“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NASB
“…if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it shall move and nothing shall be impossible to you.”
Matthew 17:20b NASB
“ But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
James 1:6-8 NASB
“So Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 NKJV
We read in Scriptures about great men and women of faith, those who saw prayers answered and promises fulfilled. By contrast, we may find ourselves feeling as though our prayers are going nowhere while our situations become more and more desperate. Did mountain-moving faith die with the Apostles? We’ve heard of too many modern miracles to believe that. So, how can I have the faith to move the mountains in my life?
The answer is found in the verse from Romans 10:17 cited above. It first states, that “faith comes by hearing.” The Greek word for hearing is the word for the act of hearing–the actual function of receiving a verbal message. So to say it another way, “hearing ignites faith.” The second part of the verse tells us that “hearing comes by the word of God.” The Greek term used for “word” is “rhema.” According to the Vine’s Expository Dictionary, it is that which is spoken by the spirit of God to our hearts to address a particular need. So this second part could be stated, “the word of God spoken to our hearts ignites hearing.” Thus in a logical format, it could be said, “the word of God ignites hearing which in turn ignites faith.” Since “hearing” is the common component, then we can easily say, “The word of God ignites faith.” Another way to express it is: “The word applied by the Spirit of God ignites faith.” This revelation by the Holy Spirit is in proportion to the written word we have stored in our hearts. As food is essential for our physical life, so is the word of God for our spiritual or faith life (1 Peter 2:2). We then can conclude that if we want more faith then we need more word.
It is expressed in Romans 12:3b that God has given every person “a measure of faith.” Even those who don’t know Christ function in a “measure of faith.” When a person leaves their house they do it believing they will safely arrive at their destination. By faith, people ride elevators, travel in cars, planes, and trains. By faith, people go to sleep at night, plan vacations, prepare for college or retirement. This is evidence of the “measure of faith” that God gives to all. As believers, in order to live as citizens of heaven and heirs of the Kingdom of God, we must mature beyond that basic level of faith. Jesus indicated that there are sizes to faith. He has made reference to little faith (Matthew 17:20a) and great faith (Matthew 15:28). Those who accessed the benefits of heaven were those of great faith. In Matthew 17:20b cited above, Jesus said that only faith the size of a mustard seed was needed to move mountains. The mustard seed according to Matthew 13:31-32 was the smallest of their seeds. Faith that size could usher in the impossible. Some may be thinking, “Wow, my faith must be microscopic.” Let us not focus on how small our faith may seem, but rather understand that God has made it possible for our faith to grow. Again, the key is found in Romans 10:17. It is hearing the word of God.
Faith is ignited by hearing and doubt is ignited by seeing. 2 Corinthians 5:7 states that we “walk by faith and not by sight.” What we see with our eyes has a tendency to generate doubt, not faith. This is demonstrated in Matthew 14:26-33. Peter in response to hearing Jesus’ words of invitation stepped out of the boat onto the water and began to walk toward Jesus. His faith was ignited by the words of Jesus. Unfortunately, he saw the wind. This ignited doubt which produced fear and he began to sink. When Jesus lifted Peter out of the water He said, “O you of little faith. Why did you doubt?” Notice, Jesus didn’t ask, “Why did you fear?” He asked him “Why did you doubt?” Jesus knew the source of Peter’s fear was doubt. What is the source of your fears? Is it doubt? Peter doubted because he turned his attention from Jesus and from what he heard to what he saw around him. Have you ever turned your attention from the promises of God’s word to the magnitude of your problems? When we do that we are walking by sight and not by faith.
In order to move in the authority, privileges, and even the responsibilities that are ours as Kingdom citizens, we must be willing to experience this paradigm shift of walking by faith rather than by sight. It is a process that will begin to happen as we renew our minds with the word of God (Romans 12:2). The written word of God is what the Holy Spirit uses to instruct, comfort, guide, encourage and convict us. It sharpens our hearing so that when God speaks we are able to discern it and trust it.
It is important to note that the exercise of true faith is obedience. Obedience is the evidence of faith. The word of God may require us to do something and we must be careful to do it immediately. Peter had to step out of the boat. The disciples had to distribute the food to the 5,000 and the 4,000. The ten lepers had to go show themselves to the priests.
What is it you need God to do for you right now? What is the cry of your heart? In addition to your regular Bible reading, get verses that relate to what you are going through. A concordance or a topical Bible is a good resource. Meditate on the promise given. Let thoughts of those promises dominate your thinking more than the problem (cf. Col. 3:16) and your faith will grow to the place where you can access your victory and see your mountains move.
Lord Jesus, I confess all the times I have lived by sight and not by faith. Stir in me a fresh desire for Your word that I may consume it as food for my spirit. I declare that I will put my faith in Your word over what I see. Tune my “ears” to discern Your voice above all others. In Jesus’ name, Amen