We Expect Too Little
“According to your faith be it unto you . . . !” Matthew 9:29.
Faith is the medium of connection between
human weakness and Divine power. . . . We must seek to have our faith strengthened. The iniquity that abounds must not for one moment lessen our faith and love for God or weaken our trust in His Sure Promises . . .
Else some mighty storm of temptation will sweep us away from the True Foundation (His Word – The Rock Christ Jesus). We have a great work to do, and we need greater faith. . . . Through communion with God (prayer and reading aloud His Word) our faith will be strengthened, and
the trial of our faith may prove our signal triumph.
There is a real work to be wrought in us. Constantly we must submit our will to God’s will, our way to God’s way. . . . By beholding as in a glass (Mirror) the glory of the LORD, we are actually changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. We expect too little, and we receive according to our faith.
We are not to cling to our own ways, our own plans, our own ideas. . . . Besetting sins are to be conquered and evil habits overcome. Wrong dispositions and feelings are to be rooted out, and holy tempers and emotions begotten in us by the Spirit of God. . . .
“Of His Own will begat He us
with the Word of Truth (Verity), that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures !”
“Sanctify them through Thy Truth, Thy Word is Truth (Verily So!)”
“Jesus (Yehushua) saith unto him, I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh
unto the Father, but by Me” John 14:6
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born (begotten) of Water and of
the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (Jehovah) !”
“For it is the Spirit that quickeneth (renews Life); the flesh profiteth nothing: The Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life !”
Faith, living faith, we must have, a faith that works by love . . . not that we loved God, but that . . . He first loved us . . . and sent His Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins . . . and purifies the soul. We must learn to take everything to the Lord with simplicity and earnest faith. The greatest burden we have to bear in this life is self. Unless we learn in the school of Christ to be meek and lowly, we shall miss precious opportunities and privileges for becoming acquainted with Jesus. Self is the most difficult thing we have to manage. In laying off burdens, let us not forget to lay self at the feet of Christ. (ref: I John 4:10-19).
Hand yourself over to Jesus, to be molded and fashioned by Him, that you may be made vessels unto honor. Your temptations, your ideas, your feelings, must all be laid at the foot of the cross. Then the soul is ready to listen to Words of divine instruction. Jesus will give you to drink of the Water which flows from the River of God. Under the softening and subduing influence of His Spirit your coldness and listlessness will disappear. Christ will be in you . . . the Hope of Glory . . . a Well of Water, springing up into everlasting Life.
The Faith That Avails
“And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.”
There are two kinds of connection between the branches and the Vine. The one is deceptive, superficial. The crowd pressing upon Christ had no Living Union with Him by genuine faith. But a poor woman who had been many years a great sufferer and had spent all her living upon physicians but was made no better, but rather worse, thought if she could get within reach of Him, if she could only touch the hem of His garment (ref: Malachi 4:2), she would be made whole. Christ understood all that was in her heart, and He placed Himself where she could have the opportunity she desired. He would use that act to distinguish the touch of genuine faith from the casual contact of those who were crowding about Him. . . .
When the woman reached forth her hand and touched the hem of His garment (wings), she thought this stealthy touch would not be known by anyone; but Christ recognized that touch and responded to her faith by His healing power. She realized in a moment that she was made whole, and the Lord Jesus would not let such faith pass unnoticed. He turned Him about quickly and said, “Who touched Me?“All the disciples were pressing close around Him, and Peter said, “The multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue (miraculous force, strength and power) is gone out of Me!” Luke 8:45-46.
When the woman saw that she was not hid she came tremblingly and cast herself at His feet, telling the whole story. For twelve years she had been afflicted, but as soon as her finger touched the hem of His garment she was made whole. Jesus said to her, “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace” (verse 48). The mere touch of faith brought its reward !
The faith which avails to bring us in vital contact with Christ expresses on our part supreme preference, perfect reliance, entire consecration. . . . It works in the life of the follower of Christ true obedience to God’s commandments, for love to God and love to man will be the result of vital connection with Christ. (ref: John 14:15-21).
A Working Faith
“. . . And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Philippians 3:9.
It is one thing to read and teach the Bible, and another thing to have by practice Its life-giving, sanctifying principles engrafted on the soul. . . . And receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls . . . For By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of your selves, it is the gift of God . . . (James 1: 21 and Ephesians 2:8).
The mind should be educated to exercise faith rather than to cherish doubt, suspicion, and jealousy. We are too prone to regard obstacles as impossibilities. To have faith in the Promises of God, to go forward by faith, pressing on without being governed by circumstances, is a lesson hard to learn. Yet it is a positive necessity that every child of God should learn this lesson. The grace of God through Christ is ever to be cherished, for it is given us as the only way of approaching God. . . .
The faith mentioned in God’s Word calls for a life in which faith in Christ is an active, living principle.
