Foundations of Faith
Foundations of Faith
Understand the importance of your faith
Faith is a common word in the religious world. But what we want to focus in on is our belief system. What we want to do in this study is develop your faith, and maximize your potential for productivity.
Definition of Faith: Faith is a spiritual principle that taps into the creative power of God made available through man, whereby man can transform conditions, circumstances, and situations in the natural realm over which he has been given authority.
Matt 9:27-30 27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.
The faith that God has imparted to you holds the key to what you receive from God. What you receive from God is founded on the development of your faith. It is imperative that we take our faith to a higher level that where we are now. We must believe in what God says and HAVE FAITH!!!!
You can’t just know the Word. You must mix in faith to cause a spiritual reaction.
Heb 4:2 says, “For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.”
Faith is a physical and spiritual action that you can take based on God’s Word to bring the promises of God to pass in your life. Faith is a law, or a principle, that does not work by how you feel. The Word works for those who work the Word.
Rom 3:27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith.
We must be instructed in faith.
Man is created and in contact with three parts, spirit, soul, and body.
1 Thess 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Spirit: contact with the spiritual world, which comes at salvation
Soul: contact with intellectual realm, which means you can be instructed and learn
Body: contact with the physical world, which means you can be instructed and learn
Rom 12:12-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual(reasonable) act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
2 Cor 10:3-5 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Understanding takes study. Reading God’s Word is not like reading Shakespeare or Mark Twain. As you study God’s Word, you’ll find that the anointing on the words you read make the Bible fresh and alive in your present situation.
Why is faith important?
You must live by it!! Rom 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
It is necessary to please God!!! Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
It is necessary to overcome the challenges in life!!! Psalm 34:19 A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all; The manner of your deliverance is a result of your faith. How great a victory are you faithing to see? 1 John 5:4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
It is critical for the selection of a mentor!!! Heb 6:12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. 13:7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. People either bring you up or tear you down. It is critical that you consider who it is that you associate with, even in church.
It is the key to receiving the promises of God!!! Gal 3:13-14 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. If someone promises something, though you still do not have it, you trust that is will come into being. The Bible is slam packed with promises, but some people don’t believe that they are for them. They feel they are below the “promises line”, because they don’t have faith.
God’s will and desires for you won’t come to pass unless you understand and live by faith. He’s no respecter of persons. Matt 9:22 tells of the woman with the issue of blood, and Jesus told her her faith has made her whole. Matt 9:29 was our opening text with Jesus telling the blind men according to your faith, so be it to you. Their was a time in Jesus ministry that he could do very little because of their unbelief.
Say, it’s according to my faith!!!
You can be instructed in your faith
Luke 17:5-6 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
The apostle Paul instructed many in his letters to study scripture, to pray, to test every spirit, to take communion, etc. Here, Jesus instructs the disciples on faith…Mark 11:22-25 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Four types of Biblical faith
Saving faith comes when you hear the Word and the Holy Spirit draws you to God. It’s the first measure. Eph 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Rom 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
Most holy faith Jude 20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. This faith comes as we draw deeper into God’s realm.
The gift of faith, mentioned in 1 Cor 12, talks of a gift God freely gives to accomplish His will through our lives.
The God-kind of faith, which is what we want to focus on, is the faith teaching Jesus taught not only in his words, but in his life. Walking on water, feeding thousands, healing sick, and casting out demons were teachings we can study, among others.
Degrees of Faith We all have differing levels of faith. One may have faith to heal, another may trust God for provisions, and yet another may have faith to prophecy. It’s all according to the measure you have, and how you have developed it.
There is little faith… Luke 12:28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!
