Do I Have Faith? Part 2
by Pastor Chas Stevenson
Do I have faith? It is a very important question to ask. It almost embarrasses people to think the question, but it is imperative to answer if we want to get prayers answered. Actually, a better question might be, "Do I have faith that is alive?" Brother James said that faith can be either alive or dead. And what I've found is that many Christians have faith, but it is sometimes dead or sleeping. The Bible pattern that has been established is that when live faith is demonstrated, miracles happen. I say that this is one way to know if we, or someone else had great faith: if the answer comes, we had faith. If the answer did not come and we ended up sad, afflicted, or dead, we did not have faith (or at least not live faith). I learned from Jesus not to be afraid to admit my faith failures. We always say that God always answers prayer. But in reality, God only answers faith. More specifically, God answers only prayers that are prayed with 100%, full assurance of faith. Nothing less.
However, many folks get very defensive if anyone insinuates that their own faith level could actually be the cause of their lingering problem or their unanswered prayer. But it's true anyway. Did you realize that Jesus, Himself, blamed many peoples' failures on their lack of faith. He even rebuked them to their face, as if He actually expected them to believe. To Peter, Jesus blamed his walking on water failure to a lack of faith, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matt.14:31). Peter had just accomplished something that no other man on earth had ever done, aside from Jesus Himself. Peter had just walked on water! He had walked out onto the water a short distance from the boat but got scared when he saw the waves, and fell in. And Jesus didn't applaud him. He didn't even seem proud of him at all. Instead, He was very displeased with Peter and rebuked him for doubting.
Today, some Christians would say that was rude to say, since "Peter was a good man, and he was doing his best, you know". Another time Jesus rebuked His disciples for not being able to set the demon possessed boy free, "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to me." (Mark 9:19). Do you see the exasperation in Jesus' words? He actually seems disappointed when His people have a weak faith level. On another truth-revealing moment, Jesus was preaching in His own home town and ".He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them." (Mark 6:5). And the Bible says that "He marveled because of their unbelief." (Mark 6:7). Did you see that? It says that Jesus couldn't do any mighty work, or miracle - not that He wouldn't, but that He couldn't. And why not? Because they didn't fully believe. Whether we like it or not, God's ability to do a miracle in our behalf is limited to our faith level. His willingness to be good to us and His desire to bless us never changes, but His mighty hands are either tied or released by our level and action of faith.
How do we achieve 100% belief? Scripture quoting and prayer. Reading the Bible Truth, confessing it, and talking to God about it until we're convinced is how faith grows. So how do I know if I'm there yet? You'll just know. If you're not sure, then you're not there yet. When we get to full confidence that God will do what He said, we'll have a great note of praise in our hearts. We'll begin to thank God freely for the thing as if we already had it. It will cause our face to look happy and certain. And it may even cause our chest to bow out a little, bragging on our God.
What if I don't feel these things? First admit it. Then seek God more earnestly. He'll always help you get there, and then He'll always answer your faith.