The Currency of Faith

January 3, 2018

A friend of mine wrote a song called There’s No God…it’s a story about a guy that watches the news and just can’t believe there’s a God, with all that’s going on.  He leaves the bar and because he’s not paying attention, nearly gets hit by a car.   Quite intriguing is the fact that the story is told from an angels’ point of view because, of course, angels KNOW God exists.  They surround his throne to worship him every day.  Humans, on the other hand, must take it on Faith that God exists. 

 

So, let me ask you a riddle.  What do you HAVE to have to get to Heaven…  …yet doesn’t exist in Heaven?    

 

Answer:  FAITH

 

Let’s check scripture to see if that’s right.

 

 “For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved.  You receive it through FAITH.  It was not our plan or our effort.”  Ephesians 2:8-9

 

 “Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen.”  Hebrews 11:1

 

We take it on Faith that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, died for the sins of the world (you and me), rose from the grave after three days then ascended back to Heaven forty days later.

 

In Heaven, we will be living the reality of seeing God in His brilliance every day, so we won’t need Faith.  It’s not “going out on Faith” to believe something you are witnessing with your own eyes.

 

Spiritual Currency

A while back I had a thought, Faith is the currency of Heaven, it almost makes sense, right.  After all, it’s how we “buy” our way into Heaven.  We literally cannot step foot on that beautiful golden pavement without it.  However, to say it’s Heavens Currency would be a mistake because as we see in Hebrews, once we get to Heaven, we won’t need Faith.   

 

Here on earth, on the other hand, it is our LIFEBLOOD!!!  It’s how we come to know Christ, how we ‘hook up the IV’ to receive the blood of Christ that flows through our veins. 

 

“For by grace are you saved, through faith…”

 

Unfortunately, for some, that’s where the teaching of Faith stops.   The bible says “We are saved through Faith” but that’s not ALL it says about Faith.

 

After reading through several of the passages on Faith, I believe it’s the spiritual currency we must use while on earth.  If you do a search on the word Faith in the bible there are 304 instances; 281 just in the New Testament, depending on the translation.

 

In 2 Peter 1:2-7 the bible tells us how to have the great life God intended for us.  Peter starts his address to several churches with the phrase “to those who have received the same precious faith we share through the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus, the Anointed” then continues to explain that God’s divine power has given us everything we need to experience life… and his “great and valuable promises”, all of this so we might “escape the corruption of worldly desires and share in the divine nature”.  The following is how we achieve that.

 

To achieve this, you will need to add virtue to your faith, and then knowledge to your virtue; to knowledge, add discipline; to discipline, add endurance; to endurance, add godliness; to godliness, add affection for others as sisters and brothers; and to affection, at last, add love. 2 Peter 1:-5-7 (emphasis mine)

 

I love the picture painted of how we can escape the corruption of worldly desires and share in His divine nature; the best part is… the formula needed to do exactly that is provided.  We see the formula starts with Faith then adds virtue, knowledge, discipline, endurance, godliness, affection and love.

 

The scripture says “at last, add love” which is pretty telling considering 1 John 4:8 says “…God is love”.  So we start with a foundation of Faith then cap it off with love, which is God himself.

So, what do I mean by Spiritual Currency? 

 

Because you have so little faith. I tell you this: if you had even a faint spark of faith, even faith as tiny as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and because of your faith, the mountain would move.  Matthew 17:20

 

After reading through several scriptures on Faith like the one above, I truly wonder what we could do if we had “the faith the size of a mustard seed”.   What would happen if we used the faith ‘currency’ we possess.

 

The word ‘currency’ suggests that we could use Faith to “buy” things because that’s what you do with currency or as the well-off put it “build their wealth”.  The great news is that the more we use our faith (prayers answered… and unanswered) the more faith we build, or is built in us.

 

If you want some sobering facts, search the scriptures for the phrase, “your faith has healed you” or “your faith has made you whole”, Jesus saw the faith of the one asking for either themselves or someone they loved and said “you are healed”. 

