Faith is the foundation of the Christian life and is the principle that brings us to Jesus Christ. It is faith that will make all the promises of God a reality in your life. Faith is the fundamental element of Christianity that you must learn, develop, and practice each day of your life. What is faith, what is it not, and how to know when you are in faith?
What Faith is Not
Faith is not trying to get God to do anything for you. If you are trying to get God to do something for you, that means that you believe He has not done it and if He has not done it - you cannot be in faith, because faith begins where the will of God is known. If you don't know God's will in a situation, then you cannot believe that God will help you. The Word of God tells us that all the promises of God are ours through Christ. It also tells us all things that pertain unto life and godliness have been given unto us. When did this take place? When Jesus was hanging on the cross He spoke three powerful words: IT IS FINISHED. What was finished?
The plan of redemption for the human race was carried out through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Everything that Adam lost in the garden of Eden was given back to us through Jesus! You can only believe for what God has already provided. Faith looks back at the cross and realizes all the promises have belonged to us since that time and lays claim to them. Faith is not trying to get God to do something for you because God has already, through Christ, provided all things for you. Many people say that God is going to heal me one day or meet my financial need one day, but God is not. God has already met your needs through Christ over two thousand years ago.
An example would be the donkey who is being led about by the circus clowns. They dangle the promise of an apple in front of him and he runs all around the ring chasing the apple while they ride on his back, laughing. If the donkey would only throw the clowns off he could have the apple. The devil rides Christians in this same manner today. He dangles the promises of God in front of them as if these promises are unobtainable and just out of reach. We need to throw the devil off our back and take what is rightfully ours. The promises of God will never be a reality in your life unless you reach out by faith and accept them as fact.
What Is Faith
We have found what faith is not, so what is faith? I looked in Hebrews 11:1 for a definition of faith, but could not find one that would satisfy me. It tells me that faith is the substance of things hoped for but what is faith? It tells me that faith is the evidence of things you cannot see, but what is faith? Faith simply defined is believing that you have something that does not currently exist in the physical, sensory, perceptive world that you live in. It does exist in the realm of the spirit, but it has not yet manifested in the material world.
My father taught me about faith. He showed me a garden with nicely furrowed rows and all I could see was dirt. He said, "this is my garden, full of peas, corn, etc." I looked and said, "I don't see all those things, they aren't there." He said, "Oh, you only believe what you see. Let me show you something." He walked to the end of each row and pulled a packet from a little stake he had at each row. He said, "You see the vegetables on each packet? That is my garden. I have planted these seeds in the earth and my garden is growing even now. I know the garden is there because I planted the seeds. I can see the vegetables right here on the packets." That is what faith is. Our words are the seeds of faith which bring forth the promises of God. Faith reaches into the spiritual realm and takes hold of the promise of God's Word and brings it into the realm of reality.
How To Know When You Are In Faith
Hebrews 4:3 gives us the answer to this question. It tells us that those which have believed do enter into rest. You could say that those who have entered into faith do enter into rest. Rest is a type of peace. The person who has believed God is the person you find in peace. They are not in worry or fear because they know that everything is okay; it has been committed to God.
Those who are at peace are like the little old lady, Granny, that Dr. Hagin used to tel us about. During the war, with bombs exploding throughout the town, everyone took refuge in bomb shelters. After several days had passed, someone met Granny on the street and asked her why she hadn't been in the shelters. She replied, "I read in the Bible that God never slumbers or sleeps, so I figured there wasn't any sense in both of us staying awake." Oh, to learn how to trust God as this dear Granny did. That is the place where God wants all His children to be: a place of peace.