UNDERSTANDING FAITH........And walking in Faith!

Faith has been described in many ways, but the book of  Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is conviction:“being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Perhaps no other component of the Christian life is more important than faith.

The walk of faith is something that comes upon you after a tortuous wilderness journey and for some reasons, your mind is made up to follow the Lord and do whatever He asks you to do. The wilderness experience itself, was for the Lord to remold you, take away human excesses, the flesh and make you worthy of His use.

He will want to try and test you, to find out where your heart is, so that you will not disappoint Him.  God know how to humble a man, and many times it comes with hardship, difficulty and pain.  He told the Jews that He took them through the Wilderness to test them, before they entered into the promised land.

So, when your heart is on the Lord, and you are believing and trusting in Him alone, then knowingly or unknowingly, you are gradually entering into your next level with God.  You have forgotten you are a Professor, a former Governor, Senator or even former President.  You are now, simply a child of God, a servant of God and that is all that matters to you.  You are so happy and consider yourself privileged to have come to know Him.

The bible in Heb 11:1-4, says: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts.

faith can also be defined as belief in and devotion to God, you cannot see, but you know He lives. I am deliberately including this description of faith to underscore the importance of devotion, which is the same as worship. Faith without devotion, worship and service to the Almighty God is not healthy.

God loved the world and gave us His son to die for the sins of the world.  When you have faith in God , your action and devotion will show it. Faith is strictly tied to the Word of God, though we were born with a measure of faith, we can grow our faith to a higher level with practise.  Faith is not the practise of some religious ideologies, faith is from God. 

Spiritual Necessity
Faith is a deep spiritual necessity for the believer to have and develop to  higher level, yet many believers lack sufficient faith to assert themselves in the things of God.  Without faith, you cannot operate in the Spirit and encounter enough supernatural.  Without faith, you may decree a thing, but it may never be established for you.  Without faith, you cannot confront the devil and overcome.  Without the shield of faith, you cannot withstand their arrows.

You win every spiritual battle in the spirit first, by seeing the Lord on your side by His Word and by engaging the enemy with the Word of God.  This is why God is very happy when one of His children is found with faith and strong faith, it means such a child of God will do exploits in the spirit that will bring glory to God.

It is amazing to know  many of the things believers are struggling to get could be gotten easier through faith if you understand how faith operates and other things like curses has been broken in a life.  Those things you have been hoping to get could be yours if your faith can carry you.  Our Lord demonstrated this in the bible when He told the woman with the issue of blood that your faith has made you whole.  Be whole.

Characteristics of faith?

1. The first characteristics of faith is that it should be a lifestyle.  Faith sometimes is like fellowship and you don't break fellowship with the Father, if you are still His son or daughter.  Those who have children knows that though you scold and beat your son, the next minute he is back to you to say something or ask for something.  You don't switch on to faith when you need something from the Lord and later go your way.  It does not work like that.  If you are used to switching on faith, one day, it will fail you.  God demands that we live by faith, meaning once you get into faith, for ever you live and walk in faith.  This is why many Christians speak faith and end up being disappointed, because they switch to faith and out of faith.

2. Faith is based on the Word of God.  Faith is based on obedience to the word of God.  Faith starts with obedience, Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place, which he should afterwards receive for an inheritance, obeyed, and he went out, not knowing whether he went. Until you are ready to obey the word of God and His voice, your life of faith is yet to begin.  Abraham obeyed and took off into a place he never been to, not minding the risk, but believing that God that called him will guide and protect him along the way and it was so.  If he did not take the step of obedience, the protection would not have followed.

Faith is based on the Word and we say that by His stripes you are healed.  Does it mean you will never fall sick anymore...NO!  It means that when sickness come, you speak the word of faith to it that "By the stripes of Christ, you are already healed...even before you go to the Hospital for serious sickness.  You solution to the sickness is in the word, you speak the word to it and the sickness must bow

3. The third characteristics of faith...Speaking the Word of faith.  This is confession.  If you believe the promised made in the bible in your heart, then speak it out, either to the problem or to yourself.   Let me explain the importance of confessing your faith.  Around you all the time are the angels of God as well as the devil through his errand boys - the demons.  

The angels and the demons are always around you, so when you speak the word of faith out of your mouth, you activate the angels to carry out the command.  If what you speak if failure, the demons will quickly take it and begin to block your ways to make sure you receive what you have spoken - failure.

