Speaking The Word of Faith
Taken from Yes I Am, the following article explores how we take spirit actionthen move from thought to deedto bring about a desired outcome.
We have seen that one stream of the rivers of living water flows out from us in our believing attitudes. We might call this the Power of Positive Believing. We have it clear that everyone, with no exception, is projecting his attitude. No man can live unto himself. Modern science informs us that every atomic particle has its field of attraction or repulsion; so also we humans have. The poet Francis Thompson wrote in The Mistress of Vision:
All things by immortal power,
Near or far, hiddenly,
To each other linked are,
That thou canst not stir a flower
Without troubling of a star .
Paul said the same with his None of us liveth unto himself, and no man dieth unto himself.
We know well enough what our frowns and head-shakings and pessimism and general negative attitudes do. How wonderful it is, instead, to be constant inner-see-ers of God, in His perfect ways, meaning everything and everybody to be at this moment just what they are. Thus with the lift of our soul, without effort or put-on-ness, maybe saying nothing, but with the replacement of the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, not trying to impress or change a person, we cannot but be a light of hope, praise, and faith in dark places. We are not hiding the apparent hurts. But mercy is rejoicing against judgment in us, and there is no hiding it. The Spirit is secretly touching the strings of response in hearts where there are only the bass notes sounding.
But spirit attitude is only the preliminary to spirit action. No person on earth functions without first inwardly reacting to things, and is always in a negative or positive attitude toward them. From this he moves on to the moment of decision as to what he will do about it. The general thought-level, which can move in any direction, is now replaced by a decisive, inner word- level. He says within himself, I will do this, I will take that, I will go there. Thus he speaks within himself his word of faith. From that inner process, by which general thought is replaced by specific word, he now moves on to outer deedfrom thought to word to deed. From Father-level to Son-level to Spirit-level. By no other process has any single conscious action ever taken place in all human history. It is the universal human process of selfmanifestation, whether it is the taking and eating of some food from a plate, or a decision of the United States Congress! It is also the process of creation in Genesis 1. The Father has His universal plan of the ages; the Son, called the Word, gives the plan its particular form with His Let there be; the Spirit moves upon the face of the waters and transforms the word into substance. Father, Son, Spiritthought, word, deed.
The critical moment of any action, whether by the Three-in-One, or by man made in His likeness, is the speaking of the decisive word: attitude (Father) moves into word (Son) and action (Spirit). That is why we say that a word puts a person in action.
In any mundane activity, this is the order. Thoughts are preparatory. Deeds are the products. Speaking the decisive word transmutes the thought into deed. The word is at the heart of the process. So a person in action is really his word in action.
Now move that up into the operations of the kingdom of God, the realm of the spirit dimension, of which all earthly forms are visible reproductions spirit-essence slowed down to the point of visibility. Now we are the sons of God operating in the Spirit kingdom, though outwardly flesh members of a three-dimensional world. How then do we operate? Precisely as we do in our three-dimensional world of space-time. Not one iota of difference. We operate from the Father-level of our general understanding of situations and the purpose in them, on to the Son-level of the decisive moment of the spoken word of what is to come to pass, and on to the Spirit-level of the thing done. But how can we say that? Because we as sons of God are in union with the Father, Son, and Spirit by His grace and election; and that union means that we are so inwardly one that we act as He. We think His thoughts; we speak His word of faith; we do His deeds.
How do we think His thoughts on the Father-level? Because we have the mind of Christ, as the Scripture states. We no longer look around outside us, or upward, to gather His thoughts. We understand that He is living out His perfect purposes by His body members… and therefore by me as one of them. Therefore, whatever situation I am at present in is precisely the expression of His present mind for me. All, then, that I have to do is to sort out in my mind what is the situation in which He is now living by me, and what is my relation to the people with whom He has linked me. This necessitates seeing each situation as His perfect purpose.
But now we go further. I have taken it for granted that He has a distinct purpose to fulfill by me, His son, in the situation. I must now, therefore, particularize the circumstances or the people concerned, and know what it is He purposes doing in them. What is that particular thing? I must get that in the clear to move on to the decisive word of faith. How do I get it clear? By boldly taking it for granted that He thinks His present thoughts by me. For He is working in me to will and do of His good pleasure. He is causing me to desire His desires. So I name that desire precisely, for What things soever ye [not He] desire ye shall have (Mark 11:24). I do not hesitate, except for whatever time it takes to formulate my desire. (And if I am part of a group, together seeking the mind of God, it may take a while to get to one mind.) So first comes attitude.
