The Releasing of the Gift of Faith

Andrew Phillips asked us to review this article, and when we did felt very strongly we needed to make it available to a much larger audience than he currently has.  Andrew is currently a full time youth pastor at Real Life Church in Maple Valley, WA.  These revelations stirred him up and have stirred up all those he has shared them with.     By the way, Andrew is also our son-in-law.   Used by permission.

The Releasing of the Gift of Faith

July 2008, I was at a youth service that just didn’t work- we were having trials, troubles, situations, etc., and the leadership was very discouraged.  At the end of the night after all the young people had left, we decided to pray.  Prayer turned into worship, and about 90 minutes later, the Spirit of God started speaking to us.  Then God gave me a prophetic word that at the time was strong, powerful and encouraging, but I didn’t have full understanding of what it all meant until just the other day.  What God said was that we were to mark that day in July as a special day.  Even though it was late and in the middle of the week, there were other people throughout the world that same night talking and praying and crying out to God that same time for the same things, and that later on we would meet these people and we would discover that they had had the same experience that we had in July of 2008. God also said that about to give birth to a new child. This child is his favorite child, his most loved cherished child /gift that he has ever given to the church.  The name of this child is Faith.  God said he was going to restore to his people the workings, the gifting, and the miracles of faith to the levels of the miracles seen in the 40’s and 50’s,  and that people were going to trust him again completely.  When I received the word, it was cool and all, but as I said earlier I didn’t understand what that meant until the other day… when I started connecting all the dots.

The first dot is our emphasis on Scripture.  At the beginning of the year, God showed me that we needed to begin to put Scripture into our young people like never before.  To push it into them through memorization, training them how to find the Scriptures they need, having them speak, write, and pray Scripture so that their faith would be stirred.  As people begin to do these things, God can begin to release his child, Faith. This child is not a new phenomenon, but has been reoccurring through the church in the beginning.   The gift of faith is always available, but has been given in special release to the church throughout history.  The first time we see it is with the apostles in the first century in the book of Acts.  After they received the Holy Spirit, they went on to do great and mighty works and moved boldly in faith trusting in God for their needs, miracles, and for the salvation of the people that they were reaching.  They were not moved by fear and stood up to persecution and trials and remained steadfast in their faith.  In recent times, the gift of faith was released in what is now referred to as the Word of Faith movement (all that the Word of Faith movement represents is choosing to trust God and believe in Him completely by using the Word of God to build your faith.)  As Romans 10: 17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”  This movement was birthed in the early eighties, but didn’t come into full strength until the mid 80’s.  It’s important to remember what was happening in the late 70’s early 80’s, to see the significance of this.  If you go back in your time machine you will remember that the US was in a state of financial unrest.  We had gas shortages, requiring people to wait in line for hours for gas.  Inflation was sky high, mortgage rates were approaching 20% and in some cases 30%, and the economy was a mess.  The Cold War was at its peak, hostages had been taken by Iran, tensions with the Soviet Union were at a high, and the end of the world seemed inevitable.  In the midst of all this chaos, God stirred his people to trust him and believe in him again and His people returned back to the word, and decided to live out the word, doing what it says in Hebrews 2:12-13 saying, “I will declare Your name to my brethren in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You” and again: “I will put my trust in Him.”  and Hebrews 10:38, “the just shall live by faith”.  They chose to believe God more than circumstances around them.  God heard their cries for help and answered them, because Faith is God’s favorite child.  The thing that frustrated Jesus the most when he was on the earth was when people didn’t trust him and what he could do.  They didn’t believe in the authority that he carried and gave to his believers.  You know the story in Mark 11, where Jesus was walking by the fig tree and cursed it because it didn’t have any fruit on its branches and when they walked past it later on the disciples were shocked and amazed that the fig tree had actually withered up and died?  Jesus’ response to their shock was “have faith in God”. In other words, trust me.  Believe in me.  Know that what I say will happen.  Too often in the church today, we are shocked and amazed when God does something.  We are surprised by it and have the same reaction the apostles had when they saw the fig tree.  God is saying the exact same thing to us as he was to them.  Have faith in God.  God is restoring the gift of faith to his church.  We need it today just as the disciples in the first century and the believers in the 80’s, and He is ready to answer us.  

I feel that in our time, this release of faith, will be marked by three things.

1.  The Word – you will see churches all over put a refocus back on the Bible- memorizing it, hearing it, meditating on it,  speaking it and praying it.

2.  Faith.  People will start trusting God again, more boldly than ever before.  They will start believing God for crazy things that they would have never thought to trust and believe him for, and they will see him move.  They will be bold in their proclamations about what God is doing.  There will be a confidence in God.  The “believers” will live out the Scripture “the just shall live by faith”.  

3.  Miracles.  As people trust God, depend upon him, and believe in him, he will move.  He will restore miracles that most people have only heard about.  Things they have only read of in books or heard take place in other countries or things their grandparents told them about God doing once.  We will see healing miracles, that rival the healing crusades of the 40’s and 50’s.  We won’t just see emotional healing- we will see physical, tangible, medically documentable healings.  We will see cancer healed, AIDS healed, dead being brought back to life, we will see defective parts of the body restored before our eyes- i.e.,  disappearing scars, tumors and growths, missing body parts created, bodies straightened.  We will see the miracles and workings of God become common place.  Instead of being shocked by them we will only be excited to see what God will do next.  

So how do we prepare?

1.  Absorb the Word.  Romans 10:17  “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” We need to read, study, memorize, meditate, speak out loud, and listen to the Word of God.  We need to understand who our source is and what the foundation for our trust is.  We need to know what he has done so we know who he is and what he can do.  Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the Lord your God, I do not change.”  We find this repeated in Hebrews 13:8Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

2.  Time in Prayer and Worship.  We need to spend time with him through prayer and worship.  We need to understand through relationship what he is all about.  Through this relationship, we will understand the love and grace that he has given to us as believers.  As Paul says in Philippians 3:8-10What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them rubbish, that I might gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.  I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection….” and by this relationship, we will be changed and transformed into the people that God wants us to be- people of faith.  

3.  Pray Big Prayers.  Too often we pray little prayers, not expecting much from God.  If we want to see God do big things, we need to ask him for big things.  We need to have trust in God to ask for big miracles.  Because unless we ask we won’t receive.  Mark 10:46-52 shares the story of a blind man  who cried out for Jesus to have mercy upon him.  Jesus called the man to come to him, and although it was obvious that the man was blind, Jesus asked the man in verse 51, “What do you want me to do for you?”.  The man asked for his eyes to be healed and Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well”, and the man was healed.  God’s asking us what we want him to do.  We have the all- powerful creator of the universe saying to us in John 16:23-24 “…. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give to you.  Until now you have asked nothing in My name.  Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”  We need to ask for big things and trust that God will do them.  2 Chronicles 16:7-9 reminds us what happens when we put our trust in man instead of God…. “And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him: “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the LORD your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand. Were the Ethiopians and  the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the LORD, He delivered them into your  hand. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this  you have done foolishly; therefore from now on  you shall have wars.”

God wants to show Himself strong in His people- we just need to ask and believe in what He has promised us He will do.