cup of wrath

Faith vs. our own Expectations

Jesus teaches us about the power of faith. This faith doesn't come from our own biased beliefs, desires, and expectations. Instead, this faith comes from a place of selflessness and fellowship with God, through Christ.

The bible speaks often about faith, and the importance of having faith. To be forgiven we need faith, to know God we need faith, and to serve God we need faith. All spiritual growth depends on faith, and so it's faith that separates God's elect from everyone else.

The bible tells us that faith can deliver and heal us, "And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague" (Mark 5:34 KJV bible). Jesus says to this woman that her miraculous healing has happened by faith.

In another place, Jesus tells us that by faith we can move mountains, "And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you" (Matthew 17:20 KJV bible).

Here Jesus is rebuking his disciples for not having the faith to cast out a demon. Then he describes to them the power of faith. Jesus literally says that by faith nothing is impossible, and we can move mountains.

False faith is often a substitute for true faith.

As with many biblical principles, faith can be removed from its context, and come to mean something different from its original meaning. People can be easily led into a trap that is not the delivering power of true faith.

People have been led into believing that their own expectations are the same as biblical faith. They've been taught that if they simply expect to receive what they want, and pray in Jesus' name, it will happen. Instead of building true biblical faith, they've embraced a false faith of their own expectations.

The problem with this is that expecting a certain outcome, has no effect on whether it happens. Believing in something doesn't make it more likely to happen. Sure, there is something to be said for being positive and hopeful, and not defeating ourselves. But despite what some "gurus" will tell you, positive thinking won't move mountains.

The act of expecting or trusting in something, by itself, is worthless. People expect things all the time, and are often disappointed with the results. People hear claims, believe lies, and chase after all kinds of hoaxes and deceptions. They might be convinced for a period of time, but this has no effect on the final outcome. Sometimes their unwillingness to accept the truth leads them to ruin.

It's tempting to think that through Jesus' name we can make our own desires and expectations a reality. However, in practice this is less like biblical faith and more akin to new age teachings. The idea that we all can do amazing things, if we expect and foresee these amazing things coming to pass, is a new age concept. Many churches take this new age concept of faith, repackage it with a Jesus label, and preach it as biblical faith.

False faith is based on man's desires and expectations.

This kind of false faith isn't biblical, because it's based on man's perceptions and expectations of what's right. It comes from the tendency of people to impose their ideas and expectations onto Jesus. When people create and trust in a version of Jesus that is in agreement with what they want, they are practicing false faith. When they seek a Jesus that is favorable to their own delusions and vanities, they are rejecting God.

"And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept" (Luke 7:31-32 KJV bible).

False faith is when people take their own desires and expectations and impose them onto Jesus. In other words, they conform their belief and understanding of Jesus, to fit with what's in their own hearts. They reinvent him according to their own worldly wisdom and traditions. Therefore their expectations and hopes are worthless to God, because they've been built on a foundation of their own designs.

As long as people walk according to their own wisdom, their desires and expectations are vain, "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?..." (James 4:2-4 KJV bible).

To have biblical faith, Jesus must be guiding our hearts.

Of course it's not our own expectations and beliefs that move mountains. Our expectations and beliefs don't amount to anything unless there is something valid backing them up. Our expectations and beliefs must be rooted in God, because he is the one who can move mountains from our path. They must arise out of a real and persistent fellowship with God.

The power of faith is unlocked only when we have fellowship with God, through Christ. Only when we discern and follow Christ, can our hopes and expectations be sanctified in him. This is because when Christ is our guide, we are standing on a foundation and witness of truth. When we truly follow him, our hopes and expectations no longer come from our own corrupt hearts, but from Godly wisdom.

Biblical faith can only come from a relationship with God. To approach God in faith, we must have hearts that recognize and know him. In fellowship, our souls are close to God, and he is responsive to us, "The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous" (Proverbs 15:29 KJV bible).

Biblical faith doesn't come from a worldly heart and mind. Instead, biblical faith comes from a place of selflessness in Christ, "And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it" (Mark 8:34-35 KJV bible).

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