How do laws work?
Laws are in place whether you know about them or not.
I learned this the hard way when I was in Bible College. I was driving to work, stopped at a red light about to get on the I-75, minding my own business. I was listening to a sermon from Kenneth Hagin when I heard a knock on my window. Have you ever been totally focused on what you’re listening to that when something interrupts you it really shocks you? Well that’s exactly what happened to me, and it was for a good reason.
It’s not very common to have somebody knock on your window when you’re in the middle of a 6 lane road surrounded by other vehicles. What really surprised me was when I looked to see who it was that had interrupted the sermon was that it was a police officer. I took the headphones out of my ear and put my window down, he told me to pull over on the side of the road when the light turned green. Of course I immediately started thinking about what this could be about, I knew that I couldn’t have been driving over the speed limit because I was parked at a red light.
This was 2008 so most cars didn’t come equipped with bluetooth technology or smartphone hookups built in so it wasn’t as simple to listen to your playlist as it is today. Iphones were becoming popular so it was really common to see people driving with headphones in talking on the phone. I didn’t have a smartphone, but I had an 80gb classic ipod loaded full of sermons, and that’s what I was listening to. I didn’t think anything about me having my headphones in. (If you’re under 20 years old this probably all sounds very strange - but living through the transition from home phones to cell phones to smartphones meant that society was trying to figure out and adapt to it all)
When I pulled off the side of the road and the officer came to the window he asked obnoxious and obligatory question that anybody who has been pulled over hates to answer. “Do you know why I pulled you over?” What I wanted to say was “You were parked right behind me, if I thought I was doing something illegal do you think I would be doing it right in front of you?” But what I actually said was something probably more similar to “No sir, officer sir, I am unaware of what I was doing wrong.” To which he promptly informed me that it was illegal to have a listening device in both ears.
I asked if it was a recent law that had just been passed, he said that it didn’t matter and that it was my duty to stay informed as to what the current laws are. Sure buddy, that’s what all college kids do with their free time, they stay at home reading about new and upcoming traffic laws. He gave me my ticket and that was that.
200 and some dollars later the consequence of my ignorance about the law had be paid.
Laws don’t care whether you know about them or not. It’s up to you to choose if you want to remain blissfully ignorant concerning the law, or nerd out staying up to date with what the government deems unworthy behavior. Either way the laws exist, and if you operate outside the parameters of the law, you might find out about them the hard way - like I did.
The Law Of Faith
There are many laws and principles in the Bible, I’m going to focus on one of them that is found here:
Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.
Just like me not knowing about the headphone law - many people don’t know about the law of faith. The law of faith has been working in your life. To some of you - this law has been helping you, to others it’s been to your detriment.
Working to your detriment? Remember it’s not the law’s fault that you didn’t know about it. Let’s see what this law is all about.
Jesus described the way that faith works.
Mark 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Jesus tells us to have faith in God and then tells us how to use that faith.
Notice verse 23: the word “says” is used 3 times, “believe” is only mentioned once. Does that mean believing isn’t as important? No, you have to believe in order for faith to work. Yet faith isn’t just believing, and that is where most people miss it. Simply believing something doesn’t make anything happen.
Believing that a healthy diet will cause you to lose weight doesn’t make you lose weight. Believing a job will help you pay your bills doesn’t pay your bills. Believing that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead doesn’t make you a Christian. That might sound like false doctrine, but it’s not and I’ll show you why.
Before we get there, think about the other examples - everybody knows that just believing those things doesn’t change anything. Why? Believing is just part of the equation, the other part is taking action (doing something).
I’m not talking about works, or earning your salvation. Look at this verse that tells us how to get saved:
Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus AND believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
How do you get saved? Believing… AND confessing! Believing and taking action!
Faith IS action! You have to believe… but it isn’t until you do something with what you believe that faith actually produces anything.
That’s what Jesus was teaching in Mark 11:22-24. Yes you need to believe, but until you do something - that believing gets you nothing!
Your words are one way of releasing (activating) your faith.
People - whether they know it or not - are dominated by their words. The book of James is full of verses explaining how important our words are, and how faith works.
When you say what you believe, that’s what you’ll have, that’s what Jesus was teaching.
He didn’t say that’s only for good things. If you’ve been saying you never have enough, and you believe it, then you’ll never have enough. If you say that you’re always getting sick, and you believe it, then you’ll always be getting sick.
The law of faith will make sure that you get what you say when you believe it.
Here lies the problem: unless we train ourselves otherwise - we are dominated by their senses and therefore will speak according to our senses. We will act according to our senses. When we feel sick, we talk about how sick we are. When we feel helpless or defeated - that’s what we talk about. When we feel broke - we tell people how broke we are.
Without a soul and a spirit our body is just like any other mammal: it lives by senses. Whatever it feels, sees, tastes, touches, hears, that’s what it reacts to. That’s what we believe.
For the followers of Jesus that creates a problem. When you become a Christian - you don’t automatically change the way you operate.
It becomes clear then that we need to retrain ourselves. Retrain ourselves to what?
2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Sight is one of our senses. In essence you could say: we walk by faith, not by the senses.
Our senses are real, facts are real, evidence is real, but that’s not what we walk by.
We don’t need to deny reality or the facts of life. The Bible says of Abraham:
Romans 4:19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
He faced the fact - he knew the reality of his situation - that he and his wife were way past the age of childbearing and their bodies were incapable of reproducing. Yet he did not waver through unbelief. He didn’t let his circumstances dictate to him how to respond to those facts.
Instead of letting doubt take over, he acted in the opposite spirit: he strengthened himself in faith. He believed that the word of God was true.
Remember: believing is one part of the equation, but without action nothing happens.
What kind of action do you think Abraham took with Sarah to produce Isaac? Of course: an act of faith. He told Sarah to get in the tent - “we are going to produce an heir.”
Hearing the word of God and taking corresponding action is the only way you’ll pull ahead in life.