The beautiful plants and flowers in your garden are sustained by carbon dioxide. You can enjoy looking at their beauty because you are sustained by oxygen. Christians cannot live without faith. The oxygen of the Christian life is Faith. The bible says, the just shall live by faith. Meaning, without faith, the just cannot continue to exist. Learning how to live a life of faith is learning how to continue to live as believers.
Faith is what qualifies you to be a believer. You are saved because you believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. Your position as a child of God was received through faith and can only be maintained through faith. Living a life of faith should, therefore, be a priority in the heart of every believer.
Learning to live by faith is like a child learning to walk. Sometimes, he would stumble and fall; and that’s fine. With time, the child would be able to walk, leap, jump, run, and run very fast. For without faith, it is impossible to please God. By faith, you grow in Christ and enjoy the benefits of Christianity. The only way to enjoy the abundant life in Christ is through the life of faith.
God, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, has provided all you’ll ever need by grace, but it takes faith to concretize them in your life. Understanding how to live the life of faith that works is like understanding how to drive your car. You wouldn’t need to walk the journey by your strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. This post will not only help you to enjoy your journey with God, but it will also help you to live a life above Sin, Self, and Satan. That’s a life of victory!
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By Grace through Faith
“For by grace you have been saved through faith…” (Eph 2:8 NKJV)
You see, the word, “by” means “someone who did something”. “through” means “by what means it was done”. Halleluyah! Everything has been done by Grace, but it can only be enjoyed through faith. That’s why living a life of faith is a necessity. The effects of the work of grace would be paralyzed without faith. Grace has done it in the realm of the spirit, but only through faith can it be physically manifested.
Note, it wasn’t “by faith”. No. Faith didn’t do anything. It is by Grace, but through faith.
And also, it’s not “through Grace”. No. Grace did it! You are not trying to do it through Grace. Grace has done it. It was by Grace. You are not trying to do anything by your strength or faith. No. No. No. Grace, which is personified as Christ, did all.
You were saved by Grace. The sin of everyone in the world has been paid for on the cross of Calvary. Of course, that doesn’t mean everyone is saved. It just means whoever is not saved has not only completed the circle. Half of the circle—God’s part is done. To complete the circle, you must have faith in the crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, and accession of Jesus Christ. Only by faith in your heart and confession by your mouth are you saved. That’s all it takes.
Christ already, by grace, made us acceptable to God, if we will accept it through faith. He wouldn’t need to die for the sin of everyone who is deciding to be saved. No. it’s done already. Or permit me to say, it’s done and it’s ‘all-ready’.
Therefore, everything you’ll ever need has been made available to you in Christ. The condition is “if you believe”. The life of faith is the precursor for enjoying the life of Christ.
Faith for Righteousness
Righteousness can only be attained through faith. We have no righteousness of our own. We are the righteousness of God in Christ. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:21NIV). If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are free from the punishment of sin, because He took your place on the cross, so you can become co-heir with him.
A man of faith knows that his feelings are fickle and deceptive. Feelings are not from the spirit, it’s from the soul. The soul comprises desire, emotion, and will. Feelings are expression of the emotion. Whatever is not from the spirit is carnal. We are not to live by the dictate of our feelings and emotion and desire. We are to live a spirit-ual life.
You may not feel joyful, peaceful, and righteous. That doesn’t mean you do not have joy and peace in your spirit. All you need do is remove the cloud preventing you from experiencing them. You do not need to feel righteous. You are already made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).
If you would have to wait till you feel these things, I bet you the enemy will always make sure you do not always feel them. You have to learn to live only by faith and disregard your feelings, especially when it’s not in-line with the word of God.
You cannot be waiting until you have to feel the love of God before you believe that God still loves you. While you were yet sinner, Christ died for you. If He died for you while you were yet sinner, how much more, now that you have received Him into your heart.
The psalmist recounted several times that His mercies (not mercy, but mercies, signifying it’s in the manifold) endures (present tense, meaning it’s continual) forever (not dependent on your state or condition. It doesn’t end nor expire. It is always abounding). So next time you read “ For His mercies endures forever”, you’ll know it’s more than a line of a verse. It’s the assurance of God’s love for you and the security of your life in him.
So when you do not feel it, then it means your feeling is not catching it. For instance, when you plug your television to a power source, with power flowing from the source, and your television refuses to power on. Do you not know that the cause of the problem is simply that your television is malfunctioning?
Do you say, “oh, I can’t access the BBC because they are not broadcasting”? You certainly won’t think so. That’s simple to relate with, right? The same goes for your feeling. Your regenerated spirit is always joyful, peaceful, and righteous. If you can’t feel it, it’s not that they are not there; it’s just that your feeling is not connecting to the realities in your spirit.
The feeling is not reliable. It is fickle. You can’t depend on it always. It’s not to be trusted at all times. It rebels often. Great men of faith know their feelings can be rebellious. They simply ignore it when it’s not cooperating with the word of God, and then trust entirely on the verdict of the Word.
