Where is the Faith

Scripture lesson

Luke 18:8 (NKJV) {8} I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"

Introduction

I have noticed that many who call themselves Christians have very little faith in God.   These Christians who say they believe God and/or trust God confess and operate in so much doubt and unbelief that it is absolutely amazing.  What comes out of their mouth is usually doubt and unbelief.  Their confession is typically how bad things are and nothing about hope or faith in God to make things better.  There are of course exceptions to this such as my mother.  When bad things happen around her she doesn’t get unglued.  She trusts God and just takes care of business.  In so many words she once said that there was no point in getting all worked up because that won’t change anything.  If only we all had confidence like that!  Jesus said not to worry because doing so wouldn’t change one hair on our head.  However, many Christians that I encounter claim defeat as a normal path in just about any situation.  When a loved one is sick the only thing you hear coming out of their mouth is how the doctor said she is going to die, what procedures he will need, etc.  The end of all of that death and unbelief is usually a request to pray for the loved one.  We typically do not pray in confidence and we surely do not operate in faith.

I recently came across a Christian marriage forum where someone put a post of how his wife had symptoms that were due to her having multiple sclerosis.  I simply suggested that he pursue the cure for the root of the problem, which was multiple sclerosis.  However, he told me that he believes that God wants his wife sick and that there was some purpose for it.  I told him that God doesn’t want his wife sick and quoted to him some scriptures about that and I gave him some resources where he could check this out for himself.  I only wanted him to investigate the topic so that he would be edified, since there was no way I could relay to him all that I had learned over the last year.  He told me that he looked at the resources and that he still believes God wants his wife sick!  There are hours of video, audio, and reading material on the websites that I sent him and he therefore could not have gone through all of that in the few hours between our posts on the forum.  The bottom line is that he refused to believe that God wants his wife well and he refused to even investigate the topic even for the sake of his wife.  I was truly amazed how much doubt and unbelief permeated his thinking and his heart.  This says nothing about the fact that he believes that God has done something that the Bible attributes to Satan.

Interestingly enough there was a time when I had similar beliefs as that man on the forum.  However, over a year ago I began really studying and engrossing myself in the topic of divine healing and I realized how much doubt and unbelief I was operating in.  I thought and confessed that I trusted God, but in the real scope of things I was full of doubt and unbelief.  I believed God in my head, but my heart didn’t always agree.  Something was very wrong and I didn’t know what to do about it.

Thankfully, I found Christians who believed God and had faith in him for everyday situations on an online Christian forum (www.christianhealing form.com) and even on facebook.  They believe that God does heal today.  I also realized that there was no one around me that could help me in this endeavor.  However, I did find a lady that ran a healing school from her house based on the Charles and Francis Hunter Ministries.  She was a godsend!  That is someone up close and personal that believes in healing and has a real healing ministry.

Why didn’t I truly have faith in God as I thought I did?  What was wrong?  I thought I had faith in God, but when something happens I find that the faith that I thought I had was not producing the results that I thought it would.  This is when I realized that the body of Christ is a faithless bunch of people.  We have very little faith in God.  There are many who do not even have faith in God for salvation even though they claim to be saved.  They say they are saved, but they operate in the realm of works.

What should I do?  What should we do?  How do we get out of this realm of doubt and unbelief and stop Satan from beating us down every day of our lives? To my surprise the answer is quite simple and one which the bible succinctly reveals.  I pursued God in the area of divine healing and God opened my eyes to many things regarding faith, belief, doubt, etc.  I don’t know or understand all that is involved, but I have at least begun my journey away from doubt and unbelief.

 

Faith and Prayer

Why do some Christians bother to pray when they do not believe what they pray?  Jesus gave a parable of how we should always pray and not give up.  That is where I scripture text came from.

Luke 18:8 (NKJV) {8} I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"

If Jesus was to come down right now and look at your life would he see faith?  What evidence can you produce that shows that you believe God through his word?  When we aren’t feeling well we run to the medicine cabinet.  When the doctor says do this or that we follow it to the letter.  There is little if any confession about God’s power to heal or deliver.  Instead we comfort ourselves in our suffering by claiming that God put us in the mess.  Sure Jesus would find faith, but he would not find faith in God.  He would find faith in medical science, financial system, etc.

I have interacted with many people that don’t even dream.  They limit their lives to their present situation.  They state what they can or cannot afford and what financial situation they are in and that’s it.  Many don’t even bother to reach for the stars because they feel as though they will never reach it.  At the same time the bible says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Consider this.

