As we wrap up this series on faith, I want to share with you the various levels of faith that are demonstrated throughout Scripture. Jesus loves every ounce of faith we have, and he responds to all levels of faith…even the smallest, most meager display of faith.
Tenacious faith: The woman with the issue of blood battled the crowd and dared to touch the edge of Jesus’ garment – Jesus’ prayer cloth. The tassels on his prayer cloth represented pomegranates, which are symbolic of the promises of God. She was unclean and would not have been allowed to touch a rabbi under the Law. But she believed that as soon she touched the hem of His garment, she would be made clean. She was persistent and tenacious in battling through the opposition of the crowds as she grabbed hold of the promises of God.
Persistent faith: Jesus told the parable of a persistent widow who persistently asked an unjust judge for a just ruling. Because of her constant pestering, the unjust judge finally ruled in her favor, just to be rid of her. The Lord said, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8)
Risky faith: The blind man who threw off his cloak, which was equivalent to a disability check, risked his security by taking this action. He threw off that false identity, cast it off with force, and ran toward Jesus…now that is an act of faith! And though he couldn’t see, Scripture says he ran. His faith involved risk, but he counted it as nothing. When the man reached Him, Jesus asked, “What do you want?” Jesus likes to ask this question to be sure we really know what we want. He is such a giver! The blind man answered and was healed.
Submitted faith: There was a centurion whose servant was sick. Others praised this man’s character to Jesus, and He went with them to go and meet the centurion. But on the way, the centurion sent messengers to tell Jesus he was not worthy to have Him come under his roof. Rather, he understood how authority works. He knew Jesus had the authority to heal right from where he was on the road. Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” And the servant was made well. The centurion understood Jesus was a man submitted under authority, who also had authority. He understood the chain of command, and that if he declared a thing to happen, it would be done.
Willing faith: When the disciples were unable to heal the demon-possessed son of a man who came to him, Jesus told them this kind only goes out through prayer and fasting. The man said to Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief!” He believed enough to want to believe. He was the most meager kind of faith, yet the boy was healed because the man was willing to put his faith in Jesus as the author and perfecter of his faith.
Faith is a principle, not a law. It’s a lifestyle—not a formula. There have been abuses of the principle of faith, such as people being told they were not healed because they did not have enough faith. Jesus never turned away anyone who asked for healing. He never told them they didn’t have enough faith. The only time His work was limited was when people rejected His presence. It’s the willingness to welcome and honor His presence that matters.
If you consider the armor of God, faith is your shield, which protects you from the arrows and attacks of the enemy. Your weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God – the rhema word and the logos word. Read the Word so it becomes your truth and your weapon. Declare the prophetic words that have been spoken over you. His word will become a truth living and breathing inside of you. Jesus is the Word made flesh – and the Word is now living inside of us. You will live out of what you believe in your heart, not what you think in your mind. That’s faith.
Learn to embrace the perseverance of your faith. When your circumstances say one thing, tell your circumstances, “I’m going to believe God on this.” What do you have to lose? I’d like to leave you with a declaration from Beth Moore’s book, Believing God. Declare this until you know that you know that you know it’s true for you:
“God is who He says He is. God will do what He says He will do. I am who God says that I am. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. God’s Word is alive and active in me. And I believe God. Amen”