Faith

Have you ever wondered why in 1st Corinthians 12:7-10 that faith is listed as its own unique spiritual gift? I mean, here in this scripture the Apostle Paul describes a wonderful variety of supernatural gifts of the spirit such as the message of wisdom, knowledge, discernment of spirits, healing, prophecy, miracles (signs and wonders), speaking in tongues and interpretation…Now, one would think that you would have to have faith in order to prophecy, discern spirits or perform miracle, signs and wonders right? Yet, among the supernatural gifts, faith is uniquely listed as its own unique spiritual gift of its own merit. So, I sought the Lord for revelation why this is and what exactly does it mean when someone asks the Lord, “Lord, please give me an increase of the gift of faith!” Here is what he revealed to me (and let this revelation bless you…use it and share it with others).

FAITH COMES BY HEARING

When someone asks the Lord for an increase of the spiritual gift of faith, what they are asking for is to have a conversation with the Lord! As the scripture says, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message” Romans 10:17  So, when you ask for an increase of faith, you are asking to HEAR the Lord speak directly to you. This is vitally important to receiving instructions and listening to the Lord give you direction. When one desires this increase and asks the Lord without doubting, they should be reasonably expectant that the Lord WILL speak with them. However, do not limit yourself to the Lord speaking with you in just one manner which you may prefer – in doing so, you end up trying to fit God into a box..and you can never fit God into a box. Instead, be mindful that the Lord WILL begin speaking to you in a variety of different ways such as but not limited too…

AUDIBLY: It is possible to audibly hear directly from the Lord. An example of this is when the Lord spoke to Aaron, Miriam and Moses in the book of Numbers 12. In this chapter he says, “When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddleshe sees the form of the LordWhy then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” Another example is when The Lord spoke with Joshua and audibly said, “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” from Joshua 1:5. Does this mean you will always hear from God audibly? Surely not! In fact, if you attempt to limit yourself to only audibly hearing him, you will miss out on the other ways he also speaks. Here are some other ways the Lord speaks to us:

THROUGH VISIONS: When the Lord gives you a prophetic vision, here is what it is going to feel like (so you will better understand what your experiencing when it happens) it will feel like you are having a day dream. For example, have you ever had a day dream where you just stared off into the distance – you were perfectly awake – but begin having a vision and it feels like you space out for a few moments? In that moment, pay very careful attention to what you are seeing because you are being given access to the spirit. an example of this can be found in Zechariah 4 when the prophet writes, “Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke me up, like someone awakened from sleep.” Another example is found in the Book of Acts 10:9-23 when Peter was on a rooftop it says, About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.” Here the Lord uses a trance/vision to show Peter the freedom in Christ that nothing the Lord has made is impure! Through both these examples, it was possible to receive faith visually as well as being able to hear the voice of the Lord’s instruction – whether through the angel or the voice of the Lord. Both words of faith came through visions.

