What do you believe in? Do you believe in the Bible? Do you believe in what your pastor tells you about the Bible? How you answer these questions tells you what the object of your faith is. The object of your faith determines how you will live this life but also where you will get to spend eternity. To be able to determine what our object of faith is, we first have to understand the concept of faith. What is faith and do we need faith in our everyday life and living?
A few years ago, I was traveling by air from Europe where I live. My destination was North America. I have always enjoyed flying, and I did not mind sitting inside a metal tube hurtling through the air for 9 hours, controlled by two strangers I had never met. So I boarded the aircraft in Amsterdam and enjoyed my 9 hours ride. I had never met the pilots, I did not know who they were, and at no time during the flight did I see them. Even though I had never met them, and I did not know if they were capable of flying the plane, I trusted them with my life for 9 hours. If they at one point had decided to crash the plane, I could have done nothing to prevent it.
When I was 8 years old I had to have surgery. I remember how scared I was and the idea of someone cutting into my body filled me with fear, I was convinced I was going to die. Both my parents came with me to the hospital, and when I saw how calm and confident they were, I calmed down and was able to trust the surgeons.
When I boarded the aircraft I had never met the pilots, but that did not matter to me. I was able to relax and enjoy my flight even though I had no proof they would not at some point decide to crash the aircraft. When I went in for surgery I had never met the surgical team, and that mattered to me. I was not able to trust them and relax until I saw my parents reaction and how calm they were.
Why was I able to trust the pilots but not the surgical team?
Faith and expectations are two sides of the same coin, what you have faith in and believe in is what you will expect to happen. Faith and expectations always depend on what your mind is telling them. Your mind will always have authority over your faith and expectations and decide what you believe in and what you will expect to happen. If we can control our minds, we can control what we believe in AND what we expect to happen to us.
When I was traveling by air, my mind saw the company logo and communicated to my faith that I trust this airline. My faith communicated back to my expectations and told it to expect a safe enjoyable plane ride.
When I was a child, going in for surgery, my mind saw the unfamiliar doctors and communicated to my faith that I might die and this would be painful. My faith communicated back to my expectations and told it to expect a sudden painful horrible death on the operating table. When my mind saw my parents and how they told me not to be scared, it communicated to my faith that I was safe and this would be ok. My faith communicated back to my expectations and told it everything was going to be ok and I was able to relax.
What is in your mind always has the authority to decide your faith and your expectations. This is why the Bible says we have to connect our mind to Yehovah and fill it with His words. (Prov 3:5-6). But sometimes our mind can be so wounded by the wrong expectations it becomes almost impossible for us to have faith in Yehovah and expect His promises to be fulfilled in our lives.
Have you ever prayed for something and expected the opposite to happen? Have you ever prayed for something and unconsciously expected the opposite to happen?
When I was a mainstream Christian, I believed I was saved because I had asked Jesus into my heart and made Him my Lord and Savior. In my mind, my acceptance of Jesus guaranteed me not only salvation but also His healings, provision, and help in every situation. I was a typical mainstream Christian who had accepted the lie that the written Torah was a curse and something Jesus did away with at the cross.
I prayed in Jesus name, believing He heard me and would answer my prayers now that I was saved. When that did not happen, I was disappointed, and it left a wound in my soul. This was not what I was told would happen; I was told now that I had accepted Jesus into my heart, I was saved, and He would always hear me and respond to my prayers.
When we get dissapointed it leaves a scar in our souls, and if that scar does not get healed it is given authority over our minds to affect us in ways we can’t even begin to imagine. If something has authority over our minds it has the authority to decide what we believe in and what we expect to happen. This is why it is possible to pray for something but expect something totally different, or even the opposite to happen. When our prayers dont line up with what we expect to happen, we have no faith in Yehovah. The Bible says, if we have no faith in Yehovah He will not answer our prayers. (Heb 11:6)
As the years went by I kept praying, and my prayers were not answered so the wound in my soul grew even bigger. I did everything I was told from the pulpits of Christianity. I tithed, I gave donations and “love offerings”, I witnessed and gave out tracts. Everyone told me that Jesus cant lie so if my prayers were not answered, the fault was with me but they were never able to tell me what I was doing wrong. So I settled for being saved for eternity, no really having any hope that Yehovah would intervene or even care about my life right here and now.
It did not take very long until I was so used to my prayers not to be heard. God became this nebulous thing I did not understand and Jesus became my ticket to heaven who did not really care too much about my life here and now. I still prayed, and I still believed in the goodness of God and the grace of Jesus. But my mind was so wounded by all the disappointments in the past. So the wound in my mind made me decide that I did not know how to get God to listen to my prayers. Now my mind was telling my faith to expect nothing to change when I prayed. I had lost faith in God because I had been so deceived by all the lies that came from the pulpits.
Have you lost faith in God? Has it been so long since your prayers have was answered so you have been disappointed time and time again? Is your wound affecting your mind so much that now you automatically expect nothing to happen when you pray?
The more I started reading in my Bible, the more I started seeing how deceived I had become. I was told in church the very foundation that guaranteed answers to my prayers, the Torah (what we call the written law of Moses) did not apply to me anymore. I was told the Torah was a curse, but the Bible says the Torah is a blessing, protection, a guide. I was told not to read to much from the Old Testament because I was a new testament Christians, but the Old Testament interpreted the New Testament for me, even the scriptures most Christians overlook because they dont understand it. I was told to focus only on Jesus, but Yeshua (Jesus) says in the Bible to focus on His Father, whose name is Yehovah.
