THE IMPORTANCE OF FAITH – Part II

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  1 John 5:14-15 NKJV

You cannot attach your faith to anything that God hasn’t already promised you. When you do attach your faith to God’s promise and you pray in faith, then you will receive all the blessings of His will and His promise.

If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him. 6 Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. 7 For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, 8 [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].
  James 1:5-8 AMP

If God is a giving God, who gives to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, then why don’t people have all that they need from Him? Obviously God is not our problem!  God gives to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly! The key that opens the door to God’s blessing of wisdom, or anything we ask God for, is to ask in faith. If you are wavering, hesitating, and doubting – you are double-minded. When you are double-minded, you are not operating in faith. Faith is single-minded and laser-focused! Faith is resolute – faith’s mind is made up. If you ask in faith – you’ll receive from God what you ask Him for, but if you do not ask in faith, then you will not receive what you’ve asked for. The key is FAITH!

And Jesus answered them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith (a firm relying trust) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will be done. 22 And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.  Matthew 21:21-22 AMP

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  Mark 9:23 NKJV

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.  23 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.  24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. 
Mark 11:22-24 NKJV

These scriptures clearly show how important faith is. They promise that you can have WHATEVER you have the faith for. Scripture puts no limits or qualifications on the known needs of this life – so do not limit them! These scriptures show us that whatever you desire in life – faith is absolutely necessary to get it. You should not expect to get anything from God, if you refuse to have faith. Jesus commanded us to, “Have faith in God”; therefore, we should have faith in God. It’s not impossible to have faith; it’s not God’s responsibility to give you faith; you can’t pray for faith. Operating in faith is your choice and responsibility!

It is all-important to have faith, because:
No prayer will be answered without faith
You cannot please God without faith
You will not get anything from God without faith
And – without faith you will be disobedient to God.

If God commands us to have faith, then to break the commandment, with doubt and unbelief, must be sin. Romans 14:22b (K.S. Wuest) says, “Moreover, everything which is not of faith is sin.” The Amplified says, “For whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin [whatever is done without a conviction of its approval by God is sinful].”  Believers should be as concerned about not breaking this law as they are about breaking any other of God’s laws! If believers realized that it’s a sin to have unbelief and to doubt God and His word, it would motivate them to change and to do something about it! The problem is, that people just think that doubt and unbelief are “normal” and to be expected and part of the human experience. Most people – even believers – are just indifferent about it. If you don’t think there’s a problem, or if you don’t think it can be helped, then you don’t look for an answer or a solution.

When people pray, if they’ve believed the devil’s lies that not all people can believe God and have faith, then they’ll think that it’s perfectly alright to live in doubt and unbelief and that it’s normal to waver in your believing and asking. And when prayer isn’t answered, they take it for granted that it must not be God’s will. Some people even pray prayers that begin with, “If it be Thy will”! We know what God’s will is! His will is His word! So their defeat is all blamed on God, and considered His will, without question. The truth is that believers are surrendering to the devil and his cohorts who are opposing the answer to their prayers! Defeat becomes such a habit to the average believer that they don’t even think about it. In fact, they are way more surprised when a prayer does get answered than if it doesn’t!

If God does not answer a prayer, it doesn’t mean that it was not His will, or that He is unfaithful – it simply means that the prayer was prayed in doubt and unbelief. What does the Bible say? If it says that God always answers faith then the lack of an answer simply shows our unbelief. When the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast a demon out, Jesus’ answer was, “Because of your unbelief” (Matthew 17:14-21). There is not one scripture that says that prayer remains unanswered for any other reason. If we excuse our unbelief and blame the failure on God, then we are sinning against Him. Doubting God is a sin! If no one would doubt God, there would be no failure to get answers to prayer every time we prayed for anything that is already covered by the promises of God.

Partners in Advancing the Gospel

We, believers, must cooperate with and contribute toward the advancement of the Gospel:

In every prayer of mine I always make my entreaty and petition for you all with joy (delight). 5 [I thank my God] for your fellowship (your sympathetic cooperation and contributions and partnership) in advancing the good news (the Gospel) from the first day [you heard it] until now.  Philippians 1:4-5 AMP

Paul is writes this letter to the Philippians and tells them that he thanks God for their fellowship – sympathetic cooperation and contributions and partnership – with him in the Gospel. The Greek word translated “fellowship” is “koinonia”, which means: fellowship; partnership; participation; communion; communication; distribution; contribution; to communicate; (financial) benefaction. Their partnership and contributions helped to advance the Gospel.

Don’t advance your own interests – advance the Gospel:

For the others all seek [to advance] their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ (the Messiah). 22 But Timothy’s tested worth you know, how as a son with his father he has toiled with me zealously in [serving and helping to advance] the good news (the Gospel).  Philippians 2:21-22 AMP

Many Christians are no better than the heathen, when it comes to advancing the Gospel; because they are so busy serving themselves and advancing their own interests that the Gospel is neglected. As believers, we have a responsibility toward the Gospel – to advance the Gospel. No one else is going to do it. If we don’t do it, it won’t be done. We have to lay aside all selfishness and self-promotion and make God’s plans and will and desires, our priority.

Rejoice in the Lord and let your genuine unselfishness be seen by all:

Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice! 5 Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon].  Philippians 4:4-5 AMP

Do not fret or worry about one thing – but tell your Father what you want and need – and His peace will garrison your heart and mind:

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. 7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 AMP

Fix your mind only on positive, godly, good things; model your way of life on the word of God and God’s peace will be with you:

For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. 9 Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.  Philippians 4:8-9 AMP

Make sure that you do not neglect the Gospel or those who preach the Gospel – be a partner in advancing the Gospel with your resources of time, abilities and substance:

I was made very happy in the Lord that now you have revived your interest in my welfare after so long a time; you were indeed thinking of me, but you had no opportunity to show it.  Philippians 4:10 AMP

But it was right and commendable and noble of you to contribute for my needs and to share my difficulties with me. 15 And you Philippians yourselves well know that in the early days of the Gospel ministry, when I left Macedonia, no church (assembly) entered into partnership with me and opened up [a debit and credit] account in giving and receiving except you only. 16 For even in Thessalonica you sent [me contributions] for my needs, not only once but a second time. Philippians 4:14-16 AMP

Learn how to be content in any and all circumstances – be self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency:

Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. 12 I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. 13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].  Philippians 4:11-13 AMP

Your offering is a sweet smell to the Father and results in a harvest of blessing that is accumulating to your account:

Not that I seek or am eager for [your] gift, but I do seek and am eager for the fruit which increases to your credit [the harvest of blessing that is accumulating to your account]. 18 But I have [your full payment] and more; I have everything I need and am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent me. [They are the] fragrant odor of an offering and sacrifice which God welcomes and in which He delights.  Philippians 4:17-18 AMP

When you participate in advancing the Gospel with your finances, there is fruit that accumulates to your account – a harvest of blessing. Your offering and your sacrifice is a sweet smell that rises up to the throne of God and which He welcomes and in which He delights.

And the Father will liberally supply your every need – according to HIS riches in glory:

And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19 AMP