Faith is the treasure of treasures. This is because through the faith in the Lord we can gain salvation; eternal life in Heaven; blessings; and joy which are unobtainable through any level of authority, fame, and wealth. With faith, we can receive answers to whatever we ask for from God the Almighty. Thus, all things are possible through faith as written in Mark 9:23. Faith is the key to the answers to all problems and it is essential for living a successful life and leading a victorious life as a Christian.
- Spiritual faith God wants
Faith is largely categorized into two kinds: fleshly faith and spiritual faith. With ‘fleshly faith’ we believe something because it is confirmed with eyes and it agrees with one’s common sense and knowledge. Suppose a person saw others making desks of wood. If he hears that someone made a desk out of wood, he would believe it without any doubts. By this fleshly faith we believe something can be made from other things뾲hat is to say, we believe that everything is made from something else that already exists.
On the contrary, if we have spiritual faith, we can believe something that is against human thoughts and knowledge, and that something is created from emptiness뾣rom nothing. It is opposite fleshly faith. Spiritual faith enables us to believe something can be made from nothing, that is, it is to make something with nothing preexisting. Therefore, with spiritual faith we believe the heavens and the earth and all things in them were created by the Word of God and God is omniscient and omnipotent.
It is only with spiritual faith that we can experience the works of God, receive answers and blessings from God, and enter Heaven. However, one can’t possess spiritual faith for oneself. It can be obtained only when God grants it. Romans 12:3 says, “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” In other words, God allots spiritual faith to each of us according to our vessels.
Then, to what kind of person does God give spiritual faith?
Spiritual faith is given to those who practice the Word of God. God gives spiritual faith to the extent that people cast off the untruthfulness in their heart such as hatred, arguing, jealousy, and the adulterous mind while replacing them with the characters of truth such as love for enemies and practicing the Ten Commandments. If people could have spiritual faith for themselves as much as they wanted, then who would not be able to receive answers? Let’s say someone wants to be President of the country. He prays, “Lord, let me be the President. I believe.” If he hates somebody, he will pray, “Punish him, Lord”. If he has spiritual faith and his prayer is answered, what will happen to the world? That is why God doesn’t give spiritual faith to just anybody, but He gives each one spiritual faith to the extent that they change by the truth.
Therefore, to receive answers, we should change our fleshly faith into spiritual faith. To accomplish this we must demolish fleshly thoughts that hinder us from having spiritual faith. Fleshly thoughts refer to all thoughts that belong to the untruth. Because people have such fleshly thoughts, they can’t believe the Word of God properly and doubts arise in their hearts, and deem the knowledge and experience they have acquired and their opinions to be right, though many of these things don’t belong to the truth.
Such knowledge that one deems right in his standard causes fleshly thoughts to arise in his mind and hinders him from possessing spiritual faith. People with fleshly thoughts use their own wisdom so they can’t do something that is beyond their ability. Only when fleshly thoughts are destroyed and the knowledge of untruths is discarded can we have spiritual faith, with which we can do anything in the power of God.
- The power of God unfolded by deeds of faith
After the Exodus from Egypt and completing 40 years of life in wilderness the sons of Israel were just about to enter Canaan following Joshua. But before entering, they had to cross the Jordan River.
At that time, it was the days and season of harvest and the Jordan had overflowed its banks. However, God said to Joshua, “You shall, moreover, command the priests who are carrying the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.'”
Joshua believed the Word of God and said to the people, “It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the LORD, the LORD of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap.” Within human thought it seemed impossible for it to happen, but Joshua, together with the Israelites, moved forward with faith in the Word of God.
The twelve priests who carried the ark were at the head of the procession. The sons of Israel came to the riverside of the Jordan. When the priests’ feet marching in front were dipped in the edge of the water, an amazing work occurred. The waters which had been flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off (Joshua 3:15-17).
Additionally, they experienced things that could never happen within human thoughts: they crossed the Red Sea on the dry ground; bitter water at Marah was changed into sweet water when Moses threw a tree into the water; and water came forth from a rock when Moses struck it. When they demolished fleshly thoughts and acted with faith in God the Almighty, astounding works took place.
- To experience the works of God by faith
1) We should obey the Word of God
The work of God couldn’t have been accomplished if Moses had doubted and thought, ‘Is this Red Sea really going to be parted when I stretch out my hand over the sea? What will happen if it doesn’t?’ However Moses believed completely without any doubts and the works occurred as he believed.
Until he possessed such spiritual faith, he had to undergo certain processes. When God commanded Moses to bring the sons of Israel out from Egypt, he said that the people would not believe him. So, God showed signs that helped him have faith (Exodus chapters 3 and 4).
In obedience to the Word of God, Moses threw his staff on the ground and it became a serpent. Then he stretched out his hand and grasped the serpent by its tail and it became a staff in his hand again. He also put his hand to his bosom, and when he took it out, his hand was leprous. But then he put his hand into his bosom again, and when he took it out of his bosom, it was restored. Whenever Moses obeyed God, God manifested believable proofs such as the ten plagues. So his faith could become perfect.
We must go through the process of praying and fasting and diligently listening to and obeying the Word of God to be able to believe in our hearts and gain spiritual faith. As we go through this process we receive God-given spiritual faith to be able to keep marching in our faith.
2) We should pray to have experience of faith
If one hasn’t experienced God’s works though he says he believes God, he has to pray to have experiences of faith. It is not because of the absence or lack of his faith. He has to seek God to know Him better in various ways so that he can love God all the more fervently. Thus, those with problems such as diseases have to make a request to God to solve the problems.
Also, we should pray for necessary things between God and us. In other words, we should pray to meet God, possess faith in God, receive forgiveness of sins by faith, have assurance of salvation, develop abilities for the kingdom of God, and obey. When we ask for God’s grace this way, God works on us.
3) We should show deeds of faith to achieve our dreams and goals
If we set a specific goal or have a dream, we should show deeds of faith to receive the answer. The church’s revival is not done only by prayer or fasting while doing nothing else. We should show specific deeds such as counseling the church members, visiting them, and preaching to people.
If you want to receive financial blessings and do mission works and help the poor with the blessing, you must diligently sow, that is, to give offerings. God promised in Malachi 3:10, “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.'”
Therefore, to achieve our goal, we should not just wait for the time but we should show deeds of faith actively as well as pray and fast. If we act in the eyes of faith, things hoped for by us will be seen. It is just as Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Therefore, I hope you will see the fruit of answer with the eyes of faith and keep marching in faith, even if nothing is seen in reality.