How YOU Can Have Powerful Faith!
Faith is the most important thing in your life! Your faith controls your access to all the blessings of God. Answers to your prayers, your healing, even your very salvation depends directly on your faith – for without faith, it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God! (Hebrews 11:6). Impossible – it simply cannot be done!
And yet so many today say “I just don’t have the faith”, or “I wish God had given me more faith” – prayers today go unanswered by the millions, Christians are sick and dying and where is God? Why do we not see the mighty works today that were so prevalent in the first century church? Has God changed? Malachi 3:6. But Jesus said that we would not only do the same works He did, but GREATER works! (John 14:12). So why aren’t we seeing those works today?
Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
ALL things you ask in prayer, BELIEVING, you will receive... Have YOU seen that happen? Is it happening in your life? In the lives of your family or friends? In your church? Why not? Did God lie?
Of course not! So how can you, today, make God’s promises a reality? How can YOU have powerful faith, faith like Jesus had, the same powerful, dynamic faith the apostles and prophets had? After all, wasn’t Elijah just a man, a man like you and me, a man with lusts and weaknesses? Yet Elijah asked God to stop the rain, and the rain STOPPED! And it didn’t rain for three and a half years! (James 5:17).
So how do YOU get that kind of faith? Jesus said faith was so powerful, that if you had even a TINY bit of faith you could move mountains, and NOTHING WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE to you! (Matthew 17:20, Luke 17:6).
Were these idle promises for a long dead people? Or are they LIVING promises meant for YOU, today? Promises meant to make YOUR life better, make YOUR spiritual path easier and make YOU better able to resist the darts of the wicked! (Ephesians 6:16).
Remember, God promised! Jesus promised – many times, and in many ways! Have He and His Father broken Their promises? If you can’t trust God, who can you trust? If Jesus’ word is no good, then where is your hope? Can you really expect to receive SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE from a God who won’t even give you physical blessings HE ALREADY PROMISED TO GIVE YOU?
But the good news is God hasn’t lied; neither has Jesus gone back on His word. The reason your prayers go unanswered is... you! The responsibility for your lack of faith lies squarely on your own shoulders! It is not God who has held back faith from you, but YOU who have prevented God from answering your prayers – see for yourself!
Jeremiah 5:25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.
Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear FROM HEARING THE LAW, even his PRAYER shall be abomination.
If you turn away from God’s law, as so many professing Christians have today, your prayer is an ABOMINATION to God! God says He will HIDE His face from you, because of your sins! (Isaiah 59:1-2). It’s not that God CAN’T hear you, or that God has changed, but YOUR SINS have separated you from God so that He WILL NOT HEAR YOU!
If you want God to hear your prayer, you must obey Him – it’s just that simple.
Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
Churches today don’t teach about faith; oh, they have sermons on faith – but what do they teach? They give you scriptures like Hebrews 11:1 and Romans 10:17. But what do those mean? Do you really understand them – does anyone? Taken alone, they are meaningless – but like anything in the Bible, to truly understand faith, you must take ALL the scriptures together and see what they mean AS A PACKAGE!
Sermons on faith today just tell you to BELIEVE more – to PRAY HARDER – but is that really the answer? Can you just work up “belief” by singing and shouting – or can you just blindly force yourself to believe, contrary to all common sense?
And what IS it that you must “believe”? That God will answer simply because you ask, regardless of the many ongoing sins in your life? Is that what the Bible teaches, really? Just what DOES the Bible teach?
LESSON 4: What Is Faith?
God has made many promises to us; promises that are as sure as anything in the universe, because God cannot lie – when God says something, it happens. Period. (Isaiah 55:11). But do you know those promises? Here are just a few of them:
John 14:13. Mark 11:24. John 15:7. Luke 11:9-10. Matthew 7:11. John 16:24. 1 John 5:15.
All these scriptures stress that you will have ANYTHING you ask for IF YOU BELIEVE – but believe what? These scriptures don’t say. It’s commonly assumed that you must only believe “in God”, but you’ll see in a moment that it’s much more than that!
The last reference makes it clear that we have our request only IF we KNOW He hears us – but HOW can we know that? What criteria does God place on whom He hears and whom He doesn’t?
Can what you do prevent God from answering your prayers? 1 Peter 3:7. Does God listen to the prayers of the evil? 1 Peter 3:12. Does He hear all prayers – even those of sinners? John 9:31. What is sin? 1 John 3:4. Do your sins cut you off from God? Isaiah 59:1-2. Is He far from sinners? Proverbs 15:29. Whom does He hear? Psalms 34:17.
So clearly, God listens to the righteous, and ignores the sinners. It is commonly supposed today that God hears all prayers, but as you can see from the scriptures above, the Bible says that simply isn’t true. Since God is “not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:27), God must know of all prayers, but unless you’re on a certain “allowed senders” list, or have a particularly sincere and compelling prayer, most prayers wind up in the giant spam box in the sky. Just because He’s aware of them, doesn’t mean He “reads” them, for “God heareth not sinners”.
HOW TO BUILD FAITH
Those scriptures all plainly state that your faith depends on your obedience to God. Logically then, to get perfect faith you must simply remove the roadblocks in your righteousness.
Deuteronomy 23:12-13 lays out a physical principle which applies to all of us on a spiritual level. In speaking of the disposal of human waste, God instructed Israel to take it OUTSIDE the camp and bury it. Why did God make this command? Deuteronomy 23:14. Was Israel a pattern for us today? 1 Corinthians 10:11. So then, as Israel removed their physical waste which offended God, so we must remove our spiritual waste which offends God? 2 Corinthians 6:17.
So then you must “clean up the camp”, so that God will see “no unclean thing” there, when He “walks in the midst of your camp”, so that He will be there “to deliver you”, and not “turn away from you”. (Deuteronomy 23:14). How then, can you clean up the camp?
