A teaching by Rev. Barbara Williams, President of the Ministry of the Watchman International
Week of November 14-18, 2022
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The definition God gives us for faith is extremely important to understand. Faith is spiritual substance. Not natural substance, but spiritual substance. It is the substance from which our hopes are made. It is the substance from which the things we still desire, want and need are made.
The things that are in our hearts and are yet to come to pass, that come from the hand of God, are made of this spiritual substance. Before we talk about how this happens, we need to understand what happens within us when faith is present.
What does faith cause us to do? How do we know this substance? Can it be felt? Can it be seen? How is it discerned?
Since faith is a substance, then it can be perceived. It must have some properties that make it known as faith. This is very important for us to know. Many persons mistake faith for the following: lust, desire, mental assent, fear of lack, being tired of the same old same old, fear of illness, mere hope, wavering desire, fear of dying, voices that deceive…the list goes on and on.
Many Christians sit waiting for their manifestation only to find that it does not manifest. Why? Perhaps we can help by understanding what faith really is.
If you are in need of healing, there is good news! Proverbs 4:20-22 SAYS:
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
So there is life and health in God’s word. Since God’s word is medicine, we must take it like we would a prescription. I suggest three times a day, like you would your food. Remember, healing is the children’s bread. Consider this your “dose” for today. Remember, read, and meditate three times a day the following:
Rx: Isaiah 40:29-31 ~ He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint..
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15
If you’ve never studied the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, we invite you to join us as we read through the Bible in a year. Read and meditate on these chapters this week:
November 14: 1 Chronicles 3-4, Hebrews 9, Amos 3, Psalms 146-147
November 15: 1 Chronicles 5-6, Hebrews 10, Amos 4, Psalms 148-150
November 16: 1 Chronicles 7-8, Hebrews 11, Amos 5, Luke 1:1-38
November 17: 1 Chronicles 9-10, Hebrews 12, Amos 6, Luke 1:39-80
November 18: 1 Chronicles 11-12, Hebrews 13, Amos 7, Luke 2
November 19: 1 Chronicles 13-14, James 1, Amos 8, Luke 3
November 20: 1 Chronicles 15, James 2, Amos 9, Luke 4
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible… 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.
The elders obtained a good report by faith. Moffett translates this passage as, “men of old won their record.” They overcame something with their faith. This means that the faith of the Old Testament saints allowed them to be mentioned in the bible. Their faith was recorded for all to know about. Faith makes you noticed by God. To get noticed by God is most important.
Our separation from God was caused by unbelief and disobedience, so faith brings us into obedience and noticed by God. It is from the hand of God that all blessings are released. God wants us to believe Him. Jesus marveled at great faith, and He also marveled at unbelief. We are able to please God with our faith. Without it, it is impossible to please Him. I repeat: it is impossible to please God without faith. He will not accept a substitute for faith. He must have it.
So what does faith do? How do we detect faith? Faith causes us to know certain things. The first thing we know is that God created this universe out of unseen things. The visible came from the invisible. Once we understand this, it becomes easier for us to understand how faith works in us.
When we accept the fact that God needed nothing but His imagination and His words to create the world, it follows that we can also have this same spirit of faith, or spiritual substance called faith working in us. What we hope for is what we imagine from meditating on God’s word.
Could it be that we can do the same things with our faith as God did? We can present our faith to God and expect Him to honor it. We can affirm God’s will with our faith and expect Him to do what He says He will do for us if we believe. We can speak to mountains and expect them to be removed out of our way with our faith.
Faith, then, must be expressed by us in some way. These are the expressions of our faith.
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God… By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. Faith caused him to make an offering to God as an act of obedience. Faith moved him toward God. This is always true of faith. It moves you closer to God, not farther away. Whenever you find yourself drifting, not as peaceful, not full of joy, your faith is beginning to ebb. Renew yourself with the Word, speak the Word to yourself, and encourage yourself in the Lord. Abel’s sacrifice was more excellent than Cain’s.
