To all intents and purposes it looks like faith isn’t working.
In my article, ‘Living By Faith – It Ain’t For The Fainthearted‘, I made the following statement: ‘Faith always works’. Which is true, however that statement does require some clarification, hence the reason for this article – because whilst faith itself always works, there are things that can hinder the results of our faith. When this happens, to all intents and purposes it looks like faith isn’t working, but the truth is that the formula has been messed up (so to speak). For example hydrogen and oxygen, mixed in the right quantities, will always produce water, it is a formula that is guaranteed to work every single time….however if you add dirt to the formula, you are going to get mud. Hydrogen + oxygen + dirt will never produce water, does that mean that the original formula isn’t working? No, there is nothing wrong with the formula; the problem is not with the formula, the problem is with the dirt. So how does this relate to faith? What is the ‘dirt’ can cause ‘faith failures’?
Take thoughts of doubt captive and say with determination, “No! I choose to believe“.
The most obvious hindrance to faith is doubt. Don’t misunderstand, doubts come to all of us, the issue is what we do with those doubts. If we allow those doubts to stay our minds, causing us to dwell on those doubts, meditating on them, then those doubts will nullify our faith. That is why 2 Corinthians 10:5 talks of “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”. When those thoughts of doubt come, rather than giving them free reign in our minds, we need to take thoughts of doubt captive and say with determination, “No! I choose to believe“. You need to make an active decision to believe, refusing to dwell on doubt, casting doubt out of your mind. In John 20:25, Thomas made a very definite statement, “I will not believe”. It was an act of Thomas’ will not to believe and ever since then Thomas has been referred to do as ‘Doubting Thomas’. We need to do the exact opposite of Thomas and say with determination: “I will believe“.
Check if there is something that God has told you to do, that you haven’t done – and then do it.
Failure to obey a particular thing that God has told you to do could also be the problem. Recently my wife & I became aware that we were in this very situation; God had put it on our hearts to do something, and we wanted to obey God, but we felt that the conditions were not right. We did something that I have said before not do to – we applied logic. We said, “When the conditions are right, then we’ll do it“, and it made perfect sense – but it wasn’t God’s plan. Over the course of about a year or so the sense of wanting to do what God had put on our hearts continued to weigh heavy upon us, but still the conditions had not changed – even though we were believing for them to change. Until recently, God showed me that we were putting the cart before the horse (He didn’t use that expression though). Although we were not being willfully disobedient, neither were we being obedient, by waiting for the conditions to be right. God showed me that if we would be obedient, then the conditions would change. So if your faith doesn’t seem to be working, check if there is something that God has told you to do, that you haven’t done – and then do it.
When you sin you have stepped out of the will of God, but it’s easy to put things right.
Strife is another thing to watch out for; James 3:16 says “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” – does that sound like the sort of thing that could cause a hindrance? Absolutely it does! And don’t overlook sin either; I am not saying that if you make a mistake, you have messed everything up – because you haven’t. When you sin you have stepped out of the will of God, but it’s easy to put things right (assuming you are already a Christian) 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness“. However you certainly cannot go on sinning in the same way as an unbeliever and expect your faith to produce results.
Pray with faith, believing and trusting that when you ask, you will receive.
— Pastor John Hagee (@PastorJohnHagee) 29 July 2017
Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I say to you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you will receive it, and it will be so for you” (Common English Bible). What do you when you receive something from someone? Unless you are extremely impolite, you say thank you – therefore, after you have prayed, you should be thanking God for the answer. Don’t wait until what you are praying for actually comes to pass – there’s no faith in that! Thank God as though you already had the answer; because by faith, you do. Don’t just thank God once either, thank God every day until the answer manifests. Conversely, not thanking God can be what is causing the hindrance, not because God is deciding if you are grateful enough, but because thanking God for something as though you had it, when you do not physically have it, is an act of faith. The law of confession also comes into play here, which means that you should be speaking as though you already had whatever you are believing for. So don’t say, “Thank you God that you are going to…..” – that’s future tense; instead say, “Thank you God that I have / I am……” – by faith put it in the present tense.
Faith always works.
As we conclude this article, let me tell briefly mention two practical ‘ingredients‘ for the faith formula. The first ingredient is patience, the results of faith are not usually instant (although they certainly can be), so patience is vital. The second ingredient is praying in tongues over the situation; we may not know exactly how to pray, but the Holy Spirit does! The bottom line is that faith always works, which means that if it doesn’t appear to be working, the problem is not with faith, neither is the problem with God. (Be warned – this is the part where people get offended and defensive) If your faith is not producing results, the problem is with you. It is not because God works in mysterious ways, it will invariably be because of one of the faith hindrances above, or something similar. So pray about things, correct what needs to be corrected and start getting results!
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
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