Monday, November 10, 2014
THE PARADIGM OF FAITH WALKING PROVIDED BY JESUS CHRIST TO HIS DISCIPLES
by Cynthia “Nadirah” Jordan
(A) What is Faith Walking?
(B) How does a person become a Faith Walker?
(C) What evidence do we have that Faith Walking works?
In His incomparable style, which not even His disciples could imitate, Jesus Christ summed up all three of these questions in one statement which appears throughout the Gospels in one variation or another:
In Mark 11:24 (NKJV) Jesus tells His disciples “Therefore I say unto you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Likewise, in Matthew 21:22 (NKJV), Jesus says: “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
What a powerful paradigm for those who are interested in becoming Faith Walkers to put into action: First, Jesus says that it is necessary to ASK for the things you want or desire through prayer to God. We should embrace the concept of asking for want we want instead of believing that what we want will simply come to us through wishful thinking.
There is power in asking for what we want. In Matthew 7:7-8 (NKJV), Jesus said: “ASK, and it will be given to you; SEEK, and you will find; KNOCK, and it will be opened to you.  “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (NKJV.)
Prayer is not a passive activity. It is faith in action because it shows we believe and, consistent with our belief, we have the willingness and humility to ask God for what we want. Jesus represents our ultimate role model in this regard. He prayed to the Heavenly Father constantly, fervently and for long periods of time. What He wanted to crystallize in the minds of His disciples was that God alone is the “Source”. Jesus wanted us to remember that we, as humans, did not make ourselves; and, despite the many secular humanist teachings which denounce belief in God, we should ask the Creator to assist us on the life journey.
Jesus taught and demonstrated through His life and actions that both (A) “Faith Walking” and (B) becoming a “Faith Walker” require individuals to:
(1) Develop an awareness and an understanding that God alone is “The Source”.
(2) Acknowledge and remember God by way of communicating with Him through the medium of prayer.
(3) Obey and respect God and His laws (just as good citizens obey and respect the laws of society) because He is our Creator – the Giver and Sustainer of all life – and our Benefactor.
(4) Believe that God is able to do more for us than we can ask of Him, given that He is Infinite and so are His treasures & gifts.
(5) “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22) by maintaining a confident, unwavering and undeterred mindset or attitude that our desires will come true and we will receive everything we ask for and even greater than we could have imagined.
(6) Be assured that God is the God of “No Limits” and “No Impossibilities.” (Luke 1:37.)
Jesus demonstrated that (C) “Faith Walking” works by the many miracles He did during His lifetime on earth. It should be noted, however, that where “unbelief” persisted among the people, Jesus could do no miracles despite His great power. (Mark 6:5-6.) This fact shows that “BELIEF” is essential to Faith Walking.
If we do not believe then it is impossible to receive what we want and thereby change our lives or circumstances. For example, in our everyday lives if we are looking for a job we must believe we will find one no matter how many applications we have to send out and how many interviews we have to go to. The same thing works in the realm of the spiritual which is where “Faith Walking” begins.
Faith walking means we call into existence from the spiritual realm, through prayer and belief, those things which we desire as if they already exist in the material realm. (Romans 4:17.) Everything emanates from the realm of spirit first and then manifests itself in the realm of the material. We take action in the material realm on the basis of OUR BELIEF that all of our desires are already met in the spiritual realm. Ephesians 1:3 (NKJV) states that God has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…”
If we are looking for a job we do so with the awareness and the understanding that God has already provided a job for us. We ask Him in prayer to provide us with employment and we believe in faith that this job we desire will be given to us. We are not discouraged by how long it takes us to find a job because we have the certainty that our job is out there and we will get or receive it in due course. This same principle applies to everything we desire or need in life such as health, wealth, material possessions, love, marriage, children, happiness, joy, peace and fulfillment.
