God Given Faith
Please remember the puzzles that you have put together; there is always that piece or part of the puzzle that is the anchor needed to begin establishing what you will build off of. You hunt for it over and over until it is pieced together, since it is often critical to defining the shape, or to allow building the uniformly colored pieces off of it. It is just so with this topic, Faith. Frequent reading of Smith Wigglesworth’s sermon God Given Faith has been such an anchor for me, so that is the title used here as well. All of the topics to this point build off the level of your faith, and you will find it interspersed through many of the exhortations. However, to this point God had not given or led to write a specific topic teaching on faith. Perhaps the topic of faith is similar to the only trait that is greater, the love of God (I Corinthians 13:13). If the love of God is everywhere, and faith is so integral and critical to all growth, perhaps they are a hidden part and anchor of every topic. God is now calling to look deeper at our faith.
Many have looked at the example of Enoch being taken by God, and desired to have a walk of righteousness, goodness, obedience, and holiness, that they might be taken. And all these things will be a part, since … without holiness no man shall see the Lord. But we must understand that Enoch had reached the point where he pleased God, and that pleasing was in his faith;
Hebrews 11:5, 6 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 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.
It does not say that by righteousness or holiness Enoch was translated, but By faith. We know that All scripture is given by inspiration of God … so God spoke in the above scriptures. Enoch had such faith that he pleased God and God translated him. He wants us to let our faith grow that we may please Him, and it is … impossible to please him … if we do not! Get on this path of growing your faith; pray and fast and seek His face for the abundance of faith.
Jesus spoke to the disciples of their unbelief, the great possibilities of their faith, and the preparation needed for faith;
Matthew 17:20, 21 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
We have always heard this scripture taught or preached as speaking of having faith the size of the grain of mustard seed. We have been taught that such a small amount of faith as a mustard seed can move mountains. However, we know that every man has been given faith;
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
God has given faith to every man by measure; that is how you can know that each and every one has the potential to reach the level of faith Jesus spoke of in Matthew 17:20. It does not tell us what God is using for the measure, but every man has been given that measure. It is not a question of whether we have faith, but rather our use of what we do have! It is not acquiring something from without, but releasing what is within! Jesus told them they could not cast the devil out because of their unbelief, and also because of unpreparedness (lack of … prayer and fasting)!
Listening to an F. F. Bosworth sermon from 1954, he said that a seed has the power in itself to grow into a plant. God let me begin to truly hear this. When the scripture says … as a grain of mustard seed, if it means like the faith of the mustard seed we get a different meaning. The seed does not have means to question or doubt the ability to grow into a plant, but just grows when it is planted and watered. The mustard seed has no unbelief, but simply does what it has the possibility to do. Jesus told the disciples that they (and we also) could simply do what they had the possibility to do if they would release their faith in God! In Matthew 19:26 Jesus told the disciples that … with God all things are possible. Jesus also spoke of other spiritual parallels to a seed;
John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
While a seed is stored it remains dormant. Seeds can be stored for years unchanged. The preparing that is necessary for the seed is to fall into the ground and die. Grasp the spiritual parallel and realize that you must get your faith off the shelf for it to become active! Begin to pray and fast, and seek God that you may find the ability of your faith. Then, after the seed dies, it grows and bears:
Mark 4:28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
This is as our faith should grow. We should not look at the size of the mustard seed (or our faith), but consider the ability of the mustard seed, and the knowing what it can and will become. Every one of us have within us the God given power and ability of faith to dry up the fig tree, uproot the sycamore tree, or move the mountain! Recognize or realize the possibilities of your faith, and do not walk in doubt or unbelief! Prayer and fasting are part of abiding in Him, and can activate our faith to its fullest.
Our faith must be grounded in Him, for He is ... the way, the truth, and the life. We must ... believe that he is, and also that He ... is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Know that His desire is for you to release your faith in Him to its fullest.
The only question then, is what we will do with the faith we have been given. If we have not become mountain movers with our faith, we are under-achievers. We should not think highly of ourselves (Romans 12:3 above), because faith was given to us and we have failed to fulfill it to all of God’s given purpose. Smith Wigglesworth would probably have said “It is all there!” Smith also said, “There is a process on this line.” His meaning was that there is a progression to growing our faith. From the scripture above, … first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. Our faith can and should be exactly what Jesus said it should. We must plant, water, and nurture our faith to its full growth!
In Exodus 4:31 we see that the people worshipped when they heard that God would deliver them from their affliction. There is joy in hearing of the promise, but then they murmured and complained as they were brought through greater affliction (gathering the straw) to gain the promise. After they were delivered from Egypt with great wealth, after they were brought through the Red Sea on dry ground, after they saw the death of the Egyptians, they still complained repeatedly in their unbelief in the wilderness. Although the men of Israel that were brought out of Egypt saw God miraculously provide water, quails, and manna they did not believe God to provide the victories, or to receive the promised land, and as a result did not get to go into it. Our example is that we cannot stop and allow our heart to be hardened on the path of our faith;
Hebrews 3:7 – 11 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
We know from scripture that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God’s ways higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8, 9). Ask God to open your spiritual eyes and ears to walk in His ways. What will you then do with the measure of faith you have been given? It will determine your destiny, as well as your destination;
Revelation 21:7, 8 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
There are choices to be made with stark alternatives. Will you believe God that he will bring good out of your affliction? That is your promise if you love Him;
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
It is easy to know this scripture in mind, and still grumble in the afflictions. Receive the truth of the above scripture in heart, and find joy;
James 1:2, 3 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Be joyful in knowing that God, in the affliction and persecution of the enemy, will prune, and purge, and shape you in His image that you can inherit all things! When the devil is ready to say gotcha, we should rise up in spirit and say thanks! We cannot leave the general topic of faith, to study the specific gift of faith, without showing the source, The Word;
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Get in the Word as you seek Him in faith; the blessings will be great! Realize also that there is a gift of faith to be sought or desired (I Corinthians 12:31).