The Ladder of Faith
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Recently we have been talking to you about the ladder of faith, stating that if we are to climb up the ladder of faith up to the great and mighty things God’s Word promises us, and spoken of in Jeremiah 33:3, where God says, “Call upon me and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things ye know not,” the ladder must first rest on a very firm foundation.
That foundation is the Word of God, and the two legs of the ladder are God’s faithfulness, for He’ll never fail His Word, and His power, that enables Him to fulfill His Word. Last week we stepped up to the first rung of the ladder, which was cleansing of heart. For in reaching out for what God has for us, we must approach Him with a clean heart.
The second rung of the ladder of faith is knowledge of God’s Word. I know I may be accused of being repetitious for I have mentioned this so many times, but it is so vastly important. For faith is born in the heart by knowing God’s will for you.
Many times people say, “Oh, pray that I can have faith,” but God’s Word tells us that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). As you live in the Word of God, faith comes instinctively, and as you learn God’s promises, a conviction is born in your heart. One of our great leaders wrote thus: “Live in the Word of God and faith will come automatically.”
Have you got a real hunger for God’s Word? Or do you just nibble at it once in a great while when something reminds you of it? His Word says, “I found thy words and I did eat them.” (Jeremiah 15:16) Some people want everything God has to give them, but they’re not willing to take the time to read what God has to say about them and about it. Faith is born by reading God’s Word, because there we find if we’ve got the right to ask for certain things.
Read His promises, commit them to memory. They’re put in His Word for a purpose. As Peter says, “By them ye might become partakers of the heavenly nature”; that is, of His holiness. (2 Peter 1:4) The promises in the Bible are real. I’ve found them so practical. I’ve proven them so many times. How I wish I had time to tell you about it; I know it would strengthen your faith.
But it was not always so. I can remember so well the university that I was attending. We were studying the poetry of the Bible and having as our lesson the 23rd Psalm. And I recall the way our modernist teacher brought out the beauty of the poetry of the Bible. But not once in all those lessons did he even hint that the promises of the 23rd Psalm were real, or could be appropriated for practical living! He never even hinted that the Lord, as a real shepherd, would lead us; that His Word and His will for us would truly become green pastures.
Neither did he even intimate that we could walk with our Shepherd through life, and He would bring such peace in our everyday walk that we would indeed be led “beside still waters.” So the 23rd Psalm was to me in those days just beautiful poetry, and, I might say, a picture of a lovely rural scene. And many a Christian today treats the promises of God as if they were just that: not to be appropriated, not to be put into practical use, but just lovely poetry.
But there are riches untold for us, physically, mentally and spiritually—spiritually most of all, of course—if we would take hold of them! But we must lay hold of them. There they lie in the Word of God, unused by so many, just beautiful poetry, lovely literature, the Bible. Oh what a pity that is when we know what God could do if we’d really trust Him, really believe His Word.
To very few people there comes a deep realization that there is real life in the Word of God, life that means quickening. If you’re sick in body, this scripture will mean a great deal to you. I love it. “The life of Christ shall be manifest in your mortal body.” (2 Corinthians 4:11) And that life is in God’s Word.
When a farmer sows a seed, it’s buried in the bosom of mother earth and warmed there by the great sun-lover. Likewise, when the seed is given to a human mother by the father, it’s warmed by the mother and brings forth life, because there was life in the seed. It’s the same in the spiritual realm. Our Father God gives us seed of His Word, and it’s warmed by the Holy Spirit and it brings forth life because there is life in the seed—God’s Word. There’s living, vibrant, abundant life in the Word of God.
Other books have lots of pages and words, but there’s not life in them like in the Word of God. I know how familiar that scripture is to you, but did you think of it in this light? “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst men.” (John 1:1,14) This verse speaks of Christ the living Word, God manifest in the flesh, the Word coming to earth and wrapped about with human flesh. The Bible is the written Word; Christ was the Word manifest in the flesh, but they’re one and the same. And when that Word grows in your heart, that’s life, and it quickens spirit, soul, and body.
God grant that you will so fill your mind with God’s Word that the spirit of truth will make you impregnable against any lies of the Devil. God grant that in your hour of any trial you’ll not waver, but steadfastly hold on to God’s promises until the victory is gained.
The victory is for you, my friend. Believe the Word of God against everything. May God give you the courage to stand on His Word against every doubt, and with determined importunity hold on until the promise is fulfilled and you have the desire of your heart.
The last hour that you hold on to the promise in unyielding faith may be the very hour that brings the victory! Live in God’s Word. Live with it and faith will grow until you can live by the Word of God.
Teach us to pray, Lord,
Teach us to pray.
Thou art our pattern
(You find that pattern in the Bible.)
Thou art our pattern
Day unto day.
Thou art my surety
Now and for aye.
Teach me to pray, Lord,
Teach me to pray.
Adapted from “Teach Me to Pray, Lord, Teach Me to Pray,” by Albert Simpson Reitz (1879–1966)
God bless you. He’s still on the throne and prayer changes things.