by Rev. Jack Barr
The part that interest me the most was when the LORD said to pray to him and that's where we will find the answers, where his spirit will lead us and guide us is during prayer. Well I was telling the LORD, "LORD, how will we know that you will reply to us? Most time when I pray I don't get a reply from you (probably because I don't wait on him). So how do I know that you will answer me or anyone else in that matter? " I asked God these types of questions and I kept getting these type of answers, "by faith" "because God said" "Man cannot live by bread alone but by every word that proceed out of the mouth of God". The thing about these answers is that it didn't come from no voice or feeling, or even logic. It's like I just know.
I still don't understand faith. I know it takes a lot of faith to wake up early in the morning and pray to God and wait on him for to see if he will reply. But what if you wait on him and don't receive a reply? What do you do then? How long do you wait? Do you just assume that God doesn't want to answer at that moment? These are some questions I got about waiting on the LORD to answer.
This is what's going through my mind right now. I know faith plays a big role in this. I'll tell you one thing, if you have that faith where this demon itself will have to move because you command it to in Jesus name by the power of the Holy Spirit, then nothing is going to stand in your way of doing the will of God. Believe me Jack, this demon isn't going to leave with out a fight.
Yours in Christ,
I believe that it is the most misunderstood thing in the bible.
What is Faith??? I have heard so many different explanations, and all of them were wrong!!
Why? How do I know? I know because the Holy Spirit spoke through me one day to tell the congregation, where I went to preach, exactly what faith is. Not one person in that congregation, including the pastor, would accept it as the Holy Spirit was giving it. At this time, as the Holy Spirit was speaking through me, I could see an invisible wall between me and all of them. As the words came out of my mouth, I could see them come out of my mouth like a train, each word connected together, travel out to that wall, and bounce off. I saw the words try to get through over there, and over here, at the ceiling, at the walls, at the floor. Trying to find a hole in that wall, but not one word made it through that invisible wall. After a half an hour, the Lord released me, the wall disappeared, and I was able to go on with my sermon.
What the Lord said, was that true faith is to believe every word the Lord has spoken, without doubt, without question!! Isn't that simple?? Yet so hard to put into practice.
Matthew 17:20 "And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you, "
Matthew 21:21-22 "Jesus answered and said unto them, verily I say unto you, if ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done, (22) And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. "
Mark 11:23 "For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. (24) Therefore I say unto you, whatever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
Mark 9:23 "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."
John 14:12-14 "Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I do unto my Father. (13) And whatever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (14) If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it."
The answer is --- Not because you said it, but because Jesus said that it would happen when you said it!! And when you believe what Jesus said, then Jesus will honor Your Word, just as if it were His Word. Jesus did not say, " If I feel like it today", and did not say " If it is in my will", and did not say "Maybe I'll think about it".
But man does not believe. Man will give any reason and excuse why it just cannot be that way, of why it cannot ever happen that way, that it can only be symbolic. And that is why man never sees these things done.
Yet there are some yet today, who do believe everything God has said, and do not doubt, and they do heal the crippled, give sight to the blind, raise the dead.
An example of God honoring a man's word as his own, even though it was not God's will for it to happen, is seen in the life of Smith Wigglesworth, who did raise three people from the dead while he lived. The most important of these was the last one.
Quote from "Smith Wigglesworth Apostle of Faith" by Stanley Howard Frodsham, printed by the "Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, Missouri, 1993. Page 148"
One who has the power, as a believer who does not doubt, does not run about trying to please himself or to show off, but rather when they have the power, the desire to only please God, using that power only for the Glory of God, not for their own glory.
When Jesus says that there is nothing that is impossible for you to do, will you believe?? When Jesus says that you can do all that He did, and More yet, will you believe?? Or will you say, "no, he didn't mean it, no, I can't do it, no, He didn't mean me when He said it."
Can you walk on water?? Peter did!! The other 11 Apostles could have, yet did not even try, yet they too healed, cast out demons, performed miracles. You see how easy it is to limit yourself, to tell yourself that you can't do that.
