Lorraine Day, M.D.
Faith is more than positive thinking. Positive thinking will NOT produce faith. Faith is trust in God, and the only way to develop faith is to learn to know God. Since He is trustworthy, as we learn to know Him, we spontaneously learn to trust Him. Faith is trusting God when things don't turn out the way we expect.
Hebrews 11:6 is the classic text:
"Without faith it is impossible to please God: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is (that God exists), and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."
God IS a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Not those who seek merely His blessings, but those who seek Him, are the ones who find their reward. For He is the reward.
Yet, Luke 18:8 says,
"When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on earth?"
You can't work on your righteousness - nor can you work on your faith. Both are gifts. Both are fruit. Both come as a result of knowing Jesus. And knowing Jesus comes as a result of spending time in communion and fellowship and relationship with Him. If you will come to Him, He will give you the genuine faith that you need.
The first byproduct of seeking Jesus is genuine faith. Righteousness, or right-doing, is the second.
No man can create faith. The Spirit of God operating upon and enlightening the human, creates faith.
Only two things are necessary in order to trust someone. First you must find someone who is trustworthy. Second, you must get to know him.
But when it comes to the Christian life, only one thing is required; that you come to Jesus, and that you keep coming to Him day by day. If you will keep coming to Him, God has made Himself responsible for taking care of everything else that needs to happen in your life. "If the eye is kept fixed on Christ, the work of the Spirit does not cease until the soul is conformed to God's image." E.G.White, The Desire of Ages, pg 302.
The only deliberate effort in the Christian life is to seek God. Spontaneous effort toward other things will result.
God is bringing us to a decision: Do we trust God or do we trust in "man"?
Isn't it reasonable to trust good Christian experts, like doctors and counselors? Doesn't God work through them?
When Jesus was on earth and someone came to Him for healing, He never once said, "Go see Luke, I heal through doctors." (Luke was a physician) Instead, Jesus healed the person directly, either through His Word, which we have today in the form of the Bible, or He healed them through natural methods, such as clay or water.
God has promised to "heal ALL our diseases." Psalm 103:3 He tells us that He, alone, is our Physician. "I am the Lord who heals you." Exodus 15:26 Then He tells us exactly how He will do it in Deuteronomy 7:11-15: "If you obey My laws (including His Ten Natural Health Laws), My commandments and My decrees. . . I will keep you free from EVERY disease."
We must claim God's promise of healing, THEN we must follow His procedure that consists of keeping His Ten Commandments and following His Ten Natural Health Laws (Please see "You Can't Improve on God" at ww.drday.com).
All action is dependent on belief. In other words, if you believe something, you will act on it. If you don't believe it, you will not act on it. If you truly believe that God heals through His Ten Step Natural Health Plan, you will follow it. If you DON'T believe in it, you won't. Instead, you will go to the doctor and use drugs and/or surgery to treat disease.
Many Christians believe that God gave us doctors, so therefore we should use them. Just because doctors are present on earth, we cannot automatically assume that God wants us to use them. The mere presence of various other groups of people on earth, such as thieves, prostitutes, murderers, does not, in any way, suggest that God wants us to employ their services.
(Note: I'm not suggesting that doctors are thieves, prostitutes or murderers. Please don't miss the point of this illustration.)
Many Christians will say they believe in God's Natural Plan of Healing, but then they trot off to the doctor to receive conventional drug treatment. It is impossible to have it both ways. Your actions will reveal your beliefs. What you DO speaks much louder than what you say!
That's why the Bible says, "Faith without works, is dead." If you claim to have faith, to believe God's promises, but you don't act on them, then you really have no faith. Your faith is "dead."
We are told in Isaiah 1:18, "Come now and let us reason together..." yet in 2 Corinthians 5:7 we're told to "walk by faith and not by sight."
What happens to our "reason" if we walk by faith (believing without seeing) and not by sight. The knowledge of this world tells us that we should only believe when we see! I'll believe it when I see it," is a frequently spoken phrase.
But God's way is different. God says that we will only SEE, when we first BELIEVE! The "believing" comes first. We must believe that God WILL do what He has already promised to do. Only then will we see the promise fulfilled.
Jesus could not do many healings in His home town of Nazareth "because of their unbelief." The one prerequisite for anyone who came to Jesus for healing was that he must "believe" - he must have faith.
But in order to trust God, one must get to know Him. You cannot trust a stranger with your life. In order to trust someone, that person must, over time, prove himself to be worthy of your trust - to be trustworthy.
So, how do we get to know God so well that we can trust Him with our life?
What Does it Mean to "Know" God?
Do you Really KNOW God or do you just know ABOUT God?
Right before Jesus was arrested to be crucified, He spoke to His disciples, saying:
John 17:1,2 "Father, the hour is come: glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify Thee: As thou hast given Him authority over ALL flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given Him."
(Note here another reference to Universal Restoration, because we read in John 3:35 -
"The Father loves the Son, and has given ALL into His hand."
verse 3 "And THIS is life eternal (eonian), that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent."
Since our "eternal life" depends on "knowing" God and Jesus Christ, we must understand what that means and involves.
Notice also that in John 16:31, Jesus asked His disciples,
"Do you now believe? Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own place, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am NOT alone, because the Father is with Me."
