Faith Factor 10 – Word of Faith

One of the more controversial aspects of modern faith teaching is the emphasis on words. Some Christians have come to the conclusion that if they speak the right things often enough they can create the result that they want. Others say that this is pure shamanism and New Age mysticism.

However, despite any distortions to the truth about our words, the Bible does make clear connection between our speech and our faith. So this look at the Word of Faith is an important Faith Factor.

Expressing Faith

We saw in previous Faith Factors that faith is supposed to be supported by evidence in the believer. Jesus told Jairus to “only believe” (Mark 5:36) when he heard that his daughter was dead. To keep on believing, Jairus allowed Jesus to continue the journey to his home, instead of giving up hope.

On that same journey a woman who had continuous bleeding expressed her faith by pressing through the crowd to touch Jesus’ garment. She was instantly healed (Mark 5:27-29).

Others let a man down through the roof, as testimony to their faith (Mark 2:1-12). In fact the Faith Chapter, Hebrews 11, lists the many things people did to express and confirm the faith they felt within.

One of those forms of expression is found in our words.

Confession

The link between words and faith is so significant that it gets a clear title of its own. It is called the “Word of Faith”.

“But what does it say? The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach” Romans 10:8

In Romans 10 we have several expressions which show that faith is linked to the words in our mouth.

“But the righteousness which is of faith speaks like this, Say not in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who will descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what does it say? The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:6-10

Faith is linked to our Confession of what we believe in our heart. It involves words in our mouth. It is a word of faith.

Blab it and Grab It!

Some have come up with the idea that the power is in the words, so they can Blab it and Grab it. This is not what the Bible teaches. The word of faith is a message preached to us, which produces faith in our heart. That faith is not in our faith, nor in our words. That faith is clearly anchored in the person and the work of God. We believe that God is who He is and that He will reward us for diligently seeking Him (Hebrews 11:6).

When we speak with our lips we are simply giving expression to the faith in our heart which produces in us the confidence in the substance, becoming to us the very evidence of the things we hope for.

So the, just as praise and rest are expressions of our faith, so too our words are a further confirmation of what we believe in our heart.

Every Day in Every Way

A psychological trick which was popularised several decades ago involved the shamanistic process of speaking affirming words to ourselves so we can change our internal perceptions, and thus what springs from them.

Some people have confused these two concepts. The popularised mantra, “Every day in every way I am getting better and better”, was an attempt at mind over matter. It had nothing to do with faith in God and rather put the faith in the words spoken.

Some well-meaning Christians then began to talk about the “power of our words”, mixing Biblical truth with the popularised New Age ideas.

Christian expressions of faith have nothing to do with mantras or self-hypnosis. The power is not in the words, although they do become an integral part of the faith process. The words become one of the fruits or works of our faith, but they are not some faith trick, or spiritual power tool in our arsenal.

Mouth and Heart

Faith requires that the words of our mouth match the faith that is in our heart. The words do not control the heart, or manipulate our inner reality. The words of our mouth express what is in our heart. If you want to work on either one, then I strongly suggest you work on the heart.

God looks at the heart. The issues of life spring from our heart. When a person speaks nicely with their mouth, they can have ugly and hateful things in their heart. The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. God gives us a new heart.

Words are the shallow lapping of water on the shore of our heart’s ocean depths. Don’t get fooled into worshipping your words. Get into the business of gaining a new heart and keeping your heart with all diligence.

Yet your heart and mouth are linked, as we have seen from Romans 10. Your mouth is meant to express the faith that is growing in your heart.

And you words do then have a powerful role.

Seal it with Your Lips

When you believe something in your heart, but keep it secret, you do not achieve the same seal upon your believing that you have once you have made public your secret heart beliefs. Therefore confession seals your faith and takes on a powerful quality in your salvation.

Jesus warned us that our confession of faith in Him will have awesome effects in the spirit realm.

“Whoever therefore will confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whoever will deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32,33

That is also why Romans teaches us that our confession seals our salvation.