There is no faith… Mark 4:40 (Jesus rebuking the storm after sleeping in the boat) He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
There is great faith… Matt 8:10 (faith of centurion) When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
Seven benefits of faith
You will overcome the negative situations in life 1 John 5:4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
God can use your life to inspire others in their faith-walk (cause to see God is willing to act and do) Heb 6:12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
God can define possibilities for others through your faith results (cause to see that God can do it)
You experience a lifestyle of success that only faith can produce (ax head float, water from rock, bills paid)
You can surpass negative statistics that limit productivity (dead raised, sick healed, demons cast out)
You become a living testament of the faithfulness of God **Isa 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” Job 36:11 If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures.
You get the opportunity to experience the promises of God that others dreamed about
You must make the choice to increase your faith
A quality decision will almost make other decisions automatically for you. If you bring only certain cloths on a trip, then there’s not much thought as to what you’ll wear once you get there. Make a purposeful decision today to become a student of faith, and take your courses throughout your lifetime.
You must use a scriptural approach to operating in faith
Many mistakes have been made by misinterpreting scripture, and then God gets the blame. It is critical that we practice understanding scripture so that our faith and lives are founded on one that that is eternal…scripture!!! Matt 24:35, Mark 13:31, and Luke 21:33 says Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
Principles for accurate scriptural interpretation
Scripture must be interpreted with contextual accuracy What is the text talking about? When Jesus is teaching about our needs, he says God will supply them, but to what is he referring?
It must be seen both in precept (principle explained) and example (situation portraying the principle)
Any principle important to your life should be seen in at least two references (**see about Isa 28:10)
The learning process
Instruction, study, example, practice, and mastery
So to live by faith is a process, not an event. Say that with me…
In John 11 we read the story of Lazarus’ death. Jesus makes a point of telling Martha the he is the resurrection and the life. At the point of Jesus instructing them to open the tomb, Martha states that he must stink. At that, in verse 40, “Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” Smith Wigglesworth said, “You must believe that it is impossible for God to break His word.” James 1:6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. The goal is to bring your faith to such a level that there is no wavering, no doubt. Steadfast and unmovable is the thought that comes to mind from 1 Cor 15:58.
Realize as we continue in this study that a lot of what I’m referencing is God’s Word. That is the foundation that all things build upon, otherwise, beneath you will only be shifting sand.
2 Tim 2:16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
Rom 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
2 Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
You see, you must be prayed up, studied up, and instant in any season, because you must be prepared not only to give proper words, but receive them.
Understanding faith’s expectations
Pro 20:5 The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.
God granted each writer of scripture their own flavor and vantage point. It’s our privilege and to our advantage to seek out and discern what is meant.
Wisdom: accurate application of knowledge, both natural and spiritual
Favor: the divinely motivated assistance of others using their power and ability
Miracle: the supernatural intervention of God suspending natural laws.
Plan of action: a series of steps to bring the acquisition of the desire
Strength to endure: spiritual wherewithal to patiently stand fast
Respect the order of God
Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. God is a God of order.
1 Cor 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order. God works in a particular order, so we must fall in line with His character if we are to see results from our faith.
Order is consistent with God’s nature Think about creation, and how He laid it all out, then rested. Consider the tasks of a heart surgeon, and the body’s consistency through the whole ordeal. Faith is a process. The results are progressive. If you respect God’s order in every aspect of life, then you won’t become frustrated or even concern yourself with how it all works. You just lay hold of His word.
Mark 4:26-28 Then Jesus said, “God’s kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows—he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain.
You must ask, you must believe, and you must confess. Asking is your step to God about a matter. Believing is the confidence you have to see your request to fruition. Confessing puts a seed of faith into others and concretes what you believe to be so that faith grows in more than one life.
James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
You can live in this life and not know the laws of the land. If you disobey one, and get caught, ignorance is not an excuse. But careful interpretation of the law will help defend you in matters not privately reconcilable. You may even benefit from knowledge and wise use of the law. The same is true in spiritual matters. If you know God’s law, and His order, and His timing, then you can and should use it to bring glory to Him. Abraham is known as the father of faith. In Romans 4, the story is retold about his and Sarah’s conception of Isaac, how, though he was 100, and she was 90, and her womb dead, did not waver at the promises of God. Think about how impossible that sounds, and yet it happened.
