The Necessity and Work of Believing God
By Fred O. Blakely
It is a focal emphasis of Scripture and a central rule of God's kingdom that the just, while they remain in the flesh, must both live and walk by faith, not by sight. That is to say, they are required to spiritually subsist by considering not "the things which are seen," but those "which are not seen" (II Cor. 4:17-18). Necessity is laid upon them to "eat of the hidden manna" (Rev. 2:17) and to patiently hope for, and steadfastly rely upon, that which they "see not" (Rom. 8:24-25).
Obviously, this situation poses an arduous work for the spirits of people, who, being tangibly environed, find that their physical circumstances continually belie the postulations of their creed. This work, as the Scriptures declare, is that of believing the representation of the case which God has given in His Word (Jn. 6:28-29; I Jn. 5:9-13). And this faith, far from being the once-for-all-time operation which many suppose it to be, is a day-by-day---yea, an hour-by-hour-labor, which must be continued as long as the saints are in this world. It is precisely at this point--the maintenance of unfeigned and implicit faith in God--that great and lamentable deficiency currently prevails. In our day, when the earthly and visible things have been glorified as never before, the masses of those who profess faith seem to have succumbed to their adversary the Devil and to have, actually departed therefrom. God's witness in the matter seems, by human standards, so incredible, on the one hand. On the other,man's wisdom and power have been so exalted that he has,to all practical intents, deified himself in his own eyes. Thus, when "'the record that God gave" clashes, as it constantly does, with the judgment and experience of contemporaries, it is summarily repudiated (I Jn. 5:10). In this way, the Most High and the Most Holy is indicted by the sinful creature as a liar, while the wicked rebel against Him is vindicated as true and upright. So is darkness put for light and things as they really are under the reign of Jehovah turned "upside down" by the dupes of this world's prince (Rom. 3:3-4; cf. Ps. 51:4; Isa. 5:20-21; 29:13-16). God, however, is not mocked. The rampant unbelief of this climactic time does not "make void" His reign and His fidelity (Rom. 3:3, Confrat. V.). Though people, blinded by Satan (II Cor.4:3-4), believe not in Him and His testimony, "yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself" (II Tim. 2:12). The heavens continue to rule (Dan. 4:17, 25-26, 32, 34-37), and the immutable purposes of the Most High are fully executed on schedule. The glory of the faith which the saints have obtained is that it both works and rests in this assurance. "The Word of the Lord endureth for ever," is its well-founded persuasion (I Pet 1:23-25; cf. Isa. 40:8; Mt. 24:35). Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Embodiment of that Word, is, indeed, "the faithful Witness" (Rev. 1:5; cf. ch. 3:14), and His representations shall stand, though all else crumbles into dust and is dissipated, by the winds of heaven. As we justify God before men by our abiding faith in Him, He will, thus ultimately justify us before an assembled universe. "In that day," we shall joyfully exclaim, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this as the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation" (Isa. 25:6-12; cf. II Th. 1:7-12; I Pet. 1:5-9, 13; II Pet. 3:10-15). Let us, therefore, diligently keep the faith, constantly laboring to enter into our eternal rest,as we have been exhorted by the Spirit to do (Heb. 4:9-11).