Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, September 24, 2006

What is Faith?

What is faith? It is not some inherent power or quality in certain men, by virtue of which they are able to accomplish special results unrealized by others. It is rather the power of putting self aside that God may work unhindered through the nature. It is the attitude of the heart which, having ascertained the will of God, and being desirous of becoming an organ for it, goes on to expect that God will work out His purposes through me, its medium. It is in brief, that capacity for God which appropriates Him to its uttermost limit, and becomes the channel or vehicle through which He passes forth to bless mankind. The believer is the God-filled, the God-moved, the God-possessed man, and the work which he effects in the world is not his, but God's through him.
These men of faith mentioned in the honour role of faith in Hebrews 11, are men who had a marvelous faculty of faith, which is in reality the capacity of the heart for God, they also had an equal capacity to question and challenge God, to the point of even exhausting God's patience. This explains the life these men led and the circumstances that surrounded their rise to prominence in the history of the children of God. All suffered setbacks and/or failures in God's working to mold them into vessels fit for His use. Strong and self-reliant natures are at odds with a life of faith. God's work can only be done through vessels specially fitted by Him for service. Special service is not natural, and can only come about after a time of deep and searching discipline from the Lord.
Faith is the requirement. and cannot be overstated enough. Jesus repeatedly emphasized the same truth. He never asked what is the specific quality of power, or wisdom, or enthusiasm which was present in His disciples. He did require of them, an assessment of the depth of their faith knowing full well that their success depended on this reality. To a father Jesus said, " There is no if in my power, it is in thy faith, if you will believe, all things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23,24)
In the process of God molding my nature to a usable vessel, empowered to withstand the onslaughts of circumstances designed to bring failure, God has placed difficulties to confront me which seem to indicate that I am on the wrong path. I understand that He is testing the sincerity and temper of my soul, and is seeking to bring me forth as gold, pure gold,(Job 23:10, 1 Peter 1:17)) refined in the fires of adversity and trials to bring greater honour and glory to His name. It is through these times that the death of self and the appropriation of the greater mysteries of God will be attained. It is during these times that the promises of God will become more real, and there lies the crux of faith, believing in the promises irregardless of circumstance. Faith rests on promise, understanding that the promise is as good as the gift already given, it is the equivalent of fulfillment.
Faith is only possible when I am in God's will, pursuing His plan, It is then that I can stand on God's promises. It is of no avail for me to pray for increased faith, miracles, or vision, etc., unless I am fulfilling the conditions for that faith. These conditions are:
1] understanding and sensing the helplessness and nothingless of my position;
2] the absolute assurance of being in the will of God in terms of His plan
3] entire consecration, that He may work out His will in my heart and soul
4] daily remembering His promise (provision, etc.,)
5] willing to risk, to act, independant of feeling, on faith which being indifferent to consequence, rests absolutely on the faithfulness of God.
Am I willing to die to my own strength, to submit my will absolutely to God's plan, to seek and do God's will without reservation, to daily rely on God's provision, to develope an attitude of surrender loosed from any limitation or condition, to risk in faith, without emotion, on the faithfulness of God, fully persuaded that He will do what He has promised?
Am I at this point, in such a condition, is my faith of that nature, that God can work through me to the glory and honour of His name?
Truly only God knows for sure, may He reveal that to me and my prayer is He will reveal to you as well. And I am right back to another faith issue.

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