Faith, part 1
15th of June
To-day I will write about a subject that we all need to come back to again and again. I have written about faith many times in connection with other subjects, but never as a subject of its own. I am desperate for changes in my own life and for that I need faith. The Holy Spirit asked me to listen to teaching and preaching on faith and to read the Bible and books on faith and that’s what I am doing right now. We have a saying that goes like this: “What your heart is filled with, will come out of your mouth.” I will therefore share with you Bible verses and thoughts around the subject faith.
I will start by quoting Heb.11:6 “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.” There might be those of you who wonder if you have faith and I can assure you that if you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have gotten faith as a free gift. We can read in Rom.12:3 that God has given everyone a measure of faith. You can therefore be sure of the fact that you have faith. I sense that some of you say: “Why hasn’t God given the same measure to everybody?” The answer is that we are not going to do the same. The bigger the task, the more faith you need. God is not stingy. He will always give us in abundance. He has given you as much faith that you need for your life. I can again “hear” somebody saying: “ I haven’t seen any of that.” Maybe that is correct, but that is not because of God. He has given it to you, but you might not have discovered what you have. We can read in Hos.4:6 that God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. I presume that you understand that you can be destroyed for lack of Biblical knowledge. You might have a degree from a university, but that knowledge can not carry you through life. You need to know His will, His promises and His plans for your life.
We can go back to Heb.11:6. It is rather obvious that we will not come to God if we doubt His existence. We do not come to an evil person voluntary. I must therefore believe that God is good and loving. We live in an evil world and are in desperate need of love. We seek Him because we know that He is full of grace and love. The devil has sometimes perverted Heb.11:6 and held it against people. He might say things like: “God is not pleased with you and you do not have enough faith.” Are you a child of God? If you are, you have asked the Lord to be your Lord and Savior and He has given you faith. I can assure you that God loves His children. You might not have sought Him diligently and there might be a lot of reasons for that. It can be because you lack knowledge of His loving nature or the fact that you have committed sins that you have not confessed. You might feel ashamed. Do you remember 1.Joh.1:9? It says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If you have confessed your sins, you do not need to be ashamed about something that do not exist. Do you believe that you are forgiven? It all boils down to the question: “Do we believe the Word of God?” We have received faith in order to believe in God and what He says. The devil has from the very beginning questioned what God has said. In Gen.3:1 we can read that the snake said to the woman: “Has God indeed said?” He has not changed his strategies and he still comes with this question to both the saved ones and to those who are not. That sows a seed of doubt and we start to question the Word of God. Maybe I have misunderstood? He will first get you to doubt the Word and then your own power of apprehension. We must remember that the devil knows the Word and he knows that if we follow the Word of God, we will live in victory and he will be defeated.
Go with me to James 1:6-7. There it says that he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. That man will not receive anything from the Lord. It does not mean that God doesn’t want to give us. We read in verse 5 that if you lack wisdom, you should ask of God, and He gives to all liberally and without reproach. If you doubt, you, yourself, has no expectation for receiving. You might start to confess yourself out of the answer that God had planned to give you. You might say: “I asked for wisdom, but I am not any smarter than before. He doesn’t answer me. No, I have to rely on myself.” I have previously taught on the importance of our confession and both God and the devil listen to what we are saying. If we confess doubt and unbelief, we give room to the devil. If we talk according to the Word of God, He has free hands to answer our prayers. I, myself, am reminded of words that I shouldn’t have spoken. I do not allow the devil to condemn me, but will repent and ask the Holy Spirit to help me.
What is faith? Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb.11:1) Many people are confused and use the word faith when they actually talk about something they hope for. When we use the word hope, we expect some good, but there is also an opening for doubt. Faith has no opening for doubt. If I have asked, I will receive what I have asked for. Where can I read about that in the Bible? In Mark 11:24. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” In my Bible I have the headline: Trust in God. We receive because of God, not because of our goodness. Our focus must be on Him and not on us. God will not answer prayers that are contrary to His Word. I believe that this has been misunderstood quite a few times. I have listened to immature Christians and they have asked God for very strange things. They might confess, but do not ask God if He has promised these things in His Word. We can read 1.John 5:14-15. It says: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” We can see here that we receive answers when we know His will.
There are many kinds of prayers. When we do not know His perfect will in a matter, we pray like this: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is also a prayer of faith. We do not have faith for a concrete answer, but we have full confidence in God and that He knows what is best for us.
The Bible is full of promises and when we know them, we can pray concretely. God will always keep His promises. He and I are having different ways of looking at times. As children we want an answer right away. That is the nature of a child. As adults, we have learned that we might have to wait in order to satisfy our needs. I do not believe that neither one of us like to wait. The devil can become very active in a period of waiting since he knows that we are impatient. He will try to make us doubt. Maybe you get tempted to become angry at God. Maybe you start talking yourself out of God’s answer and stop Him to act. I do not say that God never will answer you if you say something silly, but He does act on your confession. I will finish by quoting Rom.10:9-10. It says: “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” We can clearly see that there is a strong connection between what we believe in our heart(spirit) and what we confess with our mouth. You can also read verse 8 that says: “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is the word of faith which we preach).
JUST BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE IT, AND YOU WILL RECEIVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!