Faith: The Type & The Amount

October 2, 2012

Friends,
Responding to my previous post, I received the below email from one of my blog readers. Since I agree that his concerns are valid, I asked him if I could post his email, and he gave me permission. So here it is (with some more of my own comments following):

~~~~ “Good post for 1st 🙂

I ended up going through that scripture in Mark 5:24-34 this morning cause felt led and that it was relevant. Was quite interesting, I also felt the Holy Spirit reveal with that woman. Like how when she was caught up in the world, had gone to the world and was all involved in the world (vs 26) – not only did she not get healed but she got progressively worse. Just felt God revealing to me that truth, and that its especially damaging for christians to get involved in the things of the world, as then satan can really come at us and damage us. I’ve experienced that personally, but praise to God He’s taught me how important it is to be walking in covenant with Him and set apart from the world, and then like the woman, we connect more and more to God daily, and so receive more and more healing, wholeness, goodness and the fruit of the Lords Spirit 🙂 On a personal level I felt that satan had the door with me with the computer games scene of being able to damage me by pulling me into the world, and when he entices us to fall in one seemingly innocent area (i.e. computer games) then he can come at us with other temptations and attacks and damage us. But if we walk in covenant with the Lord, with those doors shut and no idols before Him, we walk into healing, wholeness, restoration and more and more of the fruit of the Spirit working in our lives 🙂

Hey on another note, not sure if you can edit posts, but when it comes to using the word faith in that post, just thought as a suggestion you could put in brackets after something like ‘However, she also had faith [confidence, reliance upon and trust in God]’. Or maybe just another sentence to explain the meaning of that word faith according to the original meaning. I got that from my amplified Bible, that the word ‘believe’ and ‘faith’ actually means ‘to adhere to, to rely upon, to trust upon/in’. The reason I’m suggesting that is I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but the word believe and faith has been so distorted nowadays. In fact faith has even taken on an occultic connotation in some areas, as if there is this power inside of people and they just need to try have faith (as a human effort, like exercising a muscle) to make things happen, like ‘faith-healing’ cults. Even from this wikipeida link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith_healingfaith healing refers to notably overt and ritualistic practices of communal prayer and gestures (such as laying on of hands) that are claimed to solicit divine intervention in initiating spiritual and literal healing.’ In other words people can start to think faith is devoid from God and some human power, INSTEAD of the purity and innocence of what faith really is, which is a pure and childlike, genuine and sincere confidence in the Living God, reliance upon and dependance upon God in childlike trust and confidence and looking to Him, adhering to Him.

To me its so important nowadays to make that distinction, because the word faith and believe is thrown around so loosely that I feel its lost its true meaning which is to actually put our confidence in God from our hearts, and to really and truly trust in Him, rely upon and depend upon Him in all things. That’s the kind of faith I believe God is looking for. I wonder how many people just say ‘ye I believe in God’ but don’t actually have the kind of faith that puts confidence in Him, trusts Him, adheres to Him, relies upon Him. Anyway just a suggestion.” ~~~~

I did go back to my yesterday’s post and edit in the words “in Jesus” there in my seventh paragraph where I write, “And her faith healed her!” But, a few hours later, after asking the Lord about this issue, I removed it. Not because it’s not important to note that the object of the woman’s faith was Jesus, but because, not only did Jesus phrase it that way, but because I had felt led of the Lord as I wrote that post to be emphasizing faith itself. This does not mean, though, that I do not fully agree that my friend’s concerns (above) are well-founded, because I believe they are. Truly, it’s unfortunate that the beautiful definition of certain words can become muddied.

What I am trying to point out is that God requires us to have faith, to utilize what we have, and to develop it. The Lord Himself is trying to mold us to have this and so we too must work at it. However, so many people who claim to trust in Christ’s atonement for them seem to stop there. They seem to think that that’s all the amount of faith vitally needful, and so they go through life full of weakness and doubt.

I am convinced that Calvinism’s erroneous teachings have a lot to do with this. For from that system of doctrines, people are taught that everything we have –our salvation, our holiness, and even our faith– comes from God alone. This is not true (except in the way that everything good which exists of course comes from God), for God has presented to us His gifts, invited us to partake, made a way for us to do so, offered His Spirit for assistance, and then said, “Choose.” To be informed and invited to make the right choice is not to be forced.

How does this relate to the last two day’s discussion? Here’s how: We are commanded by God to have faith. Yes, the object of this faith (this confidence in, trust in, strong belief in) must be God, and specifically Christ Jesus. But because God’s Word absolutely does teach that He is looking for the amount of lasting faith in us (Luke 18:8), is working to increase genuine faith in us (Heb. 12:2 // 1 Peter 1:7), and responds to us in accordance with our faith (Matt. 9:29 & 15:28), then we too are to be concerned with the type of faith and amount of faith we have and are growing in. Is it weak, faltering faith, or do we act from strong, unwavering, persevering faith? Of course the faith we must have is to be in God! (And true, as my friend warns, this is not often the case as people place their faith in themselves, worldly remedies, and idols.) But neither can we sit back lazily and say, “I believe in Christ’s atonement for me. God gave me that faith and so if I have no faith yet to do exploits for Him, if I have no faith yet to live a life of obedience and holiness, if I have no faith yet to be healed of my hang-ups, then there’s nothing I can do about it. For God is the One who does everything.” To have this attitude is wrong, and it is sin. For as Jesus says, lack of deliverance comes from lack of faith, a characteristic of an unbelieving and perverse generation. (Matt. 17:17,20)

But, for those who walk in the Truth, who strive to know God, who press through into the battle with God as their shield –doing so by utilizing their faith (in Him and in His promises and power) through prayer, praise, fasting, singing, repenting, doing, running the race, loving, ingesting God’s Word, and obeying all of His commands– there will be victories, and faith will definitely grow. But, sit back apathetically, and faith will definitely diminish.

It is about faith. It’s about the type that is enacted by obedience to God and that trusts in His goodness and wisdom. This is the type that grows large and mighty for the pulling down of enemy strongholds, the type that grows from a mustard seed, to a plant, to an oak, to a mountain… –The type that has as its object the only true Savior and God –Jesus, the Eternal King.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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