Verses 23–25: “Before this faith came, we were close prisoners in the custody of law, pending the revelation of faith. Thus the law was a kind of tutor in charge of us until Christ should come, when we should be justified through faith; and now that faith has come, the tutor’s charge is at an end.”
Faith changes us. It moves us from the rule of repressive laws to the authority of our inner teacher, God Within. Faith comes with an embodied knowing that may or may not have anything to do with what we think or profess to believe. It is the result of an experience of the Divine Mystery (we know as Christ) that cannot adequately be expressed in words. Faith is a gift. It is an energy that shifts our cellular consciousness and imbues us with energy for living more fully.
Most of us grew up associating faith with religious creeds, theology, and church. We were under the tutor of the laws as taught by our parents, extended family, and various community groups (church, school, civic organizations). We may have struggled to know, to feel, to have felt knowledge of what we were learning. We were caught between the tension of our developing body with its instinctive prompts (or developmental laws) and what we were told we should be feeling, thinking, and doing.
We are in the custody of the law of our innate and adaptive natures until we consciously connect with God Within. In moments of conscious connection with our psyche/soul, through which the Divine Mystery flows into us, we receive knowledge that transcends our ego’s reasoning. Faith brings a peaceful, confident consciousness that energizes and draws us forward in action (inner and outer). We act with conviction from a deep, unspeakable knowing that comes from God Within.
My favorite definition of faith comes from Dion Fortune. She states, “Faith is the result of a supra (or transcendent) conscious experience which cannot yet be translated into terms of brain consciousness (words, concepts, explanations) but which, nonetheless, changes the person.”
Faith is a state of consciousness—embodied knowing—that is not ego derived or controlled. How do we get it?
In the terms of the scripture, we are “justified through faith” when “Christ comes.” Christ comes in the moments we, with our ego consciousness and body consciousness, receive that which is beyond our conscious creation. We have a vision, an idea, or an activated desire that energizes us. We are propelled into action. We are drawn forward to stand with the largess of our psyche/soul.
We are justified. We are made true, complete. We stand upright with our psyche/soul. We have a sense of our connection to the more that we are, the more that life is, and the more that God is. We cannot make this happen, but we can cultivate a conscious attitude that notices, claims, and receives the moments of meeting with God Within.
Faith gives us the initial burst of energy to do something different. We then have to choose to make changes in our life—our attitudes, beliefs, expectations, habits, routines, and activities—to fully live the truth of what we now consciously know in our body-mind. We have to choose to stand upright with our experiences of God.
The law, at its best, teaches us discipline and humanizes our instinctive, animal nature. At its worst, the law separates our conscious sense of self from God Within. Reaching for, seeking, and receiving conscious connection with our larger Self is our path to being freed from the law and knowing God Within. Faith comes in the moments we consciously encounter God Within.
What are your experiences of faith? When have you known without a doubt the presence of God Within? What sustains you in living your faith? How do the laws (the shoulds, musts, and ought tos) keep you from following the guidance of God Within?
Ask, “How do I support myself in living from my inner knowing?” Set sacred intention to integrate these actions into your daily life.