"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17 (NIV)
Last week we discovered that Abraham had a word from God. We all can have a word from God for what we’re desiring or dreaming. The way we birth faith and keep it strong is by hearing the Word of God to us personally.
To hear from God requires a healthy diet of the word of God. For instance:
- As I read the whole Bible, themes develop, and I know the Lord is wanting to say something to me.
- I study the word and increase my knowledge of it and apply it to my situation.
- I read the word and a scripture jumps out at me and I know the Lord is speaking to me, so I meditate on it and repeatedly speak it out loud.
- I am facing an issue, so I find a scripture about it to meditate on.
- The word of God is in me because Christ is in me and I have the hope of Glory: A belief that God is working for a better future for me.
The word of God can also come to me as a prophetic word. Abraham received a direct promise and visual image from God about his situation. The promise was that he would be the Father of many nations and the pictures God showed Abraham were that his children would be as many as the stars in the sky and the sand in the seashore. (Genesis 15:5, 22:17). Faith not only hears but also sees.
FAITH IS CONVINCED
Faith develops – like a seed that germinates and grows into a tree. Faith needs to be cultivated. We all possess faith inside us but first we must decide to activate it. The word of God needs to be planted deep in our hearts, to become a deep assuredness (2 Timothy 3:14). A revelation becomes a conviction and a thought becomes a belief. God’s Word (Christ) has now become a part of who I am.
Faith is the currency and language of heaven. It’s important in having faith that we ‘see’ what we are believing for: Seeing the outcome before it happens and choosing to believe it will be realised (Hebrews 11:1). God already knows what will happen in the future and He is not worried – He wants us to see things from His perspective.
Having heard from God, we need to obey, taking the next step just like Abraham (Hebrews 11:8). God doesn’t provide us with the whole plan at once and theare are examples in the Bible that show us that we won’t receive the second instruction if we don’t obey the first.
In Exodus we read the story of Moses responding to God’s request that he lead the Israelites out of their bondage to the Egyptians. At first, Moses is sceptical of the whole idea. God demonstrates with the snake/stick and leprous/healed hand that He will be with Moses. When Moses takes the first step and tells the Pharaoh he is leaving with the 3 million Israelites, the Pharaoh scoffs and increases their labours. This story is an example of two key elements to faith:
- When God gives you a promise it will usually come to fruition after a long period of obedience; and
- Circumstances will often get worse before they get better. God likes to show off: He wants us to see that only He can solve this problem.
For faith to function, we need to tune our spiritual ears to hearing what the Word of God is saying to us, choose to believe it, turn on our faith and obey.
Something to talk about:
1. Discuss amongst the group common ways in which each other ‘hears’ from God.
2. Share amongst the group a time when you chose to act on what you heard only to find it took longer than you expected to come to fruition.
3. Consider what ‘next step’ you can take to better position yourselves to hear from God (learning more about the Word/Bible reading programs/learning more about prophecy).