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Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen. Hebrews 11:1 The gift of faith is one of the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit which are given and manifested in the children of God as the spirit wills. 1 Corinthians 12 When I was prayed for in a prayer circle of four people in the Dairy Queen parking lot, I had the power of the most high or the glory of God come upon me and I almost collapsed to the asphalt. At that moment I believed God had healed me of epilepsy so I took my three months of medication and gave it to my mother, who was an epileptic her whole life until death released her. The Gift of Faith was manifested in me that night. I believed that I was healed, but a three year struggle had begun. I continued to have symptoms of seizures, the the feelings in my body that a seizure would soon over take me into unconsciousness. But faith would rise up in me and I would quote Isaiah 53:5: He was wounded for my transgressions, he was bruised for my iniquities, the chastisement of peace was upon him so that I might know peace and by his stripes I was healed. This struggle continued for a few years but not one seizure ever prevailed against God's word. Fear had lost its stronghold. Faith had replaced fear and the sword of the spirit was in my mouth. The spoken word of God prevailed against the curse that was no longer able to prevail against me. I am free today and who the son sets free is free indeed. John 8:36 I hope this word and testimonial example explains more fully the Gift of Faith. Some healings are instantaneous and some healing are gradual, but the Gift of Faith is manifested in both of them. Let's not forget that doctors and science are gifts from God and God chooses this method to heal mankind in more ways every day. When God is in this process that process is sped up or accentuated; after all all good things come from God. Medication never healed my epilepsy but it made it manageable or controllable for 15 years of my life. Hope this helps someone today!
Paul is talking about the diversities of the gifts of the Spirit and the various manifestations of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:9, as he declares, To another faith by the same Spirit. Chuck Smith in his article, The Gift of Faith, relates the following personal story: Many years ago when we were still in the little chapel over on the next corner, after a Sunday morning service these young people came wheeling their grandfather up the aisle where I was standing in the front of the church. And they asked me if I would pray for their grandfather. He was in a wheelchair, so I naturally assumed that they wanted him healed so he could walk. So I prayed, "Lord, You are a great God. You can do anything. And it is nothing to You to help whether we are weak or strong. Help us, Lord. And we ask that You would touch this man and that You would heal him. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the name above all names." And while I was praying I had this very strong urge and feeling to lift the man up out of his wheelchair and to command him to walk. And so when I said, "Amen"-and again, well, I did not think of what I was doing or I would not have done it. But I lifted the man to his feet. And I said, "Now, in the name of Jesus, walk!" And the man began to walk, much to my great relief! And he walked up the aisle and then he sort of trotted back. And the grandkids were almost doing handstands, they were so excited. They said, "He has not been able to walk for over five years! But he had a cold and we wanted you to pray that God would heal his cold." And I thought, Why were you not more specific? Now I cannot explain to you why I did that, except that I just had this strong urge and impulse to do it and that the Lord would honor it if I did it. The following Wednesday night was the night before Thanksgiving and we were down in Tucson, Arizona to be with our family for the holiday. And they had asked me to speak there in the church while I was in Tucson. And after the service, a man came up with his wife in a wheelchair. He said, "My wife has had a stroke and I want you to pray, Pastor, that God will heal her so she can walk." And of course, I immediately thought of the previous Sunday morning. And I laid hands on her and I prayed that God would heal. And I tried to pray the same prayer that I had prayed before, trying to remember, Now, what did I say? And I patted her on the shoulder and I said, "God bless you, sister. We will continue to pray for you. God can do anything" And the husband wheeled her out the door. My son was with me and he turned and he said, "Dad, how come you did not lift her out of the wheelchair like you did that guy last Sunday morning?" And I said, "Because the Lord did not give me the faith to do it. You see, I do not think, in the Bible days, that the apostles had this faith all the time for every situation; otherwise, we could go to the hospital and empty the place. I think that it came on special occasions, according to God's sovereign grace and God's sovereign work. I do not believe that the apostles healed all of the people who were sick that they encountered. In fact, Paul the Apostle seemed to have special faith and the gift of faith, as well as the gift of miracles, and there were many miracles wrought by the hands of Paul. And when he testified to the church in Jerusalem he testified of the miracles that God had wrought among the Gentiles. But he said, "Trophimus have I left sick at Miletus." (2 Timothy 4:20)
1 Corinthians 12 must be read with a great trust, and in submission to the Holy Spirit. Many pundits have grabbed a few verses and proceed to turn the gifts of power faith and communication and declare that "if God is going to work, He must do it my way!" He will not. He will do what He wants, in the way He wants. The gift of Faith is not "faith" - which is the gift of God we experience at salvation: Neither is it the faith that we experience as we follow Him, and learn to trust Him implicitly. It is a supernatural gift - and is given to an individual for a period - for a purpose. Most of these gifts are just that, a miraculous working of God the Holy Spirit in the affairs of men, through an individual He uses. With all these gifts, (and the gift of faith) the characteristics are: 1. It's not normal. It is a supernatural gifting given as the Holy Spirit sees fit. 2. It's not a "power" or a "gift" the person holds on to - it's truly "as the Spirit wills" 3. It's not of man. It is ridiculous to find churches that offer lessons in "Moving in the gifts of the Spirit". The only requirement is that having been born from above, you stay close to the Holy Spirit, filled wit Him. God Bless
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