Mark 11:22-24 (NKJV) {22} So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. {23} For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. {24} Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Very few Christians actually believe this. They may say they believe God, but when trouble comes or a decision has to be made the object of their faith is made evident and usually it is not the Lord.  Jesus said that if we believe and not doubt in our hearts then we will have what we say when we pray.  That is the problem with many and to my amazement was my problem and still is to some degree.  We have so much doubt and unbelief in us that the faith we attempt to operate in is immediately negated by the doubt and unbelief.
Interestingly enough the doubt and unbelief comes from the religious institutions where we would expect to induce faith in us.  There are many churches that teach that God makes us sick or that God has a particular purpose for sickness.  They blame God for the acts of the devil.  The bible says that Jesus Christ went around doing good, healing all those who were oppressed by the devil because God was with him (Acts 10:38).  Jesus went around undoing the works of the devil, which included sicknesses, diseases, possessions, etc.  However, the church credits those to God! 

The bottom line here is that our prayers are ineffective because we have so much doubt and unbelief in our hearts.  The worst part is that most of us who call ourselves Christian do not even pursue the truth of faith and confidence in God.  We instead accept defeat.  This is very evident in how we pray with no faith and the things we say in any given situation.

We should trust God when we pray.  We should trust and know that God will take care of us even though bad things may happen to us on planet earth.  When we pray in faith we should know that God will answer that prayer.

 

The Word of God

I have found for many years that most Christians that I have encountered do not read or study their bibles.  Many may sit down and read it, however that is usually just a mental exercise.  The words that are therein do not get into their hearts.  How can I say that?  I can say that because if the word of God was truly in their hearts then they would live like it.  They would operate in faith.  Instead the word of God that they do receive is usually taken away because there is little to no understanding and they don’t do it.  Consider the following scripture.

Matthew 4:4 (NKJV) {4} But He answered and said, "It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’"

We should live by the word of God.  Do we? To live implies that something is being done.  If we would live by the word of God then we would do what the word of God says.  One thing the word of God reveals to us is that we should have faith in God to take care of us.  Consider this.

James 1:22 (NKJV) {22} But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

And,

Matthew 7:24-27 (NKJV) {24} "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: {25} and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. {26} "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: {27} and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."

The key here is being a doer of the word of God.  Do you actively practice what the word of God says?  Do you look at the word of God, believe it, and then act on that belief?  Let me demonstrate.  I have seen time and time again where a loved one is sick and yet no one will lay hands on her for her to be healed. Notice that I didn’t say that no one will lay hands on her and pray for her to be healed.  The bible didn’t say lay hands on someone and pray for them.  The bible says that a sign of believers is that they lay hands on the sick and they recover.  Instead we prepare ourselves to go to the pharmacy, doctor, and everyone else except God.  I listen to people describe a loved one’s medical condition and it usually is a regurgitation of how bad a shape the person is in.

For example, I have learned that God wants us well.  God does not make us sick to teach us something like religion tells us.  Therefore, when I see people sick I know that God wants to heal them.  It is evident that God works through people because there would have been no need for the prophets, disciples, or even Jesus Christ. Therefore, if God is going to heal someone then we have to believe and cause people to be healed by laying hands on them in faith, commanding, etc.  These are the things we do not do.  We do the opposite.  Anyway, I find that there is something fighting on the inside of me when I see someone that is ill or in some way crippled.  I find that I have to work myself up to go minister to that person.  This should be a normal part of the Christian life, namely to minister to people.  The signs that Jesus spoke of do not follow Christians today because Christians simply do not believe.

Jesus said that the words the he speaks are spirit and they are life (John 6:63).  It is evident that we have little of the true word of God in us because we do not promote the Spirit of God or life.  We confess defeat and death just like those who are without Christ.  The church is a poor representation of the kingdom of God.  The world can look at the church and see nothing different from itself.  What are the benefits of putting your faith in God when the church says that God makes you sick, takes stuff away, beats you, kills your loved ones, etc?  The bible declares the benefits of God.

Psalm 103:1-6 (NKJV) {1} A Psalm Of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! {2} Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: {3} Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, {4} Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, {5} Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. {6} The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.

The bible says that the benefits of God are:

  1. Forgives all of your sins
  2. Heals all your diseases
  3. Redeems your life from destruction
  4. Crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies
  5. Satisfies your mouth with good things to restore your youth
  6. Executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed

We (Christians) do not believe these.  We believe the opposite.  Christians (church folk) believe that God holds your sins against them and is therefore angry with them.  God puts diseases on you, he allows you to suffer for some divine purpose, and he punishes us with disasters and the like.  How have we come so far from the truth—the word of God to believe lies of Satan?

 

Being a Doer of the Word

I mentioned earlier that we have to be a doer of the word in order to operate (live) by the word of God.  If we don’t do or practice what the word of God reveals to us then all we have is head knowledge.  For example, I spent many years studying theology and until recently I found how useless that is for basic everyday life.  Sure theology can help us get people over the hump so to speak with regards to putting their faith in Jesus Christ.  However, I think demonstrating the word of God would be far more effective.  Theology has turned Christianity into a form of Gnosticism.  There is no power in theology just knowledge.  I should say that I am not against theology. It is useful in its proper place.  I have learned much about God and salvation through theology.  However, theology won’t make you powerful in the Lord.  You have to do what the bible says not just study what it says.

