Something for free?

by Joel Ramshaw (2021)

What do you think of when you hear that something is offered for “free”? On the one hand, there can be some excitement about getting something for nothing. On the other hand, there is usually some kind of marketing trick or sale involved, and the product in question is often worthless or of little value. Sometimes the product is useful, but there is a hidden payment we are making without realizing it. For example, when a company such as Facebook offers its product free of charge, we are really trading out our data to them in exchange for use of the service. As a result, they can make incredible profits by targeting advertisements.

What if there was something which was absolutely free and with no strings attached? Let’s look at water. Water is the most important of substances. We would pay any price if in need of it. And yet the world’s cities were established on rivers, to take advantage of this free resource. A thing’s importance is therefore not always connected to the price we give it. For gold, we pay a high price for a shiny rock that we could easily live without. For water, we only need to move beside a river or dig a well on a property, and can then have a lifetime of free access.

Speaking constructive and positive words of faith is one of those “free” things God allows us to access. Although other areas of our faith require sacrifice, speaking words in faith does not. We do not have to suffer or make an exorbitant sacrifice to access this principle. It simply requires faith and consistency. What if you do not feel faith inside? In that case “fake it till you make it” and keep speaking God’s promises out loud until the faith begins to form on the inside. There are plenty of biblical examples where carrying out an action of obedience is counted as faith, even if the person does not actually believe. For example, when the angel told Abraham he would have a son in his old age, Sarah overheard the conversation and laughed. Nonetheless, this weakness of internal faith did not prevent the miraculous conception of Isaac. Sometimes, all that is necessary is to take action and do what God wants, even if you struggle to believe. So speak God’s promises out loud, and don’t worry if you don’t have full faith, it will come if you are consistent in speaking faith and life.

There are some parts of our faith which require true sacrifice: giving financially, fasting from food, doing missionary or ministry work, intercessory prayer late at night. These are all important to various degrees depending on an individual’s calling. But why not start with what is free? Sometimes we get so focused on honouring God through sacrifice and hard work and we forget the fact that faith is free, costing nothing but our pride. The importance of faith can be seen in its innumerable mentions throughout the Bible. The gospel of John alone uses the word “believe” almost 100 times. Faith therefore, is like water. It is the most valuable thing a human may have, and yet it is also free. Let’s not be like Martha, caught up and distracted by the busyness of useful work, but forgetting to receive what is freely given.

What is the price of faith? Your pride. Oftentimes it feels foolish to “call the things that are not as though they were” (Romans 4:17) and keep praising God in difficult circumstance. It feels so much more natural to take the path of least resistance, to follow the world’s pattern and just begin complaining at our bad luck. When God said “let there be light,” he did not first wait to see if light would show up before speaking it; that would seem ridiculous. God spoke the word while it was still deep darkness, before there was any hint of light coming into being. And yet as Christians, many of us want to wait for the manifestation to show up before we speak the positive words that would create it into being. It is like the chicken and egg riddle, which of them was created first? Since one is needed to birth the other. We are waiting for positive circumstances to come about before speaking positive in response. The universe and creation on the other hand, is waiting for believers to use our authority to speak the word into being and create the positive and constructive circumstance:

Romans 8:19-22 “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”


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