Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Practical Side Of Faith

Sometimes we struggle in our faith because it wars with our flesh. We are very capable people. We can make decisions and live by them. We can plot a course for our lives and live by it. We can choose a career and be successful in it but it doesn't mean that Jesus is in it or that it belongs to the Father's will. Our flesh can desire a lot of things that look legitimate and honouring to Yahweh but that are actually contrary to the Holy Spirit.

The Law of Yahweh is holy and perfect but impossible for us to live because we are far from perfect. The Law, as presented by Moses, was an attempt to live in the flesh what first had to transpire in the heart. Its purpose was to reveal to us the righteousness of Yahweh and how much we have fallen short of that righteousness. It was to show us how much we need Jesus. Romans 10 says this:

Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: (Romans 10:5-6)

Now here Paul quotes Moses so I want to go directly to that passage as Moses speaks the prophetic word:

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)

Now back to Romans where Paul explains:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)

This applies to every promise ever uttered by Yahweh, through prophets or his Son. Salvation is just one of a long list of promises that we are to live by every day of our life. Whether we see the end from the beginning or we seem lost on a dark path, we know the promises. In knowing them we declare with our mouth and we believe in our heart that we possess them and it will happen. It is not a magic formula, it is the practical act of faith.

Our flesh wants to tell us to live by what we see, act upon what we are experiencing, but faith says trust Yahweh. However, Yahweh gave substance to our faith by filling his Word with promises for us and then he gave us his Son to open the way to those promises. He sent us the Spirit to empower us to live those promises and it is by his strength that we can declare with our mouth and believe in our heart, and walk in faith.

A cautionary note though: Scripture warns us that a double minded man cannot receive from the Father:

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8)

I realize our spirit and flesh war with each other but it is time to put that war to rest. The flesh belongs under the spirit and our spirit must have control. We live by faith not by sight. Remind yourself of that a hundred times a day. Whatever you are going through find a promises of Yahweh to apply to it, confess it and believe it and you will possess it. Deny yourself and desire above all things the will of our Father.

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