This is something that professed Christians simply do not do.  Instead of practicing the word of God Christians practice their religion.  Christians think that going to church, paying tithes, and following the rules are meaningful.  Those mean absolutely nothing without being a doer of the word.  How do great sports figures become great?  Ultimately they practice a lot to perfect their skills and abilities.  How then would we expect to be proficient in the things of God if we do not practice them?  God has empowered the Christian with his Spirit and most do nothing with it.  We don’t heal the sick.  We don’t cast out devils.  We can’t help many others because we are so destitute ourselves.  Many Christians are defeated, deceived, and powerless people who are useless in the kingdom of God.
What do you do when you get sick?  What do you do when you want to go to Disney World?  What do you do when you want a new house or want to pay for your neighbor’s house because they are having financial problems and are about to lose their house?  What do you do?  Sure we may pray, but our prayers are usually no more than begging sessions to God.  We are powerless and unprofitable servants!

Instead do this.  Lay hands on your sick friend, co-worker, loved one and minister healing. Believe God for your neighbor to save their house?  Believe that God will provide a way for you to go to Disney World for vacation (note you can minister there too).  Believe God for a new house.  It may not happen right away, but at least you have begun a path towards it.  Consider the following.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV) {5} Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; {6} In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

You trust God not yourself.  You be aware of God in the things you do and God will make those things right.  Do you believe that?  I know many people who do not believe that.  They would rather do nothing than to pursue (receive) what God has already given them.  There are many people who do not dream.  There are many people who have little or no hope.  Therefore, there are many people who are not walking in the blessings and benefits of God, which were discussed earlier.

Mark 9:23 (NKJV) {23} Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."

All things are possible to those who believe.  Are you a believer?  Do you believe what the word of God says and therefore doing it?  If you are not doing it then you do not believe it.  It’s that simple.  Let me give you an example.

If you are sick and you discover that God really wants you to be well then do you pursue that?  Do you pursue receiving God’s healing for your life or do you forget about it believing that it won’t work for you or that your sickness is somehow the will of God?  Now suppose your doctor calls you and says, "We have a pill that will cure your disease!"  Do you pursue it or do you say to yourself that your sickness is the will of God?  You would do all that is within your power and beyond to get to your doctor and get that pill.  If only we pursued God like that.

 

Why is Faith So Lacking?

Faith is lacking in the body of Christ because we do not learn it in our churches and Christians typically do not study the bible for themselves.  Many Christians simply accept what they are told by their pastors, bishops, priests, or other religious leaders.  Most churches will pray, but their prayers are defeated begging sessions as I mentioned previously.  It may go something like this: "Oh God please bless this person.  Touch this person, Lord.  Let you will be done.  Guide the doctor’s hands as he does his surgery."
We don’t learn how to operate in faith so we simply do not do it.  We don’t learn how to operate in faith because we don’t learn to know the word of God intimately.  We are told to accept whatever the preacher says.  We are taught to follow the religious rules.  We are taught to not think for ourselves or build our own personal relationship with God (of course I know there are exceptions to this and that there are churches that truly teach the word of God and how to operate in it).

We lack faith because we are ignorant of it.  It’s that simple.  People are too busy having church services instead of learning to walk in the power of God and minister to people.  The church looks just like the world, namely defeated and hopeless.  The church (the religious system) lacks faith because it does not know God.

 

The Solution

The solution starts with repentance.  That means to change.  We have to change from the way we are doing things now and follow the word of God.  We need to know what God says and do what God says.  It is that simple.  The bible says that faith comes by hearing what comes from the word of God (Romans 10:17).  Therefore, we need to know what the word of God says and do it…live it.  It’s that simple.  It’s not about following the rules so to speak, but rather it is about living by the Spirit of God that is already in you if indeed you are a Christian.

Start today.  Start little by little.  The more you do the word of God then the more you will experience God’s faithfulness.  The more you realize who you are in Christ (joint heirs with Christ and therefore sons) then the more confident you will have.  The first step is to know the word of God and the second step is to do the word of God.

Start believing God for things that you need and want.  Start dreaming.  See yourself in your new home.  Start looking at houses in magazines or the Internet to get an idea of what kind of house you would like.  Start seeing yourself and your family well and believe God for your wellness even if the body doesn’t seem to represent what you believe.  Pray in confidence and not in defeat.  Say what the bible says, for example, "You are healed by the stripes of Jesus."  Start putting your trust in God instead of everything else.
I have found that the best thing that we can do for ourselves with regards to faith producing in our life is to simply do what the bible says.  You won’t experience the blessings of God if you don’t practice the word of God.  So start practicing what the word of God says and your faith will increase accordingly.