“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report” (Heb_11:1-2).
God has moved me tonight to speak on the marvelous, glorious reality of God’s Word. How great should be our faith, for we cannot be saved except by faith. We cannot be kept but by faith; we can only be baptized by faith. We will be caught up by faith; therefore, what a blessed reality is faith in the Living God.
What is faith? It is the very nature of God. Faith is the Word of God. It is the personal inward flow of divine favor, which moves in every fiber of our being until our whole nature is so quickened that we live by faith, we move by faith, and we are going to be caught up to glory by faith, for “Faith is the Victory!” Faith is the glorious knowledge of a personal presence within you, changing you from strength to strength, from glory to glory, until you get to the place where you walk with God, and God thinks and speaks through you by the power of the Holy Ghost. Oh, it is grand; it is glorious!
God wants us to have far more than that which we can handle and see, and so He speaks of the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen; but with the eye of faith, we may see it in all its beauty and grandeur. God’s Word is from everlasting to everlasting, and “faith is the substance.” If I should give some of you ladies a piece of cloth, scissors, needle and thread, you could produce a garment. Why? Because you had the material. If I should provide some of you men with wood, saw, hammer, and nails, you could produce a box. Why? Because you had the material. But God, without material, spoke the Word and produced this world with all its beauty. There was no material there, but the Word of God called it into being by His creative force. With the knowledge that you are begotten by this incorruptible Word, which liveth and abideth forever, you know that within you is this living, definite hope, greater than yourself, more powerful than any dynamic force in the world-for faith worketh in you by the power of the New Creation of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore with the audacity of faith we should throw ourselves into the omnipotence of God's divine plan, for God has said to you, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mar_9:23).
It is possible for the power of God to be so manifest in your human life that you will never be as you were before; for you will be ever going forward, from victory to victory, for faith knows no defeat.
The Word of God will bring you into a wonderful place of rest in faith. God means for you to have a clear conception of what faith is, how faith came, and how it remains. Faith is in the divine plan, for it brings you to the open door that you might enter in. You must have an open door, for you cannot open the door; it is God who does it, but He wants you to be ready to step in and claim His promises to all the divine manifestation of power in the name of Christ Jesus. It is only thus that you will be able to meet and conquer the enemy, for “He that is within you is greater than he that is without.”
Living faith brings glorious power and personality; it gives divine ability, for it is by faith that Christ is manifested in your mortal flesh by the Word of God. I would not have you miss the knowledge that you have heard from God, and to realize that God has so changed you that all weakness, fear, inability, and everything that has made you a failure has passed away. Faith has power to make you what God wants you to be; only you must be ready to step into the plan and believe His Word.
The first manifestation of God's plan was the Cross of Calvary. You may refuse it; you may resist it. But God, who loves you with an everlasting love, has followed you through life and will follow you with His great grace that He may bring you to a knowledge of this great salvation. God, in his own plan for your eternal good, may have brought something into your life that is distasteful; something that is causing you to feel desperate, that your life is worthless. What does it mean? It means that the Spirit of God is showing you your own weakness so that you might cry out unto Him, and when you do He will show you the Cross of Redemption. Then God will give you faith to believe, for faith is the gift of God.
God, who has given us this faith, has a wonderful plan for our lives. Do you remember when God brought you to this place of salvation, how the faith He gave you brought a great desire to do something for Him, and then He showed you that wonderful open door? I was saved over sixty-seven years ago, and I have never lost the witness of the Spirit. If you will not allow your human nature to crush your faith and interfere with God's plan in its wonderful divine setting, you will mount up like the eagles. Oh the wonderful effectiveness of God's perfect plan working in us with the Divine Trinity flowing through humanity changing our very nature to the extent that we cannot disbelieve. Instead, we act faith, talk faith, and in faith sing praises unto the Lord. There is no room for anything that is not faith, for we have passed beyond the natural plane into a new atmosphere-God enclosed and enclosing us.
Faith is an increasing position, always triumphant. It is not a place of poverty but of wealth. If you always live in fruitfulness you will always have plenty. What does it say in this scripture? “The elders obtained a good report!” The man who lives in faith always has a good report. The Acts of the Apostles were written because the lives of the Apostles bore the fruit of active faith. To them faith was an everyday fact. If your life is in the divine order, you will not only have living active faith, but you will always be building up someone else in faith.
What is the good of preaching without faith? God intends that we should so live in this glorious sphere of the power of God, that we will always be in a position to tell people of the act that brought the fact. You must act before you can see the fact. What is the good of praying for the sick without faith? You must believe that God will not deny Himself, for the Word of God cannot be denied. I believe this message is given in divine order, that you may no longer be in a place of doubt but will realize that “faith is the substance!” Beloved, even with all the faith we have, we are not even so much as touching the hem of God’s plan for us. It is like going to the seashore and dipping your toe in the water, with the great vast ocean before you. God wants us to rise on the bosom of the tide, and not keep paddling along the shore. Oh to be connected with that sublime power, that human nature may know God and the glory of the manifestation of Christ!
The Word of God is eternal and cannot be broken. You cannot improve on the Word of God, for it is life, and it produces life. Listen! God has begotten you to a “lively hope.” You are begotten of the Word that created worlds. If you dare to believe, it is powerful. God wants us to be powerful-a people of faith-a purified people. God wants a people who will launch out in Him and dare to trust Him in glorious faith which always takes you beyond that which is commonplace to an abiding place in God.