Since Jesus came to walk our walk, to show us what WE would have to go through, to be an example for US, this passage tells us that we, too, shall be ALONE when we are tested in the last days, which are upon us now. There will be no "church" to support us, and most, if not all, of our friends will forsake us just as Jesus' closest friends forsook Him. We will have to depend entirely on our heavenly Father for support.
(Unfortunately, the Christian "church" of today is teaching everyone to depend on "the Church" rather than on God. The members are taught to depend on each other, to depend on support groups, to depend on "Christian" psychologists, to depend on the other members of the women's ministries, to depend on the other members of Promisekeepers, and other "Christian" organization support systems, and to depend on their pastors and other church leaders, rather than on God!)
Jesus, in speaking of His Second Coming and His relationship to many professed Christians at that time, declared in Matt. 7:21-23:
"Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.
"Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? And in Thy Name have cast out demons? and in Thy Name done many miracles?
"And then will I profess unto them, îI never KNEW you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity (lawlessness)."
Jesus is clearly talking about those who profess to follow Him - Believers! He is NOT speaking about unbelievers. "Unbelievers" will not be prophesying in the name of Christ, casting out demons or performing miracles in the name of Christ. Obviously, Jesus is referring to Christians when He declares that He will say to them,
"I never KNEW you; depart from Me, you that work iniquity (lawlessness)"
The Bible tells us in 1 John 3:4 that,
"Whosoever commits sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." (The literal translation is: "Whosoever commits sin commits lawlessness; for sin is lawlessness.")
So the group that Jesus is speaking of here, those who are prophesying, casting out demons and doing miracles in the name of Christ, are the very people who profess to be Christians, profess to be followers of Christ, but are transgressing the law - they are guilty of lawlessness. They are NOT real Christians, and, in fact, they are the second Beast in Revelation 13 - the Lamb-like beast (they appear to be Christians) but they speak as a dragon (they have the character and message of Satan - the dragon).
This comprises the vast majority of the "Christian" church of today who PROFESS to "Know" Christ, but really DON'T!
What does it mean to "know" Christ?
In Genesis 4:1, God's Word gives us the definition of the word "know":
"And Adam KNEW Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain..."
God uses the word "Know" to mean the most intimate relationship that two individuals can have with each other. That's the kind of spiritual relationship we must have with God, if we are to be in the group that really "Knows" God.
What does that spiritual intimacy include?
1. We must have such an intimate relationship with God that we can truly talk with Him as we talk with our spouse or closest friend. We must share everything with Him. Talking to Him must become easy, second-nature, not contrived or stumbling, even though it may be uncomfortable and stumbling in the beginning.
2. We must be comfortable in His presence.
3. We must be able to tell Him that we love Him.
4. We must not be afraid of Him.
5. We must learn to trust Him to run our life, to make all of our plans.
6. We must trust (believe) that He will come through for us - that He WILL keep ALL the promises He has made to us. Those promises include:
a. that He will be with us in trouble
b. that He will provide food for us
c. that He will provide ALL our needs
d. that He WILL answer our prayers (but maybe not in the way we wish)
e. that He WILL save us
f. that He WILL save our children
g. that HE is the one who brings calamity to us - but ONLY for our own good.
h. that He will go through the calamity with us
i. that the calamity He brings into our lives, no matter what it is, is brought to us to build our character to make us like Him.
j. that, no matter what happens, we should have no fear
k. that He DOES love us.
l. that we must go directly to HIM, and NOT to "man" - to doctors, when we are sick.
m. that we go directly to HIM, and NOT to "Christian" counselors or pastors, when we have troubles.
n. that we WILL hear His voice
o. that we DO trust Him with our life, and we have no need of "self - defense."
p. that He WILL make us PERFECT!
How do we develop that trust in God? How do we get to KNOW Him that well?
There is only ONE way:
Daily Bible study and prayer! And it must be done in the following way:
b. Always in the same place.
c. Always in the morning - at the beginning of every new day when one is most alert. (Praying should be done in the evening, as well, but the major praying and Bible study should be done in the morning.)
d. Praying MUST be done on our knees - in total submission to God (unless one is too ill or weak to pray on his or her knees). (If you don't want to pray on your knees, ask yourself "Why?" Better yet, tell GOD why you don't!)
You'll NEVER find God until you get on your knees!
e. It must be done EVERY day, not just now and then. It MUST become a daily habit!
f. If you are just starting out, begin with 15 minutes. As you get to know God personally, you will find that you WANT - and you NEED - to spend more time with Him every day - up to an hour a day, or more.
This is the ONLY way to get to "Know" God - or anyone else, for that matter - by spending regular time ALONE with that individual.
"You will seek Me and you WILL find Me (but ONLY) WHEN you search for Me with ALL your heart!" Jeremiah 29:13
The rewards are great! You will find peace, joy, lack of fear for your safety, lack of fear for the future, calmness and self-control. Your life will never again feel like it's out of control. You will know that God is ALWAYS in control of your life.
When you learn to "Know" God in this way, you will trust Him completely, and you will truly be able to
"Be anxious for NOTHING!" Phillipians 4:6-7
For more information on this subject, see "Getting Started on Getting Well" by Lorraine Day, M.D., particularly the chapters entitled: "The Healing Power of Bible Study," and "The Healing Power of Prayer."
© Lorraine Day, M.D. 2006. All Rights Reserved.
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