Many Christians continue to struggle with temptations, painful memories, and past adversities that should have been left behind years ago. Why is this? I think the reason is, in part, their faith is not a present faith, it’s a future faith, even though they may not describe it as such. Their faith is that “someday” in the future God will remove this temptation, painful memory, or troubling issue. And they go on to think this year after year.
The reality is that faith takes hold of God’s promises now. At the point of conversion, we have all the tools and gifts and “victory” that we need for the rest of our lives. True, for most of us it takes time to walk out the promises of God in our daily life. But we should never imagine that we will overcome “someday.” We must realize that we presently have what we need (the promises of God) to overcome our failings to live as we should.
Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911) says it this way in her classic The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life:
But this faith of which I am speaking must be a present faith. No faith that is exercised in the future tense amounts to anything. A man may believe forever that his sins will be forgiven at some future time, and he will never find peace. He has to come to the now belief, and say by faith, “My sins are now forgiven,” before he can live the new life. And, similarly, no faith which looks for a future deliverance from the power of sin, will ever lead a soul into the life we are describing. The enemy delights in this future faith, for he knows it is powerless to accomplish any practical results. But he trembles and flees when the soul of the believer dares to claim a present deliverance, and to reckon itself now to be free from his power.
What persistent sin or memory or tragedy from the past is still part of your life; still dragging you down? Let it go. Let it go as you take God at His Word.
Your assignment: Find a promise from God that pertains to your issue. Take that promise personally. Pray it, memorize it, hold God to His Word.
If you have trouble finding a promise, my book Power in the Promises can help.
Don’t wait another day to live out “present faith.”