Why Faith in God? Part 4

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Romans 10:17 NIV) “…so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” (I Corinthians 2:5 NIV) 

We have all been given a “measure” of faith by God with the admonition that we should not think more highly of ourselves than we ought (Romans 12:3 paraphrased). And because we have been given a measure of faith, we develop means and ways to exercise what we have faith in. Some only have faith in themselves and what they are capable of doing. Some put their faith in other people when they are too insecure to have faith in themselves. There are more who put their faith in things–astrology charts, Tarot cards, beads, crystals, statues, etc.–all man-made. Still more, believe and have faith in luck–which is happenstance and has nothing to do with God and they with this luck, they have faith in their ability to gamble.

Faith in God, as Paul tells us, comes from hearing the message–the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the redemptive work on the cross, and the love of God towards us all. This is the message that increases our faith in God when we are continually hearing The Word as an exercise of practicing what we believe. The more we “hear” The Word (aloud), the more our faith should increase because we are increasing knowledge and learning to operate more in faith in Him than us.

To make sure we don’t understand why we should hear The Word, Paul tells us through his letter to the church at Corinth that we should not have faith in the limited wisdom of man, but in the power of God. Human wisdom, whether we want to admit it or not, is limited by our experiences and exposures. Since most of us will not experience exposure to all there is to know in the universe, we can never claim (truthfully) to know more than God. It is because of God’s love for us that He inspires men to discover things through their efforts to understand the whys and hows things, He created, work.

This is not a put-down of science–I’m totally grateful to science, but what some people don’t recognize is that scientists have not “created” anything from “absolutely nothing” but have discovered how to use elements in the earth already created to arrange and rearrange their usefulness. Scientists are not God and those who truly understand their limited ability, acknowledge their success in discoveries is because of God. Thank God those scientists are listening and if they continue to listen and seek His wisdom, life should be better for us all.

The measure of faith we have been given is the foundation of faith on which we build by hearing the word. We take the little and increase it to much, giving God the glory for all we have and know, not attempting to take credit for doing anything ourselves, apart from Him.

Part 5 tomorrow

They Tell Lies!

This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams, because they are telling you lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the LORD.(Jeremiah 29:8,9 NLT)

Who was Jeremiah talking to then and does it apply, today?

Jeremiah, God’s chosen prophet, was talking to the children of Israel who had been taken captive by their enemies. He was warning them and encouraging them as we can see if we continue reading this chapter. If we really think about current events and all those who “falsely” prophesy anything, we can most assuredly say, what was said then, applies now.

While I know there are many people who believe in fortune-tellers, astrological charts, luck and the counterfeit prophets, I stand firmly in the wisdom of God–knowing that “luck” has nothing to do with God. We are warned to stay away from fortune-tellers because many simply manipulate others with false hope (as seen in ACTS). Those who profess to “read tea leaves” play on the vulnerabilities of those who are seeking answers, but from the wrong person. And the counterfeit prophets–there are so many out there I cannot begin to count. Wise people know better than to believe in “a horoscope” that seldom changes and is usually written by people on a whim, who have no knowledge of astrology, but consider themselves expert in reading the stars and making predictions.

Now, I will be the first to admit that when God gives people gifts (as outlined in 1 Corinthians 12), He does not take them back, even when we do foolish things with them. And some are doing foolish things with the gifts God intended to be used by the Body of Christ, for carnal profit. Even though the gift remains theirs, so too is the reward they will receive for misusing His gifts.

Those who try to make themselves something when they are not, lie! The fortune-tellers lie; the false prophets lie, the horoscopes lie, the tea-readers lie and anyone who claims “good or bad luck” lies because there is no “luck” with God. We are either blessed or cursed.

How do we recognize the liars? Easily! When we know The Word, we can spot a liar about The Word because what they say, won’t align with The Word. Now, some are clever! They will use just enough of The Word to make some believe they know what they’re talking about, but it is deception–cleverly devised to deceive and know it is from the devil--that master of deception.

Don’t believe the hype when “prophets” tell you things that God has not spoken to your heart. If you have a heart to hear God, He’ll speak to you and confirm through others who don’t even know you. Those prophets chosen by God speak truth whether it is warning or encouragement and what they say, aligns with The Word.

Don’t believe the “horoscopes” like some have and become so addicted to them, they won’t leave home without reading them. Read The Word–therein lies the truth! Horoscopes are mass-produced with slight changes–designed to convince and they are so vague and general, what is said could apply to anyone, born at any time.

Don’t believe the “tea-readers” who can fool only the foolish who believe that tea leaves forming a certain pattern in liquid means anything.

Believe The Word–because God is not a man that He should lie and since He hates liars–He will not oppose Himself who is Truth.

Got problems and need answers? Seek Him early while He may be found and know the Truth. The others–tell lies!