It is for this reason that it is said that no matter how bad a situation may look, your duty is to speak what you want to see and not what you are seeing. What you are seeing will activate the demons to work against you, while what you want to see will activate the angel to effect a change that will establish your expectation

4. Faith works with Love. As a spiritual force, without love firm your heart it will produce nothing for you.  If you love the Love, you will obey Him and your faith is build up, even by your love relationship with Him.  When you love someone, you will believe him easily.  If you don't love people soul winning will be hard for you.  It is very hard for you to win a soul you do not love, but when you love people, there is a spiritual attraction that makes them believe you and with little prayer, the Lord will touch their heart to believe and receive Jesus Christ.

5. Faith demands action - works.  If you believe your prayer for a job is answered, then you have a duty to tell everyone who can help you that you are looking for job. You will not stop there, you look up the newspapers and online websites for job vacancies and keep applying for the jobs you are able to do - Why?  Because you believe God has answered your prayer for job.  If you refuse to tell people who can help you, neither will you apply for advertised vacant positions, the prophesy may never be fulfilled in your life.  If it is only confession that you like, but to take the step of faith and do the work of faith is hard for you, know that your faith is dead.  Faith without works is standing alone and dead.

The dynamics of Faith
Faith cannot fail.  God will surely remember His Words to perform it in your life.  Also, God cannot ignore a strong faith as God is also a Man of faith.  The bible says He calleth those things which be not as though they be.

Faith is one important attribute of God and until you begin to call forth things which be not as though they be, you have not started enjoying your walk of faith.  There is what the bible call the walk of faith.  A situation where you walk by faith and not by sight.  The beginning of this walk is usually funny and often times looks foolish, yet you are on the right track.

Your pocket is empty and you are preaching to a soul and praying that the Holy Ghost should touch his heart to receive Jesus.  You sense his need are financial and begin to tell him how God will prosper him after he receives Christ.  You are preaching that prosperity is in the kingdom and yet you are very very poor.

However, there are things and signs that will tell if you are really dealing with faith or something else.  Faith as a spiritual force has characteristics that sets it apart. Faith is expected to become our lifestyle as believers.  To believe in God's word and be fully persuaded that it settles everything in our life and walk by it is faith. 

His word is God Himself and the bible says His voice divides the storm.  Every kind of storm is divided by His word.  A word from the Almighty God calms down every storm, no matter how intense. It is the same for a word of faith declared against every storm of the devil, the demon behind the scene takes cover when the word is released with authority and power.

What Faith is not

For you to act faith, you must be fully persuaded by the word of God, or receive specific word for your particular situation.  When there is no Rhema coming, you can believe the promise of God and take your steps, but when you are relying on the word as promised in the bible, also find out the word requirement.  Find out what God expects you to do as every one have a role to play in his salvation and deliverance.

Anything other than these may be misleading.  If you say because John sang midnight praises for 3 months and landed an oil company job, do you know whether the Holy Spirit told him to do so?  Do you know John's covenant platform and the spiritual goodwill he is enjoying? Lets us wait on God and exercise our faith without doubting.

The walk of faith:

The walk of faith can be described as a Trust relationship with the Lord, when you have completely exhausted yourself, your money, human wisdom etc, and you surrender yourself unto His hand, for Him to use you. This is what happens when a servant of God receives his or her retirement check, and the Lord says to him 'Sow the whole check into the ministry', and he is like...What?  Can this voice be from God?  My retirement cheque and all that I have left?  And the Lord says YES!!

We’re reminded in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that we walk by faith and not by sight. It is a life of dependence on God, trusting in God and fulfilling the Will of God for your life.  In walking by faith, the Lord would have dealt with you enough for you to believe and trust Him.  You would have known that there is no alternative route or source, only the Lord, so you either succeed or perish.  Age has nothing to do with it, but spiritual maturity has a lot to do.

So, you start by releasing yourself to the Lord and like Isaiah said, "Here I am Lord, send me", so will you say with your spirit, sou and body.  Its a new Vision for you, a new beginning and a set time.  When Isaiah saw a new vision in the presence of the Lord, he repented and his tongue was cleansed with a hot coal of fire from the alter.  I believe the Lord will also touch your tongue as He did for Isaiah in Isa 6:1-8. You have to:

1. Guard your Thoughts 
Thoughts are spiritual seeds. They are the starting point of what eventually manifests in your life. Your thoughts determine how you react to situations and how you carry yourself in the world, so your thoughts must be pure and good always.  Lovely and kind towards men.  Every contrary thought, thoughts of evil etc must be cast out, as soon as they come.  They are from the devil, enemy of righteousness.  Don't retain them, don't meditate on them.

