Romans 10:17 (NKJV) 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
As we continue to cultivate the attitude that all things are possible to those who believe, we have been looking at Paul’s admonition that we must walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7.) To walk by sight means to depend on natural vision, both inward and outward, to navigate our world and deal with the challenges of life. To walk by faith means we “see” with eyes that look beyond the natural. In our last post we studied the prophet Elisha and his servant (2 Kings 6.)
They were confronted with overwhelming impossibility. An army was sent to destroy them and they were all alone; or so the servant thought. The servant was carnal in his thinking. Even though he lived with a prophet of God he could not see past the natural. His conclusion was that they were going to die. The prophet saw something else entirely.
The bible says that the prophet asked God to open the servant’s eyes so he could see that there were more with them than against them. There were two of them and they were confronted with a whole army. The prophet saw the natural impossibility. However, he saw through it and saw God’s overwhelming ability standing behind the enemy army in the form of an angelic army that was for them. To believe that all things are possible we must learn to see past the natural to the world where God lives, the world of the spirit. Faith makes that connection.
How do we learn to see by faith? Today’s scripture is something I require every member of our church to know by heart. It is fundamental to believing that all things are possible. Faith comes to us in only one way. It comes by hearing the Word of God.
The Word of God is like no other book in the world. I believe that the written Word of God, or the logos in Greek, has the capacity to become the faith producing Rhema or saying Word of God. If we plant the seed of the bible in our hearts, it will produce faith for anything we need but we must first “hear” it.
The word hear implies hearing with a certain level of understanding. I believe to “hear” the fullness of the written Word, we must study it. Most important, we must hear it in the context in which it was written. I cannot hear just one verse and have the necessary understanding. I must hear the whole chapter and the ones before and after the current chapter if I am going to “hear” with understanding.
I must also open my heart to the moving of the Holy Spirit, the author of the Word, in times of meditation. This is not eastern meditation. It is what God wrote to Joshua.
Joshua 1:8 (NKJV) 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Meditation in the Word of God implies to “mutter” the word to ourselves. That means we speak it over and over allowing it to dwell in our minds. This means we dwell on it “day and night.” This process leads to “observing to do” all that is written. I find it interesting that the word “observe” means to see. Faith is seeing.
We see that there are two senses, spiritual senses, that are involved in Romans 10:17. Faith, or seeing, comes by hearing. If we do not hear the Word, we cannot see the God’s possibility. How does hearing come to us? It comes by the Word of God itself.
As I have already stated, the bible is not like any other book. It is not just philosophy, theology or doctrine. Look at what the Word of God says of itself.
Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV) 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Here we read that the word of God is both living and powerful. The Word of God in this verse is the Logos of God. The written Word. What is the nature of its power?
1 Peter 1:23 (NKJV) 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
The power in the written word of God is the power of the seed. As we plant the word in our heart, the power of the word is released just as the power of the natural seed is released in the natural soil. When God created the natural seed and the natural soil he built into each a compatibility for the other. The soil and the seed were designed by God to interact and release the power to create a plant.
It is the same with the “supernatural seed” of the written Word of God. The seed and the human heart were designed by God to interact in the same way the natural seed and the natural soil were. In Mark 4:14 Jesus says plainly, “The Sower sows the Word.” He then describes the different soils into which it is sown as types of the hearts of men. The seed is the Word of God the soil is the heart of man. In verses 26-29 he describes the process.
Mark 4:26-29 (NKJV) 26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
If natural seed and natural soil come into contact, there is a reaction that occurs and a process that begins. If the soil is cultivated and the seed fed and watered the outcome is inevitable. The process takes time and must be allowed to run its full course. In due time, if both the seed and soil is good and providing it is properly cultivated, a plant will grow and fruit will be produced. The process is automatic. Man’s role is simply to facilitate the process.
In the spirit the process works in the same way. That is Jesus’ point. The seed is always good. It is the Word of God and it is full of the life of God. A seed contains the life of the plant but is a potential form of that life. The Word of God contains the life of God to produce whatever it says but also in potential form.
If we make sure to properly cultivate our ground and get the seed into it, the process begins and it is just as inevitable as a tomato seed producing a tomato plant and a tomato plant producing tomatoes. There is nothing we have to do but protect the ground while we feed the seed which we do by continuing to meditate in the word and water the seed by prayer, praise, worship and time in the presence of God. Nothing can stop the process from working.
Seeing (faith) comes by hearing and hearing comes by the seed action of the Word of God. If you plant God’s written Word in your heart it will produce a plant that will enable you to “see” God’s possibilities no matter the natural impossibilities. If we do not plant the seed of the Word, we will never be able to see beyond the limitations of our natural abilities and resources. The impossible will stay impossible.
(Follow this link to a number of books on Kindle that will help you see God’s possibilities. https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=bill+kiefer)