I want to ask you a question: What is “normal”? Where do you and I get our view of what it means to be normal?
And do our normal, day-to-day lives incorporate not just natural, human realities, but also the supernatural realities that Scripture talks about?
Throughout the course of the journey the Lord has led us on, as a ministry—Gospel for Asia is 39 years old today—the Lord has continually called us to live by faith, which is a supernatural reality.
I remember one time in the early days, we had a time-sensitive mailing all ready to go out, but we had no money to buy stamps! I called a special prayer meeting, and we met that night in the living room of our home, and we prayed until I felt a peace from the Lord that our prayers would be answered. That night one of our donors called to give a $5,000 gift.
And there was another time when I had to borrow an old pickup truck to drive 6 hours to the airport through a snow storm, with no heater. I had to stop every mile to scrape the ice off the windshield. I could just see the headlines, “Preacher Freezes to Death in Winter Storm.” I cried out to God, and I kid you not, the snowstorm continued to rage outside, but the ice started melting from the windshield, and warmth filled the cabin of that truck the entire way to the airport.
I could tell you story after story of how throughout these many years of serving God, we have cried out to God in faith, and He has answered us.
We Deal with Spiritual Realities
But many times, when we come across opportunities or problems in our personal life or ministry, we often default to our natural thinking and methods to figure them out, and we forget that we might be dealing with a spiritual dimension.
I believe the devil laughs when he sees us sitting down with our calculators, logic and expertise to figure a way out of our problems and battles. He knows very well that even if we held 10 Ph.D.s, we couldn’t outsmart him.
I imagine he actually enjoys watching us depend on our great knowledge, latest management strategies and human psychology to run our churches, bring help and relief to the needy and heal our ills. Not that I think any human knowledge or understanding is bad; I don’t. But as long as the devil can keep us depending on those things and believing that we can find answers and solutions to spiritual problems in the realm of the natural, we are not much of a threat to him.
God, on the other hand, urges us to live in the supernatural. This means walking by faith and believing His Word, even if it defies everything our five senses tell us.
Faith Is Seeing Past the Physical
Faith has nothing to do with human logic, mathematics, or what we can see, hear, feel, smell or touch. But it has everything to do with how God operates! Faith disregards the obvious facts and trusts that God will do the impossible.
“Moses, stretch your rod over the Red Sea, and it will part.”
“Joshua, march with your army around Jericho for seven days, and the walls will crumble.”
“David, go to war against Goliath with a sling and a stone, and you will kill him and deliver your people.”
“Bartimaeus, call out to the Son of David, and He will open your blind eyes.”
“Woman, touch the hem of His garment, and you will be healed.”
“Father, bring your son to Jesus, and He will deliver him from the demon.”
“Martha, if you believe, you will see the glory of God and Lazarus will live.”
Hebrews 11:11 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This means that when I walk by faith, I believe without a shadow of a doubt that God’s promise to me is the absolute truth. I then act and live at this very moment—before I ever see the evidence—as if I have already received the fulfillment. If I do this, the Bible declares that I will have my request.
When I walk by faith, I believe without a shadow of a doubt that God’s promise to me is the absolute truth. I then act and live at this very moment—before I ever see the evidence—as if I have already received the fulfillment.
To our human logic it sounds as if God wants us to lie about our real situation. For example:
I have no job—but I believe and rejoice that I have one, and then I will have one.
I am sick, I can feel the pain—but I believe and praise God that by His stripes He has already healed me, and I will be well.
I am weak—but I believe and thank Him that I am strong, and I will have strength.
It sounds so foolish, so opposite of reality and so unscientific! But according to Hebrews 11:1 we are not lying at all; and we haven’t fallen into a trap of hopeless self-deception. No, we are just acting normally—by the laws that govern heaven!
None of this makes sense to our human perception. It boggles our minds just trying to figure it out.
The most important thing for us to remember is this: it is impossible to apply the laws of the natural realm to the realm of the supernatural. They will absolutely not work there!
Jesus said in John 17:14 that we are not of this world, just as He is not of this world. We are born of the Spirit of God and belong to another kingdom that is not a part of this earth. For us as citizens of heaven, it would only be normal that we live according to the laws of our homeland.
Perhaps some of us are reluctant to enter such a walk of faith as described in Hebrews 11:1. We have seen a lot of fraud with a pretense of faith, and it has scared us off. I want to assure you that much of that “faith” is not what I am talking about.
True faith has nothing to do with lies, foolishness, manipulation and claiming wild things God never intended for us to have. True faith first receives a clear promise of God that is within His revealed will, and then acts upon it.
Like a Roaring Lion
Once we have determined to walk by faith, we will encounter severe opposition from the devil. In fact, our greatest struggle will take place between the time we decide to believe Gods’ promise and the actual, visible moment of fulfillment.
That’s the time the enemy fights the most. He attacks our mind and tells us, “What kind of a fool are you to believe God would heal your sickness, pull your marriage back from the brink of divorce, save that wayward family member, or provide for your finances? It’s already been three weeks since you decided to pray by faith. Take a look at your situation. Has it changed? Nothing has happened—nothing at all!
“How long do you want to continue deceiving yourself? You are way off course with your religion. Even if God does such miracles for others, what makes you think He would do it for you? Just look at you. You are not good enough to qualify. You don’t even pray enough.” And the questions and the accusations go on.
Satan tries his best to discourage us with all these doubts. He wants us to give up walking by faith and consequently never see the fulfillment of God’s promise to us. But we must resist the devil and his attack on our minds, and then he will flee from us (see James 4:7).
As we continually walk by faith and not by sight, we live in the supernatural. God’s very life flows through us unhindered, and we become a useful vessel in His hand. He is now able to use us to bring hope to those around us.
Learning to Walk by Faith
So how do you and I actually do this? I would encourage you to start by thinking of a challenge or a difficulty in your life or ministry, and then find what God says about that.
Do you have any need—financial or otherwise? He promises that He is your provider (see Psalm 23:1, Philippians 4:19 and Genesis 22:14). Do you need guidance? He promises He will guide you as you look to Him (see Psalm 25:12, Psalm 32:8 and James 1:5). Do you need His grace for any particular struggle? He promises He will help you, as you cry out to Him (see Psalm 120:1, Psalm 4:3 and James 4:6)
Find a promise of God that applies to your situation, and then cling to that verse until you see the promise fulfilled. Pray in faith, believing God is who He says He is and that He does what He says He does. And you will have what you have asked of Him (see Mark 11:24).
As I think about this week marking 39 years for Gospel for Asia, I am grateful for all the Lord has done over the years. It is His doing. May He continue to enable you and me and GFA and all His people to walk by faith, into all He has for us in the future. The journey of faith is not an easy one, but a journey worth taking.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon