This week I have been in my father-in-law’s old house that he is restoring, it’s likely over 100 years old.  The high walls are plaster and lath, and it has solid oak floors.  The 2x4s actually measure 2×4 in the original part of the house.  But where it has been added onto through the years, the lumber dimensions just keep getting smaller and smaller.  In one part, the “2x4s” measure 1 7/’8 x 3 ¾.  In another part of the house, the “2x4s” measure 1 5/8 x 3 5/8. In the most recent additions, the “2x4s” measure 1 ½ x 3 ½ .  What’s the problem?  trying to get the new to line up with the old.    The old is “full size” and full strength, while each successive downsizing is weaker than the original, not to mention smaller.  So to make things fit, you have to shim and space and leave a lot of hollow spots, which of course have no strength. This is the problem carpenters face when trying to restore an old house, the new stuff we have available today just doesn’t measure up with the original materials the house was built with.  It’s not only smaller and weaker and inferior to the original, to make matters worse, it costs more.
 The Lord showed me this today, as I was ministering to a man on the phone, I was walking around the house looking at the wood, and noticing the different dimensions of the lumber.  Here the Lord revealed to me why we often come up short when using our faith against trials we face.  To put it simply, we are facing trials that require full 2×4 faith, and we’re trying to get by with 1 ½ x 3 ½ faith.
    How is it the faith we are using today doesn’t measure up?  We have spent too much time listening to preachers, and not enough time reading the Word.  Through the years, God has remained unchanged.  The original scriptures remain unchanged.  The Hebrew language is a complex mathematical formula in which every word has a numerical value, and the sum total of each line of words must add up the same each time it’s copied, or it’s wrong.  Therefore, the scribes were able to ascertain the accuracy of the words they copied.  Sentences had to match, pages had to match, numerical values had to match, or they were discarded and they started over.  How is that significant?  Simple, the Word was passed down generation to generation full strength, and it was never downsized to save ink or paper.
However, some preachers and churches have “watered down the Word”, by making changes in the translations of certain words.  Add to that error brought in by some claiming promises the original scriptures never included, or leaving out promises the original scriptures did include.  That necessitates going back to the original text to verify what the Word truly says, and then adhering to that without wavering.  Few people are willing to do that, being lazy.
   Far too many times I have found the faith being preached today brings forth no real results.  Oh, they holler and shout real loud and spew out a lot of religious sounding stuff, but there’s no power from on high to back it up.  The true Gospel preached by Jesus and the original disciples brought forth results, real tangible healings and miracles.  I’ll call it 2×4 faith.  It was the real deal, industrial strength faith.
    Add a few hundred years and we’re hearing a watered down gospel that is not backed up by God because it is not His Word, but merely the words and doctrines of men.  And we wonder why when we’re hit with trials, we fold like last week’s newspaper?  The Lord told me years ago that if I would preach HIS WORD, then He would confirm it and back it up from heaven.  But if I add my own “gospel” to it, He isn’t obligated to back it up, because He’s only obligated to back up the promises HE made.  And that makes good sense.  If I find your checkbook laying in the street and start writing checks, once you notify the bank it isn’t your signature on them, you will not be obligated to make those checks good.  The same goes for the Gospel.  If it is preached like it is written, God will back it up, and you have no worries, period. 
   You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff I’ve heard preached out there, outlandish stuff that has its roots in “traditions of men”, and some of it sounds real good, and most of it caters to the lusts of the flesh, but has absolutely nothing to do with the Word.  Here’s a real-life application of that:  make a circle of twenty people, and speak three or four sentences to the person on your right, and have them repeat what you said to the person on their right.  I promise you, by the time it gets all the way around back to you, it will be different.  Now, if you had written it down and told the person on the right to read it and pass it down, when it comes back around, it would still be the same, by virtue of the written word. 
   People often get up and start preaching out of their head, and leave the Word laying there unread.  Then gullible people hear that, and repeat it, adding their own version of their understanding to it, and by the time it’s been repeated a few dozen times, there isn’t much Word of God left in it, if any.  Then someone will take what was heard and apply it to a trial he or she is facing, and upon finding it isn’t bringing any relief to the situation, starts to doubt God’s providence and Word.  They pray claiming thus and thus, and it’s like the Lord says, Did I say that in my Word?  I don’t remember saying that.  Remember, God only backs up HIS Word.
   Me, I like to read what God said in the Word, because that settles every issue with “IT IS WRITTEN”.  You and I can take our personal opinion of what the Word says and a dollar and buy a cup of coffee with it, that’s how much it’s worth.  But God’s Word works, everytime.
   We can take 1 ½ x 3 ½ faith and call it 2×4 faith all we want to, but if our faith doesn’t measure up to the original, it will fall short of getting the job done every time, do you understand that?  If it isn’t getting the job done like it did for the original disciples, then it isn’t the Gospel that Jesus preached, nor the full measure of what they had back then, but rather a down-sized economy version.  People must stop listening to every “new revelation” preacher that comes down the pike with their promises that come up empty when the heat is on.  There isn’t any “new revelation” out there, only the Word that was true in the beginning and it’s true today.  When we build our faith upon the doctrines of men, it will fail us when we need it the most.  That’s why Jesus warned us to beware of false prophets.  The Word of God is the real deal, and if we stick with it, we are assured it will bring us victory in any situation.
   When confronted with temptations and trials of the devil, Jesus said “It is written….”  Evidently what was written in Jesus’ day was the real deal, because it worked.  But are you sure that when YOU say, “It is written” that it is the same “It is written” that Jesus referred to?  Because if it is, it will bring forth the same results for you that it did for Him.  When the devil comes giving you trouble, and he will because that’s just his nature, be sure you have a 2×4 to hit him upside the head with, not just a stick.