To live by faith in God means to live according to God’s word even though it doesn’t agree with your experiences and professionalism.
Living in faith has become a very common statement that often it seems the meaning of it has been done away with. Surprisingly, when you make genuine utterances based on the revelation of what faith in God means, people rise against you and try to tell you how unreal it is, why? Because they don’t understand so well that we look not at things which are seen! Living by faith in God doesn’t mean living by supposed circumstances, hope in the government, hope calculated based on statistics but hope based on what God has said even though it may sound foolish.
For example, the statistics may prove that our country is getting better and would be perfect by the year 2020, while we hope and pray that it becomes true, we don’t live by those calculations but with hope in God! This is because we can be disappointed by anything else but not by God. Same can be said on the doctor’s report and other reports! Whether it is a positive or negative report, we don’t live by hopping on them but God’s word!
It is easy for a rich man to tell you “I live by faith” but the big question is “faith in who?” The rich fool became a fool not because he had no hope, his hopes were so high but those hopes weren’t on God! In Luke 12:18-20, we see the story of the rich fool, it wasn’t about his lack of faith, but about his faith in his material things! Faith in self culminates to greed. Looking at his statements, you will see a confession of high hopes
“The ground of a certain rich man produced abundantly. So he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do since I have nowhere to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘this is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and will build bigger ones, and there I will store up all my grain and my goods. Then I will say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take it easy. Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be required of you. Then who will own what you have accumulated?’ – Luke 12:16-20Tweet
Can you see that? He had many hopes of living further, of tearing down his barns and building a bigger one, he was so confident of himself and his abilities! He had hopes of eating and drinking and making merry. Isn’t that faith? But it was a very stupid faith, faith in self and things around him. His faith and confidence are based on the statistics of his success. That is not the kind of faith we are encouraged to have. The foolish kind of faith!
Our faith is not in whatsoever but in God! This means whether things are good or bad, our faith is in God. It prevents us from struggling to get things done but work in confidence of what God has done and not what we can do. The Bible says it is God who works in us both to will and do, that means we will work things out but with faith in God because it is him who works in us both to will and to do. In the Christian context, what does it mean to live by faith?
Living by faith in God means believing, trusting and working on God’s word, it means looking away from every circumstance and focusing on God’s word! A faith-filled man become thankful in every situation because he believes God’s word which says all things are working for our good, to those who love God!
Let’s take it to the next level.
Certain believers still doubt it when we say we are already functional from the heavenly places. They argue that it is not a practical truth but rather a thing that is yet to come. Then this leads to questioning what we call faith! Does faith arise from works or isn’t our works supposed to be based on faith in God? Paul said something concerning this exact truth! He wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:2
“For in this tent, we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling”Tweet
Paul wasn’t wishing believers to make heaven at last, we don’t even make heaven! Paul admitted that in the present we are still in a tent here on earth but we long to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling. It is our dwelling and not a dwelling place that might become us if we finally make it to heaven. This is a level of understanding. By being clothed with it, it means to be made manifest in the physical sense. For instance, Paul said to believers who are already saved “put off the old clothe” (Ephesians 4:22-25) which means, “stop putting up activities of your past. Put up good works that best explain who you are”. We are already functional in heaven but we are still in the earthly tent. Our presence in heaven manifests to us the moment we check out of this flesh! It takes absolute faith in the eternal salvation granted by Jesus to understand this. The New Heart English Bible calls it “our habitation which is from heaven”, it is something that belongs to all who have received salvation of God! It is part of the package, it takes faith to believe that the issue of our salvation has been settled completely.
Let’s continue with verse 5
“Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”Tweet
Are you getting something? God himself fashioned us for this very purpose! He deposited His Spirit in us as a guarantee of His purpose. The next verse says
“Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.”Tweet
This may easily be hijacked by people who say “we are not in heaven and will struggle to get there” prove a point. But, is that in agreement with the rest of the scriptures? No! Paul was talking about our human knowledge, in our human understanding, we are on earth and far away from God! But are we truly far from God? No! Even those who might find it difficult to accept certain truths here will agree that we are not spiritually far from God. God is inside of us through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said in John 14:23
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.”Tweet
Do you see that? Does Paul disagree? No, Paul said to Ephesians in 1:14
“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love…”Tweet
Now, can you agree with me that when Paul said that we know we are away from the Lord, he didn’t mean that we are far from God in a sense? Let’s go further to the next verse
Suddenly Paul added,
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7).Tweet
Even though our eyes don’t see God, we don’t live by sight! Even though our senses may perceive that we are far away from God, we don’t live by feelings or by the totality of carnality! We live by faith in God’s word! To say we live by faith also means that we survive by faith! If you want to survive, you have no other option than to be in faith with God! Paul was writing to people who may not have come to a certain level of understanding, he might have used certain words to that effect. No wonder, after saying “we know we are far away from God” he suddenly added, “We live by faith and not by sight”.
We live by God’s word and not by what we think we know. Other preceding verses talk about representing Christ and standing as Christ’s ambassador here on earth! How can we be ambassador to a place we are not its citizen? We are not a candidate of heaven, we are citizens of heaven! Unless, you have not surrendered to Jesus, only then can people refer to you as a potential candidate of heaven or hell.
Certain believers find it easier to call themselves Children of Abraham but they find it harder to believe that their place is secured in heaven; they find it difficult to agree that they are seated in heaven at the moment of their salvation! Paul wrote in Romans 4:17
“The God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.”Tweet
He is a God who brings what we cannot see into reality! His reality is different from our reality. Jesus said in Mark 11:34
“believe you have received it and you will have it”.Tweet
If you don’t believe you have received it, you will not have it. The reality of a believer is not in the sense but the happenings and declarations of the Spirit! If God said it, then I must believe it! Living by faith means living in the realities that the eyes cannot see and what the senses cannot perceive but what has been brought to reality in our spirit even though it has not been felt in the flesh.
Abraham acknowledged his weak body, the weakness of Sarah and all that! He acknowledged how real those things were to his senses! But he overrode his senses with the word of God, (Romans 4:19-24) and it was counted to him as righteousness. He wouldn’t have lived righteously if he lived according to what his senses were telling him, he would have always acted against the will of God. Faith in God is what makes you act according to God’s will. You cannot please God when you are not living in faith. Faith doesn’t deny the senses; it just does not live according to it. I know the economy is going down, I can even feel it but it doesn’t guide my actions and response to God. Don’t forget, it is faith in God and that’s all!
Do you still doubt? You need to free yourself from every doubt rising against the truth of God’s word. Abraham believed every bit of God’s word and it was counted to him as righteousness! I will summarize with what Jesus said in Mark 11:24
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”Tweet
The Christian walk is a walk of faith.