We activate our faith by first ackowledging every good thing that has been given to us by the work of Christ through the presence of Holy Spirit. After this, we release our faith through our words and actions.
Acknowledge every good thing in you
The first step to activating your faith is acknowledging what you have received in your spirit man through the new birth.
If you are a follower of Jesus and have received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, then you have the same Spirit that rose Christ from the dead living inside you. (Romans 8:11)
You and I literally have God living and moving in your being. That means that the same amount of power that created everything that we see, the same amount of power that made man from the dust, and the same amount of power that rose Jesus from the grave is inside of you and me waiting to be released through faith (Ephesians 1:19-20).
But the Bible actually reveals that our faith cannot be activated to access this power until we acknowledge and understand the ability that is inside of us. I know that is a profound statement so here is a passage of scripture that says this exactly.
“I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” (Philemon 4-6)
The word “effective” in the greek is more likely to be translated to “active” or “activated”. (Blue Letter Bible Reference)
In other words, this verse is revealing to us that whenever we do anything that involves releasing our faith towards others, our faith doesn’t become active or effective until we know/acknowledge the “every good thing” that is in our spirit through Christ.
If we don’t understand Who we have inside of us and that we have been “blessed with every spiritual blessing” through the work of Christ, then our faith will remain dormant because our faith is not beginning at the finished work of the cross.
You see, under the Old Covenant when they would pray and release faith they were trying to get God to move but now under the New Covenant God has already moved.
In our Covenant, we no longer release faith to have an external God impact and change an external reality. Instead, now we release faith to have the power of our internal God flow out of us to change the external reality.
An easier way to say this is our faith is used to take what is in the spiritual realm and force it into natural reality.
This is why Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Hope is something we desire to have or experience but it is not ours to experience yet. Faith gives substance to that hope.
We can hope to be healed physically. We can hope to have the energy to work throughout our day. We can hope for revelation and understanding of God’s Word.
We can hope for a lot of things, as long as they are promised through scripture, but we will never access any of them if we always stay in hope. We have to move into faith so that our hope can begin to take substance (tangibility or reality) in our lives.
Release your faith
After we acknowledge and understand the power that is at work in us we then can begin to release our faith through our words and actions.
“So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 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.”
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (Mark 11:22-24)
Jesus reveals here that we release our faith through our words.
Did you notice how often Jesus said “say” in this passage? Essentially, Jesus is saying that if we speak without doubt, but believe that things we say will come to pass, we will have them.
Then after this Jesus says that when we pray we should believe that we received the moment we prayed, then we will have our petition.
So true faith is that the moment you speak you believe that you received, even before there is a manifestation of your request.
This is why Jesus said, “When you pray believe that you receive.” He didn’t say that we are to believe after we receive. No, we are to believe that we received the moment that we prayed. Then once we do this, it will manifest in the natural. (Related article: The Faith of the Centurion & How to Have it).
This same principle is found in Hebrews 11:1.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Notice faith doesn’t just bring substance to our hope but it also is the evidence of what we can’t see.
Faith is the evidence of what we cannot see because when we believe that we received our petition the moment that we pray, this is the true evidence that we have what we prayed for according to Jesus in Mark 11.
The reason so many prayers are not answered is because we step out of true faith. We let what our eyes see or don’t see to determine if we received rather than letting our faith when we prayed determine that.
The second way we release our faith is through our actions.
Most of the time these happen at the same time. We not only speak faith filled words but we should also act on our faith.
Because, after all, if we truly believed what we’re saying we would act on it.
The apostle James addressed this same concept in James chapter 2.
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)
True faith always involves some sort of action.
This is why when Jesus healed a leper He said “I am willing. Be cleansed” and then He touched Him (Matthew 8:3).
If you touch a leper you immediately become unclean and you will get leprosy, but Jesus was acting on His faith so when He touched the leper instead of leprosy getting on Jesus, cleansing came on the leper.
This is also why when Peter healed the cripple man at the gate of beautiful in Acts 3, he grabbed him by the hand and lifted him up.
“Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.”
In this passage, Peter not only spoke the name of Jesus in faith, but he also acted on his faith by grabbing the man’s hand and lifting him up. Think about how great of faith this is! To believe so much that you are able to go up to a cripple and grab him by the hand and pull him up. [Related articles: How to Grow in Faith and What a Mustards Seed of Faith Means (And How to Have it)].
In the natural, the man would fall flat on his face, but Peter released His faith through speaking to the mountain (“rise up and walk”) and acting on his faith (pulling the man up) which resulted in the man being healed.
Also, notice that Peter said, “what I do have I give you.” This goes back to our first point that you have to acknowledge all of the good things in your spirit man though the Holy Spirit in order for faith to become effective (Philemon v. 4-6). Peter understood that he had the Holy Spirit on the inside of him and he believed that God’s power would flow out of him to restore the cripple man.
Peter understood all these principles and put them into practice, which resulted in the man being completely healed.