Faith in God is a vital aspect of our Christian walk. The truth is that we all put our faith in something. The question is where should our faith be placed and do we actually live our lives with faith in God? I believe that the Lord is calling us back to a life of ‘faith in God’!
Jude 1:20 -21 ‘But you, beloved, keep building yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.’
Our faith in God is something very special; in fact, the Bible calls it ‘HOLY’. We are instructed to build up ourselves in our faith. Our faith should be a focus point in our lives.
The question we should ask ourselves is: ‘How much faith does take to live your kind of Christian life?’
I believe that God is calling us back to a new level of faith in Him. I want to see a new wave of faith taking root in the lives of believers. A faith that will cause us to trust the Lord for the fulfilment of His promises and that we would see wonderful things happen. A faith in God that would replace all the other things we may have placed our faith in.
Here are some things we can place our faith in:
1. FAITH IN THE PAST
We call this traditionalism.
1 Peter 1:18 ‘Since you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain manner of life received by tradition from your fathers.’
Sometimes we think that we can put our faith in the way things have always been done. Perhaps we believe if we just do what our fathers did we will be ok. The Bible calls this a ‘vain manner of life’. We should not place our faith in the past. The past is no guarantee of the future.
2. FAITH IN THINGS
We call this materialism.
The world places a very heavy emphasis on this aspect. Years ago a popular singer sang and song that focussed on this aspect. The words of the song went like this: ‘Losing everything, is like the sun going down on me!’
Proverbs 11:18 ‘Evil people get rich for the moment, but the reward of the godly will last.’
Things may give us a lift for a moment, but that soon fades. I remember one occasion in my life when I was fortunate enough to by a new car. It was the first time this had happened and the smell was wonderful and I felt like a million dollars as I drove out of the showroom. I didn’t want anyone to eat or drink anything in the car, in case they spilt something. But very soon the wonder of the new car faded and it simply became my means of transport.
Faith in things, or materialism, is some that is fickle and passing. But faith on God brings a reward to the godly that will last.
3. FAITH IN POSITION
This is called influencialism.
This occurs because we believe that because of the position we hold to, will be able to influence any situation to our benefit. For this reason many people clamour for positions and they are convinced that when they get there, their problems will be over. Or we can believe that our connection to powerful and influential people will provide the answer we have been hoping for.
Psalm 146:3 ‘Don't put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.’ (New Living Translation)
This scripture is sobering.
4. FAITH IN RELIGION
Sometimes our faith can be more religion than relationship with God. We then put our faith in religion.
We call this phariseism.
Luke 18:9 ‘Jesus also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves, thinking they were righteous, but who looked down on everyone else…’
Faith in religion brings death, but faith in God brings life.
5. FAITH IN MAN
We call this humanism.
Jeremiah 17:5 This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD.’
This kind of faith has taken the world by storm. Humanity becomes its own god and it thinks it is the solution to every issue and problem.
6. FAITH IN REASON
We call this rationalism.
Proverbs 3:5 ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…’
Our own understanding or the understanding within the human race, is not something that can be depended on and it is not something we can put our faith in. The Bible makes it very clear: ‘lean not on your own understanding’. The Bible also makes it very clear what we should do: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart…’ That is where our faith should actually rest.
Faith sweeps the believer out of the every-day, normal run-of-the-mill type of life into the supernatural!
Jesus said, “WITH GOD all things are possible”
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
He also said “all things are possible TO HIM WHO BELIEVES”
Mark 9:23 Jesus said. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’
This means that through faith, all that is possible to God becomes equally possible to us. Praise the Lord!
In English we have two words: a noun, FAITH; a verb, TO BELIEVE. In Greek we have “pistis”, FAITH and “pisteuo”, TO BELIEVE, both words having the same root “pist”. Therefore to have faith is to believe.
The Greek words formed from this root occur almost 600 times in the New Testament. This many occurrences of this word obviously represent a theme that is central to the message of the Bible. To have faith in God is to believe in God. It means we do not have faith in all these other things, but we believe in the in God and His ability, power and final authority.
Hebrews 11:1 says, ‘Now faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE (conviction) of things not seen.’
‘SUBSTANCE’ literally means, ‘that which stands under or provides the basis for’. For example, a title deed is the substance of ownership, it proves ownership. “EVIDENCE” is like a bank guaranteed cheque! - A proof of things not seen; a proof that there is cash in the bank. In other words faith relates us to the invisible world – the world of the unseen.
Hebrews 11:3 ‘By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.’
Hebrews 11:27 ‘It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king's anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.’
The Bible tells us that we have each received a measure of faith.
Romans 12:3 ‘God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.’
The Bible tells us that our faith can grow.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 ‘We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.’
1. LITTLE FAITH
Luke 12:28 ‘If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you--you of little faith!’
2. GREAT FAITH
Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, ‘Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.’
3. FULL OF FAITH
Acts 6:5 ‘They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.’
Our faith increases as we feed on the FOOD OF FAITH, which is Word of God.
Romans 10:17 ‘So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’
The Bible also says that we can grow “from faith to faith”
Romans 1:17 ‘For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.’
God’s ultimate plan for us is that we should live the LIFE OF FAITH. Through meditation on God’s Word our faith will grow. Meditate!
Faith is like an adventure or a trip in which we move from point “A” to point “B”. At point “A” we exercise our faith, possible by way of praying the “prayer of faith”. Our problem comes as we endeavour to move from that prayer of faith to point “B”, the answer to the prayer. How does one bridge this gap? Well, the Bible is very clear on this point in that it clearly states that we must add to our faith “ENDURANCE”.
Hebrews 6:12 ‘…follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promises because of their faith and endurance.’ (New Living Translation)
In other words once we have prayed the prayer of faith we must NOT give up on expecting the answer to be forthcoming. Jesus is more interested in our faith lives than most of us realize. Part of His current ministry is to assist us to move on to mature faith.
Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus is the “AUTHOR and the FINISHER of our faith”
Imagine being personally taught by Jesus? “Looking unto Jesus” is therefore the key to experiencing the “finishing of our faith”. Jesus, through His Word is the One who takes us from point “A” to point “B”. God’s ultimate plan for us is that we should live a life of faith. Six centuries before Christ the prophet Habakkuk said, “The righteous shall LIVE BY FAITH”. (This is one of the two occurrences of the word “faith” in the Old Testament). This statement of the prophet is quoted three times in the New Testament, in Romans 1:17, in Galatians 3:11 and in Hebrews 10:38. It calls on us to cover every area of our living with faith. Let us live a life of faith!