November 20, 2017

The Law of Faith

The Lord has given each of us a measure of faith. Sometimes we feel like we need more faith, but maybe we could use what we have better. When we see athletes performing at their peak in a professional game or the Olympics, we are inspired. Isn’t that how we want to be as Christians—employing our faith to the fullest?

Faith is important, because it is through faith that we receive salvation. Strengthening the faith we have is also important, because it is through exercising our faith that we obtain other promises of God. After we are saved, we might be so relieved to be free from the burden of sin that we are not concerned about potential challenges in the future, but sooner or later a situation comes up that requires God’s help. Perhaps we face a health crisis, or someone we care about goes through a trial, or we have a burden for our loved ones to be saved also. Faith is powerful and can work in all of these situations if we apply it correctly.

Faith can be thought of as a bridge to receiving answers to prayer, but it is much more than that. It is a law—an invariable principle—that governs our Christian walk.

Faith can be thought of as a bridge to receiving answers to prayer, but it is much more than that. It is a law—an invariable principle—that governs our Christian walk. Paul referred to the “law of faith” in Romans 3:27-28 when he asked, “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.”

Utilizing the law of faith is how we obtain what we need from God. It guarantees that when we believe God’s Word to the point of obedience, He will hear our prayers and respond, though He may not answer in the way we expect. This law that God has put in place is unchangeable. It is similar to a law of nature in that regard. Consider the law of gravity. Sometimes we wish it could change, such as during that space of time between when we lose our footing on a ladder and when we hit the ground. However, the law of gravity is constant; it doesn’t change over time or because of circumstances. The law of faith is like that. It has not changed since God created it, and it will never be modified, amended, or deleted. We can count on the law of faith to work consistently and without fail.

Knowing about the law of faith and how it operates, how can we use it most effectively? How can we take the faith that we have, however small it may be, and use it to the fullest extent? Here are a few Biblical guidelines.

Let faith take hold in your heart. It is helpful to understand the difference between faith and hope. Both are essential and both are Biblical, but they are different. Hebrews 11:1 tells us what the difference is, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for . . .” Hope provides the target for our faith. It looks ahead to a promise of God and says, “I would like that. I look forward to receiving that.” Faith says, “I know God will bring this to pass, as I ask according to His Word.” Hope looks to the future, while faith operates in the “now.” This doesn’t mean that our prayers are always answered immediately, but faith takes hold in our hearts immediately. God is sovereign, and He makes the determination as to when and how to act, but this does not affect the law of faith. 

An example of how faith takes hold is found in the testimony of Agnes Clasper. She told of how her daughter lay dying of tuberculosis after several doctors and a specialist had been consulted. Sister Agnes had recently moved to Portland and was talking to a neighbor over the fence, telling her of the situation. When the woman heard all that the child had been through, she said, “If you only had known to have brought her to the Apostolic Faith mission, our saints would have prayed and God would have healed your child.” There is something about that kind of confidence that says, “God will do it.” Sister Agnes went to the mission to investigate, and heard, “There is power in the Blood of Jesus to heal all manner of diseases.” Suddenly she had hope and her faith had a target. She and the others at church prayed that God would heal her daughter, and in accordance with the law of faith, God heard their prayers and responded. He healed the child, who lived to tell her grandchildren of the experience.

If you are looking to a promise of God and have not received an answer, do not give up. Knowing that His will is to answer, let faith take hold in your heart.

Let faith take hold in your thoughts. The enemy would like us to dwell on negative thoughts. He would have us spend our prayer time thinking such things as How is this going to work out? and What if God doesn’t answer? The enemy tries to stir up these thoughts within us. However, as we focus on God and His faithfulness, we will see the law of faith work. Hebrews 10:35-36 says, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Instead of worrying about what could go wrong, we can encourage ourselves by thinking about what is possible with God.  

If you are fighting a battle, do not doubt; hold on to confidence, knowing that the law of faith assures an answer from God.

Going through a spiritual battle is nothing to feel bad about. Recently, I had been praying about a situation for some time and felt troubled because it seemed like a battle. I thought it should have been easier for me to rise above the situation. However, the Lord encouraged me. I realized that as long as I was fighting the battle, I had victory. If you are fighting a battle, do not doubt; hold on to confidence, knowing that the law of faith assures an answer from God.

Let faith take hold in your words. What we say can either help or hurt our faith. If we get up from a prayer meeting after seeking earnestly for some time and have not received an answer, we might make a comment that does not express optimism. Voicing doubt can start to erode our faith. We don’t want to do that. We want our faith to be buoyed up, like a boat on the water. We want it to keep increasing. A better way to conclude a prayer meeting where God hasn’t answered yet would be to say, “I know God is able, so I will continue to persevere in prayer.”

Consider the account of David and Goliath. As young David confronted the giant, Goliath, he verbalized his faith in God’s ability to deliver His people saying, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:45, 47). Some may have thought David was too bold in his words, but when we express confidence in God’s ability, it can fortify our faith and help to bring the victory.

Let faith take hold regarding the details. A few years ago I worked for a builder who was very good at staging. After we had completed a house, he would furnish it so that when prospective buyers toured they would not only see a beautiful structure, but also nice furniture and décor. He would add little creative touches that made the place seem like a home, so people could picture themselves living there. I am no interior designer, and if it had been left up to me, I probably would have just put a few large pieces of furniture in each room, like a couch and chair. He would add end tables and then put little knickknacks on the tables. He also hung pictures on the walls. As Christians, our faith should progress as we mature. At first we might pray about situations that are big problems, and we should pray about big problems. However, we should also pray about the details.  When we pray about every aspect of our lives, we have more opportunity to rely on God, draw closer to Him, and see Him work on our behalf. And, each small answer to prayer strengthens our faith for the larger, more difficult issues.   

Employing our faith to the fullest will allow God to fulfill His promises for us, carry out His perfect will for our lives, and use us effectively for the Gospel. This will not only have a great impact on our own lives, but also on the lives of those around us. When we pray for someone and God undertakes for them, their faith is increased. Also, when others see how God is working in our lives through faith, they are drawn to the Gospel themselves. In John 14:12, Jesus gave this promise: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” This should challenge, inspire, and encourage us as we consider the possibilities that are ours, based on the law of faith.

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