Thursday, 3 September 2015

What is faith?

The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God. If you live by faith and go by faith, that pleases God. What is faith? Faith is one of the most misunderstood words today. We all know the phrase 'people of faith'. - It is used to describe Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. We need to redefine faith. Faith is trusting God with everything. You trust Him with your life, your healing, with your salvation; you trust Him with your money, with your family; you trust Him when you get out of bed in the morning. You trust Him when you've no food in the house. You trust Him when you've no money to pay the rent. Faith trusts God in extreme circumstances.

When Moses sent out the twelve spies to view the land WHICH GOD HAD PROMISED TO GIVE, they all saw the same things, a land flowing with milk and honey. Green, green grass, corn better than Egypt, fruit so big it had been just a dream when they were captives, rivers and lakes of freshest sweet water, plenty of fish (Galilee is famous - I've eaten its fish, so I know), lovely valleys for the cattle, beautiful mountains (one snow-capped all year round) - literally springs in the valleys and streams in the desert. Far better than the Egypt they had left. It was everything that God had promised and more! Of course they saw the walled cities, soldiers guarding them and the fact that some of the inhabitants were giants. This was not Eden, not an empty land - they would have to fight for their inheritance!

The important fact was that all twelve saw precisely the same things, stood in the same places, had the same God. But when they returned to Moses, their reports differed in certain essentials. All twelve told the Israelites, yes this was THE Promised Land, no disagreement, but the majority (ten against two) said that it was impossible to enter. After they had all excitedly shared the joy that the fulfilment would bring and yes, it was all that God had said and more, the ten said that the difficulties were too great. There was no way that they could defeat the enemies and actually possess the promise! They were looking in human terms, seeing only their own limited resources and accepting failure as the norm. Only two said yes they agreed with everything the ten had said, but because God WAS with them, they could possess the promise now, He would not fail them. They reminded the whole of Israel of all that God had done in the past, how that He was still with them and that in His Name they would win, however hard the fight!

It was God's decision to abide by the majority decision that compelled the whole nation of Israel to wander in a barren wilderness for forty more years before they finally entered. What was the one thing that went wrong? Faith! They didn't trust God in the extremity of their circumstances.

Watch this short teaching on 'What is Faith'