A lot of folks assume they know what faith is, but the truth is, it is a journey, so let´s try to learn more about it.
If the Bible mentions this 4 times in the book of Habakuk 2:4 “the just shall live by faith” book of Rom 1:17, – the just shall live by faith, Gal. 3:11 The just shall live by faith, Heb. 10:38 the just shall live by faith. If the just shall live by faith then how successful would it we be if we don´t know what faith really is? We can´t guess what we think faith is all about? We can´t hope and believe we know what faith is all about, we have to know what it is if we´re to live by it. So we´re going to spend some time talking about what it is and answer some questions you may have.
Rom. 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. This scripture lets me know that the word of God is absolutely vital if I´m going to obtain faith. We learned it growing up like this, “No Word, No Faith”! A lot of word equals a lot of faith. Little word equals little faith. Today we´re going to find out why we´re been commanded to spend so much time in the word, studying to show yourself approved, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth -2Tim 2:15. Why is it so important and necessary to get into the word of God and to study the word of God?
Well, if we´re going to understand what Faith is here is a place to start:-
FAITH GROWS OUT OF THE WORD LIKE APPLES GROW OUT OF THE APPLE SEED PLANTED IN THE GROUND. Without apple seed, you would not have apples. Without the Word of God, you wouldn´t have faith. See many people try to obtain faith without the word. Its like a Christian trying to live a Christian-life without the word.
You can´t! The Christian life is a life of faith. Because faith grows out of the Word. Say with me Faith grows out of the Word. You have to have the Word in order to be able to obtain faith and to understand what it is. Your potential to get faith and have faith is going to be enhanced by the word that you get or the word that you don´t get. My people are destroyed or cut off because of the lack of knowledge – Hosea 4:6. So faith grows out of the word. You would enhance or limit your potential to get faith by your willingness to engage in the word of God or not.
For example you feel sick or you find yourself in some sort of affliction, the first thing you do is what? Go to the Word. You go to the Word. Thats the first thing you do. You go to the doctor, the doctor says you have cancer, the first thing you do, YOU GO TO THE WORD! You go and find scriptures that cover the situation. You find you are addicted to some kind of substance. The first thing you do is GO TO THE WORD! You find the scripture that covers the situation. You find that you may have lack in your life. First thing you do is go to the word. Find scriptures that cover that situation. I know its not so simple, but here is where over 90% of Christians fail, they don´t go to the word. They allow their emotion to lead them away from the thing they need to do and they dwell emotionally in what´s going on and they fail to engage the word. And if you fail to engage the word, you would never have the faith necessary to have victory in your life.
So as christians, if I can just get you to get in the word, if you can just get the word that covers your situation and study it, chew it, and digest it enough, thats your faith rising. But from my experience in talking with christians under some sort of addiction or sickness, when I ask them or even tell them its going to be okay that they should just continue in the word. They would say oh Pastor Joseph, I have faith that the Lord would heal me and take the situation away. So then I ask what scripture are they standing on? Your faith is based on WHAT? Almost 90% can´t say it right away. Some would have to think a bit to find a scripture to try and convince me. But its not me that needs to be convinced you see, its them. Its not me who needs to get out of that situation, its them. If you keep saying I have faith that God was going to heal me, I have faith that God is going to deliver me, I have faith to get a job, but its not based in the word. And if its not based in the word, then you don´t have no seed for that faith to grow out of . Anybody understands what am saying?
This is how to get bigger on the inside and build your faith. Its not enough to be religious with a John 3:16 T-Shirt on a tatoo saying I love Jesus. Saying I know Jesus, or am a Christian, or I go to church is not going to deliver you, its the word that you know. Your confession is based on what? The fruit in your life today is a result of the seed you have planted and are still being planted.
So if you are in a situation, you have to get the word and find scriptures that cover that area. That now becomes the very base ground zero of the victory that you´re going to have. But if you´re too lazy to get up and find the scriptures that cover your situation, you´re going to loose. No word, no victory. Show me a victorious Christian, I show someone who lives by the word. God is not a magician, he is a God of precept by precept. Step by step. Day by day. He even taught us to pray “Give us this DAY our DAILY bread” Not give this day our weekly bread! God has placed laws in this physical world and we´ve got to obey those laws if we´re going to succeed in this physical world. And the first base of your victory is locating the word or the seed that covers the area that you´re trying to get victory in. So if you´re sick, you need to find scriptures that cover that. If you´re in bondage of addiction you need to find scriptures that cover that to have the faith to believe God or are you just coming to Church and HOPING that something would happen.
