Faith That Leads to Results
Have you ever found yourself in difficult, even desperate circumstances? Perhaps like the woman in Mark 5:25-26 (NIV) 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.
Imagine this woman in agony and weakness due to the continual pain of her bleeding plus the embarrassment of being considered constantly unclean, according to the Jewish religious custom (Lev 15:25-33). It meant she was considered untouchable for the past 12 years! Consider the deep sense of rejection by society because of her unclean status. Further, she had spent everything she had trying to find a cure yet only worsening in her condition. Her problem was not only difficult and desperate, it was unsolvable. What am overwhelming sense of hopelessness she must be living under. What would you have done if you were in such a situation?
Yet in the midst of her immense difficulties, she met God. God delivered her from her situation. The same God that set her free can set us free as well. The key in her situation was her faith in God. An active, dynamic faith. The woman’s faith enabled her to encounter God and receive healing.
Faith is an essential element in a Christian’s life. Yet possessing an active faith that leads to a divine intervention often requires a process. We will unpack 5 principles that helps us develop that kind of active and dynamic experiential faith.
HEARING AND BELIEVING THE RHEMA WORD
Mark 5:27 (NIV) When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak…
We do not know exactly what she heard about Jesus. But whatever it was, it stirred something in her heart. The woman did not only hear but she believed. She believed that Jesus could heal her. What we hear can be a seed for faith in our hearts.
Romans 10:17 (ESV) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
This is hearing the rhema word. An active, dynamic word spoken by God to us. What we hear can spark faith. Or destroy it. That is why we should not allow ourselves to absorb and be filled with negativity. Don’t listen to negative people, for they rob you of faith. Perhaps in the morning, we may have had a great devotion and heard from God. We may feel like Muhammad Ali, floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee! Then we receive a phone call oozing with thick slimy negativity. Sucking away at your faith. By the time you put down the phone, you float like a 10-ton truck and sting like a butterfly!
That is why we must read and absorb God’s Word. Pray and listen to God. Allow God’s written Word and spoken rhema word to impact us and stir up faith in our hearts. The rhema word that we hear must be complemented with a choice. A choice to believe the Word. If we do not choose to believe, the rhema Word results in a big fat zero! Nothing.
The rhema Word is like a spark that must find fuel. The fuel is our decision to believe. Then we ignite faith!
But when we choose to believe the rhema Word that we heard, faith will arise! The rhema Word is like a spark that must find fuel. The fuel is our decision to believe. Then we ignite faith! Our faith level will no longer be at the level of a grasshopper, but at the level of an eagle! Do you want to be a people of faith? Spend time in His Word and with Him. Learn to hear His voice!
CONFESSING THE RHEMA WORD
Mark 5:28 (ESV) For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.”
Something significant occurs when we step out to express the faith in our hearts. Our faith is crystallized, made more tangible by expressing it outwardly.
Noticed the woman expressed her faith outwardly. One of the keys for our faith to become effective is to express it verbally. A silent faith is an incomplete faith! Something significant occurs when we step out to express the faith in our hearts. Our faith is crystallized, made more tangible by expressing it outwardly.
When God wanted to form the earth what did He do? He spoke! And it came into being! When Jesus wanted to heal, what did He normally do? He spoke the healing! Power to heal was released! At times, to those who sought healing, Jesus wanted to hear their faith confession. Matthew 9:27–29 (NIV) 27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”.
So what kind of confession do we have? A faith-filled confession? Confessing our faith is so important. Romans 10:9–10 (NIV) 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
In 1540, Frederick Myconius, Martin Luther’s great friend and assistant was dying. He wrote a loving farewell to Luther. Luther immediately wrote back. “I command thee in the name of God to live because I still have need of thee in the work of reforming the church .... The Lord will never let me hear that thou art dead, but will permit thee to survive me. For this I am praying, this is my will, and may my will be done, because I seek to glorify the name of God.” Myconius completely recovered and outlived Luther by 2 months. That is an effectual prayer of faith.
