The Currency of Faith

Matthew 9: 28 – 30

And after he had come into the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes saying, “Be it done to you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened.

We know what the faith of the two blind men. They must have had faith that Jesus could and would restore their sight. Jesus prayed that they would receive according to their faith. It was not his own faith Jesus used to heal the two men. It was their faith. Isn’t that interesting? This may account for the limitation in miracles we see these days.

When the two blind men approached Jesus about restoring their sight, He had a pretty surprising response to them. “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” Why did He question them about their belief? Why wasn’t his own knowledge enough for him? When Jesus was in his hometown the scripture says “He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13: 58).

Many people don’t understand why things happen or why God does not intervene in certain situations. What many of us fail to recognize is that God needs some faith to work with. Our faith is the material that He uses to fashion our miracles. Hebrews 11: 1 says “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” KJV Faith is the substance of our answered prayers. We give God our faith and He creates with it. We are in partnership with God and faith is one of the main things we bring into the partnership.

How do you develop faith? By reading God’s word. Nothing is going to replace getting in the Word and letting Him talk to you. Romans 10: 17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” That’s the base, the foundation. Then the other thing we can do is get around faith people. When you are around other people who are building their faith, it helps you build your own. We become more faith minded and are pulled up into higher levels of faith. And you can go from zero to hero faith in a very short time, but begin with the word and pray for help in growing in faith.

Audacious Faith

Romans 14: 23

But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.
I’ve got to tell you the truth about this verse. I have been avoiding it for weeks if not months. I wrote it down on my verse list a long time ago and every time I look at it I decide it just seems too negative to write on. I like bringing the good news and words of encouragement. None the less, there is something our Father is trying to say, especially when we combine it with yesterday’s Word of the Day.  

Okay, so now we can finally nail down exactly what sin is. It is everything we do or say that is not from faith. Wow! Pardon me while I go repent……. Alright, I’m back. That is a lot to bite off isn’t? But we just learned yesterday that these are the very things which end up putting us in chains. So, here is why the out pouring of the Holy Spirit was so critical. We are to live every single moment in faith and we can only do that when we become acutely aware of the indwelling presence of God in us and with us. God, in His three persons, is with us every minute of every day. The problem comes in when we do not acknowledge His presence.

What is faith anyway? Well, Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Did that clear it up for you? Perhaps not. I like that definition and I draw upon it often but I also have to translate it for my personal application and this is how I use it. At its base, faith is simply “trust in God.” It is that assurance that God is proactive in my life. I love the word assurance. The American Heritage dictionary defines assurance as freedom from doubt, certainty. You’ve got to love that. It even goes so far as to use the words boldness and audacity. I love it! Am I audacious enough to simply believe God? Or even to believe that God is God? 

People of faith have resolved these big questions in their hearts. Many of us have assented to the idea intellectually but faith arises from your spirit. It does not issue from you mind. Those who walk in faith have a deep, abiding trust in God in their gut. Now, you cannot reason with these people. Don’t even try. Their assurance is not a product of reason. No matter how cogent your argument, it will not prevail because they are not listening with their minds. God has persuaded their hearts and the heart muscle is much stronger than the brain.

How can we become as bold as they? How can we learn to walk step by step in faith and trust? It all begins with that relationship with the Father, doesn’t it? Think of anyone you trust. Haven’t they proved their trustworthiness through the course of your relationship? But also, didn’t you have to extend a little trial trust in the early stages of that relationship? You didn’t begin trusting them with the big things, did you? So it is with God. We try to trust him to give us a new car when we haven’t even trusted Him with finding our car keys yet. So start small. Run some experiments. I literally trusted him to find my car keys once. Then you can try a little bigger test. Keep going. You will soon trust him for big things. Don’t worry if you miss it now and again. You will find that practice helps you hone your hearing and your ability to follow his leading.

I want to live in this space that Paul intimates in today’s passage. Can you imagine if we all walked in audacious faith 24/7? Even when we sleep we would sleep in faith. Let’s give it a go. It sounds like a great way to live.  

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Faith is something real

Hebrews 11: 1 (King James)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith is the substance of those things you are praying for. Faith is something real. It is substantive. It is not just an idea or a concept. It isn’t just theology or a feeling. It is the substance that becomes your answered prayer.

My dictionary defines substance as: the real or essential part or element of anything; essence, reality, or basic matter. You see faith isn’t ethereal. It is real even though it is not tangible. A thought is real as is a word. You cannot reach out and touch them with your fingers but they still are real and have real world consequences. Some have said that we are the sum of our thoughts. That is a powerful statement whether or not it is true. Certainly our thoughts greatly influence our lives. And by now we all know that our words have power. And although they are not palpable they undoubtedly affect the substance of our lives. So it is with faith. Although we cannot bottle it, it is a crucial element in our answered prayers.

Faith is the very essence of the things you want or need. And although you will not find it listed in the periodic table it is the element which God uses to form your answers. Imagine, if you will, a periodic table of spiritual elements rather than physical elements. Faith would be right up there. Maybe its symbol is Fa. Looking at the table we find that faith is the key building block for all things spiritual just as the physical elements are to the things of the physical realm. In order for us to operate in the spiritual realm we must first grasp this concept that faith is substance. It is something real. It is something perceptible if not tangible.

The next premise we must understand is that faith is the substance, the essential building block of the things we are hoping for. So, stop right here. What are you hoping for? For what are you praying? Now picture a child’s building blocks. Instead of the letters of the alphabet these blocks have their spiritual symbols on them. You look there on the rug where are scattered all of the building blocks and you see a block with Fa on it. You grab it. Perhaps you can find more Fa. You collect all that you can muster and you build the first level of your edifice. As you look you see other blocks there with symbols on them. Maybe there is P. You reason, “That has got to be prayer.” Another on has Co for confession, another W for the Word. As you look you see more and more essential spiritual elements, the building blocks of a spiritual reality. You gather them up, stacking them one atop the others until you have constructed something magnificent. Then you realize that it was all rather easy and fun once you realized the blocks were there and that they were for you. It is though the building blocks were in your toy chest all along but you didn’t know they were there or you didn’t realize what they were for. Now you know, though and armed with new information you can begin to build anything that you need or want.

There is one more premise that you need to understand though. Everything that exists in the physical realm first came into being in the spiritual realm. Everything that you can see, touch, taste, etc. first existed in the realm of the spirit. Before the earth existed, before even the sun or the moon, God had an idea, a thought, a vision. He then created in the physical that which existed first in His spirit. Every creation of humankind was first birthed in the spirit of a person. The spiritual realm is the realm of creation. The physical realm is the realm of fabrication. Therefore, before you manifest anything in the physical, you must first perceive and create it in the spiritual but now that you have your spiritual building blocks this will be child’s play for you.

So we have today, opened up the toy chest and let the wonder of God’s creation flow out. Perhaps you will identify some other spiritual building blocks other than the ones I mentioned and can write me telling me their spiritual symbols. As you begin construction, though, remember that Fa (faith) is the essence of those dreams you are building. It is a crucial element and must be included in every construction project. Without it, you are building a house of cards. Faith is the substance; it is the raw material of your hopes and dreams. Dream big dreams. Live large but begin in faith.