Don’t Use Your Own Faith, Use God’s!

by Lester Young

Recently, I heard the Lord say to me, “You’re standing out on the very edge of your faith; you’ve gone as far as you can go with your faith.” When I thought about it for a moment, I have to admit, I was just a little bit perplexed. Um, was that a compliment? I hope it was a compliment. I mean, nobody likes to be corrected, even though we know it’s for our good (Hebrews 12:11). And I suppose I mentally tried to nudge it over onto the positive side by reasoning, “Well, at least it means I’ve got my faith out there as far as it’ll go – I’m not holding anything back, and I’m believing and expecting as far as I can with it!” But, you know, I really didn’t get any affirmation or comfort or warm fuzzies in my spirit over that assessment. In fact, it kinda seemed to me that God’s opinion about the whole matter was pretty neutral. There was absolutely no chastisement, let me say that; but there weren’t any attaboy’s to be found, either. Just a striking neutrality… nothingness – like a silence so deep and piercing you begin to notice it; a neutrality so conspicuous that eventually I couldn’t help but start thinking, “Okay, something ain’t right here” (Revelation 3:16).

So I asked the Lord just what it was He was trying to tell me, believing I received at the time I asked (Mark 11:24). Sure enough, the answer dawned on me a few days later, when Mark 11:22 popped into my mind. It’s a Scripture we’ve all heard many times before: “Jesus answering said unto [His disciples], ‘Have faith in God.'” But taking a more direct translation of that phrase’s original Greek text yields this slightly different rendering: “Have the faith of God” – and that’s what illuminated inside me. Immediately I understood what God was saying: We can – and should – use His faith instead of our own!

But in order to do that, we’ll have to establish a couple of fundamental ground rules. First, we need a basic but comprehensive definition of what ‘faith’ is. Are you ready? Okay, here goes: Faith is… believing. No point waiting for the other shoe to drop; that’s the whole melon. Faith is believing… period. The next thing we should make absolutely clear is the fact that faith – all faith – comes from God. He’s the Source of faith, and He gives it to all men (Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 13:7; Galatians 5:22; Hebrews 12:2). Now those two nuggets naturally seem to point to a question that’s just begging to be asked: If all ‘faith’ is from the same Well, so to speak, then what’s the difference between God’s faith and ours (since Jesus Himself instructs us to take the Father’s over our own)?

Well, apart from the notion of just good ole wholesome common sense (I mean, if given the choice of your version of something – anything! – or God’s version of it, why would you ever pick your own?!), there are practical differences that we can identify and understand. And these differences can all be summed up in one theme: purity (James 3:17). You see, God can’t be tempted by the devil (James 1:13). Satan is absolutely no threat to God, and God doesn’t view him as one; hence, He doesn’t get sidetracked by anything Satan does or says. When God speaks something, because His Word is Truth itself there’s no reason for Him to doubt it coming to pass, so He therefore doesn’t ever entertain doubt (Psalm 119:142, 151; John 17:17; 1 John 5:6). Why would He?

Our own faith, on the other hand… Our problem is that we tend to let our faith get contaminated by anything that’s blowing contrary to it. We take a stand of faith for something, and then negative thoughts (which are simply Satan’s whisperings to our mind) or situations or people invariably show up – which should come as no great surprise, because Jesus plainly warned that afflictions and persecutions will arise for the Word’s sake (Mark 4:17). But when they come, we all too often yield to the negatives and entertain those thoughts, rolling them over and over in our head and wringing our hands over them – in other words, we worry – instead of throwing them down like we’ve been told to do (Mark 4:17-19; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; 1 Peter 5:7). We allow Satan to succeed in pulling our attention away from God’s promise to us over to the circumstances we see with our natural eyes. And when we do that – like Peter when he was walking on that water – we begin to flounder (Matthew 14:29-30; 2 Corinthians 10:7).

Or (and this is even more insidious), we begin to use our intellect to try to reason how God can or will accomplish what we’re believing for. And quite often, because we can’t ‘see,’ understand or figure out in our head how the thing could ever really happen in the natural, we let our faith slip completely away; or we “compromise down” to believing for something that we can rationally understand or explain happening. Such comprises with those doubtful (read: fearful, carnal, devilish, etc.) thoughts will always produce results that are less than God’s Best for us – and they might even yield dire consequences (John 10:10).

But, just as a sidebar, here’s a question to consider for a moment: Why should we ever allow ourselves to be hindered by not being able to figure out “how” something would or could happen? All that would confirm is what we already knew; which is, “In the natural, it’s impossible.” [Doh!] But “the impossible” is squarely within God’s wheelhouse of operation; so if you’re with Him, it should come as no deterrent at all (Genesis 18:14; 2 Chronicles 16:9; Zechariah 8:6; Mark 10:27; Luke 1:37, 18:27).

And that brings us back to the “how” of using God’s faith in place of our own. Actually, it’s a ridiculously simple process. When you see a promise in God’s Word, just take it literally and apply it to yourself. Take possession of what’s promised and accept it as ‘yours.’ God’s own faith is already contained in His Word to you – otherwise, He wouldn’t have said it. So stand on that! If it looks “impossible” to your natural reasoning, then stop using your natural reasoning. Don’t start trying to ‘figure it out,’ and don’t even begin to entertain those doubtful thoughts Satan will assuredly whisper in your ear. Receive the Word at its face value and let that be the end of it!

Jesus gave the “how to do it” right after He told us to do it (doesn’t He always?) He said to ‘take’ – to appropriate – God’s own faith. Then He told us how: “Truly I say to you, that whosoever shall say to this mountain, ‘Be removed, and be thrown into the sea’; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he says” (Mark 11:22-23). So stand against all doubt; don’t entertain it at all, even for a little while (2 Corinthians 10:4-6; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9). Put a complete stop to questioning the Word with ‘intellectual reasoning’; just accept and believe exactly what you see in it because it’s the Truth, period (Matthew 18:4; John 14:11; 1 Timothy 1:5). And settle it in your heart once and for all that God’s Word will bring itself to pass, “because He said so!” (Psalm 29:1-2; Isaiah 55:11; Mark 4:20)

Is it easier said than done? Absolutely. But just because it’s easier said than done doesn’t mean it’s not ‘simple’ to do. It is simple – just keep in mind that ‘simple’ and ‘easy’ are not necessarily interchangeable concepts). Like everything else, it depends on and begins with your making a quality decision – and then diligently sticking to it (Deuteronomy 30:19). Once you make that choice, as far as God’s concerned it’s a done deal, and He’s right there in the mix with you… and there’ll be nothing – absolutely nothing – the Two of you can’t do together! (Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37)

 

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