- Wednesday, April 03, 2013
"We constantly need to be reminded that faith is the one inseparable condition of successful praying. There are other conditions, but faith is the final, essential condition of true praying, as it is written: 'But without faith it is impossible to please him' - (Hebrews 11:6)."
Unbelievable things are happening all over the world. Reading the news headlines can be frightening, unbelievable, shocking, and too close for comfort. In light of all the alarming news we read in the newspaper, if we want to be strong, we are going to need to have radical faith.
Faith is not just a small part of our life; it is central to all that we do.
When the world is trying to squeeze us into its mold, we are going to have to be radical in our faith. We are going to have to believe when others fail in their beliefs. We are going to have to stand strong when others are wavering. We are going to have to be bold in believing God’s truth when we pray, even in the darkest of circumstances.
The Bible says in John 6:28-29 that the work of God is to believe. Think about it. Isn’t the work of God doing some sort of activity for God? Isn’t the work of God to care for orphans? Isn’t the work of God to reach the lost or give our money to the poor? Yes, all of this is true. But our works will amount to nothing if we don’t believe and put our faith in God who makes all things grow.
The flesh can do all sorts of good works without the power and anointing of God. But the work of God is to believe. Satan’s great attempt is to crush our faith in God, in who we are in Christ, and in what is happening in the world spiritually. Just as the quote says, faith is the one condition for successful praying.
One of your greatest battles regarding prayer is going to be in your faith.
In the end, many will turn away and give up their faith. When times get hard, many will blame God. Our foundation must be firm. We must make the decision that at all costs we will follow Jesus to the end. Look at the life of John the Baptist. Jesus said that not one has risen greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11). In the next verse He said, From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of God has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.
Radical faith is forceful and resolute in believing prayer. John the Baptist was such a forceful man, but even he faced a struggle with his faith while in prison. His faith was being severely tested in that dark, dungy prison cell when he was alone. During that time he sent his disciple to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:3).
God is looking for radical faith because He does nothing unless faith is operating in our life. In light of all of this, then how do we cultivate a radical faith? Faith grows by experience and practice. Whatever God is calling you to do, expect to hit a brick wall of impossibility many times. On the way to your Promised Land (your God-sized dream), expect to run into many roadblocks that scream for your attention and say, “This cannot be done!”
Continually say, “No” to the devil and guard against unbelief. Your faith is being cultivated.
All of us need to pay attention and heed the caution given in Hebrews 3:12: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” We need to guard against unbelief as we would against an enemy. Faith needs to be cultivated. We need to keep on praying, “Lord, increase our faith” (Luke 17:5), for faith is capable of increasing. Paul’s tribute to the Thessalonians was that their faith grew exceedingly (See 2 Thessalonians 1:3). Faith is increased by exercise, by being put to use. It is nourished by painful trials (1 Peter 1:7).
In our daily lives we can be walking along so steady when suddenly the enemy throws a fiery dart. I have many of them fly at me on a regular basis because I work with prayer full-time. Sometimes it is a deadly missile from the enemy that tries to hit straight at the center of my faith.
Strongholds bombard all of us. But if we have that shield of faith firmly in place, then we can hold it. Those fiery darts can hit that shield and fly right back to the enemy. We need to take a look at that shield because we want our faith to be radical. Mediocre, lukewarm living is not going to make it in the coming days. We need to make a firm determination today and say: "Lord, I refuse to be lukewarm or apathetic in my prayer life. I choose to believe Your truth when I pray. I choose to be radical for Christ. I pray for a radical faith in each and every circumstance that I face."
If you want to be victorious in the end times, make this choice now to live a radical, faith-filled Christian life. Make a decision to stand on the truth and not on how you feel. Our feelings go up and down. The truth is what sets us free and keeps us steady on a daily basis.
Think about the life of Moses. God called him the meekest man on earth, but that meek man had a radical faith. The most patient man on earth lived a radical life for God. Yes, many times he did struggle with his faith, but this man of God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land.
It takes radical faith to do that. It takes radical faith to cross the Red Sea and make it to the other side. It takes a radical trust in God to obey in the midst of the wilderness wanderings with a faithless, grumbling group of people. You can read this Bible story sitting in your easy chair. But what if you didn’t know the outcome and wondered if God would really take care of you and such a large crowd of His people?
The Radical Faith of Moses
"Faith deals with God and is conscious of God… God is the great objective of faith, for faith rests its whole weight on His Word. Faith is not an aimless act of the soul, but a looking to God and a resting on His promises. Just as love and hope always have an objective, so also has faith. Faith is not believing just anything. It is believing God, resting in Him and trusting His Word."
