The Gifts Part 9
So what is the gift of faith, within the context of it being a gift of the Holy Spirit? The gift of faith is a passive gift, one that facilitates the manifestation and operation of other gifts, especially the gift of miracles. The gift of faith, simply put is the gift of believing that you have received from the hand of God that which you beseeched Him for.
When the gift of faith is poured out in a heart, and by using the gift of faith that heart believes for other gifts, they are received due to the gift of faith that was already there. The gift of faith is not an active gift, it is not a gift that does something, like the gift of prophecy or interpretation of tongues, but rather it is a gift that receives.
Hebrews 11:332-34, “And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”
So how did these men quench the violence of fire, or stop the mouths of lions, or become strong in weakness? Did they grab a bucket of water and try to quench the fire? Did they go up and grab the lion’s mouth so it wouldn’t open its jaws? Did they dig deep down and remember all the lessons on positive thinking and positive affirmations and in their weakness become strong? No, these men used faith, they trusted God, and in their faith watched the God they trusted in do great and mighty things in them, for them, and through them.
When we speak of faith, even the gift of faith, it must be faith in God and His omnipotence. There is no greater fool than the man who has faith in himself, because if any man has faith in himself his faith has been placed in a fragile and impotent thing.
I know it’s popular nowadays to encourage people to have faith in themselves, I’ve even heard a couple preachers spout this infernal idiocy from behind pulpits, but the faith that can quench the violence of fire, and make us strong in our weakness, and shut up the mouths of lions will not be found in ourselves, but rather it will be found only in God.
Our faith must be tethered in the One that is substantive and lasting, in whom there is no shadow of turning, who can speak universes into being, who can calm the seas with one word, who can heal the sick with one touch, who can raise the dead with one whisper, not something as frail and fleeting as man.
There are many examples in the Word of God wherein the gift of faith is visible, and readily manifested. In fact, the eleventh chapter of Hebrews is a symphony dedicated to faith, and the heroes of the faith. Every time someone spoke a thing that as yet had not occurred, it was the gift of faith operating through them. One of the greatest examples of the gift of faith in action is the encounter between Christ, and Martha as she went out to meet Him after the death of her brother Lazarus.
John 11:20-24, “Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Then Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give You. Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’”
When Jesus spoke the words ‘your brother will rise again’ it was the gift of faith operating through Him that allowed Him to speak these words. Jesus believed that Lazarus would indeed rise again; He believed that once the stone would be rolled away and He would call to him, Lazarus would come out even though this as yet had not happened.
Martha however, did not perceive the full extent of what Jesus was trying to say, and in my mind’s eye I can see her shrugging her shoulders and hanging her head, and saying, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’
It was not the last day Jesus was speaking of; it was not some time afar off that He believed Lazarus would rise again, it was for that moment, for that instant, and after He prayed, and called Lazarus, he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes.
Our faith must be immediate, and the gift of faith believes for immediate answers to prayer, for immediate answers to requests and to pleas that are brought before the throne room of heaven. God is able today, not tomorrow or a year from now, but today to do exceedingly beyond what we can imagine if only we believe.
All the great events of the Bible, all the miraculous occurrences, all the things that took place beyond human reason or comprehension had one common component, one common thread running through them all, and that was the gift of faith.
A man who possesses the gift of faith is never at a loss, he is never uncertain, he is never unsure, for he knows that when he bends his knee and prays to the heavenly Father, the heavenly Father hears that prayer and answers accordingly. Faith moves the heart of God, and He rejoices every time He sees His children come before Him in faith.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.