Today we will continue our series entitled “God’s Grace & Our Faith.” We are looking at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus. Our primary scriptures are John 1:14 & 17. We have also been looking at the fruit of the Holy Spirit from Galatians 5:22,23. Let’s go back to those again today.
(John 1:14 New International Version)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:17 New International Version)
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(Galatians 5:22,23 The Passion Translation)
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart, and
strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.
Yesterday I dealt with four levels of faith:
1. Faith in the works (what you see).
2. Faith in the Word (what you read).
3. Faith in a rhema Word (what you hear).
4. Faith in God (the person).
I could do a deeper dive into each of these. But I am only led to go deeper into #4. Let’s talk about having faith in God or having the God-kind of faith.
All of this, by the way, is in my book, Level up Your Life, available at (https://rickpina.co/).
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. The Word of God will mean nothing to you if you do not have a relationship with the God of the Word.
Plenty of people read the Bible who don’t know God. Many even study it with the intent of attempting to disprove God. So if you come to the Word of God with any motive other than getting to know the God of the Word, the power of the Word will not impact your life.
Not only must you have faith, but you must also know who you have placed your faith in. Your faith in a person is based on that person’s character and track record. If I promise something on a personal level or commit to delivering on a project at work, people will either have faith in me or lack faith in me, based on what they consider about me. They will consider my character (whether or not my word can be valued and trusted) and my track record (whether or not I have a proven record of delivering on promises). Based on my character and track record, they will place a certain level of faith and trust in me.
If I say that I will deliver on something by the close of business on Friday, then most people I know will believe me because I don’t have a track record of being dishonest, and I have a proven record of delivering. However, I can promise to deliver, and still not, because I am a man. Men (male and female) make mistakes. Things that are unforeseen to us may keep us from fulfilling our word. However, God is NOT a man (Numbers 23:19). Nothing is unforeseen to Him. Nothing catches Him off guard. Nothing is a surprise to God. So if God said it, He will perform it. If He promised it, He will make it good. God has flawless character and a proven track record. He has NEVER failed you, and He NEVER will. You are SAFE to have FAITH in God!
This means that when you read the Bible, you should do so with an open heart to have faith in the author. Becuase God is trustworthy, and He has a flawless track record. He has never failed, nor will He ever do so!
2. Faith speaks what the Holy Spirit leads you to speak from a believing heart!
In Mark 11, Jesus said, “Have faith in God.” The context around the statement was that He had approached a fig tree the previous morning because He was hungry. However, the tree did not have any figs. Since Jesus was always led by the Father concerning what to say, He obviously heard the Father curse the tree in the Spirit. So by faith, Jesus said what He heard. He spoke 9 words. He said, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” The disciples heard what Jesus said. Jesus cursed the tree out loud, but nothing happened to the tree at that moment. Jesus was not moved by that. He said what He was led by the Holy Spirit to say, and He had faith that it would come to pass. So He left. He walked away like it was already done.
The next morning Jesus and the disciples walked past the same tree. This time the tree was dried up from the roots. Peter was amazed. He said, “Master, look! The tree you cursed is dead!” Jesus simply said, “Have faith in God.” Jesus was basically saying, “You must have faith in the Father. If He leads you to say something, SAY IT! Out loud. Even at the risk of looking foolish. If He leads you to do something, DO IT! Even if it is in front of others. At the risk of looking foolish. And you cannot be moved by the fact that your present situation may not change in the moment. You must have so much faith in God that you are not moved by what you SEE. You are only moved by what God SAID!“
Jesus went on to say, “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 shall come to pass, he will have whatsoever he says.” When God leads you to say something, you must SAY IT, from a believing heart, with faith in God. Your faith is not in you or your ability to perform. Jesus did not do anything to that tree to cause it to die other than speaking words of faith from a believing heart. He said what the Father led Him to say through the Holy Spirit, and He walked away like it was already done. This is how we are supposed to live.
3. You will have what you say (from a believing heart).
You may not realize it, but you are speaking words you believe all the time. Faith and fear work the same way. Faith is an expression of your confidence in God and what He is saying to you. Fear is an expression of your confidence in satan and what he is saying to you. When you speak words from a believing heart — words that either line up with what the Holy Spirit is saying to you or words that line up with what satan is saying — you are openly expressing your confidence that those words will come to pass. In the end, you will have (good or bad) what you say! So never let a negative word come out of your mouth, especially when you are speaking it from a believing heart.
