Genuine Faith!

“And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”
                                                                                                                                – Luke 17:5-6

There is an interesting word that has been embedded within this scripture that most of probably never really gave any thought to.  At least I know for sure that I never really payed attention to it.  The word is in the ending portion of the scripture, “…and it should obey you.”  Now, I know must of us already know the meaning of this term; however, for clarification and unity purposes let’s review it.  Should is mostly defined as a word that is used to indicate obligation or duty, yet in the very first definition it is an auxiliary function to express condition.  In other words, should means in order for “this” to happen then “that” must be done or be in compliance first.  After much studying concerning this text, I believe it is safe to say when the Bible uses should it means that whatever happens thereafter is predicated on a condition being met first.  What condition is being spoken of here?  Genuine faith.

Genuine faith is a faith that is real and authentic according to its original intent, meaning it is not tainted, misconstrued, or taken out of context.  This type of faith is the faith that Jesus taught when he walked the face of this earth, and it’s also the kind of faith that actually gets God to move on your behalf.  I know we all want to believe that we have this kind of faith, but I must admit first that I found out it was not the kind of faith that I had.  The faith that I had was me setting my hope and expectation in God to do for me or give to me the desires that I wanted for myself.  As a matter of fact I would even add the scripture in that said “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart (Psalms 37:4).”  I would go to this house and say God I want this.  I would find this car and say God I want that one.  I would tell God I want this kind of job or to have “X” amount of money.  I would even say that I wanted my wife and children to behave or act in this manner. Needless to say, I was wrong, and if this is your way of believing than my friend you are wrong also.  You see, we have confused our faith by placing it on the belief that it allows God to bring to us what we want; instead, it should be placed on the ability of God to perform His will in our lives.  Basically, faith is not a license to bring to past our wants, but it is a lifeline for God to perform what He will for our life.

The Bible says that the just shall live by faith (Hebrews 10:38), but how many of us truly understand what it means to live by faith?  How many of us can honestly say without a shadow of doubt that we are indeed living by faith?  Most of us have read this scripture many times and simply made it our resolve that we are going to believe God and not what our circumstances says.  Watch this.  If you go back and read behind this particular scripture, we would see that circumstances are not just simply those that we currently see.  There are also some circumstances to come that we have not seen, and the true test of faith is our ability to remain steadfast in all circumstances; those that have come and gone, those that we presently see, and those that we cannot yet see but are sure to come. That’s why Jesus opened up the chapter in Luke stating that it is inevitable that offenses will come.  That was a warning for us that as long as you are here on the earth, inhaling and exhaling the breath of life, and walking and talking by faith we will forever have weapons formed against us.  However, the promise is that the weapons will not prevail. Here is where I would like to insert the scriptures that preceded the just living by faith: “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry (verses 35-37).”  Could it be that’s the reason the disciples said increase our faith?  Tarry with me a while longer and we are both going to be blessed by it.

Jesus had just finished teaching the disciples about how to deal with offenses and the proper way for determining how and when to forgive, but their response was increase our faith.  Why?  I want to suggest that the way faith was used back then is not the way it is used now.  What do you mean by this Kean?    In today’s church we have been taught that faith is Name it, claim it, believe it, and receive it!  In the Bible times, faith was simply the complete resolve and confidence in God to do what He said He would do, no matter what I faced.  It was not in Him to bring to past what I want.  In other words, whatever you released your faith for had to have already been in agreement with the will of God for you.  I know we don’t like that, so let’s just breathe a minute and allow that to process.  – – – – – Breathe – – – – –  Need Bible to help you digest?  Matthew 18:18, “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Many of us have heard this scripture and went on a rampage binding and loosing things on earth, with the expectation that God is going to get behind us and back what we say.  This is not accurate, and it is not conducive to living your life in the will of God.  This scripture means God has given us the authority to bind and loose according to what has already been bind and loosed in Heaven.  That’s where the Bible says, “…Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10).”  In other words, no amount of faith that you have will cause anything to happen that Heaven has not already approved and/or disapproved of.  So, then how does faith come in for us to possess it?  I’m glad you asked.