Do you start by examining yourself? 2 Corinthians 13:5. And if you don’t examine yourself, but act as if you are a Christian anyway, does that bring judgment – punishment – upon you? 1 Corinthians 11:28-29. Why is it that many Christians are weak and sick and dead – because they didn’t pray enough? 1 Corinthians 11:30-32. What sort of man gets an answer to his prayer? James 5:16.
Does it help to make MANY prayers? Matthew 6:7. What must you do to make God hear you, if He isn’t hearing you now? Isaiah 1:15-18. Does God say that YOU must make the first move? (And what IS that move?) James 4:8. Does He say that a pure heart is NECESSARY to “draw close to God”? (Same verse). Will those with a pure heart receive the blessings of God (including answers to prayer)? Psalms 24:3-5. How does Paul say we MUST approach God? Hebrews 10:22.
Get the repeated connection between REAL FAITH, and keeping the law! And further, the connection between a pure heart and real faith! There is a reason for that – because keeping the law PRODUCES a pure heart – see for yourself: 1 Timothy 1:5. The RESULT of keeping the commandments is LOVE, from a PURE heart, and a SINCERE faith – not a fake, put-on faith that you pretend for other people, but REAL POWERFUL FAITH – the kind you want to have!
So many today just have a PRETEND faith! They make prayers and they talk about “God this” and “God that”, but their works show they DON’T have faith! They never really expect things to happen! They never actually trust God – they go to the doctor when they get sick, not to God (James 5:14-16). They lock their doors, have security lights, alarm systems and guard dogs rather than trust God (Job 1:9-10). They’re afraid of lightning and cows and wolves and snakes and spiders – but a REAL faith is afraid of NOTHING!
What does God promise in the way of protection? Psalms 91 [Note: the whole Psalms bears reading several times to really GRASP the enormity of these promises which God has made to YOU! And notice the SPECIFIC things God said not to fear – probably many of the very things you DO fear!]. Should you fear ANY animal – or thieves or war or hunger? Job 5:19-23. And WHY would God do that for you? Verse 24. Can any man stand against a follower of God? Deuteronomy 11:25. Who is afraid of the dark – and who isn’t? Proverbs 28:1. What about fearing oppression? In fact, what about ANY fear, PERIOD? Isaiah 54:14-17. Does God give you what you have coming? Proverbs 10:24.
Does God allow harm to come to those who serve Him? 1 Chronicles 16:19-22. What does God promise you’ll be like, and what are the conditions? Isaiah 58:9-11. Does God really mean you needn’t fear ANYTHING? Proverbs 3:23-26. That HE will protect you? Psalms 121:5-7. But what are the conditions? Proverbs 12:21. And who always comes out on top? Psalms 34:21-22.
But that’s all Old Testament stuff – is there anything in the New Testament? 1 Peter 3:13. Does it disappoint God when you are afraid of anything – like storms? Luke 8:23-25. What about snakes and scorpions (and metaphorical snakes and scorpions!)? Luke 10:19. Was Paul afraid of snakes? Acts 28:3-6. What about deadly poisons? Mark 16:17-18. Are even your ENEMIES at peace with you – IF you obey God? Proverbs 16:7.
So this is what a REAL faith is like – and how many do you know who act like that? Not many, I’m sure of that! So how can YOU have faith like this – for surely, you wouldn’t want to walk out into the jungle on a dark night without being SURE God will protect YOU!
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS?
Is it possible to have faith without works? James 2:18. Is it of ANY use, to say you have “faith” and DO NOTHING? James 2:14. Does it help the starving homeless to smile and wave at them? James 2:15-16. And is faith without works of the SAME value to God that your wave was to that homeless person? James 2:17. Was Abraham justified by faith AND works? James 2:20-23. Is a man justified by faith? Romans 5:1. But is he justified by faith ALONE? James 2:24. Does Paul (when teaching Gentiles) agree that not hearing the law, but DOING the LAW – WORKS – justifies you? Romans 2:13.
Does Christ command us to do GOOD works, to glorify God? Matthew 5:16. Is EVERY MAN rewarded according to his faith? Matthew 16:27. Was Tabitha praised for her faith? Acts 9:36. Must you PROVE your repentance with WORKS? Acts 26:20. Did this same message go to Jews AND to Gentiles? (Same verse). Are we CREATED to do GOOD WORKS? Ephesians 2:10.
The remaining scriptures that speak of “works” are mostly in contrast with grace, and must wait until the next lesson to be fully explained. For now suffice it to say, as James put it “faith without works is dead” – and what’s dead cannot save you!
WHAT IS FAITH?
He who comes to God – that is, who prays – must believe what? Hebrews 11:6. Two things – but do the devils believe God “is”? James 2:19. Is that enough by itself? So what is the second thing you must believe? But doesn’t most of the world already believe that God “rewards those who diligently seek Him”? But wait a minute – isn’t there a third requirement inherent in the second?
What does it matter if God rewards the good... unless YOU are good! Aren’t you coming to God in prayer asking for a “reward”? Does God only reward those who diligently seek Him? So then you must believe that YOU are diligently seeking Him in order to expect an answer – in order to have REAL FAITH! To “know he hears you” (1 John 5:15), you must KNOW that you have been diligently seeking Him!
So you see, faith is a three-fold belief:
That God exists
That God rewards the obedient
That YOU are obedient!
For you to have powerful faith, you must believe ALL THREE THINGS! And what is most missing in Christians today is the third point – knowing that YOU are obedient! If your heart doubts your obedience – if you know of things you’re doing that are wrong, you CANNOT have faith!
This next verse is probably the most important verse on faith in the entire Bible, because it focuses on the missing link in YOUR faith!
1 John 3:21-22 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we CONFIDENCE toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, BECAUSE WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
You receive what you ask of God BECAUSE YOU KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS! How easy to understand! How hard to argue those simple words! If you keep His commandments and DO those things pleasing in His sight – turning the other cheek, loving your enemies, tithing, condemning sin, and ALL the things that are pleasing to God, you will have WHATEVER YOU ASK OF GOD!
