Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Now Faith IS...

The Bible clearly shows us one of the foundation stones of Christianity...
"For we walk by faith, not by sight". (2 Corinthians 5:7) "..."The just shall live by faith".
(Romans 1:17) "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)...it is faith. So why is there so much misunderstanding as to how faith works? How is it when a believer does not get their prayers answered they are told that they do not have faith and if a believer reports that the LORD gives him all that he ask Him for they have that flaky name it and claim it faith? Their are two great examples of how faith truly works.

JOHN 20:24-29 tells us the story of Thomas' refusal to believe the report that Jesus had risen from the dead and had appeared to some of His disciples. The time comes when Jesus stands before Thomas and Thomas finally believes because he now sees. But Jesus' response holds the key to living by faith, "Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29)

Faith is not receiving from God and then believe because we have received it, I have it, so now I believe it. This is what Thomas did, unless I see, I will not believe. Faith is believing that we have received it and then we get it, believing (receiving) without seeing. This applies to ALL things that Christ has acquired for humanity. Many people want to know first then believe it. I personally do not believe in healing because I saw brother or sister get healed, I believe in healing because Gods Word says healing is a part of redemption  (Isaiah 53:4-5, Matthew 8:17, I Peter 2:24) Think about from this perspective. If I already have something I would not have to believe for it, it’s already mine, it’s in my possession. For believers to come to a place where they KNOW that they already have what they ask God for, believe without seeing, they have to base their faith totally in the integrity of Gods Word. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

The other picture of what faith is and how it works is found in Romans 4:16-22. Notice the difference between Abraham’s faith and Thomas’ faith. Thomas’ faith was based on his mind, “if I can touch and see, I’ll believe.” (We need to understand that Thomas was present as evidenced in all 4 gospels at the Last Supper where Jesus spoke of His resurrection from the dead, but he had to be persuaded in his mind.) Abraham on the other hand did not consider that he was 100 years of age and that his 90 year old wife Sarah was barren and was well beyond child bearing years. It says, "No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God, Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised." (Romans 4:20-21 AMP) Abraham believed God's Word, he did not question it, he did not doubt it, nor did he make up a reason why year after year for 25 years he did not see any evidence of what God had said. Abraham believed in his heart and did not let his mind breed doubt. Thomas believed in his mind and therefore doubted in his heart.

This uncovers the main reason why most believers do not see their prayers answered. They rely on faith that comes from their mind (mental assent) rather than faith that comes from the heart (the spirit). I have experienced several believers including pastors who refused to be healed because, "They DON'T BELIEVE in healing for today" or "They DON'T BELIEVE that Jesus healed everybody". Unfortunately their own words kept them from receiving what God accomplished through Christ at the cross. It is sad that we have to come up with disclaimers instead of admitting that our faith is weak. One of the advantages of admitting that one's faith is weak is that faith can always grow. So let's begin to believe that every word that is recorded in the Bible is Gods word, that His word is truth, that Jesus is the Word, and that He does not change.

"So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11)

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