Growing in Faith -- Excerpts from Chapter No. 4

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FAITH – From Defeat To Victory -- Let us consider how to go from poverty to reaches, from defeat to victory, from failure to success.  There is only one key revealed in the Word of God to accomplish it. Some believe that a person’s success is determined by the amount of prayer.  But when you read the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews, you will find out it is not by praying. It is simply by faith. Some people think that their lack of prayer is what it causes them to fail.  You can pray until you are blue in the face, but if you do not believe, you are still going to fail. Some people have the idea that it is the amount of labor or work you are doing what will bring success. You can labor all you like, but if faith is not present, you will fail. It is only faith that makes it possible for God to operate. And unless God operates, man’s operation is in vain. This world is not interested in what you are doing for God; the world is interested in what God is doing for you. I am interested in learning how God operates, not man. If God ever starts operating like He wants to, you will not have to worry about how man operates.

I was preaching one day in Norman, Oklahoma. I started with the first woman on the first row. I said: “Sister, do you believe in God?” She replied: “Yes.” I questioned, “Do you believe He can do anything?” She said “Yes”. I said, “What do you believe Him for right now?”  She replied, “Food, clothing, shelter, things of that nature.” The biggest devils in town have that stuff. That was not what I was talking about. I questioned her again. “What do you believe God for right now, that would take a miracle for Him to keep His word? What promise are you standing on?”  She turned white as a sheet. She did not know. I went on to the next, and then the next, and there was only one woman in that church that day that had any faith. She stood up and said, “I may seem foolish, but I believe God is saving somebody right now.” It was not three minutes until a woman came out of her seat screaming and crying, “I have got to be saved.” God did not operate until somebody believed.

There is a verse of scripture that did bother me for some time: “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14. Do you know why that verse of the Scripture bothered me so much? Because it says: “Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph“  We need to face reality, there are some areas of our life where we are not triumphant Christians, nor conquering Christians, we are not being victorious. We have failed. Don’t start comparing yourself to somebody else because you will probably turn out to be a pretty good fellow. Compare yourself to the Word of God. Here is God’s Word saying that He causeth us to triumph. Some people will say, eventually God will work everything out for me. That is not what God is talking about. In this verse of scripture God promised that in all of our circumstances He will cause us always to be victorious. Does your life measure up to that verse of scripture?

Romans 8:37 says: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Are you more than conqueror in everything? Here is a promise, Paul said, “We are more than conquerors” in everything. Right here in the midst of all our troubles we are more than conquerors.  I looked at my life and I looked at those two verses of scripture, “More than conquerors,” and “Always causing us to triumph.” Instead of being victorious, I was always getting into trouble. That’s what really bothered me.

The Lord said according to thy faith, so be it. Or simply, “I am working according to your faith”. God does not bow to sympathy. God does not bow to bargaining. God only moves in accordance to faith. God honors faith.  A child of God can, and will be more than a conqueror, and he will be lead to triumph when he comes to the place of faith. You, will not only be made to be a conqueror, and a triumphant Christian, but the grace of God will so abound in your life, that every need that you have will be met. I get disgusted with people who say that God has only offered to supply our needs. He said in Psalm 37:4 “He will give you the desires of your heart”. Your faith is in Christ, the Living Word. He is the object of your faith. Not only is Jesus Christ the object, but Jesus Christ is a person.

The nature of faith is illustrated as follows: At the airport, there is an airplane that will take you to New York. You believe the plane can take you there. You believe it to the extent that you got reservations and a ticket. The plane is there, and you are here. Is that airplane getting you to New York? If you stood waiting about ten hours, wishing the airplane would get you to New York, but you are still standing at the terminal, is the plane getting you to New York? no. You know it can, and you want it to, but you have to get in the plain. There must come a moment of decision in your life.  This is so common with us. We do not realize that we have to make a decision. You are not at the disposal of that airplane until after you make the decision and board the airplane. Then, and only then, can that airplane do for you what it was designed to do.

Faith has three elements: Intellectual, emotional and volitional. Faith is never a real, genuine faith until you take these three steps.  You know intellectually that God can do something, and emotionally, you want Him to do it. That is as far as most of us ever get. But because you know that He can, and you want Him to, go ahead and act, trust, and believe. Trusting, acting, and believing are choices of the will (volition) whereby you cast yourself upon the Truth. Does He perform the miracle before you act, (put yourself at His disposal) or after? So, then faith is action.

You need to learn that faith is built on claiming a promise of God, and also when you need to trust on the provision of God. Hang your faith on His promise.  If our belief is right, then everything else will be right. Our only job is to believe. When I stand on His promises, and I act believing those promises, I see defeat turned into victory. I see failure turned into success. I started to see my needs not only met, but I had additional to give away. When you start believing, standing, and acting on God’s promises, He will lift you out and make you more than a conqueror.

I had to learn the law of faith. When I saw that you have to trust God in order to have, I saw something else that comes along with it. God lays down a principle in the Bible by which He works.  2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”  Luke tells us that when we give to God, He gives us back, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38. So, I pulled out some money and I started giving. The faster I gave, the faster it came back to me.