After the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his followers reassured one another with it. They believed that the only limitations they faced would come from their own fears. With a positive attitude and faith in themselves, they expected to attain their plans. In some limited ways, they did.
Faith governs our lives.
We exercise faith constantly. We could not live without it. It activates all human action from the simple to the complex. Faith exists within the human breast. God fixes it there as a natural faculty of man. Faith enables us to accomplish all that we do.
- It determines the meals we eat. We believe food has value, so we eat it believing that it will benefit our bodies. When we enter a restaurant to eat, we enter with faith that the food will strengthen not poison us.
- It chooses the cars we drive. We start them and drive them by faith.
- We set the alarm clock and turn the light switch in faith that they will work.
- It dictates whom we marry and our intentions for the future. We send our children to school in faith.
Sadly, people misplace their faith. Some profess blind faith in a “higher power.” These blinded people rely upon some impersonal, nebulous force to help them attain their goals. As their success by the world’s standards grows, then faith in their “higher power” grows, too. Faith in their spiritual force, they say, helped them achieve prosperity.
Others, captivated by a set of principles on success, govern their lives by them. The success gurus preach their tenets with religious fervor. Their students follow them with equal zeal and control their lives by them. As they achieve their goals, they credit their faith in the principles of success that they believed.
Some only believe in themselves. I practiced this self-help fallacy for many years. Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill became my blueprints for life. I firmly believed Napoleon Hill’s famous statement, “Anything the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Many still believe the self-help errors, even some famous leaders in the Christian church.
As George Bernard Shaw has said:,
“We have not lost faith but we have transferred it from God to the medical profession. (1)
Indeed, mankind has misplaced their faith. A set of principles on success or an impersonal “higher power” has captivated us. We believe them instead of God. Hence, we sample only simulated success.
Genuine Success Requires Faith In God.
Faith In God Secures God’s Riches.
Success and prosperity by God’s standards require faith in God. Without it we waver like the waves of the sea. Apart from it, we cannot receive anything from God. To complete what He has in mind for us, we must “Keep the faith… in God.”
Faith in God through Christ dresses us with His nature. Through faith, we defeat the enemy of our souls.
Faith brings down God’s prosperity. Withdraw faith and we send no prayer to God nor do we receive answers from him. Prayer fails for want of faith. Faith secures aid from the Eternal God in time of need.
Daniel’s life exemplifies this truth. We meet the same obstacles and opportunities that Daniel did. When we rely on God as Daniel did, we experience God’s success in our lives, too.
Faith In God Brings Righteousness.
Daniel believed God, and God called him righteous. In Ezekiel 14:14, God described him as “righteous.”
Daniel’s faith in God never wavered. To understand Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, his advisors sought for knowledge from the stars. The enchanters and sorcerers relied on magic potions. They gave up the splendor of the Immortal for images formed like creatures and mortal man. Then they worshipped them.
But Daniel learned truth from the One Who made the stars. He knew the power of the Everlasting. Daniel loved God, and his faith in God gave him right standing with God.
Our good works do not pacify God. Church membership and faithful attendance in church never pardon us before God. In Isaiah 64:6 we read:
“We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…”
The best deeds of rightness and justice never justify man before God. Humans possess sinful natures, which separate them from God. They need redemption. Since no one can please God by good works, God in grace and mercy provided a way for sinners to become righteous.
He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to redeem sinners. His death on the cross paid the penalty for the sin of people like you and me. Everyone who trusts Christ’s substitutionary death for them and His resurrection from the dead experiences salvation from their sins.
The Bible unequivocally states this truth in John 3:16-17:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Further, in Galatians 2:16, God says:
“A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
Again, in Titus 3:5, He affirms:
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…”
Right standing before God does not result from good works. God counts man righteous only through faith and complete dependence on Jesus Christ. When a person trusts Christ, God then declares that person righteous. It comes solely from faith in Jesus. God says in Romans 4:5:
“But to him that worketh not but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
To experience success as God designed it, we must first put our faith in Christ and in His provision for our redemption.
Faith In God Resolves The Rigors Of Life.
Daniel also believed God in the rigors of everyday life. As a teenager, he suffered as a captive POW. The Babylonians captured him in their siege of Jerusalem. They brought Daniel to their land as an exile. They indoctrinated him in their language, learning, and lore.
For three years, he studied the culture and creed of the Chaldeans. Though of royal Hebrew blood, he served as a helper in the courts of his conquerors. Despite his lowly rank, his faith in God did not waver. Daniel, though frustrated and outcast, believed God and experienced God’s prosperity.
We commonly attribute success solely to the rich and famous. Prosperity does not always come dressed in fine linen. Nor does it feast exclusively at luxurious banquets nor only reside in mansions.
We can enjoy God’s success as a celebrity or as a captive. His prosperity comes to those with rags or riches. We can enjoy it in little cottages or lordly castles. When we pursue God’s purpose and plan for our lives, God prospers us with His perfect, sovereign plan for us.
In faith, Daniel rejected the customs of his captors. According to the customs of the day, a monarch fed his captors from his personal kitchen. Initially, Daniel’s diet consisted of food from the king’s table, including pork and other meats, which God called unclean. Often, the king ate meat previously sacrificed to idols.
However, God had assigned specific preparations for those meats that the Hebrews could eat. God taught His people not to defile themselves. Daniel knew God’s restrictions. In faith, he rejected the traditions of the Babylonians. Instead, he espoused the principles of the Almighty. It says in Daniel 1:8:
“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat…”
A test diet of beans and water made Daniel’s face fairer and fatter than ones who ate the king’s meat. God honored his faith and caused him to prosper.
The modern Christian finds himself in a similar situation. The world urges Christ followers to find success by conformity to its principles. Its motto proposes that prosperity depends upon how things look. It asserts that the attainment of personal desires brings success.
God commands the Christian to reject the customs of the world. Do not allow them to shape your life. Instead, allow the Holy Spirit to renew your mind. He will transform your life and bring complete, durable happiness.
The Bible states in Romans 12:2:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
In the daily routines of his life, Daniel trusted God. He did not permit the world in which he lived to squeeze him into its mold. God met his needs.
God has promised to provide our every day needs, too. As we trust Him, like Daniel, our faith grows.
As a result, we know the prosperity of God. He is not like the big supply sergeant in the sky, however. He sees our needs differently than we do. God meets the needs of the lonely, homeless, and impoverished as well as the rich with prosperity that defies circumstances.
In Philippians 4:19, we read
“God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said:
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”
To have the prosperity that God gives, we must trust Him. God calls His children to live a life of faith. Our faith in God springs into life when we trust His Son, Jesus Christ, and His Spirit confirms our sonship.
When we depend upon His provision for our sins, we become righteous before God. God’s style of success starts to function in our lives.
As we further exercise our faith in Him in the rigors of life, we discover God’s plan and purpose for us. Glory! We savor prosperity beyond our dreams.
Biblical Law #2: Prosperity God’s style requires faith in God.
1. Donald Bolander, Gary Wright, Dolores Varner, Stephanie Greene.Instant Quotation Dictionary. Career Institute, Mundelein, IL 60060. p. 111.