Give Faith a Focus

What are you believing for? What are you seeing with your spiritual eyes? What is motivating you?

So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. (Luke 17:6)

A seed has a purpose, but a seed not planted will never achieve its purpose. Faith begins as a seed. The believer sees a need and speaks forth a seed. Those circumstances that need changing will respond to the seed of faith (words spoken with authority). They will obey a superior authority.

When you see a need and you know you have the authority to meet the need, you instantly have a vision of how and you move into action. Jesus spoke to sicknesses, to storms, to demons and to the devil himself. His superior authority gave birth to vision. Vision gave birth to faith. Faith gave birth to words, and the circumstances obeyed the words.

Jesus saw suffering and brought forth healing. He saw lack and brought forth abundance. He saw danger and brought forth peace. He had a vision. His spiritual eyes motivated Him. His words released His authority. Things that were out of order had to submit to Divine order.

Jesus said to His disciples, “If you have faith…you can say….and it would obey YOU! Jesus expects us to walk as He walked. He expects you to give faith a focus.

It is important that our faith have a focus. We should always be looking beyond ourselves and realize that that we are ambassadors of a message that all men need to hear. The more we focus our faith on the needs around us, the more we will see God’s provision in our own lives.

Where is your faith? What is it doing today?

Barry Bennett

The 2019 Graduation in Heidelberg, South Africa took place on Tuesday, October 29th.  The rural, tight-knit farming community as well as the love that Carlynne, Bets, Bets’ husband Deon, and Alfred have for their students really stood out. The students’ excitement and genuine care for one another was palpable during the ceremony.

The number of students who completed their first-year:

12 Full-time, On-campus
5 Hybrid

The number of students who graduated second-year:

18 Full-time, On-campus
9 Hybrid

The number of students who graduated third-year:

6 Full-time, On-campus
3 Interns

In 2006, a few farmers from Heidelberg, South Africa came together for regular Bible studies when a Pastor decided he wanted a Bible College in Heidelberg. The Pastor gave the congregation freedom to decide which ministry to contact in order to make this happen. One of the farmers had already discovered Andrew Wommack’s teachings. They contacted the AWM UK office and soon began a weekly correspondence group. Charis Heidelberg was originally established in 2010.
After spending three decades as a physiotherapist in South Africa, Carlynne Kotze sensed the Lord prompting her to move to the U.K. At the age of 52, Carlynne obeyed and moved away from the country that was always home to her. She was scared and felt completely out of her comfort zone, but everything fell into place. She found a place to stay, transportation was taken care of, and she loved her new job at the hospital where she worked.

Wondering why God sent her to the UK, she one day came across a woman who spoke her native Afrikaans language. The woman gave her Andrew Wommack’s You’ve Already Got It! cassette tapes. Carlynne knew that this was why she had come to the UK!

From there, Carlynne began to attend some conferences in Walsall and she eventually enrolled in Charis Bible College Walsall. During her second year in Walsall, she was invited to go to Heidelberg, South Africa for her Missions trip where they met up with these same farmers. For her third year, she was able to lead the Missions trip to Heidelberg and she knew she would return some day.

Carlynne was eventually made Director of the Heidelberg location, and she was able to move back to the native country she loves. Currently, there are 3 staff members at the Heidelberg location – Carlynne, Charis Director; Bets Janse van Rensburg, Charis Administrator; and Alfred Rademan, Dean of Students. Although Carlynne’s journey has not always been easy, the Lord has made her path straight. She says that after 10 years, she is still enjoying the love, goodness, and blessings of the Lord. Today, she enjoys watching her students grow in boldness and in love and seeing the fruit of their labor in Christ.

Vertical and Horizontal

I often refer to the vertical and horizontal aspects of our relationship with God. The love of God, His unconditional grace, righteousness, freedom from guilt and fear, etc., are the reality of our ‘vertical’ relationship with Him.

The horizontal aspect of our faith deals with our relationship with the world. The Great Commission, gifts of the Spirit, forgiveness toward others, giving, serving, sowing and reaping, etc., speak of the expression of God’s love and grace through us to others.

While our actions in the horizontal world do not impact God’s love and grace toward us, they can have their own consequences. For example, though our sins are not being imputed in the divine sense (God’s grace), they may still have consequences in the natural sense. Drunk driving yields the same potential of disaster to both believers and non-believers. Sowing to the flesh still reaps corruption in the horizontal, though it is forgiven in the vertical.

Though God has blessed us with all blessings (Eph. 1:3) in the vertical sense, many do not enjoy those blessings due to lack of wisdom as to how to receive them in the horizontal world. Though there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, there can be self-condemnation for those who do not understand grace and forgiveness.

Sin is not imputed or judged by God because He poured out all judgement for sin on Jesus, but sin carries its own seeds of destruction in the natural realm that can produce a harvest of corruption.

When we don’t understand these two dimensions we can easily get confused and even distressed at the seeming disconnect between the glorious truths of redemption in the vertical sense versus the realities of life in the ‘horizontal’ world. Jesus healed all men by His stripes in His redemptive work, but Christians still get sick and die prematurely. Why? The vertical reality of redemption may not get applied by faith to the horizontal circumstance of sickness. Lack of understanding can be fatal.

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Mt. 6:10) This pattern can be found throughout the New Testament. A revelation of the vertical blessing of redemption should equip us for a victorious life in the horizontal world.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men (vertical), teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age (horizontal). (Titus 2:11-12)

Barry Bennett