Faith Comes By Hearing
In my years of owning my own businesses, my role many times becomes that of a salesman. And sometimes I even get to enjoy teaching others on selling. And whenever I get that chance, I always say the best salesmen listen. They don’t just talk and talk to try to sell the client, they must listen and if they listen long enough the client will tell them their needs and then the salesman can show them how his company can solve the clients issues.
On that same note, I teach several Christian classes to men each week. The classes are on Servant Leadership and becoming a servant leader. And, as with selling, when one of the students asks a question or makes a comment, I always listen closely because often times, they teach me with their comments or question. And many times, I learn much more from them they then might be learning from me.
One day, during one of my classes, I was spiritually discouraged with my life. Basically I was feeling sorry for myself and I was wondering why God was not getting me out of a mess that I created. Sound familiar?
And since other people may be struggling with the same issues, I believe that I should share my struggles in my teachings and sermons. So during this period when I was “spiritually discouraged” I went on to say to my class “sometimes I feel like just when I am trying to get up again, God comes with his big foot and STOMPS on me, knocking me down again.”
In hindsight that was not one of my more positive statements to my class but it did create some interesting discussions. But not until the next week did I realize how God was using one of my students to speak to me about this subject and to teach me one of the most powerful truths that I believe I have ever learned.
The following week, one of my students came up to me after class and said that God had given him a word for me. I had a class right after this one, so I told him I would come early the following week and we could meet. So when we did meet he read me Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”.
Now I have heard that many, many times. Great scripture. But again I have heard this so what is the word. So I just sort of looked at my student waiting for more. My student continued and said let me read only part of that scripture again. And he only read “So then faith comes by hearing.” And he stopped waiting for me to get it.
He then said, “Do you see that. Faith comes by hearing. WHAT ARE YOU HEARING? I’ll tell you what you are hearing. You are hearing yourself talking about how bad things are, how you regret what you did wrong and how you feel God is punishing you or keeping your down. SO THAT IS WHERE YOUR FAITH IS. Your faith is in what you are saying and what your mind and your spirit are hearing.”
I was just blown away. It felt like I just stood there with my mouth open for a good minute. He smiled and waited for me to say something. And for a moment I could not. It was as if my brain was processing all of this and all I could hear in my brain was WOW! WOW! WOW! And when I was able to saying anything all I could say, yes you guessed it, was WOW!
I had been feeding myself so much negative thoughts about myself, about my life and about what I felt God was doing in my life that I believed in it. Better put, I had very strong faith that God was out to punish me and keep punishing me to teach me His lesson for me. Because as God’s Word promises “Faith comes by hearing…”
But faith in God can only come when you complete the entire scripture “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”. It is only when you hear the Word of God, does the proper, real faith come into your mind, body and soul.
And it is not just with ourselves; it is the same with the people around us. Just fit that same thinking into what your kids, wife or husband or friends are hearing. What they are hearing from you, from music, from television and from all media? If they are not hearing the Word of God, then they are going to have faith in what ever they do hear. Makes you start to think about all the things you say to your kids, your wife or husband or your friends.
So I stopped the negative talk and thinking and started to hear the Word of God. Here are some scriptures that I started “hearing”:
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Psalm 34:8 – Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:31 – What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
Romans 8:38-39 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And one of my favorite: Isaiah 40:28-31 – Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Look again at the second sentence in Isaiah 40:28-31. It reads, “Have you not heard?” Can God not spell it out any better? Isaiah 40:28 “Have you not heard?” and Romans 10:17 “And Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God”.
If you want to change your faith in God, then you have to stop speaking out and hearing your own self talk and your grumbling. Maybe like me you were speaking out disbelief that God could not bless you. Or He was out to get you. It is spiritually unhealthy.
Start practicing spiritual preventive medicine. Start daily hearing God’s Word and strengthen your faith.