Faith: The Means of God’s Power
Faith is the means by which God’s divine power can work in our lives. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God.
Last month, we took a look at how a spiritual Christian—a true disciple of Christ—differs from a carnal or nominal Christian. We came to the conclusion that staying an open, yielded and cleansed vessel for Christ to live His Life out through us is the “key,” and of the utmost importance. We also saw that the Spirit of God needs to be the one motivating our choices, and also the one producing the power behind our actions. Our responsibility is simply to provide the “faith” both to choose His will and to trust Him to do His will.
Faith is the means by which God’s divine power can work in our lives. In other words, we choose to believe His promises, He then will provide the power to implement His will. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God.
What Is Faith?
The Greek word for faith is pisteuo (Strong’s #4100), which means “to put trust in, to be committed to, to be persuaded of, to place confidence in, and to rely upon.” As Christians we are to put our trust in, be committed to, be persuaded of, have confidence in and rely upon Christ not only as our Savior, but also as our Lord and Master.
Faith is not only the assurance that Christ is who He professes to be, but also the trust that He will do all that He promises to do in His Word. Faith is not only believing in His promises, it’s also trusting Him to perform His promises in our lives.
Hebrews 11:11 tells us that faith is “the substance [the assurance and confidence] of things hoped for and the evidence [the proof] of things not yet seen.” It’s the means by which God’s will becomes a reality in our life experience.
Real faith is not feeling, not seeing, not understanding and not knowing, but choosing anyway to trust and rely upon Him. It’s being fully convinced that no matter what we see happening in our lives, no matter what we understand to be true, and no matter how we feel, God will be faithful to His Word and perform His promises to us in His timing and in His way!
Our faith is never stronger than when what we are experiencing in our spirit totally contradicts what our senses are telling us. Faith is trusting that God loves us even then, and that He will still work out every single detail of our lives for His glory.
An Example of an Overcoming Faith: George Mueller
We can’t talk about the subject of faith without expounding on the life and ministry of George Mueller, the famous English teacher of the 1800s. By faith alone, Mueller overcame huge obstacles and established orphanages throughout England that fed and housed thousands of orphans.
Mr. Mueller believed that faith rested upon the Word of God alone. He said, “When sight ceases, then faith has a chance to work.” As long as there was any possibility of human success, he felt that faith could accomplish nothing. His motto was “God is able to do this; I cannot.” His greatest desire was to live a public life of faith so that other people’s trust in God would be strengthened. He felt it would be living proof that faith works if he, a poor man, without asking the aid or nances of anyone, could simply by prayer and faith have all the needs of the orphanages met. When there was no money, as happened often, he would simply say, “The Lord in His wisdom and love has not sent help, but I believe, in due time He will.” He didn’t know how God would do it or when He would do it, but he trusted that God would do it. And, of course, God always did!
These kinds of choices are called faith choices or non-feeling choices. They are choices to believe and trust in God (regardless of how we feel, what we think or what we desire) in the midst of huge obstacles, barriers, and roadblocks. Faith choices are simply saying, “not my will (my thoughts, my desires), but Thine,” just like Jesus did in Matthew 26:39.
As a result of George Mueller’s life of prayer and faith, he was given the necessary money to build three orphanages that housed and fed more than two thousand English children at a time, buy all the furniture and supplies needed to furnish and run the homes, and hire all the needed personnel to manage the facilities. Mueller expected God to answer his prayers and he expected God’s blessings on his labor of love. And he always received both!
Mr. Mueller epitomized Galatians 3:11: “The just shall live by faith.”
Faith is the key that opens the door to our spiritual victory and what will enable us to walk triumphantly. We need faith in order to choose God’s will and we also need faith in order to trust God’s power to implement His will. He is the only One who can provide us with power to overcome the world, the esh and the devil. Our responsibility is simply to have the faith that He will.
Faith, then, is the means by which God’s supernatural power is appropriated. (Romans 4:20–21)
Don’t Give Up the Fight
There is an interesting parallel between the Exodus generation in the Old Testament and many believers of today. The Old Testament generation had God’s promises, but they failed to claim them because they didn’t mix His promises with faith (Hebrews 4:2). God’s promises are only profitable if they are implemented by faith. That was true then, and it’s also true now! God will reveal Himself when we take that rst step of faith.
Many believers today give up the ght because they don’t see or understand how God will provide for them or how He will help them in their difficult situations. In other words, because they don’t “see,” they lose their faith, become weary and are unable to persevere.
Just yesterday, a friend called and said he was “checking out” because his life situation was too overwhelming to go on. Rather than trying any longer to be an overcomer in his situation, he was “throwing in the towel” and going to allow the situation to overtake him. This seems to be characteristic of many believers today. Because their situations don’t change or improve, they become discouraged and depressed. They pray, they believe, and they trust God, but nothing happens; then, they pray, believe, and trust God again, but the situation still remains the same. Finally, they just stop believing, stop trusting and simply “give up.” As a consequence, they not only lose sight of God’s personal Love, they also lose the “hope of their salvation”—i.e., the reason they were called in the first place.
Proverbs 13:12 tells us this attitude “makes the heart sick.” And, of course, it’s true, hopelessness causes discouragement, depression, and lack of purpose which then does make our hearts sick. The end of Proverbs 13:12, however, tells us that the hope can only be restored and realized when by faith we embrace God’s ultimate purpose for our lives—which is our inheritance in Christ in the coming kingdom. This is the “hope” that becomes a tree of Life and will sustain us through the difficult times.
We certainly understand how challenging it is to continue to have faith and choose over and over and over again to trust God, especially when we don’t see any changes or answers in our situation. We really do know, because we’ve been there! But the truth is, there isn’t any other choice. That’s what “faith” is all about. If we stop choosing to have faith and if we stop trusting the Lord, the situation is doomed to fail and the enemy will rejoice. Once again, faith is “the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen!”
We must take our eyes off the temporal situations and focus on God’s eternal plan. That’s our hope! That’s our destiny! And that’s our future! Not the temporal things of today.
Unfortunately we cannot nd that hope we are looking for—that “tree of Life”—by any other means or through any other way, but the way God has planned from the very beginning. He created us, He called us, and He has instilled that ultimate purpose in our hearts. And the only way it will be realized is when we, by faith, align ourselves with His plan.
I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers…that ye may know what is the hope of His calling…what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe… — Ephesians 1:16–19
by Nancy Missler, from “The Kingdom, Power, and Glory”
©2012 The King’s High Way Ministries, all rights reserved