God Personally Taught Me The Definition of Faith
After an ectopic pregnancy ruptured one of my fallopian tubes, I lived with labor contractions for three decades.
Naturally, I prayed for healing, and when I wasn’t healed I thought it was because I didn’t have enough faith. So I thought that I needed more faith but I didn’t know how to get more because, to be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what miracle producing faith was.
Then, after following God for close to twenty years, I finally asked Him, “What is faith?”
To my incredible surprise, a few days later, I was sound asleep when I was awakened by a voice saying, “Any problem that you face can be solved by listening, believing, and following.”
Then, right before showing me a modern-day example, He showed me this ‘listen, believe, and follow’ principle of faith all throughout the Bible.
Lesson One: Every Bible account of faith is a story of a person who followed God.
Abraham is called the father of faith because he knew God well enough to hear from Him and He trusted God well enough to follow anything that He said to do. Abraham trusted God so much that when God told him to sacrifice his son Isaac, he was willing but he didn’t because God stopped Him. When God told Abraham to leave his family and to go to Canaan, he packed up and went. Anything that God told Abraham to do, Abraham did. Abraham didn’t stop at believing, he also followed.
Abraham was willing to give God the most valuable thing in his possession, his son, because He had total faith in God. Abraham believed God’s promise, that he would be the father of many nations, and he believed that it would happen through Isaac. Even though God said to sacrifice his son, Abraham had faith that God would work everything out in the end. This meant that he didn’t try to figure out how God was going to make it happen, he just followed God’s instructions. Abraham had such complete trust and faith in God that he was willing to do anything that God directed him to do, including sacrificing his beloved son. That’s faith and it pleased God.
Abraham’s Key Was Hearing From God
The bible tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God because those of faith believe God and they follow His instructions. The book of Genesis provides many examples of Abraham hearing from God in various ways, and, in each case, God told Abraham to do something and Abraham followed God’s instructions to the letter.
The key to faith in the New Testament is using Abraham’s example. He listened, he believed, and he followed. Always.
‘…follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham…’ Romans 4
“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Romans 4
‘Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.’ Gal 3:7
Noah, The D.I.Y. Faith Guy
Noah is another perfect example of the kind of faith that knows and follows God. Noah heard from God and he believed Him. When God said that every living thing was going to be destroyed by a coming flood, Noah believed it so thoroughly that he spent years, and probably all of his resources, building a humongous boat. He listened, believed, and followed with all of his might. Noah’s example is a great example of the practical application of faith because following God’s instructions is the key to answered prayers.
Let God Decide How To Answer Your Prayer
The practical application of faith doesn’t always result in what some people would consider a “miracle”. Sometimes, when we hear of a miracle, we think of a sudden, spontaneous, and immediate result born of a specific prayer. But God showed me that sudden and spontaneous is not the only way to apply faith in order to receive an answer to prayer.
For instance, building a boat isn’t exactly a miracle, but hearing from God and following Him to the desired outcome is – and that’s what Noah did. He heard from God (which is rather extraordinary and improbable) and then he followed God’s instructions to a result that produced VERY welcome consequences. In the same way, God wants to teach us to do the same so that we too can follow Him to very welcome consequences.
In the Bible book of James, the author said that we could see his faith by his works. In the same book, James lists examples of faith, and Noah was one example. Noah’s faith was evident in building the ark. Noah heard from God and then he did what God told him to do. Then, because he followed God’s instructions, he was saved.
MIRACLE – A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.
The author of the book of James used Noah’s story because it is the perfect example of faith plus works. Strictly speaking, Noah was saved by the work of his own hands, he did what was necessary to save himself, but his action was a result of following God. God’s intervention meant the difference in life or death. The extraordinary event that qualifies Noah’s story as a miracle was that Noah heard from God and then he followed to a miraculous ending. With one message from God, Noah followed and his family was saved, resulting in a highly welcome consequence of faith which is nothing short of a miracle.
By learning to hear from and follow God, we can apply these same principles and see these same kinds of D.I.Y. miracles all throughout our lives.
The Key Is Learning to Hear From God Like Noah And Abraham
A MODERN-DAY EXAMPLE OF DIY FAITH & DIVINE INTERVENTION
“If there were prophets among you,
I, the Lord, would reveal myself in visions.
I would speak to them in dreams.
A few days after God gave me the definition of faith, I was sound asleep when I had a vision of a person who had a mouth full of nuts and bolts. Next, I saw a vision of a pot of very healthy, beautiful, white flowers. Then, God said that the vision was for a friend of Karen’s who needed healing.
I looked at the clock. It wasn’t even 6 am but I felt it was important enough to message Karen right away so I shot her a text. I explained the vision and the message and after a few moments, she realized that the friend was her uncle, Joe, who had recently been diagnosed with oral cancer.
Karen then explained that her uncle decided not to have surgery because the doctor’s pre-surgery prognosis was not good. Without having the surgery, they gave Joe a year to live; with the surgery, he would have an additional 2 – 3 years but he wouldn’t be able to eat or talk. The prognosis caused Joe to give up on life and refuse the surgery.
I knew that Joe was supposed to have surgery immediately so I advised Karen to tell her uncle to have the surgery as soon as possible, which Karen did. As soon as we finished messaging, she immediately called her mother and explained everything. Her mother was blown away.
Karen didn’t know it but Joe’s brothers and sisters had just gotten together twelve hours earlier to pray to God about healing Joe. Less than twelve hours after their group prayer, God responded by sending a vision, a revelation, and instructions to follow.
Immediately after Karen explained the vision and instructions to have surgery, Karen’s mother rushed Karen off of the phone so that she could call and deliver the news to Joe. When Joe found out that his brothers and sisters got a direct answer from God for his healing he had complete faith. He believed it, and followed the instructions by scheduling surgery the very next day.
