One of my favorite stories happened during the years of the Great Depression here in the United States. Long lines of jobless Americans were a common sight in the larger cities during the 1930s. A lengthy period of unemployment caused many to lose faith in themselves and in their future. Many were living on charity; many were feeling angry and humiliated. There was an employer that had one job available. As the word got out, a long line of applicants formed outside the boss’ office. The secretary showed applicants into the office one at a time for an interview. During the middle of the process, one man ran from the back of the line right into the office. In a few minutes, the boss came out and announced that this man had the job and everyone else could go home. Many complained this wasn’t fair because the man did not wait his turn. The boss explained that he thought of a quicker way to select the right person. Since the job required someone to know Morse Code, he tapped out a message in code loudly enough so everyone could hear, “If you can hear this, jump up now and run into my office, you have the job.” Everyone heard the tapping, but it did not mean anything to anyone but this man, now the new employee.
EVERYBODY – ANYBODY – SOMEBODY
Faith begins with hearing a certain sound that other people cannot hear. Romans 10:17, 18 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the end of the world.”
Everybody won’t – anybody can – somebody will: that is the definition of whosoever. Jesus continually used the word, whosoever. Jesus also said in Mark 4:23-25, “If any man has ears to hear, let him hear. And he said unto them, take heed what you hear; with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you, that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.”
Our hearing has a lot to do with our having. Some have said that there are two groups of people: the haves and the have-nots. Jesus implied there are two groups of people: the hearers and the hear nots.
Faith comes by hearing a certain sound. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. The Word of God opens our ears to the supernatural plan and provision of God.
THE SOUND OF ABUNDANCE
After three and a half years of drought, the prophet Elijah said, “There is a sound of abundance of rain.” Elijah began to pray on the top of Mt. Carmel when there was not a cloud in sight. He prayed persistently until there appeared a cloud about the size of a man’s hand. Then he outran the king’s chariots as the “abundance of rain” fell and brought new life (1 Kings 18:41-46). Elijah’s faith began by hearing the sound of the abundance of rain. No one else could hear anything, but Elijah was hearing from Heaven. As he prayed, his faith became sight and substance. But he got it on the inside before he got it on the outside.
God is looking for people who can hear the sound of His voice and follow His plan and purpose. This sound always brings the supernatural power of God. This sound will get us praying like Elijah prayed. Elijah prayed with persistence and expectation. He knew it was God’s will and the manifestation had to come.
There is a sound of salvation, deliverance, healing and blessing in the Gospel of Christ. The spirit of faith today hears, believes, and speaks the same sound. The spirit of faith can be heard and seen. Faith acts on the Word of God. Faith acts like the Bible is true. The spirit of faith is also a real, positive attitude. A person cannot be negative, critical and constantly complaining and claim to have a spirit of faith.
I heard the story about a man that was asleep in his bedroom, and some friends played a joke on him. While he was sleeping, they wiped a piece of Limburger cheese under his nose. Immediately, the man woke up and exclaimed, “Man, it sure stinks in here!” He walked out of his bedroom into the living room and said, “It stinks in here!” He walked into the kitchen and said, “It stinks in here!” He went out the front door, looked up at the sky, breathed in deep and said, “The whole world stinks!”
The lesson from that story is that anytime it stinks everywhere you go, the stink maybe underneath your nose. You are carrying the stink with you. Some people are negative and critical all the time and think there is something wrong with everybody else when they have a problem. A negative and critical attitude is not a spirit of faith. As you meditate on the Word, your mind is renewed, and your attitude is changed. Then, everywhere you go, you can smell victory.
The Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 2:14, “Now thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor (smell) of his knowledge by us in every place.” Paul faced a lot of problems, but he said it smells like victory to me. He had a spirit of faith.
FAITH AIN’T PRETTY
A local tire store used to have a television commercial that said, “Hello, neighbor! Tires ain’t pretty, but everyone needs tires, so you might as well get them from us at the best price.” I thought that was funny. Sometime later I was in a radical, wild church service where people were laughing, rejoicing, shouting and praising God. During all of this, the Lord spoke to me in this way: “Hello, neighbor! Faith ain’t pretty, but everyone needs faith! So, get your faith from God, and learn how to release your faith, and respond to the Word and the power of God.”
So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. Psalm 119:162
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart… Jeremiah 15:16b
Yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9
In 1 Peter 1, notice that between believing and receiving is joy unspeakable. When you are really a Bible-believing Christian, there must be some rejoicing with joy
unspeakable. If the joy is unspeakable, you must let it out somehow through laughing, shouting, and leaping or dancing for joy. This kind of joy is full of glory.
