One of Edgar Guest’s more famous poems begins with the line “I’d rather see a sermon.” Like sheep, humans need a leader to follow; like young students in school, humans need a pattern to imitate. When Jesus was asked “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29), He did not give a definition; instead, He wisely gave an unmistakable and memorable description: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho…” (Luke 10:30-35); then He asked: “Which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” (Luke 10:36).
Embedded in the Scriptures in Psalm 4 is a vivid description of what living by faith looks like while wrestling against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and a spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places. It deserves careful, thoughtful, and thorough consideration. As detailed in Psalm 4, living by faith is demonstrated by:
Prayerfulness in the face of widespread opposition—vv. 1-2: “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood?
Confidence in God’s holiness and His attentive ear—v. 3: “But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the Lord will hear when I call to Him.”
Reverence for God that results in self-control—v. 4: “Be angry, and do not sin.”
Meditation and communion with God that results in peace—v. 4: “Meditate within your heart on your bed and be still.”
Deliberate obedience and determined trust in Jehovah—v. 5: “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in the Lord.”
Unyielding refusal to doubt God—v. 6: “There are many who say, “Who will show us any good?” Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.”
Unspeakable joy and confident optimism—v. 7: “You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased.”
A good night’s sleep—v. 8: “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
With this nuts-and-bolts description of faith, a simple question remains: Are you actually living by faith?