Faith is absolutely necessary to receive from God. Our God is not a need God; He is a faith God. Right standing (acceptance) with God comes through faith (trust & confidence). The Bible says that by two or three witnesses, every word shall be established (Dt 19:15, 2Cor 13:1). Well, here are four witnesses to establish this truth: Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Gal 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Jas 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Do you see a pattern here? Faith pleases God.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). Enoch’s faith pleased God so much that he raptured him right up to Heaven (Heb 11:5). Often times we wonder why we’re not receiving from God; when James 1:6-8 is pretty clear on the subject: “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” A double minded man is not going to receive from God. God is a faith God. You must believe. It is essential.
Unbelief cost Moses & Aaron their passage into the promised land (Num 20:12). Unbelief cost the children of Israel in many ways as well (Ps 78). Unbelief cost the people of Nazareth their opportunity to have Jesus do many mighty works among them (Mt 13:58). Unbelief can cost a person an eternity in Hell (Jn 8:24, Rev 21:8). Unbelief is a sign of an evil heart (Heb 3:12). Again, faith pleases God; Unbelief doesn’t.
So what exactly did Abraham believe? He believed God’s promise, His Word, concerning him having a child in his old age. Rom 4:19-21 says “And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” We need to be fully persuaded. We need to trust God’s Word. If He spoke it, then we need to believe it. That is what pleases God.
Many times our hope is deferred (Prv 13:12), because our faith is not in the promise; but rather, it’s in what we want to do. We need to be in agreement with God’s Word and His will; not try to do our own thing, and then ask God to bless it. Elijah would have been foolish to go his own way, after God told him to go to the brook Cherith (1Ki 17). You go where God tells you. You do what God tells you, when He tells you. It’s real simple.
There is crow bar faith, and there is grace faith. Crow bar faith tries to make God do something. Grace faith simply receives what God has already promised. Crow bar faith works; grace faith rests. Crow bar faith manipulates; Grace faith confesses. Study Luke 11:5-8 carefully. Read it in the context of Luke 11:1-13. Many say That the friend is God, and we are the neighbor that keeps beating on the door until God gets so put out He finally answers our prayer because we bugged Him to death. Wrong. Jesus is contrasting the two, not comparing. A real friend would answer the door quickly and give even more than is required. How much more will God answer our prayers speedily (Lk 18:8); and in abundance (Jn 10:10)? Our generosity is considered evil compared to God’s. We need to change our view of God. Our importunity (shameless persistence) needs to be in our confession (Heb 10:23); not in whining to God (Mk 11: 24). Meditate on Romans 8:32 this week, and remember the words of my mentor Andrew Wommack: “God is El Shaddai (The Almighty, More than enough), not El Cheap-o. I pray this has blessed you, and until next time, rejoice in The Lord!