Matters of Faith: The Plan of Faith


Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.

Habakkuk 2:2-4 (NKJV)

Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, It will not tarry. 4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.

Romans 1:16-18

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

I’m not sure who said it, but it is very true that without a plan, failure is highly probable and disaster a probability. Too often we set out to do a thing with the best of intention, but with little planning to back it up. We have all the energy of an alkaline battery, but no plan to plug into. So we end up working very hard but with little results to show for it.

On the other side of an aimless, plan-less, energy absorbing effort is a well thought out plan that has a definitive beginning, middle and end. It is trackable and sustainable. It has purpose at its start, ambition in its core, and success in its sight. The old testament prophet Habakkuk was given a directive by the Lord to “write the vision and make it plain.” It needed to be easy enough for all who saw it to understand it. Habakkuk was concerned about the army that was about to lay siege to his country…, with the Lord’s permission (chapter 1). But, there was a plan. They were not going to be defeated despite the strength and the might of the Babylonian army. “Write the vison and make it plain!” He tells him to remain faithful, because “the just shall live by faith!”

Paul comes along about 650 years later and writes to the church in Rome to give a full and orderly description of the Gospel that he preached. He opens this periscope with a statement that He is not ashamed of the gospel because there is power in the Gospel for salvation. It’s not for some, but for each and every person worldwide. Paul says that the source of this great power is righteousness (i.e., to be filled and empowered to act in harmony with God’s moral law). No one is strong enough, smart enough or wise enough to live righteously by themselves. If we could, the world would be a much better place. We have to be willing to allow ourselves to be enveloped in, and filled with His righteousness. It is through faith in the Lord who has a master plan for each and every one of us that will not only rescue us from our earthly enemies, but will ultimately deliver our eternal souls from eternal separation from His divine presence. Both Habakkuk and Paul knew that faith is the key. They knew that the just live by faith. Faith is the essence of hope. No hope, no faith! No faith, no hope! “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

That’s the plan! Live by faith.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; and host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen on the internet here, or by phone at 626-226-1448. Like his Facebook page at Matters of Faith.

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