Reality - Chapter 6

The Word of God Brings Strong Faith

ACTS 14:8-10
"And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked."

As we read this we might think God performed a mighty miracle through Paul, but really it was the crippled man's own faith that healed him. As he heard Paul preaching his faith was put to the test. Of course it took faith on Paul's part to act upon what he perceived in his own heart (he realized the crippled man had faith to be healed) but, we must qualify this to understand how the crippled man had faith to be healed.

Verse seven of the same chapter explains what Paul and Barnabas were preaching there in Lystra: "And there they preached the gospel." So we can see that this man had heard the preaching of the gospel. We know from Romans 10:17 that "faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God." But if faith is only heard and never acted upon - it's not faith. We need to act upon God's to have strong faith for everything we need.

Surrounded With Faith

To keep your faith strong you must be around positive-speaking people. Negative-speaking people will draw you out of love and into sin. Positive-speaking people will build you up.

We must build our faith on God's Word - not the opinions of others. We are responsible for keeping our own faith alive. We do that by feeding our faith on God's Word - not religion or words spoken that are contrary to the Word of God. There is no benefit to our spirit if we feed our minds on worldly television or ungodly magazines. There is no faith in these things.

The book of Hebrews tells us that "without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6). All believers want to please God but not all believers search after God' s Word.

Operating in Holy Boldness

Others will know that you know Jesus and have been in His presence when you have been in the Word. "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13).

People will take notice of you because of the faith you walk in.

You've got to have your own personal experience with God through Jesus Christ. Just as the disciples displayed boldness because of being with Jesus, we must also spend time with God and His Word. The boldness they operated in came from the fellowship they enjoyed with Jesus. It didn't come from someone else's experience with God or the testimony of another individual.

Your Testimony is Your Confession

Some people will always want to add their side into their experience or testimony. We have a choice to either allow personal experience or the opinion of others to lead us or to allow God Himself, through His Word, to lead us. I will take the Word of God over anything else.

"Who bare record of the word of God and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw."

When recording the testimony of Jesus Christ in the book of Revelation, John the Beloved didn't record his own testimony. No, he purposed to tell the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Later in Revelation, John recorded the words of an angel who said, "I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy"(Revelation 19:10).

The Beloved John never said, "Now, my opinion of Jesus and what happened is this…" No, he gave an accurate account of what he saw in the vision of God. John spoke with the spirit of prophecy, giving testimony or witness of Jesus.

Sometimes, what many Christians think is a testimony is not a testimony at all. Often, they are just recalling an event that happened in their lives that may have changed them. The true testimony is Jesus living within us.

John recorded the saints triumph over the enemy when he wrote, "And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb, and by the Word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11).

People have taken this verse and said, "My testimony is about my life and what Jesus has done for me." Well, that's very nice, but it's not really scriptural.

We overcome the tricks and lies of the devil because of the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God. Jesus made a way for us to be forgiven; that is - repenting and confessing our sins (1 John 1:9). By the power of the blood we are able to live in holiness and purity. Our testimony is the Word that we speak - the confession of who God says we are in Christ.

Our testimony should speak of the rights and privileges we have now. Our testimony should bare witness of all that Jesus Christ provided through His life - not what has occurred in our past.

Looking to the Jesus - the Word

If you desire strong faith, always look to the Word of God, not to a person's personality or ministry. Even as God sent His Word to heal Israel, so we need to expect that God will heal and deliver us through His Word (Psalms 107:20). God told Israel that deliverance from destruction would come through His Word. We need to look to His Word, not a man.

When God told Moses to make a fiery serpent for the people to gaze upon for their healing, God was instructing them to look to His Word. The serpent, held up on a stick, was a type or example of Christ on the cross bearing the sins of the world. As they looked upon the serpent they would be healed. Remember, Jesus was "the Word made flesh" (John 1:14). God was teaching them, and us, that our healing comes by looking to the Word of God.

PROVERBS 4:20-22
"My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh."

People that want to keep strong faith will always look to the Word of God, not to a man or the personality of any individual. Let the Word take first place in your life.

Practicing Obedience

Once we place the Word of God in our hearts we will then become obedient to what the Word says. "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight" (1 John 3:22).

This promise, as you can see, has conditions with it. God instructs us to keep His commandments and to walk in love. We are just as responsible for walking in love as we are responsible for walking in faith. Obedience is the act or practice of obeying. That is what God desires for us - to act upon His Word through obedience.

Jesus said, "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7). If the Word is abiding or living inside of us we will keep Christ's commandments.

Walking in True Humility

Strong faith only comes through allowing the Word of God to have first priority in our hearts. This requires our own desires to come into submission to God's will. How do we know God's will? His Word is His will. When we submit to His Word we are honoring God first and walking in true humility.

We must resist getting into a prideful state, as if we had all the answers. Instead, we should humble ourselves and remember God can use anyone.

Even Jesus' disciples got into pride and questioned Jesus about an individual using His name. Luke records the event, "And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbade him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us" (Luke 9:49,50).

Many times, we come against people that have a different name over their church door than we do. But often, they also teach, preach and use God's Word, like we do.

We should resist the temptation to be critical, so our faith is not harmed. Today, many churches and Christians think they're the only ones with the answer. That's just pride in its biggest colors. We need to have a little more humility!

In case you don't know the real meaning of humility, I looked it up. Humility or meekness means: not proud or arrogant, courteously respectful and meek or submissive, and to humble one's heart before God.

Six Keys to Strong Faith

For your faith to be strong, first surround yourself with that which produces faith. Second, become strong in faith through holy boldness. Third, don't build your faith on your own testimony or experiences. Fourth, build your faith on the Word of God. Fifth, be obedient to act on God's Word. And lastly, keep yourself spiritually in a truly humble state.