Heart of faith

girl-354579_640Hosea 10:2: Their heart is faithless; Now they must bear their guilt; The Lord will break down their altars; And destroy their sacred pillars.

Here, an issue of the heart is mentioned, faith. The bible says faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). Therefore when the heart is receptive to the word of God faith is build up there.

The writer of the book of Hebrews wrote about some people who heard the word of God, but because it was not mixed with faith in their hearts, did not profit them (Hebrews 4:2). So there is profit to be made when heart responds well the word in faith.

Faith is a converter, it converts the word into transformation, change, in our lives. So it is not enough to hear the word we need to have a heart attitude of faith towards it.

The bible says we should not be hearers of the word only deceiving ourselves but be doers (James 1:22). When we act on the word it shows that we believe. When Jesus told Peter to come to him walking on the water start walking on the water towards him (Matthew 14:29), it was clear he believed when he stepped into the water against what his senses would dictate. The result? He walked on water.

When Jesus told the servants at a wedding to pour water in containers and take some of it to the master of ceremony and they did, that was an act of faith (John 2:1-11). And that was the key to the miracle. Faith that gets result therefore follow through with the word of God. When Jesus told the man with the withered hand in the temple while he was preaching to stretch forth his hands, was he to mocking him (Matthew 12:9-13)? Did he not knew that he had a withered hand? Did he thought he was acting? Of course not. He gave the man the raw material of his word to act on. And when the man acted on the word of Jesus in faith, the miracle happened instantly.

When Jesus asked ten lepers who asked him to heal them to go show themselves to the priest (Luke 17:12-14) who will declared them ceremonially whole after examining them, they stepped out on the word and as they went they were cleansed. Faith without works is dead and the works of those ten lepers was walking in the direction of their miracles based on the word of God.

When a Syrian general came to Elisha to be healed on his leprosy (2Kings 5:1-14), Elisha told him to go wash in river Jordan. At first he objected, but he was eventually convinced and when he obeyed, the miracle happened. He dipped according to the word of the prophet, seven times in the river, which stands for complete obedience. The result? Not only was the skin restored, it became that of a baby.

In the parable of the sower, different types of hearts stand for different possibility of profiting by the word of God (Mark 4:1-20, Matthew 13:3-23). Three types of hearts were not productive. That means there was some hindrances to the manifestation of faith in those hearts, not allowing the word (seed) to bring forth fruit.

For the heart by the way side, there is the lack of understanding of the word, lack of capacity to understand, maybe due to inadequate attention paid to it or the dismissal of the word as irrelevant.

There is the rocky place where persecution affects the productivity of the word. The pain of persecution tests if the base of faith is deep in one’s heart. In this kind of heart, sun rises scorching the newly spouted plant, causing it to dry up because there is no the depth. Depth of faith is depth of conviction in the word. If the pain of not following through with the word is greater than the persecution for following the word, then you will stick with it.

And there is the heart with thorns and thistle where there is the hindrance of cares of this world and deceitfulness of riches, and competing loves (1John 2:15-17). Seeking the things of the world will affect our faith, it will affect the productivity of the word of God in your life.

For the way side heart, lack of understanding prevents acting on the word, for the stony heart, avoiding persecution prevents acting on the word, for the thorns and thistle heart other competing concerns prevent adequate focus on the word to act on it.

The disciple asked Jesus that he should increase their faith (Luke 17:5-6). They had seen the result in his life and how he tells them that lack of faith in their lives is linked to their lack of result. But the answer of Jesus surprised them. He showed that that the problem with faith in not size. Faith is not about quantity but quality, about potentials and not credentials, about what you do with it, not just having it.

It shows that the disciples had a wrong understanding of faith. Faith, Jesus told them, is a seed just as his word is a seed. The disciple in their minds were supposed to connect the word of God with faith. And later Paul will wrote faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, as mentioned earlier.

So if you are empty of the word you will be empty of faith. Jesus said that his mandate was to speak the words of the father to the disciples (John 17:14), but they have the responsibility of receiving it. It is not enough to hear, it must be followed with action. A heart of disobedience cannot at the same time be a heart full of faith.

In the same way love attached to faith, because obedience is attached to love (John 14:23) just as faith is attached to belief. Paul wrote faith works through love (Galatians 5:6). In other words: faith is worked through obedience to God.

In the faith people’s list in the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews, most were about acting based on God’s word.

It says that Abraham offered Isaac by faith and he got a double assurance that the word of God to him will come to pass (Hebrews 11:8,17, Genesis 22). His act of painful obedience was an act of faith.

He was named the father of faith. But his was a path of sacrificial obedience. First to leave his native land and people and later to give up his son. Therefore it is not just what you can get that shows you have faith, it is what you can give up. What you release from your hand determines what you can receive from the hand of God.

When you repent and decide to believe in Jesus giving up your right to rule your own life, that is faith and you are given eternal life (Colossians 2:10-12). Paul said by grace we are saved through faith in the working of God who raised Jesus from the dead (Ephesians 2:8).

When we feel the pull towards God in our heart and we respond to the call to receive Jesus confessing with our mouth and believing in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, that is faith and you are saved (Romans 10:9-13).

It is the principle of faith in which we believe having action (including speech) line up with the word of God (2Corinthians 4:13), and the result can range from raising the dead to walking on water to multiplication of bread to feed multitude.

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