The Righteous Shall Live by Faith (part 2)

Derek Prince (see reference below) presents four themes under the heading ‘Faith to Live by’. In this post I will try to summarise these four themes and then apply them to my journey in the next two posts:

THEME 1: THE SPOKEN WORD OF GOD IS HEALING TO THE FLESH

Key Scriptures:                        

Romans 10:17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Proverbs 4:20My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.

Both uses of the ‘Word’ in these passages refers to the spoken word of God. Now that creates a problem, because how do we hear the spoken word of God? Somehow the building of faith and therefore healing are associated with hearing the spoken word of God. However, the second passage indicates an intense form of hearing by giving attention, being diligent continually, and keeping His Word in our hearts (our role in building faith).  More details on this over the next two posts as it applies to my journey.

In scripture the Word of God is expressed in two ways (Derek Prince). The Greek word ‘logos’ refers to the eternal heavenly counsel (Word) of God (Psalm 119:89). It is a living and powerful Word that is able to cut to the heart of our spiritual and physical life (Hebrews 4:12). However, the other definition of the Word is ‘rhema’ or spoken word of God (part of the ‘logos’) that comes to a particular individual for a particular time.

How do we hear this ‘rhema’? There are a number of examples in scripture to help us understand this gift of God’s grace (the endless expressions of His heart for us). I believe we need to learn to hear and respond to this spoken word of God.

1). Faith can come when one hears the Gospel of the Kingdom preached (Romans 10:17).

2). King David had a ‘rhema’ by Nathan the prophet (2 Samuel 7:1-17) or today it might be by an inspirational prophecy from someone in order to build the Body of Christ (Revelation 19:10).

3). Mary had a ‘rhema’ by an angel (Luke 1:26-38). Whether they understood or not they accepted the spoken Word with faith.

4). God has told us that He speaks to His prophets by visions and dreams but to Moses He speaks face to face (Numbers 12:6-8). I received a ‘rhema’ from God (revealed by the Holy Spirit) when I was saved. I heard God say Psalm 22 one night while I was crying out to Him. I had never read the Bible or the Psalms. However, I read the psalm and when I got to verse 14, God transplanted my heart (spiritually) and I was saved.

How I understand and apply this teaching:

I spend time in prayer waiting on God. I ask Him what is He feeling and thinking about my illness, what does He want me to know about my illness? I wait to hear from Him knowing He could speak to me in a variety of ways (listed above). If God speaks, I will have understanding, however, if God does not speak, He must have something else in mind (more next post). I have experienced a number of ‘rhema’s’ in my life and believe the scriptures that God does speak to us as part of the endless expressions of His heart for us.

THEME 2: CONFESSING THE SPOKEN WORD BUILDS FAITH TO RELEASE HEALING

Key scripture:               

Romans 10:8-10But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

How is this passage connected to healing? Prince addresses the Greek word for salvation ‘sozo’ and reveals from scripture that this word is used in many passages to describe salvation as healing and many other gifts from God. Prince presents a compelling argument that the word salvation covers much more that the forgiveness of sins but extends to meeting every human need (Location 1375 of the eBook; Reference 2). This is not surprising to me as the God I know has an abundant heart of blessing known as grace.

The mouth and the heart are intimately connected (Matthew 12:34; Romans 10:8-10). As we confess (say the same as) with our mouths we receive faith into our hearts. I do not believe this is simply reading the Word but studying, repeating, meditating, praying, living out and crying over or, in other words, hard pursuit (Psalm 1). Prince also makes us aware of safeguards when practicing this truth:

Positive safeguards                                                       Negative safeguards

  • Humility                                                                      Not a formula
  • Guided by scripture                                                Not power of positive thinking
  • Trust Holy Spirit                                                       Not manipulating God
  • Depend on God’s grace                                         God is not a vending machine
  • Don’t underestimate God’s power

How I understand and apply this teaching:

I spend time in the prayer room studying scripture about healing and faith. Once I have understanding of the passages, I pray them back to God asking Him to reveal His will for me in this trial. I wait knowing God could reveal His heart for me through the scriptures. Additionally, I accept God’s promise that He will pour faith into my heart as I pursue Him even when I do not feel any different.

THEME 3: FAITH MUST BE WORKED OUT IN LOVE

“We know our faith is genuine when it is worked out in LOVE” – Derek Prince

I believe faith is trusting God and much more. I believe faith is a single word that describes our intimate relationship with God.

Genuine Faith (our heart posture)             Not genuine faith (focus on religious ritual)

  • Positive                                                                    negative
  • Strengthening                                                      critical
  • Comforting                                                             uncharitable
  • Edifying

How I understand and apply this teaching:

Faith is not static but a progression (a life-long process), walked out into deeper relationship with God and each step (testing or act of love) is an act of obedience. Additionally, God is not interested in religious ritual but an intimate heart of love for Him (Psalm 51:16-17). We must become aware of how God provides opportunities to work out our faith in love and respond in obedience so He will mature our faith. I want to suggest sharing this with others so that we can learn His ways. In reflecting on my life, I can recall many times when God provided opportunities to work out my faith in love. Could I see this illness as another opportunity

THEME 4: FAITH MUST BE TESTED

“…count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (James 1:2-4; Romans 5:11). Joy? “…that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” What an amazing promise from trials?

Lesson 2

I implied in the first post on faith that we need to consider that God may have a greater plan when illness confronts us. I can find three options to consider in scripture:

  1. Consider the illness a correction for ungodly behaviour (besetting sin in our lives).

Key scriptures: 1 Corinthians 11:27-30; Revelation 2: 20-22; Romans 8:28.

These scriptures suggest the sin is associated with the mistreatment of the body of Christ, the church, however, there is an Old Testament case for illness in an individual due to sin (Numbers 12:1-160).

2. Healing through prayer, anointing and studying/proclaiming the Word of God.

3. The testing of faith, to build faith with unimaginable promises from God (James 1:2).

I had to consider all three in my trial, prayerfully. Paul links faith, hope and love through the testing of our faith. The unseen hope (I do not know what God is doing in my trial; Hebrews 11:1) becomes the revealed hope through God’s ‘rhema’. The Word of God (as He reveals His heart for me in the trial) inspires faith and grows love that God pours into our hearts so that we may be perfect, complete and lacking nothing. I’m not rejoicing yet in my trial but I’m amazed at God’s promises and He has already blessed me in my journey with this current trial. I’m expecting more blessings in my journey and praying for healing and I have crafted a prayer that God will release His promises through this trial.

Written by John and Shirley Ray, edited and posted by Joel Ratcliffe

SUGGESTED READING LIST:

  1. Faith to Live by                         Derek Prince
  2. The Power of Faith                  Derek Prince (updated version of reference 1)

2 thoughts on “The Righteous Shall Live by Faith (part 2)”

  1. Excellent teaching, humbly presented. So good to read this.. I pray, too, that your health will be in accordance with your faithful crafted prayer. You are so right, there’s so much to learn through our journeys of faith to healing. Our heavenly Father isn’t a vending machine, but a faithful loving Father who has much to teach us. God Bless!

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