In order to pull down anything or see anything done on earth as it is in Heaven, then it requires you to have faith.  This is where we get confused.  We believe this saying “have faith” means faith to get it ourselves with the help of God.  However, this is also not accurate.  Faith, as it was originally meant, is to have faith in God and His ability to bring to past His will and desires for you life.  Yes, you are the vessel by which his kingdom comes in earth; however, He’s the power, force, and overall muscle that is ultimately responsible for bringing it to past.  Truth be told, that’s why a lot of us, myself included, get so tired when it comes to us believing God for anything or seeing His will come to past in our lives.  It’s because we are busy looking high and low for ways to make it happen.  We are even praying “Lord give me a strategy, show me how to do it, and Lord help me to get it.”  Question:  If you are the one responsible for making it come to past, then who gets the glory that is able to draw others into the Kingdom of God?  Don’t get me wrong, I understand that we all have a certain level or degree of responsibility that we must bare regarding the promises of God; however, we have gotten to the point where much of our attention and focus is given to our ability and responsibility.  Watch this.  True faith is not in our ability, but His ability.  His ability to help us to live right!  His ability to help us to believe right!  His ability to give us our expected end!  His ability to make all grace abound towards us that we may always have all sufficiency to abound towards every good work!  I’m here to declare that we (or those of us who will be honest with ourselves and God) have been missing the mark with faith, then we look up to Heaven and question God Why it didn’t work.  It didn’t work because it was our hands and ourselves trying to get it done, rather than fully trusting and relying on Him to do it. So, how does true faith in action look Kean?  I’m glad you want to know, and truth of the matter is that I had to be taught this in order to present this to you.  Here we go.

Faith positions you in front of the impossible and tells you to go for it.  Can I say that again?  Faith positions you in front of the impossible and tells you to go for it.  In other words, true faith is God giving you or speaking to you what He wills for you and your ability to take Him at His word and fully rely on His ability to bring it to past in your life. I know that’s a lot to take in but He gave me some examples to help us understand this. First up, Abram.  Abram was minding his business when God came and told him to leave his family and land that he knew because there was a different plan for his life.  Watch this.  Abram did not ask God to bless him with a seed; however, God spoke it to him in Genesis 12:7.  Abram never really caught ahold of the promise until Chapter 15, when he asked God what shall He give him seeing that he was childless.  That’s when Abram released his faith and it was counted to him as righteousness.  However, that’s not the interesting part.  The interesting part is this, “And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6).”  The Bible says that Abram believe in the Lord, not in the promise.  What’s the difference?  To believe in the promise is simply to believe that it is true; however, to be in the Lord is to put your full confidence in His ability which in turn releases Him to perfect and perform all things concerning you. Ready for the first shout cue?  Watch this. True faith believes in God, in spite of everything that you will have to go through and every weapon that is not only formed, but aimed at you.  In other words, is he God when you’re on the mountaintop?  Is he still God when you’re in the valley?  Is he still God when you’re down and out and everybody is turning their backs on you?  Is he still God when the army of the enemy is standing against you and it seems like you are going to be defeated?  Is he still God if what you’re going through looks as if it’s going to cost you your life.  Is he still God?  That’s the kind of faith that is counted as righteousness.  It not simply your faith in the promises of God, but it’s your Faith in the God of the promise.

