Indeed, I have just read the best and shortest definition of what faith really is. A few words that explain why so many who only know the Bible are still struggling with getting more faith when they read and reread written promises of God. However, their faith does not really grow and they cannot attain spiritual maturity. Even praying over those aforementioned Scriptures, i.e. promises, alone does rarely help anyone. Why? Here comes the definition.
Faith is a spiritual knowledge of Christ.
Period. 🙂 Faith is not a spiritual knowledge of the Bible. It is not even an acknowledgment of the fact that all Scripture points to Christ. And it is not some mere mental endorsement of man’s need to be saved from his dead and sinful condition by someone who is bigger than anyone who ever lived on earth before God Himself came down from heaven. Faith is more. But faith is not difficult, either. Below is another excerpt from Oswald Chambers where he describes the nature and consequences in the lives of those who have faith.
In the Old Testament, personal relationship with God showed itself in separation, and this is symbolized in the life of Abraham by his separation from his country and from his kith and kin. Today the separation is more of a mental and moral separation from the way that those who are dearest to us look at things, that is, if they have not a personal relationship with God. Jesus Christ emphasized this (see Luke 14:26).
Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading. It is a life of Faith, not of intellect and reason, but a life of knowing Who makes us “go.” The root of faith is the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest snares is the idea that God is sure to lead us to success.
Oh, what wonderful sentences!!! 🙂 I need to repeat them.
Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading. It is a life of Faith, not of intellect and reason, but a life of knowing Who makes us “go.” The root of faith is the knowledge of a Person.
As long as we rely on our intellect and reason to tell us who God is, what He can do and what He certainly won’t do, we still miss the point. We will never be able to understand His guidance. We do not know what lies ahead and He won’t ask us whether we agree with the plans He has had for our own lives. I believe, God knows what is the best for us although I do not understand Him. How often I saw in the past that it was good for me to go through serious trials so that I learned to really trust in Him as soon as I had come to my wits’ end and/or to the end of my rope. Faith begins at the very moment when I realize… I have none (that is, in a certain area of life). Might sound a bit strange at first, however, as long as I was content with what I called faith in the past, I would not need God to give me more faith. It is indeed necessary that God leads us time and again into situations where no one can help us – but HE alone.
As for the definition of knowledge here, I am speaking of knowing in the sense of loving God intimately and thus being able to attain spiritual maturity, not as islands in the spiritual realm, but together with all those who also possess the knowledge of God AND Christ AND of one another (Jn 17:3, 1 Jn 1:3). Since I do not want to be that repetitive, I simply point to another article I wrote recently on that very issue (see https://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/my-house-shall-be-a-house-of-prayer/).
Finally, the consequences of knowing God as He really is cannot be overlooked by anyone as Jesus told us here.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn 13:34-35 ESV)
As a last word, Galatians 5:6 tells us that LOVE IS ALL WE NEED… 😉 since where there is love, there is faith also.