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Poem: Faith Walk
I had originally intended to put up the poem 'Faith Walk' without adding anything further to this hub. But every hub needs to have at least 800 words, and the poem was pretty small. I thought I should add some Bible verses regarding faith. But the subject was so vast, and I decided to write just a few reflections on faith.
At the outset, let's be clear about this: Faith is not a mere believing in doctrine. A lot of people make much of their doctrine. They draw up creeds, and rules and regulations. They think that if people sign on the dotted line, agreeing with that creed or doctrine, then it's okay with them. No, it is NOT okay. Faith is a gift of God. It comes with revelation. God opens our eyes to see Christ and Him crucified. We cannot divorce our Lord Jesus from His finished work on the Cross.
Living by faith is very real and practical. We make a lot of mistakes in the beginning, because we are not sensitive to the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. But after the cross has done its work in us, then like Jacob we worship, leaning on our staff. (Heb 11:21)
We must remember that a walk of faith is a walk according to the Spirit. Rom 8:14. The entire matter is spiritual and many who call themselves evangelical simply do not understand this.
May God open our eyes to the 'faith walk' of our Lord, clearly seen in John's Gospel.
Walking with God is not easy.
Like a horse, impatiently we rush forward
Or like a stubborn mule pull back.
The calm, steady gait
Of a man of faith.
We cannot wait.
Or often we are still waiting, even when
God wants us to walk
Forward into the sea by divine urging…
(But we would rather wait!)
Till God gives us a push!
It’s a mad rush
Into the surging
Waves (we cannot swim!)
But God says to keep looking,
looking at Him!
How often, like Peter, our fickle faith
Sinks sadly into the Sea of Chinnereth;
The Lord has to stretch out His hand
And bring us into the boat and on to land.
“According to your faith, ” He saith...
But this faith-walk we don’t understand.
© Tom Prato/Pratonix
A Few Reflections on Faith
The poem above talks about our ‘Faith Walk”, walking step-by-step with God. In the very first book of the Bible, Genesis, we see men walking with God, not only Enoch (Gen 5:24), but Noah (Gen 6:9) and Abraham (Gen 17:1). Indeed, Abraham’s long journey of several decades is seen in the Book of Hebrews as a walk of faith. The calm, steady walk of our Lord is set before us in the Gospels, especially the Gospel of John. Here we see a ‘discipline’; which comes from being governed by the Holy Spirit.
There is a statement in Habakkuk 2:4, ‘The righteous shall live by faith’ - which is repeated in the New Testament. We are all familiar with Rom 1:17. ‘The righteous man (the believer in Christ) SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”
Our Christian life begins with faith. God opens our eyes to see the Finished Work of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the Cross of Calvary. Rom 3:21-26 makes it clear that we are justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Rom 3:24 says that we are ‘justified by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus’, and this redemption is spelt out in the next verse (25), which points to the Cross, the shed blood of Jesus, the propitiation for our sins. The sacrifice of our Lord Jesus on the Cross was a demonstration of God’s righteousness…‘that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus’. Our Lord Jesus took the punishment for our sins upon Himself when He died on the Cross. He was delivered up because of our transgressions. By His death on the Cross, He paid the price for our sins. Hence we are justified – not by anything we have done, but by what Christ has done, by what He has ‘finished’ or accomplished on Calvary’s Cross. So Rom 4:25 says ‘He was raised up because of our justification.’ Since His sacrifice was effectual, and satisfied the demands of God’s holy justice, and that sacrifice procured our justification (He died for us, for our sakes!), He was raised up.
2 Cor 5:21 says, ‘God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.’ How the Sinless One was ‘made sin’ or ‘made to be sin’ is something beyond human comprehension. But we believe it by faith! Just as we believe every word of God in the Bible, though its meaning may not be clear to us at a particular point of time.
Further, the Bible says, this faith is a gift of God. Eph 2:8 says, ‘By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.’ Underline the clause, ‘not of yourselves’! Even the faith to believe in Christ and His finished work comes with the revelation of God, and by the grace of God. Faith and grace, which are so closely interlinked, are gifts of God. Phil 2:13 speaks of ‘God who is at work in you, both to will and to work…’ The willing (seen in the exercise of faith!) and the working (seen in the work of grace!) come from God.