“That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9,10

Confessing Victory

Along with being at Rest in the midst of your trials, and praising God for the victory that has not yet been seen, it is also totally fitting that you speak words of faith.

Declare the victory outcome you believe for. Put yourself on the line, by speaking out what is in your heart. You won’t be blabbing it and grabbing it, since you have already grabbed it in your heart. Your words simply seal your faith, rather than creating an outcome. Use your words as a powerful and fitting testimony to what is unseen in your heart.

Consistent with God

As you speak, be sure to speak consistently with God’s Word. The Greek word for this in the New Testament writings is homologia, meaning “the same speech”. We are to speak ‘as one’ with what God has said in His Word. Thus our language is ‘homologia’, the same speech as God’s speech.

This term is used about our faith professions, in the book of Hebrews. The picture created there is that Christ, as our Heavenly High Priest, takes our professions into God’s presence, to attest to our confidence in Him. Thus our words take on an important role in our faith program.

“Wherefore, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” Hebrews 3:1

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” Hebrews 4:14

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” Hebrews 10:23

Declare Your Faith

Aware of the cautions I have given here, I urge you to make more use of your lips. I challenge you to declare, confess, testify to and express your faith and confidence in God, with your mouth.

Speak out what you are believing for, even if only among those who will support you, or even privately, to God, if you think there is no-one who will not mock you.

Let the words of your mouth and the meditations of your heart be acceptable in God’s sight, because they are charged with faith and are part of your whole lifestyle of confident expectation that God is the awesome God of creation and the Bible and that He is intimately and personally attentive to you and ready to powerfully reward you as you place your trust in Him and speak out your confidence to Him.

Faith Factor 5 – Holding On

Understanding faith can be achieved by various approaches. One thing might quicken your faith now, and yet a completely different thought may prompt your faith on another occasion. In fact, faith, simple as it is, is spiritual, and therefore profoundly complex. Different things will inspire faith at different times.

With that thought in mind I am sharing various Faith Factors with you, to provide various angles from which to view and understand faith. You may well find that see God for who He is quickens your faith on one occasion, while discovering your part in faith may excite your faith on another occasion.

So, here is another Faith Factor which I find important in my application of Christian faith. It is the process of Holding On.

Pressing Through

Faith is persistent. It takes a stand, based on who God is and what He asks of us and it maintains a dogged persistence. This is what I call Holding On. But it could equally be called Pressing Through.

Faith claims God’s promises. Faith apprehends what God has for us. Faith presses in and pushes on. It is determined to claim the prize. It will not take “No” for an answer. It maintains course and defies all challenges to the stand it takes.

Now, to be realistic, there are many times when people’s faith does not maintain such heights of victorious persistence. We can all be ‘weak in faith’ and cry out the Lord in despair, rather than expectancy. Thankfully and wonderfully God comes through for us, even when we are falling in a heap.

Think of the disciples in the boat, desperately afraid they will die. Their fear and panic did not stop them receiving a miracle. Think of Gideon’s inability to believe what the angel of God told him about his ability to win a victory. Yet God continued to uphold him, bearing with his insecurity, until the fearful one had won a great victory.

Yet, for all that, there is a wonderful aspect of faith that is victorious, persistent, unconquerable and soul stirring.

Faith in Action

Faith is seen in the actions of the one who holds it. We are told by the Apostle James that “faith without works is dead”, James 2:20.

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26

When faith is present there will be some resultant actions which attest to it being there. Faith itself becomes the evidence and substance of what is believed for.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Faith is therefore best seen when a person purposes to believe in unseen substance and then acts accordingly.

The Action of Resting

When I talk about faith being linked to action, or faith being seen in the ‘works’ of one who believes, I do not want you to think only of busy activity. One of the most powerful actions of a man of faith is ‘rest’.

