"For we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5 v 7)
Many people claim to believe in God, but do they really have faith in Him? You see it is not a big deal to believe that there is a God and that Jesus exists. Even Satan knows that. The true test of our faith is do we trust God? Are we willing to put our hand in the hand of the man that stilled the water? Are we willing to go where He asks us to go and do what He asks us to do? Do we trust Him with our finances? Do we trust Him in our relationships? Do we trust Him in our everyday walk and in the choices we make in life?
I recently saw a film where a pastor asked every man in the room to stand up, and take out his wallet. Then he was asked to exchange wallets with the guy standing next to him. Then he was asked to reach into that wallet and give the way he always wanted to give! Of course it was a joke and the pastor told everyone to hand the wallet back to the rightful owner, but the point was made, that when we give someone else's money, it's easy; but when we give our own money, it's hard. Every believer needs to realize that everything he/she has, comes from God, and it belongs to God. That is true faith.
Faith is what links us to every promise of God, and it is what brings us blessings. I do not mean a dead faith, but a living faith. There is a great difference between the two. Someone can tell me that they deposited one million bucks into a bank account for me. I can say that I believe they did, but until I act on what they told me and go get the money, my faith is dead and not alive.
When you don’t believe, it locks the door and keeps you from getting blessed. It does not matter how much you know either! You can have all the knowledge in the world, but that does not save you. I imagine the carpenters of Noah’s day knew just as much about building an ark as he did. However, their knowledge did them no good because they failed to act upon it.
Knowledge is great, but what is required is that you not only have the knowledge, but that you act upon what you know and put it into action. It is like saying,
“I know I believe God blesses those who give their money into the kingdom,”
But you don’t give your tithes and offerings. Can you really expect to be truly blessed? Similarly, you know you ought to love your neighbour as yourself, but you don’t do it, can you expect to be blessed? Similarly, you know Jesus said to forgive or you won’t be forgiven, and you still do not forgive those who wrong you. Can you really expect forgiveness from God?
It takes FAITH to believe God at His word and to act, because if you really believe God then you must put it into action!
What is faith?
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11 v 1)
Faith says "YES" to everything. Faith takes God’s promises without any ifs, ands, or buts. If you really have true faith, then you will say, "I believe it because God said it and that settles it!"
A man cannot believe while he is in ignorance, and the only means by which we can obtain the knowledge that is needed is the Bible. Here we learn what God is, what we are, and what God has prepared for them that love Him. Faith cometh by HEARING, and hearing cometh by the WORD.
Turn - off the light switch in any room in your house and what happens? The current stops flowing and the light goes out. It is the same with God. The power of God is like a current of electricity flowing through you to give you power to accomplish God’s will for your life. Your faith is the switch. If you don’t stay plugged in to the word of God, and into prayer and relationship with Him, then the light is switched off, the current stops flowing, and your light goes out and you are in darkness.
Jesus is the light of the world! Stay plugged into Him, keep that switch in the on position and watch the current from Heaven flow in your life! That is what faith is all about! It is just like when you are married. You guys have to tell your woman every day that you love and appreciate her and you have to show her that you love her too. If you don't then the light is switched off, the current stops flowing and the light of love goes out in your relationship. Then she will find someone who turns that light switch on. I hate to put it that way, but it's the truth!
There are four things that can switch-off faith in our lives. I will use Moses as an example in all four. In Exodus chapter 3, God told Moses to deliver His people from bondage in Egypt. Even though God spoke loud and clear from the burning bush, Moses still struggled with his faith.
1. The first thing that keeps faith turned off in our lives is a low self image. To think poorly of one’s self. To have ”I can’t” in our vocabulary instead of “I can.” Moses’ first reaction to God’s call was “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh?” Moses didn’t think he was worthy to represent God and all too often, neither do we.
2. The second factor that switch-off our faith is ignorance. Moses wasn’t sure who God was. Therefore God had to educate him: “I am God of your father, the God of Abraham ...” (Exodus 3 v 6.) Just as important, He revealed Himself to be a God who cares: “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry ... I am aware of their sufferings.” (Exodus 3 v 7). You see, if we know God for who He is — loving, trustworthy, full of good intentions for our lives — we will be more willing to follow wherever He leads us, and we can only know God by studying His word daily.
3. Third, our faith is hindered by doubt. Moses was actually doubting whether God’s plan would work: “Then Moses answered and said, ‘What if they will not believe me, or listen to what I say?” (Exodus 4 v 1) God responded to that doubt by giving Moses solid evidence — turning his staff into a snake, for example. And while we must never rely on miracles to sustain our faith, we should think objectively about all the evidence in our lives and in God’s Word that He can and will do just as He says! Moses basically was acting like “Doubting Thomas” when he said he would only believe when he saw for himself that Jesus was alive and felt the nail scarred hands and the pierced side.
4. The final off switch in our faith is our sense of inadequacy. When God told Moses he would have to address Pharaoh, he said, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent ... for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (Exodus 4 v 10)
Now, we all feel inadequate at times, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s okay to be humble. The key to breaking down your faith barriers is acknowledging your poor self-image, your ignorance, your doubt, and your inadequacies; setting them aside, and then moving forward anyway. The good news is that you don’t have to move in your own strength. You have God’s power in you! All believers must remember;
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!” (Philippians 4 v 13)
That’s what Moses did — and the result was the establishment of a nation through which the Messianic line was established and our Saviour was born! Isn’t it wonderful to know that Moses’s faith increased which is encouragement for us all!
Until we discover what it means to have faith, we cannot begin to walk by faith. Faith in God is more than just believing He exists—it is confidence in Him and who He says He is and that He will fulfil all His promises and bring salvation to us. You have to say if God said it I believe it. You can't just believe some things, you have to believe all things are possible with God. (Matthew 19 v 26)
We must discover whether we have placed our faith in God or if we only are wishing His Word is true. As our faith is tested, the true spiritual state of our hearts is revealed. When life's problems come to us we can either act within our own strength, doing whatever we can to manipulate the outcome, or we can trust in God’s strength, taking our hands off and allowing Him to enter the situation.
As we begin to walk by faith, there will be times when we stumble and fall. It's happened to me so many times I’ve lost count.
However, falling and getting up is part of learning how to walk. Once we get up and dust ourselves down, we take our next step with more wisdom, more strength, more faith. You can never learn to ride a horse if you didn't get back up on that horse after being dismantled. Sim ilarly when I fell off my first bicycle. I would never have learnt to ride if I didn't keep getting back on that bike.
Some people have failed at relationships and marriages, and are afraid to give their heart away again. You never learn how to have the right relationship or marriage, and may never find the one that you truly love and that truly loves you unless you keep trying. Some have failed at business. You learn from your mistakes and you will never taste success unless you try again.
Walking by faith is a lifestyle, a way in which we conduct ourselves. As God moulds and shapes us more into His image, He desires for us to live a life of faith, a life that relies upon Him for everything we need.