By Robert Fetveit
Our fall schedule begins with a few weeks of teaching and ministry in Taiwan. Near the end of September we travel back to Japan and begin a circuit of seminars entitled “A Season of Faith.” We are really looking forward to our time in Asia because there is definitely a wave of the Spirit moving over the Far East. It is awesome that God is allowing us to be a part of what He is doing. As we write our seminar lessons I thought it would be good to let you in on a series of lessons on “FAITH.”
The Bible says that “faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Evidence and substance are tangible items or events; facts. Handling, viewing, and experiencing these tangible things prove the existence of something or someone greater. When we have eyes to see and ears to hear we have no doubt about the existence of God. We can even discover His divine nature and character through all of creation. (Rom. 1)
Jesus healed the sick, the deaf heard, the dumb spoke, and people were raised from the dead. Jesus said that if we believe we will do “greater works.” For more than 35 years I have longed for the “greater works” that Jesus spoke of in John 14:12: I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Where are the greater works? We have heard remarkable reports from Africa and from India; great things are happening. Why don’t more miracles take place here in America? Is there a problem with our faith? Jesus said in Luke 18:8b “…however, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” What do you think? How is your faith?
Faith is really a prerequisite for all that we do in life. We all have a God-given capacity for faith and are living each day by faith even though most of us fail to recognize that reality. So often I have heard pastors, leaders and other believers exhort others to just “Have more faith!” without telling them HOW to have more faith. What hinders our faith? There is unbelief hidden in the heart of the believer.
Our ministry is evangelizing the unbelieving areas of the believer’s heart so that they will love God with ALL their heart, soul mind and strength and grow in faith. Proverbs 23:7 says: “as a man believes in is heart; so is he.” And Jesus said: “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matt. 12:34
So we see that when we are dealing with one’s faith it is what a person thinks or believes in his HEART that really matters. If we believe lies about God, others, ourselves, or about life, we will not be able to “believe” the Word of God and act accordingly. Our dear friend, Ralph Hawk, who is a Four Square missionary and pastor, gave a great definition of faith: “It is the ability to come into agreement with the Word of God and receiving the necessary grace (the power to do what we should do) to accomplish the impossible.” When I heard him say that my heart agreed! That is the kind of faith that I want.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Heb. 11:6) We act on what we REALLY believe or think in our heart. When what is hidden in our hearts is in conflict with God’s Word it prevents us from doing the very thing that we know is right and pleasing to God.
We met a dear young lady named Megumi, who came to Kathie for prayer. She was struggling with her relationship with her daughter. Her daughter is 11 years old and she has two younger brothers. Megumi could hug and show love to her two sons, people at the church, or other Christians, but she could not hug her daughter. When the daughter would come up and try to put her arms around her, Megumi would push her away and become angry. She scolded her daughter frequently and would get very angry with her, but have a different reaction to her sons. She knew that the word of God directed her to love her daughter and not to provoke her to anger. (Eph. 6:1-4) Because of her inability to show love to her daughter she was suffering with guilt and shame, which was hindering her from growing in Christ.
When the daughter would say, “Mommy, why won’t you hug me? I need you to love me and understand me and be kind to me,” Megumi would just get angrier.