We walk by faith and not by sight.
1 Peter 1:8
Without faith it is impossible to please God.
Whom having not seen, you LOVE.
The Christian life begins with a simple act of faith – believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. I hear – I believe – I trust – I accept. This one small act of trust brings us out of sin and into salvation.. out of darkness into His perfect light; out of Satan into Christ in God; out of death into life; out of despair into hope – out of ashes into beauty. There was nothing to see.. there was nothing to do.. Certainly – there was nothing to feel at first, just to rest on the truth of the Word of God.
Salvation of the spirit is once and for all a gift. A finished work of God in man’s spirit, as though I had never sinned. But the Christian life continues on, in this same principle of trust. The believing one.. the justified one once for all must now start the lifelong process of sanctification.
When the salvation of the spirit is fully accomplished.. the salvation of the soul is only just beginning. The one born from above must learn to live.. by the faith of the Son of God. His faith; His love.. His works flooding your faith; your love; your works. Grace upon grace, and more grace upon grace. The sanctified one shall grow in grace. Grace upon grace. His grace, upon the grace bestowed upon you.
The sanctified one shall live by faith: The faith of the Son of God, working through your faith. Day by day and moment by moment – this is grace upon grace. His grace given upon the grace given to you. And hour by hour, day by day.. little by little, line upon line and precept upon precept, the believer continues on his heavenward journey – as the process of sanctification continues, until Christ is seen in you.
In the beginning the joy of sins forgiven was a mountain-top experience. At first the presence of the Lord was euphoric to the soul. At the outset the preciousness of “first love” held you enthralled. At the start the grateful love of a cleansed life was your rapt ‘enthrillment’.
But as your believing life progressed.. God sought to take you deeper into Himself. He appeared to withhold His blessings. He seemed to withdraw His very presence. The path became more difficult. Your walk became increasingly repetitive and routine. Your guidance became less dramatic. The pools of refreshment started to dry up, and the ways of pleasantness became overcast with sorrow. Your guidance became more bland – no Gideon’s fleece for you now, as little by little Christ is being formed in you.
You were increasingly called upon – step by weary step.. to trust Him more and more, with less and less externals and evidentials. To live by faith and not by sight or feeling or signs. And little by little, He seemed to withdraw His presence. And more and more it becomes, not I – but Christ.
Why Lord – why do you remove Yourself from me? Why have You hidden Your face which I love? Why have you departed when my downcast soul cries for Your touch? Why does thick darkness obscure my Beloved?
I do it so that you will decrease and I will increase. I do it until you are nothing and I am everything in your life. I do it to deepen your trust in the Me. Though He slay me yet shall I trust Him. Yes Beloved – it is to draw you with cords of love into His deepest secrets – where you, “in Christ” live in quiet, humble submission to His Word – where Christ in you becomes an anchor for other hurting souls in your journey into faith.
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