A lot of emphasis is being put on faith today, as if it’s our faith that makes us successful in our endeavors. We may win battles and gain victories because of our faith, but let’s give glory to the One who deserves it. And that person isn’t “me”! We are all people in a big, corrupt world who need a Savior to take our sins away so that we can live in grace. And this grace comes to us through faith; a faith that too many of us so blatantly brag about to our own glory—as in my faith!
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:1 that “faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen”. And the Webster’s dictionary says that faith is “a strong belief or trust in someone or something”. So basically, faith is a confidence we have in something or someone to bring something to pass. But, there is great danger when our faith is not in the Lord, but rather in the power of our own words, making it “my faith”.
God given faith: Our minds are so influenced by sin and corruption that we are totally incapable through our own reasoning to grasp who God is or what His purpose is. And it’s impossible for us on our own to accept God’s existence or to even comprehend that He could love us or that He lives in Heaven where He’s prepared a place for us. So God gave to each of us a measure of faith—a seed; just enough for us to realize who God is and that we need Him. It’s just enough faith to bring us to the cross of salvation, to encourage us to repent and turn from the world and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
This first measure or seed of faith is a gift from God. It’s a means for us to get to God and the ONLY means given whereby we can find Him.
- For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.—Ephesians 2:8
Like any earthly seed that we plant, water and care for, our faith seed also grows into something magnificent to the glory of God when we feed it by studying the scriptures, praying and worshiping God. Faith was never given to us so we could brag about it or feel lifted up because of it. It was never meant to be abused, mistreated or used as a means for selfish gain. Faith is the “substance” that brings us to God; it’s the confidence or trust that we have towards God that gets stronger as we study the Bible and seek God’s face.
Faith is not a magic concept that forces the universe to heed to our commands, nor does a confession of faith make us better than anyone else. There are ungodly preachers who teach that there is power in our words; in essence, exalting ourselves and denying the Lord. They say that if we confess our faith over and over and speak it out to the heavens that we will get the riches we declare.
Joel Olsteen is known for saying that we can have what we say; we just have to have faith in our own words—(not in God, but in OUR words). This faith has nothing to do with God and didn’t come from God, but rather, is a tactic used to encourage followers to give money to his ministry under the false pretence that it’s giving in faith. It’s a lie that he and many others believe for the sole purpose of gaining earthly riches.
They call it faith, but it’s not the faith that is given by God so we can know Him; it’s a self-proclaimed faith that comes from a selfish heart, and it supposedly executes results through the power of the words spoken. It’s a confession of desires referred to as faith. It’s the foundation for the false teaching that lures people away from the God of Heaven and onto the god of this world, who is all about lies and deception. This faith is about denying the truth and promoting the new age religion that supports the mandate for the Law of Attraction. This is “my faith” and has nothing to do with faith in God.
When Jesus talks about having faith as in a grain of mustard seed, He’s not talking about confessions or name-it and claim-it actions. Jesus is talking about having faith or trust in God alone. When our knowledge and our trust in God are both mature, we can believe Him to do anything we ask. Of course, this also means that we would be mature enough to ask for things according to His will and not out of our selfish desires.
It’s not “my faith” that brings me to God or that brings blessing from God to me, or that allows me to rise up out of a sick bed, or that saves another lost soul. God brings these things to pass through my faith in Him to do so, but my faith alone can never manifest anything. The faith I have is a trust in God and it gives me the confidence to know that He will do what He promises to do.
Faith is accepting and trusting that God is who the Bible says He is and that His words are true. When my hope and my desires are in the Lord, then I know I please Him. And I know that one day He will look at me and His eyes will reflect a love that tells me I have pleased Him because I nurtured the faith He gave me and through it I was able to know Him.
- But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.—Hebrews 11:6