I have joined fellow blogger Lisa, to read through 17 Books in 17 Weeks. It is not too late to join us, and I think you would love it. I know I have so far.
We are in week 1 and we are reading through Galatians. Galatians is a letter Paul wrote to the Galatians because they had allowed themselves to be pulled back into the law. That isn't what God wants from us.
or all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”[e] 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”[f] 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”[g] 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”[h] 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. - Galatians 3:10-14 NIV
See Christ did not die for us to be pulled into following rules and regulations. No, he died so we might know the freedom he offers us to live by faith. If we are worried about rules and regulations, then fear pursues us. This year I am trying to live fearlessly.
As someone who has lived most of my life in fear. Fear of making the wrong decisions, fear of failing and being separated from God. Fear of just not being enough. This is not what God wants, that is why he wants me to live fearlessly. He wants me to walk in faith that I have been made right with him, faith that when I fail and make a mess of loving him; or loving others, that mistake doesn't define me. Guess what, your mistakes don't define you either.
So ask for forgiveness and start over again. If we live by the law, then when we mess up and fail to love others, then we should just give up. Standing on the side of the race track. Because failing in the law, which is sure to happen, means you can't win.
If you are running the race in faith, then it is okay to follow God, even if it is off the track. We are reminded that Abraham had faith and that faith was counted as righteousness. So do you want to take the path where you are for sure going to fail; or do you want to run the faith race where Jesus is running beside you, and when you fall, he continues running allowing you to catch up again? If it is the faith race, here are a few tips for living by faith.
- Ask God to increase your faith
God wants you to be faithful, so asking him to help you be faithful is one of the biggest step. Ask him to help you with your faith. If you remember there was a father whose son was possessed by an evil spirit. Jesus reminded him all things are possible to those who believe. So the father asked for Jesus to help with his unbelief. You can do the same thing.
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. - Luke 17:5-6 NIV
- Follow God even when it is off your current path or it is hard.
If God is calling you to feed your neighbor, or pay for the person behind you. Trust that he will provide. (This is how God sometimes chooses to provide, by using other people).
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? - Matthew 6:26 NIV
- If God has promised you something, trust him, expecting.
The perfect example of this is this... God promised us that if we believed in Jesus we will have eternal life. It takes faith to believe that, to believe that eternal life isn't dependent on me being perfect. So you have faith in Jesus and his sacrifice being able to cover your flaws then you are trusting and expecting that you will get eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16 NIV
Now it is your turn. How have you lived a life of faith? What tip or advice would you give to someone trying to live by faith, not by the law?