One of the most interesting aspects about the ministry of Jesus is that everyone who sought help of Him had the firm and resolute BELIEF that He was able to help them. In Luke 7:1-10 (NKJV), the account is given of the Roman centurion who sent “elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant.” (Verse 3.) While Jesus was on route to his home, the centurion sent his friends to tell Jesus that he was “not worthy” of Jesus to come into his home. Instead he asked Jesus to just “say the word and my servant will be healed.” (Verse 7.) We are told that Jesus “marveled at him” for the great faith he demonstrated in Jesus’ ability to heal his servant. Then Jesus remarked to the crowd around Him: “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”
The story of the Greek Syrophoenician Woman told in the Gospels of Mark, Chapter 7:25-30 and Matthew, Chapter 15:21-28 shows, as in the case of the Roman centurion, that one person’s faith can bring about profound change and transformation in another person’s life, especially in the circumstances where the person for whom that faith is being exercised is incapable of asking for and/or seeking help for her/himself due to one reason or another. The Roman centurion’s servant could not come to Jesus because he was incapacitated by illness. Further, we do not know whether the servant believed in God’s power to heal him, given that he was considered a pagan and not of the religious faith of the Jews. For that matter, neither was the Roman centurion himself, although “when he heard about Jesus” (Luke 7:3) HE BELIEVED and sought His help.
The daughter of the woman who came to seek Jesus’ help also could not come to Him because she was not in her right state of mind. We are told she was “severely demon-possessed.” Her mother stood in the gap for her by having faith in God and by her unwavering belief that she could be delivered and set free from the evil powers which controlled her life. What is very intriguing about the story is the unrelenting and undaunting nature of this woman’s faith. Even though Jesus contended with this woman that she, as a Gentile, was not a member of “the house of Israel” and that He did not come to minister to anyone but the Children of Israel (Matthew 15:24), she refused to give up or give in. When Jesus said to her: “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs” (Matthew 15:26, NKJV), rather than be offended and insulted by His harsh rebuke, she pressed Him to acknowledge her humanity and that of her daughter by replying: “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” (Matthew 15:27.)
Seeing He could not discourage her from her purpose, Jesus having tested her faith and her resolve to have her daughter healed, said to her: “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” Having spoken these words we are told that “her daughter was healed from that very hour.” (Matthew 15:28.)
What this story in particular shows is that Faith Walking requires us to be strong, of good courage, and not to be afraid nor dismayed (Joshua 1:9). We will encounter all types of trials and adversities as we exercise our faith but the lesson here is that we must press in, press on and always keep moving forward towards our goals in order to see them manifest. Faith walking means we do not succumb to the vicissitudes of life. Instead, we maintain faith against all odds. We must always operate from the principle that delayed is not denied. Even though it may appear in the physical realm that our desires are not being met, we must hold on to our belief that we will realize our desires despite appearances to the contrary.
The tenacity, courage and fortitude of the woman with the issue of blood described in Luke, Chapter 8, Verses 43-48 and Mark, Chapter 5, Verses 25-34 is another case of Faith Walking. We are told this woman had been coping with excessive bleeding for 12 years and had “suffered many things from many physicians.” To make matters worse, “she had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse” (Mark 5:26, NKJV).
It had been a long time for this woman in the wilderness of affliction and adversity, yet she did not give up on her life. She was determined to obtain her healing by any means necessary. This was her goal and she had the faith to pursue this goal of achieving her healing. As it goes with goals they are not easily obtained. When she got to the place where Jesus was teaching and healing, her goal appeared to be unattainable. The place was overcrowded and it seemed physically impossible for her to get near to Jesus. Refusing to leave without her healing the woman pressed through the crowd until she reached the place where Jesus was standing. Then she did what she had purposed in her heart to do. Mark 5:27-28 tells us: “When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.’”
What is fascinating about this woman’s belief is that it not only extended to the person of Jesus but also to His clothes. She believed that there was a power in Jesus which enveloped and saturated everything around Him, including the very clothes He wore. As the woman touched the hem of Jesus’ clothes she was immediately healed. So strong was her faith that Mark tells us: “And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’” (Mark 5:30.)
