Learn the 4 Types of Faith
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The turmoil being caused in the world today on many fronts has many people running scared. The question is- are you? As a Christian, we are to walk by faith (more accurately, believing) – and not by fear. However, it is very easy to have our thoughts be misguided, impressed upon by worldly beliefs which can corrode our thinking to the point where we are walking by fear and not faith.
The word (the written bible) is filled with instruction in the areas of faith and fear. It is up to us to work the word, study it, learn it and hold onto the information God has so beautifully laid out for our learning. The word also speaks often of ‘rumors of wars in divers (many) places’. It talks about famine, upheavals of people and the bad decisions people made – and the consequences that come along with it.
The great thing about God so graciously laying out his word in living history- is that we can study this and learn how to avoid making the same mistakes others before us made. We get to learn how to live victoriously in any situation, any condition or amongst any ‘disaster’ that may be occurring around us.
There are a few key promises God made to us and he still holds up today. It is important for us as believers to really understand the depth of these promises- for with our understanding of the details of these promises, we are able to firmly hold onto them in order for God to bring them to pass in our lives- no matter what the worldly conditions are around us.
The first promise is this: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper
and be in health- even as thy soul prospereth”. - III John 2
God WANTS us to prosper and be in health! However there is a condition. Everything in the universe needs balance. God created this universe and his Word. To reap the prosperity and health, we need to understand that there’s another part to this verse that brings the balance. When there is balance, and all areas covered, God is able to provide to us easily. The balance or ‘condition’ is: “even as thy soul prospereth”. What does that mean?
This verse is a perfect mathematical equation. We will prosper AND be in health EVEN AS our soul prospereth. Here’s another way to see this: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest PROSPER + BE IN HEALTH = THY SOUL PROSPERS.” As thy soul prospers is the condition that we need to work and be aware of in order to receive prosperity and health. If we do not live, walk, and nurture our spiritual (soul) life with prayer, supplication, thankfulness, learning His word and then sharing His word- we will not have prosperity or health.
In these days where the current world talk is all about the monetary situations of everyone- the first thing for us to look at as believers is: how is our spiritual life? What’s our spiritual bank account like? Are we nourishing it daily? One of the steps to remember for prosperity and health is to feed our spiritual life. If you do not feed into the spiritual bank account, God cannot feed into your life in other areas with prosperity or health.
When our spiritual life is nourished, we have the ability to strengthen our faith andour believing in God’s word without question. By having strong, rock solid believing according to God’s principles, then he can work in our lives in any situation. He can bring prosperity and health to us that is in proportion to our spiritual health and prosperity. A benefit of increasing our believing by being actively involved in our spiritual walk is that with each step of growth and understanding of God’s word and his promises for us- we are able to remove fear from our lives.
I John 4:18 says:
“There is no fear in love (agape-‘the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation’); but perfect love casteth out fear:
because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
The word love, when from the Greek word Agape- is the love of God, in the renewed mind (when we change our thinking and live according to his Word) in manifestation (visible, living proof, actually coming to pass). This form of love is not the way we casually use the word love today. Agape love is deep, pure, passionate and unadulterated.
Perfect love- perfect Agape – is walking uprightly. It’s intentionally living a Godly, spiritually strong life based on the knowledge of God’s word. When we have perfect love- perfect Agape- it gets rid of fear. I John 4:18 says fear has torment- it causes torment, unrest, and hardship in peoples lives. I John 4:18 also says that if you have fear in your life- you are not walking in an Agape lifestyle or mindset- we’re not made perfect in love.
What’s awesome about how God created us is knowing that he made us to be successful! He made us to be more than conquerors! He made us so that by learning his promises, then taking action on what he has taught- these changes can happen easily in our lives. If you’ve been held captive to fear because of current world events and news- you can be freed from the bondage of that fear by walking forth and claiming the promises shown here today. Claim them for your own- take ownership of them! Own them, believe them fully- without a doubt – and you will have opened the door for God to bring peace and prosperity into your live. God gave us what we need to make this happen.
II Timothy 1:4 promises us:“For God hath not (absolutely not) given us the spirit (character) of fear (cowardly cowardice), but of power (inherent power), and of love (agape), and of a sound (sober) mind”.
We have the ability to have clear, strong, thinking in any situation. God did not give us fear! Worldly people (those who walk without God) propound fear into daily conversation. They thrive on it. There is a universal and spiritual law that is immutable-it cannot be changed. The spiritual law in Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he”. The Universal Law of Attraction says: “What you think most upon, what you focus most of your thoughts upon you attract into your life”. If we are always surrounding ourselves with input and people that are always focusing on the fear from the torment, turmoil and disasters going on- then that is what we will have in our daily lives.
