Monday, December 2, 2013

The "But" of Faith

                Have you ever had someone say to you, “I have faith, but…?” They are believing God for something in their lives, then the next word that comes out of their mouth, is “yeah, but,”. Do we realize that there is no “but” in faith? Faith is, or it is not faith at all. This morning I found myself fighting against the “buts” of my faith. My husband and I are in the process of buying the home we are currently renting. How we came to rent this house is another blog for another day. Yet, God was in the whole process the whole time

working on our behalf. We found this place because God led us here, and after coming to look at the property, we realized that our brother and sister in the Lord were the ones who owned it. After a few months, the Lord moved in their life and ours, and opened the opportunity for us to purchase the home. (It really is the home I have always dreamed of, but that is a blog for another day.)
                However, we have come upon some mountains in trying to purchase this home, that need moved. I have been praying for the Lord to move them, and to make His will come to pass. My husband and I see things differently. He is a glass half empty personality and I am a glass half full. I believe the Lord has promised to make this home ours. Through hours of prayer and petitions with Him and His Word, He has given me a peace, a confirmed promise, that this is His will for us. This has fueled my faith lately, but my husband has a tendency to put a “but” at the end of his faith. I will state that the Lord will make it happen, that He can move the mountain. My husband will follow with, “yeah, but”. There are no “buts” in faith my friends.
                “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Hebrews 11:1-3
                I hear Christians say they believe God for something, yet they follow that same statement with a “but”. For instance, my husband says, “I believe God can do it, but just in case”…there is no but; there is no “just in case” anywhere in the description of faith. Faith can move mountains. God can do the impossible. God wants to do the impossible through you – the question is do we let Him? I believe many of us are not receiving the promises of God in our lives because we follow our faith with a “but”.
            
    Look at the Hall of Faith found in Hebrews 11. Where in this list do we see a “but”? We don’t- because there isn’t one. We believe by faith that the earth was created in six days. We believe by faith that Abraham and Sarah had a child at a very old age. We believe by faith that the walls of Jericho fell. We believe by faith that Jesus died for our sins. We believe all this by faith, but we can’t seem to believe God is able to move the mountains before us. We say we have faith, yet we follow our faith with “but”. Faith does not have a “but”.
                Faith means to be convinced of truth. We are convinced that Jesus died to save us from our sins. We are convinced that the Word of God is truth, that everything written in it is true. Do we see the power of faith in the Bible when we read it? Hebrews tells us that by faith men and women of God “subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.” (Hebrews 11:33-35) But we can’t seem to believe that God can make the mountain before us move?
                We can’t pick and choose what have faith for. We can’t say that we have faith in God for our salvation, then turn around and say we don’t believe He can provide our next meal.  Some of you may be thinking that what I am saying sounds a lot like the “faith movement” or the “name it, claim it, grab it, blab it” theology that is taught. But that is not what I am saying. I am saying that faith stands on the promises of God and it believes without doubt that God is able. God is faithful. Faith says, “nothing is impossible with God”. (Luke 1:37) God gives us promises, and we as His children need to stand on them and not add a “but” at the end. If you believe God can save you, then why is it so hard for us to believe that He can move the mountain before you?
                I have Christian brothers and sisters tell me to not be disappointed if God does not give me what I believe Him has promised. In all my years as a Christian, my God has never disappointed my faith. He has spoken a promise to me, and I have believed that He will do it. Never once has He failed in fulfilling His promises to me, and I don’t believe He ever will. I am not saying that we walk up to that Lexus we have been admiring and say “God promised to give me this” and then expect it to show up on your doorstep. What I am saying is that we must be convinced that our God is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think.  (Ephesians 3:20)
               Hebrews 11 is the Hall of Faith because the men and women who went before us believed that God was able to move mountains. They believed that He was able to do the impossible. When Sarah doubted that God could give her a child, what was the Lord’s response to her? He heard her laugh, and saw the doubt in her heart and asked her, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”  (Genesis 18:14)We need to ask ourselves the same question - “Is anything too hard for the Lord?  The same God who created the heavens and the earth in six days, the same God who stopped the mouths of the lions, the same God who made the walls of Jericho fall is the same God who will fulfill the promises He has given you. He is the same God who can create something out of nothing and bring to pass His will in your life.
                Whatever it is that you are praying for and believing God for, do not give up, and do not add a “but” at the end. There are no “buts” in faith. God said, God will and God does. It is that simple. “Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things (we) hope for, being the proof of things (we) do not see and the conviction of their reality (faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses)” {Hebrews 11:1, Amplified Bible} Faith stands before the mountain and says, “I believe God can move this, because nothing is too hard for the Lord.” Faith does not follow this statement with “but”. Faith stands on the conviction of the truth of God and His Word to us.
                I believe that the Lord God has promised to give us this home, and I am standing on that promise. I will not be disappointed because my hope is in Him and His promise to me. I will not waver and I will not give up on Him because He has not given up on me. Hebrews 11:6 says that “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 diligently seek Him.”  We have faith enough to believe God for our salvation, but we don’t have enough faith to believe the rest of His promises to us?

There is no but in faith, my brethren. We either believe or we don’t. We either have full assurance and confidence in His Word or we don’t. The apostles were able to raise the dead because they believed in the power of Jesus Christ who dwelt in them and worked through them. They did not pray and ask the Lord for healing, then follow their prayer with a “but, just in case” or “but if You don’t”. No, they believed. They asked and they had faith to follow through. That is what faith is. It believes the impossible. Faith stands before the mountain and says, “Move!” Faith believes that Jesus Christ died, was buried and was raised to life again. There was no “but” in the resurrection, and there should be no “but” in our faith. We pray, we receive the promises of God in our lives and we stand in faith before the mountains, waiting for the Lord to fulfill His Word to us. Faith is simple, and there are no “buts” at the end. I pray the Lord to reveal His Word to you, to give you the faith to move the mountains in your life. In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen.