There is faith, and then there is faith. Often our experience with God and his Word enables us to operate as “routine” in kingdom authority and power. In other words, we operate at a level of faith as developed over time, and this is good and effective in many situations. But faith to “move mountains” requires faith that is beyond our experience and level of understanding of God’s Word—we need the faith of God.
A few years ago, I prayed for a desperate woman. Many people were healed of various conditions that night as the team and I prayed for them. As the evening carried on, I began to tire, and my legs ached from standing for hours. At the end, I had just one more person to pray for and I would be done for the night. That last person was a young woman, perhaps in her late twenties, who limped up to me for prayer. She patiently waited for hours during the meeting to receive prayer for healing. She was desperate—she needed a miracle.
I asked her what had happened. She explained that she had been in an auto accident the year before, which had severely damaged her right knee. Even with constructive surgery, she was in constant pain and had little mobility in the knee. I had her sit on a chair, and I began to pray. After several minutes of prayer, her condition had not changed. With intense, piercing eyes and a look of desperation unlike any I had seen, she said to me, “Please, if you can do anything, help me!” My heart melted with compassion for her, and I thought to myself, I can’t do anything, but God can. Lord, she needs a miracle, and I need your faith!
Her faith and desperation tugged on heaven. I was tired and had had little faith for her healing when I first began to pray, but now a gift of faith was released, and the compassion of heaven welled up inside of me as I prayed once more. It was a short commanding prayer in the name of Jesus. I simply commanded all the pain in the knee to leave and for the knee to be restored to new condition. I sensed a surge of God’s power, something I seldom experience as I pray for others.
Suddenly, she jumped out of the chair and moved her leg without restriction. She shouted, “I’m healed, I’m healed!” All her pain was gone, and she had full range of motion in her knee once again. Her desperate need of healing tugged on Jesus and his healing power (from my book Receive Your Miracle Now).
There is faith, and then there is God’s faith.
Let’s discuss faith and the faith of God today.
As you are probably aware, faith is the connector to God’s kingdom; it is an essential key that unlocks heaven’s resources. It’s been said that “faith is the currency of heaven;” this is true.
God offers many promises of his presence, protection, and provision (to name a few) throughout the Bible. But one’s ability to appropriate the benefits of his promises are tied to one’s ability to believe and act in faith upon those promises. True biblical faith believes and acts upon what God has promised and revealed confidently without doubting.
I’ve heard it said, “Faith isn’t a leap into the dark, but a step into the light!”
There are many factors that affect faith:
- Your theology
- Your experience
- Testimonies of others
Replacing these factors with God’s truth builds faith. Your experience, positive or negative, doesn’t determine the truth of who God is or the truth of his Word. Likewise, your church background or theological understanding must align with the truth of God’s Word and nature, otherwise your faith could be adversely affected.
Faith at its base level is simply trusting God—he honors faith and it pleases him. The writer of Hebrews states this truth:
It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.” Heb. 11:6 MSG
Notice that one must believe God exists AND one must believe that he cares for those who seek him, promising to respond to them. Understand that belief is an assurance of the mind; faith is an assurance of the heart. Faith moves God’s heart, causing the release of his grace. God’s Word tells us that we can confidently approach God for more grace, or more faith, to help when we need it.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Grace is an empowerment that helps us in our time of need” Heb. 4:16 NLT
Faith is substantive in nature.
Faith sees the promise fulfilled by positioning itself in hope. In other words, it is an expectant anticipation of the reality of the promise before the manifestation appears. It causes us to act upon God’s revealed truth with an assurance of the answer.
The writer of Hebrews states, “Now faith is the assurance [title deed, confirmation] of things hoped for [divinely guaranteed], and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]” Heb. 11:1 AMPCE
Faith “holds” in hope the promise like holding a title deed—such as the title to a car or house. Another example would be paying for your fast-food order, receiving your ticket or receipt and waiting to pick up the food. But, unlike waiting for a one-time purchase of food, you persist in prayer, believing for the promise while positioned in hopeful expectation!
You can believe a promise, but at the same time not have the faith to appropriate it.
Faith is not intellectual, but spiritual.
It is primarily in the heart, not in the mind that faith flourishes. Faith connects us to the blessings of the kingdom of God and is the key that unlocks heaven’s resources and realities into your life. It perceives as fact what is not revealed to the natural senses (God’s promises, his revealed will) and takes hold of God’s promises to make unseen realities available on earth.
