Two Levels of Faith.
Now, what is faith? “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; It gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Heb. 11:1
“For Without Faith it is impossible to please God, for He that comes unto God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him.” Heb. 11:6
The subject of Faith is vast, and I will try as much as possible to simplify a broad topic. I hope that I can offer you a kind of foundation on which to build a life of faith. Faith is an essential component of all religions, as well as Spirituality.
I classify Faith into two distinct types — the Believing Faith as well as the Knowing Faith.
This type of faith is foundational. It’s the kind of faith we have in something that we don’t truly understand. It’s the kind of faith that’s referred to in Heb. 11:6. All religions of this world can’t do without the inherent ability of humans to believe in something they don’t even understand yet. Through this faith, we trust the accounts of our parents, elders, and even our religious texts to be true. A person without the ability to believe in the unknown or things they don’t understand has no choice but to go through life by themselves. The ability to believe in something is a prerequisite in growth, and without this, it’ll be difficult to embark on a Spiritual journey to prove if what we’ve considered is the truth. Without this faith, I dare say it’s almost impossible to develop a knowing Faith.
Martin Luther once said, “Miracles take place not because they are performed but because they are believed.” The Wright brothers believed in air transportation years before their daring flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Simon Lake believed in the possibilities of a submarine long before it was perfected. Thomas Edison believed in the possibilities of a light bulb before it was perfected and never gave up despite repeated failures. Time will not permit me to write about the inventors of our times. The lesson here is that, without the faith that believed in what seemed impossible, they wouldn’t have had the willingness and perseverance to birth it to reality. They started by believing, and their faith eventually became a reality.
Here is what the writer of the book of Hebrews was referring to in Heb. 11:6. The first step of having a relationship with God is to believe that He exists. Whosoever doesn’t believe in this reality forever closes the door to the possibility of a personal relationship with Him. It’s impossible to be an adherent religious follower without believing that it holds the key to answers in your heart. It’s impossible for a Christian to trust the Bible as God’s word without believing that it is. A lot of things are impossible without the believing faith.
Limitations of Believing Faith.
The most significant limitation to me is the illusion it creates in the minds of religious fellows that equates their beliefs as a known and provable fact in their own lives. I’m not saying that these writers haven’t proved what they wrote to be true, far from it, the question is whether we have. There’s this illusion that because I believe in something, it’s suddenly a reality in my life. Nothing can be farther from the truth.
Here’s something we need to understand, it’s easy to believe in anything, it’s harder to prove what we believe to be the truth. And the ability to not just believe but to demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt is one of the hallmarks of Spirituality.
This is the definition of faith that’s spoken of in Heb. 11:1. “It is the confidence that we have that what we hope for will surely happen. It gives us assurance of what we do not see, or what is not yet seen.”
Here is an anecdote to explain the dynamics of a knowing Faith. Years ago, the early part of the last century, a man’s car broke down on the side of the road. He was out working on the car, unsuccessfully trying to get it started when another man stopped to help. The second gentleman looked at the engine, worked on it for just a minute and told the first man to start it up. The car immediately started with no problem. The owner of the car asked his helper, “How did you fix the car so quickly and how did you know what it needed?” The man answered, “I am Henry Ford. I built the car. I know what makes it work.”
The owner of the car could be said to exhibit a level of faith that’s limited in knowledge and believed that the car could do what the manual says it can do. He even operated the car which strengthened his belief in the potentials of the car. This is similar to a religious illusion. The fact that we believe something can work or that we experience some manifestations of our beliefs does not mean we understand the dynamics behind its operation. Moreover, Henry Ford did not just believe it’s possible for the car to work, but he created it. He understands the dynamics of operations. Hence, he was able to diagnose the car when it didn’t work because he knew all there is to know about the car.
Depending on who you ask about Jesus Christ, you’ll either get a religious description or a Spiritual description. I dare say, most portrayals we have today is influenced by religion. Since religion deals with mere believing, it’s easy to misrepresent Jesus in that light. This implies that Jesus also believed while in the real sense, Jesus didn’t believe in the sense of how religion would like us to think. He rather knew. His Faith was Spiritual; a knowing Faith.
Jesus didn’t just believe that He could do what God said He could do. He knew how to do it, and under which circumstances such a thing could happen. Jesus had the power to raise people from the dead, or heal the sick, or cleanse the lepers. He can do a whole lot of things. He didn’t just know all He can do, or that all things are possible for Him; He understood the laws and principles guiding each manifestation and knows that failure to adhere to these principles won’t yield the desired results. There were times he couldn’t do many miracles, and that was because all the required laws and components required to do them weren’t available. Does that mean He can’t do it? No! It implies that He understood everything there is to know about Himself.
Nothing in this world either in the seen or unseen realm exists without an abiding principle or Law. All things are a product of principles, and there’s a need to understand them or else, we’ll keep saying we believe something is possible while lacking the expertise of birthing our beliefs to life.
A Religiously minded person believes all things are possible, while a Spiritually minded person does not only believe all things are possible but also understands that based on certain conditions, all things are still not possible. They know the conditions necessary to make all things possible and are not oblivious to what makes them not possible.
Being religious is ignorance in disguise. Humans in time memorial have used the tools of religion to cover up their ignorance. They created a socially acceptable norm to deal with circumstances they can’t explain. Twins were once killed in some parts of Nigeria, and Africa because they deemed them demonic, and a research still proves that the practices still continues today. It may sound absurd to most of us that people still thought of twins in this light, but that’s what ignorance of the truth can cause. Moreover, tribes that have a better understanding of the nature of twins have desisted from such an atrocity. While there are others such as stated in the research that either don’t know the truth or heard it but chose to ignore it.
I end with this selected addendum. The general public first heard about the Einstein theory of relativity when some savant proclaimed that only twelve men in all the world understood what he was talking about. This intrigued the American people in much the same way that “Information, Please” and other radio quiz programs do. Jokes about relativity most of them awful, became part of every comedian’s repertoire. The best of them was the conversation between Ginsberg, who demanded to know what relativity was, and Garfinkel, who brazenly attempted to explain it to him.
“It’s like this,” says Garfinkel. “You go to the dentist to get a tooth pulled. You are in the chair only five minutes, but it hurts so much that you think you are there for an hour. Now on the other hand, you go to see your best girl that same evening. She is in your arms for a full hour, but it is so wonderful to have her there that to you it feels like only five minutes.” Ginsberg nods dubiously. “I see,” he says, “but tell me, Garfinkel—from this he makes a living?”
 Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations