Real Living Faith.

Have you ever wondered how you can know what constitutes the faith that God is looking for in his people. If God is looking for faith then we ought to know what HE means by faith or we could miss out on what he has planned for us.

The scriptures tell us that everything starts with Love from God, because God is love. Everything that we ARE as Christians is because of the love we have from God and which we then show to others. But, everything that we DO as Christians is because of faith. As the scriptures say, 'without faith it's impossible to please God'.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

In this short passage is the information that faith has to underpin what we do that will please God and it goes on to give part of the overall definition of what that faith is like. To have faith means as a start that you believe God exists. You believe he is real and is to be approached on a personal level. The other introductory point about faith is that you must believe God IS a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

My own emphasis on this is to note that it says that God IS a rewarder of those who seek him. Not 'may be', or 'can be', or 'might be', but IS a rewarder of those who come to him. The other thing to note is that it says he is a rewarder of those who seek HIM, not those who incessantly badger him because they seek some thing!

The interesting thing is that God's goodness comes to us as a result or in proportion to how well we know him, through our seeking after HIM. Have a look at what God says through the Apostle Peter in his second letter in the context of grace and peace.

2 Pet 1:1-2 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

So faith, and also grace and peace as well, comes to us more and more as we grow in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. It is not according to how much you pray for it, though prayer is important. It's according to how much you KNOW God.

As we study God's word to seek Him and as we meditate on God's word to gain greater insights about Him and as God gives us revelation about Himself we get to know God and Jesus more fully.

How much we trust other people depends on what we have ascertained about their own trustworthness through knowing them. It's the same with our trust or faith in God. It depends on what we understand about his character, and goodness and love and how much we understand about his trustworthiness from what he has done in the past. That understanding only comes by knowing God for oneself.

So, if I can just sum up this first bit, "People of faith are people who believe God exists, and who know that he rewards those who seek to know HIM personally and deeply".

So how in the first instance do we get to have this faith in God? How do we get to know God personally and more deeply? God's word 'The Bible' is our guide to what God is like and how to really get to know him and build up the level of faith by which we live. As it says in Romans chapter 10, verse 17...

Rom 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

It's through hearing the word of God; the thoughts of God; that we get to know him and through the knowledge of him our faith is built up.

This is the root of our faith and will eternally be our mindset - "To know God the Father and Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.

We should know God by what he has done and what the scriptures say about his true character. God always has our welfare at heart and we can see this at all points in man's history. God has always been ready to help despite our sins against him.

Jesus illustrated this in his parable of the prodigiously forgiving Father in Luke Chapter 15, verses 11 - 32.

First we see that when his son asks for his inheritance in advance the father gives it to him because he could make good use of it. In the same way our Father has placed us in the Kingdom of His dear Son now because we can make good use of it as we appreciate the blessing.

Colossians 1:13 says, "He delivered us (past tense) from the authority of the darkness and transferred us (past tense) into the kingdom of the Son of his love."

Next we see that even though the son squanders the opportunity the father still looks out for him to turn back to his love. In the same way when we miss the mark because we do not believe in Jesus and trust him to live through us God does not give up on us. Holy Spirit reminds us that our sin is to not believe in Jesus.

John 16:8-11 And when he is come, he will reprove the WORLD of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

When the son comes to his senses and comes back to his father the father rushes to welcome him back. In the same way when we repent of mistakes made after becoming Christians and turn back to God, He rushes to show us that we are always loved. When we return to him He reduces the distance we have to go by coming towards us.

Zech 1:2-3 Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.

Now other sons/daughters may not think that it's fair that God forgives 'big' sins as easily as he forgives small ones or treats those who have committed them just like those who 'think' they have committed none! But God says you all have the same blessings. Ask and you shall receive.

Luk 19:9-10 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

The one who works one hour gets that same reward as the one who works all day. Our God is generous and fair and trustworthy!

We can look at a real life example of God's love and forgiveness which further ilustrates God's goodness and trustworthiness and which should bolster our love for and faith in Him, by following the events surrounding the original sin of Adam and Eve and their children. We can take up the story in Gen 3:6-8.

Gen 3:6-8 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

The first thing to be aware of here is that having disobeyed God it's the man and woman who hid from God, not God who turns away from them. God does not distance himself from sinners, it's sinners who distance themselves from God. Now let's continue...

Gen 3:9-11 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself." He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"

Notice that it's God who seeks to re-establish contact with Adam and Eve. He does not reciprocate their actions, but seeks to establish what has caused them to act like this towards him. Continuing in verse 21.

Gen 3:21 And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

After learning from them their portrayal of the events, God does not abandon them to their fate. He sacrifices an animal and covers their nakedness and their shame because of sin and sin consciousness. This foreshadows all the sacrifices for sin that would follow, culminating in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus for the sins of the world. The supreme act showing that God does not separate himself from sinning mankind; He rescues them. But their actions have other consequences...

Gen 3:22-24 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever--" therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

God pushes them out of the garden of Eden, but as you can see it's not because he cannot associate with sin or sinners but to stop them living forever in their current state. We can see this is so by looking further into the events in Chapter 4:3-7.

