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Caricatures, Sycamores, Mountains – and - FAITH
Markus Piercy-Reins















What else have we heard but we need faith to get something from God? And so this topic is of such importance for a believer volumes are written about it.

When reading the famous words in Hebr. 11:6 -
Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him
- these words put much emphasis on what we have to do… at least this is what everybody will understand.

Trying to turn the vision on God and Him being the source of our faith/salvation alone very often I was confronted with a big BUT and the quotation of the above scripture.
Even quoting scripture showing and saying it clearly like Paul’s words in Eph. 2:8+9 -
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast
- I most times saw lack of understanding and doubt in the eyes of those listening.

In the spirit I got clearly instructed faith pleasing God is never something you and I can produce from ourselves and this morning reading in God’s word God made it very clear pushing me to Jesus’ words – this “miraculous formula” we know so well - in Mark 11:22+23 KJV:
And Jesus answering said 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 said shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he said.
Of course I knew this scripture very well but this time I got pushed to dig a little deeper into the first words: Have faith in God.
I want to take you along this path and so first let’s look to the original Greek in an Interlinear Translation (http://www.scripture4all.org):

m1122

Now let’s examine these three words echete pistin theou in detail by using Strong’s Concordance of the Bible:

echete
echo
ekh'-o, including an alternate form

scheo skheh'-o; (used in certain tenses only) a primary verb; to hold (used in very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possession; ability, contiuity, relation, or condition):

be (able,hold, possessed with), accompany, + begin to amend, can(+ -not),conceive, count, diseased, do + eat, + enjoy, + fear, following, have, hold, keep, + lack, + go to law, lie, + must needs, + of necessity, + need, next, + recover, + reign, + rest, + return,sick, take for, + tremble, + uncircumcised, use.
pistin
pistis
pis'-tis

from 3982; persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself:

assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.
theou
theos
theh'-os

of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with 3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very:

exceeding, God, god(-ly, -ward).
By looking on the Interlinear Translation something drops our eye immediately: Jesus isn’t saying “Have faith IN God”… but He is saying: “Have the faith OF God”!

Adding the meaning of Strong’s, we can even say: Conceive the “Faith of God” – or – be possessed by the “Faith of God”… and… just the words continuity and constancy are related too, we can read it this way, too:
Continually and constantly conceive and be possessed by faith originating and being of God Himself!
(AMP brings this constancy in brackets though saying: Have faith in God. The Complete Jewish Bible says it: Have the kind of trust that comes from God)

Remark:
Just the Father and the Son are one the Faith of God is the Faith of Jesus Christ (greek: pisteos iesou christou) too and so we read in Gal. 2:16 KJV:
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the Faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the Faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
(Though other translations write „faith in Jesus Christ” the King James Translation chose the right term. Please, check out Ro. 3:22 / Gal. 3:22 KJV, too)


This means not believing IN God will move mountains – but believing LIKE God will move them!
Faith isn’t something coming from us – its origin is God Himself!
It’s just two letters (in)… but giving us a complete different meaning with drastic implications on our “believe-system”.

Biblegateway.com offers quite a lot of translations available online and so I checked through them all how this passage is translated in different translations. There is the Message-Translation and with it it’s even no longer “faith” anymore… but all the others used today say: “Have faith in God”.

I found only five translations… some very exotic you surely don’t know they even exist… translating Jesus words as they have to be read: Have the faith of God – or – have God’s faith:

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition
1599 Geneva Edition
The Complete Jewish Bible
Young’s Literal Translation
Wycliffe Bible

It’s not us believing in God by our faith – but rather having something a man normally doesn’t have: GOD’S FAITH!

Do you understand now why the disciples asked Jesus, Lord, increase our faith? (Lu. 17:5)
Watching Him they realized He had something they didn’t have and never will be able to have by their own. Something being of God Himself: FAITH!
And so they turned towards the only source available to them – God living among them – and asked Him: Lord, increase our faith!
Well, it was good to ask Him, this for sure… but still they didn’t know that with faith there is no such thing as “small or big”, “few or many”, “little or much”. There is only - speaking with Shakespeare - “to have or not to have” and so Jesus said to them:
And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. - Lu. 17:6 KJV
If you have received this faith only God can give you will see coming to happen what you believe for.
It’s a God thing! Nothing we can do! And so Him giving us faith His creative power is ingrained in this faith being the activator to see God’s intent becoming reality.
As God isn’t limited by anything so true faith isn’t contained by natural laws. True faith will always see its fruition… and this has to be so because its author is God.

This leads us to look on all we claim as faith a little closer (and to judge it of course!) just to find out what we call faith often isn’t faith at all!
It’s our wishes, our problems and our desires we “believe” for God may change after our liking… and if it’s not working as we hoped for we try all different “magical faith formulas” we can lay hands on to get our desires to come true.
We loudly proclaim and confess our faith… because we hope this “word of faith” would somehow manipulate God to dance to our tune.
We search the world for one “anointed, true man of God”… hoping he would have the strength to move God’s arm to do our bidding.
We stuff in all possible theories and books written… hoping if speaking the “Prayer of Jabez” this will give us the remedy evil won’t touch us anymore.
And if all this isn’t working? Well, surely if we’re many… thousands… ten-thousands… hundreds of thousands believing and claiming aloud our faith this will get it through finally… and with this we act in no way different than Baal’s priests on mount Carmel. We “dance and cut ourselves” for hours and days turning around our self-made “altars of worship” trying to move God to something He never will do.
It just needs the simple words of one man spoken in Faith of God to prove God will only send His fire on altars built on His word and by faith of Him alone.

