Developing Great Faith
Matthew 8:5-11 NKJV: Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum , a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” 7 And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel !
Here, the Lord Jesus tells that the Roman Centurion demonstrated great faith: greater than any faith that was demonstrated in the whole of Israel at that time.
Why did Jesus say his faith was great?
His faith was great because the Centurion had an understanding of spiritual realities from natural things.
He understood that just as he had authority over the soldiers under his command, the Lord Jesus had authority over sickness and evil spirits and they would obey his commands as his soldiers would obey him.
So he understood that once Jesus gave the command the sickness and evil spirits would depart.
So to develop great faith, we must have an understanding of spiritual realities by understanding corresponding physical realities:
Romans 1:20 NKJV: For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse
This scripture reveals to us that we can understand the invisible spiritual things of God by the natural physical things that He has made which we can see.
Put simply: you understand the invisible by understanding the corresponding visible.
How then do you know what particular natural visible thing corresponds to a particular spiritual invisible thing?
By revelation of the Holy Spirit.
It is the Holy Spirit who reveals the correspondence between a particular physical thing and a corresponding spiritual reality.
Error occurs when the wrong physical thing is used to interpret a spiritual reality: this why we need the scriptures and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 22:29 NIV: Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.
In fact, this is how the Holy Spirit teaches us: He will use natural physical things to teach us about invisible spiritual things revealed in the written Word.
Jesus did this by teaching in parables.
Revelations are the thoughts of God concerning scripture that Holy Spirit plays back in our minds the way you play back a video recording. This is how Moses was able to write the account of the creation in the book of Genesis when he was not there physically to observe it.
In other words, the thoughts that were in Gods mind when the scripture was written is now revealed to our minds, causing us to think and so become like God, having the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:6-12 NIV: However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
1 Corinthians 2:13-16 NIV: This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” but we have the mind of Christ.
God’s thoughts filter through our minds as we read the scripture and pray in tongues.
When we pray in tongues, we are speaking words we do not understand in the natural. However these words have meaning and paint pictures. The understanding of some of the pictures which these words describe is pasted into our minds supernaturally by the Holy Spirit: this is what is called revelation.
Notice a revelation is not necessarily a vision: a vision is a picture which may still need interpretation to understand; however revelations are thoughts which automatically bring understanding as they are revealed.
Now sometimes a vision will come with revelation at the same time.
This is why revelation received by Spirit through the Word is more sure or more authoritative than a vision:
2 Peter 1:19-20 KJV: We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
Isaiah 8:20 NKJV: To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
All visions and dreams must be interpreted in the light of written Word and the character of God: loving-kindness, righteousness and justice.
In our article next week, we will see how to get revelation and so develop great faith!