Gen 4:3-7 In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."

We can learn a couple of interesting things from this passage. First God is talking with them openly and initiating the conversation when He sees a problem brewing! He is giving them free association with himself. And second, that God (Who else?) has taught that they should offer sacrifices to God their provider and so that they will be accepted by him. We can see God's plan to rescue them fully through a temporary substitute sacrificial system until Jesus Christ should came.

If we follow the course of events further we will get to know even more about God and his true character. What we've learned so far is that God does not abandon us because we sin, and that God teaches and guides us in the paths of righteousness, with the aim of giving us eternal redemption through Jesus Christ. This has been his character since Adam (Actually since forever!).

Now with all the advice that God gives and his forbearance over Cain's insistence on presenting an incorrect sacrfice, how does Cain react?

Gen 4:8-9 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?"

Can you imagine this? I cannot fully. First that Cain would kill his brother out of jealousy and then that he would be so insolent in speaking to God!

Was God so familiar to Cain that he did not see him as powerful and higher in authority and could treat him with this apparent disdain? Possibly. But it is certain that God was not distant from them. He was dealing with them one on one and they talked to him freely.

If you read Genesis Chapter 4, verses 10 thru 15, you'll see that God does not punish Cain with the death penalty but with banishment from that area and gives him protection against anyone seeking to avenge Abel by killing him!

So we can see how it is God's nature to advise and teach and to train us in righteousness, to extend mercy to us and that his goodness is meant to lead us to turn to Him and seek Him. We are the ones who hide from him but he says to us,   "Where are you? -

Isa 45:22 "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

Jesus summed it up this way in the book of John, chapter 17, verse 3...

Joh 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

So it's because of right knowledge of God, his true character, close and personal through his word, that we build faith and gain eternal life. But this isn't all!

There is also the question of those rewards that God says he WILL give. He IS the rewarder of those who diligently seek him. So, what should we know about the faith that receives these blessings from God? There are many place where the words of Jesus (God) are recorded regarding how we receive rewards from God through faith. Perhaps the fullest description is given in the book of Mark, Chapter 11, verses 22-24.

Mar 11:22-23 Jesus said to them, "Have faith in God! Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' if he doesn't doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

Notice that YOU have to say to the mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea'! The scriptures do not tell you to plead with God and ask him to tell the mountain to be lifted up and cast into the sea. It is God's power that does it, that's true, but it's through the Holy Spirit in us and God tells us, "YOU, say to the mountain, 'Be lifted up and cast into the sea'.

The other thing to note is that your faith must be such that you 'believe that what you say WILL happen, and then it WILL be done for you'.

Again we see that faith is not 'may be', or 'can be', or 'might be', or 'if God is in a good mood, and not kicking back on holiday'. You must believe that what you say WILL happen.

This is where some have been let down by what thev've been taught. They've been led to believe that 'God used to do many things, but he's handed over some things like healing to the doctors and depression/oppression to the psychiatrists, and so you cannot expect help from God in those areas. He's kicking back and saving the electricity. God is mainly in the 'after-life' market where there's real gains to be made!

In Old Testament times the peole did not have a full revelation of God because Jesus had not yet come. So they did not know the things about healing for instance that Jesus brought. Having now given us this fuller revelation about healing one wonders why some are so anxious to give it up or believe that God has.

The odd thing is that God doesn't say this anywhere in his word. God says quite specifically that he doesn't do anything without telling his prophets (Newsreaders & Presenters) first. We can see this in Amos chapter 3 and verse 7.

Amo 3:7 "For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.

And there's nowhere that I can see where God says that he's planning to get out of the healing business, or the anti-oppression/depression business, or any other area where Satan comes against his people.

So since this is the case we can have all these benefits for ourselves and others but we must believe that we WILL get the answers we seek which are according to God's word. Obviously what you pray for must be according to God's will. In other words things that God says in his word that he WILL do for us. We can know these things. So when we pray we know we will receive them.

In the third letter of John, Chapter 1, verse 3 God says through John...

3Jn 1:2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.

So if you were to pray for someone to be harmed to suit your interests then that is not a prayer God will answer and you would be rebuked for thinking and acting in that manner.

But when we pray and command things to happen as Jesus and the Disciples did, according to God's will, we must expect/believe that they will happen, and then they will.

In fact Mark, Chapter 11, verse 24, which I mentioned earlier but didn't print out says that we should believe that 'we already have what we ask for', and it will be ours.

Mar 11:24 That is why I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.

God is not a liar. If he says that you must 'believe that you have received it' (past tense) then we do indeed already have it! Our faith makes it manifest in the physical world. (See It's In The Spirit.)

A short explanation of why this is so is this...

Jesus died to give us all things 2000 years ago. His death and resurection encompassed the provision of salvation, peace, prosperity, deliverance and healing.

Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

This is confirmed as being what Jesus' death did for us, by the words of Peter in his first letter, Chapter 2, vers 24

1Pe 2:24 He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.

But all of this took place 2000 years ago as I said earlier and Jesus is not dying again every day for our sins or being beaten with stripes every day for someone's healing. It was all provided then and so we must have the faith to believe 'we already have it' and then we WILL have it in the physical realm.

