Monday, December 14, 2009

Have Faith IN GOD

Mark 11
22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

If you are anything like me, you’ve been taught that your faith can create things in your life. We’ve seen the “name it and claim it” season in the Church, and we seem to have redefined the same as declare and decree”. We are constantly taught that we shall have what we say, and that anything we ask God for shall be given unto us.

Well, what happens when the “thing hoped for” does not come to pass? We know that God is not a liar. For many of us, we were taught or understood that our faith was just lacking. Is that all there is to it? Does God really perform anything we command, simply based on our “faith?”

I thank God for relationship, because He’s dealt with me about this very thing for the last couple of weeks. He told me that we have this “faith thing” all wrong. In a nutshell, our problem is that we are putting “faith” into the wrong things, which means it’s not really faith at all. Yes, faith in the wrong thing(s) is nothing more than deception!

How many times have we seen the sick ask for prayer and healing? Over and over, the preacher or the prophet “decrees and declares” the healing, but it does not come to pass. How does one rationalize this over and over again? I can only begin to imagine the thoughts.

Of course, there are many reasons this scenario could “go wrong,” but I want to deal with just one right now – an incorrect view of faith. Oftentimes, we simply take the Scriptures out of context and feel we can “command” God to do what we wish. Well, our Heavenly Father is not a genie in a bottle! He is, however, the origin and the focus of faith.

It’s very important to understand just that – God is the ORIGIN and the FOCUS of faith! Many times, people ask for prayer or stand in prayer lines believing that they can be healed, but their belief is in the person. They’ve heard the prophetic words, seen the animated preaching, heard the array of tongues and have developed confidence on the power of the person to heal them. This is where their faith is disjointed.

We love to quote verses 23 and 24 of Mark 11. It makes us feel good to know that whatever we declare shall come to pass and whatever we pray for shall be supplied. Yet, we often neglect verse 22. In fact, I’ve never heard it quoted with the former. “Have faith in God!” Simple, but profound.

This is a season to mature in the things of God. We cannot continue to make the hope of miracles, signs and wonders an idol! Yes, many in the church are now “worshipping” the signs. We go to church to see the “move of God”, but not to have a personal experience with Him. He commanded us to seek Him, not the residue of where He’s been.

In a nutshell, faith cannot exist without God, because we need His word (rhema or logos) in order for faith to grow. Remember, “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” This is why the word declares that “without faith, it is impossible to please Him.” God has made us in His likeness and in His image. He operates by faith, and has given us the same. As declared in Hebrews 11, it was by faith that the world was formed. We also know that God gives each of us a “measure of faith.” Faith has no source outside of God.

So then, it makes sense that when we decree and declare things outside of God’s word, they do not come to pass. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. One simply cannot have, or apply faith, if God’s word is not on it. Many of us are spending time making commands to the atmosphere, but have never heard God. How can faith be applied to what God has not said or ordained, if faith comes from Him?

Perhaps the husband that was prophesied 3 years ago has not come due to your lack of faith, but the lack of the word of God in that situation. Did God say it? Did He ordain it to be so? If not, true faith cannot be applied.

One might ask, why then does the word say “whatsoever?” Even Jesus, when He walked the earth, said that He could not do or say anything without His Father’s instruction. Yet Jesus was in tune with the Father. He put His Father’s will first, and allowed it to become His own. Therefore, when He did make a request or give a command, it was for God’s glory. That’s why it came to pass.

In Matthew 17, Jesus cast out a demon after His disciples were unsuccessful in doing so. They asked Jesus why they were not able to do the same, and He said to them “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (vs. 20). Of course, the disciples believed they could perform the miracle, but they lost focus. Their belief now rested in themselves and their own power. They forgot about the source.

Jesus goes on to describe the mustard seed and tell them that if they had faith as a grain, they could remove a mountain with their words. Oftentimes, we assume Jesus is comparing their faith to the size of a mustard seed, but he is actually comparing their faith to the faith of a mustard seed. A mustard seed cannot do anything except what God has ordained it to do. God created it. It operates as He created it to operate. It looks the way God ordained it to look. It grows according to His will and purpose. Therefore, it operates in perfect faith. It is indeed the “substance” of something hoped for and the “evidence” of something that was previously unseen.

When we operate in pure worship and obedience to God, we too can be like the mustard seed, operating as God has called and ordained us to operate, in pure faith. Faith is walking in your ordained place, so that God can bring His will to pass through you!

Faith is suffering, because we are moving in our own wills. We are busy prophesying what we want God to do, rather than what He has already spoken, commanded and ordained (Ezekiel 13:2). Our “faith” is being channeled to our pastors and leaders, but must look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Remember, “faith” in the wrong thing is nothing more than deception!

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