Here’s a quick example. Let’s say you are working on a proposal where your business is competing with other businesses. The Holy Spirit tells you that God has favored you to win this project. You get excited, and you start working on the proposal. But as you do, you realize that there are many other companies, who are also competing, that are FAR MORE qualified than your company. The enemy tells you that you are wasting your time. He tells you NOT to submit the proposal and that if you do, you are going to LOSE. But the Holy Spirit keeps telling you that God has favored you to win this project. Now, whose report are you going to believe?
To live by faith, you have to believe what the Holy Spirit is saying, and your confidence must be in God. If you have faith in God, it will come out in your normal conversation as you are talking to people about it. But if you don’t have confidence in God, and you have shifted over to confidence in what satan has been telling you, then those words will come out of your mouth in your normal conversation. And guess what? In the end, you will have what you say and believe. This is the life of faith.
4. The God kind of faith.
Jesus said, “Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22). Another translation says, “Have the God kind of faith.” The God kind of faith is faith that receives, believes, and declares what the Holy Spirit is saying to you in your heart, even when it does not match what you see with your natural eyes. And you speak what you HEAR while not being moved by what you SEE. That is what Jesus did with the fig tree.
We serve a God who calls those things which be not as though they were (Romans 4:17). Our God calls the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). He speaks to our “TO BE” stage from our “RIGHT NOW” stage. To walk and live by faith, we must do the same thing. We must be willing to SAY what God SAID, even when we do not SEE what God SAID, and then keep SAYING what God SAID until the earth catches up with heaven’s reality. That’s what happened in Mark 11, and that is what will happen in your life as you live by faith in what the Holy Spirit is revealing to you. Your faith is not in you or your ability to perform. Your faith is solely in God!
5. Your faith must be in God and God alone!
Paul said, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Tim 1:12). When you get to the point where your faith is in the person of God Himself, you will not be moved because God will never be moved.
God must be the object of your faith. Beyond faith in what you saw, what you read, or what you heard, this is faith in God Himself. This type of faith is built on a level of trust that cannot be shaken. This is not faith in man because man will let you down. This is not faith in yourself because you have failed yourself more times than you want to remember. This is not faith in your ability to remain in faith because you know there have been times when you have given up on what you believed God for. This is an overarching faith in the person of God and in His unyielding commitment to you and the plans He made for you before the world began.
When you are living with this type of faith, you know that God is both the author and the finisher of the work He started in your life. You know God is fully committed to you, despite your faults, flaws, and failures. Your belief in God’s commitment helps you live with fearless confidence. Things may not always work out the way you want. You may not always get what you expect. You may have to overcome more challenges than you are comfortable with. But at the end of the day, you are not moved because you have faith in God, and you know He will never give up on you or the plans he made for you. When you live this way, you will be able to live like Jesus. Fear, doubt, and unbelief will have no power over you. So my message to you is simple: HAVE FAITH IN GOD! HAVE THE GOD KIND OF FAITH!
6. You must know WHOM you believe in!
Paul said, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Tim 1:12). Paul’s faith was not in man. Paul’s faith was not in Paul. Paul’s faith was in God. Paul said, “I know whom I have believed…” He was saying, “I know God. God is not some disconnected or despondent heavenly being. God is my Father. I know Him and I believe in Him! I know He will never let me down!” This is the point we must all get to.
Paul was saying, “There are some things God has spoken to me about that are beyond me. I cannot do these things unless God steps in. They are beyond human. They exceed my ability. So I believe these things will happen, because God will make them happen. I have committed these things to God and I KNOW they shall come to pass!” On a personal level, this is where I am at today. There are some things I am believing God for that I am only believing because God promised them. He told me what He was going to do. I cannot make these things happen. If God does not do them, they won’t get done. But I believe God. My confidence is IN HIM! I know whom I have believed. I have a relationship with my heavenly Father. I have committed these things to Him, and I know they shall come to pass in the fullness of His timing. I HAVE FAITH IN GOD!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I stand on Your promises with unwavering faith because my faith is rooted and grounded in You. My faith is not in man. My faith is not in me. My faith is not even in my ability to remain in faith. My faith is in You! I HAVE FAITH IN GOD!
I know You are committed to me, Father. You have an unwavering commitment to the plans and purposes You established for me (and then placed IN me) before the world began. You are more committed to me than I am. Even when I am faithless, You remain faithful to me because of Your undeserved grace. Every time You look at me, even when I am not doing all the right things, You still SEE the plans You made for me, and You will never give up on me or those plans!
Knowing how committed You are to me, all I can do is place my total trust, faith, and confidence is IN YOU! I live my life with fearless confidence. I am not moved by what I see because I know whom I believe, and I know You will never leave me, forsake me, or give up on me! In the fullness of time, every Word You have spoken over me shall come to pass! I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.