It was this scripture that changed Martin Luther’s life: “But the righteous will live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4) Those words grabbed him and set him on a path of conflict with the accepted religious standards of the day. He lived in a time when the righteous were trying desperately to work their way to salvation.
Some today still try to do the same thing. If only we do enough good works, give to the poor, keep a ritual of daily prayer, fast once a week or once a month…ah yes, then God will be satisfied with us.
Many of us know that we are saved by grace but in our daily life we so easily fall back into a “performance” mentality. Is that happening to you? Do you have a vague sense of guilt often that you aren’t doing enough? Do you judge your relationship with God by how many tasks you accomplish for him?
Sadly, it’s always been an easy trap to fall into. Even the Galatians had a tough time with it prompting Paul to ask them: “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3) It’s somehow easier to think “works” than to think “faith”.
Ready to start living by faith? Good choice. And honestly, if you’re into hard work, it might be the toughest job you’ll ever have.