Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Faith to Live by...

"...The person who has God's approval will live by faith. But if he turns back, I will not be pleased with him." We don't belong with those who turn back and are destroyed. Instead, we belong with those who have faith and are saved (Hebrews 10:38-39 GW).

In Galatians 2:20 Paul the Apostle said, "I live by the faith of the Son of God..." as so we must. It's worth noting and considering that just as Jesus provided all things for us to overcome He also provided us with HIS OWN FAITH! Now that's a thought! We have Christ's faith. No longer do we have to think that we have "little faith" as He often told His disciples. I guess compared to His faith, ours is puny!

"Is not all faith the same?" You may ask, but the answer to that question is simply "No!" Sure every human being has the ability to operate in "natural" faith but not everyone can operate in "supernatural" faith. Take for instance business men or mere sports champions who all realise their goals and achievements via their "natural faith" but obviously not, "by the faith of the Son of God!" Therefore, it can be said without any doubt that both NATURAL and SUPERNATURAL FAITH co-exist. However without Christ we are restricted to operating in "natural" faith alone.

Having separated and defined both types of faith it must be said that a lot has been achieved through "natural" faith alone and those who have dared to operate in this natural faith have been some of the world's greatest achievers! And still they have not known Christ. So although limited this natural faith evidently packs a punch regardless! When people exercise faith in anything (being totally convinced), then it's hard to shake them off, discourage them or dampen their spirit.

The significant difference between the two is that "all-things-natural" are also wholly "temporal" and for this reason it would be correct to say, "Futile is every effort that starts and ends in the flesh" because they are entirely restricted to the natural realm. That which is spiritual however can transcend and operate in any realm; giving "all-things-spiritual" a clear advantage over those things that can only operate within the one realm!

To accomplish spiritual goals therefore, such as our chief commission given to us by Christ (see Mark 16:15-18) simply nothing other than "supernatural faith" will suffice, in fact we need what Paul had, the very "...faith of the Son of God!"

Once again, on several occasions Jesus told certain individuals "Oh ye of little faith..!" (See Mathew 6:30; 8:26; 16:8; Luke 12:28) this was not a mere criticism but an actually "fact." Why? Because Jesus Himself knew that our "natural" faith was puny in comparison to His and wholly inadequate in achieving heaven's mandate! Personally I believe that Jesus was purposefully and continually provoking His disciples to rely on HIS FAITH rather than their own. Once we master this, we too can echo Paul and have "...the God kind of Faith" mentioned in Mark 11:22 and Galatians 2:20!

If there be doubt left about the need to separate faith from "natural" to the "supernatural" 1 Corinthians 2:4 says "...your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." Once we achieve this we can truly become the "history makers" of our generation.

Smith Wigglesworth once said, "Only believe! God will not fail you, Beloved. It is impossible for God to fail. Believe Him. Rest in Him, for God's rest is an undisturbed place where heaven bends to meet you. God will fulfil the promises made to you in His word - believe it!"

While looking into the dynamics of faith, we could hardly bypass the subject of "trust." Faith can't exist without it, in fact they are synonymous (indelible, intrinsic elements of the same thing!) Which of us can have faith in a God we can't trust? Even so, there are elements of faith that go way beyond mere "trust" (even if "trust" in part remains at faith's central core).

In the Old Testament certain scriptures use faith in conjunction with trust; found in such scriptures bearing the Hebrew words châsâh and bâṭach; generally taken to mean; have confidence in, trust, make refuge. For example Psalm 36:7 "How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God therefore the children of men put their trust [châsâh] under the shadow of thy wings." Also in Proverbs 3:5 "Trust [bâṭach] in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

The entire list of "heroes of faith" found in the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews (to whom New Testament believers look for inspiration) were made up of individuals who simply put their TRUST in God! As God "partnered" with them, He added His "supernatural" element to their trust! All faith is a gift.

However in the New Testament faith is considered both a supernatural "gift" and a "fruit." Yes anything "given" by God is technically a "gift" but we are talking in context with the supernatural "gift" of faith (an endowment) and then the "fruit" of the spirit (of character) as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:9 & Galatians 5:22; the significance between them simply being "power" and "life style!" One works supernaturally, the other is "outworked" in our personality by the Holy Spirit.

