What is living by faith?


I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Have you ever thought about living by faith? What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you believe that someday you will live by faith?

The idea that many have of living by faith is that of a person who does not have a job, and who lives depending on offerings and donations from the parishioners of some congregation. Living by faith is not a way of life proper to those who exercise a ministry; although all of us at some point have to face them, living by faith is not, nor does it mean, a life of deprivation, needs, crises, ups and downs.

To live by faith means to live in direct dependence upon the Lord; it is the confidence developed by the Holy Spirit that all the things, thoughts, decisions, and actions which we produce daily are subject to the Lordship of Christ and that for nothing shall we be confused as to what we expect of Him.

according to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. Philippians 1:20

Living by faith is the prize of the Supreme calling by which we have all been reached by Jesus Christ,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

To live by faith is to persevere in our efforts and convictions, without wavering, as if it were a race in which we will receive an award at the end.

17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me…   24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 1st. Corinthians 9:17-24

To live by faith is to understand that we are pilgrims and strangers on this earth, that our dwelling place is heavenly, that therefore we cannot love material things or trust them as the resource of our existence,

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 1st. Peter 2:11

To live by faith is to understand that our life is sustained by what God says about us, not by what the world pretends to establish about our existence,

6Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (for we walk by faith, not by sight) 2nd. Corinthians 5:6-7

To live by faith is to decide that we will not live because of the demands that the world presents to us as demands of life, even though this means being at a disadvantage in front of others,

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1st. John 3:1-2

To live by faith is to be led by the Holy Spirit,

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Romans 8:14

To live by faith is to judge all things spiritually, not by the flesh, that is, not on the basis of human reasoning pre-established by the societies in which we live,

14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1st. Corinthians 2:14-16

To live by faith is to ask the Father about how we will deal with conflict,

10But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 1st. Corinthians 2:10-11

We have presented several definitions that broaden the spiritual picture of what it means to live by faith; however, is there any specific instruction that we should take care of in order to learn to live by faith?

Yes, there are. The Bible highlights among its pages several instructions that promote among those who follow them, who can develop the spiritual capacity to live by faith. We will point out the main instructions.


  • LEARNING TO HOPE AND PERSEVERE IN THE LORD

The main resource for developing a life of faith is learning to hope and persevere in the Lord. It means not only waiting, that is, letting time pass, but above all, persevering in the Word that we have received from the Lord, the Word that has become the promise of life.

18Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;…  22 Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee. Psalm 33:18-22


3Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed…   Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.…      Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass…   9For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth…   34 Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it….    40 And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him. Psalm 37:3-40

We have in Saul a good example of what happens when a person cannot wait on the Lord; Saul was rejected so as not to continue being king,

8And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him…    13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel forever. 1 Samuel 13:8-13


  • LEARN NOT TO RESORT TO EXTERNAL RESOURCES

The only recourse of one who has willing to live by faith is the Lord. We cannot turn to sources external to Him for this brings a curse,

Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. Jeremiah 17:5

We have in Abraham a good example of someone who discarded every external option and arranged to trust only the Lord,

that I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: Genesis 14:23


 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together…    14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen. Genesis 22:8-14

This is the counsel of God given by the Holy Spirit to everyone who wants to learn to live by faith,

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Turning to external resources rather than to God is equivalent to a decision to turn away from God,

For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:13


  • LEARN TO DEVELOP A GIVING AND GENEROUS ATTITUDE TOWARDS OTHERS, ESPECIALLY THOSE IN NEED

Seen from this perspective, Jesus’ demand to the rich young man to sell all he had and give to the poor[1] was not a capricious and unjustified demand, but rather part of God’s divine protocol for the man and woman of faith to learn to develop a generous and giving spirit. Clearly we read in the account that Jesus told him that he would have treasures in heaven, so it is not a matter of glorifying a state of poverty but of the person learning to properly value those on this earth who are helpless of resources to survive.

This spiritual principle, which we shall henceforth call the protocol of life by faith, is contained in all the apostolic writings. We read, for example, the words of the apostle Paul which refer to the teaching of Jesus concerning the beatitude of the person learning to give to those in need,

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35

The apostle Paul also writes to the faith community of Ephesus and exhorts them to learn to be benign and merciful,

and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

In his epistle to the community of faith in Philippi, he emphasizes that all that man sows is what man harvests; therefore, no prosperity arises by itself, arises from the cultivation of a life detached from material goods, learning to be generous with those who need it, mainly by those who work to preach the Word,

15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only…    19But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:15-19

Finally, in his second epistle to the Corinthians Paul states that God loves the cheerful giver,

7Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:   2nd. Corinthians 9:7-8

You cannot learn to live by faith if there is no commitment before the Lord. So, in reality, before any other action, the first instruction we must follow is to decide before the Lord that we are willing to live by faith.

Commitment before the Lord is the basis for building a life of faith. Jesus had already established it when He laid the foundation of discipleship.

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Luke 9:62


Are you willing to live by faith?

 

 



 

All biblical quotations are taken from the King James Version.

 

 



Pastor Pedro Montoya

Twitter: @pastormontoya

https://earthenwarevessels.com


[1] Mark 10:21; Luke 18:22