That’s what you must learn to do. That’s what it means to live a life of faith. Telling yourself that let everyone be liar, including your emotion, and God be true to His word.
As a Christian, the Holy Spirit never leaves you at any time. He’s your companion. He’s your always-available helper. Yes, He can be grieved, but He does not leave. “For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance (Ps 94:14 KJV)”. You may not feel His presence, but he’s continually with you. “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb 13:5 KJV).
You see, He will never leave you, nor forsake you. The Holy Spirit is the most precious Gift of the believer. And “… God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]” (Rom 11:29 AMP). Check out this post: Biblical encouragement for hard times
I have heard several people saying, they were once baptized by the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongue; and that after they fell into a particular sin, the Holy Spirit was taken away from them; claiming they no more have utterance to speak in other tongues. And they pray for several days asking for the Holy Spirit to return to them.
Men, that’s not so. Their problem is feeling of condemnation, even after confessing their sins and repenting from it. They simply believe the lie of the enemy through their feeling. Until such Christian breaks himself loose from the grip of such condemnation, and live the Christian life by faith, he will never be restored.
Stop allowing the devil to paralyze your Christian faith by your feeling. God’s gifts are irrevocable. He never withdraws them once He has given them. The just can only live by faith.
Journeying by Faith
The subject of faith is such that seems easy to be understood when taught; but until it has truly permeated our spirit, we can’t exercise it. Every believer definitely knows we ought to live by faith and not by sight. We understand it in our mind, that the just shall live by faith, but not everyone is experiencing it.
To live by feeling is in direct opposition to living a life of faith. Painfully, many believers still depend on feelings in their journey of faith.
To be on the ‘high key’ in our relationship with God when we feel excited and maintain a ‘low key’ when we lose the excitement, is to live by feelings. That’s not living by faith. The spiritual life is not like that. There is no fluctuation in the spiritual life of believers. There is no ‘ups and downs’; the kingdom life should always be “come up hither”.
There is no dull moment; rather our path should be as that of a shining light that shines brighter and brighter.
To pray when we feel like praying is good, but we also ought to pray even when we do not feel like praying. If we pray only when we feel like praying, then we are still living by our feeling, not by faith. This is what the life of faith teaches, “When you feel like praying, pray. When you don’t feel like praying, still pray”.
If all it will take the enemy to keep you from enjoying fellowship with your Father is to make you feel like you should not fellowship, then you can be sure he’ll always do that.
I’m not pretending like these things do not happen. As a matter of fact, we can’t stop such from happening, but we can choose how to respond when it happens. We may choose to obey how we feel or do what we ought to do irrespective of our feeling. Everyone feels, but not everyone yields to feelings.
At times, when we are going through tough times we don’t feel the vibrancy we feel in our spirit. We just lose the taste for everything that has to do with God. We feel so dry that nothing interests us in our Christian journey. It seems like there is no progress in our pilgrimage. The journey is just so boring and uninteresting.
At other times, we feel like all the hosts of heaven are with us. We are so confident in the company of innumerable angels. We seem to enjoy every moment of fellowship with the Spirit. Our spirit seems to be so vibrant and active. We just want it to continue like that.
However the case may be, we must learn to continue the journey by faith and not by what we feel at the moment. This is God’s desire for His children. He desires that we keep going when we feel the excitement, and that we never cease when we do not feel the excitement anymore. Our feelings should not cause our attitude to fluctuate towards our God. This is the life of faith.
Believers ought to persistently live by faith. Because you feel like the Holy Spirit is no longer with you, should not make you think He has deserted you. No. He doesn’t. He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you. Your feeling is just malfunctioning, not able to pick signal from your spirit, at those moments of discouragement and ‘dryness’.
Paul wrote to Timothy, he said, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine” (2 Tim 4:2 KJV). Irrespective of the season, believers ought to be instant, both in the season of excitement and in the season of discouragement. We are to remain steadfast, unmovable, and always abounding in our walk with God and at our work for God.
We must not allow the unpleasantness of the circumstances that surround us dictate our attitude as we walk the Christian journey. Even when you don’t feel like studying your bible, by faith, pick it up. You know, it’s a journey of faith. And it can only be successfully walked by faith, not by happenings.
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Love By Faith
Silently, the enemy might plant into a believer the seed of bitterness towards his brother. This could be on the ground that the person misbehaved to such a believer. Normally, the believer might begin to feel hatred towards his neighbor. But irrespective of what we feel towards another man, we ought to show love, mercy, and kindness.
God is love, and He lives in us. Therefore we have love in our spirit—our inner man. In cases like this, we must not live by what we feel, but by what we have in our Spirit, which is God’s love. To do this is not pretending. It is refusing to live by what you feel, and that’s living by faith. Love anyway; whatever the case may be, towards whoever it may be.
We don’t always feel like doing what we know is right. Sometimes, believers want to do what he feels like doing. This could be to prove a point, to impress or simply just to feel ‘good’. Such a life is the meaning of carnality. It may not be necessarily sinful, but if it’s not biblical, then it’s not spiritual. We must learn not only to do what is right but also to do what is right, even when we do not feel like doing so.
