There are three types of faith that I discovered, there could be more but this is what I know so far.
If I were to ask you if you needed more faith, would you raise your hand? I'm thinking that perhaps you would. But I would like to submit to you that perhaps its not more faith that you need, but more love. Why? Because we have all been given a measure of faith (Romans 12:13) because even a drop of faith can move mountains (Matthew 17:20). Ephesians 2:8 says "For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast." It is very clear to me that faith is a conduit to receiving grace. It's God's love that we need to ask more for and the ability to receive it. I noticed that the more grace I believe for AND receive, my faith increases. Everything, again, boils down to God's unconditional love in our lives.
Let me share an illustration the Holy Spirit taught me. Find a drinking straw, it could be any length. If you look at Romans 12:13 again, it says, ... a measure of faith. This tells me that it is like a ruler, it's a length. So this straw represents faith. As a matter of fact the straw can be short or very long, it doesn't matter because if you look inside the straw no matter the length the space inside is still the same. How big that opening is is how much grace you are allowing in your life! So as you begin to receive more of God's love for your, and continue pressing in to seek Him out with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30) that space will enlarge! The larger that space the more grace. Some of you are only receiving drops of God's love. It's not that he isn't loving you it's that you aren't able to receive very much. You may feel Him loving you from time to time but what if you can experience His love day in and day out! Wouldn't you think your faith would increase? And you wouldn't be doing it... the love of God would be doing it. The Bible says that God will expand our borders. (Exodus 24:34 and Deuteronomy 12:20). I believe this is also talking about expanding our faith.
James 2:18 "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." James 2:20 "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"
These two verses are the manifestation when someone has faith. So many are out doing a bunch of stuff thinking it's faith, but it is not. When we have faith, the kind we are talking about it, it becomes who we are. We begin to live what we believe, then our works follow! I am doing more in my life as a Christian than I ever dreamed possible because as I step out "in faith" and do what I believe, my works show you my faith.
Then we know we have faith because of our works. The enemy wants us to be so busy with doing, doing, doing, not getting God's love deep inside of us to expand our borders so we live what we believe - producing fruit! Mark 4:20 says "And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirty fold, some sixty, and some an hundred." It's very clear that in order to produce fruit you first must "Hear the word, believe it to receive it." So simply put, believe God loves you, so you can receive it. His love will cause your faith to increase.
I have been sharing the Lord with a waitress at a nearby restaurant. She is not a believer but wants to be. She even told me point blank that she wants to meet Jesus. So as we were talking, she said she had prayed for a home for her and her daughter. She was actually seeing if God was really there. Within one week she had a 3 bedroom 2-bath home for $300 a month. She said, "Is that a sign He is there?" I smiled and said, it's God loving you. She said, "This will help me have more faith, won't it?" See the goodness of God opened her to believe God loves her and cares for her. It will help her believe God, even in difficult times, because of the provision He made for her already. Her faith boundaries are already being expanded because she is receiving God's love. It will expand even more as she walks out her new-found faith in Jesus.
Now that we understand that what we really need is more of God's love in our lives and from that our faith will increase and works will follow, it's time to look at "why" we have problems doing this.
All your questions about faith are answered in 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."When the Lord showed me what I'm about to share with you, I was changed almost instantaneously to the point my faith increased immeasurably. I pray the same for you.
So lets dissect this scripture, shall we?
"But without faith it is impossible to please him." Okay, we understand this. It's very clear that faith is what we need to please God. Does it say you have to be perfect? No. Does it say you have to lead a world wide ministry? No. Does it say your kids have to be perfect? Does it say you need to be wealthy? No. It says, faith will please God. Okay, we have that one down. We know we need faith, as a matter of fact, we already addressed the real need, and that is being able to receive His love in our lives.
Now let's go on to the next part of that verse which is the key:
"For he that cometh to God must believe that He is..." Let's stop there because this is where the problems start. It says that when we come to God, we must believe that He is. Can I submit to you that it backs up the first part of this verse? That without faith it is impossible to please Him? So I noticed that the faith God is talking about here is believing that He is... Let me say it again. We are looking at getting "more faith" but dear saint, we have the measure of faith God has given already, and scriptures say that even faith as large as a small seed is enough for us to do mighty things. What we need to understand is that "faith" IS "believing" God "is."
Many of you struggle with "receiving" God's love. You can believe He loves others but you may have a hard time believing He loves you. Why? Because you don't really believe He exists. Think about it. I know in my own life that I believed God for waking me up in the morning, but then would doubt Him when I needed provision or healing. If we have any doubt and unbelief toward God, then we "don't believe that He is!" That He is "doing" something!!!! We must FIRST, FIRST, FIRST believe that He is. If you were like me and I was stuck in doubt and unbelief for so long, I simply confessed this to God. God, I don't believe you exist. I believe Jesus is there, and yet I don't believe you are there for me. I ask you to forgive me and help my unbelief." After I confessed this, things began changing. We have to admit the truth in our heart.