In his book, "Faith to Live By" the late Derek Prince wrote, "Fruit then, expresses character. When all nine forms of spiritual fruit are present and fully developed, they represent the totality of Christian character, perfectly rounded off, each form of fruit satisfying a specific need and each complementing the rest. Within this totality, the fruit of faith may be viewed from two aspects, corresponding to two different, but related, uses of the Greek word pistis. The first is trust; the second is trustworthiness."

There we have it! Trust coupled with supernatural faith vs. trustworthiness coupled with character. I prefer to say that faith is actually "supernatural trust" on a level that the natural is incapable of. And trustworthiness is part of the "divine nature" that must be outworked in our lives; as we're naturally incapable of being trustworthy in character without the Holy Spirit!

"Now the just shall live by faith (pistis): but if any man drawback, my soul shall have no pleasure in him" (Hebrews 10:38). This word pistis (pis'-tis) is the Greek word used for FAITH in Hebrews 10:38 and Romans 10:17 - which helps take things to another level!

This is where "faith" goes from being simple "trust" (or confidence) to actually focusing on "getting the job done" or "achieving the goal!" This little Greek word πίστις (pistis) is taken primarily to mean; persuasion, moral conviction (especially reliance upon Christ for salvation); assurance, belief and fidelity. "Without pistis it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6). Although it did not say "without trust it's impossible to please God" pistis could literally be translated as the "the ultimate level of TRUST."

Nevertheless just as rhēma and logos are "partners-inseparable" the same is true of faith and trust; yet whether we discuss supernatural or natural elements of faith and trust our dependability rests on God. Without Him we achieve nothing sustainable. In partnership with Him our lives can be limitless! 

Father thank you that I can operate in the very faith of the Son of God! You have provided everything to take me over in order to be a winner in this life. Because of Your faith I can operate in a "supernatural" trust and walk with You in such a way that every mandate upon my life can be fulfilled. In Jesus Name.

Today I confess that Christ's faith belongs to me. All things are possible because I live by His faith! I have more than mere assurance; I have His supernatural faith. Therefore I will achieve all that God has ordained for me. I will fulfill His plans and His purposes. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Faith Acts Like We Believe!

Only Faith in TRUTH - in the Superseding Spiritual Fact - will move God to answer your Prayer and Move Satan to Flee from you as he should.

"...for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4).

Brother Hagin often used to say, "...we need to act like we believe it!" Act free; not bound again to slavery. Satan knows whether you know - your legal rights or not - by the way you live your life and the words you speak! If we act like we don't believe it - Satan knows that probably we don't! Those who have been justified act justified. They are no longer under the sentence of death but have been acquitted and found not guilty.

Note: The prosecution has no more defence against us - no more argument. IF and again I say IF we are in Christ.

Romans 8:1, "no condemnation for those who are in Christ."

The just shall live by faith. This is our legal way to live - by faith! Which include the fruits of the spirit - against which there is no law. Everything about this life has spiritual reality, whether atheists choose to believe that or not, it remains fact. And it is all about legalities. What's lawful and what's not etc... and we as Christians need to know that and not live a life of continual ignorance; for God plainly stated that, "...we perish for the lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). Even though He called the foolish things to confound the wise - He didn't expect those foolish things to stay foolish!! On the contrary we are ever encouraged to have the eyes of our understanding opened and to gain the spirit of wisdom and revelation (Ephesians 1:17, Proverbs 4).

Precisely, we are not called to a life of perpetual ignorance but a life of revelation - as true disciples - accountable to truth and living it out as it's revealed. The term "Progressive Revelation" refers to the fact that by grace we are endlessly permitted to "learn obedience" and grow in our faith - as the young Christ did in his earlier years (Hebrews 5:8). We too have to "grow up" spiritually - which requires us growing from "faith to faith, glory to glory" (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 1:17) it's a process of learning/growing/changing and correction - a time of much needed grace for our ignorant and somewhat innocent mistakes! (Psalm 44:26)

Court of Law
Legal: Prosecution/Defence

Satan as said before is a legalist. Like the best smartest lawyer or prosecution available to "appose" the saints as in Zechariah 3:1, Revelation 12:10,

"...the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the world of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."

