Friday, September 27, 2013

"The Walk of Faith"

Part 2

    "We walk by faith" (II Corinthians 5:7).

     In our present existence, we require challenge if we are to consistently walk by faith. 

   "Before I was afflicted, I went astray.  But now have I kept Thy word" (Psalm 119:67).

    God often lengthens the leash of our spiritual enemies, allowing them to present obstacles to our trust in Him.  He purposes this as a good thing, for a variety of reasons.  First, He desires our faith to be a conscious and vitally realized sensibility.  If our prayers instantly led to perfect assurance and an unfettered emotional and mental experience, much of our confidence in the Lord would lie unrealized as a subterranean stream rather than as rivers of living water.  Both Old Testament and New declare that "the just shall live by faith," and we are most vibrantly alive when we realize and must affirm (and reaffirm) our faith in the Lord Jesus (Habbakuk 2:3; Romans 1:17). 

    Our Heavenly Father also calls us to overcome challenges by the power of His presence and might.  Regarding such matters, Paul wrote, "In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:37).  God is greatly glorified when we trust Him, and even more glorified when we face and transcend obstacles to our confidence in Him.  A challenged faith leads to conquering faithfulness through the power of Christ as we expect our enemies to lie in wait, as it were, just outside the Throneroom where we offer our prayers.  Rather than flee because we have prayed, the world, the devil, and the flesh are often allowed by God begin their taunting attack before we seem to have crossed the threshold.  This provides opportunity to "fight the good fight of faith," and glorify our Lord as we expect and engage enemies who seek our discouragement (I Timothy 6:12).

     Perhaps most importantly, the necessity of a step by step walk of faith means that we must consciously relate to our Heavenly Father.  The necessity of reaffirmation makes for communication that might not happen if we could perfectly trust God without challenge.  "I'm back again, Father, to remember and reaffirm Your faithfulness, and my trust in You."  The God who "delights" in the prayers of His trusting children doesn't find such repeated approach as an indication of our lack of faith, but rather of the reality of the world in which we presently live (Proverbs 15:8).  Such reality leads to relationship in those who recognize the life of faith presently involves a walk amid challenge rather than a recline of comfort.  This provides much opportunity to commune again and again with a Father to whom our voices are sweet (Song of Solomon 2:14).  This is indeed a good thing, and presently, a necessary thing that leads to the wonder of realized relationship with the very Life of our lives.

"Pray without ceasing."
(I Thessalonians 5:17)

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