How to Teach Faith
Right here, the Teacher demonstrates one of the simplest ways. As small as it is, it can grow to be the largest of all “garden plants”.
Take any dire situation you have as a Christian. Take any lack, or any shortage, any place where your feel worn thin, and pressed hard. Everyone encounters these, and even Jesus said that we would experience storms, even when we were built upon the rock.
Most Happy are those who are poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Whatever the situation, whatever the pressure, whatever the lack, take into account the second half of this verse. Yours is the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the real crux of Jesus’ statement. The Kingdom is what Jesus came demonstrating. It cannot be seen by a non-believer, nor can it be entered by one. However, when you are at the end of your ability, it is in your possession right then.
We can miss out as believers. We are taught by the world (and unfortunately the church) to see only what is right before our eyes. We miss out on the more subtle leadings of the Spirit. Even as Elijah was met by the Lord by the still small voice, and not the fire, nor the wind, nor the earthquake (1 Kings 19), we often miss the quiet moving of the Spirit. The actual deliverance of Heaven intervening in our life could be unseen, simply because we are trained to see only the dramatic.
History is replete with instances of dramatic interventions from heaven, such as the Red Sea crossing, the walls of Jericho falling, and fire falling on the altar for Elijah. But, it is also filled with the quiet, and easy to miss miracles, such as a baby kicking in Elizabeth’s womb, dreams from God, and even rain when it is needed. Moses also was provided for by God for forty years on the back side of the desert by Jethro, his father-in-law. Joshua received his authority and power through simple laying on of hands. And, Elijah sat by a natural brook as it slowly dried up, as God’s provision to keep him alive, as birds brought him food.
If we are trained only to see miracles, which are a demonstration of the Kingdom, but only those, we will miss the majority of God’s working in our lives. We will not a part of the thousands of other ways that the Kingdom can intersect our lives. If we miss them, we miss that which can be an encouragement, and the quiet ways of God. It is His glory to conceal a matter, and ours to seek it out.
Jesus came and demonstrated the miraculous, and the people saw and marvelled. But, when He was in a crowd that wanted to throw him down from a cliff, they probably didn’t perceive him pass through their midst, maybe only the disciples did. And, in the garden before the crucifixion, history only records that the angels strengthened Him. It doesn’t say how He knew it was the angels. It doesn’t record whether they were seen, felt, or simply known.
What is the rest of the Kingdom? What are the deeper things of the Spirit of Christ, in whom are hidden all the mysteries of wisdom and knowledge? We are supposed to know these things, as Paul quoted:
1 Corinthians 2:9 (portion)
THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.
Yet, in the next verse, Paul says this is NOT written concerning us, “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:8 portion).
The miracles, the signs, and the wonders are all a manifestation or demonstration of the Kingdom, but if we are only trained to see that, we will need a miracle in order to believe. What if God simply brought a gentle wind to lift your spirit and your eyes, and bring refreshing by which you could see clear again?
The easiest way to teach faith that I know is this. Take your dire situation, and realize that in your inability, the Kingdom is yours right then. Tie a knot and hang on! God’s comin’! Just roll that around in your heart for a while. After a bit, maybe long, maybe short, you’ll find your attitude changing. You’ll find yourself become happy. Something’s fixing to happen. God’s going to move. And, it will be bigger than the need, just as when Jesus fed the 5,000, there were twelve baskets left over. So, when you realize that, you’re happy. In fact, you’re happier than you were than when you weren’t pressed thin in the first place. And, the thing that changed is called “Faith”!
Of course, if you put the word down and your attitude begins to change back, and various thoughts come and try to alter that good attitude, you have just as quickly identified another important gospel principle. Whatever made you unhappy is called “Unbelief”. As you search it out, you’ll find all the doubts and accusations of the enemy and, well, since he’s a liar anyway, you simply don’t have to listen to it. You simply go right back to the thing that matters, which is that the Kingdom is yours, which brings faith, which brings happiness.
Attitude is Everything! Though you may find yourself praying and contending, so long as your eyes are on the promise, your attitude matches your gaze. It doesn’t take any strength to stay on the word, simply don’t get off it!
It really doesn’t matter how the Kingdom shows up in the natural. When it is yours, the immediate issue gets solved. If it seems that it is taking longer than usual, it usually means that what is coming is bigger than you’re expecting! When it seems like what Heaven could possibly pour out couldn’t ever make up for the losses, it is simply because you haven’t yet grasped how Good God Is! Even when, by comparing every deliverance from your past, and wondering how God could possibly break through for you today, you only have to think, faith to faith, and glory to glory. These light and momentary trails are not worth comparing with the glory to be revealed. In the end, we don’t have a clue how good God actually is! In simply a moment of time, a blink, a flash, a twinkling of an eye, more of Heaven will arrive than you have even framed the capability of in your mind. Yes, it blew your mind last time, and you couldn’t possibly think of how it could be any better. But, get your eyes off of the tumult, and get your eyes off of the trials. This thing called Kingdom is coming, and it is yours. And, it doesn’t matter at all what you feel!