One area of my life I discovered was not good was in the area of faith. I asked God for more faith. I thought I wasn't being healed because I didn't have enough faith to be healed. I found myself in so much doubt and unbelief toward God because I thought He wasn't giving me what I needed. But the truth is, He gave me exactly the amount of faith I needed, the rest was up to me! Yes, I had to confess first that I didn't believe that He "Is."
You may have been a Christian for 18 years like I was, yet there was doubt and unbelief toward God. Be honest with Him right now... stop right now from reading this and go to your loving Heavenly Father. It may be hard because you see all the "undone" things in your life, but go anyway. He is right now ready to receive you! I'll wait.....Okay, welcome back. So it is very clear that the first thing, and I even mean for anything to happen in your life according to scriptures, is that we "believe God is." I have done a teaching on God is and God isn't that will help you determine your faith level in God. It's found in the January 2008 Newsletter (and also in one of the previous teachings you may recall), so be sure to refer to it again if needed. Just to pinpoint where you are so you can be reconciled to Him, through confessing where you are with Him. Yes, even if it's not that great because then He can do great things. But we block our own blessings and growth because we aren't willing to be completely honest BECAUSE we don't really believe He is... and is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. This is the last part of that scripture. Once we begin to believe that He is... we then will believe that He is a rewarder. Because I know for a fact as we diligently seek Him... we will see the rewards! Our prayers will be answered even before finishing the last word. Our lives will impact others for the glory of God. We will begin seeing the fruit of our labors without effort! This is a person who believes God loves them and has received His unconditional love. This is faith, dear friends. And now you have what you need to "move those mountains."
You may have mountains in your life that you have to face, huge things that you don't think you can overcome. It's because you didn't have the faith, this faith that I talked about. God's love in you to give you the ability for more faith.
Mountains are being moved without my effort. God is plowing over and through things with me I've never dreamed possible. When I see a mountain ahead of me, I look at is as an opportunity to grow in more faith because I finally believe - without one drop of doubt - that God loves me and wants the best for me and will do everything in my life that He can to see me succeed. Sure, we may have to go through some hardships, those are the times my faith is being developed.
James 1, "the trying of my faith works patience..." We need to have our faith tried to see how far it will bend and where the breaking point is. Because that breaking point is where we are the weakest. So God will keep bending us until there is no breaking point just flexibility!! And that's when you will get your peace because when patience comes, it brings us peace.
I believe that on the top of each list is the desire for "peace." Well, without even focusing on that, that's what we accomplished here. So in a nutshell: By receiving God's unconditional love, our faith is increased; by believing that He is; my faith is increased; by being tried; patience is increased which brings peace. It all works together.
James 1:2-8 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
This scripture clearly tells us that when we believe God is, when we believe and receive His love for us, we will be able to ask for anything and it be given because we are stable and sure and secure in Him!
John 15:5 "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me (receives His love), and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (It's God's love in you that gives you the ability to do this or that.)
Acts 17:28 "In him we move, and live and have our being." Again, it's God in us doing great and mighty things. We give Him all the glory. Remember, we are vessels, but what are we filled with? Love of God or doubt and unbelief.
Prayer for you:
"Our Father in Heaven. I come before you with this dear saint. Perhaps they have doubted you for some time, perhaps they believe you care for others but have a hard time believing for themselves. It's good they see that Lord, thank you for helping them see the truth in their own heart toward you, this is their first step toward peace. I ask your love to penetrate their hearts and minds Lord, removing all fear. Help them to believe Lord. Increase their borders so that as they begin to truly "believe" and "receive" all of your love and goodness, they will have the faith necessary to move mountains. Thank you for changing them already, and giving them peace. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
A prayer you can pray if you desire more faith:
"Dear Heavenly Father, everything that I was taught in this session applies to me. I have been wavering in faith. No wonder I've not been given things I've asked for, I haven't really believed you exist - for me. Oh, I may see you blessing and loving others but I had a hard time believing for myself. But I confess that to you now. I've been in doubt and unbelief and unstable in my thoughts toward you. I ask for your forgiveness and I ask you to help my unbelief. Help me to believe you are... that you love me... that you exist in every area of my life... and even when things aren't going so good, that I still believe. I know it's those times you are stretching my faith to believe more. Help me not to break and fall into doubt again, but to hold on and believe even more. I thank you for this teaching Lord, and ask you to help me receive all you have for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
Habakkuk 3:17 "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places..."
This teaching is to bring you into a relationship with your Heavenly Father. Give yourself time to reflect and to acknowledge your whole heart before Him. He will take all you bring to Him and make it into something beautiful. Don't be afraid to tell Him everything. If you fear God in a wrong way, you may need to go over the "image of God teaching again. Because we are to be excited with joy to come to Him with all our junk! Just as a child does when he has a broken toy. If the child is fearful that he broke the toy and afraid to go to his father, then this child is in fear of his father's anger. But if a child runs to the father and says, "fix it." This child trusts his father and knows he will do everything in his power to fix it because he's loved. You are God's child and He will never forsake you or cast you off. Nothing can separate you from His love... nothing!