Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
A grave danger, perhaps the most severe people who have been Christians for a while face is the tendency to assume knowledge and understanding of the simple concepts and tenets of Christianity. We assume we know a lot more than we do. As a result, we often shut off mentally and spiritually when what we consider to be elementary principles such as faith, salvation, redemption, and the like are taught. This is a severe danger because the Word of God is progressively revealed to us. No man or generation will ever have all the revelation on a particular area of the gospel in one day, one year or even in a lifetime. It’s just not possible. For generations to come, the Holy Spirit will continue to reveal mysteries from the Word to the church.
9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. – 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)
Just as this scripture was relevant when Paul wrote it, and is relevant today, it will remain relevant forever and future generations of believers will continue to receive some new waves of revelation and insight into the Word that we never perceived. Having this understanding has helped me to pay attention to even what appears to be the most basic teachings on the most elementary principles of Christianity. If we have this attitude, we position ourselves to receive the deep things as there is always something new the Holy Spirit reveals to us each time the Word is shared.
One of those simple principles is that of faith and I will go out on a limb and say most Christians lack faith. We can quote Hebrews 11:1 which defines faith as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. We sputter it out spontaneously just like we do our names yet we are a generation of Christians that is largely faithless and for the most part don’t have the slightest understanding of faith. Naturally, I will provide evidence to support my hypothesis.
In Hebrews 11, the classic chapter on the acts of the faith hall of famers, there is a catalog of the great achievements of these men and women. By faith, Abel offered God an excellent sacrifice having never been taught the pattern or protocol for offering sacrifice. By faith, Enoch walked with God so much that God took him from the earth. By faith, Noah built an ark in preparation for a coming flood at a time when the concept of rain did not exist. By faith, Abraham became great having left his home behind. By faith, Sarah received strength to conceive… and so many other great achievements made possible by faith. By faith, these great men and women subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle and many other extraordinary feats according to Hebrews 11:33-35
If these great deeds were the working of faith, and we claim to have faith and understand faith, why then do we fail to see such proofs in our generation and in our lives? It is simply because we do not have faith in the pure sense of the word.
Faith is not just about believing God, though that is a part of faith. Faith is not latent belief. It is not passive hope. It is not dormant expectation. Faith is obeying God or taking actions to prove that you believe Him. Faith is very active and entirely action based. I know that we believe God. Indeed we do, but faith does not end with believing God. Faith cannot be belief because even the devil and his demons believe according to James 2:19 but they obviously don’t have faith.
19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? – James 2:19-22 (NLT)
Faith has evidence and substantiation. It is difficult to convince me that we are a faith filled generation of believers because we struggle with getting results from our walk with God. Our faithlessness has contorted the image of God in our minds as an unfaithful God. However, God remains faithful to everything He has said but we are seriously lacking in the faith department. A great man of God once said that faith is a spiritual currency and I couldn’t agree more. The level of faith you have determines the withdrawals you can make on your kingdom promises account. The frustration we have and lack of proof is from constantly writing checks that our faith just can’t cash. Lots of bounced checks and they typically come with penalty fees.
I reemphasize that faith is action inspiring and result oriented. Phillip, a common disciple who was given the responsibility to oversee fair distribution of food singlehandedly impacted the city of Samaria and there was great joy in the city according to Acts 8:8. Faith is proven in action.
We need to study the spiritual principle that is faith and put it to work in our lives. There is so much land to be possessed and still so much to achieve which will require faith. A failure to develop our faith is a drift towards spiritual bankruptcy. Shalom.
PS: Pls share generously…