Here we are with session five, which is the second one I have attended. I already feel like I’m at home. I love conferences, and especially conferences with this worldwide family I’m so thrilled to be part of. These conferences have been a part of my life for several decades. I wish I could bring all of you, my dear readers, here. These notes aim to give you something of a feel for the event. But I’m not sure I can communicate it properly. There are some things that writing can’t communicate. For example, meeting Andy Cottingham in a break and seeing how affected he was, I knew that what he had said in his post could not in any way have communicated the strongly passionate and emotional state he was in!
Rob was saved out of the Hare Krishna movement. He has been used to release the power of the Holy Spirit and to bring healings to many people. Rob planted and led Victory Faith Centre, South Africa for twelve years and then worked with Dudley Daniel at Coastlands Christian Centre in Adelaide, Australia. In 2005 he moved to Hong Kong to plant a church, which is growing rapidly.
See also Andrew Fountain’s notes from this talk: The Spirit of Faith.
Rob Rufus began by explaining that he was changing his plans as he had felt prompted to change track. He launched straight into explaining that faith is not faith in faith, but faith in God. He recapped that he had spoken about a primitive faith that was in the early church. Rob Rufus explained that faith is contagious and courageous. Faith in others provokes you to take initiave yourself. Faith should produce humility, boldness, and obedience. Unbelief causes fear, pride, and rebellion.
Rob also admitted that it is difficult to take notes from his talks, so I apologise up front for the fact that I will not be able to reflect the full-orbed content of this talk. At least it will be available to download for free soon!
Rob was eager to dispel the myth that God only responds to our prayers and that he does nothing unless we pray. This is quite simply not true, for whose prayer did God answer when he created the universe! God really is sovereign and has his own initiative, although he does choose to respond to us at times. Jesus went wherever he felt God was leading him. Our faith is not running the universe. Spurgeon said something like the serenity of God is not an excuse for our laziness; it is a couch for our restfulness.
We must realise that living by faith does not mean that nothing bad will ever happen to us or our children. Paul was a mighty man of faith, but terrible troubles hit him, which he called “light and momentary troubles.”
We should be honest with God. Tell him, “I don’t have faith for that.” God doesn’t just give grace for the humble, he gives faith to the humble. We shouldn’t say it’s not God’s will to heal today just because of our inability to pray for healing. The disciples couldn’t heal a boy, then Jesus came and did so. Jesus himself said, “All things are possible for those who believe.” We are weak and need God to help us. “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”
We need to learn to exercise the spirit of faith. We have to take steps of boldness. Peter got out of the boat and, yes, he sank, but it’s better to die trying to walk on the water than to stay safe in the religious boat of doing nothing. Rob told several stories from his own experience of when God both had and had not healed people for whom he had prayed. He felt the exercise of faith which had led to nothing had somehow increased his faith to later pray and see healings result. He also spoke of times when God had sovereignly healed people in their church who had not been prayed for. Teaching God’s Word produces faith. Words of knowledge can give specific faith for a specific case of healing.
Acts 6. Miracle faith is also activated through impartation. The apostles appointed those who were possibly the first deacons. After they had been prayed for, and hands had been laid on them, signs and wonders followed. Rob told us, “Don’t fight against the sovereignty of God, but don’t fight against the initiative of faith.”