By Dr. Richard Ing
FAITH AND THE SPIRIT
Tons of books have been written about the subject of faith
and still there are many Christians desperately looking for the key on how to
experience faith working in their lives.
Some have given up and quit praying for others to be healed, demons to flee,
miracles to take place and souls to be converted. Yet, the Bible is clear that faith can move
mountains (Mt. 17:20) and accomplish supernatural miracles of healing,
evangelizing and deliverance. It just
hardly ever happens to them.
Some Christians have received wonderful prophecies. "God has called you to be a powerful
evangelist, missionary, healer, teacher, etc." Years have passed and nothing has changed. I am reminded of a story I read years ago, in
which a prophet called two young men up to the front one Sunday morning. They were both in their teens and living in a
small mid-West town. The prophet
declared, "God has called both of you to be missionaries. He is going to send you to many foreign
countries to spread the gospel and to teach many about Jesus." Soon thereafter, one of the young men left
while the other stayed. Twenty years
went by and the one that left finally came home to visit. He met with the other young man and shared
his many adventures as a missionary to India,
China, the South Pacific and
At the end, he asked his friend, "And what have you been
doing?" The other man answered,
"Nothing really. I'm still waiting
for God to tell me what to do."
Many Christians are like that. They are waiting for God to do something to
fulfill their destiny while God is waiting for them to do something so He can
fulfill their destiny. The apostle James
put it this way:
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a
man say he hath faith, and have not works?
can faith save him? If a brother
or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them,
Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not
those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is
dead, being alone. Yea, a man may
say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works, and I
will shew thee my faith by my works.
Ja. 2:14-18, 20. (Underlining
FAITH WORKS THROUGH
If a Christian had faith that God called him to heal people,
he would straight away go out and look for people to heal. If one received a prophecy that God called
him to be an evangelist, his faith would compel him to go out right away and do
the works of an evangelist. Sitting
around and praying that God will make it happen will not move the hand of God. Faith is given life through works of faith -
action to prove faith. Faith without
action (works) is dead.
Just about every healer will tell you that the person prayed
for must "take up his bed and walk," or "lift up his arm,"
so that healing can take place.
Recently, I participated in a healing crusade in the Philippines and
prayed for a woman who could not lift her left arm. I didn't understand the language, so thought
she had bursitis. I bound the spirit of
bursitis and commanded it to leave. I
then instructed the sister to lift her left arm. She struggled to lift up her left arm as I
insisted that she do it. She was finally
able to lift it up. She broke into a big
smile as her left arm suddenly unfroze and moved up and down without pain. Later, I learned that she had had a stroke
and was paralyzed in her left arm. Her
faith healed her but it took action on her part for the miracle to take place.
FEAR OF FAILURE AND
It takes guts to do the works of faith. You have to stick your neck out. Abraham became the father of faith because he
stuck his neck out. If he sacrificed his
only son, Isaac, and God did not raise Isaac from the dead (Heb. 11:17-19, he
could be labeled a murderer or a madman among his people. For sure, his clan would not understand since
God's people never sacrificed humans to their God, much less their own
children. Only the heathen would do such
a despicable thing. He would be finished
as leader of his family and perhaps worse.
David went out on a limb when he took on Goliath. If he was wrong, he would pay with his
life. Elijah single-handedly took on
four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and four hundred men that served
Jezebel. If God did not cause the wet
wood to burse into flames, he would be killed on the spot. 1 Ki. 18:19-40. That's called risking it all.
Any time a saint lays hands on the sick and prays for their
healing, he sticks his neck out. If
healing does not come, he may not lose his life, but people may snicker and
ridicule him. He could lose his position
and reputation and suffer rejection in the world.
When someone prays to cast out devils and nothing happens,
that person risks rejection, failure and ridicule too.
Once, I faced over a hundred Bible college students and
twenty-nine pastors in Fiji. I was not even a pastor at the time. I felt the urging of the Spirit to do mass
deliverance. It was my first time before
such a large group of students and pastors.
My heart was racing. I prayed,
"Lord, if you want to humble me by not allowing a single demon to come
out, then do it. Do what you have to do,
I announced that we would start the afternoon by casting out
devils in mass deliverance. I began to
pray out loud for demons to come out. My
heart was racing. I had passed the point
of no return. As I called out demons one
by one, I got to the twenty-fifth devil on my list and there was complete
silence in the large auditorium. A
thought slowly made its way into my mind, "Oh no. Nothing is going to happen and nobody will
believe me from now on. How embarrassing." But I kept on going. When I reached the twenty-sixth demon, the
room exploded. People screamed and fell
to the floor, vomiting, coughing and dry-heaving as demon after demon
left. God healed people on the spot as
evil spirits of infirmity left. There
was pandemonium and it went on and on for over an hour. My voice was hoarse from shouting out names
of demons over the screaming crowd. It
was a battlefield and it was beautiful.
