Understanding real faith is also knowing what it means to God -- that we may know exactly how to practice it.
"Your faith is more precious than mere gold."
1 Peter 1:7
Lately I’ve been learning a lot about what faith means to God. We know that faith--for us---means believing and trusting that things will henceforth prosper and be used for good. And just like Psalm 91 says, His promises are our armour and protection. We need that faith in order to live a life that is thriving and full. With faith in us, we are capable of achieving anything, because it literally means believing what's ahead without seeing it in front of you.
One thing we perhaps haven't considered however, is that for God, faith means something different. If we look at faith from His perspective, He is someone who sees all that we do not see and knows what will or won't happen, therefore it is only natural that someone with that ability lives in constant assurance. Believe it or not, however, there is one thing God does have to have faith in: and that is humanity.
Every time I struggle in this world and feel myself drifting from God, every time I come back and ask for renewal and a shower of new hope from the Lord, the first thing I receive is faith. There is new hope that what I see before me is not set in stone but can in fact change. But even more than a mere situation, my faith in humanity returns. I am able to believe again that God can do mighty things and that people will receive Him. Of course, it's all still with the help of the Lord, but He helps us have that faith again that this person will receive Christ, that that woman will open her heart up, or that this man will accept healing and deliverance.
In the Bible, it says that what is within God is now within us: the Holy Spirit ("God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us." 1 John 4:13). Seeing the Holy Spirit is a part of God, it means it reflects His character. And if what we have within us is the same spirit as the one of God, that means we are also capable of channelling that character into our personalities. It doesn't mean we immediately become like Christ, that takes time; it means putting away our old habits and ways and following that inner Spirit of God in Christ's footsteps so that we may become new, (Ephesians 4:22-24) or in other words become like Christ.
So if we know that the Spirit of God lives within us, we automatically should reflect His character. And a part of that character of God is faith. Specifically, faith in humanity.
Remaining in that constant faith is very difficult when doing it alone. In this world, many people have seasons where they have faith in their parents, they spouses, their children. But more often than not, that faith decreases, and sometimes even dissipates all together. All because, just like all the other fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), faith is something produced in the Spirit. As we speak with the Lord, as we worship and fall at his feet, the Spirit of God within us is fed, and we are filled yet again. It's that source that allows our faith to not only be protected against destruction but to also lift and encourage it to grow.
I've seen with my own eyes how faithful God is. He rewards every act of faith from our part. Even something as small as trusting that God will give you time to have dinner in a hectic schedule or even provide you with a new job or find you that committed relationship you've been looking for. He rewards and answers our prayers: all in His perfect timing. Trust is part of having faith, for you cannot have faith that God will without trusting that He won't forget each act of faith.
But when it comes to our practice of real faith, I'm noticing that as we enter into a season of harvest and revival, God is testing and waiting for His children to rise up in that supernatural faith. And let's remember, when we get a glimpse of tomorrow or hear a promise of what will be, it shouldn't just excite us for the moment but should lift us out of depression, hopelessness or darkness. His promises never fail (Joshua 21:45). They are our assurance: the Word is something sacred and holy for God and He never goes back on it. So next time the Spirit tells you what God has prepared for you, let your eyes become new, let your ears hear no more lies and let your heart live in constant assurance. Remember, the promise is protection, so allow God's promises to you to protect you from those doubts, fears, lies and insecurities. God will provide the promise, but it's our responsibility to use them, to believe them and hold them up as shield against the enemy.
Here are some practical ways we can push our faith further, obey His commandments, and most importantly become more like Him:
Desire and pray for more hunger. It is important to always live with the expectation that there is more. God is never-ending and we need to keep striving for righteousness for it is only then that we will truly be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6)
Be constantly ready to be used by Him. Don't just desire that when it’s convenient for you and seek to be a tool for the Lord in every situation. Are you willing to sacrifice whatever it requires in order to be pleasing to the Lord? (1 Peter 4:10 -11)
Love is something very valuable to the Lord. As it should be to us. It is something we should prioritise above pride and egocentrism. We must work to love people and treat them as family: feeling for them and loving them completely, and therefore desiring their healing with a whole heart. (John 15:12)
Work to remember where miracles come from and not whose hands are used. It’s not you or your experience but the power that God carries within you that has the ability to heal and perform miracles. Witnessing them as you pray for someone should always remind what a great God we serve and not lift your own ego. (Acts 3:16)
Lastly, remember not to allow your mental limitations to stop you from lifting that faith higher. We must work to simply believe without knowing the how. Figuring out how these things work and how hard they seem initially or what kinds of burdens they carry is not where our focus should be. We should simply believe that God is able and that He desires it to happen. Therefore, limitations are non-existent with the Lord. Remember that the name you speak is capable of far more than what your limited mind is capable of imagining. (Job 11:7)
Let us practice these steps together and live daily in a lifestyle is not only pleasing to our Saviour, but one that will lift and strengthen us in body, soul and mind.