What we believe in our hearts and speak with our mouths connects us to God's supply.
Faith is a powerful currency in the spiritual realm. If we want to receive anything from God, we must have it. Those who possess great faith enjoy incredible spiritual wealth, while those who suffer in fear live in an impoverished state.
Any study of faith must start with the definition God gave us in Hebrews 11:1-3: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen....By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible" (NKJV).
Quite simply, faith is believing in God and what He tells us. How do we get it? "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God," Paul wrote (Rom. 10:17).
Heavenly promises and provisions are available for every need we have on Earth. Faith is the way we withdraw what God has stored for us in heaven and bring it into the tangible realm here on Earth. It is like a funnel we hold up to God so He can give us heaven's supply.
When we use the word "tangible," our mind tends to think in terms of physical blessings such as food, shelter and money; but God's provision encompasses so much more. We receive His direction for our lives, strength to press through difficult circumstances, physical and emotional healing, and whatever else a human might need through one thing: faith. It takes faith to receive anything from the Lord.
God used words to create the world out of nothing. He also uses words to speak things into our lives, but we must believe those words in order to see them become substance, or reality.
Paul showed us how this principle works, using the example of Abraham's believing God's promise to him. He wrote that Abraham "believed God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, 'So shall your descendants be.'
"And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform" (Rom. 4:17-21).
This is a practical description of faith: We don't look at our physical circumstances or waver at the promise of God through unbelief but are fully convinced that God is able to perform what He has promised. Faith is relying on what God has spoken more than we rely on what our five senses tell us.
CONFESS WITH CONFIDENCE In order to operate with that level of trust, we must not only know what God has promised but also have confidence in His character. Championship tennis player Chris Evert knew the value of confidence: "You've got to take the initiative in playing your game," she once counseled. "In a decisive set, confidence is the difference."
In the "decisive sets" of our lives, we must show confidence in God, the kind of confidence that is born out of an intimate relationship with Him. God takes pleasure in rewarding our faith, "but without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:6).
If we have deposited faith into our spirits by reading and hearing the Word of God, it is a simple matter to get that faith working in our lives. Faith is energized by taking what we believe in our hearts and speaking it out of our mouths.
Our faith operates, on an ongoing basis, the same way it did to initially save us. We hear, we believe and we confess what we believe. This is the way God has designed faith to work. In his letter to the Romans, Paul described this pattern, referring to Deuteronomy 30:12-14, where the pattern was originally given:
"But what does it [the Deuteronomy passage] say? 'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart' (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:8-10).
Faith begins in the heart and is energized by the mouth, a fact confirmed by Jesus Himself when He said, "'Have faith in God. 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. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them'" (Mark 11:22-24).
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