Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, but KNOWING beyond the shadow of a doubt, comes only by the spirit. When you turn up a bottle of cold soda, do you need faith to assure you of the satisfaction to come? If you’ve been driving an old car that always gives you trouble starting, you tend to pray with faith that it will start; but when you buy a brand new car, do you still have faith that it will start, or do you rest in the assuredness of what you know? If you truly hope for something, and have no tangible element to encourage that hope, then faith IS that element; substance of that which as of yet, is not. The time card hanging next to the clock is the evidence of deliverance to come, but what if there is no job? The way to be made is evident through the revelations of the spirit. But faith has 2 ends, the foundation thereof, and the transition thereof.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man THE measure of faith.
It’s funny how often we read God’s word, receive knowledge of the truth, but never come to the revelation of it. I need to make something VERY CLEAR. In order to transcend to new levels there must be two present elements; truth & revelation. We so often get the truth of a thing, but too often, never reach the point of revelation. You say to a small child,” Don’t touch that, it’s hot!” The knowledge of the truth has been brought forth. Now that child eagerly reveals that fact by pointing and telling everyone that enters the room,” hot”. But not long after, that child bearing the knowledge of the truth overlooks all that he has learned and moves too close to the source of the heat. Now the physical perception of the heat has given him a greater ability to understand through revelation of the fact. Through knowledge we obtain the measure of faith, but that faith grows through revelation of all things true.
What we find in Romans 12:3 is the very thing that was made accessible to that child when he was told not to touch the stove; THE measure of faith; Just enough for him to make a decision as to which way he should go. With-in every man is just what he needs to accept Christ upon the revelation of His promise. But he still bears the ability to forego the truth. And in them that retain the truth, that small measure of faith warrants the revelation of the spirit that begins the growth process. So many of us speak of the greatness of our own faith but let’s look and see just how great it really is.
5. And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
6. And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
7. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him
8. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
9. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it
10. When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Now with that in mind, let me ask you one question. How many of us, while standing in the presence of our Lord, would turn Him back from coming to our place of need? I have heard the words spoken over the pulpit,” Lord we know that you are able BUT we need to see a move of your hand. Our very presence in this life is a move of His hand, the elements in the universe that remain intact, is in fact a move of His hand. While facing the dangers of the sea, Paul set forward a word that draws the line between common everyday Christian faith, and the latter day son’s of God.
20. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
21. But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.
22. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.
23. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
24. Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
25. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I BELEIVE God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
Many speak of belief, when really all that have is faith. You see faith is something to hold onto, until the manifestation of that which we hope has come to pass. But BELEIF is the element that commands that we already be subject to that which we do not yet see.
3. And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
4. And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.
5. And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
6. Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.
Do you see how in verse 4 the people that watched Paul were without doubt subject to the laws of nature, and believed them, But Paul BELEIVING God, could only respond to what he knew, and that was…GOD SAID. Therefore in verse 5 we see the actions of a man that was either ignorant, or knew something that no one else did. Now tell me, being truthful with yourself, in the moment of your own fiery viper trial, what do you see yourself doing.
In the midst of your ministering of the mercies of Christ, the viper catches you unaware. The eyes of them unto whom you declared His glory are now upon you. The spirit that was compelling you in your words is still present, but do you still feel Him. Or maybe you’ve been distracted by that laws of life fact that says there is poison pulsing through your veins. Wisdom says seek help, but reality says there is none with-in timely reach. What do them that are among you now see? In this space in time that there is nothing you can do but believe God, do the people see one that prays diligently in faith, hoping for deliverance? Or do they see one that never skips a beat, assured by an ongoing BELIEF in what the Father has spoken.
BELIEF needs not to be spoken of, people see it. The question is will you allow your faith to reach its point of transition into whole hearted belief? This is when we become evidence of the Glory of God among men. The men who watched Paul knew only of pagan God’s, and of none that would empower anyone that followed them. So when they witnessed these things, they could only come to the conclusion that Paul himself was in fact a God. (Acts 28:6) When in reality, he was evidence of the Glory of God among men.
We have been called to these same proofs. But the lack of elevation continues to hinder us. Remember in the beginning of this chapter we spoke about Revelation and truth being the 2 key factors for elevating to another level? Well our failure to adhere to BELIEVING God is what has hindered that growth process. Paul warned us in I Corinthians 3:2 that the presence of carnal desires would hinder us from growing to where we could digest the greater things of God, and even today the issue that he spoke of still exist. Why?…Revelation, but no acknowledgement of the truth. Too many go beyond the bounds to proclaim there allegiance to the works of a fellowship rather than the design of the Father. Are we not one church, One Lord, One Faith, One Hope, One Calling? This is why the word of God declares that the five fold ministry must remain in full effect even today (Ephesians 4:11.) Regardless of what some desire to believe, we have not come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man.