You can be excellent without faith. We all see excellent things made by human endeavor all the time. However, God’s faith will provide an excellence that excels. So faith produces a more excellent way. Faith also gives a witness to our righteousness. This is why certain persons are mentioned in the bible. They become righteous by the exercise of their faith.
Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. So faith and righteousness are the same thing. Faith allows the dead to continue speaking. There is a permanent record of Abel’s faith. Faith has an eternal voice, because it is an eternal substance. It is part of the Spirit of God.
Enoch’s faith brought him so close to God that God took him. HE NEVER SAW DEATH. Our faith rescues us from death over and over again. When we use our faith to produce the healing that we desire, we are rescued from death. When we listen to the voice of God and take a certain route home only to find there was disaster on the route we usually take, we escape death.
Enoch pleased God to such a degree with his faith that God took him home with Him one day. Heaven is where our faith will eventually take all of us. Enoch went directly there. He did not die first. What a testimony!
Noah’s testimony was similar. He was told of God of a coming flood, and painstakingly built an ark that saved him and his family and pairs of the wildlife on the earth. He did everything exactly the way God told him. How powerful faith is.
It is evident that Noah was perhaps the only man on earth who had faith in God. It appears that he did not waver in his faith, but was very convinced of what God told him. Faith causes us to act and obey unique instructions to prepare for the future.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Abraham had faith that motivated him to leave his surroundings and go to an uncertain place. This is very contrary to the natural man’s habits. Usually we seek security in familiar things. We are reluctant to make changes.
Abraham heard from God, and his faith in what he heard was so strong that he left his family, except for his wife and nephew, and began a great sojourn into different places being led only by the voice of God, who had promised him that he would be the father of a multitude of descendants.
This was quite unique because Abraham was now at least seventy years old and his wife was barren. Can faith totally obliterate natural limitations? Yes it can, because faith is a supernatural substance. This is a problem sometimes. We often want to use supernatural faith to solve problems by natural means. This is not possible.
Faith will always take us against the natural grain. This is the purpose of faith… to overtake the natural flow of things that are contrary to the will and promises of God.
Abraham lived in tents with his family because he never knew when God would tell him to move on. Faith causes us to know that this world is not our home. We understand that we serve the God of the whole universe, and He may tell us to go anywhere at any time. His faith allowed him to give God total control of his life.
Abraham constantly looked for the place where God would have him to be. He knew that somewhere there was a city with firm foundations whose builder and maker was God.
By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
Abraham’s wife, Sarah had a certain type of faith. She had overcoming faith. Her faith had to overcome her barrenness. By faith she received strength and ability to conceive their son Isaac. She did this by coming to the conclusion that, if God said it, He is faithful and will perform what He says.
So faith causes us to judge God as faithful. Our faith must ultimately be in the faithfulness of God. She delivered this child when she was past age. Most people don’t have this problem. This is not something that many can relate to. However, there are couples who marry late in life, or through some tragedy lose children and have to decide to try again.
Could this miracle happen to anyone who believes God? Why of course it can. God is not respecter of persons. Faith is no respecter of persons. So God’s promise to Abraham and his wife came to pass. They were the parents of the nation of Israel, a people who could not be numbered for multitude, just as God said.
Has God promised you something? Has he told you from His word that He would give you things that you have yet to receive? Why not check to see if your faith is strong enough to please Him. Are you wavering? One day you want it, the next day you don’t? Do you want it, but you allow yourself to get “talked out of it” by excuses. Do you think that God has changed His mind about blessing you? Have you let time weaken your faith?
Well, get up, declare the promise to yourself aloud. How many times? As many times as it takes to keep your mind from wandering. Keep saying it until you have convinced yourself that God is faithful and will give it to you. Do it every day. Until when? Until it appears.
It is your faith in His faithfulness that will put you on miracle ground. That ground that brings in your miracle is the substance of faith.