Faith looks for someone to go out on a limb for God or it is dead.
WHERE FEAR OF FAILURE
AND REJECTION COME FROM
Often, the fear of failure and rejection prevents one from
exercising faith. Some Christians are
paralyzed at the fear of failure and the embarrassment and rejection that will
follow. That's because they still
haven't come to the realization that there is nothing to protect and help
survive. Self is already dead; it was
nailed to the cross with Jesus. The
Bible says that the old man is dead, but the flesh nature continues to demand
When you became a born-again Christian, God gave you a new
heart and a new spirit and put His Spirit within you. Eze. 36:25-27; Jn. 3:5-8. You became a "new creature in Christ, old things are passed away; behold, all
things are become new." 2 Co. 5:17. The old
man (Self) was nailed to the cross.
Know ye not, that so many of us as were
baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by
baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the
glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been planted
together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of
His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him,
that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve
sin. For he that is dead is freed from
Now if we be dead with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with Him. Ro. 6:3-8.
God could find nothing good in our flesh and our old man, so
He nailed it to the cross.
This action on the part of God reverses what happened with
Adam and Eve when they sinned against God in the garden of Eden. Their spirit light went out and they saw their
flesh for the first time and concluded that this was their god form. Flesh became their God and they immediately began
to protect and worship the flesh. Gen.
3:7. Self thinks it's the flesh.
The old man may be dead, but his nature is still in you and
you still live in the flesh with its lusts.
It takes faith and revelation to realize that the old man is truly dead
and to begin to cast off old habits, addictions and deny the flesh. The apostle Paul put it this way: "I
am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in
me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son
of who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Gal. 2:20.
The apostle knew that his former self had died on the cross with Christ,
yet he still lived in a flesh and bones body.
He knew that Christ, the Holy Spirit, now lived in him and desired to
lead him. Paul knew that his battle was
against his flesh.
Flesh still desires to be served, and must be dealt with so
that the Holy Spirit can have His way in your life. That is why the apostle Paul said, "But I keep under my body, and bring it
into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I
myself should be a castaway." 1
He strived daily to keep the lusts of the flesh and the nature of Self
in subjection to the Spirit. He counted
himself dead to the world.
How can Self fail or be rejected by man when there is no
Self to be glorified, protected and worshipped by the world? Self was nailed to the cross. The spirit man is alive.
YOUR INHERITANCE IN
When you were born again of the Spirit, a tiny earnest (deposit)
of the Spirit was placed within you. 2 Co. 1:22. In
contract law, especially real estate, an earnest deposit is given by parties to
a contract, usually the buyer, to seal the deal. It was part of the down payment to show
commitment to full performance. The full payment came later.
It is intended by God that we all be conformed unto the
image of His Son, Jesus (Ro. 8:29), fully mature in the Spirit. Eph. 4:11-15.
Growing into a mature son is a step by step process as we learn to give
in to the Spirit and deny the flesh. "For as many as are led by the Spirit
of God, they are the sons of God." Ro. 8:14.
As you nurture the seed placed in you, the tree of life, starts to grow
and glow and your spirit light becomes brighter and brighter as the day star
rises in your heart. 2 Pet. 1:19.
At the end, God promises that he who overcomes the world,
the flesh and Satan will be given the morning star. Rev. 2:28.
You will shine like Adam and Eve did before they rebelled against God.
It is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ that provided the
door for mankind to return to the garden of Eden and be restored to everything
Adam lost when he sinned. Joel 2:3. God wants us to go back to the garden of Eden
where the flesh and Self are miniscule at best, and we will walk and fellowship
The apostle Paul saw the truth: "But
God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by
whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Gal. 6:14.
In other words, "there is nothing in the world that I seek or
desire because I have been crucified with our Lord Jesus Christ. I no longer exist in this world as Self. My flesh body is only temporary. I am already sitting with Christ Jesus in
heavenly places." Eph. 2:6. "Blessed
be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all
spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." Eph. 1:3.