It’s time that you work on your faith, because remember our focus scripture for this study, according to your faith, so be it to you. Your faith in God and His promises is the key to a whole new world.
In Matt 17:20, Jesus ends His statement by saying that nothing is impossible for you if you believe. Nothing is an all-inclusive word. Catch it…it means not one single thing. So next time you are up against something that seems larger than life, instead of telling God how huge a problem you have, tell your problem how huge your God is and see what happens!! Mark 10:27 says that nothing is impossible with God. I read that two ways….one way says that God has no impossibilities…the other way says that if we are with God, nothing is impossible. It’s all in how you read and decipher it.
Bring your petitions to God. A petition is a sincere earnest request made by someone expecting to receive. Jesus taught the disciples how to bring things to God…Matt 6:11 says give us this day our daily bread; John 15:7 says if you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you can ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you; Matt 7:7 says ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, and knock and the door will be opened. It’s God’s word. Ask God!!!
You might think, or even say, I don’t know if I can believe that…..Ask God to help your unbelief (Mark 9:24 father’s request with the possessed boy the disciples couldn’t deliver). Smith Wigglesworth once said, “Do more believing and less begging.”
1. Jabez asked God, and God granted his request (1 Chr 4:10)
2. James and John wanted to sit at Jesus right hand in the Kingdom, and Jesus didn’t ridicule them or rebuke them, but answered them as best he could (Mark 10:35-40)
3. Hannah was barren, and wept before God, vowing to give the child back to Him if He would only allow her a baby, and Eli, sensing her humbleness and honesty, told her that her request would be granted (1 Sam 1)
But you see, as I’ve said before, there are qualifications for your requests to God. For the latest and greatest of something you don’t need, or for your neighbor’s something or other, or for the winning lottery number, God is not open to such requests, regardless of how sincere you try and bring them. He’s not granting sin-related requests. Your request will not be contrary to God’s word.
1 Tim 6:17-19 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
2 Pet 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.
Ask the Father for what you need in Jesus’ name (John 16:23). So many are praying to something or someone outside of God’s will…ask Him in Jesus’ name!!!
Ask according to His will. Remember Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane?
Ask in faith without wavering (James 1:5-7).
Ask with thanksgiving (Phil 4:6-7) prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving.
Remember, ask God’s way. His ways are higher than your ways, and His thoughts (Isa 55:8-9), and Pro 14:12 says there is a way that seems right to man, but the end leads to death. Once you do that, don’t continue with how you feel about it…stand on God’s word…remember, it’s what you based your request on in the first place!!! Your walk of faith is “divorced” with how you feel. It’s like dark and light. Nothing between them is in common at all. It is impossible to walk by faith and to trust your feelings at the same time. 2 Cor 5:7 says that we walk by faith, and not by sight.
Prayer of Faith
1. find a scripture to stand on
2. verbalize your request
3. ask the Father in Jesus’ name
4. ask with thanksgiving
Believing is critical to the faith process. Your possibilities are not defined by what others have done or can do. You may have a talent that I cannot pick up regardless of how easy it seems to you. The same is true spiritually. You have to set it in your mind on both parts that you can do something. Your faith cannot work unless you believe, and the opposite of faith is unbelief. Jesus could do little in his hometown because of their unbelief.
God-based criteria for believing
Believing is to accept something as being factual. You have to will your body, soul, and spirit to trust in what you believe. Doubting Thomas…. In John 20:29, Jesus states that blessed are those who believe without seeing. That is the Biblical basis for believing. Biblical believing is to accept something as a fact without having any sensory-realm evidence.
