Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fundamental Teachings Part 6

Another characteristic of the nature of faith that all believers should be aware of and acquainted with is that faith places its trust, and has as its foundation in the Word of God. The will of God, the mind of God, the plan of God for mankind, all are found within the Bible, His holy word.

We were given faith dear friend, that we might understand the kingdom of God, and see those things which are unseen by eyes of flesh. This faith, faith toward God, gives us access to this spiritual world, and I would dare say is more real than this present world. Why would I make such an assertion? Quite simply I can make such an assertion because while the spiritual world is eternal, this world of ours and everything in it is passing away. Faith gives us spiritual eyes, and with eyes of faith we see the spiritual realm, and the spiritual world that surrounds us.

Now when I say that a spiritual world surrounds us, it is by no means hyperbole or exaggeration. There is a real and present spiritual realm that surrounds us even now, and I can prove it biblically.

In the book of second kings, there is an incident wherein the king of Syria sent horses, chariots, and a great army to surround the city that Elisha the prophet found himself in. At the time Elisha had a servant with him, and this servant arose early and went out, only to see this mass of humanity with chariots and horses surrounding them on all sides. Panicked, he returns to Elisha and says to him, “Alas my master! What shall we do?”

Elisha’s answer was short, yet powerful in its implications.

“Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” This was Elisha’s answer, even though the young man only saw the Syrian army that surrounded them, and nothing more.

I am certain the servant gave Elisha a disbelieving look, perhaps thinking to himself that the man was delusional. There was no one else there, what was he talking about? Where was this army that was on their side? All the young servant saw were the Syrians.

Then something wondrous happened. Elisha prayed that his servant’s eyes might be opened, that he might see.

2 Kings 6:17, “And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘Lord I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

The horses and chariots of fire were already there. The young man just didn’t have the eyes to see them. The spiritual realm is all around us, but many, yes even many who call themselves believers, don’t have the spiritual eyes to see it. When I first got this revelation in my spirit it astounded me. The horses and chariots of fire were there already, it was the young man who could not peer into this reality. Elisha didn’t pray ‘Lord send some angels, Lord send some chariots of fire’; he simply prayed that the eyes of his servant be open to the horses and chariots of fire that were already there.

This is what faith does. It opens our eyes to the spiritual realm, the spiritual world that surrounds us that we might say as did Elisha, those who are with us are more than those who are with them.

When we walk by faith and not by sight, we see beyond this present material world. There are so many instances in our lives when if we were to walk by sight alone we would grow despondent and discouraged. Absent of faith, we would look at our present circumstances we would look at our present trials, and be readily overcome by them. Faith however, allows us to see beyond what the eyes of flesh can see, and this gives us the assurance that if we run the race faithfully, if we remain steadfast and strong in our convictions, a crown of victory will be laid upon our heads.

Another wondrous beauty of faith toward God is that it can be ignited by just a single word. As Christ’s disciples sat in a boat, tossed by the waves, in the middle of the sea, in the fourth watch of the night they saw Jesus walking toward them. Some said it was a ghost, and cried out in fear, but Jesus immediately calmed their spirits by encouraging them to be of good cheer, and informing them that it was him, and that they should not be afraid. Peter the apostle of Christ was also among the disciples in the boat, and when he heard the voice of Christ he said, “Lord if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

Then in Matthew fourteen, verse 29, Jesus simply says, ‘Come’ and Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus.

One word, ignited Peter’s faith; one word turned the laws of nature on their ear; one word nullified the law of gravitational attraction; Jesus only spoke one word to Peter, Jesus only said ‘come’ and Peter’s faith was ignited and his faith took care of the rest.

For a while, Peter actually walked on water, but then he saw the wind and it was boisterous and so he became afraid. Peter took his eyes off Jesus, Peter allowed his fear to overwhelm his faith, and so he began to sink into the sea, and as he was sinking he cried out “Lord save me!”

Matthew 14:31, “And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Just consider that Christ’s only rebuke was the lack of abundant faith in Peter’s heart. Jesus didn’t ask what made you think you could walk on water. He simply asked Peter why he doubted. O you of little faith, why did you doubt?

The Word of God does not specify how many steps Peter took on the water, it doesn’t specify how far he got from the boat, but at some point his faith wavered, at some point he saw himself standing upon the waves, he felt the wind upon his face, and his human mind began to reason that what he was doing was indeed impossible. ‘Man can’t walk on water’, his mind screamed at him, and his faith was shut out.

If Jesus says ‘come’ do not let doubt steal away His promise toward you. If Jesus says ‘come’ even if it may seem impossible from a human perspective, even if all those around you would doubt the success of your endeavor, step out in faith, step upon the waves, and walk toward Him. Keep your eyes firmly planted upon Jesus, and let faith guide you toward His open arms.

So often we are afraid to step out in faith because well, Peter began to sink didn’t he, and if Peter sank, we are sure to sink, all the while forgetting that Jesus was there, Jesus stretched out his hand, and Jesus caught him. Jesus will not let you sink, if your faith wavers, He will be there to stretch out His hand toward you, and catch you.

Before I go there is one more thing about the nature of faith toward God that I want to make crystal clear, and that is that faith is not, and has nothing to do with positive thinking or positive affirmation.

 Nowhere in the Bible does it say that if you think positively, your faith will increase, or that if you affirm certain thing over and over again, that thing will be birthed into reality. Faith is a gift from God, and it is activated by the word of God. We can pray for greater faith, we can ask God for greater faith, but we cannot manufacture greater faith. Again, it is a gift from God.

When the gift of faith toward God is present in the heart, it exudes outwardly, and compels us to serve God, to worship God, to love God, and to obey God. Although Paul might have seen it as an elementary principle of Christ, it is this elementary principle, along with all the others we will be covering in this series that we must reacquaint ourselves with as a people and as a generation, because we have strayed from the basic teachings, and basic tenets of the faith, wandering in the wilderness unaware of the fact that we are powerless, and absent of direction until it is too late.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


Sam Larson said...

I want to see the army of God like Elisha and experience the power of God at work like when Jesus and Peter walked on water, as well as taking the spirtual applications from these events.

Linda said...

Thank you Michael, I agree, we do need this! Powerful spiritual truths. Again, thank you and God bless.