Summary: God needs our faith to move in our lives. In this message, we examine four passages in the New Testament that show how the person's faith enabled Jesus to move.

Many of us say we are living by faith but we are not getting faith results. How can that be? We say we are living by faith and when we pray the reason for our prayers remain unchanged. How can that be?

Could it be, ladies and gentlemen, and I mean no disrespect, that we have been taught a faith that is nothing more than simply believing God to take care of things while we sit back and wait?

Could it be that we have been taught a faith that means we take our needs to God and, because He’s in control, let Him decide whether or not He will help us?

We’re going to see from Scripture whose faith really matters. And it’s my prayer that you’ll see and understand more clearly that when we pray, we are not waiting for God to answer us. He is waiting for our faith.

Faith pleases God.

In Hebrew 11:6, we see why “our” faith is so important.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

This verse is clear: Faith pleases God and He rewards those who come to Him with it. Our faith is the currency that accesses everything Heaven has to offer.

Here’s the movie clip I see when I read this verse: we are walking toward God with our arms outstretched as if we’re bringing Him a great gift. As we approach His throne, He sees faith in our hands. He smiles and hugs us as He accepts with great pleasure our “love gift” to Him. This is what I see when I think about faith pleasing My Father.

Now let’s look at two words in this verse. The first is “without” which means at a space, a part from. That “space” is unbelief or lack of faith. The second is “please”. I’m going to give you, from the Greek, the phrases that are the opposite of “please” – to be disobedient, to dishonor, to bring shame to, to neglect to hear.

Sometimes the opposites of a word paint a more vivid picture than the word itself.

For me, the antonyms for “please” do just that. From our Heavenly Father’s perspective, when we are not living a lifestyle of faith –

• we are being disobedient,

• we are dishonoring Him,

• we are bringing shame to Him, and

• we are not listening to Him.

Now, suppose we read the first part of Hebrews 11:6 this way: “A life that is lived in a way other than in true, unwavering faith, is a life that dishonors God, a life that defies (disobeys) Him and a life that belittles who He is (shames Him). And it shows we’re not listening to Him.” Does this help you see how important faith is to our Heavenly Father?

Many of us hear the Bible but we never truly live the Bible.

When we don’t live what we hear, there will be a space of unbelief that separates us from faith that receives the “rewards of faith”. Many of us have a blind spot. We don’t believe we have unbelief working in us that separates us from true faith. But so many of us do. I did. Let me brighten your day. As we hear and obey the Word of God, we slowly close the space of unbelief that separates us from the faith that brings rewards!

God rewards faith with His promises.

Hebrew 11:6 says that when we come to our Father in faith, He rewards us. What does He reward? God rewards our faith when we diligently seek Him. In other words, He answers our faith when we pray – not our prayers. I know you were not expecting to read that. But it’s true. God does not answer prayers. He answers the faith of the one who is offering the prayer.

And that’s exactly what we see in Scripture.

We are going to look at several examples of people who came to Jesus with a need and received answers because of one thing: their faith. But first, I want you to see something.

In First John 4:4 the bible says “Ye are of God, little children...” In verse 4 of chapter 5 we read “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” According to Scripture there is only one thing Christians have that enables us to overcome the world – our faith. Hold on to that. It’s our faith! Yours. Mine.

Okay, now, Hebrews 11:6 says faith pleases God and He rewards those who have a lifestyle of faith. Why did I say “lifestyle of faith”? Each person identified in this chapter lived a life dependent upon one thing: hearing God, believing God and obeying God. Lifestyle. Remember Romans 10:17? “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Now this is what I want you to see and understand. Each person in Hebrews 11 was not a child of God. Each had a fallen sin nature. These men and women lived in such a way that their lives demonstrated a longing for the promise of living with God for all eternity.

Ladies and gentlemen, God’s sons and daughters are not looking for the promise of living with their Father for all eternity. Sons and daughters have that promise living in them right now!

As you read through the passages, keep in mind that these are people who are not like us. They are not God’s children. And yet, their faith is rewarded.

The woman with the issue of blood – Matthew 9:20-23

And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour,

Whose faith made the woman whole? Jesus says it was her faith that accessed the healing power (“virtue” in Luke 8:46) in him that made her whole. The woman must have heard Jesus teach (Romans 10:17) and seen him heal. Because of this, she acted on her faith – on her belief that Jesus could and would heal her too. So she touches his garment and is healed immediately.

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. ... But wilt thou know O vain man, that faith without works is dead? ... For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:17, 20, 26)

The two blind men – Matthew 9:27-30

And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.

Notice the question that Jesus asked: “Believe ye that I am able to do this?” (“...for he that cometh to God must believe that he is...” [Heb. 11:6]) When it comes to faith, ladies and gentlemen, this is always the question. Jesus touches their eyes and says “Your faith is the reason I am able to give you your sight.” Oh let that sink in!

“I simply want My Body to believe Me.”

I want to share part of a prophecy from our church service on Sunday, January 22, 2017. The title is “Climb Higher and Believe Me.”

“I simply want My Body to believe Me. I want those who are Mine to take My Word as if they know nothing else, to place it at the forefront of their thinking and to believe Me. This is the life in the spirit. My words are spirit and they are life.

“I desire My Word to be primary in your thinking. Kingdom thinking includes refusing to receive thoughts and imaginations that do not agree with My Word and My ways. If something does not agree with My Word and My ways, I do not agree with it. Be challenged by these things and come up higher in Me.”

If we are willing to accept, believe and support anything that is in opposition to what the bible teaches, we are living in delusion, fantasy and deception. We are not living by faith.

A mother pleads for her daughter – Matthew 15:22-28

And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Verses 22-24)

This woman was a Gentile. She did not have covenant rights with God like the Jews. But it didn’t stop her from pleading with Jesus on behalf of her daughter.

Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s (Jews) bread, and to cast it to dogs (Gentiles). And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. (Verses 25-27)

This mother did not take “no” for an answer. She knew that Jesus could deliver her daughter and if it meant that she had to crawl on her hands and knees for Him to do it, so be it. For this mother, her daughter not being delivered was not an option.

Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. (Verse 28)

Why was the daughter delivered from the devil? Her mother had “great faith” and received the reward that great faith produces. Are you seeing the pattern?

The ten lepers – Luke 17:12-19

And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his (Jesus) feet, giving him thanks: and he a was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger (Gentile). And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

There is something about faith that this passage points out that needs our attention. Jesus told the lepers to go and show themselves to the priests. At this point they were not clean. The passage says “And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.”

The lepers had received the word from Jesus. But they had to act on that word before they were made clean.

Notice they were made clean when they obeyed and began to walk. The lepers had to act on what they were told before the healing manifested. So many of us believe what the Bible says but we don’t believe it enough to act like it is truth. And because of this, when we hear the Word, we don’t have enough faith to walk it out.

Who is responsible for getting their prayers answered?

Based on these four records, and there are more, who is responsible for having the faith to receive answered prayers? We cannot deny Scripture ladies and gentlemen. When my prayers go unanswered, it isn’t because My Heavenly Father didn’t want to answer them. I simply didn’t give Him the faith He needed to move on my behalf.

Here’s the lesson from these passages: Our faith is the deciding factor when it comes to getting our prayers answered.

So I encourage you to feed your mind with the God’s word. Let it become that which dominates your thoughts. And as you do that, your faith will be like a seed that’s planted in the ground. Over time it will grow and grow and grow. Praise God!