Why is Faith so Important?-Part Two

By: Nancy Missler; ©2001
Faith affects everything we think, say and do. Nancy Missler shows various ways faith operates in the lives of Christians.

Introduction

Faith is important because it affects everything we think, say and do. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world, the flesh and the devil. (1 John 5:4) Faith is the only way we are able to stand, the only way we are able to live and the only way we are able to love (2 Cor. 1:24; Gal. 5:6). Thus, the most important thing we can do as God’s children is learn how to understand, possess and walk in complete faith.

In his book, Combat Faith, Hal Lindsey describes a few of the Scriptural promises that come to us through faith:

“We are born into eternal life through faith; we are declared righteous before God by faith; we are forgiven by faith; we are healed by faith; we understand the mysteries of creation by faith; we learn God’s Word by faith; by faith we understand things to come; we walk by faith and not by sight; we overcome the world by faith; we enter God’s rest by faith; and we are controlled and empowered by the Holy Spirit by faith.
The issue of faith pervades every aspect of our relationship with God and our service for Him. Faith is the source of our strength, our provision, our courage, our guidance, and our victory over the world system, the flesh and the devil. Faith is the only thing that can sustain us in the trials and persecutions predicted for the last days. It is therefore imperative that we understand exactly what faith is, how we get it and how it grows.” (pp. 21-22)

Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, which is another reason why it’s so important to be in God’s Word on a daily basis.

Following are a few more reasons why faith is so important:

Faith Allows Us to “See” God

Faith is the telescope that scans the heavens for the majesty of God, and also the microscope that magnifies His hidden wonders. Faith is the code-breaker that allows us to interpret His Words and understand His meanings.

Faith is the only path that not only allows us to “see” God, but also to draw near to His presence and fellowship with Him. Only as we walk by faith can God make the darkness light before us (Isa. 42:16) and enable us to see His handiwork (Psa. 19:1-3).

Therefore, faith is the only thing that will bring us the intimacy with God that we yearn for and that He so desires (Heb. 11:6). Only as we see God as He truly is, and see ourselves as we really are, will we ever become truly pleasing in His sight. In other words, no prayer, no tears, no fasting without faith, will ever bless Him.

We Can Only Live by Faith

It’s impossible to separate faith from life, because every choice we make either comes from faith in something or Someone, or unbelief and distrust. The Bible says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20; cf. Heb. 10:38).

What this Scripture is saying is that “living by faith” is our responsibility (Heb. 11:11). Living by faith does not mean “blindly” believing in God, but “wisely” trusting Him to supply our every need. It’s believing that God has promised us a better world and by faith, we have chosen to hold Him to that promise.

Job is an example of someone living by faith. Although Job groaned in his present circumstances, he didn’t lose confidence in the future. He never stopped believing that God would act as his Vindicator, his Advocate and his Avenger. In the midst of his greatest suffering, Job still said, “I know that my redeemer lives…” (Job 19:25) and this needs to be the “battle cry” of every believer in Christ.

God is constantly asking us, “Will you live by faith, or will you crumble when you don’t see or understand what I am doing?”

An Example: “Living by Faith”

We have spoken of George Muller before, but I can’t leave the subject of “living by faith” without expounding further about the life of this incredible man.

Mr. Muller believed that faith rested upon the Word of God. He used to say, “When sight ceases, then faith has a chance to work.” As long as there was any possibility of human success, he felt faith could not accomplish anything. Thus, his motto was, “God is able to do this; I cannot.”

His greatest desire was to live a “public” life of faith so that others’ trust in God would be strengthened. If he as a poor man, without asking the aid or finances of anyone, simply by prayer and faith, could have all his needs met, then he felt anyone could. He knew it would be “living proof’ to others that faith works.

When there was no money, as happened often, he would simply say, “The Lord in His wisdom and love has not sent help, but I believe, in due time He will.” And, He always did!

As a result of George Muller’s life of prayer and faith, he was given the necessary money to built three orphanages, house and feed almost 2,000 children, buy all the furniture and supplies needed to furnish and run the homes and schools, and hire all the needed personnel to manage the facilities. Muller expected God to answer and expected His blessings on his labor of love. And he always received it, because he lived by faith.

“The just shall live by faith.” (Galatians 3:11)

As we have said before, so much of our faith, even as Christians, rests upon what we can see and what we can feel. God knows that we can never truly live by faith as long as we are being manipulated by our senses. He knows that the farther removed we can get from our faith resting on things that we see and feel, the more deeply we can enter into a life of real faith in God.

This is one of the reasons God allows “night seasons” in our lives. When we are no longer able to “see,” we will be forced to live by faith. And, when our faith finally stops being dependent on the realm of our senses, we will be free to enter into the rest of God. God knows that the less we “see,” the more faith we’ll have to live by.

“…blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

Faith Reveals the Character of God to Others

When we reflect God’s image—His joy, His wisdom, His Love and His peace—in every circumstance (good or bad)—the world will see Jesus through us. The life of every believer should be a magnifying glass focused on Christ, because what we do tells the world what we believe. Doing demonstrates our belief.

When our faith crumbles in the midst of hard circumstances, we are telling the world that God is not trustworthy, He is not faithful and He is not loving. If Christians display such a lack of trust, then how can unbelievers be expected to put their trust in Christ? We must, instead, show the world that faith in God is always the answer, and that He is our only refuge in times of trouble (2 Tim. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:7; Phil. 4:6-7).

Faith Enables Us to Be Overcomers

Faith not only enables us to overcome the flesh and the world, but also overcome the devil. Only faith can repel the enemy. Thus, when we lose faith, we leave ourselves wide open for his vicious attacks. Satan knows that faith and doubt cannot co-exist, so he does everything in his power to make us doubt God and His faithfulness. Doubt and unbelief affect every choice we make. Unbelief can destroy our sensitivity to God’s voice, and if we choose to entertain this attitude, we’ll end up spiritually shipwrecked (1 Tim. 1:19). Doubt can always be traced back to unbelief in God’s Word and His promises. As Hebrews 4:2 says, “The word preached did not profit them [because it was not] mixed with faith.”

Know that doubting the character of God will stop your spiritual growth and ultimately devour your faith. The only way you can ever counteract such doubt is to believe (by an act of your will) that God will never let you down and never deceive you, no matter what He allows in your life.

Faith Is the Victory That Overcomes

Faith is the key that opens the door to our spiritual victory and enables us to walk triumphantly with Jesus (1 John 5:4). As mentioned before, only true faith can overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. To “overcome” simply means to be able to conquer our sin, our self, our circumstances and our trials through the power of faith. Overcoming faith means putting off anything “that is not of faith” and putting on Christ (Col. 3:5; Gal. 5:24; Eph. 4:22).

The way God implements this kind of overcoming faith, is by removing everything in our lives that hinders and prevents our trusting Him completely. Even if the world collapses around us, God wants us to still stay faithful and able to say, “Though You slay me, yet will I trust You.”

Overcoming faith enables us to maintain an abandonment to God even in times of suffering. Even though “the earth should change, and the mountains slip into the heart of the sea,” (Psa. 46:2) overcomers know they are being held by God. Overcoming faith places its hope and its expectation in God and God alone (Eph. 1:19-21).

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