Back to the Basics
There are some things about faith that we need to continually go over to keep them fresh. Just because we have heard it or known it doesn’t necessarily mean we still remember it. It is good to go back and review some old truths from God’s Word that have become old hat, so to speak. Sometimes we find that we have forgotten some important things that were fresh revelations years ago.
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Notice this sentence: Now faith is…. Even though the word “now” in the context is not used in this sense, allow me to direct your thought to this word as though it were referring to present tense for the purpose of revealing something about faith that is important to all of us.
Faith, which is the substance of things hoped for, must always be in the now. You can say it several different ways. If faith is not present (now) when you pray, it’s not really faith, but only hope. If faith is not present tense, you don’t have the substance of things hoped for.
Believe When You Pray
People tend to put off things God promised until some later date by saying, “I believe God will do it sometime.” But Jesus taught, “…What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:24) When do we believe we receive the answer? Jesus said we should believe we receive when we pray. Faith is always now, or it is not really faith. Even though the intent of the word “now” in Hebrews 11:1 is not used as a present-tense word, let’s use it that way to provoke our thinking. Let’s think of the words on both sides of the word “faith” as being present-tense words. Now faith is. Is your faith in the now for the Promise of God?
Notice Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Note the phrase: that he is. It’s present tense. It doesn’t just mean to believe that there is a God, but to believe that He is willing now to reward those that seek Him. Your faith must be in the now, when you pray. It can’t be put off into the future or back into the past. It must be present, abiding faith. Faith that is in the now is the substance of things hoped for.
Jesus said it this way in John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” The crippled man at Lystra is a classic example of why faith must be in the present tense.
Faith is proof of ownership in the spirit realm.
“And there sat a certain man at Lystra impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.” (Acts 14:8-10)
It is obvious that the man had faith. Paul perceived in his spirit that this man had faith to be healed, but his faith was put off in the future, and Paul helped him release it. You hear so many say, “I believe God is going to do it sometime.” But that’s out in the future. Make a decision to release faith in the present. If you have the faith, then you have the substance of things desired. You can’t wear it, you can’t feel it, or drive it. But you have the substance of it, and it is called faith. It’s like the title deed to your car. It is valid proof that the car is yours – even though it might not be in your possession, it is yours. Faith is proof of ownership in the spirit realm, and it will eventually cause the manifestation of the promise.
Faith gives substance to things hoped for, and is full of proof of things not yet seen in the natural realm; all the things that God has given us through His exceeding great and precious promises.
Peter gives us some insight into these promises. “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” (II Peter 1:1) Who is Peter writing to? “…to those that have obtained like precious faith…” It doesn’t matter what century you are living in, it still applies to those of like faith.
God’s Willingness Multiplied
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” (II Peter 1:2) Allow me to share with you the definition of grace, which the Holy Spirit gave me several years ago. He said, “Grace is God’s willingness to use His power and His ability on your behalf, even though you don’t deserve it.” Most people don’t have any trouble believing that God is able to meet their need, but many are not fully persuaded that He is willing to do it for them now. God’s willingness is multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.
The apostle Paul revealed that faith in God and His Word come by hearing what God said in His Word. (Romans 10:17) Therefore, when you hear that Word, you gain the knowledge of God. When you are fully persuaded of that Word, it abides in you, and then you know how God will respond to faith. Faith is in you to the degree that His Word abides in you. In Romans 10, Paul refers to what the “righteousness which is of faith” would say.
“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.” (Romans 10:8) God didn’t give Oral Roberts more faith than He gave you. He didn’t give Kenneth Copeland more faith than He gave you. You have the same Bible they have. Your Bible has the same word of faith in it. But your faith must be developed. Faith is like a seed, it only grows when you plant it. (Luke 17:5-6)
There are so many who think everyone else was given more faith than they were. But we were all given the same amount. Romans 12:3 says God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. Every person was given the same measure. God didn’t give one person more than He gave another, He gave us the whole Word of God.
How to Measure Faith
The only way to measure faith is to measure the amount of Word that abides in you. God’s Word is filled with faith; therefore, if His Word abides in you, then you have faith in that Word. God gave us (Logos) the whole Word of God. It contains all the Bible faith that is available in promise form. Some receive it; some don’t. God gave everyone the same measure (the Bible), but it has been rejected by some, and others don’t know about it. God’s willingness to use His power and ability on your behalf is multiplied to you through the knowledge of God through His Word.
You could memorize the Bible and not have an ounce of faith that the promises are yours.
Some say, “Well, I don’t understand why God did that for Brother So-and-so. He never does anything like that for me.” Listen to their words. “God never does anything like that for me.” Isn’t that amazing? For twenty years, they have been saying, “God never does anything for me,” and all that time they have been believing that He wouldn’t. Jesus said in Mark 11:23, if you believe and doubt not in your heart, the things which you say shall come to pass. People say those negative things because that is what they believe. They have not become personally acquainted with God and His ways through His Word. They don’t believe that God is “willing” to do it for them through the avenue of faith; therefore, they release no faith that He will meet their needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
Faith is in you only to the degree that the Word of God abides in you. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that if you’ve memorized the Bible, you have great faith. You could memorize the Bible and not have an ounce of faith that the promises are yours. Yes, faith does come by hearing the Word of God, but just because you’ve memorized something doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve heard it, or that you are fully persuaded that it is yours. Years ago, I memorized several chapters in the Bible, but at that time I didn’t have a revelation of it.
But when the Word of God became a part of me, I quit trying to memorize Scriptures and began speaking and hearing the Word. Then the Holy Spirit brought revelation to my spirit. There is nothing wrong with memorizing Scriptures, but just because you have it in your head doesn’t mean it’s in your heart. When it becomes a part of you, it is a revelation in your spirit. Then God’s grace is multiplied to you.
God Has Given Us All Things
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” (II Peter 1:3) This is the way God has given you all things that pertain to life and godliness. Notice this verse says God has already given to us, not going to one of these days. He has already done it. He is not going to do any more about it. He has done all He’s ever going to do about your finances or your physical health.
You may be thinking, “Do you mean that I am going to be this way all my life?” No, I didn’t say that. I said God has done all He’s going to do about it. Jesus has already provided all these things. They are already in store for you. They belong to you, but you must have faith to make a demand on His promise. It’s a matter of you tapping into what God has already given through Jesus and His Word. His faith is available through His Word, and that faith is the substance and evidence of things not yet seen.
Believing is Seeing
So many people say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Someone else said, “Seeing is believing.” A more Scriptural statement would be: Believing is seeing. When you believe, you see it in your spirit. You get an image of it on the inside of you. That image controls what you speak, and what you do. You see it in your spirit. You know it. You know that you know that you know. Sometimes you don’t know how you know, but you know!
Once you reach that level of knowing, they can’t beat it out of you with a ball bat. It is on the inside of you. It has become a part of you. You have become one with God’s Word. That oneness is caused by faith, and it is the substance of things that God has already provided for you; namely, all things that pertain to life and godliness.
Keys to Receiving
* Believe you have received when you pray.
* Faith is now, present tense. “I hope to receive” is not faith.
* Be fully persuaded by the Word.
By meditation, the Word takes root and abides in you.
* Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the Word to your spirit.
For more on this subject, check out the following series: