I want to do a little backtracking for a moment. I probably should have written this as the very first post of this blog. It has been very graciously brought to my attention that the subject matter of this blog is somewhat complicated (or that I may be making the subject matter of this blog complicated). Not that it is too difficult, but that it is unfamiliar. I have reviewed the prior posts, and I must confess, I agree. So, please, indulge me for a moment to do what I should have done a month ago. I would like to give a little context to this blog.
As many of you know, my wife and I recently spent time in Israel. I will post more on Israel later, but the shorthand version is that we have been blessed tremendously since that mission trip (trust me, when God said to Abraham in Gen. 12:3 "I will bless those who bless you..." he was not kidding).
I want to talk about just one of those blessings that relates very specifically to this blog. For several months before our trip to Israel, I had been praying a very specific and consistent prayer: "God, increase my faith". When I use the term "consistent", I may be giving myself too much credit, it's probably more appropriate to say that I had been nagging God about it.
You see, I had this notion (one that I now know is wrong, but one that I believe is shared by many) that certain things God had shown me or promised me were not happening because I lacked the faith. I say me very deliberately. Not out of selfishness, or arrogance, but because the promises God makes are intensely personal, and I believe we should all internalize them that way.
I do not believe the Bible or any other word given by God, whether in a prophetic encounter, a vision, a word of knowledge, or otherwise is ever generic. There may be multiple if not infinite applications, but each and every word is specific and significant to me and YOU. The issue should never be, "Is this for me?", I assure you it is, but rather, "How does this apply to me?"
But, back to lacking faith...You see, my eyes have recently been open to the fact that when we reason that this blessing, or that prophetic word, or this healing did not happen because we lack faith, we believe a lie of the enemy-a very effective one.
The enemy will always try to point the finger at you and at me: "I don't have the faith..." or "You've just got to believe..." And while internal reflection is good, we need to be careful not to ignore what we know to be true. The Bible says God has given each person a measure of faith. I believe any measurable quantity given by God is enough for whatever you need-the whole mustard seed thing.
However, I believe that our concept of faith has been distorted. I do not believe the Holy Spirit will ever tell anyone, "You don't have enough faith." As the need arises, I believe the Holy Spirit imparts supernatural gifts of faith as necessary, but that is something altogether different from my or your measure of faith. The question is, I think, faith in what? When I think, "I don't have enough faith...", my focus is on me, not God.
Faith, then, should look like what? Faith that God is faithful. Faith is irrelevant unless you know that God is faithful, to his Word, to his promises, to you. Here is a difficult concept to grasp, it should not be, but it is: God is on your side (and my side). He is not sitting around waiting to thump you when you mess up. To the contrary, He is waiting to pour out His blessings on you beyond what you could ever imagine.
"Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." (Rom. 4:3) I do not need a whole lot of faith in someone whose faithfulness I question, what would be the point? I just need a measure of faith in someone I know is faithful. When God says, "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive," and I know God is faithful to His Word, His response is greater than you could ever imagine.
My prayer was, "Increase my faith." Naturally, my fleshly expectation was that I would see miracles, signs and wonders, healing and deliverances, but that's not where I lacked faith...I have seen those things, more would not increase my faith. Where I was lacking was in believing God's Word to be true (all of it). So, God's answer, not at all what I expected, but nothing short of proof (in the measure I needed) that his Word is true.
That is really the point of this blog. I have posted on a variety of words that I thought were really cool when you looked at the ancient Hebrew, they seemed to be a window into the mind of God. But, what I should have done first was explain the purpose of it all, and that's what I am doing now. My next few posts will try to tie together some of what I have posted before and finish what I have started.