Because if your heart does not condemn you, you have CONFIDENCE TOWARDS GOD! Not merely confidence that God exists! Nor just that God is good – but also, and most importantly, that YOU have done ALL that God asked you to do! If you do that, then you KNOW God hears you, because HE HAS TO HEAR YOU – HE PROMISED TO HEAR THE RIGHTEOUS, AND YOU ARE RIGHTEOUS!
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore COME BOLDLY unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
And if you are righteous, and if you KNOW you are making EVERY EFFORT to please God, you have nothing to fear from God or anyone! You can go BOLDLY before God’s throne to make your prayer! And that’s the relationship God WANTS to have with you!
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT TO HAVE PERFECT FAITH
None of this means you have to be perfect to have faith; it just means you must be obeying God in every way you know how. You might be sinning in a hundred ways, but if you can honestly say to God “I am doing nothing wrong of which I am aware”... you can have perfect faith. Because those things you don’t know about, don’t count until you know about them! (Romans 5:13)
Your heart never condemns you for something you don’t know. How could it – you don’t know it is wrong! So you could be the worst sinner on Earth, as long as you didn’t KNOW you were the worst sinner on Earth, and still have PERFECT FAITH! God might well have answered your prayer as a child, or last week – even though you were ACTIVELY (but ignorantly!) breaking the law of God!
Breaking a law without knowing it does not make you wicked in terms of faith! It does make you wicked in an academic sense, but since you did it ignorantly, God doesn’t blame you for it (1 Timothy 1:13). Much more to come on that subject in the next lesson.
For now, we’ll just say that as long as you didn’t KNOW it was a sin, and did it in IGNORANCE... as long as you believed that you WERE diligently seeking God (even if you weren’t!) you could have faith just as powerful as one of the apostles – in principle.
Faith does not care about the right and wrong of the matter; all it cares about is what you BELIEVE about the right and wrong of the matter – and this works both ways. If you are sinning and don’t realize it, it won’t hurt your faith AT ALL!
On the other hand, if you’re NOT sinning, but think you are, it WILL hurt your faith – even though it isn’t a sin, because what matters to faith is YOUR perception of YOUR OWN OBEDIENCE! In the final analysis, (but only in the sense of having faith!)... it doesn’t MATTER if it’s wrong. If you THINK it’s wrong... even MIGHT be wrong... it will interfere with your faith. If you have DOUBTS – even if it turns out it WASN’T WRONG... it will mean that YOU thought you were not “diligently seeking Him” and hence will ruin your faith!
Is it a sin to do something you think MIGHT be wrong? Romans 14:23. If you think something might be unclean – if there is doubt – does that mean that, unclean or not, it IS unclean to YOU? Romans 14:14. And is it EVIL if you try to do it anyway? Romans 14:20. Should you ask God for things with doubt and uncertainty? James 1:6. Will you receive ANYTHING from God if you do? Verses 7-8.
Must you be FULLY PERSUADED that what you are doing is the right thing? Romans 14:5. Is that the only way to be happy about the decision you made? Romans 14:22.
So you see, if it even MIGHT be wrong, you must immediately stop it – if your judgment process eventually acquits this act of being wrong, you can always start it again! But if you keep doing it believing it might be wrong, you are hurting your faith – and whatsoever is not of faith is sin! James 4:17.
And remember, not only your conscious mind of reason must be convinced, but your subconscious – your heart – must also believe that you are “seeking God with your whole heart” (Psalms 119:2), and therefore deserve the blessings of God.
CAN GOD HEAR SINNERS AT ALL?
Suppose your heart DOES condemn you. Suppose, while you’re praying, your heart is saying “Oh, you did this wrong, and that wrong, and you shouldn’t have done that, and....” Can you still get an answer to prayer? Yes!
1 John 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart; He knows we are but dust (Psalms 103:14). So we MIGHT get an answer to our prayer because God is just nice sometimes, even when we don’t deserve it! So God may answer you – BUT YOU CAN’T COUNT ON IT!
Since you don’t deserve it, you must rely on the grace of God who “sends rain on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). But if you have fulfilled ALL of God’s conditions, and if your heart does NOT condemn you, then you have CONFIDENCE towards God (1 John 3:21), because God MUST answer you –because you DESERVE an answer to your prayer!
I should explain my use of the word “deserve”. Most religious teaching today says we deserve nothing from God. That God GIVES us things, but OWES us nothing – and that is not true.
How does God reward us? Revelation 20:12-13. So if we do good, we deserve life, and if we do evil, we deserve death? John 5:28-29. If God did NOT bless the good, would He be unrighteous? Hebrews 6:10. Is God our Master? Colossians 4:1. Does God PROMISE a blessing to those who keep the commandments and obey Him? Deuteronomy 11:27. Are we God’s employees? Matthew 20:1-13. And do we have a RIGHT to the payment God has promised us? Matthew 20:14.
If I hire you to work for me, and we agree on a price – whatever that price is – and you fulfill the terms of the contract, you DESERVE the payment we agreed on. That was the agreement! And if you work for me for a day, you’ve EARNED the money I agreed to pay you – it legally belongs to YOU now. If I suddenly decide not to pay you what you earned, then I am STEALING from you!
If God agrees to give you ANYTHING, and you fulfill His terms, you DESERVE the payment or God would be unrighteous! Holding back that which He agreed to give you, would be STEALING from you, and contrary to His own laws!
God has promised repeatedly that IF you obey Him – keep His commandments – you would receive blessings, answers to prayer, and salvation. And IF you obey Him, YOU DESERVE THOSE THINGS! See Romans 4:4 (Note: verse 5 will be explained in the next lesson).
And when collecting your wages from Him, you should act as a workman who did a good day’s work getting paid by a righteous boss happy to pay you what you’ve earned... not as if you were a beggar hoping for a handout from a surly miser!
(For more proof of this, see 2 Timothy 2:15; then read the parable in Luke 19:11-27. Particularly notice and compare the attitude in verses 15-17 with the one in verses 20-22.)