THROUGH DREAMS: The Bible is filled with multiple examples of the Lord using dreams as a means of communicating the faith of his will and intentions. The two examples I will use are with unbelievers and gentiles. The first is the Pharaoh of Egypt when the Lord prophetically showed him in a dream the following, “The Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.” From Genesis 41. Another example is from Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon from the Book of Daniel chapter 2. In this chapter, the Lord gives the King a profound dream which he uses to issue a deadly challenge to all the wise men of Babylon. That they must both explain the dream to the King and interpret it – without the King giving any of the wise men advance knowledge of any details of the dream! What faith Daniel had to believe that he serves a God who makes the impossible possible that the Lord used him to do both! Now, in both these examples, the Bible gives us examples that the Lord can speak great volumes of information to us through dreams. It also shows us the need for the prophetic gift of interpretation (which Paul mentions as its own unique spiritual gift as well in 1st Corinthians 12:10). Sometimes, the dream will come to you in crystal clarity without any need whatsoever for interpretation. In these examples, the gift of interpretation was necessary to properly explain the details of spiritually prophetic use of imagery the Lord sent both rulers. A way to think about receiving this form of faith is to first think of yourself as a transmitter. A transmitter is designed to both send and receive information – just like God designed you in his image – Yet, just like operating a radio and trying to tune into an AM or FM radio station, you notice that if you turn the dial ever so slightly that you hear allot of static combined with noise? But, then when you turn it just ever so slightly, that all of a sudden the static goes away and you can hear the music or broadcast perfectly? We are built in the same manner. When our hearts are turned in a certain direction, it is not that both the Pharaoh nor Nebuchadnezzar could hear the message of faith – they both received – but just like a radio receiver not tuned perfectly, the message did not come in perfectly clear. So, the way their spirit interpreted the vision was they saw visuals and imagery of animals or objects – while, the prophets of God who both had the gift of interpretation clearly saw the details of the messages and gave there meaning in great detail. For the Pharaoh, this meant knowing that a famine was coming and the details of how to prepare for it…for Nebuchadnezzar, it showed him an empirical legacy and the future of mankind with the promise of Jesus bringing an end to man made empirical order of things. There are many more examples I could use, but these two are great illustrations that give you the necessary understanding that faith can also be received through dreams as an addition form of communication of faith the Lord uses. Moving on…

FELLOW PROPHETS: There is a reason why the Bible says on multiple occasions, “Do not forsake the assembly of your brethren” Hebrews 10:25. Prophecy is a very real and powerful gift that delivers a vital message of faith and instruction to an intended receiver – which in this case is you. The Lord will use a prophet to deliver to you the necessary word of faith you need to hear for whatever season your walking in during your life and assignment in faith. Because there are so many false prophets in todays society, it is important that if anyone speaks to you in the name of the Lord that you consider two things:

#1: First – the evidence of prophecy coming to pass:  In Deuteronomy 18:22 the Bible instructs us that, “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.” If it is possible, (only if you have spent a great deal of time in a congregation to physically see the fruit of what a prophet there has spoken come to pass), then consider deeply what that prophet says to you and carefully stand upon and follow whatever word, encouragement, warning or instruction they give. If you have not had time to spend with the prophet in question delivering to you a word or hear the testimony of a trustworthy fellow brother or sister in Christ that can confirm their gift, then rely on the second example…

#2: Second – follow Jesus’ instructions and weigh the fruit of the spirit: Jesus says in Matthew 7:15-20, Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Here, Jesus gives us ultra precise instructions for how to weigh the spirit of any prophet or prophetess….by judging the fruit of the spirit. The fruit of the spirit is described in Galatians 5:22-23 which says, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” The Lord could not make it any easier for us…praise God!

For those of you that do receive a prophetic word from a fellow prophet of God who speaks to you in the name of the Lord….do not delay but immediately act upon the words given to you and remember that your breakthrough is in your obedience. When the prophet speaks, it is not the man nor the woman speaking to you but rather the voice of the Holy Spirit – The Lord Almighty. There are literally countless examples I can use for prophets being used, but it is better for you to know by what spirit you should receive anything from….especially since so much false prophecy is abound in the world today. Be on guard but also be ready to receive when you discern the truth of the Holy Spirit being spoken to you. This is just another form of faith being spoken to you. The next is much easier for most to understand.

SCRIPTURES: One of most frequently used ways the Lord gives us a necessary word of faith is through him leading you to his written word in the Bible! Dealing with a stubborn husband or wife and would like the Lord to lead their heart to him or you in love? Then don’t be surprised that the Lord will lead to you Proverbs 21:1 and teach you to have faith for the Lord to turn the heart of the person in the direction you are believing for.  Delight in the Lord but need hope? Don’t be surprised by the Lord leading you to Psalm 37:4 which says, Take delight in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart.” The supernatural leading of the Holy Spirit to lead you to a certain particular scripture is just another way of The Lord delivering to you the necessary word of faith you need to overcome whatever you are facing. As you read up to this point and will further understand on this page, it is NOT the only way he communicates. The next example is alittle more exotic and rare…but within the realm of possibility for you to receive as faith. 