There were several of us who were visiting a nursing home, who were asked to pray for the son of a man who was sitting at his son's bed. He said that the doctors couldn't find out what was wrong with him. As we layed hands on this young man, the Lord said " pray for his liver", So as we prayed, I prayed for the healing of his liver, but while praying, I heard all the rest of them praying for everything and anything, and not one of them praying for anything internal. I never saw that man again, but later heard that he recovered.
Another time, At the church altar, an old lady who had been in an accident, having her shoulder hurt, was there for healing prayers as she had very little movement of her arm. As I started to pray for her arm, I felt the power of God going forth from me to her, as I moved her arm up and down through the full range of movement while praying in tongues. She was healed by the power of God, yet as I watched her return to her seat, I saw her again draw her arm in to herself, holding her arm like she did before it was healed. I saw that after she was healed, she chose to refuse the healing. You will find many who are like that. You will lay hands on them, and they will be healed, and you will see them also reject that healing, yet professing that they want healing while they will not accept the healing that God has sent to them through you. But again, you will see real healings, which the Lord will perform through you.
When God says that He will do this, He will do it!! When God says that you can do this, then you can do it!!!
Do you understand now what faith is, or is it still beyond your grasp?? From the way that I know that the Lord is going to use you, I know that you have a faith far beyond what most Christians have, yet, you must exercise that faith before it will grow. When you lay hands on someone for healings, believe that Jesus will honor your word just as He said that He will, and you will see them healed, and they will start sending others to you for healings, for you do have the power, and you do have faith that is larger than a mustard seed, so saith the Lord God Jehovah. You have only to exercise that faith.
I include below a sermon on faith given by Smith Wigglesworth, quoted from the above named book.
WE CLOSE this volume with one of Smith Wigglesworth's sermons on the theme of Faith.
"By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. . . by faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death.. . by faith Noah. . . prepared an ark to the saving of his house. .. by faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed" (Hebrews 11:4-8). There is only one way to all the treasures at God, and that is the way of faith. All things are possible; the fulfilling of all promises is to him that believeth.
When the ward came to Zacharias, he was filled with unbelief until the angel said, "Thou shalt be dumb... because thou believest not my words" (Luke 1:20). Mary said, "Be it unto me according to thy word" (Luke 1:3 8). And the Lord was pleased that she believed that there would be a performance. When we believe what God has said, there shall be a performance.
There were people praying all night that Peter might come out of prison. But there seemed to be one thing missing despite all their praying, and that was faith. Rhoda had more faith than all the rest of them. When the knock came at the door, she ran to it, for she was expecting an answer to her prayers; and the moment she heard Peter's voice, she ran back and announced to them that Peter was standing at the door. And all the people said, "You are mad. It isn't so." That was not faith. When she insisted that he was there, they said, "Well, perhaps God has sent his angel" But Rhoda insisted, "it is Peter." And Peter continued knocking. And they went out and found it so. What Rhoda had believed for had become a glorious fact.
Beloved, we may do much praying and groaning, but we do not receive from God because of that; we receive because we believe. But when a man labors in prayer, he groans and travails because his tremendous sin is weighing him down, and he becomes broken in the presence
of God; and when properly melted he comes into perfect harmony with the divine plan of God, and then God can work in that clay. He could not before. Prayer changes hearts, but it never changes God. He is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever - full of love, full of compassion, full of mercy, full of grace, and ready to bestow this and communicate that to us as we come in faith to Him.
Believe that when you come into the presence of God you can have all you came for. You can take it away, and you can use it, for all the power of God is at your disposal in response to your faith, The price for all was paid by the by Jesus Christ at Calvary.
We read in Hebrews 11:5, "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death . . . before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." We are called to walk together with God through the Spirit. It is delightful to know that we can talk with God and hold communion with Him. Through this wonderful baptism in the Spirit which the Lord gives us, He enables us to talk to Himself in a language that the Spirit has given, a language which no man understands, but which He understands, a language of love. Oh, how wonderful it is to speak to Him in the Spirit, to let the Spirit lift, and lift and lift us until He takes us into the very presence of God! I pray that God by His Spirit may move all of us so that we walk with God, even as Enoch walked with Him. But beloved, It is a walk by faith and not by sight, a walk of believing the Word of God.