God calls you His FRIENDS, if you do what? John 15:14. Did Abraham obey God? Genesis 26:5. What did God call Abraham? James 2:23. When God appeared about to kill the righteous (who had not earned death) with the wicked (Genesis 18), was Abraham afraid to remind God that “the judge of all the Earth” MUST do right? Genesis 18:25.
When Moses felt God was about to break His promises to Abraham, did Moses remind God of His promise, and HOLD GOD TO HIS WORD? Exodus 32:10-13. And did God smite Moses for backtalk against the Almighty? Exodus 32:14. Did God call Moses His friend? Exodus 33:11. And did God speak to Moses in a way He spoke to NO OTHER PROPHET EVER? Deuteronomy 34:10.
So when God promises you anything if you do something, then you have a RIGHT to that reward if you do it! You deserve it, because you have EARNED it! God gave the promise freely, but once given it is a contract more binding than any among men! It is SURE, for God CANNOT LIE!
A CLEAN HEART
Several times now we’ve passed lightly over scriptures which stated that a pure heart and a clean conscience, are NECESSARY to have TRUE faith and REAL answers to prayer. Getting your heart clean so it does not condemn you is the first step – really, the only step – to having faith. But what does that mean exactly? And how do you do that?
If God is far away... whose fault is that? 2 Chronicles 24:20. Is your current situation a direct result, not of some cosmic accident, but of your personal faults? Jeremiah 2:17. If God isn’t answering, what’s the problem? Ezekiel 39:24. If you want to get God to hear your prayers again, what do you do? Hosea 6:1.
Will God hear hypocrites – those who believe one thing and do another? Job 27:8-9. Does God punish people for hypocrisy – their heart condemning them? Isaiah 9:17. On the other hand, what is a reward from God based on? 2 Samuel 22:21-25 (that’s worth reading a few times).
Do you want God to answer your prayers? Then you MUST be able to say what David did in 2 Samuel 22. Do you know how Hezekiah got an answer to HIS prayer – and got 15 more years of life when he was dying? Isaiah 38:2-3. What keeps God from hearing your prayer? Psalms 66:18 [Note: Iniquity means lawlessness – check a dictionary].
So you must have a pure heart. Why? How is that relevant, and what does it MEAN? All too often these terms are used and no one ever stops to think about what they really ARE. So what IS a pure heart? How can you KNOW? John tells us!
1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Remember from lesson 3 what the “deeds” of love are? The KEEPING of the commandments! And if you do that ...
Verse 19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
That is how you KNOW you are of the truth (1 John 2:3, 1 John 5:2-3) – AND how you “assure your heart before Him”! By systematically keeping the commandments and “doing those things that are pleasing in His sight”!
A pure heart is, in modern language, a pure conscience; and before we go into exactly HOW to clean your conscience, we have to start with what it IS, and WHY it is!
When you were born, you knew nothing. Not right, nor wrong. Your conscience was blank. But as you grew, you learned that throwing food at your brother was wrong – your mother made that clear. You learned that whispering in class was wrong. Eventually you learned that eating cats and murder were wrong.
But your conscience based its definitions of right and wrong on no solid standard, only on a nebulous “average” right and wrong you had absorbed from your parents, teachers, preachers, peers, and so on. And so because of this, it was of little real value.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
In order for your conscience to be of any value, it must be based on the LAW of GOD. Something written in stone that CANNOT change! And when you take that same carnal conscience, and educate it with the Ten Commandments, it can learn to apply those laws to individual circumstances.
For instance, yes, stealing is wrong. But is it wrong to eat your neighbor’s cow if he wanders onto your property? Your conscience should be able to tell you, based on the information you have available, that yes, it is wrong. And most of the time, in circumstances like this, your conscience does whisper, “Yes, it is wrong”.
But then your mind will often respond, “Oh, well, it’s not really that bad, after all, he’d steal from me... and anyway, I need it more than he does...” and again your conscience responds “Come now, you know better”... then you respond, “Oh, it’s not that big of a deal – I think it’s OK.”
If you’ll think about what I’ve just said, I’m sure you’ll be able to think of a time, not too long ago, when this happened to you. What happened there was your conscience was condemning you – specifically, your... let’s call it your superego, and your superego decided to ignore your conscience and follow the “lusts of the flesh”. This scripture describes this process perfectly:
Romans 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Your thoughts are constantly accusing or else excusing one another. The one says, “You shouldn’t eat your neighbor’s cow”. This thought accuses you. The next thought says, “Well, it’s not so bad! And after all, he hates me so it’s OK!” This thought excuses (justifies) you. And the process goes on, until your superego reaches a decision. AND IT IS HOW HONESTLY YOU MANAGE THIS PROCESS THAT DETERMINES WHETHER OR NOT GOD HEARS YOUR PRAYERS!
Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
God uses your conscience like a flashlight, to peer into the dark recesses of your psyche and see what evil lurks there! And He uses this process of accusing and excusing to clean it out! This process goes on in the mind of every man on Earth. But only those who OBEY their conscience and not their carnal impulses will have faith!
When your conscience says “Don’t do that – don’t go there – don’t eat that...” and the dozens of other things that it tells you daily, IF YOU IGNORE IT, shut it down, override it and silence it, God knows that YOU AREN’T DOING WHAT YOU KNOW YOU SHOULD DO! AND YOU KNOW IT TOO!
1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
So when you pray, you CANNOT count on God to answer you, because you know He shouldn’t! Because time and time again you’ve ignored the dictates of your conscience and followed what was “fun” instead!
When you do that very many times, you get CALLOUSED to disobeying God. You get HARDENED to the voice in your head. And that is your conscience being SEARED with a hot IRON, and that means you CANNOT HAVE FAITH! You have “PUT AWAY” your conscience and your faith has been SHIPWRECKED – and with it your SALVATION!
1 Timothy 1:18-19 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having PUT AWAY concerning faith have made shipwreck:
The purpose of your conscience is to interpret the law of God. To tell you right and wrong in every circumstance. The purpose of this life you are living now, is to TEACH it to interpret the law of God CORRECTLY.
