"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:1-2)
Over the years I have gained and lost a lot of weight. The other day as I was getting dressed, I bent down and saw a small but much defined, hard muscle in my leg. I had not noticed it before. It seemed so firmly attached to the bone in my leg that it would not move. This was a picture of faith to me. The child of God is attached to God by faith.
This started me in a thought process about faith and grace. In so many ways I feel I am just beginning to understand what it means to walk by faith. Paul says we are to continue in the Christian life in the same way we began it. That is, by faith. For me to do this, God first had to come in and shatter my image of what I thought life ought to be.
One person coming out of denial that his faith was, in part, him believing in himself, said that he felt like he was in a dark room. He couldn't see. He kept bumping into something.
When you have always thought you knew the right thing to do and then you find out you don't, it is a very scary place.
It takes time to learn to walk by faith. Trusting in God, not in man. Not trusting in yourself. Being led by the Spirit while having the law written on your heart is so different than following a set of rules just to get it right. You see with new eyes. Scripture reaches your heart. You have a new love. You begin to step out in the unknown, in faith.
Even though you may begin in fear you didn't know you had, faith is a much better place than remaining in self reliance. There you feel like it all depends on you, so you don't need God. I know I have been there and still wrestle with that at times. But in true faith you find a new freedom. A new strength in your weakness. A boldness out of fear.
I remember when I was a little girl. My parents gave me a necklace with a small glass pendant encasing a tiny mustard seed. God tells us if we have the faith of a mustard seed it can move mountains. I think that mountain for me is my rock-hard heart which I sometimes fall back into. But the Spirit convicts me, changes me, and I walk in faith again.
God is the giver of our faith. Not only can we ask for faith, but ask for conviction of sin and a change-of-heart repentance. This same faith and grace we walk by is also how we enter into God's remarkable, breath-taking presence. If you are struggling, unable to see past your sin, it could be you need to know the love of the Father in a deeper way. Grace allows us to know we are fully loved, totally accepted, secure, and forgiven. It allows us to see our need for God.
For me the small sound of a bird, the sun on my face, or a gentle breeze can escort me into God's presence. You can enjoy His warmth as He wraps His arms around you and reassures you of His love. The Spirit can use anything to bring us there. He can even take a proud heart and make it willing to enter.
Lord, You are the giver of grace and our faith. We seek to know You as our loving Father who longs to give His children good gifts. We have your Spirit living inside and through us. Help us to lean into You today and not stand on our own. Let us learn to rest in Your presence as children who are loved by their loving, heavenly Father. It is in You we seek this.