We’ve all read our fair share of faith messages. We walk by faith. We speak by faith. We live by faith. We prophesy according to our faith. We inherit the promises of God through faith (and patience). Ultimately, whatever we receive from God, it comes by faith.
We read about heroes in the Hall of Faith, lead by faithful Abraham. We are edified by accounts of God’s faithfulness to His people throughout the Old Testament and learn the practical elements of how faith works in the New Testament. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God and acting on the Word brings results (Romans 10:17). If you don’t doubt in your heart but believe those things that you say will come to pass you will have whatsoever you say (Mark 11:23).
I’m oversimplifying, but that’s the faith message in a nutshell.
But what about the other side of the coin? There’s so much focus on receiving God’s promises by faith, winning battles by faith, taking the spoils by faith and so on. But what about living without sin by faith? The Bible says whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). In order to get sinful habits, behaviors, speech and the like out of our lives, we have to rely on God. He is our Deliverer.
Listen, we’re not going walk out of fleshly acts by the power of the flesh itself. It takes the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Grace – to help us avoid caving in to the sinful weaknesses in our carnal nature. Just as we were saved by grace through faith, we must continue living the same way (Ephesians 2:8). Remember the foolish Galatians who thought they could begin in the Spirit and be made perfect in the flesh? (Galatians 3) The Apostle Paul set that straight and we’d do well to remember the lesson.
We’ve been delivered from the power of darkness. We’ve been made free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). We don’t have to sin. But we’ll have to depend on the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus to walk after the Spirit so that we don’t fulfill the sinful desires of the flesh. And we’ll have to do that by faith.
What I am trying to say is this: Exercise your faith to receive God’s best for your life in every area – financially, health-wise, socially, etc. But don’t stop there. Exercise your faith to avoid the trap of sin. Like David, ask the Lord to show you if there is anything in you that offends Him (Psalm 139). And when He starts convicting you, repent by faith, receive forgiveness by faith and determine not to walk with sinful thoughts, attitudes, words or actions – by faith. Amen?
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