The righteous shall live by faith.
What does it mean to have ‘the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith’ (Philippians 3:8-9)? It means we believe it in our hearts, our speech aligns with this truth and our actions testify accordingly. Who among us would boast in deeply knowing something without the evidence of follow-through?
If we are deeply convinced of something, we will always follow-through on that conviction. If there is no follow-through, one is prone to wonder if that person truly believes it to be true.
Last night I was reading Matthew 7 to my son, even as a four year old child, he easily followed the logic, “A good tree bears...?” “Good fruit!” He answered excitedly! “And a bad tree bears...?”
“Bad fruit” he answered with a smile. It’s the simplest of concepts and still at the same time, its the truest of truths. There will be follow-through on what you truly believe, whether good or bad.
Just as a natural tree must endure all four seasons, we also will be pressed and face difficulty and our faith/ our follow-through/ our fruit will be the most beautiful and delicious after coming through seasons of difficulty.
Isaiah 30:15 gives the most beautiful remedy for Gods people facing confusion, tragedy or conflict. Historically, Isaiah was prophesying to Judah in the face of grave danger. The regional superpower, Assyria was besieging Jerusalem with full intent to waste her away with fear and intimidation begetting disease and starvation.
Here was God’s answer: “In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength” Isaiah 30:15.
In accordance to our human nature, anytime we face trouble, our immediate response is to respond out of our flesh. We get upset, give into worry and ultimately we begin to scheme:
“How can I get out of this/ fix this/ change this/ save my skin? Etc.
As is often the case, our natural, carnal response contradicts the Lords prescription!
So if it is not by our own scheming, how are we saved?
Part One: In repentance, turning around. Instead of fleeing the siege, face it. Part Two: Rest. In the face of all hell breaking loose in your life, rest! and dare I say it? Rejoice! Rest in the Lord, and rejoice in the victory ahead of time.
Does anyone else get a sick feeling in your stomach when your read this? It is so contrary to our natural course we like to take when facing trouble, and yet, this response is the one that will bear the outcome you desire! It’s like a terrible tasting medicine, but its the only one to cure the sickness.
Looking at hard things: death of loved ones, injustice against the innocent, natural disasters, wicked men standing in offices of authority... the list goes on and on...
My heart is able to resonate with the most melancholy books of the Bible: Ecclesiastes! Looking at everything that is utterly out of my control, the eternal things, the things that really matter... it is entirely discouraging if I stay there in that place of defeat.
The Lord knows my utter and complete weakness when it comes to matters of life & death, matters of eternity, legacy, relationships, future events... and yet He provides a prescription easy enough for a child to follow and yet potent enough to cure our heart every time (if we follow the instructions)!
Listen little heart, the only thing you have control over is you.
Don’t be discouraged at the process and the next time you receive bad news, don’t fall into shame if your first response is to pout, blame, or give into anxiety, instead, lock yourself in your closet or bathroom for 10 minutes and give yourself the pump-up speech... (my life is made up of these kind of pump-up speeches!!!) speak the scriptures aloud and lead your heart into faith! Lead yourself into follow-through!
Verbalize Isaiah 30:15, “Listen little heart, I know you’re scared, I know the circumstances are upsetting, but Jesus, I choose to trust you today. You have not left me as an orphan. You knew about this circumstance before it reached my ears! I know I am completely weak against this, but not You! I trust you Jesus, and in repentance and rest is my salvation, in quietness and trust is my strength. I quiet my heart before you. I shut down every vain thought that would try to raise itself up against Your Word. Be still little heart!”
And then listen...
Oftentimes, the Holy Spirit will whisper a scripture or a word that you can begin to declare over the situation, your life, your body, your family, etc. This is how we do spiritual warfare. This is how we walk by faith. This is how we live the follow-through and overcome!!!
Faith led follow through = repentance and rest!
ps. Check out my blog, Faith = Follow Through to read part one of this blog!
#Faith #goodfruit #teachingchildren #raisingwarriors #spiritualwarfare #persecution #trustintheLord #lifeapplication #livingthescripture #badthingshappen #missionarylife #Repentance #AmericanChurch #selfpreservation #biblestudy #Pumpupspeech #speakthescripture #praythescriptures #Rejoice