Proofing Faith

The proof that God is in control is that things are going on the way they should even under pressure.

Scripture: Romans 14:17, Romans 3, Romans 4, Galatians 5


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Are you doing all right? Well, I trust everything is okay at your house. Bless your heart. So nice to be back with you. It is as though I were seated with you in the car while you’re driving to work or seated with you there across the breakfast table in your kitchen or seated in your living room just at the close of the day for some of you hear the broadcast late at night, don’t you? Whenever and wherever, God bless you. I’m glad to be with you for these precious moments which we invest together in eternal matters.

The difference, you know, between a life that’s lived for God and life that is just passed in selfish pursuits; the difference between a God-honoring life and any other kind of a life is that you don’t spend the time – you invest it. When you talk with someone else, it’s for God’s glory and when you share something with someone, it’s for God’s glory. And when you speak to someone about anything, it is eternally important because everything you do is linked to the fact that we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

And so you’re investing the time, not just spending it. Think of that the next time you’re sitting with your friends. You don’t have to preach a sermon. All you have to do is just to change your point of view and think of the time that you are together with people as an investment of time and pray down in your heart, pray “Lord, make the time that we are together, make it pay out for eternity. You’d be surprised that the thoughts that the Holy Spirit of God will put in your mind and the things you say that people can remember with blessing as a result.

I used to say to our fellows in Youth for Christ when I was president of Youth for Christ, I would tell them, “Fellows, if you’re in a banquet or some other occasion and somebody introduces you for a greeting that may only last 30 seconds, be sure that you say something worthy of remembering in eternity. Tie it to scripture, tie it to eternal truth, always say something for God’s glory if you’re called upon.” Pretty good idea, wouldn’t you say? We invest the time for eternity. Well, I got off on that preaching but then it was fun, wasn’t it?

Let’s go to Romans 14. Verse 17 says, “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink,” and I paraphrase that to say “the proof that God is running your life is not found in the things you do to be officially religious.” He’s talking there about ceremonial meals and about eating things that were offered to idols and so on. He said, the proof that God is running your life isn’t found in the things you do to appear officially religious. Well, then, what is it? He says, “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

The number one proof that God is running your life according to this verse is righteousness. Now, when you trust the Lord Jesus Christ is your Savior and commit yourself to him as your Lord. You open your heart and say, “Lord Jesus come into my heart and be my Lord and savior. I trust You now.” When you do that, God imputes- He reckons, in other words, His divine righteousness to your account. Now, Paul says in Romans 3, the righteousness of God is manifested, even the righteousness of God which is unto and upon all them that believe for there’s no difference for all who have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

And so we’re justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Him God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteous – God’s righteousness – “to declare God’s righteousness for the remission of sins that are past. To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” A little later on, he said, “Abraham believed God and it was imputed to him” – reckoned to him — “for righteousness. And it was written not for his sake alone but for ours also to whom God’s righteousness will be reckoned or imputed if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” That’s Romans, I quoted, from chapters 3 and 4.

So when you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and your Savior, then what? God reckons His divine righteousness to your account. He looks at you through Christ, so to speak, and He sees you as perfect, as perfect as the Savior. Your record is forever expunged of all those wrongdoings and failures and coming short that was true of you. And now, you are counted righteous because of Jesus. What a blessed, glorious message of good news that is, isn’t it? There is, however, an imparted righteousness.

And so Paul says, the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us – we who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit, Romans chapter 8. And so God does His work and works out His perfect will through your life and character. He imparts His wonderful attributes of character to you through the Holy Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit,” says Paul in Galatians chapter 5, “is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” The attributes of God are imparted to you when you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior and that then is a lifelong experience. And so that the proof that God is running your life is that you are right in your thoughts and right in your motives and right in your desires and right, therefore, in your actions. Righteousness. God working through your life.

