December 8, 2013
"And the Lord said to Moses, 'Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea'" (Exodus 14:15,16). In effect, God was saying: "Why do you ask Me to do it? Do it yourself. Stretch out your rod and divide the sea." In other words, Moses had said to God, "You do it;" but God answered Moses, "No, you do it."
A glance through the Bible and many Christian biographies multiply instances of this by the thousands: Jeremiah, Gideon, Hudson Taylor, and the like. In the settlement of this controversy lies the key to all spiritual power and achievement throughout history.
Man starts on the Christian highway with much of the grave clothes of the Fall still upon him. Separation from God has been a stark reality to him; he knows the weakness of the flesh; visible lack and need are more concrete to him than invisible fullness and supply. He knows the reconciling grace of God through Christ, conveying to him the assurance of adoption into God's family; but his expressions and attitudes still contain the consciousness of separation. He uses the analogy of the members of one family, but with distinct and separated members: "I am weak. He is strong." "I have need. He has supply." "I am of the earth, earthy. He is the Lord from heaven."
But to those who have ears to hear and hearts set to follow comes a new word: "Say not, I am a child. Go in this your might." Say not I am weak, I am carnal, I am needy, I am earthy. Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead. Understand that the Lord is joined unto you, one spirit. Understand that you have the mind of Christ. Understand that the life of Christ is ever flowing in and through you, as the sap of the vine through the branches.
Do not keep asking for what you already have. Do not sing, "I need Thee, oh, I need Thee." Sing, "I have Thee, oh, I have Thee." Never waste breath by asking Him to be near you, Who is already within you, joined to you in such a union that you and He are described as "one spirit."
Do not cry for what you already have, but use it, use it. "Why do you cry... You stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it." Speak out the word of faith. Exercise the authority of God. Christ spoke such a word as this. He spoke it once to a fig tree: "Let no one eat fruit from you ever again" (Mark 11:14). Next day Peter noted that it had withered, and he commented, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered away." Now note what Christ said, in effect: "You go and do the same. I spoke the word of authority with which I am equipped by the indwelling Father [see John 14:10ff]. Now you speak it also." His actual words were, "Have the faith of God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be removed, and be cast into the sea; ... he shall have whatsoever he says" (Mark 11:23).
"Have the faith of God" is the literal rendering, as in the margin of the Authorized Version, and this conveys the vital meaning more clearly than just "have faith in God," as in the Authorized Version text. For to "have faith in God" means to many just a reliance on the ability of God in His heaven and a leaving it to Him to do it. But to "have the faith of God" means to recognize an indwelling God (as Jesus did in the instance cited above), to realize that we have His mind, and that by the inspiration of His Spirit we speak forth with our human lips the word of believing faith, of authority, just as He did when He said, "'Let there be light': and there was light," or as the Lord Jesus did in the above incident. And we are told in Romans 4:17 that the faith of God is that "He calls those things which be not as though they were." We are to do the same.
Thus Christ said, "Say unto this mountain." "Say," not "pray." The word is most significant. The thought is not that all prayer should be omitted (for the Word counsels us to pray) but that prayer should not be from an attitude of feeling that one has not and therefore has needs. Saying the word of faith is the attitude of one who has and dispenses what he has. Such is the "throne life" as we commonly speak of it. A throne is occupied by a king. A king is a possessor and dispenser of gifts. This is why we who are believers and joined to Christ -- He the head, we the members of one Body, physically on earth, spiritually enthroned -- are told that we are "kings ... unto God" and "seated in the heavenlies."
Examine the men of God through the Bible -- both prophets and apostles -- and you will find this conscious attitude of authoritative faith to be theirs. The difference stands out clearly with Hezekiah and Isaiah.
Hezekiah was a man of prayer. The threats of the enemy came upon him with overwhelming force. He prayed. He bemoaned weakness. "This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth" (Isaiah 37:3). "Not strength" was his emphasis. Then he sent word of the situation to the man of faith. Hear Isaiah's answer, a declaration, a saying unto this mountain. "Thus says the Lord, 'Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Surely, I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall ... return to his own land'" (vs. 6,7). The one -- godly, praying man though he was -- spoke in weakness. The other spoke in authority. The one was fully conscious of need and lack and separation from the supply of power. The other knew union with God, and spoke as His mouthpiece.
In the missionary society of which I was British Secretary, I was notified of a severe crisis in one department of the work, sufficient, if it came to a head, to spoil the advance of years in that area. Before I understood the life of authority in the Spirit, I would have recognized the attempt of the devil to disrupt a work, and would have labored in prayer for the destruction of his devices. But, in the maintaining of the position of the throne life, the Lord spoke to me through one sentence in a letter concerning the affair. It said, "I am afraid you are in for a sea of trouble." The Holy Spirit said, "What did Jesus do in a storm? Walk on the waters, or sink beneath them?"
I saw in a moment. I was not to spend one wasted minute fearing, doubting, burdened, magnifying the power of Satan. I was immediately to declare the victory over Satan gained two thousand years ago. I was to see it to be a present victory in this very affair, not a future one. I was to enjoy the defeat of Satan. I was to count this actual trial as "all joy" and no sorrow, and to realize that if God does allow the enemy to come in like a flood, it is always to give an opportunity for the authority of faith to be manifested by which Satan is given a bigger defeat, and the work of God a bigger advance.
So from that day to the day five months later when those concerned met for the critical settlement, I enjoyed the trial, laughed the laugh of faith, and bore the testimony in public and private that there was this severe trial. The devil always makes a laughing stock of himself (Colossians 2:15), for his attacks in the hands of faith become boomerangs; he gets the defeat and we the new blessing, as at Calvary. And I told folk that I would return to describe the victory in due course. And thus, of course, it has been. In one meeting every cloud vanished; unity and stability came to this department beyond anything in its history, and all learned a little more how not to be ignorant of Satan's devices.
The use of "the faith of God," which was operative there against an attack of the enemy, has been proved hundreds of times over to be equally the secret for obtaining supplies, moving governments, saving souls, transforming characters, and the like.
These are but scrappy jottings written on a river steamer in the interior of South American on this "lost chord of Christianity," but sufficient to put a seeking reader on the trail. To one who asks, "But how can we realize this as a personal experience?" we answer, as God answered Moses in the incident at the beginning of this article: "Awake! Arise from your deluded condition as if you are still fallen, still separated by sin, still weak. Realize your equipment, the mystery hid from ages and from generations: Christ In You. Declare it, as the prophets of old: 'I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord.' Cease to live bound up in those old grave clothes of 'judging by appearances.' and 'walking by sight.' You feel weak, you don't sense the presence of Christ, you feel loveless, and of little faith, and all the rest of it, because you still live in the devil's lies of the have-not life. But you have all things. All is within, if Christ the Savior is within. Burst through those bonds of feelings. Say, 'Though all men and devils say I have not, I say I have, on the authority of God's word.'"
The principle involved cannot be applied arbitrarily to just any need in the whole world, but rather to the sphere for which God in His grace has made you individually responsible.
Then, according to the needs of your calling and sphere of life and service, speak forth the word of faith. Call the things that be not as though they were. Carry out Mark 11:24: "Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."