Archive for February, 2011


Faith

Of recent days the sad passing of my Aunty Lorraine to cancer has brought some interesting dialogue across my path regarding the “faith issue”.  There have been some disappointing responses.  These comments have come from people a little too quick to shoot from the hip.  Unwise and hurtful!

To my way of thinking I believe this train of thought is irresponsible, immature and extremely shallow.  It also brings negatively to the body of Christ, which doesn’t help our infiltration of the Gospel to a hurting and dying world.

Simply put, faith is believing, trusting in God.  He is a God that performs the miraculous.  He is a supernatural God and as Christians we must have faith.  Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God!  We must believe.  We must believe His word. Someone put it this way, “Faith spelled is risk!”

The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen, as the author of Hebrews says.

What people have called the “hyper faith” movement I plainly describe this way: Faith people are those that are trying to put into practice what God’s word says while others doubt, waver and are tossed to and fro by every whim.

The “faith teaching”, as they call it, has it’s extremes like anything.  I understand that in some cases there has been manipulation of funds for their cause, which is wrong and sinful, but on the whole faith people are normal Christians just endeavouring to live out their faith the best way they can.  We are called to walk by faith.

The Gift of Faith has been given to some and is hard for others to grasp that kind of extra-ordinary faith.  My suggestion is: Don’t criticize what you don’t have, but thank God for what you do have.

If you were sick, I would believe with you and your family to the very last breath that God would heal.  In the sovereignty of God, we commit our ways to God as the “Great Umpire in the Sky”.  He knows the end from the beginning.

He knows best and will do what is best!  We call it “God’s Sovereignty”.  That is the “faith mentality”.

I find that some intellectuals can struggle with these points of view because it sometimes just doesn’t make sense.  Analyzing and critiquing doesn’t lead to the God kind of faith we pursue. Understanding is as important as knowledge! Let’s get both!

If you formulate your thinking and theology from the excesses in the body of Christ you will become unbalanced and lop sided.  Don’t complicate what is straight forward.  Simply believe!!!!

There’s faith that delivers and faith that endures.  I love the quote, “Beaten paths are made by beaten men but faith refuses to live among the dead. If you mix with unbelief the dust of unbelief will rub off onto you.”

Smith Wigglesworth said – ” I’m not here to entertain you, but to bring you to a place where you can laugh at the impossible”.

At the end of the day, all we have is faith in God and His Word.  Nothing more and nothing less, after you strip away all of the peripherals.  Imagine how different the accounts in the Bible would be if faith was not pursued…

–          Elijah would never have been able to ask the widow to gather empty jars that would miraculously be filled with oil

–          Joshua would never have witnessed the crumbling of the walls of Jericho

–          Moses would have never made it across the Red Sea

–          Mary would never have become pregnant with the Saviour of the world!

–          Crippled, deaf, mute and lame people would never have been healed

–          Children and adults alike would never have been raised from the dead

–          Peter would never have walked on water

–          Two fish and a loaf of bread would never have fed over 5,000 people

–          And the list goes on and on!

Can you imagine!  If we have the faith to believe the Word of God, then it seems only fit that we live with that sort of faith every day in our own lives.

How do you get Faith? Faith comes through an understanding and revelation of God’s word.  Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God.  It always gets back to what God’s word says.  Love His word.  Understand His word.  Live in the truth of God’s word.  That is what will set you free in all these areas.

“What the devil made for evil, God intended for good!” Genesis 50:20.

What do you do when your world falls apart?

How do you survive, overcome, and then recover the mandate that God has placed in your heart?

The call of God is a powerful thing.  No matter what you’ve gone through, God’s call never leaves.  It’s “His mandate” for your life.  You may make mistake after mistake and just like David in scripture, you may have disappointment after disappointment.  Grappling, scraping and crawling his way out of difficultly, sin and misjudgement, he has some key ingredients that we can learn from.

The call of God is that inner drive that doesn’t let up.  There’s nothing else that satisfies unless you are fulfilling that call.  It’s an insatiable desire to serve God in the capacity He has given you.

The enemy is constant in his pursuit of destroying your God given mandate.  The bible says, “When the enemy comes in like a flood God will raise up a standard.”  God will turn around the temporary derailment of your life and make what seemed to be a spent force into a fruitful tree again.  He restores what was taken and then doubles, triples and multiplies!  He increases what was so-called lost and breathes life into dead, lifeless bones.

I heard a phrase which encapsulates what I want to say: “Purpose driven to presence driven.”  This is a beautiful key in recovery.

No longer being driven by worldly ambition or success, but pursuing God and His mandate in a dependent, reliant way and at peace and rest in a God honouring way.

These kind of people are people who hunger and thirst for God’s presence.  A people who desire, hide and abide in that secret place (where the voice of God could be heard and His shekinah glory manifest).  The psalmist described it this way “dwelling under the shadow of the almighty” (no struggling, no striving).

These people are saints of God who taste the awe inspiring presence of God.  This type of person develops a NEW hunger for spiritual things and their spiritual taste buds begin to change.  These people arise from the oppression of pain and brokenness to become a person who prepares themselves for entering into God’s presence.  Hebrews 10:19 talks about “Having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus”.  Peter 2:5-9 “come into His Holiest by having cleansed and washed our souls and spirits in Jesus blood.”  God promises to wash us, cleanse us, speak to us, direct us and then He continues to draw us back to His original mandate for our lives.

The call that never leaves, that is relentless, constantly knocking on our door to get up and get back to that purpose and destiny.  That’s the mandate of God!

Sincere worship delights the heart of God.  As we worship, God promises the release of joy (Ps 16:11), strength (1 Chron 16:27), power (Ish40:29), liberty (2 Cor 3:17), transformation (2 Cor 3:18), refreshing (Acts 3:19) and boldness (Acts 4:13)

My encouragement to those who may have lost their way is “Stay on the bus!”  Get back to God’s purpose for your life, one day at a time.  As the old song goes, “Live for Jesus, that’s what matters.” Take your mistakes, disappointments, misjudgments, perceptions, and persecutions and turn them back to God’s plan and mandate for your life.  Keep the main thing the main thing.  Love and serve Jesus with all your heart then you will walk in His perfect plan again.