Thursday, October 14, 2010

Faith: A Precision Definition

Let me offer one more precise working definition of “faith.” Most Christians I have known … including myself … are slow to grasp the inherent power of this word. Faith is used in Scripture as both a verb and noun. Sadly, we use it mostly as a noun to think about. The higher reality is to yield to its intent as a verb that leads to our cross. Faith is not simply what you believe and are … it is also what you do! This is why I use the term of a Be/Do person to emphasize their oneness. Of course what you do is always ignited by what you truly believe and are. Most Christians don’t clearly understand the necessary and urgent precision of what they say they believe (or faith) about being “in Christ.” Hence, their “faith acts” are weak, fragmented and only mildly effective because of their vague “faith thinking.”

Most Disciples have sincere hearts and good intentions. They have “faith” (noun), but that faith is imprecise, poorly informed and aimed erratically. The consequence means their faith (verb) results are hit and miss, ambiguous and poorly purposed. “Noun faith” can be controlled! “Verb faith” controls us! A vague “I guess God has a purpose” or “I hope it will all work out” faith will never deliver and overcome. The “precision Disciple” must learn to ascertain, discern and access the energy source of specific enlightened faith! The closest word to this is obedience, or better put, yielding to the Voice of God! But it is an obedience to be (think) before it is an obedience to do (act). Powerful “faith acts” are executed when they are sharpened by “faith beliefs” in the Cup, Cross and the Commission of the Master! These three become your own story only when there is entranced beholding of Jesus, the radical study of Scripture and a spirit yielding to its truths! Unbelievers read the Bible as “a story.” Children in Christ read it as “Jesus’ story.” The adult Disciple reads Scripture as “our story” … Jesus and His people. The fathers of the faith read the Bible as “my story” of drinking the Cup, carrying the Cross and sharing the Commission.

These are the four levels of reading and delighting in the stimulating truths of the Bible. (Psalm 119:92) They are progressive. As a person matures and experiences high reality moments with the Savior, the Written Word (Scripture) merges into one with the Living Word (Christ) and produces the Martyred Word (you). See my Victory Visual #17: The Graphic of Word3 and VFC Resource #37: Word3: The Living, the Written and the Martyred Word of God! Both are available on request from our Ventures for Christ office.

I have three further faith definitions to offer that expand on Hebrews 11:1-2, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” First, for the Christ Disciple faith is a progressive belief in all the Lord Christ has said and done. Active faith is to increasingly communicate with the Savior through Scripture, the inner Presence of His Spirit and the increasing desire to be His martyr (witness). Second, faith is seeking and learning how to hear “His Voice” so that there will be a minute by minute relentless purifying of our thoughts and actions toward others, toward Him and toward ourselves. The end goal of this threefold faith process is to pleasure the Master in all things, give strong help to everyone we can and be transformed into His image! Third, spiritual faith is a belief/act in what we sense is true, to the degree that it changes the way you think, act and hope. For the “Christ Disciple,” faith is a continuous awakening to the evidence of the Father’s Promises. It is a growing assurance of the sovereignty of the Father’s Power. It is an increasing awareness in every circumstance of the Father’s Presence. Authentic faith in our Lord results in “faith acts” like those recounted in Hebrews 11. It is “doing” based on “believing” by a “being” who is “receiving” the grace of God as he or she is “seeing” the glory of Jesus! The results are always an enduring power, a calm realization and a stunning freedom as you live out your earth walk! The Scripture summarizes it well, “The just (His forgiven) shall live (come alive to reality) by faith (confident praise). (Heb. 10:38)

The Lord gave me the following statement to summarize my vision of faith/action possessed by the be/do Disciple. The essential attitude for an effective follower of Jesus is a life of increasing praise and deepening calm in His promises. Hence, my definition: Persistent Praise is the only Positive Proof that one has Properly Perceived the Powerful Promises of the Prince of Peace!

Ventures for Christ: e-mail:; call: 479-443-9474; mail: P.O. Box 9479, Fayetteville, AR 72703