Just as Paul, them that Believe God, does what God says. They are first subject to the leading of the spirit. Not only in them but in whatever spirit led leadership that God has proclaimed in there lives. You have to believe for a whole lot more than just your own selfish desires. You have to believe for the saving of many souls, the fulfillment of His will in the lives of all Christianity, and the unfolding of all the great works that He claimed would follow us. Unfortunately the simplest but hardest one for us today seems to continue to be our love one for another. ( John 13:35)
Our shortcoming as a whole is rooted in unbelief. Faith must transcend to the level of whole hearted belief, or we end up where Paul placed in Hebrews 5:12
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
It’s time for us to stop basing not only our faith, but our belief upon the directives of God; and not what we desire or choose to accept. This is an issue of monumental proportion, and far more than I can address in this book. But let me give you an example of self structured faith.
The daughter of a senior in Christ called and asked if I might be able to look at her mother’s car. She made it known that several mechanics, as well as the dealership, were unable to isolate the problem. After 15 minutes of driving it would cut off and wouldn’t start for an extended period of time. Being one that believes that the full purpose of my life is encompassed by God’s order, I stand strong in the fact that my knowledge, regardless of how great can not uncover the unseen. So on the trip over I prayed. “Father as I set my hands to this tasks that I have endeavored many times, let not my trust be in mine own intellect, but reveal unto me the things already known by the spirit of truth which thou have sent. Reveal unto me the issue of this matter that I may glorify thee”. Upon arriving at her house, I lifted the hood and began to look around for any obvious irregularities. I then heard that small still voice whisper, “look” (John 14:26). My response was, “where”? My hands were led as I reached under the distributor and pulled down on the wire harness, forcing the wires to stretch out of the boot. And there it was, cracked wire insulation. When the car got warm, the boot would soften, and the wires would arc, cutting the car off. After re-insulating the area, I asked the owner to take a ride with me and we were off. But the whole time she chanted,” It’s gonna cut off, I know it, nobody can fix it”. About 35 minutes later, her words turned to. I can’t believe it, you fixed this car. When we arrive at her house, she continued to say with amazement, “You fixed that car; you said you would, and Lord knows you did it”. I looked her in the eyes and said,” Mother, what you need to understand is that when I knew the depth of your problem, I prayed and declared God’s revelation of the problem. I didn’t do it, give credit to the Holy Spirit, He fixed it,” Now listen very close to her response. “Ohhh Nooo, you fixed that car! I sat here and watched you with my own eyes, and you fixed it. I love the word of God, as long as it’s being taught as I’ve come to understand it. But you fixed that car.” She said she loved the word of God, but declared that Proverbs 3:56 was just a line. How? It’s found in what she said, “I love THE WORD of God”. Let me ask you a question. Can the WORD of God wake you up in the midnight hour with the directive to call someone right now; someone who’s in the midst of a hardship that you knew nothing of? The word of God does support, reaffirm, and confirm the action, but the guidance came from the Holy Spirit. I John 2:27 The word of God is in fact milk. How can something so powerful simply be milk? It has all that is needed to develop the spiritual palette. Establishing not only its ability, but also its discernment of what is spiritually digestible. All you have to do is swallow it; but too often we want to remove the ingredients that we don’t agree with. But what if you took the calcium out of milk, the element that strengthens the digestive system enough to receive meat has been removed. Hence the child will continue to be able to digest nothing but milk. This is what we do when we take away from the word of God. We remove its ability to strengthen our spiritual digestive system, hence Hebrews 5:12. In this state of mind, you lack acknowledgement of the full power given unto the Son’s of God. You therefore will tend to walk with a trust in your own intellect. You do not seek the spirit in reference to things that you think you understand, because you already know all about it. That’s exactly what the Jews thought when they crucified the Lord of Glory; before the mystery that was hidden in Christ was revealed. Let me give you a good example of digesting spiritual meat. The offering time had come about. The woman in question ran a day care center and had her pay of $1600.00 in her purse. As she reached for her tithe, she heard “Give all unto Him who has given all.” When the pastor was informed of this large contribution, he knew it could have been no one but her. When he asked her if she would be alright financially, she told him “I have to be, I did what God told me to.” He responded with, ”You have no idea what you delivered us from”. The church was in a financial situation, and the Pastor had received in prayer that God had already taken care of what was His. But more than 70% of us would have choked on that piece of meat and spit it out.
Spiritual Meat: The revelations of God with-in your own spirit, things that surpass your understanding and can only be received where there is true submission to the will of the Father. Know that these revelations are always pre supported by the ordinance of His word.
If the Pastor had not grown to digest spiritual meat, he would have attempted to burden the people for the debt, but God told him it was covered, and he swallowed it. The word of God with-out revelation of the spirit can be a dangerous thing. Through His teaching, we are obedient unto sacrifice. By our own faith directive, we turn it all to benefit our needs.
I John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
This one verse shows us that there is no excuse for the lack of evidence that we have given unto the world as a whole. But there is a reason. Take a walk through the corridors of your own heart. In how many rooms have you hidden factors that hinder you from transcending into whole hearted belief, factors that the spirit of truth has given you a clear revelation of, but still you have not come to accept; factors that have kept you in a word without spiritual revelation perspective. And last but not least, factors that have kept you abiding in a space just short of the inner sanctum of His guidance. This chapter has essentially scraped the surface of the elements of hindrance with-in the Secondary Fellowship. But it is more than adequate enough to provide a gateway of growth. That is to those who really seek it.