Meditations by John Dean

Monday, May 6, 2013

Noun/Verb Faith

(Mark 9:23 KJV) Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 

This is probably one of the most powerful statements in the entire Bible. The thought of all things being possible to us is very exciting. What this scripture seems to imply is that the abundant life is the outworking of faith and need is the lack of faith.

That means that if we are not living in abundance, then it is obviously not God’s fault but ours. If that is the case and we are living in need, then perhaps we should go back and take another look at the word ‘believe’ in our text.

Could it be that we left out a key element in our interpretation of this scripture? If that was not the case then most Christians would be living in abundance and not in need.

The fact is the word ‘believe’ is a verb and not a noun. A verb is a word of action which means that our response to God’s promises is to act on them as if we had already received them. That is what is called “verb faith” (faith with action).

Misunderstanding the word ‘believe’ would certainly explain why some Christians seem to always be in need, even though they do have a measure of faith.

When Peter stepped out of the boat to walk to Jesus on the water, he was acting on his ‘verb faith.’ However, as soon as he was distracted by the winds, the ‘verb faith’ that kept him walking on top of the water turned into ‘noun faith’ which caused him to sink into the water.

His ‘noun faith’ was enough to make him cry out to Jesus for help, but not enough to keep him from sinking.

When one of my three daughters says, “Daddy, can you…?” the answer is always    “Yes “, even though I may not know how to do it. Why?... probably for two reasons. The first reason is that their ‘verb faith’ in me causes me to reach deeper into myself to fulfill their needs. The second reason is…how can I say no to my daughter when she uses the most disarming word in the world…daddy?

If I respond that way to one of my children’s ‘verb faith’ then how much more will God respond to our ‘verb faith?’

We desire for all of our faith to be ‘verb faith.’ We want to believe in Your promises enough to reach out and receive them because You said they were ours. Lord, we belief but help our unbelief.

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