We are not getting into the word so we can be spiritual, it is the requirement, the base for every Christian living. The Bible says without faith, you cannot please the Lord-Heb. 11:6. Ofcourse if you want to keep playing church and be religiously pious, thats fine just ignore all this. But if you want to have victory, you would have to begin to get back to the word and do some planting.
You know its very easy to see and know people who are playing church. You´ll find them after 10year of being saved they still have no victory. They complain like the world do when things get tough. You cannot tell if they really are saved except you see them in church on Sunday. They still have no scripture working in them or growing in them to maturity.
Now lets define what Faith is.
Heb. 11.1 Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Another translation says, Now Faith is the confidence. Its the assurance, the substance, its the ground, its the base, its the foundation, its the confirmation, its the waranty deed. Faith is the confidence of the things hoped for. The hope is what you´re expecting, its what you´re believeing to happen. Its what you have planned for the future. You hope to be healed. But Faith is the confidence that you are what you hoped to be. Faith is the assurance that you have what you hoped to get. It is the confirmation that you already got what you cannot see, but you´re expecting it. But you know you´re already got it without seeing it because faith is that waranty deed.
When you travel to another city and have to stay there for a couple of days, it is adviced that when you make reservations for a hotel room, to always get the confirmation number. Why, because I´ve arrived in some hotels and get ready to check in they say they could not find my name. But I wasn´t worried because I have the confirmation number, so even though you can´t see my name now, it has already been confirmed that there is a room for me somewhere in this hotel. It is not in my place to worry how your going to do it, because I got a confirmation. I have the assurance that I got a room right in here. It was like the last time I travelled by train to Kristiansand. After ordering the ticket online and then printed out my ticket and went to the station to catch the train. But on getting on board, I discovered there was no seat on the number given to me. It was strange but true. Here in my hand is the confirmation and seat number that I have a seat, but in reality there was no physical seat for me. Now initially I was going to be worried but then I remembered, hey its not my problem that there is no seat on the number issued to me, its nsb´s problem, so if they have to make me a new seat its not my headache since I got me a confirmation. And a seat was sure provided for me for me to choose infact. You see the fact is since I got my confirmation number, I was sure and could see myself having a seat even when the situation is saying otherwise. I was confident I would get a seat why, because I have a confirmation number. Thats what Faith is.
This is where we´ve been missing it. we´ve been trying to operate in faith without confidence.
We´ve been trying to talk ourself into something we really don´t have yet. We´re trying to convince ourself that we have faith, but we don´t have faith cause we don´t have the seed that produces faith which is the word, and then we start doing foolish stuff. But faith is the confidence. You´re so sure. You´re so confident about it that you have peace. And you are so rested in what you already have that you can´t even see.
Faith is not faith if confidence and assurance is not arisen in your life. Faith is the proof that you possess what cannot be seen. I don´t have to see your car, but if I see your ownership document or receipt of purchase, it is proof that a car exists somewhere belonging to you. Faith is your receipt. It is proof that what you found in the word exists somewhere belonging to you. Without having to see it you have confidence of its existence.
