Let me start today’s thoughts by mentioning a great woman of faith who passed into heaven several years ago. Her memories will always be around, for she passed on a legacy that was instilled in her children…I would like to dedicate today’s writing on FAITH, the Gift of Faith, in memory of my mother, Lucille Ruth Lundmark, who has been missed very much…
The seventh gift, the gift of FAITH within classification #3: The Gifts of Power. The last three gifts that we will cover are considered the power gifts (those that do something). We call them the working Gifts because they are the ones that manifest the omnipotence of God and deliver men from all the works of the devil and intervene in nature when it is necessary to accomplish the will of God. Hebrews 11:17-20 states that it was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him…(NLT). He had confidence in what God was going to do in the future.
In today’s thoughts, we will cover and answer these questions. What is the secret of this Dynamic Faith, “special” faith? How then can God’s people receive this gift of faith? How can they have it operating in their lives?
The Gift of Faith is defined as: a supernatural endowment of the Spirit whereby that which God has said, recognized as a settled fact, to be done… regardless of what it is. It is the very backbone of the spiritual gifts into which and from which all the life-cord and nerve-centers of communicating power are centered. Yes…it is the miraculous assurance that guarantees to every man those things, which he has asked of God, according to the promises. In other words, it is the spinal-cord of the body of Christ and the very life of the Church. Hebrews 11:1-3, What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. God gave his approval to people in days of old because of their faith. By faith, we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen (NLT).
What is it that you need? Do you know the very thing you ask for is God’s plan for you? Ask, seek, and knock…By faith, vision it done…find the promise in God’s Word that makes it yours.
Step into it by faith and see it as though it is done, for it is a finished thing…that is faith. There is a time when we come to the end of our faith…the testing time…we must then change our faith and take on the Lord’s faith, faith that never waivers. When you have that kind of faith…the God kind of faith…the thing is finished. The finished product of faith! God wants to bring us into a Higher Order, where we will believe God for everything. Yes, the just (the believer) shall live by faith. As we look at the Gift of Faith, let us not confuse it with regular faith, which is needed to operate any of the gifts.
Let’s take a look at four kinds of faith: Human Faith – this is “head faith” …it is the kind of faith you have that if you board a bus, airplane or an automobile it will take you where you want to go. This is also the only kind of faith demons have.
The next three kinds of faith are from the heart and are, in fact, divine.
Saving Faith – this is putting “head faith” into action; that is committing us to our belief in Christ. It is accepting Him as God’s Son, our Savior…giving ourselves to Him, being obedient to His ways and bought with His own blood. As stated in Ephesians 2:8 this “saving faith” is a gift but is not the “Gift of Faith” or “special faith” as stated in: 1 Corinthians 12:9, The Spirit gives special faith to another, and to someone else he gives the power to heal the sick (NLT).
Faith, The Fruit…Gal. 5:22 –in the original Greek, this faith is called “faithfulness” and is a fruit that grows in the life of a Christian to establish him in spiritual character; and is the type or kind of faith without which no man can please God as stated in: Hebrews 11:6, So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him (NLT). The fruit faith is actually the development and growth of “saving faith”. This can lead to a faith in which all believers have and that is a general faith and can be increased by feeding on the Word of God and exercising it in our everyday life (NLT).
Faith, The Gift…this faith is for power. This is the gift of the Spirit by which one may work miracles or receive them. The Spirit of God gives faith as a “special faith” and those who possess this faith believe God in such a way that He honors their word as His own and miraculously bring it to pass. As an example, let’s look at Hebrews 11:33, By faith, these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions (NLT).
Thus, we learn that there are different kinds of faith. Saving faith comes before salvation, faith –or faithfulness…the fruit of the Spirit comes after salvation. This manifestation of the gift of faith or “special faith” comes after the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. God gives this faith on certain occasions. Yes, for a specific time and place. You may ask, what is the difference between the gift of faith and that of working miracles? One is active, and the other is passive. Working miracles is active while the gift of faith doesn’t work but passively receives. Another way to look at it is that working of miracles – does (active) and the gift of faith – receives.
Again, let’s look at Daniel in the lion’s den. The Bible says that “Daniel believed God.” There is no doubt that God gave Daniel special faith, a special manifestation to receive deliverance. Daniel didn’t do anything. He just lay down and went to sleep. His faith was passive rather than active, yet he received a miracle. Another example was Jesus exercising this gift of faith when He slept in the back part of the ship during a raging storm. This same faith is available for every believer as stated in: 1 Kings 17:1, Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab As surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives—the God whom I worship and serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years unless I give the word !(NLT).
Let me share with you one of my own personal experiences with you on what I believe was the Gift of Faith in action. A few years ago, I had taken some time off from work to help my Son Joshua replace the roof on His house that He had recently purchased. I had a friend, a nephew, and His friend over to help with the roof. We had torn off the roofing on one entire side of the roof, and the roof was completely open to the weather. I received 2 calls, 1 from a sister in law and the other from a daughter in law, in regards to the reports of heavy rain storms that would be hitting our area in about 20 minutes. As I looked to both the North and South, I could see huge clouds rolling in quickly. I knew that on the human side, we had no time to cover the roof.
