We are admonished by the Word to, “Have Faith in God” - Mk. 11:22; or “Have the Faith of God”. Jesus said this when He and His apostles walked by the fig tree the second time after it withered. Now, consider the scenario that surrounds this parable. It is a parable because it has hidden meanings behind it and requires Faith to see into the future by Spiritual Revelations. The belief is the seeing of the tree to be healthy; then by Faith, know that it will wither. Jesus was led to the fig tree to demonstrate the Power of Faith. When Jesus cursed the fig tree there are two significant attributes that for thousands of years later; we understand what He was really talking about. At the time it would seem random but if you were a student of the Torah it would confirm what was said about Israel’s downfall. The first significant thing is that it was not the season for figs; so why is Jesus expecting fruit in the offseason. And second is the astonishment by the apostles. The astonishment of the apostles is significant because prior to the withered tree manifestation; Jesus was already doing miracles in front of their eyes including as stated, “turned water into wine” - Jn. 2:1-11.
We know that the fig tree represents Israel and their Spiritual unfruitfulness in representing God because of their faithlessness and as God’s chosen people they were to be the fruit that drew people to Him; in and out of season. It is by this out of season period that Faith sustains and outpaces belief in that the Jews still look for the Messiah even though the time of the Messiah has past and the Christians are intent on looking at Israel (the fig tree) as one of the prime sign to fulfill the prophesies that will indicate Jesus’ return for His bride. Belief is the tangible history of the Jewish people and Faith is the prophesies yet to be fulfilled. This is really Revelations of the Word. In the astonishment of the apostles; it is an indication that even though, we often see our Faith fulfill a miracle in our life, we tend to revert back to the belief of seeing is believing. For when God’s miracles become our reality; by belief, our Faith is affirmed and justified. That Faith to belief is the thin vale that separates in how well we please God by the heart; which is Faithfulness compared to the belief by the flesh of seeing and experiencing. Faith delivers what God promises whereas belief delivers incomplete miracles which leave us with doubt, fleshly faith and unrighteous words like, “I guess it was not God’s will” or “God is using suffering to teach me something”. With belief, we often compromise what God has declared but with Faith, we take Him at His Word as stated, “My Word does not return void” - Is. 55:11.
We often blame the woman for disbelief but it is really the man’s faithlessness that results in making decisions that promote the world’s thinking rather than God’s ways which are ”higher than men” - Is. 55:9. The man was given the responsibility to be the carriers of Faith but has allowed in some cases; a woman’s belief to sway their Faith which is turn God has in many instances used Faithful women to do what men were called to. So what is clear? God is looking for Faithful people! And the deeper and stronger your Faith; the more His Glory is revealed through you. Now, to be clear Faith or belief is not gender specific but all having fallen from Grace; war within themselves the difference; even Jesus; if not for a moment. With Eve and Sarah; they were moved by what they heard, saw and accepted. Eve as stated, “saw how the fruit was desirable” - Gen. 3:6; and Sarah as stated, “perhaps I will obtain children through her (seeing Hagar’s young body)” - Gen. 16:2. Both took actions based on a temporal belief and not the Faith that God requires to fulfill His Word to us. In both cases; the man should have stood in Faith based on God's Word. Jesus was led by the Spirit to pray so earnestly in the Garden of Gethsemane to point of sweating blood stating, “If possible that this cup may be taken away”. This moment of Jesus’ human side is done for us to see the Faith of Jesus the man, who by the measure and walk of Faith is able to say next; “Not My will but yours be done” - Matt. 26:39. For by belief He expected and dreaded the pain that would come; but by Faith, He walked not by sight, for God to resurrect Him after being put in the grave.
