Life in Christ is absolutely amazing when you learn to live by faith. And Romans 1:17 says that those who are believers in Him “shall live by faith” (NKJV). It’s the key to really experiencing the abundant life Jesus died to give us (John 10:10)l.
The question is, how do we live by faith? What does it look like, practically speaking, to release, or use, our faith in our everyday lives?
Learning from Lazarus’ story
In John chapter 11, we read about the time when Jesus raised His friend Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary, were good friends to Jesus, and He’d had been to their home multiple times.
But when Lazarus was sick and his sisters sent word to Him saying “he whom You love is sick” (John 11:3), Jesus didn’t come right away to heal Him. His immediate response was, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (v. 4).
Jesus wanted them to trust Him and believe that no matter how bad the situation was, He could still do something to make it right. But that’s not the reaction He received.
The Bible says that Jesus was deeply disquieted when He approached Lazarus’ tomb (John 11:38 AMPC). He was visibly disturbed. And Martha, Lazarus’ sister, came out to meet Him and said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Think for a moment how Jesus must have felt. He knows what has happened and has come to fix the problem, but no one really understands what He’s capable of doing. He’s surrounded by unbelief. And in the midst of the confusion, Jesus says to the people, “Take away the stone.”
It’s interesting that Jesus was getting ready to raise a man from the dead but He told them to roll away the stone. He wanted to see their faith in Him through their obedience.
Faith that speaks louder than words
Romans 12:3 says God “has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” So you have faith…but are you using it? It’s so important for us to use our faith because that’s how we grow stronger in our relationship with God and trust Him more in every situation in our lives.
Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that His is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” God rewards our faith when He sees it in action.
Using your faith simply means that you do what you can do – what God shows you to do – and you trust Him to do what you cannot do. For example, if you’re praying for your spouse to become a believer in Christ, then don’t go to lunch with your friends and complain about how he or she will never change.
When you release your faith, you take some kind of action that shows you believe God will do what He says He will do. You line up your attitudes and actions with God’s promises for you, according to His Word, and hold on to those truths when life gets tough. That’s what Jesus was asking the people to do when He told them to roll away the stone from Lazarus’ grave.
It’s not too hard
So many times when God asks us to do something for Him, we look at the situation and say, “There’s no way I can ever do that. It’s just too hard.”
Maybe you need to forgive people who have hurt you. Maybe you’re asking God for a new house and He’s telling you to clean up the one you’ve got. Maybe you’re facing a mountain of debt, yet you’re still using credit cards everywhere you go.
When challenges are greater than our ability to resolve them on our own, we often say things like, “I can’t do it, God. It’s just too hard.” But that’s a lie the devil wants you to believe.
The truth is, God is never going to ask you to do something without giving you the ability to do it. Whatever the direction is, He’ll give you the strength, understanding, support, resources – anything you need – to do your part when you simply step out in obedience to follow His lead.
In these times, remember Philippians 4:13, which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” In other words, you can do whatever you need to do in life through Christ. You can roll away the stone that stands between you and your miracle.