This word has me placing my teaching hat on – I pray it speaks to you.
The Holy Spirit has been laying the word Faith onto my heart as I have been seeking a word to pass onto the church. In response to this word from the Lord I feel compelled to begin this discourse by laying a foundation of the concept of faith from a theological perspective. This will be followed by two aspects of faith that I have been re taught over the past seasons.
Firstly, the theological understanding. I need to be careful here, for after having studied theology, soteriology, higher criticism of scripture and exegetical methodology etc. for four years, I lost the ability to hear to voice of God. It has taken God nigh on some 30 years to relight the flame into a blazing heat in my heart. Having said this one needs to lay a correct scriptural foundation of scripture for delusion, deception and false prophetic sect workers are only a heart-beat away.
Ones needs to be aware that the word faith rendered in the OT is different from the faith spoken of in the NT. In the OT there were three root words translated faith in the LXX.
1/ ‘batach’ = mans to be in a position of security.
2/ ‘chasah’ = means the act which one strives to be secure.
3/ ‘chakah’ = meaning to hope.
Faith in the OT is used primarily to describe man’s relation to Yahweh, but this understanding broadens into NT faith as the Christ event takes place, culminating in the cross.
Hence faith in the NT becomes a belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and Lord to whom we must surrender all and be at one with God. This implies obedience, surrender, repentance. Because of this understanding faith hope and love are intertwined with faith for now it is no longer Yahweh revealing himself to mankind. Now it is Yahweh communicating with mankind as in the garden.
I pray this is not too ‘dry,’ but that the above resonates with ones spirit and sheds a revelatory light into their heart. We must be wise in rightly dividing the word of God.
Two aspect of faith that I have re learned is firstly –
Faith is a gift from God. I cringe when believers talk of faith as if it belonged to themselves. To my understanding our faith is as filthy rags. To claim the faith that we have, as belonging to ourselves is to place ourselves into the centre of Gods wheel of salvation. Look at Galatians 2:8-9.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.
We must guard against boasting in our salvation for all is a gift = faith, grace and salvation and all that flows from being in Christ is not of ourselves. I know that others teach different from this verse; but grammatically exegetically and the original Greek syntax implies there is no other understanding.
Secondly, we all receive the same amount of faith accordingly to our ability. The reason some may appear to have ‘more faith’ or a ‘stronger faith’ means these believers have used their gift of faith more wisely. The parable of the Talents illustrates this spiritual principle so clearly. Read this account from Matthew 25:14–30. Therefore, do not ever tell other believers that they lack faith, or they do not have enough faith. We all have received the right amount according to the measure determined by God himself; remember the size of a mustard seed is sufficient.
To use our faith is simply to believe without wavering that the word of God is true and brings life in all its fullness. This implies no doubts, no questioning, not trying to understand the word from our perspective, an unconditional surrender completely to the word of God.
In other words, faith in what is not seen; will be seen, and what is not there; will appear, and where there is no way; there will be a way. This means we walk by faith, not by what we see, hear, can touch, can reason through, for ‘sight’ is a faith killer.
2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight.
Secondly, we all receive the same amount of faith accordingly to our ability. The reason some may appear to have 'more faith' or a 'stronger faith' means these believers have used their gift of faith more wisely.
I agree. I cringe when people say it is impossible for them to have "enough faith" because God didn't give them as much faith as someone else. Jesus mentioned a "mustard seed of faith" and that's not "much"! I daresay that anyone who cries out to God has a "mustard seed". If they had no faith whatsoever, I highly doubt they would utter that cry in the first place.
Here's what I have noticed about the people who have "more faith". They share their personal stories of God's faithfulness with others. In some way, they hide it in their heart so that they can go back and remind themselves of their own experiences with God's faithfulness. Sometimes they write it down. Sometimes they may have some sort of object that serves as a reminder or "marker" of what happened. Sometimes it is just simply telling the stories over and over again. In other words, God gives us the seed of faith but we need to cultivate it.