What Do You Believe? Chapter Six
When the apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith, He said you don’t need more faith, you need to use what you have (my paraphrase).
“…Lord, Increase our faith…And the Lord answered, if you had faith (trust and confidence in God) even [so small] like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, Be pulled up by the roots, and be planted in the sea, and it would obey you” (Luke 17:5-6 AMPC).
Jesus said if you have faith as small as a seed, you would use your words and say something. In His example of a mulberry tree, Jesus said words and faith go together. Let’s recap how faith and words go together in Jesus’s teaching from the Book of Mark that we talked about in chapter five.
“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall sayunto 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 saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:22-23 KJV emphasis mine).
Here are the three verses that follow and are important to our success.
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:24-26 KJV).
This is a spiritual principle that clears our path like a skidder removing trees from a forest. Jesus said when we’re praying and speaking in faith we need to forgive.
The reason we can’t receive God’s forgiveness is because unforgiveness is an ongoing sin. We can’t expect God to forgive sin that we’re actively involved. Faith works by love (Galatians 5:6). God is love.
I’ve found that forgiveness is easy when I follow God’s faith principle.
I use my words and say that I choose to forgive whosoever by faith. I declare my intention. We don’t walk by feelings. We’re commanded to live by faith (Romans 1:17).
Just say out loud that by faith you choose to forgive (insert name). You choose not to hold their transgression against them. Every time a bad thought rises about that person or situation just repeat the process. Say, “No! That’s not my thought. I chose to forgive (insert name). I refuse to hold a grudge against (insert name). I choose to walk in love. Therefore my faith fails me not.”
Living by faith is a spiritual principle that always gives us the advantage. Applying the faith principle toward forgiving someone who’s deeply wounded us is a perk. It releases us from the poison unforgiveness brings. It may not feel good at the time. It may hurt like the dickens. We are making a choice. Do we want to be strong in faith and see the God kind of results in our lives, or hold a grudge?
God is faithful to watch over His Word. We need God’s Word coming out of our mouths like Jesus when He spoke to Satan in the wilderness.
Jesus said, “It is written!” Followed by what was written in the Word.
When we’ve taken the time to renew our minds (Romans 12:2) to God’s Word, we grow in our knowledge and understanding of what God’s will is. We begin to walk in greater peace and victory. God commands us to have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). These scriptures in Isaiah are saying just that.
“Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts…For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways saith the Lord” (Isaiah 55:7-8 AMPC).
God’s ways and thoughts are not like the thoughts of the wicked. The first part of verse seven is talking about the ungodly and unrighteous thoughts of a man with an unrenewed mind. That man is to forsake his thoughts and “…return unto the LORD, and He will have love, pity, and mercy for him, and to our God for He will multiply to him His abundant pardon” (second part verse 7).
As the righteousness of God in Christ we’re told to renew our minds and think God’s thoughts. When we know the Word of God, that’s what we speak. “So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
It’s not our own thoughts and words that wield the power to remove mountains. It’s the Word of God in our mouth released by the spiritual force called faith that brings results.
So, what is God’s Will? That’s another book. In our final chapters, we’ll look at one aspect of God’s will toward us. Love, joy and peace in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17).
In Chapter Seven we’ll touch on the goodness of God toward us. Until next time, stay strong. Stay connected by registering to receive Chapter Seven in my first blog-a book series: What Do You Believe?
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