Then I move straight in to the Sonlevel of speaking the word of faith. I do precisely what Jesus (in Mark 11:20-26) told His disciples to do. He had earlier commanded the fig tree to bear no more fruit (vss. 12-14). The next morning, when they passed the withered tree, Peter commented on it: Master, look, the fig tree you cursed is withered away. Jesus simply replied, Now you have this same faith of God (which is the literal rendering, rather than faith in God). And what does that mean? Obviously, seeing as God sees the situation, and thus believing with His believing. And how does God do this? Through my eyes and inner comprehension. So if something appears like a mountain of difficulty to me, that is how He is first causing me to see it.
Jesus then tells His disciples to say to any such mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, and in doing so, to believe it is a completed fact. The result: You will have whatever you have said. It couldnt be simpler. Dont beg. Dont beseech. Just say it! But there is the added proviso that we dont doubt in our heartsdont allow mental soul-doubts, which we surely have, to disturb our fixed, inner word of faith: Whosoever shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith (vs. 23).
But how can I say Be removed to a mountain? Because it is only a mountain to my human seeing. Read what God said to Zerubbabel in Zechariah 4:7: Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel…a plain. Thus to the eyes of faith a mountain is no obstacle, and as Jesus said, is removed and cast into the sea by the word of faith.
So, having the mind of Christ, as sons in action we discern that next thing God is moving us on to and bring it into being. It is just that simple. It is only the graveclothes of suspicion of our old self-seeking selves which makes us hesitate about saying that the thing we desire is His mind. But He has said, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe… (vs. 24). You desire. Then lets be that simple. If He in us trusts our desires to be His desires, let us trust ourselves. We have discarded and rejected those doubtings and questionings of our motives by accepting our vital Galatians 2:20 relationship, so let us now practice holy boldness, just as John keeps saying in His union epistle: We have confidence toward God…. This is the confidence that we have in Him…. We may have boldness [even] in the day of judgment.
Then, being bold in defining exactly what are the things we are presently desiring in place of the mountain confronting us, and naming them, we speak the key word of the countdownwe press the button marked, SAY. We do that from our inner spirit-center, simply by our authority as sons of God. Jesus has plainly told us to act as God by the faith of Godby His inner believing imparted to us, by our inner union of mind and understanding. This means that in acting as He, all of His mighty resources are at our disposal. It is not now a matter of us being at His disposal, but of Him being at our disposal. He is operating in this present world-system by us. We say with Caleb, Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it. And in so doing, we laugh the laugh of faith.
Speaking this word of faith (having once settled what the desire is) could not be more simple. It is the obedience of faith (Rom. 16:26). That is all the works involved. It is a work of faith to this extent: all that the outer appearances can pour on us at such a speaking moment, they will pour. That is to say, we shall likely feel the full impact of the foolishness of faith. It looks absurd. It is absurd, because the agony of faith is that nothing can ever be experienced until after weve committed ourselves to it, not before. As weve seen, that is actually true in a minor way of even the least act of everyday faith, like sitting on a chair. How much more when it is these leaps into what is invisible and impossible and unattainable by human methods! So there is a travail of faith because of the assaults on us by every emotional reaction to the absurdity and impossibility of it. And equally, by every rational objection to what spirit- faith has always beenthe irrational. So in that sense, we say speaking this word is not simple. Yet it is, because it is just speaking the word! And that is why something equivalent to confessing it with our mouth is a seal on ita means by which, once we have said a thing, its a settled matterand the affirmation to ourself or to others helps to settle us into it. But thats all. These are our supreme moments when the rivers of the Spirit are flowing out of us on our spirit level. This is the faith that gives substance to things hoped for.
How It Affects Our Prayer Life
Speaking the word of faith obviously makes a big difference to our prayer life. In explaining this new understanding of prayer I have sometimes said that I dont pray any more. I should not say that, chiefly because the Bible is full of exhortations to prayer and illustrations of prayer. What Im meaning is that at the heart of my praying, the prayer of request has been replaced by the prayer of acceptance of what Ive asked for. Certainly, prayer cannot mean what we often interpret it to meanhaving special times of prayer, etc.because Paul has told us to pray without ceasing, and that we cannot do unless we see prayer to be a condition in which communion with God is always continuous, on our subconscious (and, as needful, conscious) level.
