A Tangible Faith

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Some will say that faith is not a tangible substance like a mountain or a rock. One cannot see it or touch it like you can a mountain or a rock. Yet they will express their faith by turning on the light switch to see in the dark. But then some will argue that they believe the light will come on if they turn the switch. That would be correct but the light would never come on unless they had the faith to turn the switch. Many people confuse the words belief and faith. If I was dying of thirst and someone placed a glass of water in front of me and said drink this to quench your thirst. Then I would have to decide if I believed that. Most assuredly I would believe it but unless I in faith took a drink of the water I’d remain thirsty. Believing is accepting something as true and faith is acting upon that truth. Believing is an acceptance and faith is acting upon what you have accepted. Thus far we have been speaking in the physical and worldly context but I truly think that the word faith must be taken in the spiritual context in order to apply it in a powerful way. To please God one must have faith, as without having faith to actively express our belief in God we will not ever be able to please Him.

In the spiritual context faith is tangible. Faith is something that can be seen and it is something that can be felt in the spirit. There are some who do not believe that they are a spiritual being living in a physical body. I cannot understand how one cannot know that they are a trinity just like the God who created them. I do not know how to prove that which one should be able to believe. How can one accept that they are no better than the animals that roam about this world? Perhaps they have taken the “Planet of the Apes” too seriously. It is very clear in the Scriptures that God created the heavens and the earth by His Word. (Genesis 1) Man was not spoken into existence but formed by the hand of God. Man is the crown of God’s creation and by His own hand He made us. Unlike the rest of His creation God breathed the breath of life into us. “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7) In Hebrew the word “breath” holds this meaning. Divine inspiration, intellect, inspiration, soul, spirit. In the image of God we have the ability to reason, we have an eternal spirit, and this is something that no other created being here in this realm has. Not the plants and not the animals. So much for the planet of the apes or us evolving from them or being subjected to them.

We must try to understand how faith relates to the spirit. First, God is a Spirit, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) He gave man that special attribute that makes us a related creation to Him as the Creator. This is how man relates to God, he relates to God “in spirit and truth.” It has to be this was because God is a Spirit and He is all knowing and judges man by his heart. “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) Second, Jesus is the Word of God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) I believe that God, the Father, conceived in His Spirit His creation and then spoke it into existence by His Word, Jesus the Word of God. (Genesis 1) This is the relationship of faith to the Spirit of God. God created all that there is in His Spirit and then in an act of Faith spoke it into being through Jesus. “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17) Taking what we believe in our spirit and acting in faith upon our belief will bring it into reality according to God’s purpose.

Jesus being the Word of God is absolute truth and can be fully trusted, He is the only Person that we can confidently have faith in. God had promised much to the Israelite people. Everything God has promised has come to pass, both the good and bad down through the many generations. Now as King Solomon had completed the building of the Tempe in Jerusalem he addressed the people with these words. “Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant.” (1 Kings 8:56) History has proven God’s Word to be true throughout the ages. Not one word He has spoken has been recanted or failed to come true. There is much more that will come into being in the future just as assuredly as it has in the past. The old cliché “God said it, I believe it” is a wise statement to hold onto.

We may within ourselves have the faith to muster, that little faith upon hearing the truth of God’s purpose to reconcile man unto Him through His Son Jesus Christ the Savior of the world. When we have found the faith to repent of the love affair we have for this world and turn to the beauty of the world to come, the adversary of man is ever persistent and will soon attack with the wiles of his temptations. Satan knows that his time is short and if he is to rob God’s glory then not one soul will fall from his grip without a fight. When in the hour of temptation comes upon the babe in Christ the faith that placed him on his journey will be tested. This was so even for Jesus the Son of God after His baptism. For forty days Jesus faced the temptation of Satan. (Matthew 4:2-10) Jesus resisted the wiles of Satan and gained the victory, the same victory that we can have also though HIm. As James the half-brother of Jesus wrote, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) When Satan plays his mind games and tries to lure you into the very things you have decided to turn from craw up into the arms of your loving Savior and act in faith according to His word and Satan will flee from you. Jesus battled the temptations of Satan with the Word of God.