2. Mind your Tongue
What are you saying?  There is enormous power in your tongue and you are refined to speak blessing and to command glory.  You will them have to bridle your tongue and speak only when you are expected to speak.  Let no corrupt word, careless word or un-edifying word proceed out of your mouth. You should learn to speak faith, that is 'Learn to speak the Word of God in all situation'  Learn to eat the word day and night, so that it becomes part of you and in your Spirit.

There must be days, when the Word will be your food in the morning, afternoon and night - just the Word of God! This will help you learn how to speak faith to situations.  Your words should demonstrate your belief that God is alive and in charge of the matter under consideration. You have to speak the word of faith confidently and boldly as if the situation has already been resolved already.  You speak what you want to see!

3. What Are You Doing?   
The Word of God tells us that faith without works is dead.  This means that we can’t simply pray and then delegate our work to God.  He is not going to come down from His throne and do what He has given YOU the power and ability to do.  If you are praying for a new home, have you begun the home search process?  Have you started saving money for the down payment?  Are you researching the market for homes that fit your budget? Do you HAVE a budget?

Or, are you are believing God for a more desirable job, have you updated your resume?  Are you seeking out additional training to enhance your skills? Have you contacted some reliable friends and people in the industry of your interest?  Have you started applying for choice jobs only?  Walking by faith means taking action.  The walking requires setting a plan in place and doing the work that is required.

4. Walking by faith says no Limitation
When you are walking by faith, you want to wait on the Lord and receive instruction of what to do always.  You also want to confirm the instruction is from the Lord before you launch out.  As long as God is the one speaking, the Holy Ghost is guiding you, there can be no limitation.  Oppositions will come and go, the work will continue till your success becomes evident.

So if you have heard the voice of Jesus telling you something, get rid of the word “can’t.” Be honest; if you choose not to walk it is not that you can’t, it is that you won’t.  It is essential that we know where we are going when we walk by faith. Just as Paul reminded the Corinthian church of their eternal destination, we too need to keep in focus the bigger picture of where we are going.  Know that, when we walk by faith, it is possible, infact, most likely that we will see our final destination ahead. This will keep us from being distracted by things and paths along the way.

5. Journey through the opposition
Many people have the idea that if something is from God, it will be easy. That is not the case. If it is from God more than likely, you will experience opposition. It may come from friends, family members, and other Christians. 
Don’t think that if something is from God that all you will get is smooth sailing, NO!  Expect opposition, and be strong to remain focused.

Heros of faith and Exploits

If we look at Hebrew 11, we will be amazed by the exploits ordinary people did and became extra ordinary people of God. The different situations that confronted them and how faith delivered them and set then free.  Verse 4, started with what they did and accomplished in diverse conditions because they believed God, and were persuaded that there is God in heaven that was speaking to them and behind them.  

They went ahead and accomplished great feats. It did not look possible, neither did it portray them as wise, but in the end, they were victorious. Take for instance Abel, who "By faith Abel offered a pleasing sacrifice to the Lord" - Heb 11:4.  Who advised  to offer God his best...Nobody. He knew by faith that the creator deserved to be worshiped and honoured and he took the step of faith, he gathered the best and the fat of his first fruits and offered them unto the Lord.

Who advised King Solomon to offer a thousand burnt offerings unto the Lord? No one did.  It came from a heart of faith and gratitude.  He recognized the awesomeness of God and the need to honour Him.  What about Noah who spent years preparing an Ark when there was nothing like rain ever seen before that time.  Did the people of his time saw him as wise, probably not.  But, he persisted because he was sure it was God that spoke to him and in the end, his reward of faith came. Noah and his household were the only survivors of the flooding that swept all humans.

Faith is essential to Christianity. Without demonstrating faith and trust in God, we are not his, and have no place with Him. We believe in God by faith, got saved by faith and walk with God by faith.  Faith sees the impossible and the unseen.  Faith is positive and never sees failure.  It is a lifestyle that sees God around us in our high and low moments.  

Each time we respond positively to the demands of faith, we see God around us.  As it is when you preach the truth of God's word, or when you are preaching His word and not your own words and also, when you are out there witnessing to soul, the angel of the Lord is always around you and if you have developed your spiritual live, sometimes you will see the angel or angels standing with you.


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