I want to show you the difference between our faith and the faith of Jesus. Our faith is limited and comes to an end. Most people have experienced coming to the place where they have said, "Lord, I can go no further. I have gone so far, and I cannot go on." But God can help us and take us beyond this. I remember one night, being in the north of England. I was taken into a house where there was a young woman lying on her bed, a very helpless case. Her reason was gone and many things were manifested that were absolutely satanic.
She was a beautiful young woman. Her husband was quite a young man. He came in with a baby in his arms, leaned over and kissed his wife. The moment he did so she threw herself over on the other side of the bed, just as a lunatic would do, with no consciousness of the presence of her husband. It was heartbreaking. The husband took the baby and pressed the baby's lips to the mother. Again there was a wild frenzy. I said to the sister who was attending her, "Have you anybody to help?" She answered, "We have done everything we could." I said, "Have you no spiritual help?" Her husband stormed and said, "Spiritual help? Do you think we believe in God after we have had seven weeks of no sleep and this maniac condition? If you think we believe in God, you are mistaken. You have come to the wrong house."
There was a young woman about eighteen who grinned at me as she passed out of the door, as much as to say, "You cannot do anything." But this brought me to a place of compassion for this poor young woman. And then with what faith I had I began to penetrate the heavens. I was soon out on the heights. And I tell you I have never seen a man get anything from God who prayed on the earth level. If you get anything from God you will have to pray right into heaven, for all you want is there. If you are living an earthly life, all taken up with sensual things, and expect things from heaven, they will never come. God wants us to be a heavenly people, seated with Him in the heavenlies, and laying hold of all the things in heaven that are at our disposal.
I saw there, in the presence of that demented girl, limitations to my faith; but as I prayed there came another faith into my heart that could not be denied, a faith that grasped the promises, a faith that believed God's Word. I came from the presence of the glory back to earth. I was not the same man. I confronted the same conditions I had seen before, but this time It was in the name of Jesus. With a faith that could shake hell and move anything else, I cried to the demon power that was making this young woman a maniac, "Come out of , In the name of Jesus!" She rolled over and fell asleep, and awakened In fourteen hours, perfectly sane and perfectly whole.
Enoch conversed with God. I want to live in constant conversation with God. I am so grateful that from my youth up, God has given me a relish for the Bible. I find the Bible food for my soul It is strength to the believer. It builds up our character in God. And as we receive with meekness the Word of God, we are being changed by the Spirit from glory to glory. And by this Book comes faith, for faith cometh by hearing. and hearing by the Word of God.
I believe that all our failures come because of an imperfect understanding of God's Word. I see that it is impossible to please God on any other line but by faith, and everything that is not of faith is sin. You say, "How can I obtain this faith?" You see the secret in Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." He is the author of faith. Oh, the might of our Christ who created the universe and upholds it all by the might of His power! He who made this vast universe will make us a new creation. He spoke the word and the stars came into being; can He not speak the word that will produce a mighty faith in us? Ah, this One who is the author and finisher of our faith comes and dwells within us, quickens us by His Spirit, and molds us by His will. And he who has begun a good work within us will complete it and perfect it, for He not only is the author but the finisher and perfecter of our faith.
The Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). How the Word of God severs the soul and the spirit - the soul which has a lot of carnality, a lot of selfishness in it, a lot of evil in it! Thank God, the Lord can sever from us all that is earthly and sensual, and make us spiritual people. He an bring all our selfishness to the place of death and bring the life of Jesus into our being to take the place of that earthly and sensual thing that is destroyed by the living Word.
The living Word pierces right to the very marrow. When I was In Australia, so many people came to me with double curvature of the spine; but the word of the Lord came right down to the very marrow of their spines, and instantly they were healed and made straight as I laid hands on them in the name of Jesus. The divine Son of God, the living Word, through His power, moved upon those curvatures of the spine and straightened them out. Oh, thank God for the mighty power of the Word!
God has come to lead us out of ourselves into Himself, and to take us from the ordinary into the extraordinary, from the human into the divine, and make us after the image of His Son. Oh, what a Savior! it is written, "Now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). But even now, the Lord wants to transform us from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the living God. Have faith in God, have faith in the Son, have faith in the Holy Spirit; and the Triune God will work in you, working in you to will and to do all the good pleasure of His will."
With the love of Jesus
(See Also A Question on Faith)