A Word from the Lord
I woke up this morning burdened in my heart. I spent some time in prayer concerning the things I was feeling. I felt to write upon the phrase "the righteous will live by faith". While writing this article the Spirit of God moved upon me as to the Day we are in. I make no apologies for this writing except for the clumsiness of my own words to express the fire that burned within. The words in blue are when His Spirit fell on me.
“the righteous will live by his faith”
This word spoken by Habakkuk, somewhere around 650BC, was directly quoted in the New Testament on three separate occasions: Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38. It was a word by which the Apostles presented the power and the truth of God’s Kingdom.
Habakkuk’s day was much like today. Israel was filled with unrighteousness and the law of God was “slacked” (KJV); the Hebrew word used here means faint or grown feeble in power and in effect. (The power of the things of God expressed in the earth will ever be relative to the attitude of the hearts of God’s people to His Word.) When the word of God is lightly esteemed in the midst of His own, when it becomes a concept and an ideal (rather than the very life and breath of His people), lawlessness, chaos and sin will be rampant in His house.
In Habakkuk’s day iniquity (self-will) infested the land and few took to heart the condition of God’s house. The greatest sin in religion is men and women taking the things of God and using them for their own ends. Self-will is man’s rebellion to God’s will. Men walk in their own paths, according to their own wisdom whereby they devise and scheme their own ways, all in the name of God. Self-will in God’s name is the ultimate defiance of His Lordship. It makes a mockery of the first commandment: “thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord in vain”. It brings the greatest judgment upon a land and a people. The fruit of self-will is powerlessness, apathy and disobedience to Christ Himself. Self-will renders obedience passé with the explanation that we are no longer “under the law but under grace”. Grace becomes the basis for disobedience! Grace becomes the means by which we excuse our obligation to serve our God and instead live unto ourselves. Right living is set aside; we embrace a gospel which declares us righteous while dishonoring God by how we live.
In the midst of this God speaks to the burden and cry of His prophet who in agony of soul cried out to God “Why do you show me iniquity, and look at perversity?” God’s answer was judgment (Hab. 1:6-10). In the midst of God’s decree, He speaks this word to the man who bears in His heart the cry of God: “but the righteous shall live by his faith”.
In the midst of the iniquity in God’s house, a word is spoken to the true in heart: “the righteous shall live BY faith”. This faith imparts the life and power of God to walk uprightly in a day when His law is set aside by a “new gospel”; where men and women are “freed” from their accountability unto God and they exalt in a new “freedom” to live out their lives unchecked and forgiven for past, present and future sins. It is a gospel which desensitizes the conscience and brings His people to the place where everyone does what is right in their own eyes. The moral depravity of this gospel is swiftly bringing the Judgment of God upon our land; it is at the door and even now upon us. As God raised up the Chaldeans in Habakkuk’s day, so in our day nations are rising that will bring judgement on a haughty and rebellious people. Peter has declared of our day:
“For the time is come that judgment MUST begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
1 Peter 4:17
God has brought upon the world a SELAH; a divine pause for men and women to consider their ways. This pause is the precursor to the unfolding of a day of Judgment; lawlessness, rioting and the failing of any judicial restraint. It is, after all, the DAY of THE LORD. There will be a revelation of the filth, greed and arrogance in His house that will culminate in the destruction of our land as God’s judgments move from His house to those who know not God. God’s people need to comprehend that God is righteous; He cannot judge unbelievers while His own people are guilty of the same sins as the world. Judgment MUST come upon His house first so that He remains righteous when He brings His wrath upon all.
THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL LIVE BY FAITH
In the midst of all that is upon us, God’s decree stands. His eye is upon those in whom HIS faith is bringing a growing righteousness; a faith which enables His own to honour and obey God by the life they live. Judgment must fall upon a people who have divorced righteous living from faith, the works of God from faith, and have fallen into the horror of a faith which covers and excuses sin in the Name of God!
THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL LIVE BY FAITH
Even in all this disorder the validation and the seal of God rests upon those who are found within the faith OF the Son of God. There is an ability to shine His light into the world (secular and religious) by the indomitable truth of the righteousness of God. This faith is not in word but in the power and demonstration of God Himself.
God’s judgment in this Day, is revealed in the declaration of Christ Himself.
“And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats”
The sheep are those who followed and obeyed the Lamb and submitted to His Way; the goats are those who walked in iniquity (self-will) and insisted upon their own way, even in the Name of God.
God’s Word to His People
“Even from the days of your fathers
ye are gone away from mine ordinances,
and have not kept them.
Return unto me, and I will return unto you,
saith the Lord of hosts”
“And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down,
and the haughtiness of men shall be made low:
and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day”