I've been thinking alot lately about what it means to "Live by Faith". I've been emphasizing the "Faith" aspect of that. (You can look at recent blogs if you're interested.)
It's important--after all, if we don't start with FAITH in Jesus Christ, the Scriptures say that we don't have Spiritual LIFE at all! (Jesus said that we must be "born again"...born both physically, and "of the Spirit" (John 3). Paul writes that our faith is what gives us new LIFE..."This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" (2 Corinthians 5:17), so clearly, FAITH is crucial for the beginning of Spiritual Life.
...but it has me thinking: I understand the "faith" part of it, but what is the "LIFE" part of it? In other words, if the Holy Spirit gives us new Life, What is that Life supposed to be?
Is it merely the hope of heaven when I die, or is it more?
(Obviously, that's a leading question...of course you know that I think it means more--MUCH more!)
Jesus said "The thief (Satan) comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; but I have come that they (Those who Live By Faith in Him) will have LIFE...and have it TO THE FULL!" (John 10:10, emphasis mine).
What is "Life in the Spirit" and "Life to the full"?
I believe it's a lot of good things: Victory over my 'flesh'--the things that tempt me to turn my back on God's will; Victory over my circumstances--the events of my life that I frequently allow to mess me up; the Power to overcome obstacles that come between me and God's plan for my life...so many things!
How does this LIFE show itself?
Well, like today: Our family all has to get out the door for school @ 7:00 (all except me--which is how I can write this). 3 different sets of people heading to 3 different schools, all getting ready at the same time, finalizing lunches at the same time, combing hair and brushing teeth at the same time, then leaving--all at the same time.
THOSE are some chaotic circumstances!
...and while we do everything possible to lessen it (clothes out the night before,lunches mostly packed the night before, etc.), it inevitably gets pretty intense...tears are sometimes shed, frustration is voiced, words are tersely spoken...and our day starts out anything but peaceful and victorious!
I'll bet you can relate!
So what does "Life in the Spirit" mean there?
I think it means that we each--those who are indwelt by the Spirit (see earlier posts)--can take a breath, speak a prayer, and overcome those circumstances. In SPITE of the circumstances, we can be a blessing! If words were spoken in anger, we can heal and forgive...if tears were shed, we can encourage.
Make no mistake: this is not 'trivial' in God's eyes! These are the very kinds of circumstances in which "LIVING by Faith" shows itself!
Today, may you--family, friend, and stranger alike--LIVE by Faith!
"So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear:...hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,...and other sins like these...But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." (Galatians 5:16-23)
I want the Fruit of the Spirit--LIFE in the Spirit; don't you?
Let us each TODAY not only "Live by FAITH", but open up to Him in such a way that we "LIVE by Faith"!