Moses believed God and looked to Him and His promises. What if he had tried to figure out what was needed to accomplish what God had commanded? He led the people of Israel into the desert. How would he take care of them? He had to feed more than three million people!
According to the U.S. Army’s Quartermaster General, he would need fifteen hundred tons of food a day. Just to imagine the size of the need, it would take two freight trains, each a mile long. For cooking the food, they would need four thousand tons of firewood and a few more freight trains, each a mile long. This is what they needed for just one day. And what about keeping warm for forty years in the desert? It does get cold there. Just for washing dishes and drinking it took eleven million gallons of water each day, enough to fill a train of tanker cars eighteen hundred miles long. Just to camp at the end of the day, they needed a campground the size of the state of Rhode Island.
In addition to all this, they had to cross the Red Sea in just one night! If the path was narrow and they walked two-by-two, the line would be eight hundred miles long and require thirty-five days and nights to get across. To make it in one night, the space in the Red Sea would have to be three miles wide so that they could walk five thousand abreast. You can imagine the unity that was needed for that many people to walk side-by-side across that sea.
Now do you think Moses tried to figure this out before he left Egypt?
No! He had to walk by radical faith. He had to have faith that God would take care of everything. In the same way, we must trust God for the impossibilities in our life circumstances.
The word “radical” in Webster’s Dictionary says that it pertains to and proceeds from the root or origin. We are made in the image of God and have our origin in Him. Radical faith comes from God. Our intimacy with God develops and strengthens our faith. There are several ways you can grow in radical faith. You can develop radical faith by:
- Reading, meditating, studying, and praying the Word of God - Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).
- Obeying God and holding onto your dream - Do not back off in the midst of opposition. Take action when you know what God wants you to do. "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (James 2:17).
- Holding up the shield of faith - Don’t neglect your weapons of warfare in Ephesians 6. "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:16-17).
- Praising and thanking God right in the midst of your test of faith - Worship and thanksgiving push out doubt and fear and prepares the way for God’s victory. "Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation" (Psalm 50:23).
- Counting it all joy as you learn to pray through every obstacle - Know that God is exercising your faith and you will grow in character and strength through it. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4).
- When Egypt tries to squeeze you into its mold and says that you can’t cross over into victory, look up towards heaven and trust God to open the Red Sea in your circumstances and provide a way through. There is no way to see radical breakthrough unless we face radical impossibilities. Remember Susanna Wesley’s life. She had to trust God in the most difficult of circumstances.
Great faith must have great trials.
Always remember that the work of God is to believe (John 6:29). Expect the testing of your faith. God wants you to have radical faith and a radical prayer life, a faith without wavering, doubt, or fear. God wants you to believe His truth whenever you pray. We must face many crossing of the Red Sea experiences, if we want to see God-empowered breakthroughs. But like a pearl of great price, it will be worth it in the end.
Our major concern is our faith—the problems of its growth and the actions of its strong development. A faith that holds onto the very things it asks for, without wavering, doubt, or fear—that is the faith we need. We need (radical) faith, like a pearl of great price, in the process and practice of prayer. Quotes by E. M. Bounds
A Prayer For Radical Faith
Lord, I pray for a radical faith that does not waver in hard times. Without faith it is impossible to please You (Hebrews 11:6). Your Word says that the work of God is to believe (John 6:28-29). Help me to believe Your truth when I pray, even in the darkest of circumstances. Help me not to try to figure everything out but trust in Your ability to carry me through the hard places. Make the foundation of my life firm and strong, and help me not to have an evil heart of unbelief (Hebrews 3:12). Lord, increase my faith (Luke 17:5). Teach me to hold up the shield of faith when the enemy throws flaming arrows at me (Ephesians 6:16). I choose to live a radical, faith-filled life for Your glory. I want to trust in Your Word always and have radical faith like Moses when He brought Your chosen people through the Red Sea. Teach me to read, study, meditate, and pray Your Word. I know that my faith grows by hearing Your Word (Romans 10:17).
I worship You, Lord, right in the midst of my present circumstances. [Name a difficulty you are presently facing.] I know that You will answer and help me. I choose to praise You. I know that thanksgiving and praise prepare the way for Your victory (Psalm 50:23). Thank You for building character in my life through the obstacles I face. I choose to count it all joy because this test of faith develops perseverance and maturity in my life (James 1:2-4). Because I trust in You, I can cross the Red Sea of my circumstances. You will provide a way through. “I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name forever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works” (Psalm 145:1-5). [Pray all of Psalm 145.] In Jesus’ name, amen.
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*This Article First Published 4/3/2013
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