Our Christian life continues with faith. The believer shall live by faith. We have to exercise faith in every situation. ‘We walk by faith, not by sight (external appearances).’ 2 Cor 5:7. There is a daily walk of faith, a regular trusting in the Lord. Gal 2:20 says ‘The life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.’ Paul says it is a life lived by faith -- every moment! Some translations have it: ‘I live by the faith of the Son of God.’ We live, trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ every minute of our life. We exhibit the same kind of faith that our Lord exhibited when He walked upon the earth. Read John’s Gospel, where His walk was regulated by the Holy Spirit. How often did our Lord wait for ‘clearance’ from heaven, for ‘permission’ from His heavenly Father. (Careful reading of John’s Gospel would reveal our Lord’s ‘faith-walk’. For example, John 2:4-7. John 4:4. John 5:19, 30. John 7:6-10.)
Our Lord Jesus Christ emphasized the need for faith. In John 14:1 He says, ‘Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God; believe also in Me.” We live by faith in Christ. He is the solution to every problem, He is the One who supplies every need. He is our wisdom, our righteousness, our sanctification, our deliverance, our redemption, our strength, our comfort, our peace, our life, our victory. (1 Cor 1:30, etc.) We cling to Him by faith. Travelling with His disciples in the boat on the stormy Sea of Galilee, He rebuked the disciples for their fear and lack of faith. He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. (Matt 8:26).
Our faith will be tested. Tested by fire. Read 1 Pet 1:7. Paul exhorts the disciples (believers) in Acts 14:22, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God." Our Lord Jesus said, again and again, “According to your faith be it done to you.” (Matt 9:29). Heb 11:6 says, ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God.’ Therefore, every child of God lives by faith! Faith in God, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The believer continually ‘feeds’ on Christ, appropriating Christ for every situation, for every need.
Our Lord promised: “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' it will be done for you.” Matt 21:21. "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.” Luke 17:6. Faith, even as little as a grain of mustard-seed, can move mountains! Oh, where can we find that true, living, wonder-working faith!
Regarding the last days, there is a warning in Luke 18:8. At the time of our Lord’s return -- ‘will He really find faith on the earth?’ Both Hebrews and James talk about faith going through the ‘long haul’. “Do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Heb 6:12. “The testing of your faith produces patience.” James 1:3 – and it is that patience or endurance that brings the perfect result. Heb 12:2 points to Jesus as ‘the author and finisher of our faith’.
Yes, our faith will be tested. Just as the faith of Abraham was tested. ‘By faith Abraham obeyed…” Heb 11:8. ‘He went out, not knowing where he was going.’ It is always like that. We cannot see or understand, logically speaking; but we step out in faith, trusting in the promises of God, trusting in the infallible Word of God, trusting in the One who is ‘Faithful and True’ (Rev 19:11)
Paul tells Timothy: ‘Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life’ 1 Tim 6:12. It is a fight, it is a laying hold of. It is ‘hold fast’! Never let go. Cling to Him. Fix your feet firmly upon the Rock that is Christ. Eternal life is in Christ. It is resurrection life, resurrection power. Faith releases that life and power. Faith is the victory, 1 John 5:4.
Faith in the Word of God – that’s the sword of faith. We cannot use that sword without faith in God’s Word! And there’s the shield of faith, quenching the fiery darts of the evil one. Eph 6:16. Faith links us with Christ, unites us with Him. Every minute we depend on Him, lean on Him, roll our burdens on to Him. We continually exercise faith in Him, remembering that He fought the greatest battle of all on Calvary and won! Satan is henceforth a defeated foe. He can do nothing to us without God’s permission. We are told to ‘resist the devil’. Hence faith is active; never passive.
Abraham is the supreme example of faith, among all the great men of God. God brought him to the point where he had to walk for 25 years without seeing the ‘seed’ (son) that God had promised – and then when he was a 100 years old, and Sarah 90, in a marvelous way, by the power of resurrection, Sarah produced a child, a delightful baby boy! But the walk of faith was not over. 25 years later, when Isaac was a young man, God told Abraham to offer up Isaac on Mount Moriah, and Abraham went all the way, even to the point of raising the knife (to offer up his son!) – when God stopped him, and told him to offer up the trapped ram instead.
God will not test us to the point that He tested Abraham’s faith. But may we walk steadily, patiently, holding on to the Lord, in every test of faith! And by His grace, we shall come through victoriously!