ANGELS: Though, it is rare to receive a direct word of faith from Angels sent from heaven…if it is necessary for you to receive such a message, then know with great confidence that it is possible! There are many examples in the Bible: From the Angel Gabriel delivering a word of faith to Zechariah and Mary Luke 1:5, 2:20 to the Angel delivering the word of faith to the Mother and of Sampson in Judges 13 to the Commander of the Lord’s Army speaking and giving instructions to Joshua in Joshua 5:13-15. In the Bible we see a grand tapestry of truth that one of the most vital ways the Lord delivers us a word of faith, comes through his use of Angelic beings. It is important that you know this method of communication is VERY real and some times necessary. When faced with the angel of the Lord, do not fear, but humble yourself and be obedient to whatever the Angel says to you without doubting whatsoever. Then, you will be saved through your obedience. I myself can personally testify of being led by the spirit in the wilderness and speaking on many occasions with Angels and the angel of the Lord. Each time, the experience is powerful and unforgettable. Have faith and expect the same thing for your own life when seeking great faith.

The next example is extremely rare yet not out of the realm of possibilities…

ANIMALS: As I just stated above, though it is very rare, it is not outside of the realm of possibilities (because you do serve a God who makes the impossible POSSIBLE) that when seeking an increase of the gift of faith that the Lord can and will use an animal to communicate his message to you. The Bible gives us an example of this in the book of Numbers 22:21-41. Here The Lord uses a Donkey to plainly speak with the prophet Balaam. In this, the donkey speaks and actually helps Balaam avoid certain death by both leading Balaam away from the angel of the Lord but also by openly communicating with Balaam WHY he was leading him away. The Bible is filled with examples of how God uses nature as well to communicate his displeasure or favor – either by filling the land with milk and honey or by causing a famine or plague. Just know that if the Lord ever uses an animal in your lifetime to speak with you, that if it occurs, that it is not the animal but the Lord using the animal to speak through to give you the faith necessary to save and protect your life. So, when seeking an increase of faith…pay attention to every manner in how the Lord can communicate with you and leave place no hinderance or boundary in the way of receiving a true word of faith from the living God. Remember, he can do all things…nothing is impossible for him.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FAITH AND BELIEVING?

Faith is hearing from God that you can walk on water, believing is the act of stepping out of the boat and standing upon the power of the faith you have been given.

An example of this is found in Matthew 14:22-33 in which the disciple Peter witnesses Jesus walking on water. At first, the disciples are afraid but Jesus reassures them by saying, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” to which Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus immediately replies and says, “Come” ***THATS IT, DO YOU UNDERSTAND? THE FAITH PETER WAS GIVEN WAS THE SPECIFIC WORD – “COME” -*** Contained within that singular word was the supernatural power to both stand upon the water but also manifest the supernatural gift of signs and wonders to calm with sea, the winds and the waves.

As you continue reading this passage, you are given a perfect illustration of how faith works in parallel with the promise Jesus gives us in the parable of the four soils…the testing and struggle EACH of us faces when we receive any word of faith…

