The manifestation of faith is your having the confidence or trust that what God or the Lord Jesus Christ has revealed to you by a message of knowledge or a message of wisdom will come to pass at your command.
Before we can understand the “manifestation of faith” (1 Cor. 12:9), we must understand what “regular” faith is. “Faith” is the translation of the Greek noun pistis, which means “trust,” “confidence,” or “assurance.” Our English word “trust” captures the sense very well. Sadly, most Christians do not know what “faith” is because the modern definition differs from the biblicalof “faith,” and the definition most Christians have in their mind, is a “firm belief in something for which there is no proof ” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary). It is vital to understand that “belief in something for which there is no proof” is actually superstition, and that is far from the biblical definition of “faith.”
The biblical definition of faith is “trust,” and we trust things only after they have been proven to us. God does not ask us to believe Him without some kind of reason or proof. He has left many evidences that He exists and that His Word is true. When God asks us to have faith, He is not asking us to believe something without proof.
All of us have “faith” (trust) in a large number of things. In fact, life would be impossible without trust. A person would not even sit down if he did not trust the chair would hold him. God asks us to trust that Jesus has been raised from the dead because the Bible, history, and evidences such as speaking in tongues, give plenty of evidence for it. The reason it is impossible to please God without faith (Heb. 11:6), is that after all God does for us day after day, and has done for mankind throughout history, if we still do not trust Him—well you can see that He would be displeased. Frankly, if any of us did many wonderful things for someone else, and that person “returned the favor” by being distrustful of us, we would be displeased too. Once we understand that “faith” is “trust,” we are in a position to understand the “manifestation of faith,” which we might also call, “the manifestation of trust.” In contrast to ordinary faith, the manifestation of holy spirit referred to as “faith” is the trust that is necessary to accomplish the special tasks that God, by revelation, asks us to do. Contrasting “faith” with the “manifestation of faith” should help to clarify what that means. If I own a chair that I have sat in many times, I have built up trust that it will hold me. I have faith in the chair.
But what about doing a healing or miracle? I know I cannot do it in my flesh. Therefore, the only way I can heal or do a miracle is to trust in the revelation that I have received from God (via a message of knowledge, wisdom, or discerning of spirit), and to trust that when I command the healing or miracle to come to pass, it will. That “supernatural” trust, which is based on revelation and is brought to pass via the power manifestations of healing, miracles, etc, is “the manifestation of faith.” A common pattern involving the manifestation of faith is: God (or the Lord Jesus) gives a revelation, the person trusts the revelation (“the manifestation of faith”) and acts on it, and then God supplies the power to bring the revelation to pass.
Moses brought water out of a rock by the manifestation of faith (Exod. 17:5 and 6). He could not do so by his own power, but God told him that if he struck the rock, water would come out. Moses trusted what God said (the manifestation of faith), acted on it, and by the manifestation of miracles brought water out of the rock. Gideon defeated the Midianites by the manifestation of faith (Judg. 6:16), Elijah multiplied the oil and flour by the manifestation of faith (1 Kings 17:14-16), and the other great miracles of the Bible were done by the manifestation of faith.
When it comes to miracles and gifts of healings, we need the manifestation of faith because we cannot heal the sick or do miracles by our human power. God must give us a message of knowledge and a message of wisdom, letting us know that it is His will for us to heal someone or do a miracle, and then we must have the faith to do it. As Christians, we should live our lives in such a way that our faith in God grows and continues to grow, so that we are well able to manifest His power and bless and deliver people.