Faith is better described than it is defined. Some of those explanations include phrases like the following:
“Faith believes that God will not lie.”
“Faith is the bridge between heaven and earth”
“Faith has eyes that see the invisible.”
It is vital to understand that faith does not have any power of its own to manipulate circumstances and conditions in one’s favor. As a very wise mentor said one time, “Faith that has the ability, within itself, to perform the task at hand is a form of witchcraft.” By that, he meant that if faith had its own power, a person could (and would likely) use it to manipulate conditions according to his or her own desires. That is a wholly different thing than functioning with God according to the Word He is currently speaking.
Faith is the connection of confidence that receives power from God. Faith is the committed conviction in the character of God in the present moment. Faith relies, not on yesterday’s manna, but on the living bread of the word He is speaking today. Today’s word will be consistent with yesterdays truth, but, like manna, the shelf life is based on what is being freshly spoken today. Many people struggle with faith because they are trying to live on stale bread. It’s still bread but lacks the flavor that produces confidence.
According to Hebrews 12:2, Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. Note that it doesn’t say that He was the author and finisher of our faith. He says that He is the author and He is the One who continues to work it out, with us, to fulfillment.
The verse starts with the words, “Looking unto Jesus…” The idea of the phrase indicates that the person’s ‘eyes’ have been distracted, but is looking back unto Jesus.
But, let’s make this even more vibrant. The Greek word translated unto is also translated into. The point: A person could look unto Jesus and only rehearse the things they believe about Him. Whereas the idea of looking into Jesus indicates a much more intimate gaze…looking into His heart, and with the senses of the Spirit hearing and feeling it beat.
As a person allows the Spirit of God time to open the eyes their heart and see into Jesus, they realize His supernatural pen authoring faith.
Finally, we notice something else in this verse. It speaks of Jesus being the author and finisher of our faith. Until recently, I had only seen this to mean that the writer of Hebrews was pointing to the great cloud of witnesses in Chapter 11.
But…then I saw something fresh that strengthened my relationship with the Lord. I believe, as a spiritual revelation, I knew that the writer was taking the general stories of the Hall of Faith and was making them personal and unique.
I now see that, just as houses have floors, roofs, windows, and doors in common, there are myriads of unique styles in houses that are still correctly known as houses. There are basic characteristics that make for what we describe as faith. However, the faith of your neighbor may not be adorned like your faith. Just as everyone, worldwide has distinct fingerprints, retina structure (and I understand ears), we all have personal and unique relationships with the Lord.
Encourage yourself in the fact that your journey of faith will be the result of a unique relationship with Jesus, and all those around you will be the same.
I close with this: Several months ago I awoke with a “snapshot” vision. It was of an upright Bible. An image of Jesus was walking out of the open pages.
The message to me was that Jesus comes walking out of the pages of Scripture. As we meditate on the Logos of the Word, Jesus becomes the Rhema (active spoken word) He becomes a living, present, revelation.
Note: Although, at times, valuable, meditation in the Scriptures is not the same thing as rehearsing what your favorite teacher says about the topic at hand as you meditate. Meditation is a very personal, private communication between two covenant friends. It’s the development of an intimate relationship.
May your faith be as fresh as today’s manna!