What is Faith in God?
Living by Faith
Living or operating by faith in God will bring victory and breakthroughs that nothing else can. Faith pleases God the Father and activates the blessing of the Lord, which in turn, builds a wall of grace and favor between us and the curse that is in this world.
Everybody in this world lives by faith in one form or another, the difference being the object of faith. Secular people trust in themselves and rely on the temporal world to supply their needs. And often wind up living in fear rather than faith when they find their circumstances are beyond their control.
While on the contrary, a born again Christian trusts in God and they rely on Him for direction, because the Lord gives a measure of faith to those born again Christians. However, it is their responsibility to grow in faith. Meanwhile, be content with your situation in life, always giving praise to the Lord your God because the Lord will not disappoint you. Faith has no part in grumbling, complaining or feeling sorry for one's self.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we don’t see.” You must know how to judge whether or not you’re in faith. This raises an important question... How does one know they are living by faith? After all, it's easy for us to be fooled by our own feelings ("But it seemed like the right thing to do at the time!").
To operate in faith, you must leave your senses behind, faith comes out of your heart, not your head. Faith is a servant to the believer.
What Manner of Man is This?
A man of faith and our perfect example of walking by faith.
Matthew 8:24-27... Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. Jesus was sleeping, the disciples woke him saying, "Lord save us! We're going to drown!" Jesus replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, then it became completely calm. His disciples were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him."
Mark 4:37-41 gives an account of the same event. A furious squall came up and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
The key issue here is faith. Jesus asked the question in Luke 8:25, which is another account of the same event, "Where is your faith?" In other words, "Why didn't you guys calm the storm?"
In Mark 11:22-23, Jesus spoke to his disciples saying,"Have faith in God! I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, go throw yourself into the sea and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him."
Jesus said, "If anyone says..." He didn't say, "Only I can say." You and me qualify as anyone, we just need to have faith in God.
One has to understand that when Jesus walked and ministered on this earth, He walked according to the written Word of God. At that time, 2,000 years ago, the only written Word of God was the Old Testament, also known as the Torah (the sacred scripture of the Hebrews). Jesus literally lived by The Word, or by the truth (thy Word is truth John 17:17), as His Father taught Him. He didn’t have a free ride because He was the Son of God. He didn’t live from miracle to miracle. Philippians 2:6-8 tells us so...
"Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross!"
Jesus walked by faith in His Father’s more certain Word, which is a term possibly coined by the Apostle Peter. "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ but where eyewitnesses of his majesty..." (see 2 Peter 1:16-19).
That’s good news for us because if Jesus could live life to its fullest by walking by faith in The Word of God, so can we (by the power of the Holy Ghost). Jesus said so himself as seen in Mark 11:22 & 23.
Be Strong in Faith
Each of us will go through challenges and circumstances that test our faith in God to the uttermost extent. The key to victory over impossible situations is to stay in faith and refuse to move from your stand on the Word of God. There is a promise in the Bible that provides the answer for whatever it is that you're going through.
Romans 10:17 tells us, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." So, if you want stronger faith, spend more time in God's Word. The key to maintaining strong faith during an affliction or rugged circumstances is to continually confess God’s Word. To confess something means to admit that it is true.
While confessing God’s Word, you'll hear yourself saying the Scriptures and faith in God is deposited to your spirit. Doing this will plant His Word in your heart like a seed in soil and eventually will produce favorable results. You will reap what you sow, a principle that exists both in the natural and spiritual realm.
It is the time period between sowing our faith (confessing it) and seeing its actual manifestation (harvest) that the enemy will attack. There is no way to overcome these attacks intellectually, because man's intellect is no match for this adversary. Satan uses the things we perceive with our 5 senses to throw us off of our mental attitude regarding God's Word. Doubt and confusion usually follows, which then leads to unbelief.
Remember, Satan is a thief who comes to steal the Word from your heart, kill your dreams and destroy your faith. If it weren't for the devil, living by faith would be a cakewalk. Exercise your faith, this is the only way to combat these attacks.
Faith is the force that must be in operation in order for our confessions to come to pass. Mark 9:23, “If you can?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." We must believe that the things we confess from the Bible are coming to pass as we pray and speak them. See Mark 11:22-25
Stay in the Word and build faith in God.
- Faith and Prayer
Prayer works by using our faith and the Word of God. Here are seven steps that can help you see results in prayer.
