THIS IS FAITH
Have you ever heard the expression “the spirit of faith?” Let me tell you about it.
You see, when someone has an evil spirit, or like we say, is possessed by an evil spirit, that spirit makes him do things. Take the example of the madman of Gadara in Mark chapter 5, the spirit in him made him live in the tombs, cutting chains and cutting himself with stones. Remember Jesus delivered a boy that had a spirit that use to throw him into fire. The point is that when you have a spirit, it controls your actions and makes you do things.
The spirit of faith is that which you possess, or should I say possesses you, that makes you do things that are in agreement with the word of God regardless of opposing opinions or circumstances. It is that part of God which present within you propels you and controls you. Ezekiel said “the spirit entered into me and set me on my feet.”
It is the spirit that makes obedience to God automatic.
Now, not everyone has it.
When you have the spirit of faith, it makes you talk.
“And having the same spirit of faith…we also believe, and therefore speak.” 2Cor.4,13
This spirit of faith, when you are possessed by it takes over your mouth, and you begin to say things that should normally be bigger than you. You begin to say things that make you appear crazy before people; things like “I am above only, and not beneath; I cannot die an average man; I am a light to this generation.”
You will talk above your obvious size.
Don’t you think you will appear crazy when you begin to make claims that are in disagreement with your apparent circumstances? How do you think Abraham must have appeared when at 99 years of age he declared a change of name for both himself and Sarah his wife? Or in the midst of his trials, when Job declared “I know my Redeemer lives;” “though He slays me yet will I trust Him,” and “when I have been tried I shall come forth as gold.”
The spirit of faith makes you look above symptoms of sickness and declare “I am well.” You will look beyond your present circumstances and declare “I am rich.”
Listen to me, it is not every “crazy” man that has an evil spirit; some have the spirit of faith!
I remember the time I had just met my wife. I talked so much, as propelled by this spirit, that she complained that I was just full of myself. She couldn’t understand this small man talking so big. But now, guess what? I have infected her, after many months of marriage, with that same spirit so that she also now believes and talks.
This spirit is not just a bragging, proud, empty-talking one. No. It is one that arises out of the discovery of what God has said concerning you. All you are doing that is offending people is just reporting what you have seen and heard in the spirit. For example, a woman who has not yet borne children reads that God has said:
“…there shall none be barren among you…”
“I make barren women dwell in the house as joyful mothers of children.” Ps 113v9
So she rejoices when people cannot understand. Why?
“I rejoice at Your word as one that finds great treasure.” Ps 119v162
She declares “I am a joyful mother of children.”
Now, the spirit of faith does not only make you say things, it also makes you do things. You know an evil spirit does not only make the subjects speak blasphemous words but also propels them into doing crazy things. In a like manner too, the spirit of faith will propel you to do “crazy” things; crazy in the eye of the public but faithful in the eyes of God.
“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the prince in Egypt. He preferred to suffer with God’s people… He reckoned that this was worth far more that all the treasures of Egypt…”
Now if that’s not crazy. I wonder what is. The man left the palace to commence living among slaves. That is Crazy-Man-Number-One.
Can you remember Abraham? He was ready to kill Isaac at God’s instruction. His reason? He reckoned that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead (something that God had never done as far as he knew).
What made these men do these things?
It was because they were possessed by the spirit of faith. That spirit is that which trusts God so much that no evidence is able to stand against the word of God before them.
Look at Abraham, all he cared about was that God had said “in Isaac will your seed be.” To him, that meant there was no death that could keep Isaac down.
Moses knew that there was a reward for all he was doing. It didn’t matter that the palace then looked like the “happening joint.” No! God had promised a reward and God’s word can never fail. To him, a bird in hand was not worth at all two in the bush. He trusted God.
When that same spirit is in you, you will also take some absurd actions. I have heard people say again and again, referring to James, that since faith without works is dead, you must endeavour to put works to your faith. Well, I beg to explain to you that that was not what James was saying. Rather, he was saying that just as the body without the breath is dead (the same Greek word pneuma is used for breath and spirit), so it is with faith that is not producing works.
See, the lack of breath did not kill the body, it may have died from a stroke, a heart failure or even an assault; but the absence of breath is both a consequence and a sign of the fact that the body is dead. (I am a doctor; I know what I’m saying). In the same manner, lack of works only declares to us that the faith being professed is dead. I am saying that if the faith is alive, the spirit of faith propels one into automatic actions; the actions, or works, are natural spontaneous outgrowths of the faith. Your action is the only way of telling even your own self the kind of faith you have.
Let me let you know therefore that there are two kinds of faith - Living faith and dead faith.
Let us discuss dead faith first.
“You believe in one God. Good, demons also believe and tremble with fear. You fool! Do you not know that faith without corresponding actions is dead?” James 2,20
Dead faith is very common. An average man you meet claims he believes in God, but check his works. He believes in God, he is living with a woman not his wife. She believes in God but sleeps with rich men for money; she knows he’s married, but its business. He believes in God, but cheating an unwary business partner, to him, is just being smart.
