Often believers don’t distinguish between faith and ‘The Faith.’ They may not sound like different things, and many believers treat them like they are the same, but they really are not. In scripture, we see a faith that believes in God for prayers to be answered and God’s presence to come down on us. Many of us only live with this kind of faith. “I have faith for the miracles and a revival in our country. I have faith to plant a church. I have faith to preach the Word of God with power and see the gospel spread to new places.”
Now all of those things are wonderful. In Jesus’ ministry, people came to him several different times and asked him for healing, and he told them, “Your faith has made you well” (see Matthew 9:22, Mark 10:52). We want that kind of faith in the church. It is what happens in our hearts when we let the Spirit move us and when we are believing for God to take action in our lives or the lives of people we love. There’s nothing wrong with this type of faith.
‘The Faith’ is also very powerful, though, and I suspect that it sometimes gets neglected in the church.
Often, Hebrews 11 gets read as a roadmap for believing for great things, the first kind of faith I mentioned. I would suggest to you that it’s not. Abraham never said, “You know what, God? I’m tired of being in this country. I’m believing that you’re going to make me a father of nations and my offspring will be as many as the stars.” He wasn’t believing for any of this, but God spoke to him, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you…” (Genesis 12:1-2, ESV).
That Word from God gave Abraham the faith to go out and obey. He had faith — ‘The Faith’ — given to him by God in order to obey God. If we’re a believer, we’ve been given this gift. We ought to often turn to God in awe of his holiness and goodness that makes such faith possible. ‘The Faith’ is our confidence in what Jesus has done for us, our willingness to be moved by him.