“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
Faith is not a stagnant position, nor is it something you hold. Anytime you see faith in the Scriptures, you will always see that there is action. You cannot live by faith without moving. The verse above says, “…the just shall live by faith…” This verse doesn’t say, “…the just shall stand by faith…” It doesn’t say, “…the just shall sit by faith…” You cannot live by faith without being active in the Christian life. In this chapter, several movements of faith are identified that you must embrace if you are going to be a believer who lives by faith. Let me identify these movements for you.
First, faith is patient with God’s timing. Verse 36 says, “For ye have need of patience…” What makes faith faith is that God’s timing for what He asks you to do isn’t immediate. Faith realizes that God will perform what He says He will do. You cannot be impatient with God and live by faith. Too many believers give up too quickly instead of being patient with God’s timing. If God immediately came through as soon as you stepped out by faith, there would be no need of faith. You will never live by faith successfully if you are impatient. You are going to have to trust that God will do what He says He will do, even though you don’t see His answer on the horizon.
Second, faith is confident in God’s reward. Verse 35 says, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.” What keeps the believer moving by faith is that they have confidence in God’s Word. One reason you must believe that the King James Bible is the Word of God is that it gives you confidence in the fact that God will reward you for what you do for Him. God’s Word never changes; therefore, the promises in His Word are secure. Once you embrace the security of God’s promises in His Word, you will find a confidence in His promise for reward for doing right.
Third, faith moves forward and never backwards. Faith’s direction is always forward. You cannot live by faith and move backwards. The verse above talks about not drawing back. In other words, to live by faith means that you will always go forward. The reason it takes faith to constantly move forward in the Christian walk is because you must trust that God knows where He is taking you with your next step. The believer who waits to see where God’s will takes them is the believer who will never experience the joys of living by faith. Always remember that if you are going to live by faith that you will experience discomfort many times because of your inability to see where faith is taking you.
Fourth, faith never considers returning to the world. Verse 39 says, “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition…” One must never allow the option of going back to the world if they are going to live by faith. Faith never has an option for retreating to the world; it’s only option is to trust God and move forward. You must remove the retreat option in your decision-making if you are going to live by faith.
Fifth, faith’s destination is the saving of souls. Verse 39 finishes by saying, “…but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” If you will live by faith, you will see many souls come to Christ because of your choice. My friend, living by faith may be uncomfortable in the beginning, but the reward of joy far surpasses the discomfort it initially brings.