Mark 11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
Mark 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Welcome To The Light-Washed Path,
True faith is not inactive. When people in the Bible were moved with real faith there was ALWAYS some manifestation of it. Faith usually wants to express itself through some corresponding act or profession. Let me quote a statement from my devotional, “Faith Is Not Invisible”:
Belief can run deep and quiet, but faith declares the glory of God. People who are under the influence of faith and in a state of believing God for something He has promised, usually make some kind of statement by their words or actions.
To bottle up your profession of faith is to stop short the work of God, which He would do on your behalf and for His glory.
Matt. 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
You have beliefs and may be very sincere about them. But it’s possible that you could never act upon what you believe. Many people believe that Jesus delivers but when they get into situations they always handle things in a typical carnal fashion, and simply “wish” or hope that God would deliver them. They never actually seek God for deliverance, exercising their faith to act upon His Word. Faith ALWAYS has its eyes on the answer instead of the trouble. So then faith will ALWAYS want to respond to the negative threats of a bad situation, with a positive act or profession. Since faith comes from God, it is godlike in character and will NEVER sound defeated. It will always, always, always insist upon expressing zealous confidence in God’s answer to the threat. So sharply distinct is the positive response of faith to the fearful reports of bad news, that faith often sounds crazy in light of circumstances. Consider Jesus’ advice to Jairus upon hearing that his daughter had died:
Mark 5:36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
Mark 5:38 And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.
Mark 5:39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
Mark 5:40 And they laughed him to scorn.
The mourners thought Jesus was mad. Yet Jesus would often direct people to perform certain acts in connection with receiving their healing. These acts would have no apparent role in producing the healing, yet like pathways for faith, they became roads that led the seekers right into their deliverance:
In 2 Kings 5 Elisha told Naaman the leper to dip 7 times in the Jordan River and he would be healed, and he was.
In John 9 Jesus made clay from spit and dirt, stuck it in the eyes of the blind man and told him to wash at the Pool of Siloam; and he was healed.
In Matthew 14 Peter saw Jesus walking on the water. He asked permission to leave the boat and join Jesus. Emboldened by Jesus simple invitation to “Come”, Peter climbed over the side and began striding towards Jesus on the water. But then when Peter looked at the wind whipping around him, and rolling waves under his feet, he began to sink as fear took over, proving that his faith in the word from Jesus, to “Come”, was really what was holding Peter up.
If people’s faith was hampered by pride, fear, anger or unbelief, a reluctance to perform the corresponding act or profession of faith would hold the person back, and they’d fail to receive. Consider this story from 2 Kings ch 13, of King Joash seeking God’s deliverance from the Syrians, through the Prophet Elisha.
2 Kings 13:17 And he said, “Open the window eastward,” and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot,” and he shot. And he said, “The LORDís arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Syria! For you shall fight the Syrians in Aphek until you have made an end of them.”
2 Kings 13:18 And he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground with them.” And he struck three times and stopped.
2 Kings 13:19 Then the man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck down Syria until you had made an end of it, but now you will strike down Syria only three times.”
The Prophet had pointed out that the arrows represented the King’s victory over the Syrians. But then when he told the king to take action, by striking the ground with the arrows, having explained their significance, King Joash wimped out, and reluctantly struck the ground 3 times. But God knew that just as it would take more than one victorious battle over the Syrians in order to defeat them, He also knew that King Joash simply lacked the faith and zeal to receive the victory. We don’t know if he felt too foolish, was too fearful, or just where his lack of faith came from. But whatever it was, he let it keep him back from ACTING IN FAITH. The carnal mind says, ‘That’s foolish. I don’t have to do that to be healed.” Yet what the carnally minds fail to realize is that, while it’s true, that the “acts of faith” aren’t necessary for God to do His work, THEY ARE NECESSARY FOR OUR FAITH TO DO ITS WORK!!
It should be evident that people shouldn’t run around just dreaming up silly symbolic gestures of faith, thinking that these will make God move on their behalf. I knew a man who tried to walk on water during his lunch break at work. The only thing that happened was he got wet up to his neck, in front of all his co-workers. Yet more common is the danger of overly sophisticated thinkers, who are “too reasonable” to take the steps the Lord leads them to take, because they seem silly. However remember what the scriptures say about the first miracle Jesus performed, turning water into wine at the wedding feast:
John 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
The rational thinker would argue that Jesus, being God, can simply turn water into wine and doesn’t need our help. He could make it squirt from fountains in the ground or just appear in their glasses. We don’t have to do anything to help Him. Yet that first miracle of Jesus began with this:
John 2:5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, DO IT….
John 2:7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
John 2:9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine…
God’s faith, residing in you, is a lot less concerned with what seems rational, than it is with, “Whatsoever he says to you, DO IT“.
Stay On The Path!