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. True Faith brings deliverance, but false faith brings bondage.
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 children 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 verse, 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 says that by faith nothing is impossible, and we can move mountains.
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.
Many people are led to believe 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 biblical faith, they've embraced a false faith of their own expectations. Their own expectations have become a substitute for genuine faith.
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. Being positive, and hopeful and having dreams are all good things, but they are not biblical faith. Despite what some "gurus" say, our own dreams can'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 causes harm.
It's tempting to think that through Jesus' name we can make our own desires and expectations come to pass. It's tempting to believe that we have the power to envision amazing things into reality. However, in practice this is less like biblical faith and more like false religion. Many churches take this modern empowerment message, repackage it with a Jesus label, and preach it as biblical faith.
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 people imposing 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 creating a false messiah.
"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. They conform their belief in Jesus to fit with what's in their own hearts. They reinvent him according to their own worldly wisdom and traditions. The result of this is that they're thoughts are vain, because they've been built on a foundation of their own heart.
As long as people walk according to their own wisdom, their desires 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).
Of course it's not our own expectations and beliefs that move mountains. Our expectations and beliefs are worthless unless they have something valid supporting them. 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 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).
The true path of faith is a resurrection of a new spiritual man. This new spiritual man grows stronger by the words and thoughts of God. He is able to overcome the snares of temptations of the world. The new spirtual man can speak to God in righteous prayer, and God responds as a Father to his child.
The ones who abide are his children, "If you remain in Me, and My Words remain in you, whatever you desire you will ask, and it shall happen to you. In this My Father is glorified, that you should bear much fruit; and you will be disciples to Me" (John 15.7-8 LITV bible).
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