With grateful hearts, we share our thoughts on redemption through Jesus Christ and His saving blood and what it looks like in our daily walk.

We gladly welcome your comments and input.
AND since we hold our conservative values dear, we might have a thing or two to say about politics... and we can almost guarantee it won't be politically correct.

Friday, February 1, 2008

"The Faith Movement"

Reading through the NT writings of Paul might indicate he is the originator of the so-called “movement”. He starts out the book of Romans (1:8;NLT) telling them, “Let me say first of all that your faith in God is becoming known throughout the world.”

It’s interesting to notice his remark is about the Romans' faith in God becoming known. It was remarkable enough that the Romans were receiving salvation. But this indicates to me there were enough things happening (worth being noticed) as a result of their faith that they were becoming known throughout the world for it.

Further along in this same passage (1:17, NLT) when Paul is explaining that he was not ashamed of preaching the Good News he goes on to say, “This Good News (or Gospel) tells us how God makes us right in His sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” From start to finish… by faith! Not God’s faith but the people’s faith. It is our own faith we live by... faith in God, faith in His word, faith in His character.

The writer of Hebrews (11:1; NLT) gives us a condensed definition of faith: “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”

Confidence. Hope. Assurance.

I think it would be fair to say that if we are to live by faith then we are to live every single day in confidence that what we hope for or what we cannot see right now IS actually going to happen. Of course that is with the understanding that what we are hoping for is based on the word of God- which is His will.

Our faith grows and gives us more and more confidence/assurance as we consistently feed our soul the word of God (Rom10:17). We start out with a measure (Rom 12:3) of faith and more faith comes as we hear and believe what God says about any given subject/promise.

What are ‘the things you cannot’ see today? Maybe you’ve lost sight of the unchanging goodness of God toward His children. Feed on the word of God regarding God’s inexhaustible love. The love and value He has placed on you individually. The love He has for all those who believe.

Build on the inside of you the image (hope) of His goodness and love and believe (faith) it is available to you. Speak about it aloud. Declare it to be true. Worship Him as though you are convinced it is true. As you continue to build the image and then believe it with your whole heart, you will have the confidence (faith) to trust Him to take care of you in His love. You will eventually see it actually happen.

This will work for every area in which we choose to live by faith.


Jane said...

I spent a couple of days reading in Romans this week. It is one of my favorite books, but at the same time one of my least favorites because I am always convicted and challenged by it.

Over the last several months I have really been struggling in the area of faith and belief. (The two go hand in hand and I can't seem to separate the two. Mainly because I think belief drives faith.) Everything seems to go back to this one area right now. I've been trying really hard to just press in and do those things which I know I should...even when I don't feel like them. If I am to be honest there have been times they have been more actions than anything else.

I think it was your post from Saturday, but you talked about righteousness and how we are righteous regardless of how we feel.

One day this week, I was sitting in my car during lunch trying to clear my head. A Casting Crowns song came on called "East to West". I have the song on my iTunes, and I've heard countless times. However, this time one specific line stuck out towards the end of the song. "I can't live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals."

This concept was reiterated tonight when I was at the Chris Tomlin concert. Believing God no matter what we feel, what we think, or anything that is part of our past. Anyway, it was an incredible evening of praise and worship. It was difficult at times because I didn't feel like the words were true, but it didn't mean they weren't. How often I get confused and think I am the center when it really is all about Him.

About a year and a half ago, a friend wrote the following words to me in an e-mail. "Lead on in love, imperfect walk, but sustained pursuit." So, here is to pressing in and pressing on.

(Sorry for the long comment. I probably shouldn't try to think so much at 1:30 am!)

mlm said...

I think you forgot my favorite "faith movement" quote...the one where Paul talks about the "word of faith" being nigh thee, even in our mouth. :o)

The best teaching I ever heard on faith was a course I took in Bible school..."Faith Foundations."

The teacher knocked over some sacred cows on the subject, things I'd heard all my life and then went through the Bible from cover to cover explaining the "ABC's" of faith:

A. What faith is.
B. How faith comes.
C. How faith is released.
D. Faith must be strengthened.
E. Faith must be the leader.

See. That was 10 years ago, and I haven't forgotten! Thanks for this post...

Meems said...

Jane: I have a new-found LOVE for the book of Romans of late. So amazing how the "revealer" -the H.S. opens up and enlightens in new ways what we've read over and over in the past. Not that we didn't get revelation all those other times but the layers and the depth of the Word is so vast and our knowledge so limited... we "see" what we are ready to see at the time.

You speak of faith and belief going hand in hand and I have to say I agree. They are one in the same and thus the difficulty in separating the two. It is believing what you don't see (yet) and that is the definition of faith. When we believe a thing we "act" like it is true. ie, you believe the chair will hold you up - you sit in it without even thinking about whether it will hold you up.

It is prudent for us to grasp with solid assurance that we don't measure the word of God by our own "feelings". Feelings/emotions change with circumstances- the Word/God NEVER changes. Feelings can lie and the Word/God is absolute truth. (like the casting crowns song God used to speak to your heart)

Our pressing serves us well when we get the focus over onto God and all HE is and not so much about "trying" to get to a certain place... just resting in Him and all HIS wonderment. Before you know it the peace that passes all understanding will wrap around your heart and mind!

Glad you enjoyed Chris Tomlin- what a treat!

Meems said...

mlm: I DO love that scripture and decided not to use it due to my already lengthy post.:-)

And let's all say a big thank you, Lord for the teachings of Doug Jones!

Thanks for sharing your ABC's of faith.

Meems said...

Jane: I just realized what I wrote in my last comment is incorrect! Gasp!

In my statement..."It is believing what you don't see (yet) and that is the definition of faith."

This is only partially true.

Yes, we need our faith for what we don't see yet BUT faith in every way you look at it is simply what you believe!

So if it is happens to be something out in the future you believe will come to pass you use your believer (faith) to believe it until it does... no matter how you feel. In other words you don't adjust your believing/faith by how you feel. You adjust your feelings by what you believe/or have faith in!

Hope that clarifies and doesn't muddy the waters.

Nathan Talbot said...

Just wanted to say I loved this post. Fantastic reminder of the importance of our faith and how we excercise it and make it grow. I can't ever get enough teaching on faith.

I do have to chuckle when I see so many bloggers trying to attribute the faith movement or "word of Faith" theology to more modern day teachers and preachers. Umm Hello people, it was our boy Paul.;)