I am not now referring to those periods of corporate prayer expressing fellowship, worship and praise. Some enjoy them in the quietness of an Episcopal-type worship service, or of the Lords Supper. Others, including myself, though being most at home in home fellowships, also enjoy the Spiritled out-pourings in more charismatictype meetings when all are unitedly and vocally pouring out their hearts in praise; and this may often include both songs and singing in the Spirit, in one great volume of sound, sometimes interspersed with messages in tongues and interpretations. This was obviously part and parcel of the normal worship times in the early church (1 Cor. 14:26- 33). It shows how far we have cooled off from the glow and freedom of those days when, in our established churches, we have a pastor to do the praying and preaching. This is a far call from a fellowship so living, and with so many wanting to take part, that it isnt a question of calling on and encouraging the brethren to participate but rather of having enough orderliness for one to follow another, and giving room for two or three to speak in tongues also.
How far weve come when such a message in tongues would cause a shock (and even division) in the church fellowship, instead of being so ordinary that no notice is taken. I was in a fellowship I like to be with in Halford House, Richmond, England, on a Sunday morning, with about two hundred present. In the freedom of the worship hour I heard one speak in tongues with an interpretation. Then another spoke and no interpreter. When I inquired afterwards about the one with no interpretation… You made a mistake, said my friend. The second one was a Chinese sister speaking in her own language. But the point I am making is that in a period of worship and praise by song, prayer, Scripture, a message in tongues may be taken for granted; and it was a non-Pentecostal assembly. How far we have wandered.
It is something to hear the rising and falling of the sound of the Spirit in a Korean country congregation, maybe of a couple of thousandand Presbyterian unitedly praying at 4:00 a.m.; and that glow and glory can be shared today in many fellowships of many natures, by no means officially Pentecostal.
But back to our main line about the word of faith as the heartbeat of our prayer life. We have seen that we first need to know the mind of Christ, in each given situation, expressed through our own mindsrelating to the challenge, the mountain that confronts us. Knowing that His mind and ours are in union, we come to a plain settlement (even if it takes time to sort things out) of what it is that we desire in the situation. We then boldly take it for granted that that means His desire by us, knowing that He freely said in Mark 11:24, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
And now we are moving into the heart of the matter. Jesus had just said, Say unto this mountain, Be thou removed… and you will have whatsoever you say. Now, speaking of naming our desires in prayer, He said, Believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted youhave received, not receiveand I quote the New American Standard version here, because it best brings out the meaning of the Greek aorist tense.
This is where the difference lies between my former request-type praying and what Jesus was saying to His disciples and now us. I see God marvelously privileging me and you to be His agents of production in lives and conditions. Just as we produce in the material realm by specifically deciding what we shall make and then making it, so now in the realm of the Spirit. For me, I ask no longer, unless I also believe and receive. Folks say, But doesnt God tell us to ask? Yes, but asking is not to inform God of what I need. Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things, said Jesus. What is required is God getting me in my childish ignorance to the point of deciding what He is meaning me to ask for. Just as you get a child to choose which cookie he will take and then ask for just that one. So asking is just a stepping stone to receiving. As Jesus said, Ask…seek…knock, and it shall be opened unto you. So to my asking I add taking and receiving. Indeed, as I get used to taking by the word of faith, I hardly notice Im askingone is almost dissolved into the other.
So I move right in and speak the desire into reality. How? By that word of faith which calls the things that be not as though they were, which is said to be Gods form of faith (Rom. 4:17), and therefore mine. I speak that word. When it is on the mundane, human level that I speak any such word, I then go on to fulfill it. This time I am recognizing that it is God speaking that word by me, and so He goes on to fulfill it and it is precisely the same as when He brought the visible creation into being by the word of His Son.
For many years after his retirement as General Secretary of the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade, Norman Grubb traveled extensively sharing the truth of our union with Christ. He also carried on a huge personal correspondence with individuals throughout the world. He was the author of many books and pamphlets, a number of which are available through the Zerubbabel Book Ministry. Norman lived with his daughter, Priscilla, in Fort Washington, PA. Norman P. Grubb entered the Kingdom at 98 years of age.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 21 No 3
- Speaking The Word of Faith
- Editor’s Note
- A Miracle of Small Stones
- A Vision For Zerubbabel
- Tape Talk
- Modern Man and the Ultimate Question
- Two Common Misunderstandings
- Living in the Promised Land
- BIBLE STUDY: Sin, Satan, and the Flesh
- School Days
- To Think About
- Powerless over Alcohol and Life: Step 10
- Letters From Norman
- A Priceless Inheritance
- Words To Live By
- The Laugh of Faith Part 1