Faith Does Not Move God’s Hand

Faith moves the hand of God is a common belief among many followers of Christ.  Problem is…I don’t believe that’s the truth.  In fact I believe it’s this kind of thinking and believing that nurtures a “works mentality.”

I’ve chosen to live a different kind of life with my Heavenly Father. And, this is it…

God’s hand is moved by something entirely self motivated.  His hand is moved by the passion of His own love for me.  That is what I trust.  That is where my confidence lies.

Early in my Christian walk, I discovered the importance of faith.  In fact I considered myself a Word of Faith believer.  Truthfully, in many ways I suppose I still hold some of the same convictions regarding faith in His Word.  However, in my experience, many “faith folks” have subtly moved their belief system into what is actually a “works mentality”  At least that’s the way it seems to me.

I call this “cause and effect” Christianity.  I do this and God will do that.  

I believe there’s a more peaceful, joyful way to live:  Believing that God is moving on my behalf constantly because He passionately loves me.  In my limited understanding, it may not always look or be perceived by me as love.  But that’s only because of my unfortunate ability to misjudge Him based upon what I think my eyes are seeing and my fears are feeling.  It’s so easy for me to determine that a few grains of sand are the whole beach.

For me the belief that faith moves God’s hand became a trap where I focused on refining formulas that convinced God to move on my behalf.  Then I discovered that He’s already moving on my behalf because that’s what His love for me does.

May you find progressive liberation in your walk of living within life with God.




  • Bebosky101

    Hi Gary…you are a great writer!  What do i do with all the exortations to have and exercise faith?

    Steven Hamric

    • Gary

      Stay tuned, Steven.  Those questions are what I plan to address in my next article.

      • joe

        read 1 kings and the story of hannah. There was faith when God wasn’t answering and God moved because she made a vow to him with faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. I understand your point but Look at the what faith is:

        When we come to God, we must believe that He is God Almighty! And believe He rewards those who diligently seek Him. Have faith in Him! Psalm 62:5 says, “My expectation is in the Lord.”

        We must be like the woman who begged Jesus to deliver her daughter in Matthew 15. She said, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David” (She knew who He was and she was diligently seeking Him)! Jesus said to her, “Great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire” (Matthew 15:28)

        • Gary

          Joe, thank you for your comments. I appreciate the fact that you, at least state here, that you understand the point I am making. I’m hoping that you understand I am not counseling against true faith. My point restated is that I now know far, far, too many “Word of Faith” folks who have turned the whole issue of faith upside down (in my opinion). They have made it into their definition and respond with formulas. They say that if you will do this or that according to the Word (as they understand it) then it will move the hand of God. I suppose it depends on how one is defining “move God’s hand.” Yes, He does respond to faith. But no “faith formula” will ever move Him to do anything. It’s the heart of trust in Him that He responds to. Diligently seeking Him is different than diligently working a formula. His Word also says that when we are faithless, He remains faithful. But, as you said, you already understood my point.

  • Kay James

    Wow Pastor Gary,  best thing I’ve read in a long time………You are sooooooooo right on!

  • Theoctopusband

    A to the Men Pastor G! 

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  • Mark Rogers

    Thanks Gary, I’ve never felt so free since I said goodbye to the Word of Faith, prosperity teaching and believed thje simple truth of the scripture.

  • Neil

    While this article might sound a bit logical it is highly flawed and dangerous in my opinion if one looks at the Word of God.

    Firstly, the title of the article is the real problem. The Bible states that without faith it is impossible to please God (as I am sure you are aware). Also, faith without works is dead (and the entire passage was speaking about just “saying” you have faith without actually DOING and SHOWING that you have faith. God may move his hand in various situations however, he does not operate in unbelief and doubt. Unbelief and doubt actually upsets God if we look at the life of Jesus. Jesus performed miracles and so did his disciples based on faith. Where there was a lack of faith no miracle could be performed.

    You mention faith people moving to “works mentality”. That is NOT faith! Works mentality is like trying to bribe God. That does not work. Faith is a KNOWING that “All things works together for good to those that love God, to those that are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). So guess what REAL faith people know that God always has their back no matter the outcome in the natural world at the time. God is always working things out for the best for true believers as long as they respond in faith and know that God will be with them always no matter the situation. Faith people turn their tragedies to testimonies.

    So in closing, real faith is based on ACTION. Action may mean just stay believing. Believe that child will come back home by praying it, saying it (confession), and by doing (keep his room clean for when he returns).

    At the end of the day, we are saved by grace through FAITH in believing in the redemptive power of the blood of Jesus.