2 Cor. 5:6-7 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: For we walk by faith and not by sight.
For we walk by the confidence we got from the word. We walk by the assurance we got from the word. We walk by the confirmation we get from the word. We walk by faith and not by sight. By sight does not mean, by what you can see, no! Sight here is talking about your sensory mechanism. Your walk in faith is not based on what you can see, what you feel, what you can touch, what you can pick up through your physical senses. Your walk as a christians should be from the assurance, confidence you get from the word of God. That´s your foundation. But if you´re basing what you´re believing God for on your senses, what you can see, feel, touch, hear or smell, the evidence of the world, then your confidence is in what you see through your eyes, what you can feel through your emotions, what you can hear through your ears. But no, your confidence cannot be in your sensory mechanism. You were given senses to help protect you in the physical world against certain things in the physical world that can harm you. Its a gift for you to operate in the physical world. A gift so you can smell Karin´s bread on Fridays, and ask can I have a slice? Or to smell smoke so you can run for your life. So it helps you in this physical world to know what to avoid in this physical world. But now when you´re operating by faith, you cannot allow your sensory mechanism to be your base or your ground to determine whether a thing is so. You must now gather your base and your confidence from the word of God. So your reaction can be based on what you know from the word of God. Why do I have to have the word? Because without the Word, I can not get confidence. Its the word that gets the confidence in me.
Prov. 4:20-21 My son attend to my words, incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes, keep them in the midst of thine heart. Notice what its saying here. To give attention to the word. Whatever you attend to the most, thats what you´re going to desire. Whatever you talk about the most, thats what you´re going to desire. Whatever you look at the most, thats what you´re going to desire. Whatever you hear the most, thats what you´re going to desire. You think you came up with that desire in your heart? No, desires don´t just drop into you. Desire is a result of what you´ve been giving your attention to. Whether its immoral desires like attending to or watching pornography which prodeces an immediate fruit by the way or you give your attention to a good desire which would eventually produce a good fruit in your life.
POINT 2 – The word has to be before your eyes. Proverbs say not to allow the word depart from before your eyes. We can tell when the word has depart from before your eyes, cause when the word is in front of your eyes and you´re speaking it and you´re meditating on it, and talking it and you´re listening to it, it will show from your speech. The bible says in Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart[a] brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
When you have a sickness and the word is before your eyes, and someone asks you how you are doing, you say I´m healed according to the word of the Lord, I´m delivered and I believe I receive my healing right now in Jesus name. But if the word is no longer right before their eyes then the first thing you hear is, oh no, you know the doctor said, the report said. The word and report of the doctors takes on more value and legitimate to them than the word of God. You don´t have to be a rocket scientist to determine if people are in the word or not. Just listen to them for a while. The word has to be before your eyes. If you are not willing to put the word before your eyes, you would not have faith dear friends. You have to understand that the bible was given to us so we would know how to think, how to act and what to believe and know how to speak in this physical realm.
So when you get into the word, you need to begin to allow the word change your thinking instead of you trying to change the word to fit into your thinking. I bet you have heard people get up and say they don´t agree with a scritpture, what are they trying to do, they are trying to change the word to suit their feelings. It is obvious that not every scritpture you hear you would want to jump at. But that doesn´t mean you should change the meaning.
When you allow the word of God to change how you think, then how you think would determine how you believe, and how you believe would determine how you confess and that would determine the outcome you would get in the situation you are dealing with. So if you don´t have the word of God, then you wouldn´t think inline with the word, you would not believe inline with the word and what happens, you loose. But if you allow the word to determine the way you think, then you would win.
The issue here is engaging the principle long enough until the seed grows. I don´t understand why its only Christians that expects to come to class just a couple of times and expects to get a degree the next day. You all are here, why did the school ask you to stay in school for one year or two as the case may be? Because it takes time to change. Another truth is nothing changes in the physical until it has first been changed in the spirit, and that takes time. The time it takes is not in the area of the spirit but it is in getting us to believe it actually happen.
Heb:11:1 NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
Faith always abides in the present tense. So when the scritpture says by his stripes you are healed, then you say you are healed now. If the scriptures says you have deliverance then you say I am delievered NOW. So faith always is in the present tense. If you find yourself always in the future tense, thats called hope. Hope is the goal-setter. Hope always abides in the future, faith always abides in the present tense. So if you´re saying “Praise God one day I´m going to be healed, thats not faith, thats hope. Faith says I am healed now, today, even though you have not seen or felt it. Thats why the scriptures says we walk by faith and not by sight. Meaning we walk by the word of God and not by our senses. So when you say your are doing something by faith, examine your tense. Is it present or futuristic. Make sure you are in the right now. I beleieve that all of my needs are met NOW. Versus I´m beleiving for my needs to be met one day. So everything that has got to be in faith has to be in the NOW.
So Faith IS. Not Faith would be.