Modern day Christianity (well…really it has been an issue since the beginning of the church), has at times casted it eyes on the target of good works, when in reality, the message of the Bible is one of faith.
God works through faith.
For God, it is very important that we believe Him and depend on Him as opposed to ourselves. That is why we read in the book of Hebrews that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
Maybe that needs to be said again.
Without faith it is impossible to please God.
1 Corinthians 13 tells us that we can do all kinds of good works, even giving all we have to the poor and giving up our lives, but without love, we have nothing. You see, faith and love are very close relatives. They feed off of each other. And a belief (faith) in God’s perfect love…well that is an unstoppable combination!
Working from that premise, I was reading the story of Abraham and Sarah. That was not their original names. The original names were Abram and Sarai. Abram means “high father,” while Abraham means “father of a multitude.” Sarai means “princess,” while Sarah means “mother of nations.”
If you know the story, you know Abram and Sarai could not have children, and they were passed the point of having children. But God did a miracle, and in their nineties, they had a son…Isaac…which means “laughter”…just for your own information!
Romans 4:18 says this, “In hope against hope Abraham believed that he would become a father of many nations, as he had been promised by God.”
If you know the story well, you also know that God gave them the name change before Sarai, or shall we say, Sarah, got pregnant. God obviously wanted them to receive their new identity internally before it was manifested naturally. That is where faith comes in, as stated in Romans 4:18. But here is where it can go a little deeper…
God cannot move without faith, so He had to get them speaking it and hearing others say it so that faith was present for God to move.
You may have to reread that a few times and ponder that thought. God looks for any kind of faith in humanity. Even the size of a mustard seed. But in some manner, faith is an important factor in the equation of God to moving in a situation. While we know that God reached out to us by sending Jesus when no one was seeking out the righteous way (the book of Romans lays that out for us), there is a lot of evidence in Scripture, that faith of some kind needs to be present to see God move in situations. We hear it in testimonies as well. The person living a wild and crazy life had some grandmother praying. Someone…somewhere had faith…and guess what…God is attracted to faith!
What is faith again. It is belief. Trust. Hope in God.
I started off talking about…good works…and some people get all about good works when talking about faith. Confession is important, but people get caught up in words so much that they are afraid to say anything. Faith is not words primarily. Faith is a heart condition. If we miss that, we miss faith. Our words reflect the heart condition. Our words tell us where our heart is. Our words our important and we should be careful how we use them, but if garbage is coming out of our mouths, it is our heart that needs to be brought before Jesus.
Another thing about faith. Faith is not what sets the stage for God to move. Faith is the bridge that connects us to what God has said and already done for us. It is not your faith that makes you healed or causes you to be Saved. It is the blood of Jesus that does these things. Faith is us believing and receiving what God has already done. A gift can be given to you at Christmas, but if you never receive it and open it, its contents are never yours.
So, if you need to get rid of some negative thinking, take a lesson from the lives of Abraham and Sarah, and start to meditate on what God says about you. Speak it out. Write it out. Meditate on it. Whatever it takes. It only takes a mustard seed amount of faith to see a miracle!