On the other hand, if we only believe that God is 'capable' of healing us but 'doesn't always' or 'doesn't nowadays' then this is not the faith that God requires for healing. It's not faith actually!

To give an example.

Imagine you were trapped on a train track with a train bearing down on you and you cannot move. You see a stranger on the side of the track who recognises your predicament but also realises that if he tried to rescue you, you would live but he would die. Now looking at this stranger you know that he is 'capable' of rescuing you. He can rescue you! But does that mean that you would have faith that he 'will' rescue you? Obviously you would not. You can keep your fingers crossed, but that's not faith!

This is, I understand, the same stance as those Theologians who believe that 'God is dead'. They apparently use that term to mean that God is not 'active' in the world in this era, except toward our 'future' salvation.

This is not what God says in his word. It isn't that God is not active. It's that we don't have faith in what He has 'already' done for us!

So summing up this section we can say that...

Faith in God is also believing that we have the authority to ask in Jesus' name and believing that whatever we ask for according to God's will we have already received, it will be ours.

When we study God's word to get to know him and how he really acts towards his sons and daughters, we develop our faith as we see his love and mercy and forgiveness and sacrifice and power and his faithfulness toward us and what he has planned for us in this world and in the next.

We can have all the benefits and blessings that God has already provided for us including healing if we believe God IS and that he IS a rewarder of those who seek after Him; That he does not separate Himself from us and the more we know him the more we will know his love and grow to love him. This builds our faith.

Our work is to know God better and better and to know Jesus Christ whom he sent for our salvation (physical and spiritual) both now and forever. Because of Jesus we are reconciled to God. He is not mad at us any more! He is not mad at the world! He's not in a bad mood, even! His love is unfettered toward us because Jesus has removed all our sins.

When we put faith in him we are given eternal life, salvation and God comes to live in us through the Holy spirit. He is the gift of God that gives us everything that God has planned and provided for us. Jesus in us will never leave us or forsake us and we have Holy Spirit with us eternally.

We eliminate fear and doubt which limits the faith we exhibit, as we get to know God better and live in his love. God is perfect and God is love. Perfect love casts out fear. And as we grow in the knowledge of God our faith increases.

As we look to God and Jesus as the source of everything good and realise that there is no variance in their goodness we will love them more and come to put more and more faith in them; real living faith.

Do you remember the woman with the issue of blood who saw Christ as her saviour and kept her eye on him until she could touch any part of him for her healing. She was like us today in that she had never heard Jesus speak personally. Like us she had only been told about him and what he was doing, but this word went to her heart and gave her the faith to be healed. She did not think in terms of faith as far as we can tell though; she just looked to Jesus and reached out to Him. So if you need more faith look to Jesus; don't look for faith itself. Faith can be viewed as the by-product given to us by God for seeing Jesus as the answer to whatever needs we have, and trusting in Him wholeheartedly; The evidence of things we have already received but cannot see with our human eyes. Get to know the real God and Jesus of the bible and you will trust and put faith in them so you'll be able to 'Look To Jesus', like that lady did and what God has already provided will be yours.

Faith is that attitude of mind (trust) toward God, that is made deeper and deeper by knowing God and knowing Jesus as Lord, better and better. Paul expressed this very thing and said it was the main message he preached.

1Co 2:2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Any trials that we face in this life are to be faced with faith. These trials or tests may distress us for a short time but we must persevere in the faith of Jesus, knowing that he will never leave us nor forsake us.

1Pe 1:6 In which you greatly rejoice, though for a little while now, if need be, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes, though being tested with fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Real faith in God will move mountains as it says in Luke 17:6 and Mark 11:23 and that faith is exercised and fear and doubt removed by getting to know God as he really is, not as he is falsely presented in the world.

Growing close to and learning more about Jesus enables us to operate in the same faith that the Disciples operated in, the faith of Jesus.

“Acts 3:16 says - By faith in the name of JESUS, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is JESUS’ name and the faith that comes through HIM that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.”

We all (Christians) have the faith OF Jesus in us but we don't always live up to the level that God has planned for us to reach by that faith. Our fears and doubts can limit what God can do through us. Draw close to God and Jesus and cultivate their presence in your life always. That's how faith is increased and doubt and fear reduced. See Jesus as Lord and ruler over all things and provider of all things, and we will build trust and faith in Him and He will be able to use us in the work He is doing in this end time.

Get to know God better and better. As you do you'll learn more of his love and what he has done for you personally and the wonderful future he has planned for you and will show you. And the more you know him the more you'll learn you can trust him and you'll love God more, and the more faith you'll have.

Then you'll ask in Jesus' name, believing that God IS a rewarder of those who seek HIM diligently, and believing that you have already received what you ask for, and you'll automatically exhibit the faith God is looking for. The "Real, Living Faith". Faith that gives us boldness to "preach the gospel, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons", because we know God ALWAYS backs up people of the word; people of faith!


Increase My faith. Click Here.
What's God Given Us? Click Here.
Grace and Law in Ancient Israel's journey. Click Here.
Paul's Thorn In The Flesh. Click Here.

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