  • gle1244

    Neil…I’m sorry you find my article highly flawed and dangerous. It is, in fact, based upon looking at the Word of God. I personally find your response highly flawed and dangerous if you look at the Word of God past favored Word of Faith teachings.

    I mention faith people moving to “works mentality.” You say that is NOT faith. And, I completely agree. Works is based on “earning” and they do what they do and say what they say in hopes of “earning” favor with God.

    Action with the motive of proving to God or anyone else that you have enough faith that He should move on your behalf is NOT faith. It’s Works. The action associated with faith is based upon a relationship with the God of the Word. He speaks, you respond because you trust His heart, character, and love for you.

    Faith does not act to in order to receive. That is a brand of occultism. Faith receives the hand of God that is already moving on your behalf.

    So in conclusion, real faith is based on RECEIVING. The actions produce nothing in and of themselves. Faith responds. It does not initiate.

  • This year I wanted to grow my faith in God I’m really if I look at it correctly it’s really more of growing my trust in God cuz all I need is Faith of a mustard seed. So really the fact is I just want to be able to trust God in every aspect of my life and that’s something I’m realizing more and more as the Lord helps me trust him and not trust him because I want something but just trust him because I want to trust him. It goes against what I was brought up to believe and what some of my other family members believe they believe in the conditional God and I do believe God has conditions in the way of if you love me you will keep my commandment. But at the same time his love is without condition. He loves me simply because he is love. There’s a lot of things I want and a lot of things I hope to receive in life but at the end of the day not my will but thy will be done and that is my constant mantra anytime I desire something. Lord I would like to be married to a woman who honors you and HHonors the Covenant of marriage but if it’s not your will for me to be married they’re not my will but thine will be done. I’d like to get a house in the new truck and I’m working to save that you know and I hope you bless the work of myhands but again not my will done will be done. Life is much simpler when you trust the sovereignty of God. Also one last thing I’m a firm believer that the Lord of sovereign overall and his thoughts are higher than my thoughts, if the lord gave me everything that I want it when I prayed for it I wouldn’t be here today. So I’m thankful that there is no so-called formula to provoke God to give you what you pray for because Lord knows like the Bible says we pray and yet not do not know what we pray for and thankfully the Holy Spirit knows exactly what to pray for for me.

  • Jaqui De Kock

    I was a bit shocked to read this article, mainly because it is not Biblical. Quote scripture to enforce what you are saying then I will agree. But I believe what the Word says. The Word says that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). Jesus said that if we only had faith as a mustard seed (Luke 17:6). Think of the woman with the issue of blood . Many people in the crowd was pushing against Jesus but she touched His garment hem in FAITH and immediately Jesus knew that power went out from Him because someone touched Him in FAITH. “Thy faith hath made thee whole” (Luke 8:48). No, having faith does not mean we will get what we want. It is not a recipe to have our way. But have faith in any way. This means that when I pray for healing, I BELIEVE He is able to heal me (not He is going to immediately). He does things in His time and as He wills. But I have to have faith. I really do believe that your message is very misleading and confusing to young Christians. And the Word says you will give answer if you misled His lambs.
    I understand what you are saying that believing in God is not a recipe to get what we want. But I do believe you worded it wrong.
    You start by saying Christians believe that faith moves the Hand of God. This in itself is incorrect. We can’t move God. Just because I believe that God can send me a million rand/dollar/pound, does not mean He is going to. If it was the case, all people would follow Jesus because they would become rich, be healed etc.
    Maybe that is the problem here…we are arguing a statement that is not even scriptural to start out with.

    • Yes, of course, without faith it is impossible to please God. It is a matter of how you are interpreting what is being said in those words. Love is what moves God’s hand. When we don’t respond to His love, God is not pleased because we are therefore not able to experience His love. God is love, itself, and is always extended toward us. If we don’t accept it in a faith response, we will not enjoy His heart’s desire for us. God is always expressing love. The failure to experience is on us. He’s already moving. We often don’t receive what is already ours. Faith doesn’t pay for it. His love paid for it. Faith doesn’t earn anything. It experiences what is already true.

    • Jaqui, I appreciate your conviction about faith. You read the words, in my opinion, to be stating something that I am not saying. Absolutely we need faith as do we need love and hope. They all work together…love being the primary “force.” But, the article is, in principle, not unbiblical as you state. Faith “harmonizes” us with God’s heart. Faith is the bridge to what is already going on in God’s heart, which is love. Our faith pleases God because we are affirming and connecting to the love that God is. I maintain that the scriptures do not teach that faith moves God’s heart. His heart is already “in motion” as it were with love. Our exercise of faith pleases Him because because we are actively receiving His love. Love is moving God’s heart. Faith is moving our hearts. When all is said here, I believe this may actually be an argument of semantics. But, to initially react with words like “shocked” and claim the article is not Biblical doesn’t begin any reasonable conversation.

