April 11, 2009
Abraham believed God and it was imputed unto him for righteousness (James 2:23).
To have the faith to believe is to understand that the spiritual realm of heaven is greater than the natural realm on earth. God is a Spirit whose Kingdom is not of this world. As we discussed in our previous Tidbit, faith is the ability to see with the eyes of the heart the spiritual realm, that which is unseen and by faith, respond to what they realize. It is with the eyes of our heart that we see and believe for the substance of things hoped for, and by the prayer of faith, bring heaven’s reality into this world; the evidence of things not seen – the Kingdom of God. Lives are changed when heaven invades earth.
The ability to see God with the eyes of our heart anchors us in His Kingdom, where all of our Fathers resources, provisions and benefits are accessible by faith. The Kingdom of God is realized when that which takes place in heaven, is manifested on the earth and the Lordship of Jesus Christ can be seen in all circumstances of life. Those who live by faith reveal the Kingdom of God through His divine nature forged in them with the power of the Kingdom of God ministering through them.
By faith Abraham believed God when he left the city he lived in, to journey to a foreign country to dwell in tents “to receive an inheritance and he obeyed not knowing where he was going”(He. 11:8). Abraham left everything to obtain everything because he believed God and “Abraham believed God and it was imputed unto him for righteousness” (James 2:23). It is because of Abraham’s faith to believe that he is called “the Father of all them that believe” (Ro. 4:11), If you believe, you are a son of Abraham – the father of faith.
Being forewarned by God, Noah built an Ark to prepare for a flood. Despite the fact that Noah lived in a dry region far from any major lake or sea, He believed God. He endured the reproach and mockery of his unbelieving neighbors for 120 years until he completed the task. Noah built the Ark to the specifications of the Lord, (the substance of things hoped for) and when the floods came, the Ark carried his family to safety. (The evidence of things not seen) Noah believed God because His trust was placed in God.
All the patriots of the Old Testament lived by faith as revealed by their obedience. True faith requires radical obedience. Our obedience is the barometer of our faith in operation as revealed by our works. James tells us that a man may say that he has faith and believe, but even the devils believe and tremble “but faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). James declared that his faith was revealed by his works. He understood that the fruit of faith reveals the works of God. It’s called being led by the Spirit.
There is a great error that exists concerning the doctrine of faith. Many of the teachings on faith today are the results of the dangerous doctrines of men who are still earthly-minded. From their perspective, the biblical teachings in regards to faith place the emphasis on earthly blessings and attainment. The evidence they present to validate their faith is not born of the Spirit – the evidence of things not seen, but their personal prosperity and wealth. The apostle Paul tells us that the root of such doctrines stems from having a wrong interest, that of self, rather than that of the Spirit,
“For those who are according to the flesh, set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit” ( Ro. 8:5).
Self centeredness lends itself to a consumer style of Christianity with a shopping cart mentality. Like going to the supermarket, the believer comes before God with a “name it claim it” to fill up their shopping cart with the blessings of God. The focus is self fulfillment and attainment rather than fulfilling the purpose of God. The purpose of the believer’s walk of faith is not for our own entertainment, blessings and prosperity, but to live and demonstrate the supernatural life of the Kingdom of God.
Years ago I was watching a well known evangelist on television preaching a faith message on prosperity. After giving an inspiring message on how by shear faith that f you believe, you can receive an abundance of prosperity. It was a teaching of placing one’s faith in their faith to receive, rather than in the person of Jesus Christ. As an act of faith, he asked them to place their right hand on their wallet and with their left hand raised towards heaven; they asked the Lord to prosper their finances.
Of course, they gave their money as an act of faith into the evangelist ministry with the expectation of a multiple return on their investment. As I watched this, I felt the Holy Spirit grieve with me. It was misplaced faith presuming upon God’s grace. Over the years, many Christians have discerned the deception and have become disillusion concerning giving because of those who fleece the sheep to prosper their own ministry.
Even Jesus became angry when He went into the temple and overthrew the money changes, proclaiming, “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves” (Mt. 21:13). He then healed the blind and the lame. God’s house was not created to make one financially prosperous by shearing the sheep, but to minister the gospel in the power of the Spirit that reveals the Kingdom of God. There is a move coming that will restore faith to the Church that will bring healing in this area.
Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God
While it is God’s desire for His people to be whole and fulfilled, the means by which we access this is by faith in a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. The main thing is intimacy with God expressed in worship with the devotion to be with Him where He sits at the right hand of the Father. Jesus exhorted us to Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you (Mt. 6:33).
In this one verse Jesus is establishing the priority of the believer’s walk of faith, to seek His Kingdom first! To By this Jesus is saying that if we will seek His Kingdom first, we will find that His Kingdom provides for all of our needs according to His riches in glory. His Kingdom has the provision to provide for all our needs- material, mental, physical, and spiritual and our battle against evil. Those who seek His Kingdom and abide in the King will manifest that which exists in heaven on earth. Through faith, those who believe pull the reality of heaven into this one. They don’t name it and claim it but demonstrate it! We see with our eyes of our heart that mirrors our faith.
