Monday, October 20, 2014

Have Faith in God

Have Faith in God’s Existence and Abilities

The Bible tells us that having faith (believing and trusting God without any reservations whatsoever) is paramount to receiving from God; it shall be as you believe:
He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you” (Matthew 9:29). 
And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matthew 21:22).
On the other hand, an expression of doubt in God’s abilities [I AM THAT I AM] is a belief (faith) that nothing will happen! So, you choose whether to have faith or doubt. Faith is pleasing to God (Hebrews 11).

Initially, some of you might say, “surely, we don’t need this message, because we have faith; that is why we are reading here!” My fellow brethren, you need this message; no amount of faith you have is going to be enough! The Lord said that as diverse as the various members of the body are for the good of the whole body, likewise the gifts are diversified for our edification and maturity in our faith (1 Corinthians 12:4-5; Ephesians 4:11-13). We highly recommend that you read the quoted Scriptures in all our articles, always!
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord (1 Corinthians 12:4-5). 
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ… (Ephesians 4:11-13).
Faith in God is simply the acquisition of knowledge to trust and love Someone with Supreme abilities to guard me against my fears and insecurities. It is also the expression of our hope against uncertainties by accepting the unseen reality of a Supreme Being (Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:1). It is very true that the message about faith is ancient, going as far back as the first generation of our forefathers (Hebrews 11:4); however, many (if not most) people still fail the faith test today. Real faith is not just a mere academic confession and believing in a Supreme Being. Surely, such faith is casual and hopelessly fruitless because such a faith is not based on a relationship; it merits no change in our disposition. In other words, there is neither depth nor commitment; it is simply just a belief about God.

As it is, there is no reward for an action less, non-committal, relationship-less faith. Furthermore, it must be noted that this kind of faith is on par with atheism because an atheist says: "I do not believe in the existence of a God, so I am not going to do anything He requires from me." Therefore, the person with such an attitude is self-seeking, and lost; they have themselves and their work as their god. At best, they hope that there is no God, so that their belief or faith in no god and their actions should not be accounted. Their hope turns into a faith of an unbelief in the existence of a Supreme Being. What we are saying is this, faith connects us to a relationship, commitment and a responsibility (James 2:14-26), and the Bible also clearly says that “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is [real], and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Another example of how God rewards those who have faith can be glimpsed from Joseph's experience in Egypt (Genesis 41).  The pagan Pharaoh heard the interpretation of his dream and acted by faith, setting Joseph in charge over all the land of Egypt (Genesis 41:37-41), thus saving his nation and other nations from the severe famine (Genesis 41:53-57). Today we have very many people who don't believe the word of God, and this will eventually lead to their own destruction unless they repent (Ezekiel 18:23; 33:11).

Moreover, those outside the Christian faith practice their faith by following certain rites and rules to show commitment to their gods. In Christ however, we commit and obey God through voluntary love (John 14:23). In adding my testimony, no person born of God through the Holy Spirit finds His will burdensome if love for the Lord controls them; only those without love for the Lord find His will burdensome and such faith is dead and fruitless (1 John 5:2-5).

Faith for Salvation

Undoubtedly, the Bible says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). When we hear the Word of God, conviction from the Holy Spirit brings godly sorrow and repentance, and God grants us grace to accept His gift of faith and forgiveness (Ephesians 2:8; 2 Corinthians 7:10). From these and other Scriptures, we see that no one inherits an automatic faith (Galatians 6:5; Jeremiah 31:30; Ezekiel 18:20), but God is at work in us as He places a ‘witness’ of His existence (His Holy Spirit) in our hearts and we accept by acknowledging His Supremacy (Romans 3:23).

So then, having accepted faith leading to our salvation, we are required to wait for our redemption and exercise or work on our faith, proving God in us by our transformed ways (Romans 12:2; John 15:8; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 3:9) and renewed inner intentions.

