|Listening is an act of Love, by David Robert Bilwas|
Faith Failures - An Answer
My honest expose' of myself. It was about 2003. I was young in Faith, pure motives, but naive actions. I was at a meeting of a well known preacher. I felt that I wanted to act on my faith. I took my glasses, set them on the ground, and stepped on them.... and drove home blind... drove around blind for a few days... then went and got new glasses, felling like an idiot. For the record, there was nothing wrong with that preacher, he didn't tell me to do it, I just had the idea and it seemed right at the time.
Since then I've read great books like:
- Faith, Foolishness, or Presumption? By Fred Price (Affiliate Link)
- Faith and Confession, By Charles Capps(Affiliate Link)
Hocus Pocas Faith:
In total naked honesty, since that day I've struggled with Faith. Always believing the principles, but not consistently seeing the results. My understanding of the process has been that I should go to the Bible (The Book) find a scripture that covers what I need, and confess (speak out loud) that scripture until it happens (get the desired end result).
Recently I realized that I've been treating this process as though it was a magic spell, along with all the other people who half-heard the truth about Faith. I didn't know I was treating Faith like a magic spell, but that was what I was doing. Think about how Wizards are portrayed in famous movies.
Wizards and Magicians, are portrayed as having a spell book full of spells for different things they want to accomplish. So then, he looks up the desired spell in a book, then speaks it out loud until he gets the desired end result. Gee... that sounds familiar.
Faith vs Magic
Now everything Satan has comes from a Godly process. I do mean everything. There is not a single tool in the devil's tool belt that has not been copied and twisted from a process God created. Satan is not a creative being, he never was.
However, there ought to be a distinct difference in the look, feel, and operation of God's process and Satan's. So then, if both sides to go the book, speak it out loud, until they get the desired end result... how is it different?
Based on this, and other reasons, some have written off "Faith" as a false doctrine and walked away. I never could because I KNOW it's God's principle in God's Word. I see it plain as day in every book of the bible, and on nearly every page. If I'm not seeing results, I'm missing it, not God, not my teachers... me.
The Faith Failure of the 7 Sons of Sceva.
Let's take a look at a bible account of the difference between Faith and Magic.
11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, "We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches." 14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?" 16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. 19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. (For Interlinear View - Greek Definition Links - Click Here)
Notice that demons don't flee from the name of Jesus. Not even a little.
In fact, the name of Jesus just made them more bold in the face of someone who did not KNOW Him. Using the name of Jesus without knowing Jesus just got them beat up, stripped naked, and chased out the house. In other words, they used the process as they understood it, but failed to achieve the desired end result. They had a "Faith Failure".
Who are you? Do you KNOW?
Notice the demon said:
- "Jesus I Know"
- Greek for Know here is: Ginosko -(Intimate Knowledge- Like Sex: Adam KNEW Eve and had a baby.)
- "Paul I know"
- Greek for Know here is: Epistamai (Acquainted with, has my attention, preoccupies my thoughts)
- "But who are you? We don't know you!"
Matthew 21:21 NKJV
So Jesus answered and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' it will be done.
Mark 11:23 NKJV
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.
So how does one remove doubt?
Several times per week my wife sends me an email or text asking me to drop by the store and grab something for her on the way home. Often times I find myself unsure about exactly what she meant. I know the written word says to get "X", but as I start to walk out this revelation I'm faced with unexpected choices and situations. Does she want the 2lbs bag or the 4 lbs bag? Does she want pink or purple?
- In other words, I have the written instruction/truth, but life has presented choices and doubt is present.
- What is the easiest way to remove doubt?
- Call her and ask!
In the same way, God has His written Word. There are some things that are clearly written for me. Healing always belongs to me, ALWAYS!
However, I find in the Word of God that some were healed through:
- ...a spoken word from a distance.
- ...laying on of hands.
- ...Peter's shadow healed people.
- ... pieces of cloth from Paul's body.
- ...the elders of the Church could lay hands and put oil on the person.
- For example, one time he took two blind men into a house and asked them if they believed, laid his hands on their eyes and healed them. (Matthew 9).
- In another instance, he took a blind man out of the city, spit on his eyes, and didn't get full results the first time, and he did it again, then the man was healed (Mark 8).
Modern Christian's seeing this second result, but not present for the first, would start a new Church called the "The Eye Spit Healing Church". They'd spit on every blind person they met and follow the formula.
We are so formula driven. But Jesus didn't spit on every man's eye, He spit on this mans' eye. Jesus DID always heal, he didn't do it the same way every time. What was the difference between one occasion and another?
Instruction: Written vs Heard
He only did what he saw his Father do. He waited until he had the instruction from His Father, and then did what he was told to do.
It's not enough to know the Bible promises healing, deliverance, prosperity, etc. Which it does! You must also hear The Father, through the Holy Spirit, give you instruction regarding your situation.
Jeremy Pearsons tells the story of the time he had a car accident. The devil would have wanted to take his life; however, it ended up being a minor accident. There was still this matter of a $500 deductible. Jeremy decided that he was not going to allow Satan to seal $500. He could have gone off and found 13 scriptures dealing with theft and started yelling: "In the name of Jesus, Devil you owe me 7 times $500, you thief!" He would have been scripturally accurate, but would not have had any power/unction/faith behind that statement. And probably would have seen almost no result from it.
Instead Jeremy said: "Father, how would you have me believe for this?" The Father gave him specific instructions, "Jeremy, I want you to believe me for $1,000. $500 to pay this deductible, and $500 to pay someone else's car payment." Blessed to be a blessing, now that sounds like God. Both $500 amounts came in within a short time.
Prayer - Hear God Speak To You
In order to have true bible Faith, without doubt, it's not enough to read the Word of God. That is the first step, and one that can't be skipped. However, time spent in the written Word must be bathed in prayer. Not just the type of prayer where you list of the 103 things you want God to do for you, and get up and leave for work.
The prayer I'm speaking about is the type where you spend more time listening then speaking. Maybe you spend time in worship, praise, praying in the spirit...
...Be Still Be Led. In that stillness, when your body and mind are stilled, that is where you hear God best.
Then, and only then, when you have heard God... act/obey. See results.
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And now I leave you with a question:
Testify: When has God told you to do something that brought results?