When 'Faith' Doesn't Work
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ AND DOES NOT DOUBT IN HIS HEART but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says." Mark 11:23 We have a problem here. I remember years ago, I read this and sat in a chair in the backyard and commanded a tree to move into the gulley. I strained every ounce of "faith" I had in order to make that tree move, because I didn't want to "doubt," I wanted to "prove" the Word of God. Didn't Jesus command a fig tree to dry up, and it did? Well ...my tree didn't move even after I strove to the breaking point with all that was in me to make this Scripture "true." But of course, nothing happened. Why not? Well ...because faith doesn't come that way. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word (rhema) of God." Romans 10:17 The act of forcing oneself to believe ...doesn't work. You can press yourself to the breaking point in order to "believe," but it will not work, because that's not how faith comes. So ...how DOES faith come, then? In the passage, "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God," one has to understand what is being said. The Greek translation of "Word" is RHEMA. In the Greek language which is what the New Testament was written in, there are two words for "Word" ...LOGOS and RHEMA. Logos is the written word. One can read the written word and get nothing out of it. A student can read the Bible in a literature class, and get absolutely nothing out of it. The Logos states the truths of God, but the logos does not give life. In fact, used incorrectly, the logos can bring death: "...for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." 2 Corinthians 3:6 Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the RHEMA of God. Rhema is a word the Lord speaks to a person. Faith is born when God himself speaks to a heart. Abraham was a very elderly man when God SPOKE to him that he will have a son, a seeming impossibility due to his and his wife's advanced ages. All he knew was that God SPOKE to him that he would have a son by his wife Sarah. "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." Romans 4:3 He believed, and that son was born. That promised son became the father of the Jewish people. My daughter was in a prayer group and they were praying for a young woman with a terminal illness. Suddenly, my daughter KNEW that this woman was not going to die. HOW did she know that? The Spirit of God spoke a RHEMA to her heart, and she just all of a sudden KNEW the woman was not going to die. That was many years ago, and the woman is still alive. My family was called from across the country to be with our mother as she was to undergo an operation that the doctors said she had little chance of surviving. The night before the operation my sister and I were each in our beds in the bedroom we shared as children, and we were praying for strength to get our father through this loss, and we were asking for grace to be a witness to unbelievers. Suddenly, the Lord Jesus Christ was standing at the foot of the bed. I did not see him physically, but I very definitely saw him "in the spirit," it was just SO real, and he spoke to me, "Everything is going to be alright." Stunned, I jumped out of the bed and ran to tell my father that the Lord said everything was going to be alright, but my father didn't believe it. Of course he didn't. He couldn't, because the Lord had not spoken the RHEMA to him. My mother survived the operation, and she lived many more years after that, as we knew she would because the Lord spoke it and when HE speaks something there is an absolute KNOWING that is BIRTHED in the heart, and THAT is called faith. Now let's look at this. If the Lord had NOT spoken that word to me - but If I instead had "proclaimed" that our mother was going to be alright, would she have been? No, most likely not. If I had gone into the Bible and taken a passage about healing and "stood" on it, would our mother have been alright? No. Because standing on the logos does not produce faith. But if the LORD speaks a RHEMA to a heart, that's when faith is born and the person absolutely KNOWS that such and such is going to be the case. Friend, if you have a need, don't try to make the Bible say something you want it to say, faith does not come that way. Instead, take your need to the Lord and pray about it until you receive a Word from him, a rhema from him. Until that rhema comes, there is no way you can create faith in yourself, it simply won't work. You can drive yourself crazy thinking you're "supposed" to believe thus and so, but it's a useless pursuit. Ask the Lord to give you a rhema, something from his heart for you to stand on, because when he does, faith will be birthed in you. And if he doesn't, and often he doesn't, then just walk your problem out trusting him to guide you in silence if that's what he chooses to do. You can trust that he will be with you, because you belong to him. But be very careful about grasping at something that won't work. Better to wait, than to be set up for disappointment.