February 2011: Faith #1

Faith:  Part One

Traveler: n.  a person who journeys from one place to another.

           “Each of us is a traveler through this life, then through the eons of time and beyond—into our final, eternal state of being.  We’re all pilgrims on a journey through this life…to the next life…and beyond.  Yes, we’re all journeying through this life from conception to death, afterwards through the coming ages of time, and—finally—into the state of being called eternity.” 

          Those words are how we introduced the very first issue of The Traveler. What we didn’t write at that time is that we journey by faith, not by our five senses.  The Bible states it this way:  “We journey by means of faith, not by means of our [five senses].” (2 Corinthians 5: 7)  What in the world does that mean? 

Beyond Our 5 Senses

          Beyond our five senses, beyond our mind, beyond our own thoughts, deeper than our conscious and subconscious minds…lies an inner, limitless expanse of faith “residing” in our spirits.  What is faith?  How many definitions of faith have you read or heard in your life?  Confusing, isn’t it?  I’m not going to write anything new.  The best definition I’ve found anywhere is right where some people least expect to find it.  Where might that be?  Surprise!  Surprise!  Right in your Bible….  Follow me carefully here.  I want you to turn to a reference in your Bible, but not in the old King James version; that version was written   over    400   years   ago.   In some respects, 21st century English is much different from what it was 400 years ago.

          Having said that, please turn to your own Bible’s definition of faith.  Where?  It’s Hebrews 11: 1.  Most modern versions of the Bible will define faith there somewhat differently than the old King James Version defines it.  Here’s that definition of Hebrews 11: 1 in modern English:  “Faith is being confident that what we hope for will actually happen.  It give us assurance about things not perceived by our five senses.”Let’s analyze that definition.  From the instant you were conceived, everything you have ever learned or experienced   has  come  to  you through your five senses.  Think about that:  besides your genetic, biological being, your entire self-ness—that which makes you “you”—has all occurred as a result of data entering you from outside you through your five senses.  Your five senses are how you perceive all the data coming into you from your external world.   Everything you’ve ever tasted, touched, smelled, heard, or seen has come into you by those five senses…into your conscious mind, and then processed, stored, or acted upon in your outward behavior.

Outside and Inside

          Yes, everything outside your skin comes to you through your five senses.  In other words, by means of your five senses you have “constructed” the person living inside your skin whom you call “me” (and whom others call “you”) out of the quadrillions and mega-quadrillions of bits of data you have received from outside your skin since the instant you were conceived.  Wait a minute, though, doesn’t the Bible’s definition say faith perceives as real fact what is not perceived by the five senses?  Yes, it does say that.  So where does faith come from?  It comes from inside us.  Faith comes to us from God who lives inside of us in his unbodied form of Holy Spirit.  Faith is one of the 9 super-natural fruits of Holy Spirit who lives inside each of us.  For purposes of illustration at this point, let’s say that in a manner of speaking faith is another “sense” (not the traditional sixth sense, however) that receives phenomena and data from inside our skin rather than from outside our skin.

Your “Portion” of Faith

          The Bible says in Romans 12: 3 that God has given every human being a certain “measure” of faith as an unearned, free gift.  Ephesians 2: 8 and 9 addresses the same matter.  You have a certain measure or portion of faith.  I have a certain measure or portion of faith.  Another way of putting it is that God has given each of us an appropriate amount of faith.  None of us can say we don’t have faith.  We all have faith.  The important point is in how we “use” our faith.  Some people place their faith in money…or cars…or in other people…or in dead, human-devised religious activities…or in houses…or in Hollywood…or in their intellect or knowledge…or in reason and logic…or in the theory of evolution…or in nothing at all.  

And, some people place their faith in God.  The differences in how people use their faith lie in the object of their faith, not in the faith itself.  Faith is faith.  Your faith—and the faith of everybody else—is the same as my faith.  Yes, God has given each of us an appropriate amount of faith.  How are you using yours?  What’s the primary object of your faith?  Holy Spirit who lives inside each of us “transmits” reality (by means of faith) to our “inner person” from inside where He lives in our spirits; this is in addition to the reality which comes to us from the outside by means of our five senses.

The Other Source of Faith

           There’s another way in which faith is transmitted to us, too.  Yet, it originates from the same Holy Spirit who lives inside each of us.  Faith also comes from the Bible.  Look at Romans 10: 17.  Who caused the Bible to be written?  Holy Spirit.  So . . . faith comes from the Bible, too.  As we read and study it–and attempt to obey it!–Holy Spirit makes it real to us.  That’s how we know the Bible is the “Word of God,” not by means of our five senses, but by means of our greater, “inner sense”–faith!  The Bible is unlike any other book ever written; it is actually full of dynamic power and is LIFE-giving as Holy Spirit uses it to “grow” and strengthen our faith.  For example, read and study Hebrews 4: 12 in a modern language version of the Bible.  

