I’ve spent some time pondering the idea of faith and what it means to have faith. Growing up many are taught in Sunday school, and perhaps in families the famous scripture John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. We were expected to memorize this scripture because it is essential to what we believe and the basis for our faith and our salvation. So literally it is a confession that we believe God sent Jesus into the sinful world to experience life as a human; who was without sin. He would atone our sins through his sacrifice on the cross and bring us under grace. The sacrifice would cancel our debt of sin; sin signaled death and place us in his magnificent light and seal our eternal fate. Knowing what to expect eternally is crucial, but faith has great life applications that are beneficial to our light and life on earth. If we limit our faith to the eternal structures only, we minimize God’s gift of abundant life in the land of the living.
God’s purpose and plan for each of our lives are for good as told in Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plan I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Because we know who God is we can also have faith – believe that if his plan is for us to live with him eternally in the afterlife, then his plan was also for us to live abundantly in the meantime on earth, thus why his plan for our lives are good and full of hope. The plans speak of certainty because we know whatever God sets in motion is completed and returns to him without void. So to gain a full understanding of the benefits of our faith, we must stay in commune with him via the word and prayer. Faith is Active – moving; being worked out through life applications. Faith allows us to wait on God with patience and endurance – knowing when we wait – our faith is perfected. He reminds us of the appointed time for all things.
Faith has to do with seeing clearly. Yes, I know you have two eyes to see in the natural. But faith brings to us into a supernatural vision. Often we allow our faith (what we profess) to be clouded by what is seen in the natural. Our spiritual eyesight through faith should always supersede the natural. We often see our lives as natural as having a spirit. However, the reality is we are spirit first – expressed in the physical. God is a spirit (Jesus already existed as a spirit before becoming a man). Jesus was without sin (no blemishes) came in the flesh to die a physical death. Our bodies are shells that house our true inner man (spirit). Knowing the order of who we are and what we are created for helps us to live out our faith. If we only believe in the things we see (natural), it would be difficult to take hold of God’s divine plan for our lives. Activating one’s ability to profess with our mouths the truths of our faith enables the power of God in ways we could never imagine. Jesus was our living example of how to live as a natural being spiritually. Paul and Silas understood that they were bound and in prison (their physical existence) however they were aware of their spiritual power. They activated it through prayer and praise of God which broke down the walls of the prison setting them free. Not only did it set them free – it set all prisoners loose as well.
Setting the Captives Free
Our faith was never intended to benefit just us. By the activation of faith Paul and Silas great faith brought others to believe and desire to know who was this God was that they professed and how could they too know him. Our faith alone can help others who are either wavering or have yet to come to Christ. The activation of our faith through life’s trials and tribulations acts as a confirmation of the enormous power of God. How we live, how we speak has great implications for our lives and the lives around us. Does this mean we will never have moments of weakness? No! Even in moments of weakness God has provided to us through his word on how to maneuver life’s fragility. Proverbs 3:5 – states that we are to trust God will all of our heart and to not lean into our own understanding; acknowledge him (in all things) and he will direct our paths. Faith is trusting God through it all. Through all seasons of life, we trust his direction, his plan moment to moment. It’s a reliance on the power of God over-reliance on self. Our faith sets all captives free.
Can you Hear
Faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ Romans 10:17. What we are listening to will either grow our faith or cause us to be far from it. The word of God is our roadmap. So if we are to follow in his plans for our lives, we must read the map (word). Life can get crazy busy sometimes with all the things pulling at our attention. We must become intentional about feeding on the word. Not consuming human food for an extended period can make us physically weak as so will not feeding on the word can make us spiritually weak. We are strengthened and encouraged in our faith walk by drawing nearer to God by making the reading of his word crucial and beneficial to our faith walk. When we lack time with God – we become open and susceptible to suggestions that are contrary to his word. Often family and friends mean well when they are approached by us for their perspectives but if they are not a person of faith doing so may hinder your confidence rather than strengthen it. Proverbs 30:5 states every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. What do you hear? The word of God is our truth – our lamp and our protection.
Faith isn’t just confession – it’s application. Faith without works is dead James 2:14. Faith is active – it is living out that which is believed. Faith liberates. Christian faith isn’t just about obtaining life after death. Faith is breathing, walking and speaking our faith in this natural walk. We worship God in spirit and truth – He is the head of our lives. We humble ourselves before him knowing without him we can do nothing. He is the authority of our lives in which we abide. Activation of our faith means that we are consistent no matter what is happening. We are encouraged to live out our life assured of who God is and who we are in him. So, come rain or shine we know the power of God changes not so we can maintain an atmosphere of praise, peace, and joy. Active faith has standing power against all the odds. Faith is the substance of things hoped for; evidence of things not seen Hebrews 11:1.
God reminds us that it takes only mustard seed faith to see a move of God. A mustard seed is tiny in nature but mighty in impact. God used the symbolism to show us that it doesn’t take much. So if you think your faith is small – speak to a mountain and watch it move. It matters less on how much faith you have – but that you use what you have.
Prayer of Faith
Fill my mind and my heart with thoughts of you – perfect my faith that I may live out this life full of understanding of who you are and who I am in you. Because I have given my life over to you – I am open to your plans for me. Let my faith in this life be one that is pleasing to you and a light for all to see. Give me a supernatural faith that speaks things that are not as if they already are into existence. Let the praise of my lips be a joyful sound to you. Let me walk this walk without murmuring and grumbling but exhibiting a joyful attitude in all situations. Plant your word upon my heart daily that I may eat from it and be full. Grow me that I may gain a greater understanding of your power and your strength in me. Teach me your ways – that I may bear fruit in this life and live the life you have called me. As you are faithful – let me be also remain faithful in this walk. Thank you Lord for this for the blessings and abundance. In Jesus name, Amen!!