The goal of seeking His Kingdom first, is to reveal the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all circumstances of life. God wants to provide for His people, but through the provision of His Kingdom. When the Kingdom of God is manifested on earth, sin is confronted, mercy is revealed, healing takes place and the captives are set free and the demons flee. The gospel message of Jesus Christ is that the Kingdom of God provides for the whole man, from salvation to that of the Spirit, soul and body. Jesus taught this and demonstrated it, and told us to go and do likewise, which is our call.
Heaven is not moved by human needs and personal desires. Heavens provision is the byproduct of a dynamic living relationship, not a principle or formulae that we exercise and call faith. God does care which is why out of His great compassion and mercy, He sent Jesus to lost and dying world. The point is that heaven is moved by faith- the currency of heaven “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (He. 11:6)
Communion with God is the highest purpose for which we were created. Many people believe in God but few will come to Him for intimacy and fellowship to have their life in Him, “For in Him we live, move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). This is why the apostle Paul tells us that if we are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ sits at the right hand of God. We are exhorted to “Set your affections on things above, not on the things on the earth” (Col. 3:1-2).
If our affections are set on the things of the earth we will be earthly minded. Jesus said that where your heart is there will you be also. Those who are spiritual minded abiding in God’s love to fulfill His purpose; will manifest the provision of God on earth that glorifies the superior reality of God in the earth, which is heaven’s call. The call to fulfill our destiny is not for our sake, but for the Lords sake and His people.
The Gift of Prophetic Vision
We have been given a most previous gift, that of prophetic vision. God has provided a way for us to see the Lord through the illumination of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, who abides in you, loves to reveal Jesus Christ to you that you may know Him in Spirit and in truth. The following is one of my favorite scriptures,
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels…” (2 Cor. 4:6-7).
The Holy Spirit is a treasure who dwells in us to reveal the glory of God to us. As we look into the face of Jesus, we will receive the knowledge of the glory of God. Paul is not talking about the knowledge that comes from someone telling us their doctrinal views about God, but the knowledge of God revealed from His throne to you “That in everything you are enriched by Him, in all utterance and in all knowledge” (1 Cor. 1:7). Theology is a study about God, revelation is seeing God.
Paul calls the Holy Spirit the Spirit of wisdom and revelation and His prayer is that the eyes of our hearts are enlightened in the knowledge of Christ. He tells us why; that we may know the hope of His calling (not our dreams and aspirations) to know the riches of His inheritance, (not our prosperity) and to know the exceeding greatness of His power (not ours -Eph. 1:17-23) The Father’s joy is that Jesus is revealed to you that He might be revealed through you. Our faith is for His purposes not ours.
When Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” Peter replied, “You are Christ the son of the living God!” Jesus in response said, “Blessed are you Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father which is in heaven.” (Mt. 16:17). While the other discipled of Christ repeated what they heard others say about Him, Peter rehearsed what the Father had revealed to Him. It is this revelation for the Father that empowered Peter to live a steadfast life of faith as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even in the face of death when Peter was martyred, he kept the faith to believe. The gift to see is imparts a supernatural faith to know in whom we believe.
This was the same faith that Stephen displayed while he was being stoned to death. As his heart gazed up to look into heaven, he saw a vision of Jesus Christ standing at the right hand of God, and in faith, he gave his life to the one that He saw. The greatest faith to believe comes from the ability to see. And even so, to doubting Thomas Jesus said “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). There is a blessing to all who believe in their hearts upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
For whosoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. (5) Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:4-5)
Those who have the faith to believe see Him at the right of God “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named…” (Eph. 1:21). Our faith is anchored in a person- the Lord Jesus Christ. Prophetic vision is the ability to see with the eyes of our heart, the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in that which is unseen, and through faith bring heavens realities to manifest in their world.
You do not have to wait to go to heaven to experience heaven. Heaven is a present reality that comes in the presence of God. We enter into His presence through worship with thanksgiving for God inhabits the praises of His people. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is within us. As we enter into His presence to see Him who is in heaven, the Holy Spirit illuminates His glory to us. It is this revelation of His glory that transforms our hearts, soul and mind into His image and likeness to reveal Christ and the power of His kingdom through you. Real change comes from seeing Him who is invisible, that He may become visible to the world through you.
But we all, with an open face, behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord, and we are changed into the same image from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Cor. 3:18).
Faith is not the absence of doubt but the presence of belief. It is a belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, the one in whom we love, trust and obey. Those who know Him and see Him with the eyes of their heart, even in the face of adversity and extreme hardship, prevail as overcomers in Christ. Because their faith is in the one in whom they believe and not the natural, they rise up as champions of faith standing for truth against all the forces of evil. As the prophet Daniel foresaw in the last days “But those who know their God, shall be strong and do great exploits” (Daniel 11:32).
In His Heart with love