The woman then stepped forward, prostrated herself before Jesus and told Him her story. We can infer when Jesus told her, “Daughter YOUR FAITH has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction” (Mark 5:34.), that He greatly admired her courage and determination to be healed. She had violated the religious laws set out in the Torah pertaining to women who are bleeding and in doing so had put herself at risk to be punished.
Similarly, Queen Esther took on the risk of being sentenced to death when she dared to enter her husband, King Ahasuerus’ presence without royal invitation in order to save Mordecai, her kinsman as well as all the other Jews in Shushan whom Haman plotted to destroy. In faith and believing that God would deliver her people, Queen Esther asked everyone to fast and then declared: “I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16.) Faith won the day again and the King, on seeing Queen Esther standing in the court, held out his golden scepter to her which granted her permission to come before him and make her requests known. This act of courage and bravery saved Queen Esther herself, all of her people and brought about Haman’s death.
In Genesis, Chapter 24, the story is told of how Abraham sent his trusted servant – the overseer of his household – to look for a wife for his son Isaac. It was a daunting task at most since Abraham was sending his servant to his homeland, Mesopotamia, and specifically to the city of Nahor where his family resided to conduct this match-making assignment. Faced with such a huge responsibility what did Abraham’s servant do? He prayed! In his prayer the servant told God the exact things he wanted the woman who would become Isaac’s wife to do! The Prayer of Abraham’s servant can be found in Genesis 24:12-14. What is even more amazing is that the Word of God says that “before he had finished speaking”, Rebekah, who would become Isaac’s wife showed up at the same well where Abraham’s servant was, and did exactly what the servant had asked God to allow her to do in his prayer. Phenomenal! This is FAITH WALKING or FAITH IN ACTION!
In Isaiah 65:24 (NKJV) God says: “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” In Jeremiah 33:3 God tells Believers: “call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
Most people give up on faith and give in to fear because it appears that God has not heard their prayers or that He is not interested in their situation. Sarah became disillusioned and gave up on faith in God. She gave in to fear! This was understandable! She was old, barren and saw no future! She had hoped and waited and yet she was still without a child! However, God is so amazingly wonderful and awesome that even when we have thrown in the towel on His Promises to us, He still comes back and does exactly what He intended to do for us from the beginning. In Jeremiah 29:11(NKJV), we are told: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
What were the desires and beliefs in the heart of The Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus? The Magnificat or The Song of Mary (Luke, Chapter 1, Verses 46-55), reveals Mary’s innermost feelings which made their way into her praise and thanksgiving, as she rejoiced over the good news the angel Gabriel brought about the birth of Jesus Christ. Through faith, two women, two mothers – one A Jew and the other A Gentile (The Virgin Mary and The Greek Syrophoenician Woman) both received goodness and mercy from our Loving and Most Gracious Heavenly Father, who denies us nothing, despite the delays!
Faith Walking is the way God expects humans to live. Hebrews, Chapter 11, Verse 1 (NKJV) defines “Faith” as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Known as “The Faith Chapter” it states in Verse 6: “But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Have faith in God, believe and ask Him through prayer for the things you desire! You will receive them in due course! Be a Faith Walker!
AFFIRMATION: Dear Heavenly Father, I have made my heart’s desires known to you through prayer. I know that YOU ALONE ARE MY SOURCE! Casting all doubts and fear aside, I wait with confidence and assurance for you to do great and wonderful things for Me. Thank you most awesome and amazing Father!
Blessings, Peace & Love……”Nadirah”
©The Faith Walkers’ Forum, Article: “THE PARADIGM OF FAITH WALKING PROVIDED BY JESUS CHRIST TO HIS DISCIPLES”, November 10, 2014, written by Cynthia “Nadirah” Jordan, Toronto, Canada. Permission is required from the author to reprint this article.
Tags: Faith, Faith Walkers, Faith Walking, Believe, Prayer, Receive, Manifest