Will I find Faith?

     There are a lot of conversations going on about Biblical signs appearing.  We may see the moon and sun in various and abnormal shapes and appearances but one thing that remains supreme is that God is in control.  Scripture tells us that such and similar signs will be used to herald His soon return1.  Some prophets hear words of doom; some hear words of provision and glorious days ahead.  How can these signs be significant – signs of foreboding in an age of grace?  How do these signs and words align with what we ourselves may hear from the Lord as well as through others, who, we hope, hear from Him as well?  When we see and hear things that bring further questions, it is important that we press in for understanding, as well as have faith in God to do what He said He would do. 

     Before I continue my thoughts on assessing differing words and perspectives, please let me first lay a foundation.

     As was discussed in an earlier post, people are different, and who knows that better than our Creator Who is the Author and Finisher of our faith2.  God speaks to us all in different ways.  It is important for us to remember that He knows what is best, what we need, and when we will understand what He is doing.   God speaks words of encouragement to those who are down.  A word to ‘wait’ can help some going too fast or who have gotten away from Him.  God speaks serious words to the distracted, as well as, peaceful words to the distraught and weary. He knows what we need to hear to draw out the best from and for us.  
 

Faith Calls Out

     Regarding our faith in God, scripture clearly tells us that faith is important3.  Abraham was considered righteous because of his faith [life-altering drive] in the promises of God4.  It could be said that faith is the most important quality we can have in this life.  Prayer may be the greatest power, but faith would at least be one of the greatest qualities5.   Faith is the engine behind a Spirit-led life’s forward motion.  Luke 18:8 in the Amplified Translation has the Lord speaking of faith as a specific quality:

I tell you, He will defend and protect and avenge them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [persistence in] faith on the earth?” 

     Jesus gives this reference to ‘persistence in faith’ while telling of the tenacity of a woman petitioning a judge for a decision in her favor.  The woman in the parable knew her position with regard to justice.  She relied on that position and addressed the judge on that alone.  According to Jesus, she knew something specific about faith.  Her faith was persistent, pressing, demanding.  The faith that the Lord calls for is a focused, intentional, and expecting faith.   It is important to note that even in this parable Jesus speaks of His ability to find faith when He returns.  What kind of faith is he looking for?  Will He find faith in the earth when He returns?  This is a puzzling question since faith is Key to Salvation and He is coming back for the Church, His body, His bride – destined to be full of Faith and Power.
 

Faith Commissions

     Regarding faith and power, in another place Luke tells us of a centurion who came to Jesus with a request.  Whether the centurion knew it or not, he had tapped into something that caught the Lord’s attention.  (See Luke 7:1-10)

For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”

     This centurion’s understanding of authority, that caught the Lord’s attention, was that faith speaks to individuals and individuals have the reciprocating interaction to respond to a spoken word.  To move in authority is to move under authority – of a word spoken.  The centurion knew that a command being spoken only had power when coming from a higher source..  The woman above knew of the force of persistent engagement in light of a word of justice.  Both of them stood under the authority they represented and had faith in a word spoken.  Both of them understood the powerful force behind a word spoken AND a word acted upon.
 

Faith Completes

     Now, let us get to the reason for this post.   There are strange and admittedly unusual things taking place in the heavens with regard to the sun and the moon.  People in and outside the Church are looking up and wondering if they are significant.  The Lord told us that we could discern the signs of the times if we paid attention to what was happening.  The woman knew of persistence or never overlooking and always remembering what was due her.  The centurion knew that as he operated under authority, he could have confidence that what was spoken would happen.  Abraham was considered righteous simply because he adjusted his life to line up with what God had said. 

     God could say all kinds of things but unless we engage in faith, we will not be ready to properly receive what God wants us to receive..  What God intends to do will happen but many will miss out on the privilege of playing an active role in the awesome outcome the He intends.  

     What I mean by ‘taking an active role’ would look like this:  The Lord is coming back.  He said He would and all of His saints will take part.  But some of His Church is not paying attention to the signs of His return and will one day be swooped up in the glorious appearing only to wish they had paid attention beforehand so that they could have told some of their friends to repent and get right with God before that glorious day.  What a happy yet sad day for some who only just then realized the opportunity lost to take an active role rather than just benefit personally from God’s faithfulness to His word.

     In light of seemingly contradictory words, the signs are the indicators of His return.  The words that are shared by various sources are meant to encourage and provoke, to give peace and excitement, to press and to rest – as the Holy Spirit helps us to prepare and engage with the Father’s promises.

Putting it another way, Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church sums it up well:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

     Many have misunderstood the transaction of this verse.  God reaches out ‘by grace’ and man responds with ‘faith’.  Faith is a response to God’s enabling grace.  We cannot simply lean back and trust God on all things. On matters of salvation, we must, but as James tells us – ‘faith without action is dead’.  God’s grace enables us to have faith but we must activate that faith and engage with God.  The woman knew this and demanded what the judge was not willing to give.  She could have ‘just trusted God’ and not received the response she got.  The centurion knew this and exercised his authority because he understood the power of a word once it was aligned with or obeyed.

     Now is the time to look up, it always is!  Now is the time to engage with the Holy Spirit and be led by Him for ‘For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.’  (Romans 8:14)  SO, will the Lord find faith when He returns or will He only find a Church leaning in on grace alone?  His grace is sufficient, but it does not replace our faith.  It is our faith, when acted upon, that moves mountains, sees into the unseen, and changes the world around us.

 


  1. http://www.harvestlight.org/signs-behold-blood-moons
  2. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+12%3A2&version=NKJV
  3. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+11%3A6&version=NKJV
  4. http://www.biblestudytools.com/galatians/3-6-compare.html
  5. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians+13:13