"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen," Hebrews 11:1
Faith is vastly deeper than simply believing. Just what is faith? Charles Fillmore said, A close analysis shows that faith is the foundation of all that man does." Spiritual faith comes from a deep inner knowing. Knowing to such a certainty that one completely lives one's life based on such knowing. It is my faith that this inner knowing reflects the only way we as humans will ever really "know" anything. It is the knowing from the core of our being. It is knowing from contact with that still small voice inside. From belief to inner knowing is the point where one turns everything over to God. The point where there is no need to worry. The point where one finds peace in all circumstances. It is the point where one knows the truth of , "Whatever you have asked for in prayer, believe you have received it, and it shall be yours." It is the point where one comes to the understanding that God answers all prayers; and one simply let's go, and becomes open to whatever happens, knowing at one's core that in whatever way a prayer is answered is for one's highest good.
This is the point where one understands that God's answer to a prayer may not be what one pictured as the answer. Nonetheless, the answer in time will be seen to have been better than the mind's conception.
The spiritual path to trusting one's inner knowing is I think pretty much the same for everybody. First there is an intellectual understanding, then there is belief and finally accepting one's inner knowing on faith. Faith grows. As with other spiritual attributes, the more faith you have, the more faith you will have. One may start by setting an intention - an intellectual understanding. Being assiduous in the practice of turning everything over to the Divine Presence within allows belief to develop. As one takes time to silently practice listening to the still small voice within faith develops. As faith grows trust in one's inner knowing becomes complete. Beginning to trust our inner guidance is one part, but learning how to recognize it is an important part as well. My faith is that inner guidance is all around us. We are being spoken to in many and varied ways. God is always speaking. Learning to listen, to see, to feel what life is telling us from within is a life long journey. Inner knowing presents itself many times in the most subtle way; but it can also be a sudden impact on our life as if life is saying stop and pay attention to this now! If you have a feeling that keeps nagging at you about something you should do, and for some reason you resist doing it, but the nagging continues. This is most certainly your inner guidance. Against what your rational mind is telling you, take a leap of faith and do it! A spiritual journey should be experimental. So do not fear to take such leaps of faith. This is how faith grows. But in the end it is by taking time each day to simply be silent and open is the path to trusting inner knowing.
Faith is acceptance. Acceptance that God acts in our lives for our highest good - always. It is the knowing as expressed in Matthew 9:29, ". . . because of your faith it will happen." Faith is living in the truth that "it" will happen. For faith to work, however we must each of us get ourselves out of the way. We must let go of all negative inner attitudes and of preconceptions of what our answered prayer must be; for as Matthew 6:8 says, "Your father knows exactly what you need before you ask him." Be open to whatever comes and have faith it is for your highest good.
The Indian mystic and philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti says, "What brings order in the world is to love and let love do what it will." God is love embodied in us and all we do. Faith is to let go and let God do what God will. Here then is the path to order in one's life. Living in faith, the foundation of all that humans do, allows each life activity to become a labor of love.
The above is a brief excerpt from my upcoming book The Daily Life List. It is from a chapter on faith.
Gene Ford Runnels