Today we will continue our series entitled “God’s Grace & Our Faith.” We are looking at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus. Our primary scriptures are John 1:14 & 17. We have also been looking at the fruit of the Holy Spirit from Galatians 5:22,23. Let’s go back to those again today.
(John 1:14 New International Version)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:17 New International Version)
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(Galatians 5:22,23 The Passion Translation)
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart, and
strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.
So what does this mean for you today? Let’s continue to walk through the fruit of the Spirit, with an emphasis on faith.
1. Walking by faith and walking by sight are opposing positions.
In 2 Cor 5:7, the Apostle Paul famously said, “We walk by faith and not by sight.” For years I did not understand what Paul meant. I would hear someone repeat, “We walk by faith and not by sight,” and I would say, “Amen,” but I really did not know how to put this into practice. To get an understanding of what the Holy Spirit, through Paul, was teaching, we must get a grasp of the context of the passage.
In 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul teaches us of what is almost like an alternate universe. It is a realm where God’s dreams for us live. It is a place where God’s perfect desires are on display. It’s almost like watching a movie trailer when you see something, and you get excited because it is “coming soon.” It is not here yet. You have not seen the entire movie. But you have seen enough to get excited about it. This is how it is when the Holy Spirit begins to give up glimpses of our future. We should get excited. It’s okay to get out hopes up. Why? Becuase it is COMING SOON!
Understanding that God is eternal and He has a realm where He can see our future, we must realize that the Holy Spirit is capable of enabling us to peer into that realm. We get to see what God planned for us. We get to discover our true purpose and potential. We get to discern God’s will, God’s best, God’s heart. If we believe what the Holy Spirit revealed, and if we make decisions in the present based on this future reality and not our present-day reality, it is called faith!
To be clear, we can’t peer into God’s realm with our natural eyes. We must peer into this realm with our Spirit. This is the connection between our spirit, what He reveals to us, God’s grace, and faith. Without the Holy Spirit, we can’t peer into heaven from the earth or into eternity from time. But when we do, by God’s Spirit, we must know two things: 1) everything God is showing us is what He stored up for us by His unearned grace, and 2) if we don’t have faith, we will never see it come to pass on the earth. To live by faith, the Father expects us to live on the earth based on what He allows us to SEE in His realm.
Faith is peering into God’s realm and then coming back to the earthly realm and living your life based on what you saw. This is why the opposite of faith is not doubt. The opposite of faith is natural sight.
2. Earthsuit senses vs. Spirit-led faith.
You are a spirit. Your spirit is the real you. Your spirit will live forever in one of two places. You ARE a spirit, you possess a soul (which is your mind, emotions, and will), and you live in a body (for now). The body you live in, for now, is an earth suit. Your body is how you communicate with this world. You use your spirit to communicate with God’s realm and your body to relate to this world through your five physical senses. When you can validate something with your senses, it makes “sense” to you. But God does not communicate with you through your body. God is Spirit. God communicates with us through the Holy Spirit, who is connected to our spirit, once we are Born-Again.
Before you were Born-Again, you lived your life based on what you could see in the natural. You lived your life based on the input your body (your earth suit) received from this world. But now that you are Born-Again, you are supposed to live based on what you SEE (or perceive) in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit living inside of you gives you input from God’s realm. If you can understand that, then it makes sense why the Easy To Read Version of 2 Cor 5:7 reads, “We live by what we believe will happen, not by what we can see.” Paul’s point is that, as believers, we are not supposed to live by what we can see with our natural eyes but rather by what we perceive in the Spirit. If you are able to do that, you are living BY FAITH. Faith is the ability to perceive what God reveals and to then make decisions, in the natural, based on what you received in the Spirit.
Faith is listed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit becuase, without the Holy Spirit, you cannot effectively live by faith. What I am teaching you today is not easy at first, and it is very difficult when you have not developed the ability to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit. But once you do, and you start hearing God’s voice and doing what He says, it will be much easier for you to resist the urge to be MOVED by what you SEE down here in this world.
3. Maturing to live by what you PERCEIVE and not what you SEE.
— You were born natural to this world. As you matured, you learned to relate to this world by what you saw and by the input your senses received from this world. The day you were Born-Again, everything changed. You are NOW natural to God’s realm. The supernatural is now natural to you. Now you are supposed to live by what you can SEE in the Spirit and by the input your Spirit receives from God’s realm.
— Once you are Born-Again, the Bible teaches you to live by what you can perceive from God and not by natural sight anymore. God wants you to get to the point where what you SEE in the Spirit is more real to you than what you can see with your natural eyes.
— The day you get to the point where what you perceive from God is MORE REAL to you than what you see in this world is the day you will be truly living by faith.
— Faith makes decisions in this world based on what is revealed from God’s realm (heaven). This is how we get to experience heaven on earth and to be clear; this IS God’s desire.
— Faith perceives the will of God and stands on what is revealed, even when it ‘flies in the face‘ of what you can see in this world. You can’t do this without God. You would never be able to do this without the Holy Spirit. This is why FAITH is a fruit of God’s Spirit.
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I live by faith and not by natural sight. I live by what I perceive in the Spirit, and I am not moved by what I see in the natural.
What You reveal to me about me and my future is MORE REAL to me than what I see in this world every day. I live by every Word You speak to me. I live my life based on Your reality, even when it ‘flies in the face’ of the reality I see in this world.
Living in-sync with You may mean that I seem out-of-sync with this world, and that’s okay. I know that living in harmony with Your will often puts me in a position to be misunderstood by the people who are in harmony with this present world. But I would rather be a God-pleaser than a man-pleaser any day!
I walk and live by faith, not by natural sight! And I know that it is only a matter of time before what You revealed, Father, shall come to pass. I know my breakthrough is COMING SOON! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.