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May 8, 2008

Living Your Faith

By Anthony Wade

Living Your Faith


Living Your Faith, Waiting on the Promises of God

Psalm 42: 5-6 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon--from Mount Mizar.

There is a difference between words and action. It is easy to profess belief in something and yet another thing to live it. Often in our walk with God we find ourselves professing our faith in God and what He has promised us yet our walk reflects something different entirely. There is a difference between speaking your faith and living your faith.

The Psalmist in Psalm 42 presents an interesting dichotomy that resides in all of us. We are both spirit and soul, simultaneously. Our faith is somewhat easier found in our spirit, where God resides and is on the throne. In the soul however is where we feel. It is where our emotions dwell. It is where we fear, doubt, and worry. Literally the Psalmist is talking from one part of his being to the other in Psalm 42. He is asking himself, "Self, why are you sad?" In this battle the spirit is telling the soul, whether you like it or not, I will yet praise Him!

We usually know the promises God has spoken to us. We know the word He has given to us. We hold them closely to our hearts within our spirit yet we allow our soul to drag us down; to weigh us down. We can walk around sad or depressed because we do not like the wait that God is allowing. We can walk around confused or discouraged because the promises of God are taking longer than we would like. In our society, we expect things done at our leisure and our discretion. But God does not operate in our time. Take Joseph, who was given a vision from God at a young age. Joseph held that vision, that word from God, close to his heart. Yet life would take Joseph down some cruel turns. He would be betrayed by his own brothers and sold into slavery. He would gain prominence in the house of Potipher only to be falsely accused and thrown into prison for over a decade! Can you imagine having to spend a decade in prison for something you did not even do? For doing the right thing? There was plenty of reason for Joseph to feel downcast in his soul and doubt the word God had given him. Yet the bible never tells us he was discouraged. What about Abraham and Sarah? God promised them a child yet would let them wait 30 years for Isaac! They waited so long that by all human standards they should not have been able to have children; all for the glory of God.

What then is the promise of God for those who wait for Him?

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

The picture drawn by the prophet Isaiah is a three fold promise from God to those who choose to wait for His time. First, God promises to renew your strength. He understands that the wait is not pleasant. He understands that you cannot get through on your own power. He is there to renew your strength, so you can face your trials every day until He brings His promises to pass in your life. Secondly, God promises that you will rise above your situations. You will in fact "mount up with wings as eagles" and be able to soar in the midst of a situation that many would drown in. Lastly, God is promising that you will endure. Though you run you will not be weary and though you walk, you will not faint. God is promising that your situation will not win over you in the end! Hallelujah!

Yet there we sit in our situations, professing faith in God but allowing the enemy a foothold in our mind. Allowing the whispers to pervade our thinking. You may start to doubt the word that has been given to you. You may start to even think that God has forgotten the promises He has made to you. Don't believe the lies of the enemy -

Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge. Romans 3:4

God is not a man that He would lie. If He has spoken something into your life, He will bring it to pass. David would have to wait years to be king even though he had received the promise. Psalm 145 reminds us:

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. Psalm 145:15

And that ultimately is what is behind your wait; the proper time. We think we know the proper time, and usually we think it is now. God however sees all time. He knows the results of a promise delivered too early. He knows the results of a promise delivered too late. God is never early or late. He knows the proper time and we must accept as a matter of faith that He simply knows better than we do.

Usually once we know through faith that God will deliver that which He has promised, we have no problem speaking that faith. We know in our spirit and we speak from the confidence we have in God. There is a stark difference though in then exercising that faith and living in it. We claim the faith we have but walk around in defeat. We believe God will deliver but lament that He has not yet. We battle ourselves. In Psalm 42 however, the Psalmist gives us the prescription for dealing with our soul! The Psalmist declares that because his soul is downcast within him, he will remember God from the land of the Jordan to the heights of Hermon. The Jordan River empties into the Dead Sea, which is the lowest point on the entire earth to this day. The heights of Hermon refer to highest mountain in Israel. What the Psalmist is saying is that because he is downcast in his soul, he will remember God at all times! From the lowest point he might reach in his wait to the highest point of success. He will not allow the unstable nature of his soul affect the faith he possesses in God almighty!

Speaking your faith is knowing but living your faith is showing. Speaking your faith shows that you understand but living your faith shows that you believe! Is this an easy prospect? No. God never said that things would be easy. In fact Jesus Himself said that in this world you would face tribulation but take heart because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). It is through faith in Jesus that we can see beyond the situation to remember who is in control. He is in control from your lowest point to your greatest accomplishment. Let that faith pervade your soul and remind you in Whom you have believed!

This does not mean that we are machines, devoid of emotion. It means that when we experience emotions that directly contradict what God has spoken to us, then we are able to go to Him in prayer. We remember Him first above our emotions. We then are able to walk through life with our heads up when the world tells us we should be downcast and we are empowered to say no to the whispering of the enemy. When you don't get that promotion at work, you can still have the joy of the Lord! When your relationship is on pause, you can still walk in the peace of God! When you feel you have not found your true place in ministry yet, you can still serve with gladness! People will look at you and wonder how you can persevere with such a positive attitude and you will know it is because you remember the Lord at all times.

The book of Hebrews instructs us:

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

We may swerve in our emotions, in our soul, but our hope is in God and our faith in Him needs to be bigger than our emotions. Why? For He who promised is faithful! Talk to your soul today and remind yourself who God is in your life. Put your hope in Him! Remind yourself that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). He knows your struggles. He knows your emotions. Most importantly, He knows the right time. Don't just speak that faith. Embrace that faith today. Live that faith.

Anthony Wade May 8, 2008

Authors Bio:
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.