For reasons that are only between God and me I have been compelled to explore faith the last couple of years. Perhaps it is because I asked God to teach me faith based on an honest recognition of that I knew very little about faith – what it is and how it works, and, not least, how to work it. My blog has most certainly been marked by this direction which the Spirit has taken me. I assume my writings concerning faith have been characterized by increasing clarity as new light has been given me. I make no excuses for again writing about faith.
What struck me with such lucidity yesterday is that as we possess more of the Promised Land faith is equally purified. What do I mean by this? I once wrote based on something that welled up in me: Faith is its own proof. I don’t believe in coincidences and yesterday I came across the following by Norman Grubb which perfectly confirms and supports what came to me then: “When we believe, we have the witness, because faith is its own witness.” Why? Because it is God’s own faith.
In other words, the purifying of faith means that it cannot be supported by emotions, sensations, signs, experiences, inner knowing or what many call an inner witness. Faith stands alone and is its own witness – this is truly the absurdity of faith. We may or may not get an inner knowing based on our faith stand, but that is solely up to God.
Not many days ago I sent DeeDee Winter the following email:
When again drawn to the investigation of faith I somehow was reminded about what the Spirit says in Hebrews: Faith is substance. Then it struck me that substance is found on the Spirit/spirit level. In other words, faith is spirit. This faith is communicated to us or wells up in us, and when that happens we have two choices: Receive it or dismiss it. But, the main point is that when faith manifests in us, as it were, it comes from a place that is too deep for reason and soul and then we have these inner conflicts between what faith asserts and reason’s: “This cannot be.”
“I have always thought “faith is substance” meant that it was only hope until it became real inside us…substance. It did not necessarily mean that it had manifested yet, just that it had become a ‘known’ to us and not something we still hoped and prayed would happen. Have just reread yours….you have put it brilliantly!”
Hopefully another example will clarify what I am trying to articulate. Jesus promised us His peace and joy, but are these soul emotions? No! Peace and joy are a person; Christ. Harriet Wearren explains: “I always think of peace as being the person of Christ. If we have Him, we have peace within no matter how we feel…..it is spiritual, not physical. “In this world ye will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” It is usually the opposite of peace that gets our attention to a person or something that is going on and this is what puts us into action of doing something or speaking a word of faith. This is the operation of God!”
By the operation of faith I say that I have peace and joy no matter outer circumstances and in the face of inner turmoil. We live by faith and not sight, that is, peace or emotions or whatever. That God in His grace for a period allows us to have good sensations and feelings as a sign of His love and His peace only demonstrates that He meets us where we are. However, these things will be devoured by fire in His time so that what remains is faith purified which is more precious than gold.
Jesus said: “I can of myself do nothing”, and further: “Without me you can do nothing.” Faith is perhaps most clearly understood in the context of our nothingness, and this nothingness is absolute. In the tests and trials of life every notion that we have a faith apart from God is thoroughly brought to nothing. This is indeed an act of grace and to our benefit, because coming to this realization takes a huge burden off our shoulders. Faith is then seen and understood as God believing in Himself by us. Come hell or high water, but what is spoken by us stands firm because faith is its own proof exactly because it is God’s own faith.
“I receive not testimony from man”, Jesus plainly told his audience in John 5. Faith, faith commissions and words of faith are strictly a matter between the individual and God. Many will not receive our testimony, or dismiss it or contradict it, so we do not either receive the testimony of man. Their opposing voices will only cause confusion and produce doubt. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.” Faith is its own proof.