One of the greatest and most subtle enemies of our faith is mental ascent or head knowledge. Many Christians, especially in Charismatic and Word of Faith circles, have learned to quote or confess the Word and say all the right things, but many are still falling short of possessing what they say they are believing God for. It has been my observation over the years that there are many more faith talkers than real faith walkers.
How can we narrow the gap between our talk and our walk – our saying and our believing? Since unbelief is the greatest thief of the blessings of God, what are some symptoms of unbelief? And what is the real evidence that faith is working in your heart? Here are some differences between a weak spirit that is still walking in unbelief and a spirit that is strong in faith:
Unbelief is still anxious and worries, while true faith walks in undisturbed peace. Unbelief is joyless with a downcast countenance while true faith lives in joyful rejoicing. Unbelief is not fully persuaded that what they’ve asked of the Lord belongs to them, or that it’s even God’s will for them to have what they are asking for or claiming, while true faith has an unshakeable confidence that what they have asked for is theirs even though they cannot yet see it or feel it.
Confidence is a child of faith while condemnation is a killer of faith. While our faith is not dependent on our good works and perfection, when a person is not living right and not walking in obedience to the light they have, their hearts condemn them and they have no confidence or assurance toward God.
“Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 Jn. 3:21-22).
It takes time and work to cultivate the real faith in your life – the kind of faith that overcomes the world, the flesh, and the devil – the kind of Bible faith that does not walk by sight and feelings and is not moved by contradictory circumstances.
People think that if they fake their faith, and just say all the right things that everything will be alright. This is a subtle lie of the devil. You need to develop your faith by feeding your spirit on the Word of God. Know and be familiar with the covenant God has made with us. Know what belongs to you, and what Jesus purchased for you with His very own precious blood. God has given us wonderful tools in order to live in the realm where all things are possible.
For example, at a very basic level, how do you know it’s God’s will to heal you and baptize you in the Holy Ghost? The same way you know that it’s God’s will to save everyone. Through the Word. God’s Word is His will. Many do not doubt their salvation, but are quick to reason away healing or the baptism of the Holy Spirit as perhaps not being the will of God for everyone. When you have the same assurance that healing and the Spirit’s baptism belongs to you as you do that salvation belongs to you, then you will receive from God. The same thing would be true concerning your finances or a job, or whatever you are asking of the Lord.
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mk. 11:24).
This verse covers not only all our needs but our desires as well. What a tremendous scripture! It would help many of you to read that verse very slowly. Breathe in every Word. Soak in it. You know you have what you’ve asked for and become fully persuaded of it through the Word of God.
When do you believe you receive from God? It is when you pray, and before the actual manifestation of it. If Christians lived in the Word more, faith would come easy, and they would not be moved by contradictory circumstances. It is not a struggle to have faith or get faith. It just comes as you read and meditate on the Word. When one is sick or riddled with disease, God’s Word is medicine to all their flesh. Too many of us are not taking our medicine.
Smith Wigglesworth was called an apostle of faith. If anyone understood the real faith, it was him. Here is what he said:
“Many believers say they are in faith, but they are lying to themselves. There are many who say they are believers, but they are full of sickness and disease, and do not take hold of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ that is provided for them.
I was taken to see a woman who was dying and I said to her, “How are things with you?”
She answered, “I have faith, I believe.”
I said, “You know that you do not have faith; you know that you are dying. It is not faith that you have; it is mere language.”
There is a difference between language and faith. I saw that she was in the hands of the devil. There was no possibility of life until he was removed from the premises. I hate the devil, and I laid hold of the woman and shouted, “Come out, you devil of death! I command you to come out in the name of Jesus!”
In one minute she stood on her feet in victory.
It’s time to put the Word to work in your life and receive faith for every need and desire you have. Know the difference between mere language and words and the true faith.