What Does It Mean to Live By Faith?
I read a story about a little boy who, on his first day in the first grade, desperately wanted to impress his parents. So on his first day in the first grade, he had one of the upperclassmen teach him part of the multiplication tables. After supper that night, the little boy stood up and said, "Two times two equals four." And his mother and father were so amazed and surprised—here was their little darling on his first day in the first grade, and he was already multiplying. What they had always suspected was now made true—their little darling was a budding genius. While they were standing there, beaming with pride, thinking they have a genius on their hands, the little boy looked up at them and said, "What's a two?"
Have you ever been in that situation? I have. I've found out that you can sound like you know a lot more than you really do. I think that's true especially in the church, especially for those of us who have grown up in the church. We hear phrases and words and become familiar with them, and we naturally use them. However, we're not always certain what those words and phrases mean.
One of those words, I think, is the word faith. I don't know of any other thing in the Christian life that has such an air of mystery about it as does this concept of faith. I can remember from the earliest days of my ministry when I was in awe of people who were men or women of great faith. I remember reading biographies of men like Praying Hyde and George Mueller, those who were well-known for their faith. There was some special aura about those people who lived by faith.
I learned those words and phrases just like you did. I knew I was "saved by faith," and I knew I was supposed to "live by faith." People would tell me, "You just need to trust God"—so I would trust God. And people would say, "You're just going to have to believe God for this"—and so I would believe God for that. But the truth of the ...
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