Walk in Faith, Not Foolishness
Don't misunderstand what I'm saying about how biblical principles work and how to get things to happen in your live. The Bible is the manual for living a blessed life, it is not a magic book. In other words, we cannot expect God to magically cause things to happen for us.
Faith is a practical expression of the confidence we have in God’s Word. It involves laws and principles that will always produce results, when put in motion. However, it is essential to align our actions with our faith to see positive things come to pass.
The area of finances is where people get into foolishness. The Scriptures say that God supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. However, this does not mean you should max out your credit cards or write check bad checks, expecting God to magically deposit the money into your bank account.
I had been wanting a newer vehicle, my 1994 GMC truck was pushing 300,000 miles, time for a change. The word of God says that the borrower is a slave to the lender. I've had no truck payment for several years and surely do not want one now. So I went to the Lord in prayer, thanking Him for being my provider and expected to receive a newer, used suburban at some point in the near future.
Now and then, I would see suburbans on the used car lot with a higher than I wanted to pay sticker price on it. Praise God, several months later, the manifestation of my faith occurred.
I happened to be refurbishing a screened in porch one day when the executor of the estate, which I was working on asked if I would be interested in buying the 1999 suburban parked in the driveway. How did she know that I was looking for a Chevy suburban? I said, "Sure, let me take it to my mechanic to have it checked out and then we'll establish a price." It had half the miles on it that my truck had and there was no rust.
To make a long story, short... Two weeks later I finished the job and left with the suburban, title to the suburban and a $3,000 dollar check made out to me. Praise The Lord, this is just a small real life example on the power of faith.
Shield of Faith, Never Leave Home Without It
It's crucial that we understand that everything we receive from God, we receive by faith. Another dimension of having faith in God is that of protection. Ephesians 6 talks about faith as an important part of the armor of God. Verse 16 says, "above all, taking the shield of faith..." "Above all", emphasizes the importance of this shield. You should not leave home without it!
The Bible means what it says, you can believe the Scriptures and take them literally. But one must choose to walk by the Word of God that promises, "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty... then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent (your tent is your body of flesh, in which your spirit temporarily resides), for he will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways..." Psalm 91.
Indeed, by believing or standing in faith, the Christian can raise up that mighty shield of faith producing a barrier of protection about you. This does not mean that you'll never have trails and attacks but is does mean that no matter what kind of weapon is formed against you, it will not prosper (Isaiah 54:17).
Make no mistake, your faith will be tested right away, because the evil one will come to prevent the Word of God from taking root in your heart. Uncertain thoughts will try to creep into your mind such as, "I'm just not sure, maybe I will get hurt." Stand firm in faith, because each time you are delivered from the midst of an attack it will be evidence of the keeping power of God's promise. a testimony of His faithfulness.
Satan will attack your confidence is by tempting you to look at the past. He'll remind you of yesterday's failures and disappointments. But remember that the slate was wiped clean when Christ went to the cross, your sins were forgiven. That includes past, present and future sin. So, try to root-out any sin consciousness or guilt that may be holding you back. One way to make the devil flee is by reminding him of his future and that he has no dominion over your life.
Be bold and declare, "Nothing shall by any means hurt me or my loved ones." Most of the religious world will rise up and say, "Who do you think you are, making a declaration such as that? Many good Christian people never planed on bad things happening to them, yet bad things have happened to them. Do you think you're better than they?"
It has everything to do with believing, nothing to do with being better than anyone. It's the power of faith in God that goes beyond sight or reason. Take faith beyond the experience of the new birth by believing in the protection of the Most High and claiming it for yourself.
Examples of God the Father's faithfulness and miracle working power are demonstrated throughout the Bible.
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego where three children of Israel, mentioned in Daniel 3. They were not delivered from being thrown into the fiery furnace on the order of king Nebuchadnezzar but their faith in God kept them unharmed by the fire, not a hair on their heads was singed, nor where their robes scorched and there was no smell of fire on them.
- Daniel was thrown into the lion's den and came out untouched (Daniel 6).
- In Acts chapter 16:16 Paul and Silas were not delivered from being beaten and thrown into prison. But an earthquake shook the foundations of the prison and at once the prison doors flew open and everybody's chains came loose. After witnessing this, the jailer brought them out. The jailer and many others became believers that day.
These were people who didn't gripe, doubt, fear, rationalize or wonder why God allowed these things to happen. In the midst of bad situations, the Lord protected those who trust in Him. He can and will do the same for you.
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