Effortless Faith - Part 1

  • This teaching will be in four parts. The truth about Faith is being falsely taught by religionists and legalists, and must be addressed with Truth. So here's part one which will destroy the traditional false beliefs about what faith is.

    Faith ought to be effortless. Having said that, I need to add that faith is an action word. It is not just believing. "Manmade religion says you have to faith your way into heaven, but that’s not how faith works. True faith is always a response to something God has said or done." Dr. Paul Ellis. So, Faith is recognizing all the promises of God that are already completed and provided for us and then stepping into those promises and resting. "Faith is not wishful thinking or some sort of spiritual currency that you trade for heavenly favors. Nor is faith something you manufacture through sheer determination." Dr. Paul Ellis.

    Graham Cooke says it this way. “There is a difference between faith and believing. Faith and believing are two expressions of a God-given reality and our response to that. Belief is the internal process of agreeing with our inner man all that God is for us. [That is what is called “Right Believing”.] Faith is the external process of moving forward in action, [or stepping into and declaring the promises and provision of God.] So belief is internal, faith is an external action that must produce works.” (Bracketed portions are my words).

    Recently, God spoke to us about moving. We believed that we heard clearly from God, especially with all the confirmation we received. I won't go into the details of that, but the point is we fully believed God told us to move. Now, we could still be sitting at our old living place fully believing God told us to move. However, it took faith to take action and move. So, we believe in the promises of God, but then we take action to move into those promises.

    Then there’s the resting part. Rest is also an action word. Rest means we stop worrying, fretting, or trying to perform in order for God to do something. Entering His rest means trusting what He has already done as being totally finished and camping out there. Faith is not a thing we use to try and manipulate God into doing something. Faith is reacting to what God has already done. Faith does not move God into action, it moves us into action.

    Faith is one of those concepts that religion just loves to try and define for people or use against people. Faith has nothing to do with works or working to gain favor with God. However, great works of God have come out of faith. Did you notice it was “great works of GOD?” Faith realizes and believes Christ and Him crucified and rests right there. It isn’t Jesus plus me now that I believed, it’s just Jesus because now I am one with Him.

    Suppose you needed repair work on your car, but it was going to cost a lot of money due to the nature of the repairs. You leave town on a business trip, and while you’re gone, a friend who is mechanically astute fixes your car and charges you nothing. It is a gift from that person.

    Why did that happen? Was it because you were struggling to have enough faith that your friend would fix your car while you were gone? No. It happened because your friend decided to give you a gift. You could have decided, while on your trip, that if only you could work up enough faith, you could cause the repairs to your car to be completed. You could jump, shout, pray and grunt in an attempt to get your faith meter up to the max. Would that have done any good unless your friend had decided to give you this gift in response to no activity on your part whatsoever?

    It would do no good at all. Faith doesn’t fix cars, auto mechanics do. And faith doesn’t pay bills, either. “Faith, therefore, is not a gadget by which I can work wonders. It is just trust in a person who actually can work them – and who has promised me he already has” (Robert Capon – The Astonished Heart, p. 41).

    We have faith in what Jesus did for us at Calvary. The Finished Work of the cross and then we rest right there. We have faith in Jesus for the manifestation of our healing. We don’t have faith in our ability to work up our belief system by praying enough, reading our bible enough, giving enough. We have faith in the one who already provided everything for us. That includes giving up our way that we believe He should cause the healing to manifest. He may, has and will choose to use Drs., medicines, or other means.

    It’s the same for every part of our lives. We have faith in the one whom God has sent. We allow Him to do the work the way He has already determined and completed. “Christ the miracle worker has already done it all. It’s only an issue of the revealing of what He’s done so we can wake up to reality. Our job is to rest.” (John Crowder).

    Take salvation for instance. Faith did not save you. Grace saved you. Jesus is grace. It was Him and His finished work that saved you. Ephesians 2:8 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”. So, it is faith in the grace of God that saved you by recognizing who grace is. It’s Jesus.

    True faith is simply an effortless realization of the truth. Christ is the truth. Faith doesn’t save you, the truth did. You are not saved by faith. You are saved by the free-gift grace. Faith is the simple recognition of the free gift that’s already been given to you by Him.

    So again we have faith in the one who has completed the work of salvation for everyone and then promises this salvation to them. We don’t try to manipulate through faith how, when, or where we will be saved. God has immeasurable ways of accomplishing salvation in someone’s life. No two testimonies are exactly alike. It’s the same with our provision, health, joy, peace, or any of the other great promises from God.

    So, with that in mind, lets look at Acts 16:31. “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Now that’s a promise made to us. Believe on or trust Jesus. So we don’t try to have enough faith to make that happen by giving an offering toward salvation, or making a vow to God to attend church every Sunday, or trying to conjure up some hyper belief. No. We rest in that promise and simply allow the promise maker who is also the ultimate promise keeper to bring us and them to the knowledge of Him. Our family members will see the change in us, we don’t have to force it on them. Others will witness to them as confirmation to what they now know we believe. One plants, another waters, but God gives the increase. Relax.

    How do I generate faith? You can’t. If your own effort is involved in trying to generate faith, then it’s not faith, it’s works. Paul said it this way. Galatians 2:20 – “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”. You see it is His faith that saves us, heals us, redeems us.

    He died for us and as us so we could become one with Him. When that happened everything about me died and I took on Him and His nature. So it is His faith and His faith never fails. He did all the work. We get all the prizes and rewards through resting in His finished work.

    Going to stop right here with Part 1, but don't miss the rest of this 4 part teaching. It is full of truths about what faith is and how it works for us. Not how we have to work for it. Grace and Peace.