Consider; this is the same Jesus who never showed any form of weakness; who was tempted by the devil after having not eaten for forty days physically and having no support mentally. He was also fearless against those who sought to kill, deceive and have authority over Him. He was able to do this because He only walked by Faith and not by sight or for that matter hearing. He only believed by Faith the promises of God. Having belief should and can lead to Faith! This is the parable of the mustard seed. That all of God’s people are given the measure of Faith, like a farmer given a measure of seed to plant. This measure is the belief in something tangible which is the seed. That the seed is designed to produce. Where it transitions into and becomes Faith is in the tending of the seed when it is planted in the ground. By the watering of the belief until Faith takes over. That this single seed can and is able to produce a harvest of some thirty, sixty or even a hundredfold as stated, “you will say to this mountain, be removed, and nothing will be impossible for you” - Matt. 17:20.
We know this because within the church we often hear and see people come for healing, and receive it from another believer and then return a week or so later for the same request for healing again. Or they go to a doctor and accept a diagnosis of a fatal disease rather than receiving and standing on the Word as stated, “With long life I will satisfy him” - Ps. 91:16. Yet, Jesus did it completely once for all time, including before His resurrection; stating; “by His stripes we were healed” - Is. 53:5. Faith is not determined by any, especially linear time but by our exercise and conviction of it. This is how not only Jesus but His disciples were able to heal the sick and even raise the dead. It must be noted; these miracles are ultimately God’s hand through men and women and that Faith is the precursor to them regardless of age, place or event. Here lies the dilemma of Faith to belief. The act of belief cannot sustain God’s will for us to walk in Faith of Him; His Word and our purpose. This is why through the Bible and today God’s people often use short-term thinking rather than long-term Faith to receiving God’s promises to as stated, “show His strength and Glory through those whose heart is perfect to Him” - 2 Chron. 16:9.
“And the just (Righteous) shall live (walk) by Faith” - Heb. 10:38. This is repeated at least four times throughout the Bible and seems quite interesting that the number four; Moed in Hebrew meaning seasons or appointed times, also in Biblical Numerology means seasons or (Divine) cycle. That with Faith we watch with expectations of God’s signs in the Heavens signifying and fulfilling His redemptive plans and Divine appointments to reveal and enforce His Kingdom and Glory. This speaks to Faith rather than belief. For as stated, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” - Heb. 11:1. We can say, “Faith is the invisible yet to be revealed”. Some say; “But isn’t this the definition of belief”?
Prior to Pentecost they only had the belief that Jesus was Anointed by God to perform miracles. We can glean this from how they reacted after some of Jesus’ miracles and command of various elements. Only after the resurrection did the realization that despite their belief it was by Jesus’ Faith He was able to do all He did especially the receiving of the cross. It's like living with someone for three years and then all of sudden the reality hits you that you really don’t know the person because you never appreciated their perspective on life. This is demonstrated when Jesus asks the disciples; who people say that He was? Most of them compared Him to other prophets but as stated by Peter, “You are the Son of God” - Matt. 16:16. To which Jesus replies, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father which is in Heaven did.” - Matt. 16:17. The act of belief is Earthy while Faith is Heavenly.
When Jesus had to feed the 5000 and 4000 multitudes in two different scenarios; the disciples only acknowledged by belief what they could lay their hands on which were the (minimum) fish and loaves of bread. Yet, Jesus saw these same items and in Faith produced the multiplication of them to the point, extra (maximum) was left over. With belief there are limits but with Faith, there are no limits as stated, “that there shall not be room enough to receive it” - Mal. 3:10. It took the resurrection by the belief of seeing Jesus raised from the dead; have fellowship with them and ascend to Heaven for Faith to take hold in their body, mind, and spirit. The apostles came into their own true Faith walk in The Acts especially when after performing miracles is confronted by the Sanhedrin asking, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”; to which Peter being filled with the Holy Spirit replied, “in the name of Jesus Christ” - Acts 4:10. Who or what is Jesus? The manifestation of Faith in motion! Peter could easily have said, “By Faith” or “With (Jesus) Faith; all is possible”.
Belief vs FAITH.
