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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Old Paths, #11
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1—NIV)
It is of note that Abraham surrendered Isaac when he knew the promise of God could be fulfilled only through Isaac. So it is with us. We absolutely must surrender to God all He has promised us, all we are having faith for. We are to let it all go, understanding that if the promise is from God He is able to raise the fulfillment from the dead.
Jesus said to Peter, "Satan has desired to sift you as wheat but I have prayed that your faith does not fail."
There do come times when our faith is tested to the limit. If we really love God, we say with Peter, "To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. You are the Christ."
There is no place else to go, and so we hang on hoping that some day we will see the light again.
But if there are flaws in our faith, these kinds of extraordinary trials will bring them out and the individual will vacillate between staying with God and fleeing in order to save his life.
Can you see that living by faith is not referring to the contemporary head belief that passes today for saving faith?
We need to ask God to help us return to the old paths that the godly always have walked. We have a cheap Hollywood type of Gospel that makes little demands on the believer. We are not requiring of people that they really come to know the Lord. We tell the seeker to take the "four steps of salvation," and then to go out and get other people to take the four steps of salvation. The end result are churches full of spiritual babies who have heard of the Lord Jesus Christ with their ears but have never met Him personally.
We are due for a reformation of Christian thinking in America. Our nation has rebelled against the Lord, despising the faith of her founders. God is not pleased that we have turned our back on Him. I think we are about to be chastened severely.
If we are to stand and bear witness of Christ in the days of trouble we must have more than a head knowledge of Christ. We must be living in Him, seeking Him each day, looking to Him for every decision, and doing this not because we are trying to get something from Him but because He is the Master and we are the slave. He has purchased us with His blood. We belong to Him with every thought we think, every breath we take.
We must learn to live in Jesus, looking to Him always, leaning on Him instead of on our own wisdom and strength. This is what it means to live by faith.
We can go through the contemporary Evangelical motions and not have enough genuine faith to please God.
The ancient paths are narrow, thorny, filled with obstacles. Only a determined individual will walk in them. The saints of old have left bloody footprints in the snow. We will meet them someday and we do not want to be ashamed in that we have sought an easy path of fun and material success in the present world.
As we stated previously, "they will see us again." The way we have served God will be visible for all to see.
We are righteous and living by faith only when we go through the present life as a pilgrim and stranger, looking for the city to come whose foundations are Jesus Christ. It is only then that we can take our place along with Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and the other heroes of faith. (from The Old Paths)