It is great to be back to blog writing after a three month break. I have been quietly learning about faith in God, and this is the subject that I wish to discuss on in this article.
About a week before launching my book, Taking Possession with Jesus, in December 2020, I went for a prayer retreat with two of my good friends. While at the retreat, there was a blessed assurance that we did break through in many of the matters that we offered to God in prayer. In addition, God’s word for me was very clear: “I want you to live by faith as you walk out of the gates of this retreat center.” God did not say it once, but He repeatedly did so throughout the retreat. God was urging me to live a life of faith. Why was He doing so? Because the breakthroughs and revelations that we had spiritually received needed to be birthed forth through faith.
Habakkuk 2:2-4 Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. … but the righteous will live by his faith (NIV).
Every believer is called to this kind of life- living by faith and not by sight. Apostle Paul repeatedly quotes prophet’s Habakuk statement that “the righteous will live by his faith” (see Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; and Hebrews 10:38). Believers need to repeatedly remind themselves of this Truth because the fallen man’s natural response to life is through his/her physical senses: sight, hearing, touching, feeling and smelling. While the human mind is a great blessing from the Lord, the truth is that it is limited in its ability to provide solutions/ break throughs to life’s situations. Human effort, as important as it is, is similarly limited.
Zechariah 4:6 This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty (NIV).
When a person gives their life to Christ, their spirit man comes alive because of righteousness (Romans 8:10) and they receive the indwelling of Christ through the person of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11). This is the spiritual heritage of every believer! I can therefore assert that life in the Spirit is a life of faith in the Living God.
A time of shaking is upon the earth. Whoever disputes this is simply living in denial. Wars and rumors of wars; nation rising against another nation; famines and earthquakes in various places; all indicate the beginning of birth-pains for the End of Age (Matthew 24:6-8). The writer of Hebrews (12:26-28) states “removing of what can be shaken- that is created things- so that what cannot be shaken may remain” which is a reference to prophet’s Haggai’s words (Haggai 2:6-7). Just like it was in the days of prophet Haggai that God’s shaking preceded the filling of the newly built house of the Lord with glory, so will this latter days shaking result to the purification of the Church for a greater demonstration of God’s glory.
In the backdrop of the shakings that the earth is experiencing, the time for a great awakening has fully come, for the Church to gather the sheaves of the harvest! This will require an application of faith in our daily lives.
John 4:34-35 My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest (NIV).
God graciously provided to us the definition of faith. Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
A. Faith is being persuaded beyond doubt that what you hope for is true.
Perhaps your soul is downcast and you have lost hope in the circumstance in which you find yourself in. I exhort you by God’s mercies to speak to your soul and remember the Goodness of God, as David often did.
Psalms 42:5-6 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon-from Mount Mizar (NIV).
Faith does not operate in a vacuum. It operates in the context of hope in God. What are you hoping for? Is it spending eternity with the Lord, healing, provision or salvation of a loved one? As long as your hope is in the Lord and not in man, you can rest assured in God’s perfect will because His Nature is Faithful and True. His will is to spend eternity with us; His will is that we live in good health; His will is that we live abundant life; and His will is that all men reach repentance. God’s will informs a believer’s hope; and the persuasion of receiving what he/she hopes for, is faith.
Knowing God’s will regarding a matter can be compared to a person who knows the final scores of a live football match. It matters not to such a person how much his/her team is domineered by the opposing team. A person with foreknowledge of the end of a matter enjoys peace and confidence, in spite of the set backs and difficulties that they face.
Romans 10:17 Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
Are you desiring that your faith is strengthened? Hear more of God. Hear as often as possible the rhema Word revealed to us through the Holy Spirit and hear the written Word of God. The Holy Spirit reveals the deep things of God. Often, as a believer communes with the Holy Spirit through prayer, fasting, worship etc., the Spirit reveals the heart of God regarding a matter. Faith enables us to appropriate what the Spirit reveals.
1 Corinthians 2:10-12 …. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us (NIV).
Acts 13:2-3 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off (NIV).
Secondly, the written Word of God may also reveal to you God’s will regarding a particular situation that you are going through. God has proven Himself Faithful through His Word. You can take His Word to the bank! God has exalted His Word above His Name (Psalms 138:2). Trust the Promise Keeper to fulfill His Word. Trust Him to restore your wasted place. Trust Him to bring to life your dry bones. Though the promise lingers, wait for it, it will surely come to pass and will not delay.
Numbers 23:19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
B. Faith is unwavering knowledge of what has not physically manifested
The second part of Hebrews 11:1 definition of faith (certain of what we do not see), serves to further support and clarify that first part of the sentence (sure of what we hope for). This is called “parallelism” and is often used by Biblical writers. Faith will change your language because it calls things that are not as if they are. Please note that the faith I am talking about is not mere positivism. Faith in God is anchored in the knowledge of God- His nature and will.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
The prophet Elijah demonstrate unwavering knowledge that it would rain at a time when it had neither rained for three and a half years nor were there any signs of rain in the sky. In faith, Elijah spoke, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” Elijah spiritually heard the sound of rain, though the prevailing circumstances revealed otherwise. Upon prophesying that it would rain, Elijah put his head between his knees and looked down, which is a posture of prayer. Seven times, Elijah intermittently sent out his servant to check the sky for the sign of rain. This was a posture of watching. Elijah understood that what he had spiritually discerned needed to be physically birthed through prayer and watching. On the seventh time, the servant came back with a report of “a cloud as small as a man’s hand … rising from the sea” (1 Kings 18:41-46).
James 5:17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
C. Faith is an elementary truth of God’s Kingdom that must be daily applied by all believers.
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God.
Friends, faith in God is an elementary truth of the Kingdom. This understanding struck me hard during a Bible study session that I attended late last year. God expects every believer to live by faith because salvation not only requires that you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, but that you also endure by faith to the end. Towards the end of his life, Apostle Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
Secondly, faith is fundamentally important because it is the means by which believers appropriate God’s promises in their lives.
2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Thirdly, faith is a mandatory requirement for pleasing God. Unbelief is sin and separates you from the Father.
Hebrews 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 (NIV).
In conclusion, allow me to throw a word of caution that faith does not enable believers to have it their way. Faith in God is not a means to selfish pursuits. On the contrary, faith in God entails absolute surrender to your Heavenly Father. This means that the evidence of faith is not “manifestation of the desired results” but rather “absolute trust in God”. A person who is believing God for healing and yet has been sick for years, for example, may be accused of lack of faith if we chose to judge whether he has faith or not merely based on his persistent sickness. Such judgement is erroneous.
Hebrews 11:13-16 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them (NIV).
Hebrews 11:39-40 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect (NIV).
I wish to assert that God is beckoning us back to a life of faith. Perhaps you used to believe God for the impossible, but your faith in the recent past has been battered by life’s occurrences, and you have found yourself doubting the Faithfulness of God. Repent and return to Him who is Faithful and True. Jesus, our Eternal High Priest, understands that we are living in difficult and perilous times, and He lives to make intercession for you and I (Hebrews 7:25). You have heaven’s backing! Do not fear, only be strong and courageous.
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