Understand that things are not based on what we know or see. Col 1:16 says that all things were created by Him and for Him, visible and invisible. Scientist are studying what they call “black matter’ right now…for years now, and have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that it even exists. They believe that things in deep space are happening as a result of this “black matter’, which is undetectable by any equipment we have, are spending millions and millions of dollars, and have not had a single breakthrough. 2 Cor 4:18 says So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. The problem with these “smart” people is that they are basing what they believe on what they think they know.
Catch this, from God’s perspective, what you can see is not as reliable as what you cannot see.
Heb 11:1 says that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. So God’s word and faith go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. So read it this way, with those two scriptures in mind…now the Word of God is the substance of things hoped for and God’s Word is the evidence of things not seen. Numbers 23:19 says God is not a man, that he should lie. You can trust His word!!!
So what does this all mean? Everything you need is already in existence. It may be in the natural world. It may still lie within the spiritual world. It makes not difference to God if it lies in either. He can create it from nothing just for you. So when you come to Him with a request, remember this….you are not informing God about something that has just come up. He already knew, and is waiting for you to activate the faith process so that He can make the way where there seems to be none. Matt 6:8
Remember this….Lord, help my unbelief!!! It’s according to your faith!!!
Biblical believing versus Natural believing
The difference is God’s perspective or man’s perspective…it’s a sense-realm difference. Consider Jesus’ question of who people said that he was. Joseph and Mary’s son would have been an appropriate natural answer, but what did Peter say?
2 Cor 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
What shapes our believe ability? Environment, Others, Repeated info, Life Experience.
Think about Noah in this instance. The world was evil and God told him to build an ark to be saved from impending rainfall and flood. His natural environment, never having seen rain, was clueless. Those who passed by him mocked because of what they knew. Repetition would have been mockery and jeers from peers. Life experience sided with all of the others. Now, spiritually speaking, Noah walked with God, so his environment at his vantage point, would have ignored the obvious. Others would not be privy because none of them walked with God or was chosen to save the living creatures or their families. His repetitive inclination would have been prayer and seeking God’s approval and favor for materials, plans, and cooperation from animals as the ark came to be. And due to his walk with God, his life experience would tell him that God was always faithful and true, and should be obeyed regardless of what intellect told him. The strength of your faith rests in the capacity of being able to believe. You may have to start with small steps, but God will plant in you faith and belief in Him beyond human understanding.
Understand that meditation does make a remarkable impact on your experience!!! Have you ever second-guessed a response or action? Didn’t you work it out again in your mind and improve on your weaker points? Psalms 1:1-3 tells us to meditate on the law of the Lord day and night and you will be like a tree planted by the waters who bears fruit and whose leaf doesn’t wither.
Your belief system does not readily distinguish between what you have vividly imagined and what you have actually gone through. Have you ever crossed someone who’s words go well beyond what actually has occurred? They believe exactly what they just said. The same is true when you walk with God, realize something you did out of what you know from God’s word to be accurate, and rehearse in your mind how you should have responded.
There are steps to your meditation…your experience, the mental picture that you retain, the dissecting of what actually happened, and your rehearsal of how things should have gone, then standing on God’s word and living it out creates new opportunities for your faith. Now you begin confessing…
Confession is a statement that you choose to make in agreement with what God’s word says, regardless of your situation, how it looks, or your circumstances. Remember as I said at least once before. It’s not denying what is actually happening. It’s choosing to stand on God’s word over the natural. If you have no money, you don’t write hot checks and charge things as “faith” in God making provision. Instead, you find a scripture that speaks into your situation and claim it as truth and fact.
The manifestation of your confession is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight or instantaneously. Miracles do happen instantly, but cannot be planned or predicted. But the fact is that you can predict the outcome of your faith. But understand that it is a process…
The widow in 2 Kings 4 was broke. Elisha instructs her to go and borrow all the vessels she could and bring them into her home, shut the door, and pour in the little oil that she had into them, and God would bless her. She did these things, filled all the vessels with oil, but get this: she was still broke!!! She had to choose to do all that Elisha told her, PLUS, go out and find people to buy the oil God blessed her with, THEN she was debt free, her boys were not threatened to become slaves, and she could live. She wasn’t just handed the money!!!
