By Andrea Garzon & Ole Henrik Skjelstad
“…..now I myself being Spirit, am meaningless in relation to others unless I have means of expressing my spirit self, and that is my soul and body. My soul is my emotions and reason, emotions expressing my SPIRIT DESIRES and reason expounding my spirit knowledge…” (Norman Grubb)
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebr 11:1)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope…” (Jer 29:11)
Why would God give us hope? If faith is the substance or evidence that materializes the things we hope for, it shows that God wants us to have what we hope for, because He has provided the faith to materialize those things we desire and hope for.
When He reveals His plans to us it is to cause us to hope, and faith was designed to fulfill those hopes. So, we could say that for every ‘hope’ there is a “piece” of faith to transform that hope into a tangible thing. That specific hope assures us that there is faith to make it come to pass (palpable) and that faith assures us that what we hope for WILL come to pass and at the same time assure us that it is God’s will that we have it. The desire causes us to hope, and if there is hope it means there is the faith to materialize that hope. That is why God gives us hope, because that “calls” faith and faith “calls” things that be not into existence.
We also find that there is a distinct correlation between the desires of our hearts and God’s promises. Abraham is perhaps the most prominent example of this relation. His greatest desire was an heir and that coincided perfectly with God’s promise. “What the righteous desire will be granted” (Proverbs 10:24).
Another striking example is Gideon. He entertained no dreams of overthrowing the Midianites. It was God who personally visited Gideon and gave him His dream and further commissioned Gideon to fulfill His desire. The fulfillment of the vision God had given Gideon wasn’t attained without hardships. God stripped Gideon from every natural means of accomplishing the task. Gideon must thus have wondered if he perhaps had heard wrongly or that even God’s intent was to crush what now had become Gideon’s dream too. Like Abraham Gideon had to go through a rather severe time of testing before what was originally God’s desire saw its consummation.
“The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah. For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head” (Psalm 21:1-3).
When we are to delve further into this relation between desire, hope, faith and promises the wine branch analogy will be most helpful. Everything the branch carries is a direct result of what the sap provides the branch. The sap is the deciding factor in everything the branch does or desires. The sap is the provider, the branch the recipient. The branch cannot stop the sap from flowing. It presses forth by its own inherent nature, as it were. The sap gives us our desires, endows us with hope, provides faith and it causes our tongue to say our faith words. The promise follows in the heels of desire, hope and faith and is the guarantee that God will do it.
Jesus speaks about this amazing organic union when he says:”….he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God (John 3:21). Bring everything to the light! It is all wrought in God. No need to hide our desires and hopes or, even worse, try to suppress them. Well, truth be told, we cannot suppress them. They pop up everywhere. The sap flows whether we like it or not. We might be left with an impression of two when we have studied the branch-wine analogy, but the vine is one and finds its expression in the branches.
We can be very bold (Hebr 10:35) in our prayers and when we proclaim our faith words which the Spirit has made ours since we are echoing God’s heart, the One who Himself is infinite desire. Everything originates in Him and ends in Him. “I am the alpha and the omega” (Rev 22:13). He is the instigator and the One who fulfills His desire. He is steadfast, true, and faithful, and will perform all He has said He will do. Desire and prayer is hence God involving us in something He is doing and which He will accomplish by us.
It was Jesus who established that our WILL is to do the DESIRES of our Father” (John 8:44). The freedom, flexibility and rest of our being finds its basis in that “He has entered into us, not to be a separate person in us, sort of like somebody in a little compartment inside of us, that we have to learn to hear, to obey, to commune with, etc” (Fred Pruitt). He living in a separate pocket in us would not be union, but a relationship based on law and some sort of weird obedience which would demand that we always are on the alert trying to discern His voice. God is neither a separate voice externally nor internally. He is us. That leap of faith that causes us to trust ourselves makes Jesus’ words our reality where we trust ourselves in everything as Him.