Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Becoming a Woman of Faith~Chapter 5

We live by faith, not by sight. 1 Corinthians 5:7

How's that for an easy memory verse? If only it was that easy to do. Since we are natural, it is much easier to look at things with our natural eyes. To walk by faith takes an intentional effort to shift from the earthly mindset to the heavenly mindset.

Matthew Henry says that faith is for this world, and sight is reserved for the other world...

Cynthia Heald (the author) states "While we are here, we must excercise our faith and live for the eternal~the reality we cannot see now." (emphasis mine)

When we recieve Jesus into our hearts, our lives are transformed/ changed/ made new. Here are a few points that we drew out of scripture describing the changes Jesus has made in our lives:

2 Cor 5:12-21
  • we take pride in what Jesus did on the inside rather than on the outward appearance.
  • everything in our lives is for God.
  • Christ's love compells us to live for Him.
  • We regard no one from a worldly point of view.
  • We have a message to carry; we are ambassadors of Christ.

Galatians 2:20

  • We are crucified with Christ, we no longer live, it is Christ who lives in us, we live by faith in Him.

Galatians 6:14

  • We never boast except in the cross of Christ through which
  • the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.

Ephesians 2:19-22

  • I am a citizen with God's people, members of His household.
  • In Him I am being built withother believers into His dwelling where He lives by His Spirit.

Here are examples of how Paul lived his life by faith:

  • He boasts in his weaknesses; delights in weaknesses, insults, persecutions, hardships, difficulties, for Christ's sake. 2 Cor. 12:7-10
  • He became a servant of the gospel by the gift of God's grace & does the will of God. Phil 3:1-14
  • He was poured out as a drink offering; fought the fight, finished the race, kept the faith. 2 Tim 4:6-8

As I look even now at these 3 points, I can see that Paul absolutely believed that God was in control in all things. He was willing to give his all for the Lord. He no longer lived for himself, but for the Lord's will. He fulfilled his calling by trusting in the "grace of God" or the Spirit at work within him.

Next we look at the importance of living for eternity:

  • We are God's fellow workers; we are builders of God's house. It is important that we build with valuable materials because all of the things we do will be tested with fire. We will be rewarded according to the things we do while we are here. 1 Cor 3:9-15.
  • We are able to endure light and momentary troubles knowing they are producing something of value within us for eternity. 2 Cor 4:16-18
  • We set our minds and hearts on things above; we have died to this life, and will appear in glory in eternity. Colossians 3:1-4

In order to live for eternity, we need to understand the dangers of worldly entanglements:

  • Worldly entanglements (worries, wealth, desires for other things) choke the word of God & hinder fruitfulness. Mark 4:18-19
  • The world and it's desires pass away (or will pull us away) but the one who does he will of the Father endures forever. 1 John 2:15-16

Application question: What tends to pull you away from keeping an eternal perspective? Is it worries? Is it wealth? Is it desires for other things?

For a peek into the unseen world we looked at 2 Kings 6: 8-21. I love this story! To have the spirit of Elisha! Here we find him standing in total peace and confidence in the face of a mighty army because he saw the invisible chariots of fire standing between him and the army. We can have such confidence if we trust in the Lord...walk by faith.

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.Psalm 34:7

Psalm 18: 1-3
I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.

Heavenly Father, help us to fix our eyes on what is unseen rather than what is seen for what is seen is temporaty, but what is unseen is eternal. Help us to walk by faith and not by sight. To live totally and radically sold out for you! In Jesus' Name. Amen.

1 comment:

www.kathypride.com said...

Thank you for your encouragement...and how did God bring me to you? Because I have google alerts and my name is Kathy...no coincidences, just God's absolute and divine plan of encouragement. I am in the midst of walking the Red Sea...prefer that to the image of darting Satan'sarrows, although there are plenty of those too. My dad just passed away suddenly, my mom is not a believer, and several other distractions...but I am being carried, and YOUR words are a reminder and encouragement of that. Please come visit me at: www.kathypride.com

Peace to you my dear sister in Christ.