The single most important factor in your life right now is the people praying for you.
Do you have such people? Do they pray a lot? Eloquently? With a lot of love? Or do they pray with great faith? The only thing that matters is that they pray with great faith!
Faith is what God responds to when you pray. It stands on its own. It is not a personality trait or the strength of your will. Nor is it an emotion, a mere feeling that could evaporate like mist before the sun of reality.
Faith is your heart’s response to God’s Word! However, faith is not the result of any heart responding to any voice. The right ingredients prepared in the right way will result in great faith that will move mountains. In this post, we will look at the heart. What kind of heart will produce great faith?
The parable of the Sower gives great insight in how the condition of our hearts determine the effect God’s Word has on it.
The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others. The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Mar 4:14-20 NLT
Endless sermons and books have been written about this parable. I’m not going to spend time on how Satan steals the Word. Or how the hardening of your heart (unforgiveness, hate, etc) neutralises it. Or how worried thoughts crowd it out. Just know this: your heart’s condition may limit how much of a choice you have in how you respond to God’s Word. Your heart’s condition can cause God’s Word to not produce faith in you. It is important that you take this warning from Proverbs to heart.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Pro 4:23 NLT
We are, however, going to spend some time on that which causes your heart to be good and fertile soil for God’s Word.
You see, a surrendered heart has the best response to God’s Word!
Abraham, father of faith, was willing to sacrifice his son.
By faith, Abraham, at the time of testing, offered Isaac back to God. Acting in faith, he was as ready to return the promised son, his only son, as he had been to receive him— and this after he had already been told, “Your descendants shall come from Isaac.” Abraham figured that if God wanted to, he could raise the dead. In a sense, that’s what happened when he received Isaac back, alive from off the altar.
Heb 11:17-19 MSG
Faith is not your license to tell God what to do! Faith is trusting in Him even when we do not agree. Or can only guess at how He is going to work this out. Faith is Jesus praying, ‘not My will, but your will be done.’
The greater your surrender, the greater your faith will be! Control is a delusion, yet it remains a difficult thing to let go of. And it is impossible to surrender control to a stranger. Yet, you will understand how easy it can be when we talk about God’s Word in the next post.
For now, remember this.
A surrendered heart has the best response to God’s Word. The greater your surrender, the greater your faith will be!