  • Gail Smith

    This is really good and so true – thank you! I just finished listening to Andrew Wommack’series teaching on Grace and Faith and this is exactly what he’s saying. So many “words of faith” people, myself included, fell into this works mentality – ie if I just say enough confessions, if I just fast more, if I just pray more, if I, if I, if I, …Because of the finished work of the cross, it’s ALL already been done! We just now receive it with faith by grace!

  • Jaqui De Kock

    I am afraid I do not agree with what you are saying. Yes, we definitely need to trust our Father, but if God’s Word says it then that settles it: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”. (Hebrews 11:6) Is that not enough to believe that He wants us to have faith?
    You are comparing faith to works but that in itself is where the problem is. Heb. 11:1 says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. So in fact, faith is believing in something that is not seen.
    Anybody can take the safe route and say I sit back and trust that God will do the right thing. But according to scripture above, that does not move God. It is the easy route…the safe way.
    What if the woman with the issue of the flow of blood sat back that day and said “it’s ok, I believe the Lord will act on my behalf because of His love for me”. Or what if Peter stayed in the boat because he believed God’s hand would be moved because of His passion for him?
    Faith is very much an action…but not a work. It took the woman with the issue of blood to take a leap, to go to Jesus, to reach out…in faith. Peter had to climb out of the boat, by faith, before he tested the water, he leaped to His saviour…by faith.
    We have to have violent faith, it means taking an action because I believe my Father has good things in store for me.
    The Word can not heal your hand if you don’t stick out your hand.
    Sitting back saying I accept that the Lord will move on my behalf because of His love for me, does not inspire me. Peter inspires me. The woman with the issue of blood inspires me. That is faith in action.
    God already did everything He ever could. Jesus already paid the ultimate price. The rest is up to you and me, to have violent faith.
    Why, after all, would God tell us throughout the Bible to have faith to move mountains, if He expected us to sit back and accept? Then His Word would say just that!

  • Kesron Ash

    I think the problem in understanding the phrase deliberated on – “Faith moves the Hand of God” – is trying to box every possible idea that someone can pray into the idea that God will work that out. However, it is far from that. The phrase can be explained with Peter saying unto Jesus “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Peter made a request, acted upon faith and walked out. It was that faith that caused him to make those very few steps. Yet, it was not Peter within his natural self that walked on the water, but the faith he exercised that caused God’s Hand to move on his behalf. The moving of the Hand of God according to our faith, hinges on what He in His eternally holy nature is able to do. Also, take into consideration Canaan woman in Matthew 15:22-28

    • Good points. In reality, this is not an easy thing to understand. It falls into a similar category to, “What came first, the chicken or the egg.” I believe that God’s heart of love for us, and everything that includes, comes first. As Psa. 37 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” To me, our actions of faith are predicated on our heart of relationship with Him. In my opinion, far too many “Faith Folks” have a mechanical idea of faith. Ie: Do this and God will do that. If He sees me do this, He is obligated to respond. However, I am personally convinced that establishment of rich relationship between Him and I (or He and any of His sons and daughters) is the road to powerful, and active faith.

  • Marc Vergo

    Just wanted to say that this article really helped me. I think you are spot on Gary and I like how you humbly wrote the article. My pastor this morning used the Peter walking on water story to make the point that Faith moves the hand of God and I felt uncomfortable the whole time. From a big picture reading of the Bible, God is the divine mover and I simply respond to him or not. He is in control and his ways are higher than my ways. His plan cannot be thwarted. And yet he invites me into a relationship with him. There are times I step out in faith and it feels like I made a mistake and from what I can see God didn’t move. And there are times my step of faith appear to be followed by God moving. (But who is to say my limited perspective is accurate to whether God moves or not). I don’t want the responsibility of moving the hand of God. God gives us the picture of him being a loving father and he wants to include us in his plan. That plan will happen with or without us. But when I trust him and step out in faith then I get an opportunity to be part of God’s plan and that is pleasing to God as others have mentioned. C.S. Lewis calls it joy when I get to be part of the eternal. Living in faith is the best way to live life and it’s how I was designed. But to say that my faith moves God is dangerous and hurtful. What do you say to the person who has prayed for years and great faith that God will heal them or change a relationship? Did they just not have enough faith to move God.

    To end, In the story of Peter walking on water, it was in the moment of his doubt that the Hand of God literally moved. That sounds like a relationship to me. I think the heart of our Father is moved with love and compassion in our pain and doubt just as much as our faith filled moments.