GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
From the week ending 02/09/03
The Angelic Conflict
The Mechanics of the Faith-Rest Drill
In our ongoing study of the Satanic Game Plan, we have been looking at the basic problem-solving device that God provides for believers in the Church-age, which enables us to handle the attacks of our enemy. It is called the faith-rest drill, represented by the "shield of faith" in EPH 6:16, "In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
The faith-rest drill is a versatile technique able to overcome any difficulty, problem, or disaster in life. By faith the believer applies doctrine logically while resting in God's promises.
PSA 27:5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle [promises]; in the secret place of His tent [doctrine] He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock [occupation with Christ].
We have now noted 3 different Hebrew words for faith.
1. "'Aman" is a verb meaning to believe, support, or use someone as a crutch. The root meaning is a foundation on which you build something; a foster-father, pillars, or supporters of the door.
2. "Batach" is a verb meaning to trust in the sense of "slamming" your troubles on God; this word carries a vivid faith-rest connotation-to have confidence, be bold, be secure, and be carefree.
3. "Qavah" means to wait or look eagerly for, to linger for, hope, expect, collect, or bind together. It depicts a fine thread woven into a giant rope that cannot be broken, representing faith that takes its strength from a source outside itself. As we study the meaning of this word we are reminded that once we give God our problem, we are to leave it in His hands and move on. We must not interject human solutions, but wait on Him.
ISA 40:31 Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
The result of living in faith-rest, in spite of the pressures and temptations, is an exchange of human power for divine omnipotence. The Lord will either deliver you from the situation or (more likely) He will give you the strength and contentment to endure the situation. With faith we can say as Job did in JOB 13:15, "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him."
The mechanics of the faith-rest drill include 3 stages.
1. Stage 1: Faith claims promises from the Bible-combining the promises of God with faith.
2. Stage 2: Faith claims doctrinal rationales, such as the essence of God rationale-reverse concentration, which means taking the doctrine out of your soul and applying it to the situation, after you have already taken the doctrine into your soul by studying under your pastor-teacher.
3. Stage 3: Faith reaches doctrinal conclusions and takes control of the situation-resting and waiting on the timing of God.
We establish fellowship with God (the filling of the Holy Spirit) through Biblical confession of sin (1JO 1:9, 1Co 11:31, PSA 32:5). Then we regain a relaxed mental attitude by claiming promises from the Word of God. No believer can apply doctrine while the mentality of the soul is controlled by fear, worry, or panic.
The first stage of the faith-rest drill is claiming a pertinent promise, then stabilizing the mentality so that concentration on doctrine can begin. This is necessary because fear and emotion have revolted against thought, and you must take conscious, bold steps to restore divine viewpoint thinking in your soul. We then can take control of the situation as we reach doctrinal conclusions. This becomes the function of spiritual self-esteem.
With confidence restored, we can assess the situation and make decisions from a position of strength. We can take appropriate actions based on sound judgment and common sense. Remember, if the problem is hopeless, and you are helpless, now it is time to trust the Lord to come through for you. Testing is designed as a "field training" exercise in the spiritual warfare of the angelic conflict. Every time you apply doctrine in your soul to a problem, there is a decoration reserved for you in heaven.
ZEP 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest in His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
Since concentration on doctrine requires a relaxed mental attitude, the believer's mental attitude becomes a prime target of satanic opposition against the power of God's Word. God has provided a place of inner peace, happiness, stability, and power within the grasp of every Christian, often called "rest" in the Bible. This is available in the midst of the most difficult circumstances, pressures, and problems. God has given us promises and doctrines in His Word, and it is our job to learn, believe, and use them to solve our problems.
The faith-rest drill claims a promise, and then that faith develops a rationale and then draws a doctrinal conclusion. By mentally following a rationale in a crisis, you are re-explaining to yourself basic concepts of doctrine that pertain to your relationship with God.
When you thoroughly understand the doctrine of the essence of God and apply it in adversity or prosperity, you will possess and maintain peace and stability in every experience of life.
Every attribute of the essence of God gives us reason to trust His character and His plan.
· Love: His love is perfect and never subject to the pettiness and conditions attached to human love.
· Veracity: He is perfect truth; He can never lie, and therefore all His promises are fulfilled.
