Friday, July 11, 2014

Faith Comes By Hearing

Sometimes I feel like I need to see something.  Yes, I ask the Lord to speak to me and teach me… But sometimes, I feel like I need to see a miracle, see Jesus walking among us, see a revival in order for my faith to grow.  Like, seeing is the source of faith - And that’s how it ought to grow… And so, I pray for sight.  “Lord, let me see you!"  "Lord, will you please heal and cause my faith to grow?"  "Lord, will you please give me _____?"  "Lord, please bring revival, and grow our faith!"  "Lord, help me to believe - please give me the thing I’m asking for.”

Yet, the Bible says that faith doesn’t come by sight; it comes by hearing the Word of God.

Romans 10:17
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

Thomas wanted to see.  And Jesus said to him in John 20:29,

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:7,

“For we walk by faith, not by sight”.

I suppose I write all of this to say, I think I’m learning that my prayers need to be more directed toward, “Lord, let me hear you!” than “Lord let me see you.”  And from a heart that longs to hear, may my prayers be, “Lord, let me believe you.”

We read time and time again, Jesus healed people in the New Testament with the saying, “Your faith has made you well.” I think I have sometimes felt, my faith is not strong enough because I can pray for healing and sometimes, nothing happens.  I’ve typically either chalked that up to being rooted in the fact that my faith isn’t strong enough, or that perhaps my request was outside of the will of God.  Perhaps one, or both, of these things are true.  

Yet, when I pray, do I pray out in faith?  In a sense, yes.  Asking at all is believing that it could happen - that is faith.  Yet, do I believe it will happen?  Not usually… I don’t know the will of God all the time.  How could I have that kind of faith, a faith that knows his will and can ask for it accordingly?

I suppose I’ve been realizing, there are opportunities for me to exercise faith in the Lord every day.  Not just by listening and asking him to speak directly to me individually, but through what he’s already said to all of us in his Word.  He’s already said it, and he is truth.  

John 14:6
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Faith isn’t something we have because of what we have seen… We believe that God is true, and when he says something, faith is taking what he says as just that - Truth.

He says he will supply your needs. (Phil. 4:19)

Do we believe it all the time?  Do our hearts rest in that?  When we can’t see how he will provide, do we still believe that he will?

That’s one example of many - God tells us a lot of things about how he will work in us and through us.  Do we believe him?  When we ask him for something, even though we can’t see how or why or where or when or whatever, if he said it, it is true.  Do we believe it when we can’t see it?

Hebrews 11:1
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

When God promised Abraham a son at 75 years of age, and it didn’t happen for 25 more years (longer than the span of my entire life so far), Abraham kept trusting God all through those 25 years of nothing happening… Him getting older… His wife getting older… He kept trusting God as being true.  And he was right to do so.  God is true, and God keeps, and kept, his promises. 

And so I ask myself:  The LORD has promised good to me.  Will I believe him, though I may endure seasons, even LONG seasons of not seeing what he has spoken?  Will I hold fast to what is true?

Proverbs 3:5 says,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.”

Perhaps in the New Testament, the faith that made people well was not so much a trust in Jesus’ ability to heal them, but in the absolute truth of his Word.  His Word is powerful, and when he said, “Get up and walk,” perhaps rather than feeling a sensation of healing and responding to that physical sign, people heard the WORD OF GOD and responded to his spiritual authority.  “He said walk, so I can walk.”  “He told me I am well, so I am well.”  When he said it, they believed it - and believing it, they received it.

Mark 11:24
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." [Emphasis mine]

He tells us a lot of things about ourselves, about himself, and about how we you ought to live in His Word, the Bible.  He has SPOKEN.  Do we believe what he has said?  Do we live in the fear of what he says, the joy of what he proclaims, and the hope of what he promises?  

Do you hear the Word of the Lord?  Or are you even listening?

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.  

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