Reality - Chapter 1

Have a Heart Full of Faith

MARK 11:22-26
"And Jesus answering saith unto them, HAVE FAITH IN GOD. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

We need to have the God-kind of faith. When we become born again God places within our heart the seed of faith, or what the Bible calls "the measure of faith" (Romans 12:3). We could say that when Jesus told His disciples to "have faith in God," He also meant their measure of faith should be full (Mark 11:22). In other words He was telling them, "Have a heart full of faith."

God has given every believer the same amount of faith - it begins small, as the size of a mustard seed. It's up to us to develop and nurture our faith so it will become strong.

We have the responsibility to make our faith grow and increase. To produce faith in our own hearts we must feed upon the Word of God, just as we eat natural food to strengthen our natural body. Every believer needs to feed their spirit man on spiritual food: the Word of God.

There is never a reason for any believer to say, "I don't have faith," or "Pray for me that I will believe." Faith is a free gift given to every believer when we are born again. Each one of us has faith automatically if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

The Characteristics of Faith

You could say, "We have a heart of faith." What really do you have though, when you have a heart of faith?

First, you have a heart of love. According to Romans 5:5, "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost." If you are a Christian you should never say you can't love someone because God's love is in your heart - just hook up with your heart.

Faith is also characterized by its working by love. Faith and love are kin to each other. Galatians 5:6 teaches us, "...faith which worketh by love." So faith and love work hand in hand. You won't work your faith, except by the love that is in your heart. Ever wonder why some of your prayers don't get answered? Check up on your heart and see if you were operating your faith by love.

Another important characteristic to understand about faith is that it can grow. Faith is produced by God and given to Christians when they are born into the family of God. "God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).

Faith is like a mustard seed. Though it is small when it is planted it can grow beyond its tiny size. When faith is fully developed it becomes strong like the mustard tree.

Lastly, faith is the doorway into the spirit realm. Faith will reach into the supernatural and bring things into existence in the natural realm. Faith looks at the answer and the final results of what one believes for. Faith never looks at the impossible, or how something is going to work. Instead, faith stays on God's side by lining itself up with what God says. If your faith is released in this manner, all things are possible to you.

MATTHEW 17:20
"...and nothing shall be impossible unto you."

LUKE 18:27
"...The things which are impossible with man are possible with God."

MARK 9:23
"...If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."

Now, it's up to us to do the believing; it's not up to God. Let's look at what the Bible says about God, us and our faith.

Effective Faith

First, John 4:24 says, "God is a Spirit," and we know already that faith comes from God. In the spirit realm, God has substance, as does faith. They are both real and they belong together. Faith is an attribute of the Spirit, which is God.

Secondly, as we release our faith in God, we then see results. We can release our faith in two ways: by our confession of faith and through our prayers. Both ways release our faith bringing those things we want into our possession.

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).

You see, we need to fellowship with the Lord, as well as have His Word alive in our hearts. The Bible tells us if God's Word is alive in us we can have confidence in that Word, knowing God will hear our prayer and see our faith (1 John 5:14, 15). This causes our faith to work effectively. Then we will receive what we are believing for.

One fall, when I was going to Bible school, I had a particular need for my tuition payment. This was at the end of September, in 1983, and I had a payment due on the first of October. After meditating on Mark 11:22-26 for about four hours I realized my mind had been changed and I ought to pray about my financial need. I knew these scriptures had become alive inside my spirit man. I asked the Lord for the $200 I needed, saying, "I believe I receive this now by faith."

After worshipping the Lord for about an hour the phone rang. Some friends from Dallas, Texas called saying God just spoke to them about sending me some money for my tuition. They told me they didn't know how much but they would ask the Lord, then send me the funds.

The next day someone else paid $50 toward my tuition. Then when my friends from Texas sent a check it was for $185, just $10 short of the cost of my tuition!

Our faith will operate effectively if we will work the Word of God. Our Heavenly Father is always ready and willing to back His Word. He is just waiting for us to release our faith --- faith that is lined up with His Word.

Two Kinds of Faith

Now, let's look at faith. Actually in the Bible there are examples of two kinds of faith - what I'll call natural faith and heart faith. Natural faith is "head faith," or the kind of faith that says, "I'll believe it when I see it." Natural faith works totally with the reasoning of the natural mind. We see this natural reasoning in action in Thomas.

JOHN 20:25
"The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hand the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Thomas was like a lot of Christians today; unless they can see it, they will not believe it! But, they are not operating in heart faith - the God-kind of faith. Let's read on in the verses that follow.

JOHN 20:26-29
"And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."

True faith is believing without seeing. Heart faith believes for something even when you can't see it in the natural. Faith always says, "I've got it now," or "I've got the answer!"

We should not moved by what we see, hear or feel. No, we receive from God by faith. We have what we need by faith with a praise report of thanksgiving.

Now, we need to look at heart faith or the true faith of God. The heart of faith receives results now, not when we finally see results with the natural eye. Here's an example of heart faith in action. The book of Romans calls Abraham a "father of faith."

ROMANS 4:17-21
"(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and CALLETH THOSE THINGS WHICH BE NOT AS THOUGH THEY WERE. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, HE CONSIDERED NOT HIS OWN BODY NOW DEAD, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform."

Abraham was a man who operated out of a heart full of faith. Although he had no son, or heir, He believed the promise of God. Abraham put actions to his faith by not considering how old his own body was or the fact that his wife, Sarah, was beyond the age of childbearing. Instead, Abraham grabbed hold of the promise of God, which was the result of his faith at work.

God called Abraham a "father of many nations" even before he became the natural father of Isaac. God has to operate by faith. He is the God of faith!

Abraham followed God's example when God called "those things which be not as though they were." Abraham believed what God said, even though he and his wife were too old to have children. He "considered not his own body now dead."

Instead, Abraham believed the words God spoke rather than what he knew of the deadness of his and Sarah's natural bodies. Isaac, the son of promise, was born when Abraham was one hundred years old! We need to become fully persuaded in the promises of God's Word so our faith will work like Abraham's. We need to release our heart-felt faith by confessing the answer instead of the problem.

Speak the Word

Speaking God's Word is the key to operating in God's faith. It is the starting point of faith working for us to bring in results.

2 CORINTHIANS 4:13
"We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak."

Faith and the spoken Word work hand-in-hand to bring the desired results. We must believe what we say, and what we say should line up with the Word.

This is how a Christian receives Christ at the new birth. Romans 10:9,10 says, "That IF thou shalt CONFESS with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and SHALT BELIEVE in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the MOUTH confession is made unto salvation." Because we believe in our heart we confess Jesus as our Lord. When you need something in your life you should find the promise God gave that provides for that need and then meditate on it. Let the promise of God become real to you then release your faith by confessing or speaking out that promise.

For example, if you need healing, believe and confess what the Bible says Jesus did for you on the cross: "...by whose stripes ye were healed." Meditate on it, believe it, then confess it out of a heart full of faith!