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Fleshly Faith and Spiritual Faith

Manmin News   No. 143
April 26, 2009

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible." (Hebrews 11:1-3)

Faith is the most precious treasure of treasures and the key to solve all life problems. It is because Almighty God, the Creator, can do things that cannot be done by human power or ability. If you have faith, there will be no difficulty in receiving answers to diseases, family problems, business and a myriad of other problems. In considering faith, there is the true, spiritual faith that God can acknowledge and there is also fleshly faith that God will not acknowledge.

1. What Is Fleshly Faith?

First of all, fleshly faith is the faith with which you believe what agrees with your thoughts and knowledge.
If I say, 'This towel is white in color,' those who see that it is white will believe what I say. It is because it is in accordance with the knowledge that you have learned since your birth. Even the worldly people can have this kind of faith.
There are things in the world that people believe and accept as being true, but there are also things that change over time. Also, the standards and ways of thinking are very different in the cultures of different countries, with different ethnic groups, and even among individuals.
For example, a long time ago, people learned that the earth was not round but flat. They also believed the sun revolved around the earth. At that time, people thought it was true, but nobody today believes it as the truth. Today too, if somebody tells a person the truth, they may not accept the truth is not the truth if it is not in agreement with their own knowledge.
Because they have been taught and learned that the false theory called "Darwinism" is true, they do not believe in Creationism, which is actually the real truth. Even after millions and billions of years, fish can never evolve into land animals nor become apes. But those who have learned the theory though, firmly believe that evolutionism is the truth.
There are also some people who say they believe in the Almighty God, but they do not believe the Bible completely. They accept only the parts that agree with their theories and knowledge. They cannot believe that the heavens and the earth were created from nothingness by the Word of God. Also, they cannot understand the powerful works performed that are impossible by human ability. So, when they read about signs and wonders, they think they could not really have taken place but it is just a parable or symbolic representation of something else. If it says Peter walked on water, they interpret that he walked on a shallow part.
If somebody is told that his disease was healed through surgery and by taking medication, they believe it. But, when they hear somebody is healed just by prayer, they doubt it and believe that there must be something else involved. This kind of belief is not spiritual faith and it is not the faith by which we can receive salvation. This kind of faith has nothing to do with God. True faith is to believe all of the words of the Bible are the inspired Word of God and the absolute truth regardless of what kind of knowledge we have gained.
Secondly, fleshly faith is the faith that is changing.
Some people pray hard, worship God diligently and lead an enthusiastic Christian life to receive answers to the desires of their hearts. But if they do not receive the answer quickly enough, they begin to doubt. If they begin to doubt, they lose grace. So, they think even the answers they received before or the testimonies of other people receiving the answers were coincidence. All their deeds to receive answers were not from true faith (James 1:6, 7).

You should believe that you have received all things for which you pray and ask (Mark 11:24). Therefore, if you receive prayer with faith, you will not have pains in your life any more, but you will be joyful, thankful and filled with hope. Also, only when your faith does not change, although you don't have the visible evidences right now, your faith can be recognized as 'true faith'.
Thirdly, fleshly faith is the faith that is not accompanied by actions.
Knowing the word of God and believing it are different things. When we believe the Word not only in our heads but in the deepest part of our hearts, only then will our faith be followed by the deeds according to the Word. During a long period of famine the widow in Zarepath obeyed God's command with faith and gave her last food to Elijah. As a result, she received a blessing in such a way that her bin of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty.
On the contrary, those who have fleshly faith know this fact in their head, but when they are in difficulties, they cannot act. If they are short of living expenses, they sometimes will not give proper tithes and become stingy about giving various offerings. If they truly believe God will pay them back with blessings for whatever they sow before God, they will never be stingy. But, because they know it only as knowledge, their deeds do not follow.
It is the same with the problem of diseases. If you truly believe that God is truly omnipotent and omniscient, you will not rely on the world. Through the account of King Asa's disease and his death we can realize how disappointed God can become with us when He looks at these faithless deeds. When King Asa became diseased in his feet, he did not seek God, but the physicians. Finally King Asa died. (2 King 16:12, 13)
In James 2:26 it says, "For just as the body without [the] spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." With dead faith we cannot receive answers and blessings. We might even fall away from salvation. Please, remember this fact and have faith accompanied with deeds.