Again, your conscience, by itself, doesn’t know up from down. It can only work on the set of parameters it has picked up from friends, family, and its own experiences and desires. But to LEARN THE TRUE MEANING OF RIGHT AND WRONG, to teach your conscience, you need a PATTERN.
A PERFECT PATTERN
Do we have our own spirit? Job 32:8. Is our spirit analogous to the spirit of God? 1 Corinthians 2:11. But is your mind carnal, the enemy of God? Romans 8:7. [Note: A good modern synonym for “carnal” is “selfish”.] So then you, as you were born, cannot understand the law of God? 1 Corinthians 2:14. How then, can you understand the spiritual things of God? 1 Corinthians 2:11. So how can we hope to learn these spiritual things ourselves? 1 Corinthians 2:16. (Read 1 Corinthians 2:9-16 to get the context of these verses – always a good idea.)
We HAVE the mind of Christ to help us! HIS mind, as a perfect pattern! Your mind – your spirit – KNOWS you. It knows what you would do in a certain situation. It is your conscience. If you were to somehow extract your conscience and put it in someone else, it would give them your exact opinions about right and wrong and everything you believe about morality. Not your memories, your plans, or your thoughts, but only your MORAL CODE.
But now WE have the MIND OF CHRIST (1 Corinthians 2:16) – His conscience, living in us – that tells us right and wrong. Giving us a pattern by which we can compare OUR conscience, our interpretation of morality, with His!
Is having the spirit of Christ an absolute requirement to being considered a Christian? Romans 8:9. What is that spirit – also called the “comforter” – supposed to do for us? John 16:13, John 14:26. Will that spirit “possess you” and FORCE you to obey God? Or do YOU decide whether to obey that spirit or not? 1 Corinthians 14:32. But to whom does God give that spirit? Acts 5:32. Can you resist that spirit? Acts 7:51. Can you extinguish it from your mind if you so choose? 1 Thessalonians 5:19.
Is the spirit of God like the word of God? Ephesians 6:17. And what does the word of God do? Hebrews 4:12. Does God use that to search your heart, to dig out the dirt He finds there? Jeremiah 17:10.
Is the knowledge of God in our hearts – His spirit – light? 2 Corinthians 4:6. What does light do? Ephesians 5:13. And does all this – the spirit, the word of God, ALL come back to a single purpose, which is teaching us the law? Proverbs 6:23.
But how do you know if you have the spirit of God? Well, if these lessons make sense to you it’s a good bet that you do, for the things of God are “spiritually discerned”, and the carnal, selfish mind cannot understand them (1 Corinthians 2:14)!
So that’s the process – but how do YOU do it? How can we update this into modern language and make it PRACTICAL for our time?
PRACTICAL FAITH – WHERE TO START
To begin with, think about what you know you are doing that is wrong. There is no point in doing anything else until you’ve done that. God teaches us one thing at a time – and until you’ve obeyed what you already know to do, why should He give you more? See Isaiah 28:9-10. One thing is built upon another.
Even if you don’t quite know HOW to obey God, give it your best shot. Don’t know how to keep the Sabbath? Start by not working on it. God will reveal the rest in due time if you keep looking. Obey what you know – that’s what faith is all about.
As the poet said, “It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little”, and again “a good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan executed at some indefinite point in the future”. Do what you know, and you’ll find it easier to understand the rest.
Then read – or I should say, STUDY – the complete text of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). If there is ever a passage to memorize, that’s the one. See if you read anything there that you’re breaking right now, and STOP it. If you aren’t willing to do that, then don’t bother studying the Bible any more – ever – for you’ll only draw attention to yourself and make God angry with you. Remember:
Bible study is of value ONLY as much as it changes your nature to become like God’s nature.
If you study the Bible and don’t apply what you learn, you are wasting your time. Worse, you’re wasting your time AND annoying God – not a wise move!
Once you’ve applied all you can read in the Ten Commandments and Bible, what do you do? How can you grow in faith beyond that?
You will remember from the previous lesson on the law how the spirit of the law MAGNIFIED the letter; it took each commandment and made it into millions of commandments governing every aspect of life.
And so that’s what you, with the help of God’s spirit, must now do for every aspect of your day-to-day life. Right and wrong are the same for everyone, but the specific application of these laws to tiny things like listening to a song with “questionable” lyrics, or giving (or not giving) a handout to someone is in most cases something you have to work out for yourself.
And the willingness to walk away from things you have been doing all your life, and the impartiality with which you judge these things according to the Bible will not only determine how pleased God is with you, but also how pleased YOU are with your diligent obedience! And that in turn will determine your faith! That’s why Paul made sure that his conscience was ALWAYS clean! (Acts 24:16).
Then once you’ve done all the easy stuff – told your boss you won’t be working on Saturday any more, told your girlfriend you have to move out until you get married, returned the car you stole, that sort of thing – what you need to do is sit down in some quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and think. Think as if your life depended on it, for you may be sure that your eternal life does.
Start by asking yourself “what am I doing wrong?” – Not in an “oh, poor me” sort-of-way, but a serious “what, EXACTLY, am I doing wrong?” Not what you’ve done – that doesn’t matter (Ezekiel 18:21-23) – but what are you DOING that’s wrong? And demand SPECIFICS!
There may be a temptation to just say “oh, so many things, I’m just a terrible person” – but don’t settle for that! You are only a terrible person if you do terrible things – so what THINGS are you doing that are so terrible?
Your mind is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9) – and it won’t like this process. It will try to confuse the issue by saying that you do SO many things wrong, it’s not POSSIBLE for you to change them all – and that’s just a lie! You CAN change, and you already HAVE changed many things by the time you do this, which is PROOF that you can!
Then look at those things that are wrong – break them down into manageable chunks, if there are a lot of them, make a list if you need to – and then take stock. Pick a few easy ones – how hard would it be to give up that TV show there? How hard would it be to charge that guy just a little less, to give him a fair price? How hard would it be to just admit to that other guy that it was your fault, not his, and apologize?
