“O foolish Galatians! . . . This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? . . . Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Galatians 3:1-5).
Paul presents two pathways for spiritual advancement and for the release of revival and the supernatural in our midst. The first option is “the works of the law.” The second is “the hearing of faith.” It is obvious from the message to the Galatians that the hearing of faith releases life while focusing on conduct (works) does not produce success, but actually curses us to be cut off from God’s empowering grace (see Galatians 5:4-6).
It is interesting that Paul says the hearing of faith and not just faith. This is a confirmation of what is revealed in Romans 10:17. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It is clear that there is a kind of hearing that accelerates kingdom life. Jesus said on many occasions, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
I want you to consider a question. What percentage of the normal Christian’s effort to grow and change is focused upon altering conduct (works) and what percentage is placed on changing thoughts and beliefs (faith)? I have asked this question in various places, and I consistently hear that the average Christian puts 70% to 90% of their emphasis on changing behavior and 10% to 30% on changing beliefs. This is a disturbing reality that would elicit this statement from Paul, “Oh foolish Christians!”
Yes, we understand that every person has to address behavioral issues through wisdom, accountability and humility; but the greatest way to change behaviors is by “the hearing of faith.” Our plan for Christian maturity must primarily include hearing testimonies, hearing truth, hearing God’s love for us and hearing promises that will create a new wine skin of beliefs that will be able to contain the new wine of greater power, favor and abundance. This hearing can start by regularly speaking God’s Word and promises. It is accelerated by repeatedly putting ourselves in environments that preach and teach faith, have frequent testimonies and encourage life-speaking declarations.
The hearing of faith is key for you today. Speak God’s words so you can hear them. Imagine yourself being and doing what you say. See circumstances lining up with your words. Add a healthy dose of thanksgiving to your proclamations. Know that there will be a day soon when your heart’s beliefs become fully convinced of what you are saying; and then life won’t just happen to you, but you will happen to life.