Sometimes I hate this word. We just throw this word ‘faith’ around in the Christian world and many times we miss use it or don’t even fully understand what ‘faith’ means.
We often say, “you need to have more faith” Or “If only I had more faith.” We try to make it into something that we can feel. But one cannot feel faith. Faith is not the same as hope. Faith is not our confession of our belief in God.
Faith is the assurance of the authority that God has given us: over the devil, over the world, for healing, for prophecy, that we can move mountains, that nothing is impossible with God.
We often ask, “how do I get more faith?” And we often respond with prayer…okay, true but not completely helpful. In 1 Corinthians 12 it talks about the gift of faith. Which, tends to lead us down the road of why does this person have more faith than me and we become passive. We hear over and over that faith comes by hearing. Let me elaborate with a couple of stories from the Bible.
Luke 17:5-10 The infamous faith as a mustard seed. If you look carefully at the story Jesus’s answer would be ‘do what you have been commanded to do.’ Faith comes through obedience. That long every day type of obedience. Not the just one and done type of thing. Faith is listening to God and obeying Him. Doing what He has called you to do day in and day out. We need to listen and hear God. Many times we get too busy and too distracted to hear God. We put on our earplugs of routine and comfort and forget about God. How do we move a mountain? By moving each and every rock day in and day out until its completely moved. By doing what is possible so God can do the impossible. It takes time. But before we know it the mountain is move.
So how can we listen and hear God? Read His word, take time to meditate on it, sit in silence and listen to what He is speaking to you. Many times we need to get adjusted to doing this in order to hear His voice. God often speaks through other people, songs, words, and He often puts a reminder through our thoughts or conscience.
Once we hear from God, we need to act. It can be scary to do at times. Sometimes our own pride gets in the way. We are afraid of what others might think or say. God delights in our obedience.
Faith is the assurance of the authority that God has given us. The key to understanding authority is being under authority. Under God’s authority. Take for instance the story of a Centurion (Matthew 8). The centurion had great faith; he believed that his servant would be healed just by Jesus’s word. Jesus’s word was enough. The centurion had the assurance of the authority that Jesus healed his servant.
Jesus called Peter to walk on water. Peter took steps of obedience. The moment Peter doubted God, he started to sink. How many times do I start to walk out in obedience and then doubt? It is easy to not have the assurance of God’s authority.
When the angel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias in the Temple. The angel told Zacharias that he and Elizabeth will have a son. (Luke 1) Zacharias doubted and asked the angel, “How will I know this for certain?” How often do I respond to God, “how do I know this is true?”. How often do I have that mindset? How often do I belittle God’s authority?
It is so easy for us and comfortable to have the mindset of, “how do I know this is certian?” This doubting mindset. Because it doesn’t require us to fully believe in God and engage with Him. We often find justification on why we doubt: I don’t see you God, where’s the money coming from, there is not enough people to do that ministry, people would think I am crazy to do that, no I am not gifted in speaking, that’s just ridiculous, that is impossible, that’s too crazy, that would put my family in danger, ect. We are pros at make excuses or justification. People will pretty much do anything to avoid obeying God. Like getting on a ship to avoid going to Nineveh. But that does not mean that is correct.
In order to have authority we need to be under authority and that comes from obedience. Obedience produces more faith.
Obedience is key to Faith.
If God is asking you to do something just do it.
As a parent I want what is best for my children. I want them to obey my voice. I don’t want them to doubt me. I want them to trust me and have that assurance that everything is going to be okay. God calls us to do this too.