Challenges are a part of life. Every one of us experiences circumstances that test us, attempting to make us give up on our dreams and hopes for the future. When we experience setbacks in family, finances, and health, we have a choice to make. Will we give in to fear and defeat, or choose to live by faith?
The Bible speaks of men and women that ” By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight” ( Heb 11:33-34)
What sets this group of people apart from others? What makes them different from the average churchgoer? What special qualifications did they have that resulted in them being enshrined in the pages of Hebrews 11? The answer can be found in the first two words of verse 33: BY FAITH! Successful Christians who experience the power of God in their lives are faith people, those who believe in and act on the Word of God. Every believer has faith, but not every Christian lives BY FAITH. Power to work miracles is available to all who choose to live by faith.
God has given to every man (and woman) the measure of faith. (Rom 12:3 KJV) I don’t have more faith than you, you don’t have more than me. Each one of us has an equal measure of faith, but the power of our faith is directly related to how much we use it. Faith is like a muscle: if we use it, then it increases in strength and power. If we work it out, it grows. We already have everything we need to live an effective life of faith.
The faith mentioned in the Bible that is given to every believer is different from natural human faith. Most people have natural faith in the ability of a speeding semi-truck to harm them, and therefore will not step out in front of one. Human faith could also be described as common sense, but it is not the God kind of faith. The supernatural faith that moves mountains, works miracles, and defeats the forces of the enemy can only be developed through the process described in Romans 10:17: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ Faith does not come by reading motivational books or listening to entertaining speakers, unless the speakers we hear or the books we read are quoting the Bible. The God kind of faith can only be obtained by hearing the word of God contained in the Bible over and over and over and over again.
The Heroes of Hebrews all had this in common: they believed God and acted on His Word. If I have a faith defecit, then I must have a Word defecit. If I need more power, I need to hear more Word. It is that simple. Hearing the Word transforms us from possessors of faith to purveyors of faith, unstoppable by anyone or anything. BY FAITH we can live miraculous lives that make us influential for God, unstoppable by satan and any of those he uses. “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through OUR FAITH!” (1 John 5:4)