To effectively activate our faith we need to know who God is. We also need to know what promises God has given us from the Bible.
For example, Psalm 91 gives promises of protection for the believer, as long as certain conditions are met. Isaiah 54 declares that no weapon formed against the believer shall prosper, as long as certain conditions are met.
Other promises include Scriptures like John 3:16 which says that God sacrificed His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. This promise is a promise to “whoever”, meaning the promise applies to anybody who would want to have this everlasting, eternal life.
I believe this promise was for me personally as well, and I can receive it by trusting that Jesus died for me and by confessing with my mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord. The miracle of being transformed from death to life occurs in an instant, and over time I perceive, feel and know that I am a changed creature from the inside out.
While there are many promises in the Bible, we must distinguish between promises that apply to us all, like the one given in John 3:16, compared to promises God gives specifically to you or I on a one-to-one basis.
A Direct Word From God
While God specifically gave Abraham a promise at the age of ninety-nine that he would bear a child, an individual cannot simply make this promise their own just because it is in the Bible. If a person is barren at the age of ninety-nine, that person needs to have a direct Rhema word from the Lord regarding the situation, especially if the person wants to have faith for something that is impossible in the natural.
We also need to realise the promise given to Abraham formed part of God’s greater plan to adopt us into His family as sons, since Jesus was to be born from the lineage of Abraham.
The word “Rhema” is a Greek word that literally means utterance or thing said. Abraham received an utterance or direct word from the Lord Himself, saying Abraham would have a child at his age. Only because of the promise given him was Abraham able to exercise his faith and see the manifestation of what he hoped and believed for.
Because of the promise of salvation to all who would believe, like the one found in John 3:16, all can exercise faith and take hold of the promise provided all the conditions that accompany the promise are met. Similarly, I can exercise faith for whatever promise God has laid upon my heart for my life, and I can expect to see the manifestation of that promise because it is a direct word from God.
The Words We Speak
Furthermore, the evidence of our faith (and the activation of our faith) is found in the words we speak and in the actions we take. In Deuteronomy 30:19 God said to Israel, “I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live.”
So how do you choose life? Proverbs 18:21 gives us a clue and it says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].”
We may not always understand the power or the importance of our words, but this is exactly why Jesus said in Matthew 12:36 that man will have to give account of every idle word that was spoken by him, on the Day of Judgement. The Amplified Bible defines the word “idle” as “inoperative” or “nonworking”.
To choose life, we must speak words that are operative and working.
Additionally, Jesus said in Matthew 17:20 that if we have faith we can speak to mountains and they will move. Again, in Matthew 21:21 Jesus said, if we have faith we will say to the mountain be taken up and cast into the sea, and it will be done.
For your faith to work, however, you can’t just speak anything your heart desires. Your words must always line up with what God promised you and what you are believing God for instead.
This is how Abraham activated his faith. He was praising and worshiping God for the fulfilment of the promise, even though he couldn’t see it yet. In other words, Abraham’s words, through his praise and through his worship, came into agreement with God’s word about the promise of his son. Abraham took hold of his title deed by faith, and within that very year he saw the manifestation of what he was trusting God for.
The Actions We Take
In addition to the words we speak, there are also the actions we take. Hebrews 11:7 says Noah took heed and constructed the ark in accordance with the word of the Lord, even though there was no visible sign yet of what God was about to do on the earth.
Hebrews 11:8 says Abraham was “urged on” by faith. Verse 11 says that Sarah, because of faith, received physical power to conceive a child. When God tested Abraham and asked him to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham literally went up to the mountain with his son to sacrifice him – in faith.
James explained this principle well and in James 2:20-23 we read, “Are you willing to be shown [proof], you foolish (unproductive, spiritually deficient) fellow, that faith apart from [good] works is inactive and ineffective and worthless? 21Was not our forefather Abraham [shown to be] justified (made acceptable to God) by [his] works when he brought to the altar as an offering his [own] son Isaac? 22You see that [his] faith was cooperating with his works, and [his] faith was completed and reached its supreme expression [when he implemented it] by [good] works. 23And [so] the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed in (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on) God, and this was accounted to him as righteousness (as conformity to God’s will in thought and deed), and he was called God’s friend.”
Therefore, there are three things we need in order for us to activate our faith and to make our faith work.
If our faith is rooted in a Word or Promise from the Lord, then the three things we need are:
- A Word or Promise from the Lord
- Our words must be in agreement with the Word or Promise
- Our actions must correspond with the Word or Promise we are hoping for
If the foundation of my faith is rooted in who God is rather than a direct word or promise, then the three things needed to activate my faith are the following:
- An unshakable Truth of who God is, based on His Word
- Our words must be in agreement with this Truth
- Our actions must correspond with the Truth of who God is
The certainty of the promise or truth, together with the intensity, determination and conviction with which we stay true to these principles of faith will not only sustain the dimension of our faith, but it will fuel it and cause it to place pressure on the spiritual realm to manifest what we are believing for in the natural realm.