All these are the demon type of faith that is dead and just as good as no faith at all. Ed Cole said “practical atheism is not raising a fist and saying there is no God, but living like there’s none.”
A lot of supposed believers also demonstrate a dead faith, or maybe a very sick one, in many areas of their lives. A man declares, “My God shall supply all my needs,” but cannot give liberally out of what he has. That faith is dead.
Another declares, “I am blessed wherever I go, but drives himself crazy trying to get a visa to what he considers a better country. He obviously does not believe what he is confessing.
I have discovered that most times a believer’s faith can be assessed by examining two areas of life: for men, in relation to their source of livelihood, that is money, jobs, business etc; for women, in relation to the choice of a husband. I am not saying this so that you can go and start judging people, but so that you can check your own life and find out whether you really have faith, a living faith.
Which is a living faith?
This is the real faith; it is the kind that takes God at His word, knowing that He is watching carefully over His words to perform them. This is the faith that does not trust in physical things such that the giving of money is not a “sacrifice.” This is the one that bases all its actions on God’s word, and not on the appearance of things. It says “how can I do this and sin against God.” This is the faith that has the spirit.
Real faith is not that I need something, I pray, and then start taking steps to make my faith produce. Real faith is that I go about my duties knowing that my Father knows that I need these things, and He shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
The spirit of real faith makes a man automatically produce actions in keeping with the professed faith. It does not distinguish between faith and practical life. To one having it, faith is practical life. He chooses his job or country of residence based on the knowledge of what God has said about the blessedness inside him, and not on surrounding appearances. The lady with this faith chooses her husband knowing that God has called her to help a real man succeed, and not because he has “made it.”
Real faith is not coveteous, does not trust in riches but knows that God cannot fail. “I don’t know what the future holds but I know who holds the future. This is the faith that makes God turn in His throne and say, “I hereby swear that I will surely bless you and multiply you.” You know, when men swear we take note, how much more when God is the one swearing. You know the blessing will not fail.
Let us see an example of the expression of the spirit of faith in this real faith:
Paul was in the midst of adversity; their ship has been in the storm for days, and the men with him had lost all hope. Listen to Paul as he addresses them:
“Last night an angel of God, whose I am and whom I serve, stood beside me and said ‘…God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you...’I believe God that it will happen just as He told me.” Acts 27
The real faith knows that God’s word is supreme over all circumstances.
This is the faith that pleases God. The believer just knows his God and rests in that knowledge. We are not talking about faith to get an amount of money or to get a pair of shoes. No! Rather, it is a life completely sold out, in all its ramifications, to God; at home, in business, in plans for the future, in choosing a partner etc; a life that is blessed because “his delight is in the law of the Lord.”
Do you want to be possessed by this spirit of faith? Here is how:
Jesus said “the words that I speak, they are spirit and they are life.”
Ezekiel said “the spirit entered into me when He spoke unto me.”
Paul said “faith comes by hearing and that is hearing the word of God.”
The spirit does not come by praying or by the laying on of hands. It comes only by hearing the word of God. That is why Jesus said ‘let My words abide in you’ and Paul said ‘let the word of Christ abide in you richly.’
There are no two ways about it. If you want the spirit of faith, you must be filled with the word of God. What you fill you heart with determines the kind of spirit you get. If you fill it with novels, films, secular magazines etc., then do not be surprised that there are no corresponding actions of the faith that you profess in your life. You will talk about issues just like the average man on the streets because you are filled with the same things. I am not saying novels and films are sins, but if they take more time from you than the word of God, then know that as a kingdom citizen, disaster is around the corner. You need to repent.
Spend your time and money acquiring and consuming books, tapes and other materials on the word of God. The Bible says you are to seek for the knowledge of God as for hidden treasures. You know how you prepare for the interview for the job of your dreams; give more diligence to getting the knowledge of God.
“Exalt her (wisdom) and she will promote you.”
Another thing; delight in talking with people that build your faith, not those who wear you down spiritually, talking about every kind of problem and criticizing every preacher or president.
Talk good talk with your friends, use God’s word to encourage one another and don’t use bad news to discourage yourselves. Then you will discover the knowledge of God, wisdom will be precious to your soul. The spirit of faith will possess you!
And pray this prayer from Eph.1:17 as you get set to receive the spirit of faith:
“…that God will give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened that you may know…”
If you have been reading this but you are not yet personally to God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son, then it is time to give your life to Christ. Pray this aloud:
“Father, I come to you today, ready to live a life pleasing to you.
“I ask for forgiveness for my past life.
“I believe that Jesus died, was raised and is alive today.
“I accept Him as my Lord who I will obey constantly henceforth.
“Help me to know you better daily.
“In Jesus’ name. Amen!”
(NB: For more on the subject of faith; please download the book, “Great Faith Can Be Yours.”)