The spirit of faith declares the outcome even in the middle of adversity. You can see the victorious end of the challenge you are facing. When the glory of God is manifested, it brings the supernatural power of God.
The spirit of faith will cause you to shout while the walls are still standing, like God’s people did at Jericho and the walls came down (Joshua 6:20). The spirit of faith will cause you to dance like David did when the Ark of the Covenant (the glory of God) returned to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:13-14). The spirit of faith may cause you to run like Elijah did when the hand of the Lord came on him (1 Kings 18:46). The rain he had prayed and contended for was coming, and he outran the king’s chariot. The spirit of faith will have you sing and praise God loudly, as Paul and Silas did at midnight when they were in prison in chains (Acts 16:25). The power of God shook the prison and set them free.
These are demonstrations of the power of God, but they are all connected to faith. Everybody needs faith. “The just shall live by faith,” Romans 1:17 says. Faith pleases God, according to Hebrews 11:6.
Lilian B. Yeomans said it this way; “God delights in his children stepping out over the aching void with nothing under their feet but the Word of God.” God watches as we demonstrate in faith and act on His Word.
The spirit of faith may even cause a person to look foolish, as Naaman did when the prophet Elisha told him to dip seven times in the muddy Jordan River (2 Kings 5:14). What God required of Naaman for his healing from leprosy was not difficult, but it seemed too foolish. Naaman’s reasoning almost made him miss his miracle, but he finally acted on the prophet’s word and was totally healed.
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty,” 1 Corinthians 1:27. The answer still is: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
… I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Romans 4:17
Smith Wigglesworth said concerning Romans 4:17, “God help us to understand this! It is time people knew how to shout in faith as they contemplate the eternal power of our God, to whom it is nothing to quicken and raise the dead. I come across some people who would be giants in the power of God, but they have no shout of faith. I find everywhere people who fail, even when they are praying, simply because they are just breathing sentences without uttering speech – and you cannot get the victory that way. You must learn to take the victory and shout in the face of the devil, ‘It is done!’ Your life will be different, and tremendous things will happen!”
CHANGED BY FAITH
You don’t have to be perfect to have a spirit of faith. Some people disqualify themselves from the blessings of God or from being used by God because they think they have too many flaws. While it is true that you are to keep growing spiritually, you do not have to have reached perfection to have a spirit of faith.
The great faith chapter of Hebrews 11 includes many people that were far from perfect. There were flaws in Abraham, Sarah, Noah, Moses, Rahab, David and many others in the Bible and yet they had a spirit of faith. I am glad that God works with imperfect people. The spirit of faith enables you to overcome in every area of your life. Smith Wigglesworth said, “Any man may be changed by faith, no matter how he may be fettered.”
Recently I was talking to a jeweler about diamonds. He said that all diamonds have a flaw somewhere that can be seen by the trained eye using a magnifying glass. However, the fake diamonds we call “cubic zirconium” are flawless. They are man-made. Although they look like diamonds, they have only a fraction of the value of a real diamond.
Sometimes the devil will tell you because you have a flaw, you are not the real thing. I’m sure you do have a few flaws, but you are still a real diamond. At least you are not a cubic zirconium. You are valuable to God. He sees you in Christ. He will keep working with you if you will keep a spirit of faith and seek Him with all your heart. You don’t have to be perfect to have a spirit of faith. The spirit of faith comes in all sizes, colors, and ages. The spirit of faith cannot tell what color your skin is, how much education you have, or how old you are. You could be 17 like David was when he killed Goliath or 80 like Joshua and Caleb were when they entered the Promised Land. The spirit of faith requires that you believe and speak. The spirit of faith acts on the Word of God.
BELIEVE AND SPEAK
All scripture is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). The word inspired means “God- breathed.” Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
The Word of God was spoken before it was written, and it was written so that it might be spoken. The spirit of faith must believe and must speak. The Word of God in your mouth is God giving you mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The spoken Word gives the life of God to all who believe and speak.
PARTNERS IN FAITH
This month we want to offer you our brand-new CD series titled, Mountain Moving, Giant Killing Faith. We believe these messages will stir up the spirit of faith inside of you and cause mountains to move in your life. For your offering of $20 or more, we will send you these messages and our book, The Spirit of Faith. The spirit of faith is contagious!
We are so thankful to YOU, our partners! Your prayers and your giving allow us to continue reaching more people with the spirit of faith. We know the new MHM Conference Center will further our as we record more television programs and host conferences. Thank you for your partnership with us in the Gospel of Jesus! We declare to you our partners, “And my God, on the scale of his wealth, will fully supply in Christ Jesus your every need in [Heaven’s] glory,” Philippians 4:19 (Hudson).
Mark and Trina