Romans 2:12 says: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what (is) that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” We must guard ourselves to our input and walk away, turn off, or close the door to fear based thinking and input if we want to keep our minds strong, sharp and focused on God’s foundation for success and prosperity!
Philippians 4:6 says :“Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” During the days (or even minutes) where you start to feel anxious, uncertain, you feel fear creeping in – God instructs us to renew our thinking by prayer. Be thankful and grateful for the blessings we do have and the promises God has made. Hold onto the firm belief of God’s promises for you!! It will come to pass when you walk your spiritual walk filled with a thankful heart.
The word tells us that there WILL be many rumors of wars, disasters, famines, etc. The world, although it was made by God- is not ruled by God. The adversary rules the world. God oversees us- his born again children. The word says we (God’s children) are in the world but we are not OF the world. When we are born again with God’s spirit, we are not of the world. Knowing that the Word clearly tells us that there will be unrest amongst people on the earth we can see things going on around us from a spiritual view and not a man made view.
The warfare going on in the world is first and foremost a spiritual war. It’s the adversary against God just as it always has been. The evidence of this is showing in many forms of destruction around us. This is caused by the divisive hand of the devil for his true nature is that of pure hatred. He stands for everything that is opposite of God. There are times when the adversary moves very subtly. He presents himself as beautiful, pleasant and inviting. We are to really watch our thoughts and input because with just a change of one word here, one action there, our beliefs, acceptance and understanding can start to be moved away from God’s word.
I Peter 5: 8 says: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour”. This verse shows the real nature of the devil. He wants to devour us. His goal, his only true goal, is to "kill, steal and destroy" us. He does NOT want us to walk with God. Whether his actions are subtle and sly or outright obvious with intense destruction, we are to be clear in our thinking (sober) and be vigilant. Threfore be watchful and careful, but not fearful.
Fear opens the door for the adversary to come in. Fear is how a lion captures its prey. It comes upon quietly then roars unexpectedly startling the prey into a state of unmovable fear. This is the opportunity for the lion to attack, kill and destroy! If we walk with fear or if we are inattentive and walking without God this is exactly the kind of situation we allow to happen in our lives. It is the open door for the adversary to come in and personally attack us!
When we remove fear from our life we can claim God’s promise to keep us safe: Proverbs 29:25 “the fear of a man bringeth a snare (a trap): but whose putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe”. One of the traps we have to be watchful of is man’s thinking, mans’ words and man’s actions. Those who walk without God are open doors for the adversary to come in and play with. They (people who walk without God’s spiritual guidance and instead are led by the adversary) are the ones who are involved in the actions that are causing turmoil for many today.
God warns us often of the consequences of trusting the worldly, five senses man only. He instructs us on the importance of living by vigilant believing (faith) and spiritually walking with the promises of God’s word- instead of living from a worldly perspective. Living worldly causes fear and destruction.
Psalms: 118: 8 “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man”
Jeremiah 17: 5-8 clearly shows the benefits of trusting God and the consequences of living by trusting man:
5. “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed (be) the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh (five senses) his arm (strength), and whose heart (believing) departeth from the Lord.
6. For (explains the reason) he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, (in) a salt land and not inhabited.
7. Blessed (is) the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope (belief) the Lord is
8. For (explains the reason) he (the man that trusts the Lord) shall be as a tree planted by the waters (strong, healthy, fed, grounded, beautiful and lush) and spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when the heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit”
When we trust in God, and walk by faith- unyielding believing – under any circumstance, we will be more than conquerors! If we walk by fear- and we give into the worldly thoughts caused by the manifestation of spiritual darkness we will eventually be devoured. God states that if we faint when hard times come it is because of one thing: we not have enough knowledge of his word within us. Proverbs 24:10 “If thou faint in the day of adversity, they strength (knowledge of God’s word) is small (narrow- thin, not solid).
Knowledge of God’s word and his promises builds the foundation for us to walk on solid ground- ground that will support us under any situation, any circumstance! Remember this the next time you feel fear creeping into your thinking- claim the promise of perfect peace- and then hold onto that promise, watch your input and be sure to communicate with God in thanksgiving. Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in peace (whose) mind (is) stayed (strong, consistent) (on thee): because he trusteth in thee”
This renewing of your mind and actions builds the trust that will allow you to prosper- and have no fear -in any situation! God Bless and may you have a fearless day!
By Debbra Sweet
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Debbra Sweet is a biblical scholar who served 8 years on the Board of Directors for ACF (The Association of Christian Fellowships) a worldwide biblical research ministry. Debbra Sweet and her husband, Pastor Daniel Sweet, were in charge of the North San Diego County Region of in home fellowships for ACF. During that time, she has overseen the growth and development of multiple in home fellowships and has been instrumental in helping many people come to the knowledge and truth of God’s Word. She is the founder of Sweet Marketing Solutions and an author in the Power of Leadership book series.