In my travels to churches, I’ve noticed that the body of Christ is slightly deficient concerning faith. Sadly enough, some churches today have shied away from teaching faith; depicting it as a “name it claim it” doctrine and that is the farthest thing from the truth. Living by faith is a biblical principle that the body of Christ must continually adhere to. It’s what I call a God pleasing essential and must be present in our lives at all times.
For many of the people in the Old Testament faith was a very present experience. It played a major role in their spiritual lives. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and many others were all described as living by faith; believing, trusting in God and His word. The same goes for the followers of Christ in the New Testament as well. They all learned to stand firm and “fight the good fight of faith” (I Timothy 6:12). Today, nothing has changed. Faith is faith and it is what we must live by. If you are looking for a way around it, put it out of your mind. There are no short cuts or loopholes in the bible concerning faith. Attempting to do so will displease God and render you ineffective in your walk with the Lord.
Heb.11: 1 tells us that faith is for now. It operates in the present and becomes active the moment you speak it. Here’s how the scripture reads. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith brings things hoped for from the supernatural realm into the NATURAL -material realm. So you see, when we pray, our faith becomes the substance that makes up the reality of those things hoped for! Many times the things we are hoping for are unavailable for us to touch or see. It may be something God put in our heart and doesn’t even exist in the natural yet, so they are things not seen. Like the definition says, “no material evidence”. Then it becomes a matter of patience, walking by faith and waiting on God, knowing that His timing is perfect. So don’t loose heart. Stand firm in the confession of your faith and don’t waver; it will surely come to pass.
Throughout the bible, faith has always played an instrumental role in man’s relationship with God. The bible says, “For whatever is not of faith is a sin” (Romans 14:23). For that reason our walk with God must be a “faith walk.” It must be constantly activated and kept at a certain level. For example, when we are not consistent concerning the things of God, such as attending church, reading the word, praying regularly, listening to Christian music and having fellowship with other believers, your faith will grow weak and your relationship with God will suffer. Fear and anxiety will begin to creep into your life and you will find that just trusting God for the everyday things will become a challenge to you. The good news is however Romans 10:17, it shows us how to increase and sustain that level of God pleasing faith. “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” It’s that simple! By exposing ourselves to the precious word of God, faith comes. Whenever the Word is spoken, self-read, preached, taught or sung, faith will come. When it comes, we must put it into action. The bible says, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). You see, works is a faith activator and faith is a works motivator. You can’t have one without the other. They are supernaturally connected. When you have a corresponding action mixed with faith, it will provide for you an entrance into the realm of the supernatural. For example, Christians live defeated unstable lives because they are sight walkers! That’s right; if you can see it or touch it you can believe it. Faith is not always seeing and touching. Faith operates in the unseen supernatural realm, therefore you must not be afraid to step out in faith, 2 Corinthians 5:7 says we are to “walk by faith and not by sight.” Even though you continue to see things in the natural, you must put on your spiritual eyeglasses, trust God and not lean unto the arm of the flesh. I know it takes boldness to do, and it can be difficult, but you must trust the Lord and His Word and take that step of faith. By trusting and relying on the promises of God, it will provide for you a firm foundation on which to stand. And stand you must, convinced in your heart that God is in control and has heard your prayer request.
Now for most of us, the hard part is waiting on God for the answer. During this period of time however long it may be, you must remain diligent to guard your heart. Do not permit doubt to penetrate the perimeter defenses of your faith. Here’s what James 1:6-8 has to say about doubt.” But let him ask in faith with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven. and tossed by the wind for let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double- minded man, unstable in all his ways.” Again the key word here is doubt. It is a FAITH DEACTIVATOR. It will stop our works, kill our faith, and render whatever we are doing for God ineffective. However, when we walk by faith it will change the atmosphere of our lives and we will see results every time.
In 2 Corinthians 13: 5, Paul presents us with this challenge “Prove yourselves do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed, you are disqualified.” When we remain in faith, we will always be (qualified), that is to be convinced, committed, steadfast and well trained, moving forward in the spiritual realm; well suited for whatever the Lord calls on us to do. Additionally, it will produce in us a deep dependence and trust in God and we will always be ready when the Master calls. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” Hebrews 11: 6.