In the post, Faith is, we reviewed how faith is trusting God enough to believe what he reveals about himself and to do what He directs us to do. Making this level of trust grounded obedience a lifestyle is walking by faith. Walking by faith is living, conducting, and moving in concert with our trust in God. Living a life of faith requires diligence, persistence, and fortitude. It is not for the faint of heart, but boy the joy and peace that comes along for the journey!
As always, let’s let the Word of God teach us what it means to walk by faith. There are several scriptures that state, the just shall live by faith. Let’s review each in turn, beginning with Habakkuk 2:4.
Living/ Walking by Faith
Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Those who are arrogant and prideful look to their own strengths and abilities, first. However, those who are humble enough to put God and His Word first, live by faith.
Romans 1:16,17 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
The gospel of Christ reveals the righteousness of God that is made available to us. Through the righteousness of God that we receive, we progress from one level of faith to another. The progression of faith from one degree or level to the other reveals more and more of the right standing we have through and by Christ Jesus. This progression is achieved when our trust in God guides our decision making and behavior.
Galatians 3: 10-14 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
The law did not require faith, it required strict obedience to its statutes. Those who failed to obey were subject to the curse if even one part of it was missed. Christ has redeemed us from the curse brought about by disobedience to the statutes of the law so that the blessing of Abraham could also belong to those who were outside of the covenant between God and Abraham (This topic is covered in more detail in the book, Predestinated, chapters 3 and 7). Therefore, we, the justified ones are to live by faith, by our trust in God because of what Christ has done for us.
Hebrews 10:32-39 32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Walking by faith requires perseverance. As we’ve explored in several blog posts, perseverance and patience are companions of faith. It is through faith and patience that we inherit the promises of God. It is also through patience brought about by deep trust that we persevere in the face of hardship and opposition.
2 Corinthians 5:1-7 1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight🙂 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
Perseverance of faith is trusting in things not yet experienced. Sight is a truth but not the final truth – sight is secondary to faith. What you see and are experiencing is often contradictory to what you’re believing God for. Walking by faith is humbling yourself and submitting to God. It is conducting yourself in a way that confirms your trust in what God has said is true in the face of opposition, in the face of trials, in the face of contradictory circumstances, and in the face of persecution. It is choosing to act, speak, make decisions, and to persevere in your trust of what God has said and what you therefore believe. This trust is based on the Word of God of which you have become thoroughly convinced. It is based on uncorrupted faith.
Put a Stake in the Ground
When you trust God in an area, put a stake in the ground. Decide that what God has said to you personally, through His Word, through words spoken to you in His name or in whatever way your faith was activated, is the truth. Believe that the word you received is unchanging, and that it is the will of God for you, personally. On that solid foundation, place your stake. Meaning, regardless of circumstances, regardless of contradictory thoughts, regardless of evidence to the contrary, God’s word to you is the truth. He said you are blessed, so you are blessed. He said that you are healed so you are healed. He said that you are free from oppression, so you are free.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). We are to build ourselves up on our most holy faith (Jude 1:20) and pray in the Spirit. When we have received the Word of God, whether it be about salvation or any of the other promises of God that has been made available to us through Christ Jesus, reinforce the Word. Study to show yourself approved. Go to the Word, keep it in front of you, meditate on it, sing it, pray it, talk with God about it. Let the Word grow deep roots inside you.
Don’t Draw Back
32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; 33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. 34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. 35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
After you’re illuminated, when a Word of God read or spoken resonates within you and you receive it, persecution will come. Persecution will come for the Word to keep it from yielding its fruit in your life. This is where you walk by faith and not by sight. The things that you are seeing and experiencing are subject to the Word of God and are therefore, subject to change. To do this, keep the Word at the forefront, don’t let it slip! You will also need to keep the Word protected. As we explored in the post, Faith Uncorrupted, if the Word of God is not protected, it can be choked out by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. These things cause our foundation of faith to become unstable, and eventually we draw back from the promises.
Receiving the promises of God, walking by faith, is a journey; it is a journey of endurance.