gracetidings:with dr doug mamvura
The Bible contrasts two kinds of faith: a “Thomas faith” and an “Abraham faith”. Abraham had a spiritual faith, a heart faith which was based on what God said. Thomas had a natural human faith. Everybody, saved and unsaved has this natural human kind of faith.
Thomas’ faith was based solely on physical evidence. He believed only what he could see, not what God had said:
The other disciples said to him: “We have seen the Lord.” So, he said to them: “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe” (John 20: 24-25). How many of us are like Thomas?
If Abraham, on the other hand, had gone by what he could see and what his physical senses told him, he never would have received God’s promise. “Who contrary to hope in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be”. And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead and the deadness of Sarah’s womb (Romans 4: 18-19).
Abraham believed according to what God had said, not according to how he felt. He didn’t believe his feelings, he didn’t believe based on what he saw, he didn’t believe his physical senses. His faith was based on God’s promises.
Most of us even though we are believers, behave like Thomas. Our faith is based on Sense knowledge, what we can see, touch, feel, smell or hear. This is not the God kind of faith which pleases God. This is why most of us are living unproductive lives.
Unanswered prayers stand between the individual and a faith life. Some have lost faith altogether. Many have turned to philosophical and metaphysical cults because their prayer lives were failures. There is but one foundation for Faith, the Living Word. As we become one with the Word in our actions, then faith becomes an unconscious reality. You never think of your faith, you only think of the need and His ability to meet it.
Faith is now! Real faith is acting on the Word, independent of any Sense Evidence. There is the difference between real faith and Sense Knowledge faith. Sense Knowledge faith has almost driven real faith out of the churches. “Believing” is really “acting on the Word”, and Faith is the result of action.
Jesus said to them “If you can only believe all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). God, is not man that He should lie nor son of man that He should repent. “Let God be true and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). Jesus declared that “if you can only believe, all things are possible”. He didn’t say some things but ALL things. The reason why we don’t get results is because we have Thomas’ faith which is based on Sense knowledge.
The knowledge that is taught in our schools, colleges and universities has been gained through our five senses. It is what we call “Sense Knowledge”. Man has never been able to know God through the five senses of his physical body.
When man reaches the limits of his Sense Knowledge, he turns philosopher or guesser. Natural man cannot understand spiritual things. Sense Knowledge cannot find God and can never know Him. There is difference between Sense Knowledge and the Revelation Knowledge which we receive only from the Word of God. Sense Knowledge faith is in what man is, and can do, and has done. Revelation faith is in the Word of God.
In the spiritual realm, there are infinite possibilities. This is why Apostle Paul stated that “He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above that which we can think or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). Most of us are living below where we are supposed to be because of unbelief. When you believe, not even the sky is the limit. You can go beyond the sky. “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask whatever you desire and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7).
Everyone wants to get whatever they pray for, but very few are willing to abide in Jesus. This promise is conditional on our abiding. It’s not God who fails to answer our prayers if we aren’t abiding in Him. Instead, it is Satan who hinders our prayers when we aren’t abiding in Jesus, and our carnality that results from our “non-abiding” life renders us powerless to do anything about it.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Unless we abide in His Word, there is no way through which we can grow in our faith. The level of your faith or belief is determined by your knowledge of the Word of God. Without faith, we will not get the results and it is also impossible to please God.
With faith you and I can move mountains. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them” (Mark 11: 23- 24).
Jesus was explaining how His faith worked on the fig tree. Anyone who uses faith the way He did can get the same results. Three times in this verse, Jesus stressed speaking. This is a vital part of faith. We can’t just think faith. It needs to be spoken. Proverbs 18:20 -21 says, “A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Notice that it’s not only important to speak our faith; it’s also important to whom or what we are speaking. This verse says we are to speak to the mountain. The mountain symbolises our problem or the thing we want removed. Most people speak to God about their problems. This verse is saying we need to speak to our problems about God. We should say things like “Cancer, be gone” and “Body, you recover.”
This involves the believers taking their authority and commanding the problem to be removed (Isaiah 45:11). The Lord didn’t say “Pray for the sick.” He said “Heal the sick” (Matthew 10:8) and (Luke 9:2) There is a huge difference between the two.
The main issue is not just about spending time in the Word of God to grow our faith muscles but also meditating and doing exactly what it says. Jesus stated that anyone who hears His words and do them, is like a person who built his house on a rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.” (Luke 6:48). Please note that the storm didn’t avoid the house on a solid rock. However, the house survived because it was built on a solid rock. Similarly, as a believer you will face huge storms in life. The good news is that these storms will leave you standing because of your faith in God. On the other hand, “he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built his house on earth without foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently and immediately fell and great was its fall”. (Luke 6:49).
It is not enough to just quote the scriptures. Instead it is very important to live by those scriptures. Our lives should be the product of God’s Word. If only we can believe, nothing will be impossible for you and I.
l Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: email@example.com or Twitter @dougmamvura