September 10

Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4

This verse sums up the gospel in a brief phrase – faith in God leads to right living, and without faith, no amount of good deeds can ever make us right with God. It is wrong to think of faith in terms of a few things that we believe about God. Faith is best understood by the word ‘trust’. The human heart is twisted by the lack of an anchor and the absence of a plumbline to align the mind with the heart. The knots and tangles of our minds are only released through God’s power. The only way in which we can touch God is through faith. We cannot touch or see Him physically. Once we realise this, we give up striving for some sign that will give us assurance. We must reach out in faith and touch the Rock which is God. As soon as we believe God, the strength of the Rock is communicated to us, just as we might steady ourselves by holding on to a wall. The quality of the Rock enters our souls, and our behaviour changes. Faith is the lightning rod by which the power of God enters our life. Our good deeds do not put us in touch with God, nor can they; they always cause us to believe that we have the answer in ourselves. Anyone who does seek to please God through good deeds will soon testify to the emptiness it brings. Good deeds not only cannot put us in touch with God, they leave us dry and empty, and we long for His Presence. But as soon as we believe God, a confidence enters us, and our conduct changes; our minds become strong and full of joy. Before we realise it, even the little things that we do are touched with a lightness and kindness that are not from us, but are from the Rock on which we are building our lives.