You must be patient, follow the instructions, and be committed.
1 Tim 6:12 says to fight the good fight of faith. This faith-walk will be a fight. And guess what…the devil is the one you are up against!!! Don’t be intimidated. Heb 10:23 says to hold fast the profession of your faith without wavering, for he is faithful who promised. Don’t be intimidated by the devil, others, or time. Remember this: Gal 6:7 says to not be deceived, God is not mocked, whatever a man sows, that he also reaps. Even when life does not line up with what you are saying, keep saying what God says.
Your words have incredible power!!!
Pro 18:21 says that death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it shall eat its fruit. I’ve never read it from this perspective before, but it says death and life, you will enjoy the fruit of your lips.
God spoke all things into existence. Elijah spoke fire down from Heaven. Jesus told the storms to subside. Jacob refused to cease fighting with the man (God) until he was blessed, and God blessed him and changed his name to Israel.
Words are powerful!!! Faith-filled words not only affect the natural realm, but also the spiritual realm. In Daniel 10, Daniel is given a vision, and the angel speaking to him tells him that his prayers initiated God’s dispatching of the angel to him, though he was hindered for 3 weeks. The great commission says that we will pray for the sick and cast out demons and they would recover. We can prophecy, preach, teach, and proclaim in Jesus’ name, and see our natural bow to God’s spiritual.
What are you saying?
James 3:10 says that praise and curses should not come from the same lips. Your words should repeat what God says regardless of what your senses tell you until your senses catch a glimpse of your words. Speak it, and don’t wait until you really believe what you are saying. If it’s in the Word of God, say it now, before you circumstance becomes larger than life. What do you have to lose by confessing God’s word in the midst of a natural circumstance? If you claim healing while you hurt and never receive healing on this earth, you are still better trusting God than just living with it.
A farmer owns a field, purchases seed, and plants it so that he can receive a harvest, right? Either for food or for profit he does this. Sow the Word of God into your own life and just see what happens to you.
Your faith confession will fall right in line with God’s word. Remember Rom 10:9-10? Confess Jesus, and believe that God raised him from the dead, and what? Saved!!! It’s scripturally accurate to confess God’s word in faith. You don’t call things that are as though they are not. You call things that are not as though they are. Faith is a right now thing. It’s not someday down the road if I do this, that and the other thing. It’s believing God right now, and living like it.
John the Baptist was asked, as Jesus asked, who he was. His response could have accurately been Zachariah and Elizabeth’s son. What did he say? John 1:22 says he claimed to be the one crying in the wilderness make straight the way of the Lord!! It’s a faith confession that goes past the general who are you questions, and answers through the eyes of the Creator Himself.
Your faith confession must be personal, must be in the present time, and must be persistent. The process that you go through to come to a faith-based result will make these three points reality.
Remember this: knowledge is power!!!
-know who you are in God’s word
-know what satan can and cannot do based on God’s word
-know the truth of a situation, and not just the facts
-know what we should and should not be saying based on God’s word
-know what we should and should not be doing based on God’s word
Knowledge is power. Read what Proverbs 1-4 says about receiving and rejecting wisdom and knowledge.
As is your faith, so it will be to you!!!
Now you must have Corresponding Action!!!
We’ve defined faith in a few different ways now, and this one simply says that faith is acting on God’s Word.
There are different characteristics of faith that you see in the church, and maybe even in the Body of Christ.