The apostle Paul experienced many wonderful acts of faith in
his life. His spirit was already soaring
in the heavens before he departed this earth in the flesh.
That which is born of the flesh is
flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel now that I said unto thee, Ye must be
born again. The wind bloweth where it
listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that
is born of the Spirit. Jn. 3:6-8.
Self and the flesh seek the honor that comes from men, but
the spiritual man seeks the honor that comes from God. Jn. 5:41.
Self and flesh do not have faith in God.
Self puts its faith in its own strength and the things of this
world. "Some trust in chariots and some in horses: but I will remember
the name of the Lord our God."
Ps. 20:7. That's why Self cannot
afford failure and will not risk death.
The apostle Paul knew that there was no Self to defend or protect from
failure and rejection. His life was for
the Spirit to use or not use according to the will of God. He knew that he was not his flesh. He was born again of the Spirit.
In contrast, the apostle Paul observed that many Christians
still glorified the flesh.
For who maketh thee to differ from
another? and what hast thou that thou
didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if
thou hadst not received it? Now ye are
full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God
ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. 1 Co.
The apostle pointed out that all good things come from God,
so why glory as if you did it and received it from yourself? They were full and rich, and reigned as kings
outside of the church.
Paul began to compare the life of an apostle with their walk
- not complaining, but showing them the way of the Spirit.
For I think that God hath set forth us the
apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto
the world, and to angels, and to men. We
are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are
strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
Even unto this present hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked,
and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; and labour, working with
our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being
defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the
offscouring of all things unto this day.
1 Co. 4:9-13.
Apostles are scum to the world. The nothings.
But that is the heart and mind that God is looking for in His true
servants. Poor, weak, reviled,
persecuted, defamed, filthy, foolish and good only to reject and get rid of to
the world, but strong in the Lord and living in heavenly places with Christ
Jesus. It didn't matter what their
earthly condition was; they lived for God.
Paul then said, ". . . be ye
followers of me." 1 Co. 4:16.
Even as the Master walked, so with His true disciples. The Lord wants to live His life again and
again through His people, that the world might be saved. The spiritual person rejects every value and
reward the world has to offer so that the Spirit of God can move in his
life. But His Spirit cannot move if Self
is still alive and well in your flesh, striving to be somebody - famous,
prosperous and enjoying the good life, worthy of being admired, recognized and
practically worshipped as Self.
The battle is a daily one between the flesh and Self. But in those moments when the Spirit is in
control, miracles of faith take place.
It is when you consider yourself crucified unto the world and the world
crucified unto you, that the Spirit can grab the faith you have (though it be
small as a mustard seed) and do the works of God.
This is not to say that the Spirit will not move unless you
completely put your flesh aside or consciously remind yourself all the time that
you are nothing in this world. There
have been many times when the Spirit moved without any intention or effort on
my part. Years ago, in Fiji, I was
giving a spiritual warfare seminar and early one morning heard a knock on my
cottage door. I tall police woman, who
was a student at the Bible college there, asked me to pray for her friend who
was waiting in the sanctuary. I hurriedly
brushed my teeth, combed my hair and walked to the sanctuary. There was a girl sitting on a wooden, folding
chair. She was dumb and deaf. I was flustered and thought, "Gee,
Lord. How come You didn't give me an
easy one, like a headache or backache?"
I stalled for time as I asked, "How long has she been like
birth." I felt stupid. Of course, it had to be since birth. "How old is she?" Answer: "Twenty-nine."
I couldn't hesitate any longer, so I grabbed a nearby chair
and as I set it down in front of the young lady, I said, "That's a dumb
and deaf spirit. He has to go in Jesus'
name." Lo and behold! the young
lady stood up startled! God opened her
ears and she could hear for the first time.
She was soon jumping up and down.
Within seconds, she began trying to speak. Naturally, since she had never spoken or even
heard a word before, it was garbled. But
after four hours of practicing, she spoke clearly. To God be the glory!
There are still ups and downs, but fear of failure or
rejection is no longer a consideration as it was before. Once in a while I get tinges of apprehension
which I manage to push aside for the most part.
I continue to experience miracles by the Holy Spirit by His bountiful
grace and faith. This is not to say that
I have attained all that God intends for me.
Far be it from the truth. I
strive together with you to grasp the prize of the high calling of God in
Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:14.
Stick your neck out. Go
out on a limb. Risk it all. Do the works of God that demonstrate your
faith. Do not fear rejection, failure or
dishonor from men. Fulfill your destiny with God.