Mixing Faith With The Word
By Rodney W. Francis
When we look into the Scriptures we see that they are often promoting a very different way of Christianity than that which seems to be the “norm” today. The Scriptures are always challenging us to action, to doing something with what we have heard; with that which we know. For example, let us read together Hebrews 4:1-2 : “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the Gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it” (NKJV).
In these verses we are challenged to make sure that we do not fall short of that which God has ordained for us. We are then told that the Gospel we hear preached has to be believed in such a way that we action it . . . we mix faith with the word heard . . . so that we get the benefits of that which has been preached. This means that preachers have the responsibility to get the right word for the right people at the right time, i.e., that “anointed by the Holy Spirit word”, so that the hearers are inspired to put into practice that which has been preached. If the hearers do not mix faith with the word, it is wasted. We have a responsibility to do something with the word we hear preached!
Let’s be very honest here: most Christians do not need to hear another sermon. We have had more than enough sermons to change the world, but it has not happened. The main reason is because we have not been challenged to action the word. The word preached should inspire sufficient faith within us to step out and action what the Holy Spirit quickens to us. Faith is an action word: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22 ).
I have discovered that every time God speaks to me I have to do something about it. I have to demonstrate to God that I believe it is He Who has spoken to me. When I action the word He speaks I discover that my obedience unties His hands to fulfil whatever He has spoken to me about. The result is that I can impact either one person – or thousands (depending on what He has spoken to me)! You can be sure that whatever God speaks to you is exactly right for you. He knows what we need to do to fulfil His will in our lives. This is a principle. If Christians cannot prove the reality and power of God in our lives, then we will never convince an unbelieving world that Jesus Christ is alive from the dead!
WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!
Mixing faith with the word we hear is more than simply “committing it to prayer” and doing nothing else. We will not see the fulfilment of the word if we are not prepared to step out in obedience to it, to do something with that which we have heard! Many Christians are afraid to step out in obedience for fear of getting it wrong. My question to those Christians is: “How will you know if it is God or not, if you are not prepared to act upon it?” “But what if I get it wrong?” you ask. My answer is to keep making adjustments until you know you are getting it right. Remember Samuel (1 Samuel 3 ): he interpreted the voice of God wrongly three times before he got it right on the fourth. And when he got the “right connection” . . . the right interpretation that it was God’s voice and not Eli’s, he stepped into a whole new realm of relationship with God. And he went on to impact an entire nation! Until we learn this principle of “hearing and doing . . . mixing faith with the word heard” . . . we will only remain as a passive hearer and not seeing what God can do in and through our obedience to His word.
OBEDIENCE IS THE KEY!
The whole purpose of hearing the word of God preached is so we can apply it in a practical way in day-to-day living and so demonstrate that Jesus is very real in our lives. The Scripture is clear: If we do not mix faith with the word heard, then it profits us nothing; it is useless; non-productive. We are told to fear that happening! Don’t let that happen to us! If we are feeling unproductive, then what adjustments do we need to make to change that? The big area of challenge is to make sure that the next time God speaks (in whatever way He does that, including the preaching of His word) that we OBEY what He says. And as soon as we possibly can! Do not put it off until another time (if you do that, you will find it will turn-out to be a “missed opportunity”). I have learned that every time I obey God that there is always someone waiting on the other side of my obedience; there is always a testimony to the glory of Jesus that comes out of it. Christianity is very alive and exciting when we are committed to obeying the voice of God! He knows what we need to hear next. When that happens, grasp it with all your might ~ and action it! If He asks you to contact someone and encourage them, then do it. Whatever you do, do not make excuses! Often God will speak to me when I am very busy. Those times are a test as to who really comes first in our lives. If it is Jesus, then when He speaks we stop everything else and seek to obey what He is asking of us. Step out and mix faith with what you have heard, and you will be amazed at what God can do through you. Whatever you do, do not doubt the word of God to you! You and I were saved, born-again by the Holy Spirit to hear the voice of God and to be “workers together with Him” (2 Corinthians 6:1 ).
Finally, in our seeking to obey God, always make sure that we are motivated by a genuine love for people. When we genuinely love people we are never going to make a serious mistake. So, be encouraged to mix faith with the word heard and see what God will do through you next. It is worth it!