 

The scripture that hit me right between the eyes was from Matthew 9.  Jesus asks some blind men if they believe he is able to heal them.  They, of course, say yes.  To that he replies… “According to your faith, it will be done to you.”

 

Hearing that, I immediately started doing a self evaluation and asking myself… how much faith do I have?  If I were told I would get something I was asking for, “according to my faith”…would I get it?   ‘Do I have enough faith currency?’

 

Granted, being in His presence and hearing the stories of what He had already done, I’m sure, made it a bit easier to have faith.  Two thousand years later, I’m afraid a lot of times our faith level is the reason things don’t get done like they did then.

 

Jesus says in Matthew 21:21-22 “I tell you this: if you have faith and do not doubt, then you will be able to wither a fig tree with one glance.  You will be able to tell mountains to throw themselves into the ocean, and they will obey.  If you believe, whatever you ask for in prayer will be granted.”

Before that he also says in Matthew 17:21 “If you had just a sliver of faith, you would find nothing impossible.  But this kind is not realized except through much prayer and fasting.”

 

These scriptures give us the promise that if we have the smallest sliver of faith, we can move mountains.  So ,why aren’t we Christians moving mountains?  Like the reference in my friends song, why aren’t things better because of the mountains we’ve moved?

 

The last verse (Matthew 17:21) gives the answer.  This kind of faith is not realized except through much prayer and fasting. 

 

Prayer and Fasting

 “We must, out of sheer helplessness, stretch forth hands of faith.  We must believe, where we cannot prove.  … when faith ceases to pray, it ceases to live.”  E.M. Bounds

 

Without Faith, we have no prayer life…without prayer we have no way of communicating with the Father and without that communication there can be no peace.

 

Prayer is our two-way conversation with Heaven…with Christ…with God.  Without Faith, you might as well not even utter the words, “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”…  I know that sounds strong and you may be saying, “but my faith is not that strong…are you saying I shouldn’t even try?”   To that I say a resounding… NO!  You should try, you should pray for God to build your faith.  Just like Luke 17:5 says “We don’t have enough faith for this…Help our faith grow!”

 

The bible tells us to ask for what we lack… just like James 1:5-6 says…

 

5 If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking.  6 The key is that your request be anchored by your single-minded commitment to God.

 

Ironically we can’t pray without faith and yet we need to pray to get stronger faith.  Interesting huh?

 

Now we know we can pray for more faith, but we see at the end of the scripture above that the key ingredients are “prayer and fasting”.   

 

So, the other ingredient is fasting. 

 

I used to think fasting meant skipping a meal to spend time with God and while that is one way of fasting, it’s not the only way.  In her book titled, The Daniel Prayer, Anne Graham Lotz submits that fasting is not always food based.  It could be fasting from distractions such as tv, radio, internet, etc.   While food fasting is a great practice, I believe in today’s society, fasting from distractions would almost go further.

 

In order to plug into the power needed to do what God has sanctioned us to do (make disciples, heal the sick, etc) we must unplug from all of the distractions of this world.   We must get alone with God then pray and listen.  HE is our strength.  We can’t plug into that strength if we’re plugged into something else.

 

I truly wonder what we could accomplish, in Jesus name, if we truly put into practice what the bible says and grow our Faith. 

 

E.M. Bounds sums it up pretty well…

 

“What a day of glorious achievements would dawn for the Church and the world if there could be reproduced a race of saints of like might faith, of like wonderful praying!  It is not the intellectually great that the Church needs.  Neither is it men and women of wealth that the times demand.  It is not people of great social influence that this day requires.  Above everybody and everything else, it is Christians of faith, Christians of mighty prayers, men and women like the saints and heroes listed in Hebrews, who “obtained a good report through faith” that the Church and the whole wide world of humanity needs.”

 

An interesting fact about E.M. Bounds… he died in 1913, over one hundred years ago.  If this statement was true a hundred years ago, think how much more important it is today!

 

So what will Christians do now, knowing how important this one element is and how to get more of it?  Perhaps we will see another Great Awakening where the church is filled with men and women of “mighty prayers” and Faith. 

 

Perhaps we will start to see mountains moved!

 

 

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