What Is Faith
God has given everyone a portion or measure of faith, which is the distinct knowledge that God exists and able to meet your needs. By that measure of faith God draws you to Jesus and to a saving grace of God. However, after you have declared Jesus, as Lord in your life, your faith in God must be built, increase and grow with use.
Faith is like building a house in many respects. A house can not be built if the lumber stays neatly stacked. James puts it this way, Faith without works is dead. The lumber is nothing more than building materials while it is in the stack and having faith go unused allows the lumber to rot. To a carpenter, plans give him a picture of what the finished house will look like. However, the carpenterís faith requires him arrange lumber and drive nails. You can know what to do, visualize the final product, but the truth of reaching your goals is that you have put your hands to work.
This kind of faith shows God the extent of your beliefs. Sleep is all you can expect when waiting for God to respond to your faith without a sign. Your faith requires that you take the first step. Before you can call your faith a house, lumber has to be precisely arranged and have a roof over it. In the same way, the signs of your faith follow putting your beliefs to work. Faith needs to be exercised like those who walk a picket line. Those who observe picketers know that you are taking a stand because of the sign they carry. Showing signs of your trust in God requires you to do your part before God will display his approval.
God will not force you to use his word, because your right to choose is sacred to him. God wants you to look at what he has done and think about his methods. If they seem feasible to you, then do your tasks his way. Then, you can evaluate the outcome and judge for yourself how God lives. The verdict will be loud and clear, God will gain enough of your trust to affect the way you live. Faith brings about change in your life for the better. You become a better person and God will respect your faith.
Your faith at the beginning sees the goal and develops a strategy to work with God for them. Home contractors set goals with the kind of homes they know will sell and use known methods to build them. They hire companies with skilled workers that know the building industry. The contractorís plan incorporates the local building codes and specifies approved materials used in the construction. Here is the difference, faith works with God to reach its goal but the home building industry works with plans that are proven to work to reach their goals.
Comparing faith to the building industry is not hard to do. Both have limitations that restrict what you can do. The things that are not allowed are the code violation for the building industry and sin to the Christian. The code violation and sin effectively halts the progress until your work can conform to the convening authority.
Known procedures make the job go faster and produce a better product. Experience is your teacher when you have done a job hundreds of times. This allows you to talk with your fellow workers while you put the finishing touches on the product that your employer is proud to p[lace his name on. No matter what, the skilled carpenter refers to his plan many times while building a home. The circumstances of life change constantly and so do the measurements that you use. You too, must keep your plans where you have access to them. Faith requires you to know the promises of God and that demands repeated trips to the Bible to read and study.
God has the wisdom to create the world and still survive in a world that wants to do everything their way. You learn from bible study that you can do all things when God strengthens you through his words. However, making yourself available to God builds trust and forges the experiences that will help you to move the mountains of this world.
God has left the exercising of that faith up to you to pursue. Exercising your faith is the only way to conform to the pattern of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ exercised the full measure of faith in God to the point of dying for manís sin. The life of Christ was recorded with all kinds of supernatural deeds done by faith and because Christ is in you, you can too. Your own faith may not produce supernatural deeds but you can show the work of Christ in you to the world.
The above contain key ingredients to Faith. However, for your trust or faith to be beneficial your beliefs must be put into action. Jesus Christ was a man of action and everywhere he went he used his faith in God to show Godís compassion on the sick, the poor and the lost. The need to develop your faith to serve God is absolutely necessary if you want to be effective for God.
The testimony by our father about Christ above is the same testimony I want to hear about myself. Iím sure you want to hear the same report about your self too. The Bible says that - We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 TNIV. Its not difficult to see how this world lives because they live the way they see people live and get away with doing evil. They need to see more Christians live by faith and refuse to do the evil done by the world. Christians need an absolute faith in God to escape the corruption of the world caused by evil desires. Keep this in mind, the goal of every Christian is to be like Christ. Using your faith will make a difference in the world for the kingdom of God.
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreatedóthe world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:32-40 TNIV
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