Derek Prince - The Gift of Faith
The number one gift of power is faith. Now, faith is used in many ways in the New Testament. "The righteous shall live by faith". I have a book that's called Faith to Live By. That's the kind of faith every Christian has to be a Christian. Then in Galatians 5, faith is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit. Fruit and gifts are different. If you want to know the difference between them, consider a Christmas tree and an apple tree. An apple tree bears fruit. It takes a long process to bring the fruit out on the tree, it doesn't come instantly. It has to be cultivated. On the other hand, a Christmas tree, if you ever indulge in such things, either carries or overshadows gifts. Those gifts can be put there in an instant and taken in an instant. No time is involved. That's true with gifts. It doesn't take 30 seconds to receive a gift. That's the difference.
Now, fruit is extremely important but we're not dealing with that. We're dealing with gifts. The fruit of faith is usually translated faithfulness. In actual fact, the Greek word for faith and the Hebrew word for faith both primarily refer to character, not intellect. That's interesting. Faith really is faithfulness, it's commitment to God. It's not entertaining a certain doctrine, that's secondary. However, we're not talking about the fruit of faithfulness, we're talking about a gift of faith, something that's received in a moment. What is the gift of faith? My answer is it's a mustard seed of God's own faith imparted sovereignly and supernaturally. We don't claim it, God gives it.
There are two Scriptures there you could look at. Mark 11:21–23 You remember Jesus came up to a fig tree and He was displeased with it. He said, "Let no one eat fruit from you henceforth forever". The next morning the fig tree had withered from the roots. The disciples commented on that. Peter remembering, said to Him, "Rabbi, look, the fig tree which you cursed has withered away". So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God". That's the normal English but what the Greek actually says is "have the faith of God," which is as different as day is from night. Jesus said if you have God's faith, the words you speak and the things you do will be as effective as if God Himself did it. It's not your faith, it's God's faith.
In other words, He said, "God's faith in me enabled me to determine the destiny of that tree. The words I spoke were as effective as if God the Father had spoken them". And remember, God brought the world into being by speaking. He spoke the world into being. Then He gives this promise in verse 23: "For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed, be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says". That's tremendously inclusive. "Whoever" says will have "whatever" he says. But you can't do that simply out of your own decision, that's only when God imparts to you His own faith in that situation as a gift.
Now, put side by side with that, Matthew 17:20, which describes the same incident. And Jesus says: "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. And nothing will be impossible for you". So Jesus said if it's God's faith, you don't need a lot of it, a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds, will move a mountain. In other words, it's not so much the quantity of your faith, it's the quality of your faith. The gift of faith is a little mustard seed of God's faith imparted to you in a certain situation for a specific task. While you are exercising it, you are as effective as God Himself. Once it's over, you're back on the level of your own faith, the kind of faith you have to live by day by day. So, that's the gift of faith.