What’s faith got to do with it?
Conversational Prayer that is.
First, I want to give you an example showing what biblical faith means. Then I will unpack these verses.
Noah received some information (details) from God concerning the flood. He received this information well before God’s judgment of this world with water. This information also contained Noah’s part in God’s future plan for the flood.
“By faith Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house…”, Hebrews 11:6.
Let’s ask some questions.
Did Noah know what was coming upon the earth before the flood came? Yes, he did.
Did Noah know what God wanted him to do before the flood came? Yes, he did.
Noah had advance information from God. This information, in the form of a warning, allowed Noah to know in advance exactly what God wanted him to do as God prepared to carry out His plan of world destruction by water.
What, then, did Noah do?
He acted upon the information God gave him. He prepared an ark and his acting or his preparing the ark makes it clear that he believed God’s word. And by his acting, he “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith”, Hebrews 11:6.
Take Abraham. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out…”, Hebrews 11:8.
Did Abraham receive advance information from God concerning a place he was to inherit before he went out? Yes, he did.
Did Abraham know beforehand what he was to do about it? Yes, he did.
This advance information became his faith. Faith is a noun. It is something you
have. Next Abraham acted upon that information. He obeyed. He went out. Going out showed he believed God word. The information God gave him to act upon.
Believing in the Biblical sense always means obeying (acting) upon the revealed will and plan of God. Faith is information that you receive from God. Believing is always acting upon that information. Abraham knew beforehand about the place of inheritance. His
going out was his believing the information.
Look Moses’ parents. “By faith Moses’, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a proper child, and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment”, Hebrews 11:23.
Did Moses’ parents have advance information about the future of their child? Yes, they did.
What did they see? They “saw he was a proper child”.
What did they do about the details God gave them about Moses? They acted upon it in two ways. They hid him for the space of three months. Then, they overcame their
fear of the king’s commandment to kill the boy babies in the land.
Their hiding and overcoming their fear was their believing. Faith is a noun. It is
something you have. Moses’ parents received information from God about Moses. Believing is a verb. It is something you do with the information you receive from God.
How do you receive this information? In the three examples above, they got the advance information from God in three ways.
- Noah was warned,
- Abraham was called
- and Moses’ parents saw something.
But, in our age, advance information from God comes to us in two ways. First, we get
information from God in scripture.
Second, we get information from God directly into our spirit. This information which comes directly into our spirit may take the form of a warning, calling and seeing like the above. It may come as a knowing or an awareness.
This information can come in dreams, or pictures in your mind or by an inner impression. For instance, suppose you own your own business and you sense a calling of God on your life.
But are more concerned about being in the will of God than owning your own business? In other words, you would like to have your own business but only if you could know that it is the will of God for your life.
Since there is no verse anywhere in the Bible which states that “thou shall quit your business and go to Bible school.” How do you know for sure which one to go with?
Here’s where Conversational Prayer shines. You simply lay the matter out before the Lord and then get quiet and listen. The Lord then speaks to your spirit what His will is concerning your job situation. The answer may not come all at once. As you talk this over with God it will become clearer which road to take.
And, when he is done speaking, there will be a perfect peace in your spirit about the course of action on your part that is His will for your life. But there will be a feeling of anxiety and unrest concerning the course of action that is not his will for your life.
This is exactly what happened to my husband Dick in 1976. He had his own sign painting business and it was doing very well financially. God began speaking to him about going into full-time ministry. Was he to close down his business? Was this really God speaking to him? There was no Scripture saying, “Dick close down your business and go to Bible School.”
He began talking to God about what he sensed. His sign painting business was his baby, something he dreamed about having someday. Now here he was with a dilemma on his hands. Painting signs brought him joy. But something began to change. Where he had peace and joy in a job he loved he now experienced frustration.
He goes back to the Father and says, “I don’t understand what’s going on in my life. Why this frustration? Why this uneasiness?” To make a long story short as he entered into Conversational Prayer God gave him advance information about how to close down his business and where he was to go to Bible school.
