Reading Romans 4... Abraham was promised a child after "his body was as good as dead." How it must have hurt to believe that promise! Why else would Sarah have laughed?
On day 5, Beth Moore talks about the perceived difference between the meaning of the words faith and faithfulness: that faith is believing God and faithfulness is steady obedience (my wording). As I read this, I thought, "Duh!" Faithfulness is the state of being full of faith--and what happens when I am full of faith? I act according to what I believe will happen. How could I not be obedient in that light? But faithfulness is much more than obedience. Something to ponder...
She also talks about faith (and hence faithfulness) being "fruit of the Spirit," consequences of receiving the Holy Spirit. So little focus seems to be put on this except in churches where the focus is put on speaking in tongues. This has always disappointed me, but it does so even more now. How many people are trying to live out their "faith" without the power of the Holy Spirit because they don't understand that this is the promise for us who believe? And all of this while we are told not to "quench the Spirit!"
How do we get faith?
- Read God's Word.
- Ask for it.
- Act on what we have.
- Ask for help overcoming unbelief.
- Give glory to God.
Hmm... Sunday in class after church service, we talked about Ezekiel and the dry bones. Why did God ask him if the bones could live? I wrote a note about it. God was about to call on Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones. Ezekiel's faith had every bit of importance in his ability to use that gift of prophecy. So I think God asked in order to make him confront the issue of his faith before he did what God called him to do.