I got a few more examples, then we gone get out of here.  Next up, Moses.  Moses has no intention of going to try and be a hero for the Israelites, yet God had another plan. God came to him in the form of a burning bush and told him what he was to do. Moses has a lot of reasons on why he shouldn’t and why it wouldn’t or couldn’t work, but God told him I will be with you and your mouth and instruct you on what to do and say.  You know what happened.  Moses believe in God, went and got the victory.  Come here David. We all talk about the mighty warrior David, but for a short minute let’s focus on the weary and weak David.  The David that came back home and found his city burning and all his people (wives and children) taken hostage.  The people wanted to stone and kill David due to their heartache, but David encouraged himself in the Lord.  David asked God shall I pursue them?  Wait.  Did you hear that?  David asked God!  In other words, I believe David wanted to make sure that it was actually an enemy that caused his pain. Not only did he make sure it was an enemy, I believe he asked God to ensure that this was a battle that he was equipped for.  Quick side note:  Too many times do we often experience an attack of the enemy and charge in full speed towards the enemy grounds, without having sought the face of God for wisdom and instructions.  Next thing you know, not only did you suffer one devastating attack but yet another for running into battle both unskilled and unprepared.  Can I give you another shout cue real quick?  Every enemy that you face cannot always be defeated using what worked against a former enemy.  You missed it!  Let me move on.  God answered David and said you shall pursue and added something else.  God told David that he would without fail recover everything that he lost.  You know the story.  David went and fought long and hard and recovered all he had lost and then some of the Amalekite stuff.

As part of my closing I would like to hone in on today’s Christian favorite scripture. “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses (Joshua 1:3).”  Oh baby, nothing sets a Christian into motion like this scripture here.  You know how we do:  We start walking everywhere claiming it in the Name of Jesus and taking authority over the land.  Little do we know that this scripture ties into another one.  What scripture is that Kean?  “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way (Psalms 37:23).”  In other words, it’s only the steps that the Lord has ordered you to walk upon that shall be given unto you. It’s not those steps that you feel that you deserve.  It’s not even those steps that you try and mimic the leader who went ahead of you and got what you wanted.  It is only those steps that you get from intimate relationship with God where He says, “take that step and that one and that one to.  No not that one!  Yeah take that over there and that one over there to.  Now halt and wait a minute.”  I know you don’t like it, but I’m talking good anyhow.

I think I can close this thing on out now.  Shout Make Me Genuine!  Lord if you don’t do anything else extremely extravagant in my life, I pray that you make me genuine!  I don’t want to walk around claiming I have something that I don’t really have or claiming I possess something that’s not really mine.  Shout Make Me Genuine!  Lord give me the strength to endure everything that you allow the enemy to bring against me.  I don’t want to be a murmurer or a complainer, I simply want to be a doer.  Shout Make Me Genuine!  A doer of your will!  A doer of your way!  A doer of your plan, each and every day!  Shout Make Me Genuine!  A doer in good times and in bad times.  A doer in gentle times, hard times, rough times, and times of sorrow.  Shout Make Me Genuine!  I want to have the spirit that the 3 Hebrew Boy’s had Lord.  When I’m faced with choosing to obey you and your way or live comfortably in sin with the popular crowd, I want to be bold enough to say “Even if He does not show up, I still won’t bow down to you nor your idol God’s!”

Shout Make Me Genuine!  I want to be able to suffer an attack of the enemy and still be able to lift my hands and say, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.  Though I am weak, in Him I am strong.  Though I have to walk through the valley of the shadows of darkness, I will fear no evil.  Why?  Thou are with me, and His rod and His staff they comfort me.  Shout Make Me Genuine!  I want to boldly declare, “Thou preparers a table before me in the presence of mine enemy and my cup runs over.  However, surely grace and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever!” Last time, Shout Make Me Genuine!  I want to be like the Apostle Paul when I’m faced with a trial that seems just like it won’t end.  I want to be able to look my enemy in the face and say I would rather glory in my infirmities , so that the power of Christ will rest upon me!  What kind of power did Christ have?  Shout cue on the way.  Resurrection Power!  In other words, I glory in being persecuted!  I glory in being ridiculed!  I glory in being chastised!  Why?  When He has tried me I shall come forth as pure gold possess the power to rehabilitate myself.  Not by my might, but by the might of Christ!  However, I only get this power when I have Genuine Faith!

Before I leave, I want to ensure that you that are in your trying season right now understand that it is not permanent, but it’s temporal.  However, while you’re in it you ha e to make sure that you know that you know that you know that you indeed have a Genuine Faith.  Trust in God’s ability to not only bring you out but give you His expected end for you.  Furthermore, He gave me this scripture to leave with you:  “A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time” (Isaiah 60:22).  Be blessed and stay encouraged!

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