by Norman P. Grubb
So there is an obscurity in our faith; there is an opaqueness in our faith. That is where there is a need sometimes for endurance/patience. In Abraham’s case it may have referred to the fact that he had the inner witness and not yet the outer substance. Well, that is another way. That very often takes place. We have an inner witness of our conversion, but not an outer substance of it yet. I am referring now to the condition where you haven’t even the inner witness. For myself, it was two years after I actively believed in Galatians 2:20 that I received the witness. I suppose in some ways that my faith was not a clear faith. So not for two years did the Spirit of God impart to me the absolute certainty that, “indeed that is true of you.” I have never doubted since then 25 years ago. I have never doubted since because I have substance within me. |
So I know that there is often a gap between faith and realization—which isn’t on His side, it is on my side. But I can’t remove that. All that I can do is to keep clean as best I know how. Now sometimes I use this little illustration because I think it is a fair one. Everything is done by faith in the world. I need not stress that to you, but there isn’t a single thing that you do that isn’t by faith. If you came to these meetings you came because you believed there were meetings and there is a hall to come to and because you believe that you have two legs to walk on. It is all faith. But now you take faith in its high reaches on an actual level. Now we are language learners. I say this first of all; you wouldn’t proceed into the language at all unless you had a spark of faith. You have at least a spark of faith that you will get it or you would give up. That is obvious. It may be a mighty little spark, but it is there. You have a spark in you. Now what happens? You faithfully endure, you plod on and that spark of faith just burns. It might be a little low, perhaps, but it burns. You plod on knowing somehow that God will help you through. You plod on, you plod on—you’ve faith and patient endurance.
Now it happens. Somehow or other, by some automatic mental means that you can’t describe, the thing gets into you, and you begin to find you start to talk in it, you begin to understand. It begins to become part of you. You tried to get it, now it is getting you. Now there is the witness coming in. There is the substance coming in. That is faith. That is faith being perfected on a natural level. See what I mean? It is so of any trade, anything you like. If you want to learn electricity or carpentry or the like, you have to go through the inquiring, the plodding stage, but you have to have the spark of faith that you will get it somehow. Then after a few years, it has you and you are a natural carpenter, a natural musician, or a natural anything. That is faith. Therefore there is room there for a plodding in our faith, and saying, “Now I am taking what God says. I’ve entered in. I have declared, praise God, that this is so. I can’t rise and say that I just know for certain without a shadow of doubt. I can’t say that. Very well, then, plod on. You haven’t got there yet. Don’t deceive yourself or kid yourself. Just plod on but don’t lose your faith. Stand in your faith. Stand square. Declare it to God. Declare it to man. Declare it to the devil. Just say, “I haven’t got there yet.”
Karuizawa Japan Conference of 1954
Topic: “The Obedience of Faith”