True FAITH that makes unshakeable no matter what
What is it to have faith?
Some believers think it is a power obtained by God, like a force or something like electricity that can somehow be harnessed through prayer.
In order to activate faith some believers shout authoritatively into the air or try positively confessing a good outcome despite wavering on the inside. Still others try focussing the mind on the answer in the hope of producing a result.
Some believers waste time wondering how much or how little faith they have, thinking by having more of it they will increase their chances of seeing a supernatural intervention into their situation. Some believers wonder if their healing is dependant on having more of this powerful commodity. They defeatedly sigh, “If only I had more of this power then healing would take place”.
Some believers ask God for more faith but don’t receive as they imagine. They wonder if they are just not spiritual enough like other believers. It leaves them feeling like a second class Christian.
For some believers possessing this kind of faith is evidence they have finally made it as a Christian. Now they can stand confidently alongside others who have great faith.
But faith isn’t like that at all. It is not a mysterious energy force emitting from the fingers of God for the believer to somehow come into alignment with. Neither does having faith depend on how good a Christian the person is. Faith does not come by any self effort at all.
So then, what is faith?
It is so simple that even a child can get it. In fact all children naturally possess it. One child probably has more faith than a thousand church going Christians put together! It is why Jesus said unless we become like little children we can never enter the Kingdom (Matthew 18:3).
Many years ago I visited an orphanage in Mozambique. Before I left to return to England many of the children surrounded me. They began to cry out with all of their little hearts for God to bless me. I began to weep under the intense presence of God as these little children approached the Lord in simple trust. I left deeply humbled by the children who possessed greater faith than I.
Faith is simply trust. Just as a child trusts in their parent. It is what the word ‘faith’ actually means. According to the Oxford Dictionary ‘faith’ is ‘complete trust or confidence in someone or something’, an ‘expectation, confidence, reliance, conviction’. The original Greek means the same —‘belief, trust, confidence’. We can see then that faith is not power. Faith is trust.
Faith isn’t complicated. Faith is simple. It is trusting in a person. We only trust in people who we are close to. The closer we get, the more we trust them. Faith is natural. We don’t have to summon up the strength to trust in a close friend or spouse. That would be unnatural and reveal something amiss in the relationship. No, trust is automatic. Trust comes naturally by knowing a person. Conversely it is hard to trust a stranger without a relationship upon which to form that trust. For some believers God is more like a stranger.
Faith is trusting in a friend. Faith is trusting in God through a deep, personal and intimate relationship with him.
For some believers, God is far too distant, impersonal and aloof. Some feel he is even unhappy with them. These believers often struggle with condemnation and feeling as though they haven’t reached the mark. This is evidence the believer has not experienced a revelation of the fatherly friendship of God.
Obtaining great faith simply depends on knowing God personally as a friend. It is not about getting more faith, but rather about getting more close to God in friendship.
In light of this it should come as no surprise that Moses who saw one of the greatest miracles recorded was a man who the Lord spoke with face to face as a friend. ‘So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.’ (Exodus 33:11)
God’s people were terrified. They did not have faith in their God, but rather in those who were pursuing them. They did not know God like a friend as Moses did. Just like today, God was aloof and distant for so many of God’s people.
Moses told them, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."
How could Moses speak with such confidence? Simply he knew God as a friend and they had spoken together. Moses didn’t focus on the problem. Moses focused on what his friend told him. God said, “The Egyptians you see today you will never see again”. Moses knew his friend and believed his every word. God also called Abraham his friend. “But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of Abraham MY FRIEND.” (Isaiah 41:8)
What a wonderful accolade for Abraham! Can you imagine it? God called Abraham “My friend!”Because of Abraham’s friendship with God the Bible refers to him as the father of all who believe! (Romans 4:16)
John the disciple was also a friend of God. John described himself as the disciple who Jesus loved. Of course Jesus loved all the disciples. But we are told it was John who would sit closest to Christ. “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved”. John 13:23
John would rest upon Jesus chest. John felt the love of his saviour. This is why John could describe with confidence that he was the disciple who Jesus loved. John was a friend of Christ. John trusted in Christ because they were close companions. John and Christ would talk together about the Kingdom. That is where John’s faith (trust) came from. John knew God as a close friend.
How do we draw close to God that results in such an intimate friendship?
The believer must come as a child to God in innocence of heart and simply spend time together with him through informal conversation, reading His Word, through a lifestyle of worshipful devotion throughout the busyness of every day, withdrawing from worldly pleasures and distractions, and through daily submission of their will to His. Only then will a close bond between God and the believer form. This union becomes closer than any human relationship. It is why God is described in the bible as being a ‘Father’, ‘Abba’ which means ‘Daddy’. Some believers find this intimacy too hard to truly accept and walk in. They might agree and say ‘Amen’ to the idea, but in all honesty, deep down they do not have this kind revelation of the fatherly friendship of God whereby they call him and know him as “Daddy”.
So obtaining faith does not come from asking for abstract power. It is not superhero power. Faith simply comes from knowing God intimately as a friend. Faith comes from walking in close communion with Christ minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day.
If you do not enjoy this close intimacy with Christ why not take some regular time out to be quiet before the Lord until you really get to know and trust him unshakeably. You could take a walk into the countryside to be with Him. He loves to walk and talk with us.
Ask the Lord in simplicity to show himself to you. You could tell him how much you love him and want to be with him. Share your thoughts and your heart with him. You don’t have to be spiritual about it. There is no benefit in using religious language with God. Be honest with him. He wants you to be real.
As you draw near to God, God will draw near to you (James 4:8). He will take the relationship deeper than you can ever imagine. So deep in fact that your faith will not be dependent upon your circumstances anymore. Your faith will be dependent solely upon your relationship with your friend and Father God. No longer will you be shaken by anything. Nothing else will matter above the relationship you have with God your fatherly friend who you will naturally put all of your trust in.