Do you see what is needed to see the impossible? We need to have His faith given to us first and then one man is enough to change a world - if this is in God’s plan!
We must learn that faith isn’t something we can use after our liking but a gift from above so the will of God becomes manifested through us.

All the well-known practices mentioned in the last paragraph are nothing else but witchcraft nicely wrapped in Bible pages… and the signs and wonders coming from this mindset will never impress Jesus in the end as we read in Matt. 7:22+23.
Many believe signs and wonders are the proof of true faith but God’s word tells us different. We even get warned not to be impressed by them in any way (Mark 13:22). Faith of God isn’t shown by its fulfillment, but starts there and endures - as long it is required - in circumstances not promising a fulfillment ever.

Faith of God will always go hand in hand with willful submission under the sovereign will of God – His master-plan He has for our lives!
Never is it this whining, impatiently grouchy moaning we see so often when God puts us in situations we haven’t expected at all – things we want Him to eliminate as quickly as possible.
It’s not about believing for all I want to have – but rather believing for the will of God becoming manifest in and through me! (Gen. 22:1-18)
Faith of God means too even having faith embracing outward situations here on earth we regard as difficult or terrible. Faith of God doesn’t mean everything you believe for has to turn positive after your liking, but faith always will be content with the perfect will of God being manifested in your life – even this means suffering for a time set by God. (Matt. 26:42 / Lu. 22:42 / Jo. 6:38 / Acts 21:13)
Reading God’s word we find some other ingredients closely knit to faith: patience, long-suffering (meant literal: the ability to suffer long!), endurance. This faith will endure the hardest environment inside and outside of us. Even if confronted with utter impossibility Faith of God isn’t intimidated – even dying, lying on a death bed Faith of God will say:
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. – Ps. 27:13+14
Faith of God can’t be stopped and if you have got this supernatural gift of God you can’t lose it even if you will be weak for a moment like Abraham was after waiting for many decades. You might have to live with the “self-created” trouble but the fruit of faith, your “son of promise”, will come – not because of your qualities here but because of the person standing behind Faith of God: all-powerful, never-changing, always-faithful, eternal God.

This faith isn’t just focused on the change of a single situation or circumstance – but rather it is a permanent, continuing, constant, forever evolving state of being possessed by the very Faith of God!

Having God’s faith is having eternity in our hearts – and this eternal attribute of Faith of God brings for us the necessity of this faith being constantly reformed and molded in our present volatile state we are in! Faith of God is a process starting at one point in our lives as a free gift of God, igniting a continuous, evolving process of faith never ending as long we live here on earth.
As our God - never changing in His realm - means for us to adapt to constant changes as we see Him here on earth, so His faith - being of Him and so having His characteristics, too - requires from us to be flexible and being moved by His Spirit alone, too.

Faith of God always starts with enabling a cut off, stone-dead, deaf, blind and insensitive man to come to Christ in the beginning. Though natural man receives nothing of God (1.Cor. 2:14) Faith of God is the force catapulting us into a living relationship with God.
(This isn’t something claimed by mouth only – but a supernatural reality daily tested and to be proven in the onslaught on the battlefield of faith!)
We need the renewal of our mind and way we live (Ro. 12:2) to become the overcomers God wants us to be… and right, “our faith” will never produce these overcomers but man-dependent slaves – pitiable caricatures denying the power of God (2.Tim 3:5).

While writing this article I was very blessed by my dear brother Michael Clark sharing his thoughts with me. Here an excerpt of his words:
Without the FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST working in us there is no salvation, no righteousness of God, nor is there any access to the promises of God. If God had not put the faith of Jesus in us to believe with, we would still be living in our self-centered, sin filled lives.
We read in God’s word:
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. – Jo. 10:10 KJV

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. – Jo. 7:38 ESV

For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. – 1.Jo. 5:4 KJV
May I ask you a question? Do you have “your faith in God” – or do you have the Faith of God?

If you have the Faith of God - this faith only He can give - your life will show it. You will have THE LIFE Jesus spoke about and it’s not just for you alone. This life will flow to others, too!
This faith always challenges the given status quo of the visible reality you find yourself in. There will be challenges – even some bringing you to your very end – but in the end God’s faith in you will always overcome this world.

In case you will find yourself lacking, do it like the disciples and ask Him to give you His faith. Ask Him first to examine the origin of what you call “your faith” and ask Him to remove everything not coming from Him.

Ask and you’ll be given! (Matt. 7:7 / Lu. 11:9)

Actually Faith of God isn’t complicated at all! It’s soooo easy :-)… just the right stuff children can do! Like it is with every gift we just have to receive it!
We can’t demand it – but we can ask for it and then we have to wait on God to give it to us.
While working on this article I was sending the drafts to my dear friend Mia de Vries in South Africa. She wrote the following lines making this truth so clear:
Faith like a little child looks up to our Pappa with eyes filled with love and trust, knowing that He will provide all His grace and compassion and life to our open receptive hearts as we live in our Lord Jesus. These ones will inherit the Kingdom of God even now!
Be warned this might well include you’ll find yourself starting anew from scratch again… discarding all the junk of religiosity you have swallowed in your past, but it pays for sure!
You will trade a life of frustration and discouragement – for a life in the kingdom of God! No, not just one future day in heaven – but NOW!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourself, IT IS A GIFT OF GOD!


AMEN

 


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