Some say that since the time of the book of Job (considered one if not the oldest books of the bible - but not in chronological order) Satan has not been able to oppose the saints directly in the presence of the Lord, like we see in Zechariah 3:10 and other - but we see here in the NT Revelations 12:10 the word accused is used in the "PAST TENSE." So one may want to conclude that he is no longer allowed to accuse us day and night in the direct presence of God perhaps (throne room) but we do know for sure that he could for a season of time.

However notice in the same chapter verse 17 its says,

Satan is not after the "Convert"
He's after the "Disciple!"

"...and the dragon was enraged... and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

To continue the theme of the court room further - let's consider the fact that the Amplified bible calls him an "evil genius." (John 16:11)

It helps to know what you're up against..!

You need not to be ignorant of your opponent (2 Corinthians 2:11). Satan is not ignorant of the facts! Just imagine in a court of law - if one day the "prosecution" or "defence" in a high profile case decided to violate the court, the law or the Judge only in a wild attempt to prove their case! - Their means would only serve to disqualify their end! (They would be thrown out of court even if all their evidence were true!) A Court of law MUST be taken seriously and MUST only be based upon the proven or otherwise disproved FACT; but never on emotional blackmail or feelings. Someone can only be acquitted or put away "on the grounds of reasonable evidence."

Whether directly or indirectly Satan is still an ACCUSER (Revelation 12:10); in fact we can see clearly that he no longer stands in the direct presence of God to accuse us anymore - the conflict is far more direct. "...he went to make war..." Remembering that he was thrown out of the presence of God "...has been cast down" verse 10. Down where? To the earth; "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time." (verse 12)

Jesus' combat with Satan in the wilderness was face to face! Word to word... (Mark 1:13) And the wrestling of Ephesians 6 involves direct contact, "Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes..." (verse 11)

"...they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony..." (Revelation 12: 11)

As Derek Prince once said, "this was direct, (not in-direct) conflict..." mentioned there in Revelations 12:11 but also in Ephesians 6:12 where it tells us what we don't wrestle with (flesh and blood) before it goes on to confirm that our direct conflict is with ranking powers of darkness..!

"For WE DO NOT WRESTLE against flesh and blood, BUT against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" Ephesians 6:12.

Taking accusations to an "accuser"
Is like taking coal to fire!!

The Master Accuser: It's safe to say, that one must not assume to go after an experienced accuser and try and beat him at his own game! Taking ("railing") accusations to an "accuser" is like taking coal to fire!! (We must overcome evil with good, Romans 12:21) One accuser to another creates a common ground. If Michael had attempted to achieve his aims outside of his (delegated/authorised) boundaries, he would have usurped his own authority - thus usurping the Lord.

The Superseding Spiritual FACT

There is not meant to be any common ground between light and dark, truth or lie. So we come against Satan as Jesus did - with TRUTH the superseding spiritual FACT.

A dear saint who had been gloriously healed of breast cancer, shared of her struggle, and in her testimony she made this statement, "all my petitions, all my crying, failed to move God to compassion or Satan to flee! In fact none of my self pity, not any one of my emotions, my piety, nor even my virginity or holy living could move HEAVEN OR HELL - EXCEPT MY FAITH!"

She found out -

only through living it out - that the ONLY SUBSTANCE ABLE TO MOVE HEAVEN or HELL - WAS HER FAITH! God is not moved by many words (see Matthew 6:7) or favouritism - works - just by FAITH. That's why only faith pleases Him because He knows that it's the only way we can obtain His blessings made available to us through Christ. (Matthew 21:21, 1 John 5:4)

Only Faith in TRUTH - in the superseding spiritual fact - will move God to answer your prayer and move Satan to flee from you as he should. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Jesus only used truth - He did not accuse Satan. He used his only weapon - TRUTH.

There is no truth or love in Satan, like there is no light in dark. There was no common ground, because Jesus was using the truth, with the truth in his heart (rightly divided 2 Timothy 2:15). Whereas Satan was misusing the truth, in order to deceive. The motive was not the same. Jesus used the truth, not just to save or gratify self, but to save others.
Lord I pray as Paul prayed: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but
Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by "the faith of the Son" of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20 KJV). In Jesus Name.

Father God you never required us to clone ourselves nor strive to fulfil another man's destiny. Therefore I will keep my eyes on You to hear Your guiding voice. I possess sufficient faith this day to fulfil my divine destiny without any limitations. You have empowered me to walk with You in obedience. I will not come short in any area and I trust you this day to lead the way to success that comes from living in willing obedience.