Today, a quick piece on fighting the good fight of faith.
You cannot pray outside of God’s will and expect positive answers. No matter how hard you pray, if your prayer is not in line with God’s will it availeth nothing. In Jesus the answer to every question is Yes, therefore there can be no such thing as God answering a prayer with No. A ‘No’ from God (for lack of a better term) simply means ‘ask again and this time, ask according to my will.’
God needs nothing from us to do what He has said He will do. Prayer is not for God to move, prayer keeps us focused on Him to whom we pray. We don’t pray so that God gives us what we want, we pray to make sure that we are where God wants us. The moves of God – what we call ‘answer to prayer’- are simply confirmation that we are in God’s will.
God causes it to rain on the just and the unjust as He pleases, and the sun shines on the wicked and the righteous alike. We cannot strong-arm or blackmail God into doing anything. And therein lies the rub: if all that is true, what then is faith and how do I exercise it? If faith is not me screwing my eyes closed and praying hard so that God hears me, then what is it?
So many times we hear and say to each other ‘trust God’ but my problem has always been – what does that mean? What does it look like? What does it mean in practical terms to trust God? What does it mean, really, to have faith? Well, I’ll tell you
because thank God I finally get it:
Trusting God or having faith means resisting worry, fear, anxiety; it means resisting the urge to take matters into your own hands and do what you think needs to be done; it means leaving everything up to God. Trust me, it’s not as easy as it seems.
Faith is choosing to stand with God. Faith is believing what God has said to you whether through dreams, prophecies, visions or whatever way He speaks to you. Check out Hebrews 11 and see what the ancients were commended for: their faith. They didn’t all receive what they had been promised, but didn’t they all die in faith? Faith is not a magic panacea like ‘have faith and all your dreams come true’ – No. Faith is a state of being, an attitude of living. If you have faith you live as one who has the Almighty to fight all her battles. Think on that a minute, and consider what the life of one who is always in faith must look like.
All around you the world is clamouring for your attention; someone is offering a
slightly dubious solution to your problem; every day you find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things you need to do to get your life to look the way you want it to look. Well, faith is resisting all those urges because you trust God. Faith is understanding that your fight is not to fix things, but to remain steadfast in God.
The Bible says in Proverbs:
the horse is made ready for the battle but the victory belongs to the Lord.
and in Exodus (one of my favourite verses
and now I know why)
The Lord will fight for you, you have only to be silent.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is FAITH.
Contrary to what some would have you believe, faith is not inexplicable and it is not difficult to understand. Well, in some ways it is (reference this entire post) but essentially faith is believing what God says and who He is. Now don’t get it twisted, faith is not what makes God real, faith is the only acceptable response to who you know God to be. If you have faith in God i.e. if you know who God is, then you expect God to do what He has said He will do, and you will therefore not be consumed by worry or fear or anything that is not noble or pure or beautiful or true. Anytime you start to worry you can go back to God’s promises to you and rekindle your passion, before worry, fear and anxiety set in. That, ladies and gentlemen, is FAITH.
Does this mean then that the believer is exempt from battles, fights, and struggles? By no means: we live in a fallen world and we have an enemy. The important thing is to know that though the enemy may attack, it is not your job to fight back. If you look at the armour of God in Ephesians 6: 10-18 you will notice that all the armour is defensive, except for the sword which is the Word of God. Understand that you do not have to fight, you only have to stand, and when you have done all, stand, speaking the Word of God over your circumstances.
You stand still long enough to let God fight your battles.
You stand for stillness in your life that you might know that He is God.
You stand unwavering where God has placed you.
You stand in God’s will in all times and at all places.
You stand for the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living;
You stand with God’s hand upon your life.
You STAND, and when you have done all, YOU STAND.
You don’t hope God will come through for you, you expect Him to, because you have faith and you know that faith is knowing who God is and knowing that He will do what He has said He will do.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
besides me there is no god.
I arm you, though you do not know me,
so that they may know, from the rising of the sun
and from the west, that there is no one besides me;
I am the Lord, and there is no other