We are Christians, not because we know and understand the word, but also because we live by the dictate of the word. It is good to have the right knowledge from the bible, but if it’s not followed by the right application, then it’s not wisdom yet. This is my definition of wisdom—doing the right thing, rightly at the right time. To act wisely has nothing to do with acting according to feelings. Wisdom demands that we act right irrespective of our feeling.
When we feel like retaliating, we must remember to show love even to our enemies (Matt. 5:44-47). When we feel like satisfying our emotions, we must remember that they that are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:8). When we feel like God has deserted us, we must believe that He’s with us always even to the end of the world (Matt. 28:20).
To some of us, I know this might sound difficult to do. Yes, there is nothing of the spirit that is easy for the flesh to carry out. It is not by your self-will that this will be possible. It is possible by relying on the work of grace upon your life.
To live a life of faith is not like desiring to live by the theories of Mr. Freud, the psychologist. A life of faith is a life that relies on the Spirit of God. Believers must never forget that, as we desire to walk by faith, only the spirit of God can impart it in the place of fellowship.
Faith for Fruitfulness
Faith is not only needed to receive, but it is also needed to give. It requires faith to be a blessing, not only to be blessed.
As it required faith for Abraham to wait for about 25 years to receive the promised child—Isaac; faith was also required for him to obey God when God asked for Isaac to be sacrificed on the mountain. “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.” (Heb 11:17 KJV).
God gave each one of us at least a spiritual gift. And He expects us to make use of it. We all ought to mark (identify) our gifts and make use of them. As we implore our gifts, they become improved. Gifts and grace multiply by being exercised. But if we choose not to use what we have, we lose what we have.
In the parable of the talents, the fellow with one-talent simply went to hide his talent because he was afraid. He buried his gift because he was fearful. That’s certainly because he lacked faith. Faith and fear are mutually exclusive.
Others understood that to be fruitful in the work of the Father, faith is a key ingredient.
No Christian will ever become a fruitful Christian except he learns to live the life of faith. Unless he learns to ‘trade’ with his gifts by faith. No matter how small it might seem to be, if not neglected, but rather traded with, will soon become fruitful with it.
Joseph’s gifts were simply to manage home and interpret dreams. As he put them into use, they were what brought him to the height he attained in life. He simply, by faith, put the gifts to work and he became so fruitful with them.
No matter the gift a man possesses, if he will not use it by faith, it will become as one without such a gift. How many gifts are in the grave unused, simply because the possessors were too afraid, or fearful to use them.
It takes faith for a farmer to cast his seed into the ground. But until he does so, his seed will never bring forth more. If he refuses to do so, his seed will eventually degenerate. So is the case of some believers with spiritual gifts. They are so afraid to make use of it. They do not know that it takes faith to be fruitful.
Imagine Joseph’s faith in the interpretation of the king’s dream. That can only be done by faith! He interpreted the dream saying, “there will be seven years of plenty, then another seven years of famine”. To say that to a king should make him think twice. “What if it doesn’t happen as I’m predicting?”. But he refused to allow the “what ifs” stop him from the “what can…”. He confidently declared what will happen in fourteen years. He did it by faith.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; (Rom.12:6).
Many are called into ministry but refused to answer the call because they are afraid. They are afraid of the unknown. They are rationalizing. You’ll never become fruitful in what the Lord has called you to do except you do it by faith. Fear renders a believer handicapped and unfruitful.
The apostles needed to pray for boldness so as to be able to do the work of the ministry committed into their hands by the Lord. Another word for boldness is an assurance, which is also a word for faith. So they were in essence praying for ‘faith’, because without which it will be impossible to do the work and be fruitful in it.
The community needs you to manifest your calling; shine your light before men, so that they may glorify your Father in heaven. The church needs you to exercise your gifts; edify the body of Christ. Our Lord desires you to bear fruit. So that He can purge you to bear more fruits (John 15: 2).
Truly, you might have an excuse for not stirring up and put into use the gifts of God in you; but do you think your excuses are genuine enough to convince God? From time immemorial, no excuse has been accepted by God for unfruitfulness. Moses, Gideon, Jeremiah, and others can attest to that.
False humility, fear of making mistakes, fear of being ridiculed, inferiority complex, and whatever; is not enough reason to be passive in our gifts and callings.
In the words of Paul to Timothy, I admonish you:
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:6-7 KJV)
Shake yourself from the dust of fear. Stand up to your calling by faith. And become a fruitful Christian. If you’ll ever be fruitful, it can only be by faith.
From the point of salvation to the last breath of a believer on earth, faith is a necessity. You cannot out-grow the need to live a life of faith rather, you are to move from faith to faith. Every aspect of the believer’s life requires faith. From living a righteous life, loving your neighbor to serving the Lord, faith is exercised in everyday life. Make a decision today; to live, not by feelings, but by faith. As you do, you’ll see yourself walking in victory.
You may share this with friends and family, or other believers who need to understand the need to live a life of faith.
You may post a comment, so I can know how this has blessed you.