Faith in scripture is described as being known through all the senses:
• Faith is sight: “Look unto me, and be ye saved.” (Isaiah 45:22, KJV)
• Faith is hearing: “Hear me, that your soul may live.” (Isaiah 55:3)
• Faith is smelling: “All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.” (Psalm 45:8); “your name is like perfume poured out.” (Song of Solomon 1:3)
• Faith is spiritual touch. By this faith the woman came behind and touched the edge of Christ’s cloak (Luke 8:43-48) and likewise we handle the things of the good word of life.
• Faith is equally the spirit’s taste. “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” (Psalm 119:103) “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, says Jesus, and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” (John 6:53) This “taste” is faith in one of its highest qualities.
One of the first experiences of faith is hearing. We hear the voice of God, not with the outward ear alone, but with the inward ear. We hear it as God’s Word, and we believe it to be so; that is the “hearing” of faith.
Then our mind looks on the truth as it is presented to us. We understand it and perceive its meaning; that is the “seeing” of faith.
Next we discover its preciousness. We begin to admire it, and find how fragrant it is; that is faith in its “smell.”
Then we embrace the mercies which are prepared for us in Christ; that is faith in its “touch.”
Therefore what follows from all of these enjoyments? Peace, delight, communion – which are faith in its “taste.”
Any one of these paths to faith is saving. To hear Christ’s voice as the sure voice of God in the soul will save us. But true enjoyment is the aspect of faith where Christ, by holy taste, is received into us, and made, by inward and spiritual understanding of His sweetness and preciousness, to be the food of our souls. It is then we sit “under His shadow with great delight.” (Song of Solomon 2:3, KJV) and find His fruit sweet to our taste.
“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:2-3
Question: Which way of “perceiving faith“ is most effective for you, and why?
Originally written by Charles H. Spurgeon, published in “Mornings & Evenings”
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