1. Anti-faith, which is against the message and teachers of faith
2. Argumentative faith, just as the name proclaims, argues the manner in which faith is released, but never or hardly ever actually does so
3. Academic faith, is simply knowledge of how it all works through study, even knowing Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic, yet does not operate therein
4. Articulate faith, means the talk is properly presented, but no action accompanies those words
5. Admiration faith, is one that holds in high esteem those who actually talk and walk faith, though they do not actively pursue faith of their own
6. Action faith, are those who work the faith process, taking God at His word and acting upon it without wavering
Consider the Old Testament saints, who were given instruction and simply acted on it. Noah and the ark, Abraham in sacrificing Isaac, Joshua in marching around Jericho, and the list could go on. They learned through experience that success follows obedience!! Obedience comes when you have the discipline to obey either the written word of God (Logos) or the spoken word of God (Rhema). You have no other alternatives but to specifically do what God says to do. The New Testament saints either heard or saw Jesus or the disciples in action, and acted themselves. Remember the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5)? What about blind Bartimaeus who screamed Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me (Mark 10)!!!? And the woman at the well in John 4 who, after talking to Jesus brought the town who heard and saw Jesus and believed?
If you are going to have this God-kind of faith, it will require determined action!!! When you have a determined action, you will cause a manifestation. Your actions must line up with what you expect. If you obtain wisdom, but don’t apply it, it is useless!!! If you receive a plan of action or steps towards a miracle, but do nothing, then you get just that…nothing!!!
So we learn through this process that you must obey if you are to see results of faith. Here is how consistent obedience comes about:
1. you ACT in agreement with God’s word, even if you don’t fully understand it
2. you seek ACCEPTANCE from God alone. If you seek man’s acceptance, then you open yourself up to compromise, because others don’t know God’s plan for you
3. you must ADDRESS every contrary thought that hinders your obedience. 2 Cor 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
4. then, APPROPRIATE God’s grace given to you to obey under extreme pressure
Remember, God’s Word and the principles therein, when put into action, must produce results.
Now here may be your next issue, or may have been a question all along…why is it so difficult to obey? It’s hard to obey because:
1. faith and patience and obedience cannot be taught, but must be practiced
2. it may put you at odds with others who don’t understand or agree
3. it may push you out of your comfort zone and bring you short term discomfort
4. it may mean that you are not fully persuaded of the promise
5. you may be ignorant of the faith process. You can’t be bold in matters that you don’t know.
Your corresponding action is critical to operating in faith. Remember what we have learned in James that says that faith and works must coexist.
- you must act in agreement with what you believe, and belief comes from hearing the word and personal study.
- you can deceive yourself if you only hear the message and do not act upon it
- you can only expect results once you have obeyed the instructions God gives you
So what should you do to bring about this corresponding action?
- maintain corresponding thoughts. We just brought out the scripture that says we take every thought captive and bring it in subjection to Christ
- maintain corresponding speaking. Jesus said in Mark 11:23 that if we speak to a mountain to be thrown into the sea, it will happen if we don’t doubt.
- maintain corresponding tasks. The things that you do will line up with what you think and what you speak. The things you do will not compromise your integrity. They should respect natural order. (to be employed, you must first realize the need for busyness, then go out and seek a position, then apply for the job, then you work). When you begin acting in the natural, the supernatural will take over. Your actions will be relative to your faith. Your actions should be done in diligence and persistence (Heb 11:6 says God rewards those who diligently seek Him). Your actions are done with the right motives. Finally your actions should model others who have testimony of the success in this faith walk.
These things may be in opposition to what your senses tell you, but rather than denying what is (fact), you are actually standing on God’s word…the truth
So we think, we believe, we act, and now we must walk in patience.
Heb 6:12 says We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Mark 11:24 says Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Catch the future tense of “will be”.
Patience has been misunderstood as resigned from the faith fight, idleness, dropping of the standard you expect, or just a cop out. But patience, in fact, is an action that gives you the intense tenacity to succeed. If you planted a seed, you could walk inside and wash a plate in preparation of a harvest. Misunderstood patience would bring about the thought of walking right back outside, not seeing a crop, and saying it must not have been of God to allow that seed to produce. Patience, once washing the dishes, waters, removes weeds, prunes, and expectantly awaits the harvest season so that the plate will be full. It’s more a matter of making something happen, then it is sitting back and seeing IF something actually does happen.
