What Is Faith Part 9

Grace is all that God has provided as a free gift in Christ. It is grace because His provision is not earned by us and it is not something that we deserve.

Why does God provide for us? Simply because He loves us. We have done nothing to deserve this love but still it is there for those who will receive it.

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
2 Peter 1:3

God has provided for our every need in Christ. His provision is given through His grace but it must be received by faith to be enjoyed. This is one of the largest issues in Christianity that many do not understand.

People love God and go year after year without being able to enjoy what God has provided for them. It is His will that they do so but faith is absent and therefore His provision as well.

“I’ve asked the Lord a thousand times for Him to do it but nothing seems to happen.”

There is a common misperception that it is up to Him. Grace encompasses everything God has provided. We saw in the last post that our lack of faith frustrates grace.

20 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. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Galatians 2:20-21

We have just passed the Christmas holiday in my country. This is a time to gather with family and friends to celebrate the birth of Christ. A vital part of the celebrations is gift giving. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to give a loved one their gift only to have them refuse to accept and open it?

There are many Christian phrases and sayings floating around today. We must learn to examine each in light of Scripture if our goal is to grow in faith. It does not make something truth just because our preacher or parents believed it.

“What we need to do is let go and let God.”

This is one of these phrases that is popular. What does it mean? If it is in reference to letting go of our anxieties and worry to trust God then it is accurate. In most cases though people who use this phrase mean something else. They mean that we should quit trying and let God do the work. Without realizing it, they are attempting to make God responsible for the part He has assigned to them.

There are prayers that God cannot answer. These are not based on the Word of God and end up frustrating His grace. We can avoid doing this by learning to live by faith.

All that God has given by grace is available but will not be enjoyed until we rise up and receive them by faith.

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:12

There is a fight to the faith walk. It is not possible to passively fight is it?

Grace has already provided everything so what are we fighting?

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 10:10-12

One of the primary ways Satan will work to bring destruction in our lives is through thoughts. He will try to influence us to be negative, doubt, and fear.

Paul told us to fight the good fight of faith. He did not tell us at any point to “let go and let God”.

The Bible is our textbook for life. We must train ourselves to let it supersede and overcome every thought and everything we have ever heard.

Satan will stand between us and the blessings of God. He does this through our thought lives.

When Israel stood at the edge of their promised land Satan used the report of ten spies to keep the whole nation from possessing what was rightfully theirs. He used the report of giants and walled cities to stir up the people’s imaginations and was so successful in doing so that a whole generation lost their right to enter.

There will be resistance that each one of us will experience trying to posses the promises of God. The process of overcoming this is what Paul referred to as the fight of faith.

The earth around us is full of darkness. Satan will resist our efforts to receive what God has provided. He will try and talk us out of God’s promises. Living by faith does not include getting discouraged and quitting.

We must make a quality decision to live and walk by faith. This is one that will not quit regardless of what comes against us or what we see on the outside.

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:12

Paul tells us to fight the good fight of faith. He also tells us that we are to “lay hold on eternal life”. This is very different from letting go and letting God isn’t it?

Grace and faith go hand in hand. It is not all grace.

Grace is all that God has given. Faith is the mechanism by which we receive it.

Faith will involve a fight to overcome the enemy. It will require tenacity to lay hold of the promises of God.

We lay hold and refuse to turn loose. This will require us to overcome every thought of doubt by standing in the Word of God.

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