Sunday, May 22, 2016
How Faith Works
Faith is what you believe. (In the Bible, faith is the noun form and believe is the verb form of the same word.)
Faith (a belief) is always a decision, based on some evidence, resulting in some action.
Faith in God is a choice to believe what God says is true. It is accepting God's Word as evidence worthy of acting upon.
Faith in God and His Word operates on the same principles as faith in anything else. There are no special rules. It is all a matter of what you believe.
All humans operate on a belief system.
As we go through life we are constantly being presented with information which is evidence that we must evaluate and judge. Whenever we choose to accept the evidence presented to us as sufficient to accept as truth, then that belief is added to our belief system.
Unless and until we are presented with new evidence that causes us to decide to believe differently about a subject, we keep the same belief.
Then as we go through life, we always act (often sub- consciously) on the basis of our belief system. Sometimes we face situations in life where there is not time to think, and immediate action is required. These actions are always governed by the beliefs we have already determined (which form our belief system).
The Bible is major evidence to change your beliefs. It is a message from God, the Creator, who knows how everything works.
As we receive new evidence from the Bible, it may conflict with some of our previous beliefs. But we know that God cannot lie, and whatever He says is truth and will happen.
MARK 11:22-24 BBE 22 And Jesus, answering, said to them, Have God's faith. 23 Truly I say to you, Whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and be put into the sea; and has no doubt in his heart, but has faith that what he says will come about, he will have his desire. 24 For this reason I say to you, Whatever you make a request for in prayer, have faith that it has been given to you, and you will have it.
Mark 11:22 literally says "Have God faith." Jesus was teaching us how to use our faith the same way God does. "God faith" speaks the desired result and never allows anything to change that statement. (Mark 11:23) We are God's children, made in His image and likeness, and He is training us how things work in His creation. Once God makes a statement, He never changes it. There are words God spoke thousands of years ago, which are not yet fully manifest to us in time. But God never chooses to say anything different. God believes what He said will come to pass!
"Doubt" in Mark 11:23 does not mean "have questions." It means a judgment (decision) that completely separates. So it would mean accepting some new evidence presented as sufficient to reverse your previous decision and statement of faith.
Receiving new evidence and deciding whether it is sufficient to change our belief is a never-ending cycle. We can be in faith one minute, and in un-faith (unbelief) the next minute -- if we make a new decision based on the evidence being presented to us. The disciples had faith in John 2:11 (close to the beginning of Jesus' ministry), and did not in Mark 16:14 (at the end of Jesus' earthly ministry).
Fear is the opposite of Bible hope. Bible hope is a positive expectation based on and supported by a belief in God's Word. Fear is a negative expectation based on and supported by a belief in something bad. Both involve the imagination, the seeing part of our thinking, the ability to visualize something before it happens, or after it happens.
Faith in God produces Bible hope – expecting good to happen. Faith in bad things produces fear – expecting bad to happen. Faith is the support, the foundation, the underlying thing under both hope and fear. You cannot have hope (which is a positive vision) without faith (which is a choice to believe) in something. You cannot have fear (which is a negative vision) without faith (which is a choice to believe) in something bad.
It is your belief that supports, undergirds, and provides the basis for your hope or fear. The belief was a choice you made. Then it became part of your belief system. That provides the basis for your hopes or your fears.
Faith is released and put into action by speaking what you believe with your mouth.
The primary action of faith toward God is speaking in agreement with God's Word. And then we stand in that position of faith, regardless of feelings or circumstances, no matter how long it takes.
SAY THIS: Faith in God works by accepting God's Word as truth and acting on it.
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