Living By Faith
Some pray for the Lord to increase their faith. Well, the Bible says “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” (Rom 10:17). So, we need to see what the Bible tells us about faith. According to Heb 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith, therefore, has substance and evidence and is seen in the works that are done by faith (Jas 2). By faith we received Christ – that shows that we have trusted Him and that we are trusting Him. In Heb 11, Noah’s faith was seen when he built the ark, Abraham’s faith was seen when he left his country, Abraham’s faith was also seen when he and Sarah conceived Isaac, Abel’s faith was seen in his sacrifice, etc. You can see when someone is living by faith.
Living by faith involves:
Depending on God for your daily provisions – Matt 6:3; Prov 30:8. By faith, the widow, whose two sons were to be sold to pay the creditor, filled the borrowed vessels with oil. She paid off the debt from the proceeds of the sale of the oil and she and her children lived off the rest. The widow who fed Elijah during the drought fed Elijah by faith and lived by the supply of oil and meal daily provided by the Lord. Each depended upon God for her daily provisions because the Lord had miraculously provided what she had. One received hers all at once and the other received hers daily.
Living on the authority of God’s Words – Matt 8:8-10; Matt 4:4. We have to believe what he said and live by that. In Lk 24:25-27, the trouble with the disciples is that they didn’t believe what God said about his suffering and resurrection because they didn’t believe what the scriptures said about these things. Once they believed the scriptures, Lk 24:31-32, 45, then they could, on the authority of his words, tell others who would believe the scriptures (Jn 20:31, Jn 17:20).
As you believed by faith unto salvation, even so, you should believe the other things that God said and walk in those things daily (Col 2:6-7; 2 Cor 5:7). When Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” he meant for you to believe that and live by what he said. It’s like flying an airplane on an instrument rating. You’re not looking where you are going; you are looking at the instruments. Likewise, we are not to walk by sight, we are to walk by faith in the words of God (by looking at what He said – He will direct your path).
Dispelling the fear of scary circumstances – Matt 8:23-27. We do not need to fear the scary circumstances; consider who God is and what He can do. If the circumstances result from being where He wants you to be and from doing what He wants you to do then the circumstances are not going to overwhelm you. When He’s ready He will deal with the circumstances. So, don’t worry about them, Rom 8:35-39. Look at Matt 14:28-31. Peter asked to do something big, something no one has ever done before. He even had the authority of God’s Word, “Come.” So, he walked by faith. But his fear of the boisterous wind was so great it swamped his faith, and he began to sink. You can be sure that at this point he had to be asking himself whether this was such a good idea. When he cried to the Lord to save him, immediately Jesus saved him and asked, “Wherefore didst thou doubt?” Answer: the sight of the circumstances overshadowed his faith in God’s Words.
Bringing others to Jesus for help – Matt 9:2 (Mk 2:3-12). Four men brought this fellow to Jesus and did not stop until they got him there. Jesus forgave him and healed him based on their faith. In 2 Kings 5, the little maid got Naaman to Elisha and thus to the Lord because she believed that the Lord would heal him. It’s faith that causes us to minister to souls because we know firsthand what the Lord has done for us and, therefore, what He can do for them. Ultimately, living by faith involves bringing others to Jesus for salvation, and this we must do!
Coming to Jesus yourself for help – Matt 9:20-22. This woman knew that she had a problem. Everything she had tried failed (Mk 5:26, many physicians) – she’d spent all that she had (Mk 5:26) – she was not any better but actually worse (Mk 5:26) – so she turned to Jesus by faith – and when she got to him, instantly she was made whole! She is a picture of you and her illness is a picture of sin in your life. Nothing you do will fix it and you will spend all your living and all your time and never find a remedy. Jesus is the only one who can fix your problem with sin. Faith will take you to him and faith in him will save you.
Conclusion: We must walk by faith and not by sight. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18 KJV