Our requests to God shows what we are believing for. Are our prayers of the “If you can” variety or the “You have promised”?
VISUALIZING THE RHEMA WORD
Mark 5:28 (ESV) For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.”
Woman saw herself as healed as soon as she could touch even Jesus’ clothes. She saw in her heart first. She visualized it. To visualize is to be able to see it in our heart before it happens. Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Visualizing is an important step in the faith process. For faith requires seeing what is not yet.
Visualizing is an important step in the faith process. For faith requires seeing what is not yet. God helped Abraham visualize for his offspring. Genesis 15:5-6 (NIV) 5 He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars--if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." 6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
We ought to believe to the extent that it grips our imagination! We must think and even dream about it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Before Lai Ling and I even came to Brisbane, I had visualized the church in my spirit. In fact, I have seen a much greater size of congregation. In my heart I have believed for thousands. I saw a multitude of cultures!
Now I must qualify this carefully. It is not simply generating some visuals in our hearts. It is a co-operative act with the Holy Spirit. We may come with a desire or a request, but it is when the rhema word comes to life in our minds eye, that faith rises to the next level. So often, we can only have what we can see in our spirit.
ACTING UPON THE WORD
Matt 5:27 (NIV) When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,
We must act upon the rhema word so that the faith that stirs in our hearts will bring forth fruit.
The woman believed, confessed, visualized and then she acted! She went and touched Jesus’ clothes! We must act upon the rhema word so that the faith that stirs in our hearts will bring forth fruit. The Scriptures reveal to us that Abraham, the father of faith, acted upon his faith in Hebrews 11:8-10 (NIV) 8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
All the men of faith acted upon their faith and received the fruits of their faith! Hebrews 11:32-34 (NIV) 32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.
If we truly have faith, then our works should reflect our faith. James 2:17 (NIV) In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Apostle James then reinforced the principle by illustrating from Abraham’s life. James 2:22 (NIV) You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
What kind of faith do we have? God is pleased when He sees our action measures up to our faith. God is not pleased when we say we believe for something, but our actions are half-hearted towards it. But if you have sincerely tried your best, then God will not ask for more.
In 1853 Hudson Taylor acted upon his faith and went to inland China when most missionaries dared not venture in. Yet he formed China Inland Missions, the most effective missionary organization of his time into China. What are you believing for? What is God saying to you?
PERSEVERING IN THE RHEMA WORD
Mark 5:27 (NIV) When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,
This dear woman pushed and worked her way through the crowd until she reached Jesus. She persevered in getting through. She was desperate enough to break the Mosaic Law regarding uncleanness for all who touched her unintentionally would be ceremonially unclean. She did not let it stop her.
When we persevere, it reveals our convictions and our determination. God appreciates when we are persistent in our cries for answer to our prayers.
Often, before we get the answer to our faith, there are many obstacles, many hindrances, and a season of waiting. But if we persevere, it will come. When we persevere, it reveals our convictions and our determination. God appreciates when we are persistent in our cries for answer to our prayers.
Mark 7:25-30 (NIV) 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27 "First let the children eat all they want," he told her, "for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." 28 "Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." 29 Then he told her, "For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter." 30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
Even when we have faith, there can be set backs that test our faith. Our faith goal fall short, our projects seems to have ground to a halt, our dreams seem to be stuck in the mud. Yet through it all we must persevere! Perseverance will bring its just reward in due time.
What was the outcome of the desperate bleeding woman’s faith? She was completely healed in Mark 5:29 (NIV) Immediately her bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
What was Jesus’ response? Mark 5:34 (NIV) He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
The woman was healed not because she touched Jesus, but because she touched Him with true faith. God is touched when He sees our faith. Let’s develop our faith through hearing and believing the rhema Word, confessing, visualizing, acting upon and persevering in it until we obtain God’s answer.
Copyright©️2023 by Wilson Lim. All rights reserved. Materials are free to be distributed in whole or part as long as proper acknowledgement is given to the author and not sold for profit.