There was a conference in my city some years back. Someone has a ‘word’ which was that we should invite a certain speaker to come so that we ‘could have more faith in God’.
Once I heard that I knew that this ‘word’ was not from God. It’s the kind that can pass for a ‘word’ when we have what is called a Spirit-filled life that is not a new covenant lived life. The basis of the post cross age is not the gifts and the anointing. It’s the incarnation in which Christ lives in you to manifest as you. This is the soil and the root of life in the Spirit.
In the new covenant mindset, we and our Father are one and more. Christ’s life is our life. So rather than ‘get more faith’ which is a ‘try-harder’ thing people urge each other to do, we need to get a grip on what we already have – an inheritance in which Jesus Himself is our life and the life lived in us. Our inheritance is that in having Jesus’ life we have His faith.
HE IS YOUR FAITH
I have been praying for healing for a relative who has a debilitating disease. He asked me to pray for him in the phone, which I did. I have prayed for people and they have been healed. Sometimes. I have another friend who has a healing gift. He prays with confidence and people are healed many times. When praying for my friend’s healing today I recognised that being in Jesus I could pray in Jesus’ faith because what is His is mine.
The new covenant has been described as the vicarious humanity of Christ. This simply means Christ is you. That’s a bit radical for some but for the ‘some’ who believe it’s the difference between being born again and being stuck back in Adam and Moses.* You don’t need more faith and you don’t need to try harder. If anything you need to rest harder as a pastor friend of mine urges his flock. Rest in where God has put you: In Himself. Rest where Jesus is: In you. Rest in the fact that Jesus vicariously is you. Stop trying to live a religious life. Start again in the fact that Jesus has drawn you into His life. I found this in trinitarian conversations.
“Every time somebody is having a problem, the pastor typically tells them, you need more faith. If you had more faith, then God would come through for you. What else can you do, but look over your shoulder and say, “Where am I lacking in faith, help me to have more faith, I need more faith, because if I have more faith then I won’t have to worry about this.” (1)
GOD HAS ALREADY COME THROUGH FOR YOU
That’s exactly the wrong approach although so often the standard ‘Christian’ approach. But what Jesus gives you is not a religion. He gives you Himself to be manifested as you. Christ’s life is your life in every way.
“This is the problem. Often the church doesn’t have a concept of Christ’s vicarious humanity in its total substitutionary work. We think that some place along the line, there’s something that we have to contribute to our salvation. Whether it’s repentance, whether it’s faith, whether it’s obedience – and wherever, we make some kind of autonomous contribution to our faith. It’s the same with pastoral ministry in the church, to our ministry – any time there’s some part of that chain that we make, as an act in and out of ourselves, apart from Christ – that becomes a weak link in the chain. That’s where we find ourselves looking over our shoulder wondering when the shoe is going to drop. Because we know we don’t have the kind of faith that we need, the kind of obedience, the kind of sacrifice. We don’t. That’s not what the Christian life is all about. It’s about Christ’s faithfulness.” (2)
It's about Christ’s life as yours. Unless we can grip this and make it our own we will live outside our inheritance on the wrong side of the fence and unable to make sense of Romans 8 and what Jesus means when He says, ‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV. As a result we fumble and fluff about in confusion without realising the expression of ourselves in Jesus and becoming yet another fountain of living water.
We can expend ourselves in works of piety and charity with little effect. At least with no more Kingdom Effect than the non-believer. We need not live as a dry creek-bed. Christ is our life. Agree with it. Believe it and streams of living water will flow from your being without ostentatious effort but by resting in Christ as you.
* Despite common belief we are not born again when living from an old covenant mindset. (1) Anderson, Ray; Colyer, Elmer; Dawson, Gerrit; Deddo, Gary; Kettler, Christian; Kruger, Baxter; McKenna, John; McSwain, Jeff; Newell, Roger; Young, Paul. Trinitarian Conversations, Volume 1: Interviews With Ten Theologians (You're Included) (p. 57). Kindle Edition. (2)Ibid. (p. 60). Kindle Edition.