written by traveler
Faith is the one subject that is so vitally important to a persons spiritual walk but for some reason so very misunderstood and so hard to define in a manner that others can grasp. Faith is not the actual cause for any miracle but it is impossible to actually have the miracle without faith either. God will make the miracle happen but it is your faith in God that opens the door for God to do it.
You can only have faith in something or someone that you believe in. To believe that God is and that he has an interest in us is a start but then again the devil also knows that God is and that doesn’t help the devil much does it. To trust that what God has said and that he has your better interests at hart is faith. Now you have both belief and faith which is your starting point.
The next prerequisite is that you believe the right things and have faith in the right things. That requires that you understand who God is and from a Christian perspective you understand who Jesus is and how Jesus and God interrelate and where you fit in. For every promise in the scriptures there is a requirement. Yes every Christian can and should see the Spirit of God working in their lives but most don’t. That is because God will only give his confirmation to the saint when the saint does things according to what God instructed. This is Gods teaching tool, The saint gets his doctrine or motives correct God will confirm what the saint confessors with the signs and wonders following. If the saint is off base and going off into the imaginations then the Lord withdraws till the saint gets their act together.
Nothing has changed since this time;
Mar 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
Mar 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Notice that the saints here were doing what the Lord Jesus told them to do and because they were doing it right they had the demonstrations of the supernatural come and confirm that what they preached was correct. So in effect what you believe has to be right and you have to have faith in what you believe. That basically gets you to a starting point in a spiritual walk. One thing to also consider is just what exactly is it that you expect from your spiritual walk. From the Christian perspective, does your expectations line up with the scriptures that the Christian faith is based on and by that I mean all the scriptures in harmony, not selected verses that only say what you want them to while brushing aside the rest which seems to be the trend now days. Faith in God with the wrong motive gets you nowhere. And your faith has to start with Christ and his atonement as he is the only way to get to the God of the Bible anyway.
Now it may be a good idea to look at some examples of faith in action so as to gain some insight in putting a definition to the understanding of faith. This story about the Roman centurion is rather interesting.
Mat 8:5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
Mat 8:6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
Mat 8:7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
Mat 8:8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
Mat 8:9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Mat 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 8:13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
This centurion was probably from a pagan background but as he was stationed in Jerusalem he probably had some idea of the Jewish God and their belief structures, However he obviously had also heard of Jesus and went out of his way to find him when his servant was sick. Interestingly enough what he believed about Jesus was that he was a man that had authority to take command over demons and sickness. In fact he had so much FAITH in Jesus that he saw no need for Jesus to actually come to the side of the servant to heal him. He believed that Jesus had the spiritual authority to basically just give the order for the sickness to depart and it would be compelled to do so. Jesus recognized this mans faith and equated it with his beliefs and told him to return as he would heal his servant in accordance with his belief and the faith demonstrated in himself. Jesus also noted that there was more faith to be found in this Roman pagan than what he had seen in all Israel. But note that this centurion had not placed his faith in some pagan god, he had placed his faith in Jesus to heal his servant. Where your faith is placed is important. It is not your faith that actually heals but what you place your faith in.
Now this next passage is interesting in that it explains well the effects of doubt.
Mat 14:28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
Mat 14:29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
Mat 14:30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
Mat 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
Mat 14:32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
Mat 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
Now Peter actually got out the boat and was actually walking on the water. The miracle was actually taking place and he was successfully walking on the water towards Jesus, then he stopped to consider his circumstances and looked at the wind whipping up the waves etc and started to panic. Fear leads to doubt and doubt leads to loss of faith and with the faith gone the power that enabled him to walk on the water in the first place parted from him and he sank. Doubt has exactly the same effects as unconfessed sin. In his case he was lucky that Jesus was actually there to catch him physically but for us this story is a good example of the working of faith in action.
It was not the faith itself that let Peter walk on water. It was his faith in Jesus and as long as he had the confidence that Jesus had called him he could walk on the water but when he took his eyes of Christ and looked at the situation he was in every thing fell to pieces for him. To walk by faith and not by sight refers to this incident. You have placed your faith in God and his Son so stand fast. It matters not what is happening in the circumstances around you.
Mat 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
Mat 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
As can be seen, faith and doubt are exact opposites like black and white or good and evil. The one will not work in the presence of the other. The faith is mentioned in relation to prayer. You are praying to the Father so in this case you have faith in the Father God that he will do for you what you have asked in the prayer.
Now this next passage shows just how damaging a lack of faith or unbelief can actually be.
Mar 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
Mar 6:4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
Mar 6:5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
Mar 6:6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
I have noticed that there are some out there that make wild claims of where Jesus was from the time he was speaking to the priests in the temple when he was twelve years old and the time he started his ministry. Well this passage indicates exactly where he was. He was in his home town workings as the local carpenter.
This situation occurred in his own home town. He was known by all in the area, His family as in half brothers and sisters were known, His mother was known, The local people recognized him and knew him as they all grew up with him. They did not think anything special about him because they were all familiar with him. They did not expect to see anything great in him and they got what they expected. As far as they were concerned he was just the local carpenter that had gone all religious on them. They just could not see how this local boy could be the Christ and they could not see anything about his siblings and family that could make him special either. They had no faith in him what so ever as he was to them just what they saw, the local boy from down the street.
The total lack of faith and belief in who he was and what he said was the very thing that completely blocked any great move of the Holy Spirit in that area. Even Christ himself was taken aback at the total lack of faith in his own home town, though he did acknowledge the reason for it. But this does make it very clear that where there is no belief and no faith to go along with that belief there is not going to be any move of the spirit or spiritual gifts at all.
It is interesting to note that the Apostle Paul also had to go out of his way to explain just what faith is. At no time did he claim that Faith is a mystical magical force that you have to develop and wield in order to move in the spiritual. But it is something that you have to have as in you either have it or you do not.
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Heb 11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Now lets just look at verse 1 of the above quote. None of us has ever seen God himself. But we believe that he exists and that he is there. That is our faith in action. When we come to Jesus for our redemption it is by Faith that we believes he is whom he says he is and can do what he says he can do. When we come before God his Father we have Faith that God can hear our prayers and will respond positively to them. That is faith in action, we do not have to build it up to grand hights, we only have to have it as in have faith in what we have come to believe in. The following passage reinforces what I have just said quite well.
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Now this goes off into another topic altogether but I thought it best to make mention of it here. Satan does not want saints with faith and will actively oppose the saints by trying to breakdown their faith altogether. The following demonic chain is one of many that is dedicated to this cause. If they can oppose the saints in such a way that they start to doubt themselves and fall into disbelief regarding their doctrine etc, then their faith will falter with it their ability to receive any answer to prayer etc. It starts off small but an avalanche effect soon follows as one disappointment follows another. The need for persistence is required and it needs to be understood that there are forces out there actively opposing the saints so smooth sailing is not always to be expected.
Rhiannon aka Rita -goddess of doubt-under Lilith
*Dysnomia (Apeitheia -obstinate/ rebellious) -under Rhiannon (demon of doubt)
**Pronoia (Meteorizo -anxious- doubtful mind)
***Fides (Oligopistos -little faith)
****Minerva (Diakrino -doubt)
*****Aporia (Diaporeo- perplexed)
******Peitho (Apistia -unbelief)
This unit will also reinforce an unbelief that it is actually demonic influence that is causing problems, and will enforce the belief that the problem is all about the person themselves. This leads to a situation of guilt where the person does not even feel like praying against the demonic as they do not believe it is the demonic.