Like Precious Faith (2)
Published in Pentecostal Evangel p. 2-3 May 13, 1933
What would happen to us and to the needy world if we should get to the place where we really believed God? May God give us the desire to get to this place. Faith is a tremendous power, an inward mover. I am convinced that we have not yet seen all that God has for us, but if we shall only move on in faith we shall see the greater works.
When I was a little boy I remember asking my father for a pennyworth of something or other. He did not give it to me, so I sat down by his side and every now and again I would just quietly say, “Father!” He would appear to take no notice of me, but now and again I would touch him ever so gently and say, “Father!” My mother said to him, “Why don’t you answer the child?” My father replied, “I have done so, but he won’t accept my answer.” Still I sat on, and occasionally I would touch him and say ever so quietly, “Father!” If he went out into the garden I followed him and occasionally I would touch his sleeve and say, “Father! Father! ”Do you think I ever went away without the accomplishment of my desire? No, not once.
We need the same importunity as we go to God. We have the blessed assurance that if we ask anything according to His will He heareth us, and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him. Do you go to Him for heart purity? It is His will that you should receive, and if you ask in faith you can know that you have the petition that you desire of Him. Do you desire that Christ should dwell in your heart by faith? That is in accordance with His will. Ask and ye shall receive. Do you desire that the might of God’s Spirit shall accompany your ministry? That is according to the will of God. Continue in the presence of your heavenly Father, quietly reminding Him that this is what you desire, and He will not fail to give you the exceeding abundantly above all you ask or think. He will fill you with rivers - the blessed rivers of the Spirit - and flowing from the midst of you they will be blessings to all that are around.
In the introduction to his second epistle Peter addresses “them that have obtained like precious faith with us.” It is written, “They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion which cannot be removed.” Have you this faith of divine origin springing up in your heart? It will make you steadfast and unmovable. This faith, this confidence, this trust in God, will have a transforming power; changing and transforming spirit, soul, and body, sanctifying the entire being.
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” It is God coming in by His Word and laying the solid foundation. Faith is like dynamite which bursts up the old life and nature by the power of God, and brings the almighty power of God into the life. This substance will diffuse through the whole being, bringing everything else into insignificance. The Word of God is formed within the temple. Jeremiah spoke of the Word as a “fire within.” It is a power stronger than granite that is able to resist the mightiest pressure the devil can bring against it. Faith counts on God’s coming forth to confound the enemy. Faith count son the display of God’s might, when it is needful for Him to come forth in power.
In these eventful days we must not be content with a mere theory of faith, but must have this almighty and precious faith within us so that we may move from the ordinary into the extraordinary. We must expect Him to come forth in power through us for the deliverance of others. Peter spoke of it as “like precious faith.” It is a like kind to that which Abraham had - the very faith of God. When Peter and John said to the lame man, Such as we have we give thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk, there was a manifestation of the same faith that Abraham had. It is this like precious faith God wants us to have.
In the former days the prophets received the Holy Spirit in a certain measure, but the Holy Spirit was given to the Lord Jesus Christ without measure. Did not He give the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost in this same measureless measure? That is His thought for you and me. Since I received the mighty Baptism in the Holy Spirit God has flooded my life with His power. From time to time there have been wonderful happenings - to Him be all the glory. Faith in God will bring the operation of the Spirit and we’ll have the divine power flooding the human vessel and flowing out in blessing to others.
Faith is made in hard places when we are at wit’s-end corner, and there seems no way out of our adversity. David said at one time, “The sorrows of death compassed made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about.” He tells us, “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple . . . he bowed the heavens. . . and came down.” Faith cries to God in the place of testing. It is in these places that God enlarges us and brings us forth into a large place, to prove Himself the God of deliverances, the One who is indeed our helper.
I remember in the year 1920 after a most distressing voyage I went straight from the ship on which I had been traveling, to a meeting. As I entered the building a man fell down across the doorway in a fit. The Spirit of the Lord was upon me and I commanded the demon to leave. Some years later I visited this same assembly, and I ventured to ask if anyone remembered the incident. A man stood up and I told him to come to the platform. He told me that on that day he had been delivered by the name of Jesus and had not had a fit since. We read in Acts 10:38 that “God hath anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” God wants us to have this same anointing and same power. through the indwelling Christ and through a living faith. It was the Lord Himself who told us before He went away, “These signs shall follow them that believe. In my name they shall cast out demons . . . they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” God is waiting to manifest His divine power through believers.
I remember a man coming to me suffering with cancer, who said he had been twelve years in pain. The power of the Lord was present to heal, and that night he came back to the meeting with all his sores dried up.
In this second epistle of Peter we further read, “According to his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises :that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” Believe the record, His divine power has provided this life and godliness and virtue. Believe for the virtue of the Lord to be so manifested through your body that as men touch you they are healed. Believe for the current to go through you to others. It is amazing what can happen when some necessity arises when there is no time to pray, only to act. It is in such times of necessity that the Holy Ghost comes forth to act.
We must so live in God that the Spirit of God can operate through us. I remember being in one place where there were 6,000 people outside the building where we were preaching. Many of them were in chairs, waiting for hands to be laid on them and the prayer of faith to be offered. Oh for the virtue that flowed from Christ to touch the needy everywhere!
A woman said to Christ one time, “Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.” But he answered, “Yea rather, blessed are they hath hear the word. of God, and keep it.” It is through the hearing of the Word of God that faith comes, and faith brings the omnipotence of God to helpless souls and brings the virtue of Christ to the sick and to the needy. Do you remember how they asked the Lord, “What shall we do that we might work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said unto them, “This is the work of God that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” He further said, “The works that I do shall ye do also: and greater works than these shall ye do; because I go unto my Father.” There is nothing impossible to faith.
When I was in Orebro 12 years ago I ministered to a girl who was twelve years’ old, and blind. When I last went to Orebro they told me that she had had perfect sight from that day. The Lord Himself challenges us to believe Him when He says, “Have faith in God.” “Verily, I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain., Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” Did you get that? “He shall have whatsoever he saith.” When you speak in faith your desire is an accomplished thing. Our Lord further said, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
In one place a man said to me, “You helped a good many today, but you have not helped me.” I said, “What is the trouble?’ He said, “I cannot sleep, and I am losing my reason.” I said to him, “Believe.” And then I told him to go home and sleep, and I told him I would believe God. He went home and his wife said to him, “Well, did you see the preacher?” And he said, “He helped everyone but me.” However, he fell asleep. His wife said, “I wonder if it is all right.” Morning, noon, and night he was still asleep, but he woke bright and happy, rested and restored. What had brought about this restoration? Faith in God! “He shall have whatsoever he saith.” Have you received this “like precious faith”? If so, deal bountifully with the oppressed. God has called us to loose the bands of wickedness. undo the heavy burden, let the oppressed go free, and break the yokes that the devil has put upon them. Pray in faith. Remember he that asketh receiveth. Ask and it shall be given you. Live for God. Keep clean and holy. Live under the unction of the Holy Spirit. Let the mind of Christ be yours so that you live in God’s desires and plans. Glorify Him in the establishment of His blessing upon the people, and in seeing God’s glory manifested in the midst. Amen.