The Safety of Faith Living
But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;
Nehemiah pointed out one of the greatest reasons believers must live by faith. He said that after the children of Israel had rest is when they did evil. After they subdued the Promised Land is when they left what was right. After they stopped pursuing is when they eased up on how they served God. Israel had no time to do what was wrong as long as they were pursuing by faith. It was when they got comfortable and put the Canaanites to tribute that they forsook the ways of God for the ways of the nations around them. As long as they pursued by faith they did right, but when they stopped faith living is when they did wrong.
My friend, it is no different today. Faith living is the safest way to live. Faith living is the greatest protection against sin because it forces you to depend on God, which always produces righteous living. Romans 1:17 reminds us, The just shall live by faith. Hebrews 11:6 admonishes us, But without faith it is impossible to please him…. You will not do right when you don't live by faith. Faith has a way of making you pray. Faith has a way of keeping you so busy that you don't have time to see what the world around you is doing. Faith has a way of keeping you so focused on just trying to make it that you don't have a chance to fall to besetting sins. It is when you rest from living a life of faith that the temptations around you look good. Living by faith keeps your mind busy so that you don't have time to think about the wrong thing.
There is safety in living by faith because it keeps challenging us to do something big for God. By nature, we desire to conquer, and if we are not conquering by faith, we will try to conquer sin but be conquered by sin. Faith living is the way to keep conquering something for God. Every failure in God’s Word can be traced back to that individual or nation living in rest instead of conquering by faith. David stayed home from the battle and rested, and it led to his great sin. Israel played and rested in the wilderness, and it led to them dancing naked around a golden calf. Solomon had rest and stopped building by faith, and it led to his compromise with heathen wives. If you are not conquering by faith, you will try to conquer sin to your own detriment.
Many churches have stopped pursuing by faith and accepted compromise. When a church stops having big days, it will try to make an impact on the world through ways of compromise. When a church stops its soul winning, it will try to win people by looking like the world. When a church stops running the buses to bring people is when it will start entertainment ministries to draw people.
Be careful about the desire to be at rest. Our rest comes when we get to Heaven, but until then, we are to walk by faith. Yes, there is pressure on you when you walk by faith, but I would much rather live under the pressure of faith living, which produces God’s blessings, than live under the pressures that sin causes. Faith living may seem to be hard to do, but it is your safety net from sin. You will find that you will always do right when you live by faith, but the moment you stop is when sin will begin to rule your life to your regret.