“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” —Hebrews 11:1

Faith has always been essential in activating the Word of God. But in these end times there has been given a greater revelation of the importance and power of faith. Faith in its simplest form is just believing God and it is the catalyst that activates the power of God, which is His grace.

I have always believed that when working on an electrical appliance, the first thing to do is unplug it. That’s just common sense. When working on an unplugged appliance, it would be impossible to get electrocuted. That’s what I believed.

Years ago, I had a microwave that quit working. I based my faith on my belief that if I unplugged the microwave, I could take the back off and work on it and nothing could hurt me. So I unplugged it, took off the back panel, and looked inside. After all, this is the macho thing to do before you send it off to the repair shop. Men don’t want their wives to know they don’t know how to fix something, so they always make a token attempt before sending it to someone who really knows what to do.

Inside I saw a lot of wires and things. It looked like the inside of an old-time pinball machine. I didn’t know how to fix pinball machines either.

After looking inside long enough for my wife to think that I really knew what I was looking for, I decided everything looked okay. It was at that time I placed my right hand on the microwave and leaned against the refrigerator to think. All of a sudden what felt like a million gigavolts of electricity shot through my body. I staggered back. I thought I was going to die. With one hand on my chest, for some strange reason I looked at my watch. I must have wanted to know the time that I was dying. My watch was a digital LED with red numbers and it looked like it was speaking in tongues!

I don’t know how many thousands of volts are stored in the capacitors within a microwave, but later I learned from an electrical engineer that even with the appliance unplugged, it stays fully charged. My watch died that day. I didn’t die, but through this event I learned a great truth. Just because we believe something to be true does not make it true. Regardless of how much we believe it is true, or how much we act like it is true, or regardless of how much we confess it, if it isn’t true, it is wrong. And if we act on something that isn’t true, it can mean death. My belief that I could not get shocked by an unplugged appliance was a partial truth. A partial truth has the appearance of truth but contains an untruth and that can be very deceiving. Only believing the whole truth will set us free.

A few decades ago when the revelation of faith was first given to many great men and women of God, there were some Christians who only acted upon a partial truth and did not receive the results they were believing for. Critics quickly labeled their actions as “faith-failures.” However, there is no such thing as a faith-failure. Faith-failure is an oxymoron because faith never fails.

So, what was the problem?

Why did it appear that faith had failed? The answer is obvious. They did not have a true definition and understanding of faith and only what is based on the truth will bring freedom.

The Bible tells us clearly the definition of faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Let’s break down this definition and examine it closely so that we can fully understand what the Word of God is saying to the church.

First of all, faith is.

The scripture does not say faith was or faith will be. It says faith is. While faith is something that is a gift and grows and can be small or great, this definition is referring to mature faith. Mature faith doesn’t look backward by being linked to guilt of the past, nor does it look forward to the uncertainty of the future. Mature faith is established and built upon a foundation of God’s Word and lives vibrantly in the present. Faith is.

Faith is the substance.

There are two worlds: There is the original world known as the spirit world and the created world known as the physical world. While faith cannot be seen with our natural eyes, in the realm of the spirit, faith is a tangible substance to those of the spirit world. The substance of faith grows and becomes more powerful as our belief in the Word of God increases. Once the substance of faith has fully matured, it becomes the catalyst that activates the power of God’s promise which is His grace. While we live in the physical realm, we reach into the realm of the spirit with our confessions of faith. The spoken belief in our heart apprehends the faith in the realm of the spirit and pulls it into the realm of the physical activating God’s promise and bringing victory.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for.

Bible hope can be defined as the intense expectation that the promise of God will be fulfilled. While hope is not faith, hope is essential in attaining faith, for without hope in a promise from God, there is nothing to apply your faith to. While some have ridiculed hope, calling it unessential, the reality is hope is extremely essential.

Hope is developed by hearing that deliverance is possible and promised by the Word of God. Hope brings the possibility of victory into one’s heart where total despair once resided. Hope is the distant flickering light in the dark that reveals the possibility that destruction is not imminent but that victory can be attained. Again, some ridicule hope, but there are two things we must always remember. Paul said that we should never forsake our confession of hope (Hebrews 10:23) and in 1 Corinthians 13:13 we are told that there are three things that we are to abide or continue in. These three things are faith, hope, and love. While we are told that the greatest of these three is love, never forget that hope made it to the top three.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

In a court of law, victory or defeat is based upon the evidence shown. The courtroom of God is in the spirit world and remember, the spirit world cannot be seen from the physical world. Even though the substance called faith that has been built by the revelation of the Word of God may not be visible in the physical realm, it becomes the evidence in the courtroom of heaven. Our faith becomes the proof that our Advocate needs when presenting our case. The Judge is committed by the precedence of His own Word, so when the evidence of faith is presented, He must pronounce the verdict that He promised. The promise is then moved from the realm of the unseen into the realm of our physical existence. Healing, prosperity, and deliverance are the outcome of the trial because the Judge in heaven has proclaimed that He cannot be pleased unless faith is presented.

Faith is believing that God has done what He said He would do, and believing it so much that everything you say and everything you do is based upon that belief. While hope is a good thing, we must always remember that hope looks forward to the promise of God while faith believes that the promise is here right now.

Someone might say, “But I don’t see it. How can I say it’s here if I don’t see it?” Paul addressed this issue when he made the statement that we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). In other words, we believe what God says in spite of what we may or may not see. In its simplest form, faith is believing God.

If a person just simply believes God, then faith will grow and become strong. With all the definitions that scholars have come up with through the years, by far the best definition of faith is the one given by God in His Word. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.

Dr. Larry Ollison

Dr. Larry Ollison


Dr. Larry Ollison is founder and Senior Pastor of Walk on the Water Faith Church and founder of Larry Ollison Ministries. With over forty years in the ministry, he is a very popular speaker nationally and internationally and ministers the Word of Faith through radio, television, Internet, and daily e-mail devotionals. As the author of eight books (including The Power of Grace, The Practical Handbook for Christian LivingBreaking the Cycle of Offense, Life is in the Blood, and recently released The Paradise of God), he is in frequent demand for radio/TV interviews, book signings, and magazine publications.

Currently President of International Convention of Faith Ministries (ICFM), Dr. Ollison is also Vice-President of Spirit FM Christian Radio Network, Missouri State Director of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), and a Trustee on the boards of several international ministries. He is also the host of The Cutting Edge Radio Broadcast and authors The Cutting Edge Daily Devotional.

Dr. Ollison’s strongest areas of teaching are the blood of Jesus, faith, relationships, the Hebrew language, the Holy Spirit, the end times, and heaven. During ministry, he operates freely in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. His use of humor and his ability to make a theological concept simple makes it enjoyable and easy for everyone to understand. Countless testimonies have been received from people who say their lives have been changed after experiencing Dr. Ollison’s unique ministry.

Visit Larry Ollison’s Website at: LarryOllison.com

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