FAITH OVERCOMES THE WORLD ORDER: What does that faith look like?
Recently, I posted about Deborah, whose faith resulted in a powerful army being defeated. Because she had faith, God’s Spirit gave her a vision of victory. She knew the character of God & what He wanted, so she did her homework & looked for a general. The general she found, Barak, by faith created a militia army, then took his ragtag militia to Mt. Tabor where they could view the real facts about the powerful army approaching. Then in faith, not in fear, the entire army moved towards the enemy, not because they felt they were adequate, but because they had faith that God was adequate. Here we see the ingredients of faith in action: trust in God’s character, Spirit-given awareness of what God is doing, investigating in line w/ the vision God has given, & the willingness to ground ourselves in reality and view the facts of what we are facing—not out of fear, but with the expectation of overcoming the enemy & his devices.
I have personally experienced such faith; 2 verses remind me of it: “In quietness & confidence shall be thy strength” (ISA 30:15) & where God talks about His “plans to prosper” us (JER 29:11). Faith is confidence in God’s character, He is who He says He is…He loves us & will accomplish in His sovereign way what He says He will do. “In His love & in His pity He redeemed” His people. ISA 63:9 Without this kind of faith it is impossible to please God. With this faith we are bonded to Him in a way that His Spirit can flow directly into our life!
Now faith has nothing to do w/ mental assent to some religious creed, or a seminary degree. Nor is it willpower. Faith is not belief, for even the demons believe in God’s existence. Nor does faith mean we are exempt from trials, troubles & tribulations. We are not protected from death, destitution & abuse. Stephen was a man of great faith…he got stoned to death. It does mean that we are lined up with what God is doing, and ROM 8:28 applies to us! Note that verse says “all (our entire lives) things work (are active) together (in harmony together w/ His will) for good…to them…that love Him & are called according to His purpose.” So remember, ROM 8:28 is limited in its application to those of faith. The reason that it is so meaningful is not that we don’t experience real life (like we are in some bubble of protection), but that no matter what happens God turns it to good. What the enemy means for bad, God reframes to good. GEN 50:20
The kind of love that inspires someone to all kinds of wonderful new things is related to faith. True faith has love within it, as well as hope. They work together. As love has a blindness to it (right? they say love is blind), so it is w/ faith. Faith is blind to cynicism, pessimism, vacillation, skepticism, doubt & negativity. Healing faith has given people w/ hopeless medical cases the courage to overcome by embracing God’s healing! Necessity is not only the mother of invention, but at times faith. Why? We see what we are looking for. With eyes of faith we see God’s hand at work, & His answers. Prayer gets us ready to see God’s answers. Faith fuels forward progress. And He delights in our perseverance! So faith does not mean instant quick micro-wave speed answers. Further, success from acting on faith, can flip us into self-sufficiency & ruin what we have going…don’t forget faith is based on our inadequacy & His adequacy. As the Word says, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”(!)(2 COR 4:7) Faith is lining up w/ what God is doing, it is not a power that forces Him…for instance, the name it & claim it, visualize it, willpower idea of “faith” is not the faith I am speaking about. On the other hand, our confidence in God increases as we step out in faith & God supplies, so our faith increases.
Like David telling Saul that He would challenge Goliath, if you share God’s vision of faith, people will try to tear it to shreds, alter it, mutilate it, stop it, discourage it, etc. Bear in mind they didn’t get the vision so it doesn’t mean much to them. So it can be wise to keep what God has entrusted to you within your own heart. Faith does not require you to broadcast to the world what God can do. Plus, as Deborah and Barak took appropriate actions, we also are going to have to step forward and act in faith. But make sure it is intelligent, wise and what God calls you to do. I have seen some wacky things done, supposedly in faith, that failed miserably.
This then has been some thoughts on faith to encourage & edify us in our walk. Is this age, faith is important. It was what preserved the 3 men in Babylon who were thrown into the fire, & has preserved numerous modern Christians in equally challenging situations. May the Spirit give us more faith.