Faith has been one of the most sought-after things in the history of God’s Church. Every member of God’s Church down through time has, at one time or another, longed to understand this truth. Many have claimed to have understood it – without being able to show it, or prove it. But James tells us “show me your faith without your works, and I’ll show you my faith BY my works!” (James 2:18).
Many today feel obligated to pray – without really expecting a dramatic answer to their request. THIS SHOULD NOT BE! God will instantly, dramatically answer any request that a person with a clean heart makes of Him. If you don’t expect an answer – you won’t get one! So the key is – to cleanse your heart. Here, finally, is the simple truth.
1 John 3:19-22 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we CONFIDENCE toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we KEEP his commandments, and DO those things that are pleasing in his sight.
You can EXPECT God to answer your prayers! By knowing, deep down in your innermost heart, that you deserve it. That because you’ve done what your Father wants, you have qualified yourself to receive the blessings He promised YOU!
Can you ignore on your real-life father’s commands – never caring what he wants, or what he says – constantly doing things YOU KNOW he wouldn’t like – and then honestly believe that when you ask him for a new car that he will give you one? It is no different with faith towards God! Faith isn’t a complicated, mysterious, esoteric concept – it is SIMPLE!
Hebrews 11:6 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.
True, sincere, powerful faith is nothing more than KNOWING that your Father is happy with you, and believing that He will be more than happy to give you your request!
Read the entire 31st chapter of Job at home, in your own Bible. He is examining, searching desperately for something he may have done wrong, some sin that could have brought this terrible trouble upon himself –
5-6 If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.
13 If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;
16-17 If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof;
22 Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.
– Job went through every conceivable sin he might, even possibly, have committed – and he could find no flaw in his works, at all. Job was CONFIDENT of his works. His heart DID NOT condemn him, at all.
Job 10:2, 7 I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me… Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.
Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain (margin: justify) mine own ways before him.
This man trusted God – completely – he trusted Gods’ judgment to be righteous, even if He chose to kill him. But he couldn’t find a mistake in his works, a sin he had committed, to repent of.
Job was so sure he was right – his heart was so clean, and his conscience so untarnished, that they did not reproach him. And he was so CERTAIN of his innocence – that he was willing to argue with ALMIGHTY GOD! Are YOU this certain of your righteousness? YOU CAN BE, if only you will. And look at what God said about Job, after all this…
Job 42:7-8 And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for HIM will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
God will hear Job’s prayer, through all of this. God loved Job. Job’s heart would never condemn him, because he would ALWAYS do what was right.
Ezekiel 14:20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it [a famine], as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.
God will HEAR these men when they cry to Him! He will do the same for you, if you act as they did!
Psalms 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
So how do you attain that level of righteousness? So that God will be ready, and eager to answer your prayers – and you yourself can have the faith to KNOW that He is ready to do so?
Deuteronomy 23:12-14 Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.
God doesn’t like looking at trash! Physical, emotional, or spiritual! Do you want God to walk in your home? Clean it up! Get rid of everything that He wouldn’t like to see. And KEEP it gone! Establish your righteousness by removing everything in your life… here is the real key… EVERYTHING that even MIGHT be wrong. Your conscience knows what you do in your every day life that is questionable. You can justify it, and choose to continue doing it… God has allowed you room in scripture to do this… but God will not walk among you.
On the other hand, you can do as Job did –
Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
The word for “escheweth”, in the original language, means “to turn aside, depart, to turn aside, turn in unto, to depart, depart from way, avoid, to be removed, to come to an end”.
If you want God to hear your prayers – to work in your life, dramatically and powerfully… you must eschew all evil. On every level. Deeper than you have ever even considered before.
Imagine, just for a moment, that every time your conscience pricks you, and says “maybe you shouldn’t do that”… You immediately said “OK!” EVERY TIME. In every thing, no matter how great, or how small. If your conscience says “Don’t eat that!”… or “Don’t look at her that way!”… or “Stop and help that person!”… or “Don’t watch that TV show!”… the list is endless. And if you examine yourself, and look at the choices and compromises you make EVERY DAY in your life, you will begin to understand why God is UNABLE – yes, GOD ALMIGHTY is UNABLE to work with you in your life, UNABLE to answer your prayers mightily, BECAUSE OF YOUR SINS!
Do you refuse to accept this? Are you, even now, justifying not believing this? Open your own Bible, and read Isaiah 59:2 for yourself! Prove me wrong!
“But your INIQUITIES have separated between you and your God, and your SINS have hid his face from you, that he WILL NOT HEAR!!”
This is not easy. This is why almost no one has ever done it. This is why, when someone does do it, God is so pleased. The apostles, prophets, yes, even Jesus Christ himself, were subject to the same pressures you are, daily.
James 5:17 Elias (Elijah) was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
Elijah, Moses, Abraham, Peter – these were all men, the same as you and I – and yet Peter’s very SHADOW healed a man! Never let a man tell you it’s impossible to please God – or that it’s not your fault your prayers aren’t answered! Your BIBLE says otherwise!
Speaking of Jesus Christ: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
Christ had the same problems thrown at Him that are thrown at you, every day. Yet, when His conscience said “No!” guess what He said? “Ok!” See, when your conscience bugs you, and you ignore it, you never forget it. Your heart realizes that you had the chance to do right, and refused to do it. Oh, you had good reasons – but you chose the wrong answer, and you knew it.
So when you, later, go to God in prayer, asking for something – your heart, even while you’re asking, is saying “I really don’t deserve this… Just today I did this, and this, and this… and if I’m honest, I’m going to do it tomorrow as well.”
Is this going to God in faith? Is this having confidence towards God? Again, he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). You must believe that you are diligently seeking Him, and that this applies to you. In order for you to believe this, you must LISTEN to your conscience, HEED the promptings of the holy spirit working within you, THEN, and ONLY then, will your conscience not condemn you, and ONLY then will you have TRUE FAITH towards God.
This is not easy. It’s not supposed to be. Because “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14).
It will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. But it can be done. Heed your conscience, listen to God working within you, withdraw your foot from every evil path – and you can go before God expecting, and receiving, a strong, miraculous answer to your prayer.
Think about that – is there anything on earth, anything you do that is worth more than that? Something worth more to you in this life, than to have the Lord of the Universe, Master of All That Is, happy to listen to your prayer – and eager to answer?
No, it won’t be easy. But you can do this. If only you will.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come BOLDLY unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need!