- Bryan Schroeder
I want to become more like Christ when I learn. For too long I was deceived into thinking that I was growing in knowledge of the truth - the knowledge of Christ - simply because I was learning. I was learning, but I was not growing in knowledge of the truth until I discovered a key growth principle in the Kingdom of God.
In 2 Corinthians 4:13, Paul wrote,
“It is written: ‘I believed, therefore I have spoken.’
With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.”
The Holy Spirit taught me that I must ensure that my constant learning leads to knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 3:7). I began togrow in knowledge of truth when what I learned became part of my thinking to govern and guard my soul and became part of my spirit where it was infused with faith.
Why pursue more learning if it will not eventually translate intoreflecting “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God” (2 Cor. 4:6) in my life? I wanted to become more like Jesus as I learned.
I asked Holy Spirit,
“What do I need to do so that what I learn actually
convicts me and convinces me with the knowledge of truth
so that I am transformed by it?”
That is when He led me to 2 Cor. 4:13 (see above) and answered my question.
Faith is expectancy. To be transformed by truth, my learning needed to go beyond my thought processing and consciousness in my soul, into my spirit. Without faith (spirit realm), what I thought I learned or wanted to learn diminished and disappeared. Speaking the truth in love is the first manifestation of a new belief or portion of truth, this is a work of the spirit of faith that Paul wrote about.
Paul cited the psalmist from Psalm 116:10 and declared, “I believed, therefore I have spoken,” and then added his own thought, “With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.” It was a spirit of faith in the goodness and deliverance of God through times of affliction that the psalmistexpressed.
Faith is expectancy.
Paul kept exercising his faith by speaking his beliefs in the context of enduring persecution and carrying around in his body the death of Jesus (sharing in Christ’s suffering), so that the life of Jesus (sharing in Christ’s glory) may be revealed in his body (2 Cor. 4:10).
If our faith is in Jesus, we will expect to see the goodness of God and His Kingdom of light in our midst, and our words will carry that expectancy with power – the fruit will prove it as a product of faith. If our faith is in Satan (often expressed through fear and in certain thought patterns), we will expect to see the evil of Satan and his kingdom of darkness in our midst, and our words will carry that expectancy with power – the fruit will prove it as a product of faith. (Faith in Satan is a blunt way of describing the internal agreement with a kingdom of darkness principle that results in a deceptive stronghold in a person’s body, soul, and/or spirit.)
Not all of our words are infused with faith, but when they are, bad fruit comes from evil expectations and good fruit comes from good expectations. You reap what you sow. The more we speak in faith, the more we exercise our faith in either God’s goodness or (often unknowingly) the devil’s wickedness. Jesus talked about this Kingdom principle in Luke 6:43-45 when He taught that words spoken are an overflow of the heart, whether good or evil.
A poignant example is from Numbers 13 and 14. It records the account when Moses sent 12 spies to explore the Promised Land for 40 days and bring back a report to Moses and the people. Caleb and Joshua, 2 of the 12, returned with a good report. Their words (and heart) were fueled by faith in the goodness of God, because they had a different spirit of expectation (of God’s goodness and deliverance); they followed God wholeheartedly (Numbers 14:24). God treated those 2 of the 12 differently and promised that He would bring them into the land, because they declared with a spirit of faith in God’s goodness, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Num. 13:30). God honoured their words.
The other 10 spies, had a different spirit of faith (one rooted in fear that expected evil) and confidently declared, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.’ And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored” (Num. 13:31-32). They did not trust in God’s goodness nor His ability to deliver them and keep His promises.
The 10 spies exercised an expectancy of evil (from a spirit of faith) despite knowing God’s promises (in their mind) and they spoke what they believed. God honoured their words.
God told them,
“I will do to you the very things I heard you say:
In this desert your bodies will fall – every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun” (Num. 14:30).
Our words have the power of life or death (Prov. 18:21). I am on a journey of growing in the knowledge of truth. Truth is a person. His name is Jesus. I am learning that I grow in my assurance and understanding of the knowledge of the Son of God when I speak with faith expecting God’s goodness. The reality of His Kingdom is released in and through me when I grow in the knowledge of Jesus’ ways, will, and work.
I learn and then I believe. I speak with words of power, because I expect God in His goodness, to deliver me.
My secret is that I first talk to the Holy Spirit about what I am learning. As I do that, and as He teaches me, my faith in His goodness increases. Afterward, I speak more confidently to others about what I am learning and the Holy Spirit helps filter out the parts that do not align with the Word of God.
Check your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit if there are any areas of your spirit or soul that expect evil. Constant grumbling and complaining are symptoms of that fear-filled spirit of faith. Repent. Confess your sin. Renounce your agreement with the enemy’s lies. Announce your agreement with Jesus’ words with a spirit of faith expressing your trust in His victorious power and love. Seek to guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus as you freely live a life of holiness.
Speak like 2 of the 12. Speak like the psalmist. Speak like Paul.