♣ The Law of Faith
“…the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God…” – Galatians 2:20.
THE SPIRITUAL FORCES of evil continually endeavour for us to be governed by the laws of this world; to walk by sight, by sense, by touch. No wonder the world is enslaved to sensuality which is not always erotic in nature as some are inclined to believe, just the same as lust takes on many other forms, but they all have one thing in common and that is to have what it longs after now no matter how others are inconvenienced or harmed as a result.
As lust stands in vivid contrast to love, so the law of faith stands on the opposite side of the spectrum to the law of evidence determined by sight – “ Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction [evidence] of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). The world lives by what it sees and feels; the Christian lives by the persuasion of things invisible which are infinitely greater than our five senses are accustomed to.
The world’s weapons will never find a place in the Christian’s spiritual warfare; they will prove more useless than David trying Saul’s armour – likewise with the Christian who attempts to walk by faith by relying on one’s natural senses; we use them only with the recognition they have their limit. Faith transcends that; common sense is subservient to faith.
The regenerate Christian is not only different from the world by refraining from sin; they are orientated by a perspective governed by the law of faith. The world lives and breathes to be guaranteed of financial security in order to have whatever it wishes; everything is geared towards that one goal. The Christian’s security, however, is in Christ, no matter what may happen in this life – and that isn’t insinuating the believer (in and of themselves) is superior to the one who has no faith; the Christian walks in such a way because God has put that principle within them; when viewing the world (what it’s driven by) the believer discerns the lie and emptiness of it all only because God has opened their eyes to what is real and eternally fulfilling.
To live the Christian life is possible only by faith. Just as Paul mentions in Galatians, “You who began by faith, do you intend to finish by the law [of works]?” the exact same principle applies here; we cannot walk an inch forward without the law of faith in action. “…the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.” Walking according to the flesh reveals the fact we are not encountering the grace of God in that very moment. God has permanently made available to us the power of His grace knowing we would never advance in faith a second without it. The Christian isn’t to switch backward and forward from one mindset to another – walking by faith one moment and then by sight the next; such a person proves to be unstable in all their ways as James 1:6-8 states.
Christians sink under trouble only when they allow their focus to move off from God – “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed no You” (Isaiah 26:3). We will never move forward until we have learned the principle of faith in a given situation. Beware of moaning and whining when you feel the pinch of physical discomfort; God may give you what your flesh continually pines for while forfeiting the real blessing obtained by implicit trust in Him and overcoming, by faith alone, the obstacles we visibly see. Only by faith are great exploits in God’s kingdom accomplished. Always remember that salvation is never an end in and of itself, but rather unto good works which God has ordained for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10).
We do not overcome and then know a season of rest and relaxation; the principle of walking by faith never ends. We have refreshing times, but we never relieve ourselves of our spiritual armour. In all circumstances”, says Paul “take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16). The war never lets up. Peter reminds us to remain sober-minded and watchful, for our adversary is always on the move, seeking whoever he can ruin, make ineffective and destroy (1 Peter 5:8). We will enter into unbroken joy (uninterrupted by grief and pain) when we reach glory; our ‘D-Day’ arrives only when we reach the shores of heaven.
As Augustus Toplady’s hymn states (that we as Christians are), A Debtor to Mercy Alone, so we can never pay for the gift of salvation God has given us or thank Him enough that our faith does not depend on us, even though we are tried to bitter tears when facing trials of various kinds. Christ, Who is the Author and Perfecter of our salvation, has prayed that our faith, being more precious than any earthly substance, does not fail and indeed it shall not fail, for Christ shall lose none of His:
The work which His goodness began,
The arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is Yea and Amen,
And never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now,
Not all things below nor above,
Can make Him His purpose forgo,
Or sever my soul from His love.
God grant that He increase our faith to walk less by sight and so powerfully confirm our sonship in the eternal covenant of grace.