Our faith determines the nature of our requests. Those who believe little ask for little. Faith is the formative factor in our asking and our receiving. The doors of His great storehouse are opened unto us upon the hinges of Faith.
Jeroboam went to Elisha the Prophet who was on his deathbed whereupon Elisha gave the King an arrow and told him it was the arrow of the Lord’s deliverance for Israel from the Syrians. He then instructed the King to shoot the arrow into the air and then strike the ground with the remaining arrows. The King did so and struck the ground three times; the Prophet responded:
“And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.”
2 Kings 13:19
The King’s response revealed a faith which was lacking. Jeroboam’s desire for victory was small and correspondingly so was Israel’s victory over the Syrians. Our asking will always be proportional to the faith we hold in our hearts. We may pretend to ask largely but within the recesses of our heart we know when we are in the faith or when we are asking in the presumption of self.
“For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us”
2 Corinthians 1:20
It requires the faith of Christ to access the Amen of Christ to all the promises of God. (Galatians 2:20)
“The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations”
“And the evening and the morning were the third day.”
Time in God is marked by things accomplished. The third day was completed upon God finishing the work He had purposed for that given day. His life and works are recorded as things accomplished not as things promised. This living truth is the heartbeat and focus of those who are in Him.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been perfected, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me”
In reading the third chapter of Philippians it takes very little effort to see the centrality of Paul’s life and heart. It was one of pursuit and purpose. His life was about the apprehension of the purpose of God. His passion was wrapped up in accomplishing the thing that God had purposed for him and not just the contentment of a promise.
“But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!”
This is the most poignant description of the passion and heart of Jesus. His whole being was bent to the accomplishment of the Will of His Father. He did not rest in the promises concerning Him but was motivated to the fulfillment of them; so it should be with us.
“Let us therefore fear, lest,
a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it”
We are not to rest in doctrines, teachings and promises but we are to press toward the accomplishing of His will in the earth.
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course…”
2 Timothy 4:7
“Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience”
1 Timothy 3:9
Paul is writing to “his own son in the faith” in the Spirit of God’s love and wisdom. He is instructing Timothy about THE faith. Many in our land speak of “a” faith which is nebulous, indistinct and relatively impotent. “The” faith is powerful and filled with the living vitality of God to bring men and women into a definite expressions. THE faith defines those who hold it and clarifies and individualizes their expression. An indistinct expression of Christ within a life will always be the result of “a” faith which produces nothing powerful or particular to the individual. The typical faith of our day renders an impotent expression; living and serving God from the resources of self rather than from the matchless resources which are ours through THE Faith of Christ.
Contentment with a nominal expression of the living Christ is the bane of religion. It is the product of a faith held within the intellect but never touching the heart strings of the individual. It has no fire, no purpose and no sense of the heartbeat of the living God. It is a faith in word only, void of the works of faith through which men and women are accosted by the certainty and substance of God. It ventures nothing, costs nothing and in God’s eyes is worth nothing. It is THE faith that pressed Peter out of the boat; it is THE faith that produced expressions of power within the lives of holy men and women of God in Hebrews 11. Without THE faith it is impossible to please God; with it, impossible to remain inactive and unaffected by its wonder. Within the scope of THE faith it is impossible to live an uneventful and ineffectual life. The Faith OF Christ must produce the workings of Christ within the hearts of His own. Contentment apart from godliness is the malady of Christian religion. The purpose of THE faith is to reveal the life and heart of its author.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”
Paul pleaded with the people of God at Corinth to examine whether they were IN THE FAITH!
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be IN THE faith; prove your own selves…”
2 Corinthians 13:5
“You hear the word, and believe it in theory, while you deny it in practice. I say to you, that “you deceive yourselves”
– Charles Finney