In the face of fear people become agitated. They may engage in busy work. They may tend to talk a lot, fidget, run to and fro looking for help, and so on. In such a case the act of ‘resting’ is a powerful testimony to a person’s faith.

Hebrews 3 and 4 address this factor of ‘rest’ as a result of faith. Those who do not trust God are not able to enter into rest. Those who trust God cease their own labours, relying on God to do what man cannot do. This does not mean inactivity, but it does mean the cessation of futile human energy thrown at some problem.

“And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?” Hebrews 3:18

“For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” Hebrews 4:3

“For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” Hebrews 4:10,11

The Action of Rejoicing

Another work of faith which I love to see is the rejoicing of one who is confident in God. If you knew that God had solved your problem you would break into rejoicing, song, praise and worship.

Coming to a place of confident celebration in the outcome, before the outcome has become visible is a ‘work’ of faith. Because, by faith, you have the ‘substance’ of what you are believing for, even before the answer has arrived, you now not only rest, but you rejoice. What joy it is to be confident that God has solved the problem and met every need!

Don’t Give In

I am reminded of an occasion before I was married when I faced a faith challenge to hold on and press through in faith. I was working using an oxy-torch to melt brass in a metal fabrication process. I was manufacturing hundreds of pieces and my protective gloves developed holes over time.

I accidentally turned the naked flame onto my exposed thumb and burned it badly. In agonising pain I hastily turned off the flame, pulled off the glove and pressed my good hand onto the burnt thumb, praying madly for protection.

I had heard many testimonies of God’s healing power in response to prayer and I prayed keenly, knowing that I was badly burned and desperately needed healing. The workshop in which I was working was empty at the time. After my initial cries of pain and desperate prayer, I headed across the open factory floor, toward the foreman’s office. I knew that there was a special burn spray in the office which I could put onto my thumb.

Half way across the factory I was pulled up by a thought. I realised that if I had prayed in faith and believed God to heal me, then I would not need to use the spray. However, my thumb still pained badly. I lifted my hand to look at the thumb and its skin was burned brown. I was in a dilemma. I wanted to act in faith, but I also wanted my thumb to have the best chance of recovery. Faith said, “You have prayed, now leave it to God and expect His good work”. Realism said, “Your thumb is very badly burned. You need to get it attended to.”

I was caught between those two opinions for quite a while. Then I decided that I would rather act in faith and please God, than to throw my faith away, just because of my pain. I turned and went back to my work bench. I gingerly pulled on the stiff, worn gloves, re-lit the torch, and went back to work.

The heat of the torch made my thumb pain even more. I had to work slowly, because of how sensitive my skin was. But I felt good about having chosen to act in faith.

Over the next hour the pain subsided and I just got on with my work. By the end of the day the brown burn had subsided to a small area in the middle of the thumb. By the next morning there was hardly a sign that my thumb had been burned at all. I was healed, beyond all reason. I had chosen well to hold on in faith.

Heroes of Faith

Hebrews 11 records some heroes of faith who suffered torture. They were heroes of faith because they held on to their believing. They would not be dissuaded, even by the threat of death or torture.

While we all love the accounts of faith that wins out in the end, it is not the outcome that is important to God, but the faith that is expressed in willingness to press through.

Remember the three Jewish boys in Nebuchadnezzar’s court who refused to bow to his idol. They were threatened with death in the fiery furnace. They declared their confidence that God would deliver them, but they added that even if He did not save them they would not bow.

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.” Daniel 3:17,18

Hang in There

Faith survives the many challenges which are thrown up against it. Faith finds rest when others are afraid. Faith delights in outcomes which have not yet occurred. Faith praises God for His deliverance, while the battle is still raging.

Faith hums a song of happy expectancy, while others wring their hands in anxiety.

So, hang in there. Press through in faith. Determine to trust God, even if it appears that all is lost.

Remember that God is pleased to see you faith. God will be delighted with you, no matter how things work out in the natural circumstances. Hang in there and bring a smile to God’s face by your determination to trust Him, no matter what.