It says, “then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

You see, the faith Peter received was the spoken word, “come”. Faith was NOT just his belief that Jesus was the son of God, but rather hearing the spoken word and promise he received from God – in this case, the word was, “Come”. Now, just like Peter we can also receive a word of faith, yet NEVER bother to get out of the boat. Yes, you can receive faith but faith is meant to be used and stood upon. If you hear faith but do not stand upon its power, then your faith has no meaning to you and is rendered useless by you. It is meant so that, when you receive the word, you understand and realize the supernatural power God is giving you access to in order to overcome whatever is necessary for you to take dominion over so that you can testify and acknowledge the Lord in all things (Hosea 6:6 & Revelation 12:11). This is why Jesus explains in Matthew 13:1-23 during the parable of the four soils to seek understanding when receiving a word. This is because immediately upon receiving a word of faith, you WILL experience the resistance of the Devil through a lying spirit, a spirit of rejection and a spirit of fear. Each trial is meant to convince you that the word you have received by faith is not true. For Peter, here is a man who is a life long fisherman who is being given the word of faith to walk on water. Now, I cannot presume to know the wisdom of any fisherman, but I would suspect that getting out of a boat in the middle of the sea and walking on water has to be at the top of a list in their natural instincts of things NOT TO DO…because without supernatural faith, it would otherwise mean certain death! But here, the Lord gives Peter a word and it is incredibly simple…”Come”. Just like Peter, when we hear that word, we are to turn our entire heart to the Lord in love (which the Bible says is the greatest of all commandments – Matthew 22:36-37). What does the Bible say about love? We find in 1st Corinthians 13 (the Love chapter) that in verse 7 it says love, “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” So, when the Lord said to Peter, “Come” *which WAS the word of faith* Here, like Peter, we are called to love the Lord with all of our heart, mind and soul. By doing so, the word, “Come” provides the protection necessary through love to overcome the danger of sinking into the water and the danger of the winds and the waves. It provides the TRUST necessary to overcome the fear associated with lying spirit that would otherwise try to convince you God’s power is not enough to accomplish the task he has set out for you – it tries to convince you it is impossible, when in fact the trust associated with this word through love overcomes every spirit of fear! Love provides you with the hope necessary to overcome the spirit of frustration that always is present and trying to rob you of the peace the word of faith assures us. Then, perseverance through love gives us the ability to overcome whatever lack we may have.

Is it entirely possible to receive faith and not get out the boat? Yes.

Is it entirely possible to receive the word of faith, get out of the boat and believe for a little while and then still succumb to fear and let go of the faith you have been given and sink? Yes.

Is it entirely possible to be given the word of faith, believe and get out of the boat and stand on the water and see the winds and the waves and persevere and draw even more power from the word of faith and command the winds and waves to become peaceful? YES!!!

All from a ultra simple one word example like the word, “Come”? We serve a God who makes the IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE! YES, YES and YESSSSSSS!!!!!!

This is what it means to have faith. This is what it means to ask the Lord for an increase of the gift of faith. When you ask for this gift, you are asking to have a conversation with the Lord. Does anyone of you lack this gift? Do you desire that when you speak, your faith is increased and you hear directly from the Lord of Heaven? That you ask him a question and he replies? If so, then ask the Lord as James describes in James 1:5-8, If any of you lacks *faith, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”  *I substituted the word wisdom for faith, the original scripture says wisdom – same difference though…ask for faith!

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT WHEN FAITH IS GIVEN TO US?

James explains this perfectly in James 2:14-26 he writes, But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.”

You clearly see, that just like when Jesus said, “Come” that faith is meant to be STOOD UPON HELD ONTO AND USED! Therefore, SEEK AN INCREASE of the supernatural gift of faith…while not putting any conditions how you receive the word of faith…then be prepared to love the Lord and firmly stand upon and draw power and place a demand on God to perform the word of faith you have been given. Persevere and NEVER let go of the faith you are given! Immediately act on whatever he says to you without waiting or complaining…When the Lord supernaturally delivers you, blesses you or uses you based on the faith he has given you, then be prepared to give him all the credit and testify and acknowledge the works of God in your life. This testimony build up the faith of others and is a sign that the works of the Father and Jesus are in your life. In doing so, you will be doing the will of the Father in obedience and you will surely receive the crown of life for those that love him.

I pray this message is firmly implanted in your heart by reading this and you walk in the supernatural power of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. We serve a God who makes the impossible POSSIBLE!

In service to the Great King, your brother in Christ,

Joshua

Faith

 

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