Have The Faith Of God
by Lyn Packer
God is offering us a divine exchange. He wants to give us His faith in exchange for ours! How is that possible, when at times it even seems hard to have faith 'in' God let alone have the faith 'of' God? Read on and find out.
In the world at this time we see mankind in a season that has caused many to become fearful. Our eyes see and our ears hear the things that are happening and if we are not careful a seed of fear plants itself in our heart and mind. Yet in the middle of all this God says to us "Have the faith of God." How is that possible, when at times it even seems hard to have faith 'in' God let alone have the faith 'of' God?
I have a non Christian sister who stockpiles food and other essentials because of her beliefs about what is coming. Although she wouldn't admit it, fear rules her life. She would call it being practical. Hmmm! How often do we call our fears 'being practical'?
For some of us things may be okay, but many people are in a season of warfare and are contending for a breakthrough. A little word of encouragement to remember in this season is that it is Christ in us who fights the battle. We are not left to fight on our own with no resources. More about that later.
I'm not a demon hunter, looking for the enemy behind every bush, but neither am I silly enough to believe he has no impact on my life. C. S. Lewis says that there are two extremes the enemy seeks to push us to – that we either pay him too much attention, or that we pay him no attention at all. While the devil is roaming like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour (1 Pet 5:8), we too often, unfortunately, fail to understand how we play into his hands.
We know the Scripture in 1 Cor 13:13 that says that 'these three things abide – faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is love'. There are within each of us some human faculties that work both for and against faith, hope and love. These things can act like fetters in the spirit realm, causing us to be held back and possibly to unwittingly co-operate with the devil in his plans for our lives.
In this article I want to concentrate on faith and hope and what works for and against them and how they work with the faith of God.
Faith – what works for and against faith is reason. Reason – it's a great faculty to be able to reason, to think things through and come to a conclusion. Sometimes it's a logical conclusion, sometimes illogical. Reason can cause us to walk in faith or it can work against faith.
Reason can tell us that God is faithful, that the Word can be trusted and that God, Himself, is trustworthy - or reason can tell us that we have yet to see the evidence of faith working and bringing the results people were believing for. Reason justifies and causes us at times to rearrange our theology to fit our experiences. Our experiences, or the experiences of others, become a powerful voice of reason that can work for or against faith.
Hope – what works for and against hope is memory. Memory is a powerful thing. It can give or kill hope. When we come into a situation one of the first things that happens is that our memory kicks in and we automatically begin to look at this new situation through the eyes of memory. I'll explain more later about how that works.
An example of this from my own life is – The Word of God describes God as a loving Father who does not use or abuse his children for his selfish needs. In my life my memories told me what a Father was like. My memories dictated my expectations and my expectations shouted at me and tried to destroy hope that maybe God could be a loving Father to me.
Our ability to walk by faith is affected by our reason and our memories. Our memories can determine what we see and what we see is powerful – so powerful it can cause our reality. The enemy seeks to corrupt what we see through our memories. Instead of being able to look forward with the eyes of hope and faith we look forward through our memories and our reason, which can lead us to false conclusions. When our memories and imaginations are corrupted it can cause us to walk in the soul realm instead of in the power of the Spirit.
David's battle with Goliath is a powerful example of this – 1 Sam 17 - David looks at Goliath and draws on his memories of dealing with the lion and the bear and he sees how he can take Goliath. David used his memories to deal with something he'd never faced before. We do the same.
When we come to a situation our mind automatically searches for something similar in our memories. It will then bring up all the emotion and feelings surrounding these memories. Our mind will assess the new situation through those memories and feelings and tell us how we will approach the new situation. If our memories are negative then we will feel panic, fear and an inability to move forward, and we will retreat. If our memories are positive then we will feel confident to go forward.
Look at the disciples on the road after the crucifixion – Jesus draws on their memory (of Scripture) and reminds them what was said about Him to help them deal with the situation.
Often we fail to accomplish things for God through fear. Sometimes the fear comes from our negative memories. We can easily lose sight of the times God has come through for us, and that is why we need to deliberately bring to mind positive experiences of God's deliverance and help in our life.
We overcome Fear with Love which is infused with trust. Trust is not something we hear a lot about. We hear about faith, and sometimes hope, but hope, like trust, can seem to us something very passive. We don't do trust, rest and confidence well, sometimes. We want action. Yet any action must come from these things or else it becomes self effort.
Isa 30:15 says, "In quietness and confidence (trust) shall be your strength."
Confidence in God is based on the trustworthiness of God. It all comes down to "Can God be trusted or not?" Faith has at it's foundation the trustworthiness and integrity of God. So how do we get that sort of faith - a faith firmly grounded in trust?
Smith Wigglesworth is quoted as having said something close to this: "When my faith comes to an end, His is just beginning!"
Mark 11:22 says "Have faith in God." Some translations say "Have the faith of God".
'Have the faith of God'. Think about that for a minute. God has gifted us His faith and He waits to see if we will take hold of it and use it. It's a divine exchange that He's offering - He wants to give us His faith in exchange for ours! Wow!
What is His faith? It is the absolute knowledge of, and trust in, 'who He is". It's all His goodness, faithfulness, love, generosity etc that He knows is in Himself. It's God's supreme confidence in "who He is" and God says to us, "You can know the same faith in me that I have. I'm giving you my faith in myself." What a gift! That the Lord God Almighty who has no self doubts whatsoever because He knows He is truth, love, faithfulness, goodness and many other things would gift us that supreme confidence to walk through life with. Wow!
Remember: "Do not throw away your confidence which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what was promised." Heb 10:35-36
We can have that confidence and the reward that goes with it. We have hope and faith and we can only have them because we know that God is Truth – truth and love; love that is good, trustworthy, faithful, and many other things that are part of who He is.
Do not let fear dictate your present or your future; make reason and memory work for you, causing you to trust in God. Then, ask Him for that divine exchange and step into the reality of His faith. It's yours to walk in.