challenging myself to live by faith and to really be a “believer” in my own actions)