Faith is giving substance to things hoped for.
Faith is grasping the unrealities of hope and bringing them into the realm of reality.
Faith grows out of the word of God.
It is the warranty that the thing which you have hoped for is at last yours. It is the evidence of things not seen. You hope for finances to meet that financial obligation, faith gives the assurance that you will have the money when you need it. You hope for physical strength to do the work that you must do, faith says, God is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?
Sense knowledge has given to the church mental assent which looks so much like faith that many people cannot see the difference. Mental assent is seeing it, admiring it, saying “It is true, but not in my case.” Mental assent agrees that the Bible is the revelation, that it came from God and that every word is true, and yet when the crisis comes it does not work. It simply recognizes the truthfulness of that wonderful Book, but it does not act upon it. Hope says, I will get it sometime, Faith says, I have it now. Mental assent says, It is beautiful, I know I should have it, for some reason I don’t get it. I cannot understand it. Sense knowledge says, When I see it, when I feel it, I will know I have it.
Real faith in the word says, God says it is true. It is. If he says that by his stripes I am healed, I am. If he says that God shall supply every need of mine, he will do it. If God says He is the strength of my life, He is. So I go about my work because he is what He is and I am what He says I am. If he says I am strong, I am. If he says that I am healed, I am. If he says that he cares for me, I know that he does, so quietly I rest on his word, irrespective of evidences that will satisfy the senses. Real faith is built on the word. It is untarnished by sense knowledge. It is as unconscious of itself as is the faith of a little child on his mother. The child never says, Mother, I believe your word, I know that if I shall ask you for a piece of bread you will give it to me. If it said such things, it would frighten the mother, she would wonder what had happened to her child.
We have built around faith a strange wordology. You hear men and women crying, Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief. You hear them pray for faith. You hear men tell God that they know that what he says is true and that every word that he has spoken is true. All that indicates the dominion of sense knowledge over the spirit’s, that the word is not yet the supremacy in their lives. Faith is the result of the word dwelling in us. I don’t mean the word committed to memory, I mean the word lived, practised, until it has become a part of ourselves. We meditate on it. We think deeply in it. We feed upon it. The word becomes a very part of ourselves. And this kind of faith builds into us confidence and assurance.
Sense knowledge will fight every step of the way to hold us in the realm of things seen, felt or heard. But we persistently drive ourselves into the word until the word is a part of our being, until the word is real.
Culled from Chapter Two of ‘Two Kinds of Faith’ by E. W. Kenyon.
- What is the difference between sense knowledge and real faith?
- How do we ensure that the spirit dominates sense knowledge?