The eye of faith observes the unseen eternal realm, and faith enables you to know that those unseen realities and fulfilled promises are real, that they have substance now.
Your answers are connected to God through his promises in another realm—a heavenly kingdom—where you are seated with Christ. Faith then pulls God’s promises and hidden realities into being and realizes that answers are in motion even before the mountains start to move.
Mountain-Moving Faith and the Faith of God
For starters, understand that faith to move mountains begins with believing that God hears your prayers. Let’s look at what Jesus said about mountain-moving faith.
In Mark 11, Jesus entered Jerusalem the week before his crucifixion and described to his disciples an important principle about believing prayer and overcoming faith. The day following his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus saw a fig tree in the distance and walked toward it. As he got close, he saw leaves on it, but no figs (Chapter 8 of my book Fulfill Your Dreams discusses faith in greater detail).
In response to the fruitlessness of this fig tree, Jesus cursed it, saying, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again” (Mark 11:14 CEB). The next day, he and the disciples passed by the fig tree again only to find that it had withered and dried up. Peter remembered the prayer and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look how the fig tree you cursed has dried up”(Mark 11:21 CEB).
Mark 11:22-23 CEB:
Jesus responded to them, “Have faith in God! I assure you that whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea’—and doesn’t waver but believes that what is said will really happen—it will happen.”
Notice the phrase, “have faith in God…”?
The implication is that with faith, mountains, or impossible situations will be removed or changed. But where does this faith originate? Is it our faith, faith in God’s word, or is faith given by God? I believe the answer to these questions is contained in this phrase, “have faith in God.”
According to Dr. Charles S. Price, a twentieth-century healing evangelist and author of The Real Faith for Healing, Mark 11:22 can be translated “have faith of God.” Notice the subtle nuance, ‘faith of’ versus ‘faith in’? The Greek from which these phrases are translated is simply πίστις(pistis) θεός(Theos) or “faith God.”
Nineteenth-century scholar Robert Young developed the Young’s Literal Translation in 1862, and he translated Mark 11:22 as,
And Jesus answering saith to them, `Have faith of God;” YLT
The Passion Translation (TPT) also translates Mark 11:22 ‘faith of God,’
Jesus replied, “Let the faith of God be in you!” TPT
The TPT footnote for this verse states, “As translated from the Aramaic. It is possible to translate the Greek text as an adjectival phrase, “God-like faith” or “godly faith.”
I believe ‘faith of God’ is closer to the original Greek and Aramaic understanding of what Jesus said in Mark 11:22. Why is this so important? Because it’s not our ‘faith in God,’ his power, and greatness; rather, it’s God’s faith (grace) at work in us that empowers us to believe for mountains to move!
For most people, it’s not a lack of faith in the greatness of God that hinders their miracle, rather doubt in their hearts. Many lack the “faith of God” to see their miracle.
Faith isn’t something we work up, it is a gift from God, imparted by the Spirit. In fact, each of us have received a portion of God’s faith to us.
In Rom. 12:3 CEB, Paul states, “Because of the grace that God gave me, I can say to each one of you: don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. Instead, be reasonable since God has measured out a portion of faith to each one of you.” So, use the measure given you!
Paul doesn’t mention “faith” directly as fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. But take love, which he does mention. Does God just use our cleaned up human love, that is growing in grace? Or does God give us his love and it now increases, or ripens as any fruit, as we yield to the Spirit? So it is with faith! God gives or imparts his faith to us, and faith then grows and develops as we walk with the Lord and yield to Holy Spirit. Faith is therefore both a gift and a fruit of the Spirit!
When we have God’s faith, just a tiny mustard seed of it, firmly planted in our heart the mountains will be removed. Cultivate the seed that God gives you!
Dr. Price said, “You can believe a promise, but at the same time not have the faith to appropriate it.” [i]Just reciting or claiming a verse isn’t faith—it is belief. When genuine faith, imparted by God, is at work in your heart, you have a knowing, a conviction, it is done.
What is the mountain or impossibility you are facing? Look to Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith, and ask him for “his faith” to be given to you—doubt will be removed and your prayers will become confident that the answer is on its way!
Next week, I will share more about faith and the “Faith of God.”
[i]Charles S. Price, The Real Faith for Healing(Gainesville, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1997), 9.