2. What Is Spiritual Faith?

With spiritual faith, you can receive salvation and believe even though things do not agree with your own theories and thoughts. It is the faith of believing that something can be created from nothing. When you have this kind of faith, you can believe without any doubt that Almighty God created the heavens and the earth and He controls the life, death, fortune and misfortune of men. You will also acknowledge and rely on God in everything.
However, men cannot have this kind of spiritual faith as they want. We can have only the spiritual faith that God has allotted to each one (ref: Romans 12:3). This measure of faith is different for each individual. You can receive answers to whatever you pray for to the same extent of your spiritual faith. If men could have spiritual faith as they desired, there wouldn't be anyone who didn't receive blessings and answers to his prayers. God gives you spiritual faith to the extent you follow truth. When you pray with this spiritual faith, you will surely receive answers to your prayer.

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrew 11:1). This means that when you hope by faith for the things you have not received and accomplished, they will be given to you. If you look forward to something with fleshly faith, nothing can be seen. But when you look with spiritual faith, you can see the evidence of your faith. When Moses saw with the eyes of spiritual faith and obeyed God's word, the Red Sea was divided (Exodus 14:21). In case of Joshua and Israelites, when they also saw with the eyes of spiritual faith and obeyed God's word by marching around the city of Jericho and shouting on the 7th day, the walls of the city fell down (Joshua 7).
You understand by faith that God made the heavens and earth from nothing by the word of God (Hebrew 11:3). So, when you ask your spiritual Father the Almighty God by faith, then whatever you pray for can be received. Even this fact can be understood and believed only with spiritual faith.

3. How Can You Have Spiritual Faith?

First, you have to demolish all thoughts and theories that hinder you from having spiritual faith.
Not all your knowledge, theories, ways of thinking and values are right. Only the word of God is the everlasting truth. If you insist on your own knowledge and theories being right, you can neither accept the word of God nor have spiritual faith. If the things that you learned from the world do not agree with God's word, then you have to destroy those thoughts and theories completely (2 Corinthians 10:5; Romans 8:7).

Secondly, you have to hear and learn the word of God diligently, and then practice it.

If you fill your heart with the truth, the untruth that is in opposition to the truth will go out from you and you will have a clean heart. To the extent that you hear and learn the word of God diligently and practice it God gives you greater spiritual faith (Romans 10:17). As it is written in 1 John 3:21, 22, if your heart does not condemn you, then you can have confidence before God; and whatever you ask, you can receive from Him.
When you hear the Word, you must first keep it as knowledge and then begin to change it into spiritual faith by obeying the word. Just because you can memorize a musical score for a piano performance does not mean that you can play the piano well. You have to practice playing the piano. It is the same with God's word. No matter how much you read and hear God's word, it is of no use if you do not put it into action.
Even though you try to obey, there are times when you cannot immediately obey. Then, you have to pray fervently and receive the strength to obey.
If you cannot obey even with prayers, you can offer vowed prayers, night prayers, or even fasting to receive the strength. If you seek God's grace and power from your true heart, God definitely gives you the strength that enables you to obey. After you experience these blessings, you can obey even greater things. Through this process your spiritual faith grows and it reaches the full measure. You can completely obey anything even though God commands you to do something impossible by men's thought.
Once you gain spiritual faith by practicing the word, blessings come on you as God promised. Your soul will be prosperous, you will be healthy, and the desires of your heart will be answered.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I pray in the name of the Lord that you may receive answers to whatever you ask on this earth and also enter into New Jerusalem, the most glorious heavenly dwelling places in the future!




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