Heb 10:36 NLT Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
Luke 8:15 NLT And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.
- Patience gives strength to endure the hardships until you see a manifestation
- It is an incubator giving faith the time to grow and prevail.
- It allows the spiritual forces to impact natural forces.
- It gives respect for the time factors God has in place, be it within your own spirit, in natural factors, or in the will of others.
Through it all, you know that what you are standing on will happen. I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating, we believe because it is God’s word. Period. No questions asked.
It’s not a matter of my timing, but a matter of God’s timing.
Patience causes something to happen. When you decide to be steadfast and unmovable in what you believe, God will!!!
Patience is a force that is necessary for your personal development. Read Colossians 1 and 2 Peter 1. It’s part of God’s course of action for your life.
Patience is a spiritual force working on your behalf. It’s like fasting is to your physical body. Patience make you check your lifestyle (are you doing things right?), gives you time to review the promise which you are standing on (to see if its properly founded), allows you to check your confession of faith, causes you to manage your thought life, checks your fellowship, your commitment to the principle of praise, and your commitment to God’s work.
Patience in Elijah’s life, shows him praying for rain. Look at it in 1 Kings 18:41-45
- first off, he proclaimed to King Ahab that rain was coming
- he prayed intensely in v42
- he expected something that others couldn’t see or hear v43
- he didn’t give up though the report was against what he knew to be v43
- he rejoiced in the smallest of results and shouted to go tell the king v44
- soon after his proclamation, the Bible says the sky was black with clouds v45
Learn the importance of patience in your life and the authority of God’s timing over what your senses tell you, and see how greatly God can and will use you to show His greatness!!!
Receiving the Promises of God
Remember we said a few weeks back that the Word works for those who work the Word. Matt 9:27 says that according to your faith be it unto you. Faith is a lifestyle, and feelings must be demoted.
Galatians 3:13-14 says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” That’s why God’s Word works for some and not for others. The promises are received by faith.
You master faith by exposing yourself to instruction, study it yourself, pattern yourself after good examples, then practice it. You don’t learn to ride a bike by watching…you must do it!!
The promises you receive from God are based on scriptural truth. The requirements to walk this faith walk are similar to what we just covered: revelation (understanding), role model (example), regiment of faith (steps), and righteous resolve (determination).
And the best part is that God’s promises are rightfully yours!!! God’s promises will manifest in your life when you operate in faith. Salvation is more than just fire insurance; you become a joint heir with Christ.
Rom 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Gal 3:16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.
God’s will is not automatic. You must do something. The scriptures just said to put on Christ. It’s up to you. God doesn’t want anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9), but you must follow Rom 10:9-10 if you want to receive it.
His promises cover every aspect of life.
Deut 28:1-2 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: Read the rest of chapter on your own!!!
Deut 30:19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
Material, health, emotional, relational, and ministry matters are all areas that God’s Word covers. But the choice is yours to go out and obtain them!!!
There are variables that will effect the manifestation of promises…
Besetting sin (continue reading Deut 28-14 vs obey, 54 vs disobey- God is trying to say somthing), will of man, the Word of God, motives of the heart, obedience in giving (Mal 3; 2 Cor 9:7-8), order of things, and satanic hindrances.
Releasing faith for healing…1) it is God’s will to be in health, 2) find scriptures that promise your healing (ask someone to help), 3) write down the scriptures and read them aloud, 4) pray in harmony with the scriptures you are standing on, 5) form and speak a confession that lines up with the Word of God, 6) explore what can be done in the natural to bring the healing to manifestation, 7) thank God every day for your healing, 8) keeps your thought life in check by pouring in God’s Word, 9) listen to teachings and music that teach God, 10) avoid debates with non-believers (Jesus put them out of the house), 11) follow the doctor’s orders, 12) connect with others who understand faith and have them agree with you, 13) don’t panic if the healing isn’t instantaneous, 14) list your symptoms and rejoice as you watch each one disappear, 15) through it all, maintain an attitude of faith and be patient.
