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Faith a Proper Response To a Loving God
by Joseph LaValley
8/16/2015 / Miracles
God's hand is not a clinched fist to be pried open by our spirituality, but a loving hand of grace extended to us through Christ. What God requires of us is faith. But what is faith? My wife and I have been walking with the Lord for over forty years, and in that time we've heard a lot of teaching about faith. Some of it has helped and some not so much. As we have studied the Bible and put together the verses and context regarding this subject one thing has become clear- Faith is a proper response to what God offers. It is He, God, who is the prime mover.
John 3:16 KJV
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
That's how it all begins, with a loving God extending His hand. When a person is born, he or she is physically alive, and has body and soul. But that person is as dead as a door nail spiritually. Hence the need for the new birth. None of us knew our zombie state until we got a gander at God's word and believed what it said. So once you saw your need you then cried out to God for help. He said, "Let's see what I can do for you. I'll be getting back to you, take a number."
Not so, not so. That provision was made long ago. Immediately after Adam and Eve disobeyed God and chose darkness over light, they died spiritually. They'd lost God's nature and took on sin nature which is the source of all the evil we see today. On the very day that it happened, God promised that someday the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). We know that it's the man that contributes the seed to a birth so what was meant by the phrase "seed of the woman"? It's the promised seed that God would create in Mary's womb that would bring forth Jesus Christ (Luke 1:26-38). Through this promise seed, God's plan of redemption will be fully carried out. God was the first to move, He set his plan in action and guarded and fought for its fulfillment. He sent His son who paid for the sins of all people, past, present and future. All that would believe could receive eternal life and the grace to live the more abundant life in the here and now. (John 10:10 KJV)
If you believe this offer is true the proper response is faith- You confess Jesus as your Lord believing that God raised him from the dead. Everything was paid, in full, long ago.
Faith doesn't move God, He has already moved in Christ, on your behalf. Thank God that's the truth. I don't want the task of trying to move the Creator of the heavens and the earth. In fact it's just the opposite, He's trying to move the Christian to faith so He can energize these spiritual realities into fruit in your life (read the two prayers that pertain to all Christians in Ephesians 1:15-23 KJV & Ephesians 3:14-20 KJV). We don't move God, we simply respond to God. We are free will agents that God wants to "love on".
1 John 4:9-10 KJV
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Another trap I fell prey to in the early years of my Christian walk was seeing faith as some sort of immutable principle that God set up in the universe. If I was to see answers to prayers as well as signs, wonders and miracles, I'd better hone my spiritual skills in order to extract these goodies from God. The major problem with this thinking is that you become the focus. God's not an ATM machine nor is Jesus Christ your ATM card. Faith is relational. We are to respond to our loving heavenly Father's gift. Once we know what's ours in Christ we can trust God to bring it into manifestation in our lives. If it doesn't happen right away we just need to ask for wisdom (James 1:5 KJV). Then we keep stepping because, if it pertains to salvation wholeness in Christ, it's a prepaid, now promise. God's not trying to hold back, but He freely gives.
1 Corinthians 1:20 KJV
For all the promises of God in him [Christ] are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Romans 8:31-32 KJV
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
As we go to the Pauline epistles, Romans, Ephesians, Thessalonians to mention a few, we'll see what God did for us in Christ and what He's committed Himself to do in us through Christ. His grace has already provided it. When we respond by faith to Him we'll taste and see that the Lord is good.
In the early years of our marriage my wife and I felt called to a Christian training program. We'd gotten sponsors, others who believed in what we were doing, to help us fund the training. We'd gotten some of our money together but we were still shy a good amount. The deadline was fast approaching and at that point we didn't know what else to do. What we did know was that we had a promise that in Christ our needs are met. Our God has declared this in His word.
Philippians 4:19 KJV
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
This being the case our prayers were laced with thanksgiving for what God had already provided us in Christ. We did our best to agree with God and see with our spiritual eyes. Did our flesh and the devil have the "anti" suggestions? Yeah. Suggestions such as-"This isn't going to happen." One thing you can say about the devil, he's an equal opportunity tempter. As for our flesh, we just told it to shut up. No one wants advice from a dead guy!
At the time we were living in an apartment complex. We were on the ground floor and a Christian friend of ours lived on the floor above. He came running downstairs one day to tell us that a Mr. "Somebody" was on the phone and wanted to talk to me (these were the ancient days of land line phones only. We hadn't gotten ours turned on yet). The gentleman calling was a grandfather type who traveled the country and ministered God's word to many. He was fairly well known in our circles. But how he knew where we were living or how to get ahold of us had to be God.
Even more surprising was what he said, "Hey Joe I hear you guys are going into a Christian training program." He that asked if we had all our money together. I told him that we were working on it. He said that someone had given him $1,500 and he felt that the Lord was wanted him to give it to us. That was a good amount of money back in the 70's. As it turned out that was exactly the amount we needed. With all the variables involved the conclusion is evident of how this need was met: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord of hosts." Our God wants to Father us, so confess His Son as Lord, then take your Father's hand and walk through life relying on Him every step of the way. Faith is your proper response to a loving God.
My name is Joseph. I became serious about walking with the Lord back in 1972. My wife and I have been married since 1975, and have two grown daughters. We presently live in Texas. Our e-book -"Come Walk With The Father" is available at amazon.com.
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