I looked over to my friend and nephew and said, “Would you guys agree with me in prayer that it will not rain here today.” They agreed, I looked up to sky and said, “Father, in the name of Jesus, clouds you will not come down here today, we will not have any rain and it can rain on both sides of us but not on this block, thank you Jesus, Amen!”
My Nephew then asked, “Uncle Paul, what do you want us to do?” I said, “Tear off the other side, we have a job to do!” It rained on both sides of us that day, yet it DID NOT RAIN on our block! This has been truly a living testimony for many years in my and my family’s lives. GOD STILL WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS! I believe God saw our faith and honored our faith. If we would only believe ALL things are possible!
To sum it up; the working of miracles employs faith that actively works a miracle, but the gift of faith employs faith that passively expects a miracle as a sustained or continuous miracle. In other words, when the gift of faith is in operation, it may be that nothing is seen at the time. It may carry over a long period of time. An example of this, is when the patriarchs of old would lay hands on their children and pronounce a blessing or curse which would sometimes come to pass many years later; such as the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph. Whatever is spoken by this gift will ultimately come to pass…whether, human, divine utterance or miracle, curse or blessing, creation or destruction, removal or alteration. Yes, it will come to pass!
Smith Wigglesworth said, “That you often find that if you will make a step of faith and use your own faith that you as an individual Christian have; when you come to the end of that faith, very often this supernatural faith will take over. The reason it hasn’t happened with a lot of folks is that they don’t first use what they already have.”
THE GIFT OF FAITH…is Divine Protection…The 91st Psalm was one of my mother’s favorite Psalms…let’s look into the 91st Psalm where we can find seven promises of provision to watch over them that believe:
Deliverance from traps (verse 3);
Deliverance from fear (verse 5);
Deliverance from accidental death (v. 6-7);
Deliverance from evil (verse 10);
Deliverance from sickness (verse 10);
Deliverance from accidents (verse 10);
Deliverance from Satan and beasts (v. 13).
As you can see, the 91st Psalm takes us out of the human and into the supernatural; out of the uncertainties of life and into a realm where all things are possible. Such an experience is not reserved for only choice saints; the door is open to all who will enter therein.
As I look back in the past, at the life of my mother, I see an ordinary woman, who was given this Gift of Faith. For she not only talked it but she walked in it…Yes, she believed that all things was possible and placed Her total trust and confidence in the Lord…the daily time of family devotions around the kitchen table…many a nights hearing her pray for her children, family and friends…studying the Bible in her free time. Unfortunately, how often we wait until calamity strikes before we seek God for protection. If we would pray as Jesus taught in Matthew 6:13, and don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (NLT).
The book of Hebrews reminds us of saints who learned to live in this realm. As an example – the three Hebrew children who never wavered in their devotion to God; Daniel delivered from the lion’s den; the Apostles delivered from prison; Peter delivered from prison; Paul and Silas delivered from prison.
THE GIFT OF FAITH…supplying of the believer’s needs. Abraham was a man of deep and abiding faith in God. As the years went on, we can see Abraham’s faith grow…He built on the experiences of life and continued forward so much so that he was called the father of the faithful and a friend of God.
Yes, there will come times in our life where we will have to be willing to put God’s promises to a real test, and that is… to be committed to sacrifice all for God if necessary. This kind of faith, the gift of faith (special faith), operates in the lives of those who have an abiding trust in the promises of God. The gift of faith knows that deliverance will come but does not define just how or when it will be.
The GIFT OF FAITH and divine health for each believer is another realm that God intended us to walk in as stated in: 3 John 1:2, Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers (NKJV). When we get sick, we are to reach out to God, our healer in faith. Yes, by faith, we will be healed!
Other examples of the GIFT OF FAITH: supernatural transportation when Jesus walked on the water (Matt. 14:24-27); the axe that floated (2 Kings 6:5,6); the miracle of transportation by ship in John 6:21; the supernatural transportation of Elijah in 2 Kings 2:11; and Philip transported in Acts 8:39, 40. It will take this kind of faith to move mountains as stated in: Matthew 17:20-21, So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting (NKJV). Here, Jesus spoke these words to His disciples after they experienced a failure in casting the demon out of the boy.
Prayer and fasting can be considered the Master Key to the impossible. Committal is the Secret to Dynamic Faith…Psalms 37:5, commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you (NLT). As stated in: Mark 11:24, Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive [them], and you will have [them] (NKJV). We are to be definite in making our requests known to God and it is just as important to be definite in believing what God says about the answer…After God has given you the promise and you are definite in believing it, stand strong.
If God keeps you waiting for the conscious answer, tell Him that you are waiting and are still believing and praising Him for the answer. God is FAITHFUL and cannot deny Himself. To commit suggests not only bringing the matter to God but also leaving it there. His Word says, “by prayer and supplication with THANKSGIVING, let you request be made known unto God.” In other words (ask, seek and knock), pray until you can believe and thank Him for the answer, and He will begin to work. Remember, by believing and praying, the promise with thanksgiving and praise will bring the results of the gift of faith (special faith) the faith that moves the impossible and produces the possible. Yes, the God kind of FAITH.