The righteous will live by faith

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “The awesome reality of the presence of God”
Our Bible verse for today: “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “The righteous shall live by faith”
The dictionary tells us that faith is, “1. The complete trust or confidence in someone or something. 2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.”
Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “Faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” Think about that. Faith is “the reality” of what is hoped for; and it is the “proof” of what is not seen. There’s that “spiritual apprehension” the dictionary was referring to. The faith God is calling for from His people is faith in a reality that we cannot see with our physical vision, and it is gained through spiritual apprehension (spiritual maturity). That’s how we come to appreciate the reality of it. In Romans 1:17 the Apostle Paul tells us that “the righteous shall live by faith.” There are dozens of other verses in the Bible which also teach that same important truth – God’s people are expected to live by faith.
This is the other reason I referred to in yesterday’s devotional about why God only shows Himself to us in indirect ways. It’s because He wants us to live by faith rather than by sight. Faith is a crucial element in our love for God. If God did show Himself to us in a direct way – if He did peel back the sky and poke His face through and speak to us directly face-to-face, we would no longer have to have faith in Him. We would now have direct physical proof and there would no longer be a need to believe in what is not seen, as Hebrews 11:1 calls for.
But that would also lessen or even eliminate our love for Him. If we had concrete proof like that; if we did gaze directly on His awesome majesty without it overwhelming us and causing us to drop dead on the spot; we would then obey God out of fear rather than free will. Our free will would have effectively been taken away from us because we would be completely and thoroughly intimidated into submission.
But that’s not the relationship God wants with us. He doesn’t desire submission out of fear, He desires relationship out of love. So, He appeals to that place in our hearts that Solomon wrote about in Ecclesiastes 3:11 (He has placed eternity in their hearts), and then He woos us and lures us with just enough evidence of His presence to stoke the flames of desire in our hearts, and to draw us deeper and deeper in our desire to know Him and to have a close relationship with Him.
Faith is a choice. It’s a decision to believe even though I don’t have direct, solid, concrete evidence, and even though I cannot fully grasp all the intricate details of God and of the spiritual dimension. I choose to believe anyway. That’s faith and that’s what God desires from us.
And yet, as much sense as that makes, and despite the great lengths God has already gone to in order to draw His children to Himself, He did more. There’s still the incarnation, and there’s still Pentecost, and that’s where we’re going to go now in our study of the awesome reality of the presence of God.
God bless,
Pastor Jim  
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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