Releasing faith for a material blessing is primarily the same as healing, with a couple added points: 1) sow a financial seed claiming what you are expecting to receive from God, 2) find examples of how others may have achieved what you are seeking God for and move on it. Relational, emotional, and ministry matters will also line up within these thoughts.
Remember what we said about Elijah in seeking rain:
1. he understood that past victories did not guarantee today’s success
2. he understood the promises of God a aligned himself with them
3. he heard and saw what others could not hear or see
4. he acted in faith with NO evidence and with repeated NEGATIVE reports
5. he was assured of victory with only a SMALL sign in the natural
6. he BELIEVED for BIG and TALKED BIG when he only SAW LITTLE
7. he held his course until great things happened
You must manage your faith fruit!!!
Proper handling of the rewards and results of your faith are critical to the faith teaching. Gen 12:1-3 teaches us that God blesses us so that we in turn can be a blessing. It’s not all personal. God has designed us to be fruitful. It comes natural.
God does not mind you having things. 1 Tim 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. He enjoys manifesting His promises for our benefit. Psalms 35:27 Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” We are even more than servants; we are his children, sent to serve!!!
You don’t need to con God. Don’t ask for something so you can start something that you’ve never done before. (new car to pick up people, new house for homeless, etc)
Understand the purpose of faith fruit:
- it is to bring glory to God
- it is to satisfy temporal needs on earth…ours or others
- it is so we can be a channel of divine favor for others (who may have hurt you, or helped you, or hid from you, or hindered you, or are close to you)
- it is to validate the testimony of the Word working in your life
- it is to testify to the faithfulness of God to deliver on His promises
It is through humbleness that we receive from God; pride will be the downfall!! The devil will come against you and attempt to diminish your faith fruit. How do you combat this?
- always be grateful to God for things #. always use faith fruits to positively impact lives
- always maintain (keep up) the blessings that God has given you
- always express to others who the source of your blessing is
- always avoid falling in love with your blessing
Your passion should be for God, and not things. Luke 12:16-21 tells of a man who had so much, he decided he needed to build more storage to keep his goods for himself. Then Jesus posed the question, what if tonight his soul was required of him? You are the steward, or manager, of the things God blesses you with. You must maintain control, and keep God to the forefront.
Here is how you can tell if you are falling in love with things:
- you subconsciously measure your worth in life by things (Luke 12:15 life doesn’t consist of possessions)
- you are willing to compromise your values and morals to get more things
- caring for your fruit challenges your faithfulness to Godly commitments
- you violate a well thought out budget by abusing credit to get more
- you start looking at things to do for you what a relationship with God should do
- you fail to make good use of what you already have before you get more
- you fear God may ask you for some of your stuff
- you develop a false independence by trusting things rather than God
- when God asks for your fruit, you justify why you refuse to give it to Him
- things consume you so that you have no time for family
- your fruit causes you to redefine your relationship with others who have less than you
- when your thoughts are more consumed with things than they are with God
What does God expect us to do with our fruit? Testify to others!!!
Heb 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us
Sometimes, we need other’s testimonies, and other times we need our own. There are four times when people need someone else’s testimony:
- when they have exhausted all natural options and only the supernatural can bring about manifestation…BUT GOD!!!
- when they have stood in faith seeing meager results, yet they know the harvest is near…DON’T GIVE UP NOW, YOU’RE SO CLOSE!!!
- when God gives them a task to do that is beyond the resources at their disposal at the present time…MANY TIMES WHEN YOU ACT IN FAITH (CHURCH EXPANSION), THE PEOPLE WHO WILL PAY FOR IT ARE NOT EVEN THERE YET!!!
- when Satan is attempting to snuff out their dreams through persecutions
Mark 10:28-30 28 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
God will not bless you beyond what you can handle!!!