God says, “Faith pleases Him” - Heb. 11:6. Now, everyone who has ever had trials and tribulations has at some point believed by Hope or stood their ground by Faith. We live in a physical world but is commanded by God to have Spiritual Faith. Someone once said, “Faith is the currency of Heaven” for without it we will not be able to operate there. So everything that we experience here on Earth is in some way related or connected to teaching, exercising and practicing Faith. Faith requires action but belief does not necessarily. The more we make Faith second nature is the more we will stand on it by our confessions and actions; when we face spiritual warfare. Spiritual warfare may start in the Spiritual realm but manifests physically or rather as a notion of darkness. This is where Faith is complete! For if by promise and Faith that Jesus borne every form of evil for us on the cross and by His resurrection defeated death as in satan; then it follows that darkness would have no authority over our body, mind, and spirit. But until Jesus returns and satan is put into his eternal prison we have to contend with his devices of deception.
He, satan uses deceptions of fear to intimidate us into not acting on Faith but only belief. This may sound contradicting but consider that by belief we accept God cares for us but without Faith we often fail to stand on His eternal and complete Words of; “For I (God says) know the thoughts that I think toward you; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (by My goodness)” - Jer. 29:11. Belief alone will not overcome the adversity we face because we acknowledge the notions of fear like the storm that the apostles faced while Jesus slept saying, “Master, do you not care we perish?” - Mk. 4:38. Well; if they perished by the boat capsizing; wouldn’t Jesus also perish? To have Jesus physically as well as Spiritually beside you is the safest place to be. By confessing these fear words; the apostles gave more power and authority to the storm (darkness) over themselves rather than remaining in the peace that Jesus demonstrated and offered. How do we know if we are more in belief than in Faith? As stated, “From the heart come the issues of life” - Prob. 4:23. For with belief we point to the reality we face but with Faith, we have an expectation of the substance yet to be revealed.
Jesus grew up with the law but at the appointed time of receiving the Anointing; His whole outlook of the beliefs from the Old Testament changed, grew and matured into the New Testament of Spiritual Faith. Yet, for all His Faith; He could not make those around Him walk more in Faith instead of belief. This is because Faith is a personal journey and one that will determine what we accept as our reality or the facade of it. As Christian’s; we ought to live with expectations of miracles, supernatural manifestations and the favor of God. If not we run the risk and tirade of what Jesus stated, “O unbelieving generation! How long must I remain with you?” and “If You can?” echoed Jesus; “All things are possible to him who believes (have Faith)”! Jesus was being sarcastic to the father who said to Him, “But if You can do anything”. Here again is that indication of belief compared to Faith. For even after we have been told of the promises of God, many often interject that most unfaithful word of “but”. Faith establishes God’s eternal promises and belief put a condition on them; hence “but”. We must use free will to affirm God’s Word rather than complicate it with how the world thinks for Faith is superior to belief and it is by Faith, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. We can’t say we love God without Faith and we can’t fulfill His purpose without Faith. For Faith is the invisible yet to be revealed; in the name of the perfect one of Faith - Jesus Christ!
Flush it Out! - Forget All Intellect Trust Him.
How unadulterated is our Faith determines the outcome of our belief. Jesus only used Faith which is what we are designed to do but because we contaminate the measure given with the world, religion, and culture; it is difficult for us to see the invisible things that Faith promises. Jesus is literally Faith in motion being the Spiritual Word taking on a physical form but because His core is Spiritual, He operates only in the intangible things. Faith is the invisible yet to be revealed! His apostles experienced Faith at its lower form, which is belief. For even though they saw Jesus use Faith every day for three years; it was not until Pentecost that they started to fully operate in Faith.
The act of belief is temporal as in accepting a tenet, while Faith is eternal as in a complete receiving of this same tenet. A tenet like God is good is a belief but a tenet that God is Righteous is Faith. God’s goodness is linked to His compassion and mercy, but His Righteousness is linked to His justice. The religious say God is good and does not want any to go to Hell but Faith tells us; He will. We have seen His goodness in moments of life but we haven’t yet seen Hell which is everlasting. With belief we accept something based on evidence or credibility; but with Faith, we know without any tangible evidence.
ChristnMe @ 2013