You might think “oh, but that’s such a small thing, surely that’s not important!” See for yourself: Luke 16:10, Luke 19:17. It is what you do in the small things, where it seems most unimportant, that is most revealing about your true nature.
Once you’ve dealt with these small, easy things, work on the harder ones. The point is to see some progress early on, so you know the list CAN shrink! And keep working on this list – asking other people for help or advice if it’s appropriate, and make yourself into a better person. This may take time, and it WILL take work and some sacrifice, but what else in life could you possibly do that has more value – both to yourself, and to your friends and family, than to make yourself a better person? Think about that.
Or you might have the opposite problem, and have difficulty coming up with anything you do that is wrong. If so, you’re either a VERY good person (in which case you’d already have faith), or not trying hard enough – and my money is on the second option. In either case, both the “really bad” person and the “really good” person are now ready to move on to the next step.
Once these questions are answered, it’s time to ask a question to bring out more DETAILS on the subject:
“If God WANTED to condemn me – even unfairly – what would be the EASIEST thing He could pick? If He WANTED to show proof that I am an awful person, what’s the EASIEST THING He could use?”
The problem with the question you asked earlier is that it allows your mind a great deal of latitude in justifying things you do; things that might trouble you can be quickly swept under the rug by saying “Oh, I’m sure God understands...” – but now assume that God DOESN’T understand. Assume for a moment that He’s picky and ornery and mean.
You already stopped all the things that a “nice, forgiving, patient God” would complain about, but if you can manage to remove all the things even a “spiteful, nasty, grumpy God” would complain about – you’d be just about perfect, wouldn’t you? And that’s your goal! (Matthew 5:48)
If you can make it to where you are doing NOTHING that ANYONE can point to (using the Bible) and say “That’s wrong! That’s contrary to the spirit of the law of God!”, then nothing, not Satan, not even your own heart can condemn you! (Daniel 6:3-5). And when you reach that point, YOU HAVE PERFECT FAITH!
Because that’s ALL that’s missing in your faith – the absolute calm CERTAINTY there is NOTHING you are doing, not even POSSIBLY, that might be offensive to God! Then you will KNOW you are diligently seeking Him, and go BOLDLY before the throne of grace!
WHY SO PICKY?
The reason you need to do this is because your conscience is presently contrary to the law of God. You and He don’t see eye-to-eye on what is right and wrong. Naturally, you’re the one who will be doing the changing. God’s spirit is working with you in order to educate your conscience and rewrite it, one act at a time, into a copy of His own.
When you have these two spirits, or consciences, living together in your mind, you have a TRUE PATTERN to follow. When YOUR conscience says “I want to steal that!”, God’s conscience says “No, that is wrong!” In this way, your conscience LEARNS TO DO RIGHT, by constantly comparing it to the MIND OF CHRIST!
This is that process of Romans 2:15, of your thoughts accusing or else excusing one another – only this time, you have God’s thoughts helping to accuse or excuse you. And YOU MUST DECIDE whether to OBEY the promptings of that spirit, and adapt your own spirit to do that which is good and right, or to REJECT that prompting and follow your own way – something which you have every right to do! (1 Thessalonians 5:19). But if you do quench the spirit, argue it down, it will leave a stain on your heart which will DESTROY your faith, and ultimately lead to God LEAVING YOU FOREVER!
Your carnal spirit will NEVER know the true set of rules, without the spirit of God teaching it! And if you have the spirit of God, YOU HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST! And you’ll know WHAT HE WOULD DO IN ANY SITUATION IMAGINABLE!
So when you are asking this final question, and you have cleared your mind of everything that might EVEN POSSIBLY be wrong, then you at last know of nothing you are doing to offend God. And if there is something you haven’t done that you should have (or shouldn’t have done that you did), when you cast about seeking accusation from your mind, that’s when the spirit of God will bring something to your attention.
You will feel “pricked in the heart” (Acts 2:37). You will feel a twinge in your conscience. A tugging at the back of the eyelids, a nagging sense of foreboding, something of that nature (Psalms 73:21). When that happens, stop what you’re doing and try to trace it down; what are you doing now? What did you just do? Anything that could be suspect? If you feel that guilt, then even if you did not previously know it was wrong, it’s time to think into it more, and see if you can find anything wrong about it. If you do, simply stop it, and you’ll feel the satisfaction of a job well done.
The spirit working in your mind won’t come with trumpets announcing the presence of God; in fact, it will feel so much like your own conscience that you won’t be sure it isn’t – and it won’t matter! You’ll treat it the same – examining yourself, judging yourself, and determining if this act is permissible or not.
A WORD OF WARNING
Don’t get carried away and start saying “God said this” and “God said that”. In my experience God works very subtly, for our own protection. Use the spirit of God, use ANYTHING that will inspire you to look into your heart and repent of sins – but back up every single word ANYONE says! Even the spirit of God must agree with the unchanging, unerring word of the Bible! John 10:37-38, John 5:31-39.
SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES! Do NOTHING based on some whim or feeling you have, except to search for IRONCLAD proof in the Bible that yes, this IS the will of God! Only this way can you be SURE you’re not falling into the trap of 1 Timothy 4:1!
What you are doing in this process is judging yourself; doing the job God will have to do eventually – and punish you for what He finds – right now.
1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
Now, let’s say you get a speeding ticket. You go before a judge, the police officer tells his side of the story – you tell yours – and the judge decides who is right, and who is wrong, and what punishment is needed to ensure that you don’t do it again.
But what if you were able to do that for yourself? Correctly – righteously? What if you were able to judge yourself, and do whatever it took to prevent yourself from doing it again – you wouldn’t need a judge, now would you? Certainly not. You just judged yourself.
God is telling you to do the same thing, with EVERY ACTION you do, and He won’t have to. You must stop everything, and think – long and hard, RIGHT NOW, about EVERYTHING that you are doing. Let that little voice go, let it run wild and condemn you – and listen to it! Compare it against the Bible, and find out what you do that your heart condemns you for. Judge yourself, AND STOP doing things that YOU KNOW are wrong!
2 Corinthians 13:5 EXAMINE YOURSELVES, WHETHER YE BE IN THE FAITH; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
That little voice doesn’t hassle you for things you know you’ll never do again. It bothers you for things that you did... and will do again, because you have not yet JUDGED YOURSELF!
You must let that voice find EVERYTHING you’re doing that even MIGHT be wrong, and STOP IT. Then that voice will know you listened to it, and then when you pray, YOUR HEART WON’T CONDEMN YOU!
If you’re concerned about something you’re doing, if you can’t CERTAINLY tell yourself – based on the word of God – that this is good, then you MUST, absolutely MUST, remove it from your life. You must make a judgment, a judgment on yourself. And stand by it. And if you can’t convince that voice that this is okay, then you have a choice to make.
Do you want God to hear your prayers, or do you SO love this WORLDLY THING, that IT is more important to you than having GOD ALMIGHTY hear you? That is the question you must ask yourself. And remember... you can convince yourself of almost anything. But your conscience will always know the choice you made, and it WILL always impede your prayers.
When you’re judging yourself, this superego must be impartial – and it’s very hard to judge yourself impartially! But you must! Any judge who prefers one person’s case because he is better dressed, richer, his friend, his master, someone with a knife to his throat or for ANY REASON, is an unjust judge – and an unjust judge can’t purify your conscience!
The Bible calls that being a “respecter of persons”. What does God command about this in the physical sense? Deuteronomy 1:17, 16:19. Does God promise to punish you if you respect persons? Job 13:10. Even if you respect the person of God, and say God is right “just because He’s God” – is that good? Job 13:7-10.
Will God respect your person in judgment? Malachi 1:9. Or anyone? Acts 10:34. Romans 2:11. And since God will judge you, and you are judging yourself to avoid His judgment, shouldn’t you judge as He does – without respect to your OWN person?
When you ask yourself what you’re doing wrong, your mind will try to hide in confusion; it will seek to justify what it’s already doing, by saying, “Oh yeah? Well HE did it to me first!” or “Oh yeah, well you did something even worse over here!” And your job, as the superego, is to look at those objections, and if they are unfair reject them, but if they have merit – any at all – say “ok, fine – I’ll stop doing that then”. Always err on the side of obedience! (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
The process of writing the law of God on your heart REQUIRES this process of Romans 2:15 – it requires a constant struggle between your nature, and the nature of Christ in you, and then your superego choosing whether to follow the one that follows righteousness, or the one that follows sin.
When you follow through with this process I have explained as best I can in modern (if whimsical) terms, what you will have is a process in your mind where your thoughts ACCUSE, or else EXCUSE, one another. It is this WAR between your conscience and the conscience of God that will give you EXPERIENCE judging the law of God in your mind, with everything you do, day in and day out. And it will get easier once you get over the initial hump!
Is there a war in your members? Romans 7:23. Is what exists in your flesh without the spirit of God good? Romans 7:18. So what fights this war in your members? James 4:1. Are they mortal, irreconcilable enemies, and must you choose ONE over the other, or live in constant struggle? Galatians 5:16-18.
So there are two natures in you – the flesh, the conscience you were born with, and the spirit – the conscience of Christ in you, His spirit! Your spirit (carnal, selfish, flesh) vs. His spirit is the struggle! But now let’s see what Paul has to say about WHICH one you follow!
When you “accuse or else excuse” your thoughts, as you judge yourself, you have two choices – follow your own thoughts and keep your own ways, or follow the spirit and the ways God shows you in the Bible. Turn to Romans 8 (we’ll be here awhile!).
This chapter describes the process of making the final decision after you’ve boiled the situation down to “this is what *I* want, but THAT is what God said”. It describes how each decision you make affects you, for good or bad. In verse 4, Paul says that the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us who “walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit”.
Why is that? Because we are following the SPIRIT of the law – the MEANING of the commandments, as interpreted for us by the spirit of Jesus Christ, who said, “I did not come to destroy [the law] but to FULFILL!”
The choice to walk after the SPIRIT means you are “spiritually minded” – that you are consciously compelling your mind to listen to the will of the spirit of God, seeking to do God’s will instead of your own will. That is, you are “led by the spirit”. On the other hand, choosing your will over God’s is walking after your own mind, which means you are “carnally minded”. (Romans 8:5).
What is the difference between the two? Verse 6. Why is it important that you choose the spirit over your own mind? Verse 7. And if you don’t, and keep your own way? Verse 8. Can you be Christ’s if you DON’T do this? Verse 9. What is the end product of both ways of life? Verse 13. HOW do you be called the son of God? Verse 14.
So even though your own nature is evil, if you always choose AGAINST it, and always choose God’s way when presented with the choice – when your mind ALWAYS follows His spirit in that little judgment hall in your mind... will you be condemned? Verse 1.
How cleanly that makes sense of a hard-to-understand chapter! It simply is a matter of HOW you judge your conscience; whether you bicker about every little sin you have to give up, or whether you readily give up anything that might offend God.
If we must build our own faith, why does the Bible say God “has dealt to every man the measure of faith”? (Romans 12:3). It’s very simple. Remember that faith depends on knowing you’re obeying God. When you’re in the world, you don’t know God at all, and so you’re in almost complete ignorance of the law of God – hence with even a tiny bit of obedience, you might easily believe you’re completely obeying God, because you’re obeying all you know!
It so happens that God MUST give all of us a certain measure of faith before we’re called – faith is a gift of the spirit (1 Corinthians 12:9), and the gifts of God come before repentance (Romans 11:29). He does this by simply showing us a very little bit of truth, something we like, and we BELIEVE that and suddenly we have faith; it may even be quite powerful, if we are persuaded that we are really obeying God and really sincere in what we are doing.
