Different levels of faith – where are you?
There are different levels of faith during spiritual growth. Each one has a test….and with each successive higher level, there is less support from God….Finally God does nothing for us at all, and we suffer and lose the battle…..but do we still love him? Do we still trust in him?
There are various levels of faith:
1. Weak Faith – Everyone begins here. Weak faith considers circumstances. It constantly limits God and His benefits. Wrong teachings are an influence here. It cannot see the Spirit, the power of God, or that God can do all things.
2. Temporary Faith – As we grow stronger, we receive the Word of God for awhile, and believe, but then fail when tests come. (Luke 8:15)
3. Active Faith – Faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26) We need to do more than just believe, since even the demons believe and tremble. The apostles acted on their faith, preached the gospel, and did good works.
4. Strong faith – This is a faith that staggers not at God’s promises. One refuses defeat, and will not take no for an answer. The person speaks out loud to the devil, rebuking him, and releases God into action.
5. Great Faith – has a great expectation, that just hearing the word is enough for the request to be granted. As in the centurion, who said “you only need to speak the word, and my servant will be healed.” He did not even ask Jesus to come. His words were enough. (Matt 8:10)
6. Unfeigned faith –(genuine) – It knows no hypocrisy. It does not brag or put on a show. (2 Tim 1:5) Very childlike, trusting and innocent, and is well founded in the Word of God.
7. Perfect (divine) faith – Absolute confidence in God’s own Word and Being.
This will be tested with fiery trials.
While other levels of faith receive some support, and encouragement from God, this level takes what is learned from earlier levels, and endures to the end without apparent support.
Tribulation will come. Suffering will come.
Good works continue, in spite of persecutions.
We no longer care about our own needs. We forget who we are, and only desire to serve His purpose, and have His needs met.
Prayers are spoken, but there is no answer, yet one continues to hold on and believe.
There are wars, and one loses the war.
There is sickness, and there is no healing.
There are problems, and they are never resolved.
One does good, and it is called evil, and is punished for it.
One is faithful, and is betrayed by others.
One is generous, and loses everything.
One is alone, and no one comes to comfort.
One blesses, and is cursed and rejected in return.
One calls out to God, and does not receive an answer. One feels abandoned.
You are afflicted, but there is no deliverance.
Where are the promises, and the answers we have been waiting for?
But will that person respond by abandoning God?
This is the level of “the cross.”
There is no reward in this life at this point. Suffering seems to be around every corner. Will we endure to the end? Will we be faithful, without helps, and rewards, and interventions from God?
This is the point where we could lose our lives for the gospel.
Are we ready? Will we die for Him?
Is our love enough? Is our faith great enough? Have we died to ourselves yet, where HE is the only One that matters any more?
Have we forgotten who we are yet, and can only think of Him?
The faith God is looking for is NOT the faith that comes, because he helped us, or rewarded us, to encourage us.
The faith he is looking for is the faith that continues to trust and love, when God has seemed to turn away, and there is NO reward coming at all.