For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5.7 KJV)
Faith is a very exciting realm to walk in. This is because, most of the time you don’t know what the outcome of your decision will be. But, when you act in faith it ends well. Sometimes it sounds foolish or unreasonable or as if you are not thinking right or that your head is not properly screwed on your neck but taking a step of faith always ends well.
Faith comes from the Greek word pistils, which means, to be persuaded; credence; conviction of a religious truth or of the truthfulness of God; to maintain constancy in such confession.
How do we receive faith?
How then do we receive faith? How do we walk this walk of faith? The Bible tells us how we can receive faith.
In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?” So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. (Romans 10.8-17 NLT)
In the KJV verse 17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
You receive faith through the word of God but when we go into the New Testament, that phrase “the word of God” has been used many times but it has two meanings—two broad categories. There is the word of God called logos in the Greek and the word of God called rhema, also in the Greek. Logos refers to the constant written word of God—the word recorded in the Bible. It helps us know about God generally.
John 1.1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
That ‘Word’ in John 1.1 is logos. But when the apostle Paul was teaching in Romans 10.17 and said faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, the ‘word’ he was talking about was rhema.
Rhema refers to that instant, personal, spoken word of God. For example, as I speak to you today and share the word of God, a certain strength may lift from the word and hit you and you may personalize it and say, “this is for me.” It is a revelation you catch from the word of God that becomes personal to you and your situation.
Sometimes a rhema springs out of the logos and it is personal to you. When you act on this, you have taken a step of faith. Thus, you cannot build your faith if you don’t have a relationship with the word of God.
The rhema will always correspond with the logos. God will never give you a word that contradicts his written word. He won’t give you a word that says go and sin. So anytime he gives you a rhema, it is certainly shared in his word.
As we go into this year, I want you to build your faith on the basis of the word of God. Develop yourself; let the word of God be part of you; and build up your faith based on this.
Rhema can also be a verse or a portion of the scripture that the Holy Spirit brings to our attention with application to the current situation or a need for direction. When the devil came to test Jesus, Jesus proved to the devil that we could live not only by sight but also by another reality. The devil told Jesus to turn stones into bread but Jesus replied, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” When you decide to live on the spoken word of God you have transitioned from one who receives rhema to one who lives by faith.
Luke 5.1-7 KJV
1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
In verse 4 Jesus told Peter to launch out into the deep. He gave a rhema. In verse 5 Peter told Jesus, “We have toiled all night”—that was a fact and that was sight, the reality. Your reality may be that the word Jesus has given you to act on does not make sense. Peter had to transition from receiving rhema to acting on it and the moment he launched out into the deep, he caught so much fish. So, faith is a reality.
I want you, a child of God, to transition from always hearing, always knowing, and always understanding to acting on what you have heard. If God is telling you to start a new business, transition from rhema to faith.
The reality of Peter’s faith become manifest in verse 6. He caught a great multitude of fish till his net began to break. Then he called for reinforcement till both ships were full and began to sink. May your faith catapult you to the realm of overflow.
In Luke 1.28-38, Mary the mother of Jesus had an unusual encounter for a young lady. She had an angelic visitation.
Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings,[d] favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail.” Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. (Luke 1.28-38 NLT)
You can have your doubts at first but don’t stay in doubt
Mary had her doubts with the message the angel brought. So in verse 34 she asked, “But how can this happen?” She had her doubts. You are human like Mary and sometimes it is difficult to appreciate what God is telling us with our human senses. When you consider where you come from and where you were born and somebody tells you that you are a great man or woman, it becomes difficult to put the pieces together so you are allowed to have your doubts. However, you can transition from being a doubter to being a recipient of rhema who acts on it for it to became a reality.
When the angel tried to explain to Mary how the conception would happen it did not make sense to her but in verse 38 she said, “Let it be unto me according to the word you have spoken.” From that time, Mary transitioned from a doubting to faith. The angel continued to answer her questions until she said, “Be it unto me according to your word.” Then the angel left. It was done.
Transition into the realm of faith. Walk by faith, not by sight. It is only through that that we bring the power of God to bear in our lives. I have taken many decisions that did not make sense but today I sit back and say faith works.
When we took the A level, some of us by the grace of God did well. My wife stayed in Kumasi and waited for a long time but didn’t get a letter. Because she did not know Accra, her father drew a map of how to get to Legon from Kumasi. She had a conviction that she had been admitted though she hadn’t received a letter.
She went to the registry and told them she believed she had been admitted. The man said she hadn’t been admitted since she hadn’t received a letter but she insisted. The man then angrily threw the book at her to find her name. The first page she opened had her name. She was given Arabic, Classical History and Civilization, and Political Science.
She didn’t like the course she was given so she tried to change it. She eventually got someone to speak to a notoriously stubborn man, Prof. Ankomah. He told the man to leave her results at Prof. Ankomah’s office even if he wouldn’t accept her. Prof. Ankomah said, “Who is this girl? Even my niece got 6 and I did not admit her.” But my wife did not sleep that night. At four am he called and said, “Tell that girl from the village school to come and register. I did not sleep the whole night.”
God wants to take us somewhere. You can attain great heights. There is no limit to where God can take us. This country—and the world—needs people like us to take commanding heights in the economy. If we go by sight we will keep marking time. Some of these things will not be done by sight but through some extraordinary means and that is faith.
2 Corinthians 5.7, Romans 10.8-17, Luke 5.1-7, Luke 1.28-38