God kind of faith 5
by Ivan Ho 11 August 2019
Faith comes by hearing
In my previous articles on the subject of faith, I have been discussing what faith is and what faith isn’t, and the fundamental truth that Christ and His resurrection is the centre of our faith. If anyone teaches you anything that is not centred on Christ, it is not the God kind of faith. God kind of faith 4
Now let us consider how faith comes to us. Where does faith come from? How does a person obtain faith?
I have not heard of anyone who wakes up one day and all of a sudden out of nowhere becomes a follower of Christ. Many people, if you ask them why they believe what they believe, they can’t really tell you. If you ask Buddhist believers why they call themselves Buddhists, for example, many won’t be able to tell you. They may say: I have fate (rather than faith )in Buddha.
In the year or two before I chose to follow Christ, my friend gave me some Buddhist books to read, took me to Buddhist meetings and so on, and because of my friend’s influence I became really interested in Buddhism. I wouldn’t regard myself a devout Buddhist back then but at least what I believed wasn’t blind faith. I was blind to the truth but my faith in Buddhism certainly wasn’t blind. When I learnt to chant, I was trying to connect with the energy in the universe and hoping to attain ultimate reality that governed the universe, or something like that, as far as I could remember.
Not long after that, I made the decision to follow Christ Jesus and since then I never looked back to Buddhism or any other religion. My faith in Jesus didn’t come out of nowhere either. My faith in Christ came because I heard the truth about Jesus. My faith in Christ came because Jesus puts the evidence in my heart about His death and resurrection. The Word of God came to me and I received Him by faith.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
If you are to have faith in God, the Word of God must first come to you. In other words, before you know the true and living God and put your faith in Him, you need to hear His word delivered to you one way or another. And after you heard the living Word of God, you need to put faith in what you hear. Know that when you are hearing someone preach the Word of God to you, or when you are reading the Bible, or when you are reading my writings on God, God himself is speaking to you directly, ie the Word of God is coming to you.
Mind you, when Paul wrote the book of Romans, the New Testament bible was still being written, and people who had faith in God at the time mainly received the Word of God delivered to them by oral traditions. Paul himself encountered God when Christ appeared and spoke to him directly when he was on his way to Damascus.
The Word of God must come to you one way or another, and blessed are you when the Word of God comes to you.
For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “ Lord , who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Respond accurately to God’s word
Faith is not self generated. The origin of faith comes because God first speaks to you. When God speaks to you, you need to connect with the Word, that is,
connect with the Person who is speaking to you. Many people read the Bible and not understand because they are not connecting with the Author of the living Word.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
II Timothy 3:16-17
When I speak to you, and you are looking at other things on your smartphone, you cannot connect with me because your heart and mind is somewhere else. Likewise, when the Word of God is being spoken to you, you need to know that God is speaking to you directly and that’s when you must connect with the Word accurately. You need to respond accurately when God is speaking to you or else you will not be able to connect with God.
When Samuel was a boy, God spoke to him directly but he could not recognise the voice of God. Eli had to teach him how to respond accurately so that the boy Samuel could connect with God.
and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down. Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord , nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.) And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord , for Your servant hears.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” Then the Lord said to Samuel: “Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.
I Samuel 3:3-11
The reason why many people are unable to connect with God let alone have faith in Him is not because they are stupid or anything but because they 1. do not know that God is speaking to them and 2. did not respond to him correctly.
Samuel’s destiny was forever changed the day the word of God came to him and he learnt to respond to God and connect with him accurately. The boy Samuel grew up and became one of the greatest prophets of God who changed the destiny of the entire nation.
And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
to be continued….