I shared last week that I first look for a feeling, a sense, a mood of the Father in my spirit, rather than voice.
Fellowship and a word to us
The Greek word 'logos' is used when speaking of the general counsel of God. Logos is the whole of Genesis through the Revelation. In popular church culture new converts are taught to read the Word, maybe 2 chapters per day plus daily verses to read or think on, and this is the logos.
While it is good and proper to know the logos, to have a broad knowledge of chapter and verse, the logos does not produce faith. Knowing the logos doesn't make one saved nor lead to salvation, for how many heathens have heard chapter and verse, how many theologians know the Bible, yet are not born again - just knowing John 3:16 doesn't get you to heaven.
What do you live for?
Coming out of the logos is a specific word spoken or shared with a person. This word is 'rhema' in the Greek and means a specific word spoken to a person. The rhema proceeds from the logos, the specific from the vague. You got born again by responding to a rhema. That response to a rhema invitation to salvation is faith.
Matthew 4:4 quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 and uses rhema, not logos: "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word (rhema) that comes out of the mouth of God."
Here we see that our spiritual nourishment is not the logos, the general counsel of God Genesis through the Revelation, but a specific Word to us - as specific as our breakfast, lunch, and dinner is for us and not for the multitudes. We live by and for a specific Word given to us from God.
This verse also shows us that we should make a specific Word from God equal importance in our hearts to receiving our daily meals. Again - not making the logos, the 2 chapters per day, the daily memory verse equal to our food, but living for a specific Word to us from God is what we live for and equate as equally important with our daily bread.
How does faith come?
In Romans 10:17 Paul says 'Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.' The statement that faith comes by the Word, does not use logos, but rhema. In other words, faith doesn't come by just knowing the Word, faith comes by hearing a specific word to you from God - that produces faith.
And remember Jesus and the NT teach the Holy Spirit calls these 'rhema words' of communication various things like 'leading into truth, shown things to come, witness in our spirit, discernment of spiritual things' - they aren't all just sentences you will hear in your spirit - thus my sharing last week that I look first for a feeling, a witness, a mood, for the specific rhema proceeds from the general presence (logos) of God.
Jesus is the logos of God - the general counsel and fullness of God in the flesh. But as logos He is also viewed by some as a mere historical figure, by the Muslims a prophet, to others a curse word. But to those who believe, He is more than logos, He has become a rhema to us, a specific word to us that led us to salvation. The rhema proceeds from the logos.
The error of modern evangelical Christian culture is this; Telling a person that building knowledge of the logos will lead to great faith, to answered prayer, to a mature Christian life. False.
Again, it is good to have a working knowledge of scripture (logos), don't get me wrong. But it is the rhema, not the logos, that produces faith, and THAT is what we need in life. THAT rhema is what we are to equate in importance with our daily food intake.
Unfortunately Christians are raised thinking 'If I just knew more of the Word' (fill in the blank) I'd be healed, my child would be saved, I'd have my prayers answered, I'd enter my ministry...and they mean logos.
Consider that Noah walked with God, the logos, but it was a rhema that told him to build the ark. His response to the rhema is called great faith in the Hebrews 11 'hall of faith'. Moses walked with God, the logos, but it was his response to the rhema to go back to Egypt that made him the great leader. Abraham walked with God, the logos, but it was his response to the rhema about a promised land, about having a son of promise, that caused him to receive the promise.
Therefore faith is our response to a rhema - not knowing the logos. (For more on this I suggest my How to be Led by the Spirit and my Balancing Grace and Faith series)
As a result of the error that believes just knowing the Word (logos) produces faith, many Christians are frustrated because they don't understand why they study and read and still don't seem to have great faith. The answer is simple; they've made the logos their daily bread instead of the rhema. Thinking they are doing what God said, they are in fact in disobedience and error, taught by well meaning ministers who don't know what they are talking about. (I've never suffered from an opinion deficit disorder, lol)
Why many don't get healed
Because faith doesn't come from the logos, but from the rhema - a Word directly from God to us - that means when a person faces a need for healing or any other miracle, the first thing to do is to get alone with God and spend time in the logos, lingering over verses that pertain to the situation, and spend time there until the rhema comes from the logos to you. That logos time (for me) involves worship and prayer and alone time with Him before I ever open the scripture. Allow time to hover and meditate on His presence, and then the passages that are relevant, and do nothing else until you receive that rhema from Him.
