GRAHAM COOKE: pgs. 31-34
LIVING BY FAITH
I am never in need of encouragement or money because
all I want to do is give both away. I have learned to hold on to
both loosely, living by faith. I don’t have a salary: I prefer to
live by faith. My struggles early on in the ministry to live by
faith were centered mainly around my inability to rest. I had
not worked out that the Father not only provides, but also
stretches our faith at the same time. That often meant the provision
was delayed (my terminology) or at least never showed
up when I was at the limit of my faith. However, it seems that
God disagreed about where my limit was and so each situation
took me beyond my previous measure.
In the gap between promise and provision I was slowly
learning that I had choices to make. Either I could rest in God’s
language of promise (“My God shall supply all your need in
Christ Jesus”), or I could try to make things happen by dropping
hints to people, sending out prayer letters, expending my own
efforts. Often in that hiatus I would get irritable and impatient
with people around.
I was not only learning about faith and how it grows by
stretching, I was also discovering that faith must be undergirded
by peace. In Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, chapter 4, Paul
unites faith and rest: we who have believed enter that peace.
He wrote about laboring to enter a place of peace and calmness.
Rest has to be worked at constantly or faith will wither.
Everyone must increase their peace levels to be able to stay in
the war, live the life and move in the supernatural.
Our faith is in the nature of God. It is not about faith in
faith. So often I have heard people say that they didn’t have
enough faith. It is not the size of our faith that is important,
but the depth of our revelation of God’s nature. When we know
what He is really like, when our hearts are emboldened by the
majesty of His faithfulness and grace, then we know that His
commitment to His word and His people cannot be broken. His
word will not return to Him empty.
Faith is driven by what we have seen, heard and experienced
of the true nature of the Father. Our faith always pushes
out beyond our experience; it never stays at the same place. Our
current experience helps us to believe God more at the next
opportunity (see Figure 1). That’s what Scripture means when
it says we walk by faith, not sight.
There is always a dimension where faith is beyond our experience.
Faith is exploring, pushing us beyond the boundaries of
what we know in the natural. As we get used to that faith level,
our experience pushes up to it and our faith ranges out further
into the heart of God (see Figure 2).
Our faith is always in advance of our experience, so that we
always have something to aim for in the nature of God. In the
storm on the lake (Mark 4), the disciples had faith in their own
seamanship but not in Jesus’ power to control the elements.
Faith gave out and fear came in as a result. The size of faith is
always a lesser issue than where it is placed.
My child, walk in my Footsteps, live in My shoes.
This is your place of safety because I am bigger than anything
or anyone you will ever face.
This is your place of provision, for you will walk in My
increase for your life.
This is your place of expansion for I am growing you to fit the
anointing that I have set aside for you.
You have power to stand in Me.
My strength is yours as you walk in Me.
Walking in bloody footsteps, your sins are forgiven and your
weaknesses are covered.
Enjoy this life.
Be a child in Me.
Speak to your enemy, your detractors, your problems with
the same confident word…
“My God is bigger than you.”
It will always and ever be True!
by Graham Cooke