Faith for Ministry

When we are called by God to perform ministry work, He calls us and anoints us to perform the duties He assigned to us (Leviticus 8:12; John 1:32; Exodus 31:1-6; Acts 13:2) to consider but a few. Many people have written to us asking how to recognize the call of God upon their lives. Others even asked us to go before the Lord for them and ask Him about their ministry calling. Some people that we inquired for from the Lord did not even realize that the work they were doing in the body was from the Him. The Lord attributed their lack of discernment to not having enough faith. Sadly, some of these believers thought that the Lord would say He called them to be prophets or evangelists, thinking only of the official ministry offices. I know of some brothers and sisters in the Lord who are content with doing street evangelism. When we inquired from the Lord for them, He encouraged them to continue doing work for His sake, because the desire and conviction that drove them to the work they are doing for the Lord was indeed from Him (Luke 12:34; 9:50).

Often, people wait for the ‘formal’ anointing by the laying on of hands to accept and acknowledge the calling of God in their lives. While this is a genuine Biblical practice, the one anointing is not the pastor or the person ordaining us, but The Lord (Acts 13:2). In the Bible, there were lay believers in Christ who went out preaching the gospel, healing the sick and driving out demons (Luke 9:50; Acts 8:4). Let us therefore not limit the Lord by thinking that only some specific people are anointed or ordained for ministry work; The Lord does the calling and the anointing, not man.

Briefly, I mentioned in some past articles how I had a burning desire for sharing the gospel soon after my conversion to Christ. I immediately took the gospel to the streets and this desire was fueled by the Lord. However, it was only about four (4) years ago that the Lord revealed to me that He anointed me for the ministry. Therefore, even though my work started in the street, and it still continues, I have also been appointed to do this Online Ministry work for the Lord. This came by faith and the Lord acknowledged it by the revelations, visions and wisdom He gave us.

Faith for Deliverance and Provision

In our ministry, we have had a few people who were unemployed, sick, and struggling with certain personal habits. The Lord told them to have faith and to fast if they needed breakthrough and deliverance. Truthfully, some have experienced healing from various sicknesses, deliverance from sinful habits and demons, and the jobless ones who had enduring faith received jobs. The key is that their faith is resting in love for the Lord and enduring in obedience, resulting in joyful reception of God’s promises. God approved our faith in granting our requests, for our motives were pure, pleasing to Him and motivated by our submission to His ABILITY and Supremacy over all things!

Faith is a Choice

Finally, faith is a choice or option we exercise daily. What I mean is this: we require faith to obey or to disregard the Word of the Lord at every intersection when we are faced with any situation (Joshua 24:15; Romans 6:16). Also, when we have faith in the Lord, we disregard the opinions of others and concentrate on our obedience to Him (Daniel 6:10), thus exercising our choice.

I’m sure you are all aware of certain religions, sects or even “Christian” denominations that use force or fear to have their followers act in a certain way. As a believer and follower of The Lord Jesus Christ, I have learned first-hand that He never forces His will upon us. Forced obedience does not issue from faith and love, but from fear. The Lord once sent me to go and preach a message He gave me to a certain woman and her children in our area of residence. I was disturbed and grieved by an incident that had taken place the day before, so I prayed to the Lord saying I didn't feel well to preach with such a hardened heart. Everybody in our ministry, including my beloved wife, expected me to preach. To my wife’s surprise, the Lord said that she must go and preach, not knowing what I had asked the Lord in prayer. When the Lord gave that message, I was pierced with a deep conviction and shame. I subsequently repented and delivered a powerful message that evening, with the Lord commenting later saying, Your father preached with the fire of the Holy Spirit.

Be full of faith, and live to please the Lord – Don’t just “pack up” and be idle while waiting for His appearance! Do the Lord’s work for His sake, using the faith which was born from the desire to please Him in your service to Christ, the lost, and fellow brethren.

Are you lacking faith in God in any area of your life? Do you desire a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and faith leading to your salvation? Here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance to get you started. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed Grace,
Brother Glenn.