BARNABAS BULLETIN ~ 0169
SEEKING TO UNDERSTAND FAITH MORE
Faith is an essential part of Christianity. But do we understand what faith is, how we receive it, and how we grow in our faith personally? The Bible is clear in telling us that “without faith it is impossible to please Him (God),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, NKJV). The word “faith” is interpreted from the Greek word “pistis” and means “Faith, i.e. firm persuasion, the conviction which is based upon hearing, not upon sight or knowledge; a firmly relying confidence in what we hear from God in His Word” (Bullinger’s). The word “diligently” is interpreted from the Greek word “ekseteo” and means “speedily, earnestly, eagerly” (Bullinger’s); “to search out, investigate, crave, demand, seek after” (Strong’s). Faith should activate us to give ourselves to demonstrate to God by our seeking that we are desiring to please Him. It is not a passive word, but an action word. If we desire anything strong enough we will put aside other lesser desires in order to get what our strongest desire is. It takes commitment and action. Another important Scripture is: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The “word” of God here is the “rhema” word or “the present-tense now quickened word from the Lord”. That can come through His voice or the Holy Spirit “making alive” the written word to our hearts and understanding. Faith comes through a revelation of the Holy Spirit to us. When we catch or believe that word, then faith is quickened and made alive within us. The next step is that we must demonstrate our believing to God Himself by translating that which we have heard inwardly into a practical outworking from our hearts and lives. To do nothing when God speaks to us will cause whatever He speaks to us to be lost, and our faith will die. So many Christians do not understand that faith is an action. It is more than committing whatever God says to us to prayer. We can pray and pray, and produce nothing ~ if there are no actions to demonstrate what we believe.
THE PROPHETIC MINISTRY IS IMPORTANT ~ IT IS ALL ABOUT HEARING FROM GOD AND DOING WHATEVER HE TELLS US!
This is why the Prophetic Ministry is so important today. The Prophetic Ministry is all about our ability to recognize the voice of God in whatever way it comes to us. In the Bible God spoke in more than 40 different ways, so it is crucial that we know the voice of God. Let us not limit God by restricting Him as to how He can speak to us. I meet Christians who tell me that “God only speaks through the Bible.” Yes, God does speak through the Bible. But it is not the only way He speaks to us. He still speaks today through the Holy Spirit of Truth. He speaks through the Spiritual Gifts; the five-fold ministry giftings; through pictures, visions and dreams, and numbers of other ways. We need to know and listen to Him when He speaks to us ~ in whatever way He speaks to us ~ because the result of our hearing, receiving and believing what He says releases faith within us to be able to obey whatever it is He is asking of us, or telling us.
The Bible (Word of God) is our confirmation that the voice we are hearing is right and from God, for God will never contradict or violate the principles of Scripture. That is why it is so important that Christians know what the Bible teaches! Deception thrives when Christians are ignorant of the principles of Scripture ~ and there is plenty of deception in the “Christian ranks” today!
God speaks through the operation of the Nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12 to 14). Each one of those gifts are activated when the Holy Spirit shows us/tells us to say or do something. We must “earnestly desire” those gifts to operate in and through our lives (1 Corinthians 12:31 & 14:1, 39). We cannot be passive about them and expect to see them functioning through us. Exercising Spiritual Gifts has helped me tremendously to recognize the voice of God to me more clearly. Things happen when we obey the Holy Spirit that will happen no other way. We see more signs, wonders, healings and miracles when we listen to the Holy Spirit and follow His instructions than by our simply speaking what we think is right for a particular situation. It is so easy for us to get into a habit of doing things the same way ~ then we wonder why there is no power in the midst.
The power of God is demonstrated through faith, which is our obedience to the spoken word of the Lord to us.
Faith is not theology.
Faith is listening to God with a commitment to doing whatever He says. That makes a huge difference in what we are able to accomplish to the glory of God.
SO, WHAT IS YOUR FAITH ACCOMPLISHING?
Our hearing the voice of God, believing it, and committing to it in acts of obedience causes our faith to accomplish things that can be accomplished no other way.
Faith releases the hand of God to do what He promises us.
Faith can be measured by what we are producing through it.
In reality, faith is all about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, knowing Him, getting to know His voice more clearly.
Faith comes as a result of a love relationship with Jesus ~ a love that makes us desire to please Him. We obey Him because we love Him, and want His will to be done in our lives.
I am so glad that I learned to put Jesus Christ first in my life and to be committed to knowing His voice. When I was just 18 years of age, the Holy Spirit spoke these words to me: “If you will get to know My voice and do what I ask you, there is nowhere in this world where you and I cannot go together, and we be not successful.” Those words have motivated me for many years and I have lived to see the fulfilment of them many times over. When we listen to the voice of God with a commitment to doing whatever He says, then we will know a faith that accomplishes far more than one can imagine. I am amazed at what we have been able to accomplish through The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry ~ a Ministry that operates entirely on faith, in that we do not know where our next dollar is coming from. Yet we see God supply the needs over and over again and enabling us to touch multiplied thousands of lives around the world. Faith ~ the action of faith ~ accomplishes what nothing else can! That’s why Jesus Christ has called you and me to a life of active faith, so we can be partners together in the purposes of God, accomplishing things that can be accomplished no other way ~ and pleasing God through our believing and acting upon what He says to us. All Praise to the Lord! ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Prayer: "Dear Lord, please help me to hear and know Your voice more clearly; and to clarify my vision so I can be much more motivated and effective in exercising my faith ~ that faith which pleases You. Thank You, Lord, that You want only the very best for my life. Please reveal more of Your purpose to me. In Jesus’ Name I pray this, Amen.”