We’ve come to the final letter discussing different things that would cause our faith to be inoperable. So far we've come to understand that faith is a spiritual force that has the ability to make every promise from God’s Word a reality in our natural lives.
We’ve learnt that faith comes in different measures and is increased in our lives as we meditate on the truth of God’s Word. We discussed how doubt, and un-forgiveness weakens and destroys the faith we have, whereas righteous living and obedience to God’s Word empowers and strengthens it. Today, we’re going to dig a little deeper and get to the heart of things, so to say.
Essentially, in order for our faith to work we must move away from putting our focus on mechanical formulas to placing it on the motives of the heart.
If God’s interests are in the centre of our hearts, there will be no hidden agendas lurking behind what we are believing for. However, if pleasing ourselves before pleasing Him is truly in our motives James 4:3 says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
Now there’s nothing wrong with asking for more than just our needs to be met, the Bible says the Lord delights in prospering His children, in all things. 1 Timothy 6:17 says we are to put our trust in God Who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
Psalms 35:27 says, “Let those who favour my righteous cause and have pleasure in my uprightness shout for joy and be glad and say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, Who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
God really does take pleasure in prospering His children, even more so than an earthly father delights to see his children blessed in all areas of their lives. The question isn’t whether or not it’s His will and pleasure to see us blessed above and beyond our needs, it’s that those who favour God’s cause and His ways above their own, are the ones who experience His continuous, bountiful provision and blessing.
God is good, and He doesn’t want to see us wanting for any good thing. Matthew 7:11 says, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” .
When God’s Presence is continuously made welcome in our lives, we will experience pleasures, it’s just a part of His wonderful, generous nature towards us. Look at what Psalms 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”
It’s really important we join the dots and see there is a direct link between making the Lord and His ways our primary delight and priority, and living the good, and best life He has for us, right here on earth.
If we feel our faith is not working, it may be a good time to check our love walk.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
If you remember from the previous letters, according to the Word, loving God actually means putting Him and His interests first place in our lives. In John 14:15 Jesus said, “If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.”
Now don’t think for a moment that our ability to love God like this is something we can naturally do on our own. It certainly isn’t, and we can take no credit for it either. In 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 Paul says we are not sufficient in ourselves, nor must we even think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.
You see, our part is to surrender our will to God’s will, then the Holy Spirit steps in and supernaturally empowers us to live it out, by pouring His all powerful, never failing, unconquerable, supernatural love into our hearts! Hallelujah! It’s a supernatural partnership of our surrender and His love.
We can’t love and obey God without the Holy Spirit filling us with God’s own love first. This is the love that empowers and activates our faith - making it work! That’s because faith only works by God’s love in us.
1 Corinthians 13 pretty much sums up this truth, it says that unless we are walking in God’s love, not our own - none of His spiritual principles work in our lives as they are intended to work. We can have faith to move mountains, but without God’s love being active in us - that faith can do nothing!
So, let’s round up this series on reasons why our faith doesn’t work. Even though doubt, and un-forgiveness weakens and destroys faith; and righteous living, and obedience to God’s Word empowers and strengthens it - we could never get this balance right on our own.
It’s our inseparable partnership with the Holy Spirit where we surrender to His love, and allow it to influence and dominate our motives and actions, that causes our faith to work.
If you are believing God for something His Word has promised you, ask the Holy Spirit to show you if there is anything in your life that is preventing your faith from working. Go back over the letters that cover this topic and set your faith back on course.
Then, go back to Mark 11:23-24 and meditate on its truth.
“Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].”
The biggest mistake we can make is treating God as a magical gene and His Word as a mechanical formula. It’s only through an intimate, personal love relationship with the Lord and His Word by the Person of the Holy Spirit that makes our lives fruitful, prosperous and successful, in the midst of the challenges we face.
Until next week, practice surrendering to His love and see your faith soar!