· Omniscience: He knows all; He knew all about your problem billions of years ago.
· Omnipotence: He is all-powerful; there is nothing in your life He cannot handle.
· Omnipresence: He is everywhere-present; He is always with you.
· Immutability: He can never change; He will always treat you in the same way your entire life-in grace.
· Righteousness: He has perfect integrity (including perfect justice); He can never be wrong, and no decision he makes through His justice can ever compromise His perfect righteousness.
· Eternal Life: He is eternal, with no beginning and no end; He has given this same life to you, and He will always be with you.
· Sovereignty: He is the ruler of the universe; He is in complete control of history, and nothing happens without His consent, including your problems.
· Justice: Our point of contact with God is His perfect justice; all things that come to us from Him (whether blessing or discipline) come through His justice. He can never render a wrong decision; every decision made by the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Supreme Court Judge, is always perfectly fair and just, according to the standards of His perfect righteousness.
1SA 2:6-8 "The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honor; for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and He set the world on them."
In the plan of God rationale, there are five principles that support the predesigned plan of God for every believer, and that can be applied to the problem at hand.
1. Foreknowledge: God has been caring about me since eternity past.
2. Predestination: God has taken care of every detail of my life.
3. Election: God has called me for a special purpose.
4. Justification: God is gracing me out now.
5. Glorification: God is going to grace me out forever.
In logistical grace there are four categories of support.
1. Life-sustaining support. God sustains the life of every believer on earth. No believer can depart from life apart from His will, PHI 4:19, "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
2. Temporal needs such as food, clothing, shelter, transportation, environment, time, and occupation.
3. Security provision, including guardian angels, divine establishment, and the wall of fire (for positive believers in the advance to maturity), 1PE 1:5, "You are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
4. Spiritual riches, such as the portfolio of invisible assets, the 10 problem-solving devices, the 10 unique factors of Church-age, the Canon of Scripture, the local church, doctrinal teaching from one's right pastor-teacher, the privacy of the Royal Priesthood, and the Royal Family honor code.
A rationale is defined as a "reasoned exposition of principles," an "explanation or statement of reasons." As we have already noted, the faith of the Christian way of life is a logical faith based on solid evidence.
The faith-rest life is not an excuse for "hyper-spirituality." There is no room in the Christian way of life for laziness or irresponsibility, or ignoring the works that God sets before us in our Christian service. "Quietism" is a false doctrine that teaches that the believer is entirely passive, and ignores the principle of divine good in the believer's life. The Quietists maintain that religion consists in the withdrawal of the mind from worldly interests and anxieties and its constant employment in the passive "contemplation" of God and His attributes. This heresy contradicts many great passages, such as 1CO 9:24, Phi 3:14, 2TI 4:7, and JOB 38:3.
1CO 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
Phi 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
2TI 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.
JOB 38:3 "Now gird up your loins like a man..."
In nearly every significant passage on the faith-rest drill, the waiting and trusting is balanced by a command for rigor, alertness, and strenuous striving. God provides all the assets; it is up to us to use them. Our volition must continue to respond to His guidance in our doctrinal studies, application, service, and prayers. All the power and blessing comes through the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit. The desires of the soul to be conformed to the image of Christ are the direct result of the grace of God, not something we generate from the flesh.
The faith-rest drill is a vital, basic function of the Christian life. Without it, our spiritual walk is doomed to failure, and we will have a life filled with stress and misery.
Hebrews 4:1-3">HEB 4:1-3 Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, "As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest," although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
As the believer grows spiritually and consistently learns Bible doctrine, the "mind of Christ," he will move beyond claiming promises to the point where he will rely completely on the character and nature of God, a God who is always faithful, and whose heartbeat is always for the recovery and restoration of those who have failed.
ISA 57:15 For thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."
For a more detailed study, order last week's tapes, 1838 to 1839.
LORD; He is their help and their shield. You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.
If the problem is hopeless, and you are helpless, now is the time to trust the Lord to come through for you. The faith-rest drill means coming to the end of your rope-and then remembering that your Father is in the "rope business." As we have learned from the meaning of "qavah," when we place our faith in His power, that faith is like a thread woven into an unbreakable rope that will never let us fall.