“The righteous will live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4)
How do we connect to let His power flow? How do we move from an average to a normal Christian life? We connect with Him through faith. “The righteous will live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4) was the only message of an Old Testament prophet that was repeated, not once, but three times in the New Testament (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38).
Faith is the uplink with divine power, whether for salvation or for being restored into the original design. God provides the power for living through the activity of the Holy Spirit. We respond to God’s provision through faith. Faith releases the power of the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. Faith means :
- Believing what God has said.
- Choosing to trust God by putting your life in His hands even when everything seems to be going wrong.
- Placing your confidence in His love and knowledge of you and His ability to order your life for your greatest blessing.
God is the standard for our lives – we were meant to reflect His image. God also restores and empowers us to become like Him; the Holy Spirit can build character and make us more like Christ. We connect with God through faith.
God is spirit. He created us on the same model-spiritual beings – so we could join His circle of love. We broke that relationship and damaged ourselves. But God pursues us with passionate love, intent on repairing us, remodeling us into His moral likeness so we can again be God-compatible.
In the normal Christian life, God has first place in our lives . We value the welfare of others above our selfish desires. The functioning Christian has power not only for godly living but also for effective service in the church. Above all, he or she has the joy of constant companionship with the Lord.
The average church member typically thinks and behaves very much like morally upright non-Christians. They are decent enough but with nothing supernatural about them. Their behavior is explainable in terms of heredity, early environment, and present circumstances. They often yield to temptation, lusting when their body craves it, coveting what they do not have, and taking credit for their accomplishments. The touchstone for their choices is self-interest. Though they have a love for God and others, strained or broken relationships with others prove that the Spirit does not control their lives. The average church member experiences little change for the better. In fact, many don’t seem to expect much improvement and have little concern about the prospect for change. Scripture is not exciting, prayer is perfunctory, and service in the church demonstrates little touch of the supernatural. Above all, life seems to have an empty core, for it does not center around a constant, personal companionship with the Lord.
Each of us has areas of strength and weakness, some we are aware of, some perhaps not. But God knows, and when we acknowledge our need to Him, He will move in and begin restoring our broken-down models to function as He designed them to operate (1 John 1:5-2:2) .
“How can I ever live that kind of life?” A graduate student scribbled the question on a scrap of paper and passed it to me after class. She had heard me talk about a Spirit-empowered life. She desperately wanted an answer. Let me summarize the answer to that student’s question briefly, in the words of Scripture:
- For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son (Rom. 8:29).
- We, who with unveiled faces all reject the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3 :18).
- The new self . . . is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (Col . 3:10).
Notice that in all these passages the restoration to our original design is not in a study lesson, not in a formula, but in a Person. The transforming presence and power of God the Holy Spirit will enable us to be what God designed us to be. I hope you will discover that the model you were built on, God’s own pattern, when restored by the Master Repairman, can indeed run the program as designed. You can daily experience a beautiful life of spiritual effectiveness. You can begin to resemble Christ more and more. As you continue this study I pray that you will examine and experience those truths in all their exciting dimensions. Here is my suggested prayer:
Thank You, blessed Spirit, that You have not abandoned me. You have shown me a secure hope that You personally stand ready to show me the way, enable me to travel it, and companion with me to the end of it. Amen!