          The Bible is not merely printed words on paper like other books.  It is a “living” Book given to humanity by God, unlike all other books.  Yes, from inside of us Holy Spirit makes the Bible come alive as we read, study, and attempt to obey it.  He’s the one who causes the Bible to actually become “food” for our inner beings.  See Matthew 4: 4.  He’s the one who causes the Bible to be more than mere paper and ink.  By faith the Bible is a power-full, LIFE-giving book Holy Spirit uses to help transform and “grow” our inner selves.  By means of our faith-sense, the Bible actually imparts God’s own eternal, self-existent, uncreated, abundant LIFE to us.  By faith, the Bible is a book unlike any other book ever written.  It is THE totally reliable, totally mistake-free, written Word of the Living God!

Two Realms 

          Why do we need faith in addition to our five senses?  We need faith because it is the only “sense” with which we can perceive God and the invisible realm of his Kingdom.  For example, Hebrews 11: 6 says that whoever comes to God must believe God is.  Faith is the means by which we believe God exists and by which we can “see” into the invisible realm in which He lives.  I call that invisible world RealRealm, as contrasted with this world in which we presently live and move and have our mortal beings:  DarkWorld.  This world is—well—just a dim, murky, shadowy world compared to the vast, limitless, bright, invisible realm of RealWorld in which God lives in his eternal state of being.  Education, science, logic, reason, philosophy—each of these has to do with the five senses, and they all have their places in God’s grand scheme of things.  But our five senses cannot “find” God or “prove” He exists.

          Only by using our “faith-sense” can we believe God exists and believe the Bible is God’s Word.  How do we have faith in God?  God who lives inside us in the unbodied form of Holy Spirit gives us faith to believe He is.  That’s the only way we can really know and experience a vital, living, personal relationship with God.

          You see, God is Spirit (John 4: 23), meaning He is “composed” of invisible “spirit-substance.”  Anyone or anything which is spirit cannot be perceived or known by the five senses—only by means of faith.  That’s why we need the faith God has given to each of us; it’s the only means by which we can know Him.  Faith is the connecting link between the visible material universe (Darkworld) and the invisible spiritual universe, the Kingdom of God (RealRealm).  There is an entire “alter universe,” so to speak, known as the Kingdom of God.  It is an invisible Kingdom within us, and it is also an invisible Kingdom outside of us:  a Kingdom greater, larger, and more real than the physical or material universe we know by our five senses.  That unlimited, invisible Kingdom of God can be known and understood only by means of faith.

Gateway to Another Realm

          Also, the Bible is the other “gateway” or connecting link through which we can “travel” back and forth between RealRealm and DarkWorld.  It is the Bible “mixed” with our faith that allows us to see into the unseen, hear which cannot be heard with our physical ears, touch the untouchable, and experience a greater reality we cannot experience with our five senses.  I have read and interacted daily with the Bible for many years.  I have also read thousands of other books.  The Bible is unlike any other book ever written on this planet.  It is really and truly THE totally reliable, totally mistake-free, written Word of the Living God!  You can only know that for yourself by faith.

          Also, the only means by which we can really know Jesus—God the Son—is by faith, too.  Look up Acts 20: 21.  Jesus isn’t here on earth in the flesh anymore.  We can’t perceive Him by means of our five senses.  The only way we can believe in Him and know Him is by our faith-sense.  In our world and universe (DarkWorld)—which is a physical, material world and universe—we perceive everything by our five senses; most of us grew up learning to rely almost 100% upon our five senses.  Through our own life experiences, through our education, through our relationships with other people, we came to believe that if we can’t know or experience something with our five senses, it either doesn’t exist or isn’t real.  We say, “Seeing is believing!” meaning if we can’t perceive something with our five senses then we believe it isn’t real.

          That’s why it’s relatively difficult for many people to know and believe God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and the Bible.  Because they can’t be known by our five senses in the same way we know and perceive most physical and material reality.  When God dispenses the appropriate amount of faith to each of us, often it comes to us at first in sort of a vague “form”; for most of us when we become new Jesus-believers, at first our faith is unfocused and undifferentiated.  God wants us to “exercise” it and focus it toward Him.  He wants us to train ourselves to use our faith properly.

Continued Next Month

“Because of our faith directed toward God, He has made us right with Himself. Also, by faith we have peace with God through Jesus. Faith also gives us full access to God’s limitless grace. Let’s firmly stand on our faith because that gives us joyous hope we will see God’s glory.” –Romans 5: 1 and 2         

To think About This Month:

          “If I believe the Bible’s teachings, even during those times during my journey when I can’t see the road ahead, I know with my inner faith-sense the road is there.”

Bill Boylan
Life Enrichment Services, Inc
leservices38@yahoo.com
Revised and Updated November 2020

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