It is God’s will that faith in Christ shall be made perfect by works (ref: James 2:18-26); He connects the Salvation (deliverance, freedom, rescue, healing and restoration) and eternal life of those who believe, with these works . . . As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus, so walk ye in Him . . . Colossians 2:6 and through them provides for the Light of Truth . . . Thy Word is Truth (Verily So !) . . . to go to all countries and peoples. This is the fruit of the workings of God’s Spirit.
We show our faith in God by obeying His commands. Faith is always expressed in words and actions (ref: Numbers 13:28-14:11). It produces practical results, for it is a vital element in the life. The life that is molded by faith develops a determination to advance, to go forward, following in the footsteps of Christ.
We have been taken as rough stones out of the quarry of the world by the cleaver of Truth (ref: Hebrews 4:12) and placed in the workshop of God. He who has genuine faith in Christ as his personal Saviour will find that Truth (The Word of Almighty God) accomplishes a definite work for him. His faith is a working faith. . . .
We cannot create our faith, but we can be colaborers with Christ in promoting the growth and triumph of faith . . . Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God (Yehuwah), and the faith of Jesus (Yehushua)! . . .
“Now the parable is this: The Seed is the Word of God . . . and that on the good ground
are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the Word, keep It,
and bring forth fruit with patience !” Luke 8:11-15
The faith that works by love and purifies the soul produces the fruit of humility, patience, forbearance, long-suffering, peace, joy, and willing obedience.
How Faith Works
“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision;
but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:6.
“Herein is love, not that we loved GOD (Jehovah, Yehuwah) . . . but He first loved us . . . and sent
His Son to be the propitiation (atonement, ransom in full) for our sins !” I John 4:10,19
Christ has shown His great love for us by giving His life that we should not perish in our sins,
that He might clothe us with His salvation. If this divine love is cherished in our hearts, it cements
and strengthens our union with those of like faith. “He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God
in him” (1 John 4:16). The strengthening of our love for our brethren and sisters strengthens our love for Christ.
This principle of love for God and for those for whom Christ died, needs to be quickened by
the Holy Spirit and cemented with brotherly kindness, tenderness; it needs to be strengthened by acts which testify that God is love (Agape – unselfish esteem, undeserved, and without thought of return) . . . Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves (ref: Philippians 2:3) . . . This union, which joins heart with heart, is not the result of sentimentalism, but the working of a healthful principle. Faith works by love, and purifies the soul from all selfishness. Thus the soul is perfected in love. And having found grace and mercy through Christ’s precious blood, how can we fail to be tender and merciful? . . .
Faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, the One Who pardons our sins (habitual failures) and transgressions (rebellions), the One Who is able to keep us from sin and lead us in His footsteps, is set forth in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. Here are presented the fruits of a faith that works by love and purifies the soul from selfishness. Faith and works are here combined.
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy re-reward. . . . And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” Isaiah 58:6-11
Trust Yourself with God
“But the Lord is faithful, Who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil . . . Now unto Him
that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the throne of His glory with exceeding joy !” II Thessalonians 3:3 & Jude 1:24
How many there are who go through life under a cloud of condemnation! They do not believe God’s Word. They have no faith that He will do as He has said. Many who long to see others resting in the pardoning love of Christ do not rest in it for themselves. But how can they possibly lead others to show simple, childlike faith in the heavenly Father when they measure His love by their feelings?
Let us trust God’s Word implicitly, remembering that we are His sons and daughters. Let us
train ourselves to believe His Word. We hurt the heart of Christ by doubting, when He has given such evidence of His love. He laid down His life to save us. He says to us: “Come unto Me, . . . and I will give you rest . . . ” Matthew 11:28.
Do you believe He will do as He has said ? Then, after you have complied with the conditions,
carry no longer the burden of your sins. Let it roll upon the Saviour. Trust yourself with Him. Has He not promised to give you rest ? But to many He is obliged to say sorrowfully, “Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life” John 5:40.
Behold Christ. Dwell upon His love and mercy. This will fill the soul with abhorrence for all that is sinful and will inspire it with an intense desire for the righteousness of Christ. The more clearly we see the Saviour, the more clearly shall we discern our defects of character. Confess your sins to Christ, and with true contrition of soul cooperate with Him by putting these sins away!
Believe that they are pardoned. The Promise is positive, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Be assured that the Word of God will not fail. He Who has promised is Faithful. It is as much your duty to believe that God will fulfill His Word and forgive you as it is to confess your sins. . . .
Look steadfastly to Jesus. Behold Him, full of Grace and Truth. He will make His goodness pass before you (ref: Exodus 33:18-34:7) while He hides you in the cleft of the rock. You will be enabled to endure the seeing of Him Who is invisible, and by beholding you will be transformed !
In Heavenly Places p.108-111