There are different concepts and opinions about faith. Some of what is called faith I would call hope. At other times I have heard people pray in optimism, thinking that mental persuasion is faith. Faith is more than persuasion and optimism, it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1. What does that mysterious statement mean? It means that there is a tangible substance of faith that comes before what is hoped for arrives, and it is solid evidence inside of knowing that we have what is coming before any seeing of it. There are different kinds of faith needed to walk with God as His son or daughter. I am going to talk here about faith that produces signs, miracles and healing.
Faith – how do you think faith works and what is it?
Have you, just like me, looked at and read many times the statements that Jesus made like having faith the size of a mustard seed in Matthew 17:20 and Luke 17:6 to speak to a mountain and see it move. How did you feel about your faith when you last read that? Have you read the other scriptures like Matthew 21:22 “…whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive…” and wondered at what kind of belief this is because sometimes believing is not a problem but other times it is, and there are yet other times when you thought you believed and nothing happened?
There are some keys to be found in scripture and over the years I have not found them so much as been shown what appears to be hidden there. There is something in Paul’s letter to the young, carnal Corinthian church as he seeks to bring balance and God dependency to what they believe and are doing together.
He writes of a gift of faith amongst the other spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit wishes to pour out and “administer” in a gathering of believers. I am assuming that they knew what he was talking about, as he covered a few gifts from the Holy Spirit that even new and carnal Christians then should be able to recognise. If you have been given gifts of Faith, you will know, as I do that it is impossible not to believe when ministering and the results are usually excellent miracles. Then as the power of the belief inside the gift fades, we realise that what has just happened is extraordinary and actually part of the miracle.
Under the influence of His gift of faith for the moment, we found it easy to believe and proceed with what we knew needed to be done and the possibility of failure is just not there, nor able to be contemplated or recognized. This is like a mustard seed of His faith.
Another powerful key is in Mark 11:22. The standard translations of this passage of Greek tend to read something like “…have faith in God…”, where Young and others translate it more like “…have God faith..” or “…have the faith of God…”. I did not realise this until inspiration came as I was reading it as a daily reading, that this faith is His faith given as a gift, the very faith of Jesus himself given as part of His life in me as I first surrendered my life to Him. So I pieced out the Greek words for myself and found that it actually says that. Imagine the thrill and the annoyance with translators who couldn’t handle the power of the truth. Jesus answer on this very question lost in translation into English.
So – Have the faith of God. Wow!
So this is supposed to be His faith that this works on! That changes the picture radically doesn’t it? Jesus teachings and statements were not supposed to work on our faith because He knows that our faith will never be enough to clobber doubt, fear and unbelief.
I remember some years ago watching one of the first Pentecostal meeting prayer lines I had ever witnessed. A little old lady was bold enough to quite loudly tell the preacher who was praying that she was not healed and she wanted him to do something about it. He replied to her that she “..didn’t have enough faith…” and I heard God speak quite distinctly into my right ear “Don’t you ever do that!” and understood that she was quite right because the preacher should have faith to pray and not to blame her, because he was standing up there as the man of God, not her. He had and we have approached this from formulaic thinking instead of something flowing out of our personal relationship with God.
What I wish to pass on to you is that you can ask for His faith for a situation you are facing and you will be given it. I am not making promises here just stating that in the dynamic of your relationship with Him, He may not give faith and belief immediately but in many cases He will. A mustard seed size of His faith is bigger than the greatest of man’s faith. This is the difference between A) struggling to believe that by His stripes I am healed and B) confidently trusting Him that speaking it into my body brings a change to physical reality and actually being able to heal, curse or rebuke the sickness, knowing certainly that it has no option but to obey and for this body to be healthy.
An example might be helpful. Some time ago I was taken sick by a fast onset of head cold and was praying about it as best I could and trusting that "by His stripes " I am healed, and then was woken in the night in a great deal of pain from virus, sinus and throat pain and stabbing pain in the lungs. The combination of headache and other pain was reducing me to tears and I woke my wife in desperation, asking her to pray for me.
She was gracious and did so, and as she prayed, the pain receded quite rapidly to a bearable intensity. When she had finished a prompting came to ask for His faith. I did so and immediately received strong believing to put my hand on my head and speak His health into my body. I had no trouble feeling the intense healing heat coming through my hand and into my forehead and face, and as I lay there for the next 10 minutes or so continuing to speak healing into my body, the pain subsided still further, the sinus pain and congestion cleared and I was able to return to sleep, waking much better in the morning.
What does this faith look like?
The best and most real advice I can give is to listen to the words of Jesus as He stated His dependency on Father God “…I say (in conversation) what I hear from my Father and I speak (in public speaking) what He shows me to speak… ”. This looks like relationship dependence on our Father and does not look like any formula or a bunch of rules about how to deal with believing for stuff. His belief already lives in His family members because He is Alive and Well and Living in us. Jesus own Life is the gift to us. His Life contains His faith. We can ask for His Faith, which will always believe in tune with His will and love. Mark 11:24 – It looks like whatsoever you can believe for in His Faith which overtakes fear, doubt and unbelief, will be done.
So when you need faith to believe what He has said to you, ask Him for His faith.
30 October 2008