What else? He says righteousness and peace. God’s peace is not simply a stillness so where nothing is going on. God’s peace is a dynamic relationship between you and the God who is in control. Our Lord Jesus appeared unto the disciples and said, “Peace I give unto you. My peace give I unto you. Not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

He appeared to them after His resurrection, said the same thing – Peace be unto you. Isaiah says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee.” The Psalmist says, “Great peace have they that love thy law and nothing shall offend them.” Paul the apostle says when you pray about things, you quit worrying and you start trusting. He said, “Be carefilled for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

So there’s the peace that comes through trusting God as the supreme controller and there’s the peace that comes through being occupied with the Word of God as the supreme standard and there’s the peace that comes through committing the situation to God as being the one who can run it and control it and change it. The peace of God that passes all understanding, and all you have to do for that peace is to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior and then commit to situation to God, moment by moment as things go by.

The longer I live, the more I realize that I’m not able to handle any situation on my own. I need to pray my way through the day. Have you learned that? You can’t trust your own thoughts or desires or motives or reasoning because life is a tricky business, isn’t it? It’s like a riddle that one never solves. And the only answer to some of the situations that we face day by day is to look Heavenward and say, “Lord, I’m Yours. Help me now.” Oh, how wonderfully He does guide and bless and protect. How I praise Him for that, don’t you?

God does keep, as Peter the apostle says, “You who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” And he says in a different place, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the righteous out of temptation.” God knows how to see you through situations that are filled with stress and trial and strain and danger. God will make a difference in your life if you look up and call on Him and trust Him. There is perfect peace not simply the apathetic kind of a thing where there’s nothing going on and you’re more or less dead to everything.

We say of a person who has lived a hurried life and who finally has passed away and we see him or her there in the casket as we call to pay our respects to the family and someone is sure to say, “Well, he’s at peace or she is at peace.” Well, that’s true. There’s nothing going on. But that’s not the dynamic kind of peace of which the Bible speaks. You know the difference, don’t you? The peace of a corpse lying in the casket is not what God gives you. You’re still alive, you can still feel, you can still have the sensation of living and you can enjoy life and you can be a real, normal, wholesome, happy human being, and you can also cry real tears when your heart is aching. Life goes on and you are part of it but in it all God keeps you with His peace, a dynamically stable kind of power that is in control in your life. God’s peace is your awareness of His being in control of the situation.

On a transcontinental trip, sometimes you’ll be sitting there looking out the window or reading a magazine or whatever, and the pilot of the aircraft will come out of the cockpit and walk down the aisle and greet the passengers. This is part of the public relations activity that is helpful. Someone is sure to ask, “Who’s flying the airplane?” Well, of course, the co-pilot is in charge. But actually they’ve got it on what’s called automatic pilot. And that is a device that keeps the airplane on course, keeps it at the proper altitude, and manages the aircraft entirely without anybody laying hands on the controls. The aircraft is on what you call “automatic pilot.” Now, if there is a sudden gust of wind that causes the airplane to veer to the right or to the left, and you see the automatic pilot bring it gently right back on course.

Is there a side wind that comes from the side that tends to blow it off course, that automatic pilot has been set so as to compensate even for winds that are adverse and keep the airplane on its course. And so the airplane is flying, the motors are working, the machinery is in action, the air is being pumped into the cabin at a comfortable pressure, simulating the pressure of the air on the ground although we may be flying 30,000 or 40,000 feet above – everything is working, it’s not just sitting on the ground still. It is working but it is under the control of the automatic pilot and there is peace.

Now, let Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit be the automatic pilot, so to speak, in your life. The proof that God is in control is that things are going on the way they should even under pressure. The peace that comes from your mind stayed on God, the peace that comes from the Word of God guiding your life and the peace that comes from committing everything to God in prayer as it happens.

This is part of the proof that God is running your life. You try that out today, will you? By faith, turn to your blessed Lord in all of the different experiences of the day and let Him keep you in perfect peace.

Dear Father, today, we pray that thy wonderful peace may be the atmosphere of our lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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