These trials of temptation that we go through serve to strengthen our faith and we become all the stronger for it. Our faith grows ever stranger by our walk in God’s Word. Our faith grows and becomes stronger by the hearing and learning of God’s Word. We should never allow ourselves to face the day without walking in faith according to the promises of God’s Word. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) If you have an arsenal filled with the Word of God, then the Holy Spirit has greater ability to give you the needed council to defeat Satan. It is much wiser to stand upon the Word of God than to have an unfounded hope built upon the ways of this passing world.

Faith reveals the rock of your salvation. The Rock of our salvation is the Word of God, Jesus Christ. This is the foundation that Jesus built His Church. (Matthew 16:18) The Rock of our salvation is a very tangible substance. This is the foundation of your faith and the foundation of which you build your spiritual house upon. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25) As long as your spiritual house is built upon the rock of God’s Word there will always be a testing. Satan is wandering through the world to and fro seeking someone to devour. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) If we stand on the Rock of God’s Word, that power for which none is stronger, then we have our Lord’s assurances that we can stand strong. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) Faith in the Rock of God’s Word brings the power of the universes to bear on your side. God’s Word created the universe, God’s Word holds the universes together, and God’s Word is the power to overcome in all of your spiritual battles. “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17) Our belief in this power and our faith in acting upon this power is the victory we have over the enemy. “Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Ephesians 6:16)

Like anything that we must build in our life faith is something that we must constantly build upon. A little faith can start us out on our journey home but to work out our salvation we will need to build our faith into a greater faith. “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12) It is not easy, but nothing of great value is. What seems to be hard for people is that we do not exercise faith in the things that cannot be perceived with the five senses just as the world does not know the Holy Spirit, as the world cannot see Him. (John 14:17) We do not walk in faith by what we can see, as what we see is passing away, we walk in faith in what we cannot see, as these are eternal things. “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) Jesus said, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” (Matthew 17:20)

Let us look at the faith the size of a mustard seed. The mustard seed is a very small seed indeed. It is a hard dead looking seed, as most are, when it is placed in fertile ground. Over time with nourishment and watering it comes out of the ground and grows to a giant of a tree of twenty feet tall and twelve feet in width. This is all we need to start our walk with Jesus, a mustard seed of faith. He plants the truth of His Word into the fertile ground of our heart, nourishes it with His Word, waters it with our continuous repentance from this worldly way of life, strengthens it by the winds of time, and it grows into a large strong faith. Each trial of life, each resistance of the twist of truth from Satan, our faith grows all the stronger. With our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who sits upon the throne of our heart, who guides our every step as we follow Him in faith, we overcome this world and escape into the greater world to come, that of our heavily home which even now is being prepared for you and I. With the power of His Spirit within nothing is impossible for us as nothing is impossible for God. “And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Faith is the title deed to the present Hope we have through Jesus Christ. We were not created for this world but we are equipped to live in this world for a limited wisp of time. A large man in our Sunday school class whom we call Big T says this interesting truth. The B I B L E stand for “Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth.” I think that is a classic statement. President Ronald Reagan said, “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” All we need to survive this world and enter into the next in the loving arms of our Savior Jesus Christ is found in His Word. In the last days of Jesus’ ministry He was comforting His disciples with these words. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) Jesus is preparing a place for you, not us, you. Let us pause and think about that a moment. The Lord wants to give us the desires of our heart. “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) Have you thought about the home that the Lord is preparing for you? Everything that the Master Carpenter builds is very good. Have you prayed for the home of your desire that you would receive it in heaven? He knows you better than you know yourself and if you express your desire making it known to him what you want He will give it to you. Your home in heaven will be exactly perfect for you. If you ask Him he will reveal it to you in your spirit. What is in your spirit given to you by God then based on the fact that His Word is true and faithful, it is yours. If it is yours as revealed in the spirit then claim it and live as you have received it for in God’s time you will. Praise His Holy Name for what you have received. “That the communication of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” (Philemon 1:6) Your praise of God Almighty is a confirmation of your faith in Him. This is the tangible result of a true faith in the Word of God. The Praise, Glory and Honor that you show towards your Heavenly Father. This is the substance, the tangiblness, the assurance of your faith in the things not seen. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

Durant Bible College, February 10, 2015

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