Faith – Not Emotion

Faith – Not Emotion

by Executive Director, Rob Appel


       In September 2012 I took a spiritual retreat in the Rocky Mountains and was wondering how God was going to speak to me during this special time. On the morning of September 27th, in the lodge of Camp Paul Hummel, God spoke to me through an old familiar book. I picked up a copy of My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers, and opened it to one of the pages. It turns out it was one of the 12 dog-eared pages of that copy. This month is number five in a series from this great devotional.


What is it like to see with the eyes of faith? I ask that because it seems that not having spiritual sight is the norm these days.

We are sometimes under the impression that faith is a condition, or a component, of our spiritual life that is hard to define. Nevertheless, the Bible commands us to live by faith. But what exactly does that mean, to “live by faith”?

The apostle Paul exhorted the believers in Corinth to make a distinction between the way they used to live, and their new way of life, now that they are walking with Jesus. “We live by faith, not by sight.”

If we are to live by faith, we must then have a very good idea of how a life of faith ought to be lived and what this new life looks like. What is faith? What does it involve?

To start with, we need to know what faith isn’t, to help get to what faith is. Faith is not:

  • What we experience Sabbath Day, only to have it disappear on Sunday or Monday when we go to work.
  • Works, and therefore we do not need to separate ourselves from the real world and seclude ourselves in order to become what God expects of us.
  • Blind Belief in whoever and whatever God might send our way.


The faith that God expects from you is not only to believe, but rather it is to be lived. Abraham was called a man of faith. What attributes of faith did Abraham have that we must also have and emulate?

     1. Believing – “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

     2. Obeying – There cannot be faith in God without obedience. Faith has to prompt you to obedience. There cannot be faith unless that belief is followed with action.

     3. Doing – Some have found a conflict between faith and works. It has been the result of misunderstanding what faith is all about. Some read Romans 4:1-4 to mean that faith and works cannot coexist. But once you have obtained salvation by faith and you live a life of obedience, this will lead you to work for the Lord by doing. (James 2:14-22.)


The Bible tells us that we must walk by faith. This doesn’t mean that we must disconnect from the world. Jesus came that we have life and life abundant. This means a life worth living not separated from the world, but rather making a difference through God’s blessings, while we are in the world.

We can live by faith if we believe, if we obey, and if we act.

Next Month: The Conditions of Discipleship

Clip to Evernote