Popular church culture says to grab a chapter and verse from the logos, make a stand on that, and expect a touch from God. That is not faith until and unless we have received a rhema for the situation, and THEN faith is the result because we know that we know that we know because we heard from God on it.
Faith comes not by the logos but by the rhema. So whatever your situation, drop the culture that says to pick out a chapter and verse, and instead spend time in worship, in meditation, in study of the logos to allow God to speak out of that logos, a rhema to you. This is how faith works.
Ask what you will
"If you abide in Me, and my Words abide in you, you will ask what you will and it will be done for you."
This verse in John 15:7 has led many Christians to learn all they can about the logos, thinking they will 'arrive' one day when that verse will be true for them - they will be so in tune with God that whatever they ask will be done because they will have so much Word in them. Wrong.
That is NOT what Jesus said: Jesus used rhema: "If you abide in Me, and the Words I speak directly to you for you abide in you, then you can ask whatever you like according to that word/rhema to you, and it will be done."
That is what He said. It isn't a blank check of all answered prayer all the time, but a specific statement that if you receive a rhema and that rhema abides in you, you may ask according to that rhema and it will be done.
When Noah was given a rhema to build a boat, he then could ask anything he wanted as it pertained to building the boat: I need wood, time, help, sealant, the animals brought to me - anything related to that rhema would be given him.
This is why when you've received a rhema - a leading, a peace, a word, a direction - and you asked for something within the rhema to happen, it happened.
For instance, when Barb and I were moving from our little efficiency apartment in Charlotte, North Carolina to Tulsa in 1979, and the Father told me, "You can rent a house in Tulsa", we immediately began figuring what we needed in that house to welcome our first son who would be born during our sojourn there.
We made a list: Earth tones, brick fireplace, wood mantel, butcher-block or light counters in the kitchen, window over kitchen sink, 2 baths, 3 bedrooms, attached garage, within 25 minutes of work and my school, and for under $400/month. Once there and while we were going to see a house for rent, my spirit leapt within me when we turned a corner and my eyes landed on a house - then I saw the 'for lease' sign. And it had all we asked for, and is where we lived that year. Why? Because we waited before the Lord until we got a rhema, then we asked whatever we needed based on that rhema and it was done for us.
You have to know Him and fellowship to get a rhema
Knowing the logos does not require knowing and fellowshipping with God. Getting a rhema DOES require fellowship and knowing God.
When I study the Word I read through the logos looking for something to 'jump out' at me or catch my attention. I sometimes read just for pleasure, but usually I am 'trolling' for a rhema like a fisherman with a lure in the water as the boat moves slowly along. I pray that He would open the eyes of my understanding, and then I troll through the Word, and when something catches my attention I stop and will study that Word, that verse, that subject for weeks or even months on end.
At any given time I have 5 or 6 rhema words/concepts I am thinking on, studying, meditating on - and that's why I have faith. That's why I know so much - honestly, I just wait until I get something He wants to teach me, then I study it out until I get every morsel of spiritual nourishment out of that daily bread from heaven.
A rhema can come from the most unlikely source because when you know His presence inside, you are constantly switching your attention to down inside you. Like when I was watching a rerun of a TV show and telling the Father His life must be boring, because I was bored with just that 1 show I'd seen so many times I knew every line, so I asked 'Where do you find fulfillment? (since you know the end from the beginning) and He responded: "I enjoy the process". That rhema from years ago is STILL giving me spiritual food to this day.
It is fellowship all day long, switching back and forth between the natural and spiritual. It is a way of life, not a formula. Like any friendship, looking for feelings, nuances, moods, words, back and forth with each other.
We must know Him...and that fellowship results in rhema's in our lives...our response to those rhema's is faith, and our peace in Him. There is so much more to the subject, but I feel I must move on, but perhaps something related next week.