When he began to take steps to close his business down peace flooded his soul. Where there was frustration before now peace was reigning. Dick demonstrated his believing by acting on what God spoke to him.
A Strong Word of Warning
The Holy Spirit never contradicts the written word of God. The Spirit of God will never give you information for you to act upon that contradicts the scriptures.
When you are seeking direction from God and the information you receive contradicts the plain sense of scripture, the source of that information is demonic, not holy.
Keep in mind that faith is information that we receive from God, (and doesn’t in any way deny the plain sense of the scriptures), that we are to act upon.
Explanation of Hebrews 11:1
When I began to see what biblical faith was Hebrews 11:1 made sense.
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.
We can’t make faith mean what we want it to mean. We want the Holy Spirit’s meaning, don’t we?
The word “substance” is the Greek word HUPOSTASIS, and is a combination of two Greek words. The first word in this combination is the Greek preposition “under”. The second word in this combination is the Greek word meaning “to stand”.
The combined word means “to stand under”. Putting it all together the expanded verse reads like this:
“Now the information that we receive from God that we are to act upon stands under, as a foundation, the things we hope for and this foundation becomes our evidence for things we cannot see with our physical eyes yet.”
I leaped for joy. Now biblical faith made sense to me.
The information we receive from God becomes the foundation and this foundation becomes our evidence for things we cannot see with our physical eyes yet.
When I’m sensitive to hear His voice, without fail I’m able to stand, because I have His sure word, even when I don’t see it yet.
In 1997 I became ill and lying flat on my back and not moving was the only thing that brought relief. I saw different doctors and they couldn’t come up with a proper diagnosis. I was getting worse by the day and desperate to find out what was wrong with me.
As time went on, I cried out to the Lord for help. I’m a simple person so God doesn’t talk to me like He would a person who has a Ph.D. The only the phrase that kept coming to me was, “They don’t have a clue.” That wasn’t very encouraging. But it was advance information.
The last doctor I saw did a procedure that was to make me all better but in the end, only made things worse. The problem was I had a cyst in my liver, with five different chambers and was as big as a basketball that kept filling up with fluid.
The last time I saw that doctor was for him to say, “Cindy, you’re beyond our ability to help. Here’s a card with the number of the University of Pittsburgh Hospital. Call and make an appointment with the head liver surgeon.”
And so I did.
“When he said you’re beyond our ability to help.” God’s advance information to me was, “They’re clueless.” Even though I was standing under God’s advance information by that time, I still didn’t have all the information of where to go for help, until the Doctor handed me the card with the number of the University of Pittsburgh Hospital.
I didn’t find out until later, the University of Pittsburgh Hospital is the best hospital in the world for liver surgery. I always say, “Father knows best listen to Him.”
Finally, I use Isaiah 55:1-3 often when explaining conversational Prayer. Most commentaries you read say these verses deal with salvation, (becoming a Christian). They do include that but there’s much more revealed in those three verses than just salvation.
I took the writers of those commentaries at their word until the Holy Spirit began opening my understanding to what Biblical faith means.
The basic definition of faith is the information that you receive from God for you to act upon.
This information allows you to know in advance what God is going to do in the
future concerning a given issue or course of action. In Conversational Prayer, this is exactly what happens.
As you interact with God through conversation He may give information that allows you to know what you are to do in a particular issue.
Faith is a noun. It’s information – details He shares with you. It is something you have. Believe is a verb. It is something you do. You get a set of instructions or information
from God which becomes your faith and then you act upon that information.
That way it says in the bible, “Without faith, it’s impossible to please God.”
Your acting is your believing. You do not believe in the Biblical sense without acting on your faith. That’s why James says, “Without works faith is dead.”
I’m sure you can give examples of when God spoke to you and you acted on that information.
Conversational Prayer is about hearing His voice and acting on the information He gives you. It’s a feast for your Soul.