Not long after, Karen posted the following testimony in my Facebook group.
Testimony… by Karen in Faith Village: Following God to Miracles, Signs, and Wonders.
My uncle was recently diagnosed with oral cancer. The doctor told my family that the cancer was aggressively spreading, and surgery was needed ASAP. The Doctors told my family that they would need to remove a bone from his jaw and his chances of talking and eating regular food were slim. The Doctors gave my uncle no hope for the future. My uncle immediately refused surgery and had pretty much given up on life.
I called my mother, and she wasted no time (As Mia instructed).
I am rejoicing and thankful to share that my uncle followed the instructions, and his surgery was a success. The Doctors were amazed because they did not have to remove the bone from his jaw and were successful in removing all cancer. In addition to that, my uncle called my aunt and talked to her for over 30 minutes two weeks after the surgery. God is so faithful!!!! We are so thankful to God for the healing miracle that took place in my uncle.
Mia, my family sends their love and gratitude for your prayers and obedience to God. Thank you so much!!!
The First Principle of Miracle-Producing Faith: Do Whatever He Tells You to Do
If Joe didn’t immediately follow and have the surgery, the cancer would have spread and, eventually, it would have been too late to remove. When the doctors told him that it was already too advanced to remove, he had given up. But God knew differently! God spoke and told them what to do, and the result was the perfect example of faith. Joe listened, believed, and followed, and the result was a very unlikely and welcome consequence that was even better than anyone had hoped.
When someone asked Jesus for a miracle, the first thing he usually did was issue an instruction for them to follow: ‘Stretch out your arm,’ ‘get up and walk,’ ‘fill the waterpots with water,’ or ‘go wash,’
Those instructions are just a few examples of listening, believing, and following, which resulted in receiving the answer to prayer.
MIRACLE PRINCIPLE #1
Whatever He says to do, do it.
‘ ‘2 ‘On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; ‘and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. ‘When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus *said to Him, “They have no wine.” ‘4 ‘And Jesus *said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” ‘5 ‘His mother *said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” ‘6 ‘Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. ‘7Jesus *said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. 8 ‘And He *said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him. ‘When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter *called the bridegroom,10 ‘and *said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
When Mary asked Jesus to help make wine, she didn’t wait for him to agree. In fact, Jesus didn’t agree. On the contrary, he shut her down by saying, ‘My hour has not yet come.’ But Mary was undeterred and she ignored him by instructing the servants, saying, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
This interaction between Jesus and Mary reveals something important. It reveals that Mary was very familiar with the ‘listen, believe, and follow’ principles of faith. Mary knew that getting a miracle meant following the instructions that were certain to be forthcoming. Her understanding of faith is born of personally knowing Jesus and because she knew the history of Israel, which is one miraculous story after another, all resulting from listening to, believing, and following God’s instructions.
Just a few examples….
Build a boat.
Speak to the rock.
Paint the door with blood.
Possess the land.
Walk around Jericho seven times.
Wash in the Jordan.
Touch the hem of his garment.
Fill the jugs with water.
Get up and walk.
Open your eyes.
Stretch forth your arm.
Throw your net to the other side.
Confess with your mouth.
Israel’s examples show us that if we are willing to listen, believe, and follow, a good outcome is guaranteed. In Joe’s example, God told Joe what to do and He promised good results IF Joe followed. If Joe choose not to follow God’s instructions and instead chose to believe the doctor’s report, he would have declined surgery and he would have died. But because he followed God, the ending turned out to be better than anyone ever expected. The doctors were amazed at the results and, now, Joe has a new lease on life.
If you were one of the Israelites who found themselves in front of the parted Red Sea, you would have two options: Follow God through the sea or face Pharoah’s army. Those who escaped Egypt did so by following God through the terrifying walls of the parted sea. Many of us probably think how easy it would be to walk through the parted sea, but I think that more than one person thought, What if the Sea closes before I get through?
What if they were too afraid to follow the cloud into the parted Sea? God provided an escape, but only those who followed Him through the parted waves prospered by it. The same principle still applies for God’s people today and Karen’s uncle is a great example. If Joe didn’t listen right then (before the cancer spread), he wouldn’t have a testimony. But he did and the results speak for themselves.
Our walk of faith is based on using our free will to follow God’s lead. Walking with God in a world at spiritual war is not, and never will be, free of trials. When there is a crossroads, when we come to a place where the Sea is on one side and those trying to kill us on the other, the only way out is to follow. All men are appointed to die once, but if we follow God, we don’t have to die the first time death shows up on our doorstep looking for us.
Joe had to choose who to follow. Joe could have believed the doctor’s report and, by doing nothing, allowed their terrible prognosis to come true or he could choose to believe and follow God. By following God Joe was victorious. God directed him to get surgery right away, and his outcome is amazingly better than what the doctors predicted. He has his mouth, his health, and a future instead of a certain death sentence. The best part of the ordeal was that God was there with him through it all, offering comfort, direction, and amazing results along the way. The doctor’s grim report was put to naught by following God, and after more than two months on Death Row, God gave him his life back!
If you’ve been hoping for a sudden and miraculous healing miracle but haven’t received it, don’t give up hope. Instead, learn to hear from God and then follow God’s instructions. Following God is the definition of what it means to abide under God’s wings. Abiding under God’s wing means following God so closely, like a little chicken following its mother, that we find ourselves in his shadow (which is the safest place to be.) Following God is the key to security, and knowing God is the key to comfort. When we know God and wisely follow Him, we don’t have to depend upon our limited abilities. Instead, we can safely depend on God’s knowledge and abilities.
Next: Chapter Two