But it’s a weak faith – a temporary faith. We’ll call it baby faith. It can be quite powerful, but is very unstable. This is because it does not rest on the foundation of the law of God; and since it was a gift, and not built on obedience, the slightest new understanding that is disobeyed or not fully followed to the satisfaction of one’s conscience will cause it to wane and even vanish entirely.
God has dealt to every person in the church a measure of baby faith; some greater than others. This is an extremely temporary faith, highly conditional upon your constant unerring obedience! It is a gift – and a disposable gift at that!
1 Timothy 1:5 (NKJV) Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,
By its very nature, it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to give you mature faith! Just as it is impossible for a baby to be born with mature teeth! God cannot give you something BUILT upon the foundation of the commandments, UNTIL YOU HAVE FIRST OBEYED THOSE COMMANDMENTS!
THE WILL OF GOD
But in spite of all this, some will still object based on 1 John 5:14. And so they say “we can’t EXPECT an answer to our prayer because obviously, we can’t know the will of God!” So again... is that what the Bible teaches?
Did the Jews know God’s will? Romans 2:17-18. Did Paul desire that the Colossians KNOW the will of God? Colossians 1:9. For what reason? Verses 10-11. Is it possible to do the will of God? Hebrews 10:36. Is it possible to DO anything you don’t first KNOW?
Are we commanded to PROVE the will of God? Romans 12:2. Has He made KNOWN to us what His will is? Ephesians 1:9. Are we commanded to NOT be unwise, but KNOWING the will of God? Ephesians 5:17.
So you see, we SHOULD ALREADY know the will of God when we pray! It’s not some guessing game where you say, “Oh, I know God CAN heal me, but I don’t know if it’s HIS WILL!” Why DON’T you know? Haven’t you read in the Bible places like Psalms 103:3? Or Deuteronomy 7:15? Are you yet “unwise”?
Has He kept His will secret? Is it not revealed throughout the pages of the Bible and through His spirit? Doesn’t the Bible tell you His will about healing, casting out demons, and answering all manner of prayers? All you have to do is believe what He already wrote, and you’ll KNOW His will!
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
To wrap this up, I’m going to explain exactly what happens inside your head, in simple terms, when you walk after the spirit, as opposed to walking after the flesh. Before the spirit of God was working with you, you could watch a certain TV show – “Charmed”, for instance – and it didn’t bother you at all. Your conscience had no problem with it, because according to the list of parameters you had grown up with, this wasn’t wrong.
Then one day, God begins working with you. Then for no apparent reason, when you sit down to watch “Charmed” one evening as you always do, you have a twinge of guilt in the back of your mind. At first, this makes no sense to you – haven’t you watched this hundreds of times before? And after all, it’s not such a bad show. The good witches always win, right?
But the nagging sense of guilt remains. Now, to be carnally minded means to argue it to silence, quench that spirit, and force yourself to think about something else. But your conscience would then be defiled, because you KNEW the right choice, and you disobeyed it.
The other alternative of course, was to simply say to yourself “Hmm. If I feel guilty for watching this, I just won’t watch it” and change the channel. If you do THIS, then you are walking after the spirit. If you act that way in everything you do, every time you feel that twinge of guilt, you will have ENORMOUS faith, because you will be CERTAIN, beyond ANY DOUBT, that God is pleased with you – because you haven’t done anything to disappoint Him!
And now we are ready to go back and explain those verses that, read by themselves, never make sense:
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Faith comes from hearing what? The word of God. And what does the word of God do? Hebrews 4:12. It helps you discern the THOUGHTS and INTENTS of the HEART – it helps you PURIFY your conscience! NOW that verse makes sense! NOW we know HOW faith comes by hearing – because it is the hearing that helps you to purify your heart! Proverbs 17:10. And the other awkward one,
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Part of the difficulty is in the translation; RSV renders it: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”.
Weymouth says, “Now faith is a well-grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see”.
Young’s Literal says, “And faith is of things hoped for A CONFIDENCE, of matters not seen A CONVICTION”.
NOW can you understand this verse? Faith is the CONFIDENCE of things hoped for – a CONFIDENCE that you will have them! And WHY are you confident? Because your heart does not condemn you! Faith is the CONVICTION that God MUST answer you, because YOU HAVE FULFILLED HIS CONDITIONS! It is the well-grounded ASSURANCE that the things you’ve hoped (prayed) for will come to pass! How simple the Bible is when you let IT explain ITSELF!
So now you’ve seen all of this; you’ve seen hundreds of scriptures telling what the faithful are like, and how to have that same faith that Elijah, John, Peter, and even Jesus Himself had. So it boils down to this:
Do you want faith? Do you want God to answer your prayers? STOP ASKING! Stop whining at God about it! CHANGE! DO YOUR PART, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! It is YOUR responsibility to be clean – not God’s responsibility to MAKE you clean! It is YOUR responsibility to see to it that your heart does not condemn you for your actions – NOT GOD’S! It is YOUR responsibility to stop breaking God’s commandments – NOT GOD’S RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE YOU!
Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Follow that little voice telling you what the way is! You can always tell which one it is, because it’s the one that tells you to believe the Bible. And when in doubt, the way your nature does NOT want to go!
Romans 10:6-8 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
You HAVE access to this law – right here, right now. God’s spirit is obviously with you or you wouldn’t have made it this far, so USE it – because if you don’t use it, you’re ABUSING it, and it will simply leave you for someone who appreciates it more!
By this process of accusing and excusing the thoughts in your mind, and comparing your mind to the mind of Christ that is in you, His own conscience living in your mind, you will learn the TRUE right and wrong, as God and His law define it.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
This will TRANSFORM, and RENEW your mind so that you can prove WHAT IS THAT GOOD, ACCEPTABLE, and PERFECT WILL OF GOD! Now you KNOW the mystery of FAITH! HOLD ON TO IT!
1 Timothy 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
And the final promise of God I’ll quote, the ultimate goal that we all strive for, is to have God so pleased with us, to have such perfect faith, that we see this promise fulfilled on a daily basis:
Isaiah 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.