Suddenly I realised why I had lost faith in Yehovah, it was because the God of Christianity I had been introduced to in the churces had nothing to do with Yehovah and Yeshua (Jesus) in the Bible.
The more I started applying to my life what the Bible said, the easier it got to expect answers to my prayers. When I started applying the Bible to my life and obeying what it says, I was fulfilling Prov 3:5-6. The more my mind was filled with the truth of the Bible the easier it got to expect the Bible to come alive. And the easier it got to expect the Bible to come alive, suddenly it became much easier to have faith in the word of Yehovah.
What is in our minds controls our faith which in turn controls our expectations. We can’t have faith in Yehovah and the Bible if what is in our minds does not line up with the Bible. Most mainstream Christians have filled their minds with the ideas, doctrines, and laws of men instead of the word of Yehovah. They have allowed pastors, preachers, evangelists, and denominations to tell them what is in the Bible and how to interpret it for them instead of reading it for themselves.
Have you lost faith in God? Are your prayers not answered? It is because your object of faith is not the Bible, it is the lies that you are being fed from mainstream Christianity.
When your object of faith is your pastor and not your Bible, you have made your pastor into an idol. Idol worship is a sin, it is time to come back to the Bible and renew your faith in it by accepting what it says and decide to obey it. If you decide to obey it your mind will tell your faith to expect the Bible to come alive.
One of the first things I had to do was to accept what the Bible has to say about the Torah (the written law of Moses). In mainstream Christianity I had been told the Torah was not applicable to me, it was impossible to obey, and it was a curse. The Bible says in 1.John 2:6, 3:4, 3:7, 5:3, Matthew 23:2, and Ex 19:5 we are to obey the Torah and it is easy. In John 14:15 it says our obedience to the Torah is the evidence of our love for Yeshua (Jesus). It even goes as far as to say only those who obey the Torah are righteous, and only those who obey it AND believe in the cross can overcome the devil. (Rev 12)
Why was it necessary to first change how I thought about the Torah?
The Bible says the Torah is Yehovah’s instruction manual for life, it tells us how to live in this physical world and how to relate to Him and our fellow man. If we dont obey the instruction manual everything goes wrong and nothing works as it should. But when we change our minds about it, and we start obeying it, everything suddenly clicks into place and starts operating again. When Yehovah made us He did make it possible for us to have our prayers heard as long as we obey His Torah. Not obeying the Torah and expecting your prayers to be heard is equivalent to expecting a diesel engine to run on gasoline. It just can’t be done, and in the end, the engine breaks down.
When I started obeying the Torah my mind told my faith to expect Yehovah to answer me. Why did I expect Him to answer? Because in my mind I knew that the Bible says He hears the prayers of the righteous (Prov 15:29). I knew I was righteous because I obeyed the Torah, so my mind communicated to my faith, which in turn communicated to my expectations, to expect my prayers to be heard and answered.
Does He always answer my prayers? Yes, He does, because that is the prescribed order of things. If we obey we are righteous and He hears and responds to us.
Perhaps your question now would be :”If what you are saying is true, then all of your problems have just magically dissapeared?”
Nowhere in the Bible does it say we will never have any problems or any difficult circumstances. But what it does say is this, if we are righteous and reconciled to Yehovah, we will have no reason to worry about anything. (Matt 6:25-34). What it does say is this, even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, His rod and staff will comfort us. (Psalm 23)
No, I still have problems and difficult circumstances in my life, but the differences is this, now that I am living the Bible I dont worry about them. So even though I am running a global ministry with more than 187 000 members, having a regular 9-5 job in a company that sometimes struggles to meet payroll, trying to pay off my personal financial debt, I am not worried about anything.
Why am I not worried?
Now I am living and obeying the Bible, not my pastor and denomination. Now the Bible is the object of my faith. So instead of praying to some nebulous “God”, instead of praying to Jesus, instead of praying to “Lord” I go directly to Yehovah my Father in prayer and He hears me and answers me because I am righteous and reconciled to Him through the cross.
When I at times are tempted to worry, or I find myself in situations I dont know how to handle, I obey Prov 18:10. I choose to focus my thoughts on Yehovah and His name instead of all the things that battle for my attention, trying to get me stressed out or worried.
Now it is easy to have faith in Yehovah, in the Bible and in Yeshua.
So what is faith? Faith is always a product of what we have in our minds. If we fill our minds with the name of Yehovah, His word the Bible, and choose to obey His instruction manual the Torah our minds can expect Him to do His part because He is not a man that He should lie. If our minds expect Him to do His part it will communicate it to our faith which in turn will communicate it to our expectations and our faith will line up with our prayers. So make sure your mind is filled with faith.
One of the ways to making sure your mind is filled with faith would be to obey Yehovah by celebrating the Shabbat today. In a few hours from now, the sun will set and Shabbat begins. Durign the Shabbat, you can not work for money or make others work for money. You are of course allowed to break Shabbat for medical reasons.
Next week, I will return with another sermon from Yehovahs word, the Bible.
Yehovah bless you.