DEFINITION OF FAITH
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines faith (fâth, noun) as:
2a1; belief and trust in and loyalty to God, and 2b2; complete trust.
Father God You are omnipotent (Jer 32:17,27), give us faith to believe that any and everything is within Your power. Father God You are omnipresent (Ps 139:7), give us faith to believe that wherever we are, You are there also. Father God You are omniscient (1Jn 3:20), give us faith to believe that whatever our circumstance, You have the answer. Father God we ask of You, increase our faith to overflow. We ask that our faith would be so great that our joyful unquestioning faith itself would be a witness to others, in such a way that they too would believe and ask of us “who is this God that you trust so much?”
We ask these things in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of Holy Spirit. Amen.
Faith in God is listed as one of the fundamental teachings of Scripture (Hebrews 6:1–2). In fact, Christians are told that “without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6). However, Jesus Christ, looking ahead to the end of this present age—our time today—raised a sobering question to His disciples. He asked, “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).
By Douglas S. Winnail
At a church meeting a very wealthy man rose to tell the rest of those present about his Christian faith. "I'm a millionaire," he said, "and I attribute it all to the rich blessings of God in my life. I remember that turning point in my faith. I had just earned my first fifty bucks, and I went to a church meeting that night. The speaker was a missionary who told about his work. I knew that I only had a fifty and had to either give it all to God's work or nothing at all. So at that moment I decided to give my whole fifty to God. I believe that God blessed that decision, and that is why I am a rich man today."
He finished and there was an awed silence at his testimony as he moved toward his seat. As he sat down a little old lady sitting in the same pew leaned over and said to him: "I dare you to do it again."
Many of us were full of faith when we were first saved. Christ through the Holy Spirit endowed us with His faith, and like brand new lovers we found ourselves, to the great annoyance of our family and friends, talking incessantly about Jesus and what He had done for us. But many find, not unlike puppy love, that the joy and our faith has diminished over time.
7 STEPS TO FAITH
Below are seven biblical sourced practical activities in which one can engage in order to build one’s faith. They can be summarised thusly:
6) Be, and
1 - FEED
The world is constantly bombarding us with ungodly images, philosophy and practices. Like junk food for the soul, if not kept in check, it will clog our spiritual arteries, poison our hearts and drag us down.
A man who had recently come to faith was explaining to a friend what it was like to be a Christian. He said, "It is as if there were two dogs inside me and they are always fighting."
"Which one wins?" asked the friend.
"It depends which one I feed!" he replied.
"Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death."
- Les Brown
How do we “feed” our faith? Faith is fed by hearing the word. Read your bible (or listen to an audio bible) regularly, at least daily. Get hold of a reading plan and use it. The more of the Word that is on your heart and in your mind, the stronger your faith will grow. You don’t have to limit yourself to the bible alone. Listening to CD sermons and gospel music, reading books from Christian authors, and doing Christian courses will all increase your understanding of the Word and build your faith.
• So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.
• This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.
2 – DO
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
- Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt, Jr.
To call Jesus Lord is to do what he wants, when he wants and where he wants! So after you have read the word, do the Word. When you read or hear a biblical instruction or piece of advice relevant to you, apply it to your life. Head knowledge is of no use if you don't actually use it. That is the difference between knowledge and wisdom (knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad). As you see the results of following God's Word, your faith will grow.
• But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
3 - GO
“For millions of men and women, the church has been the hospital for the soul, the school for the mind, and the safe depository of moral ideas.”
- Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr.
Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church. Teachings of the Word from qualified people will help you understand it better. Church also provides opportunity for prayer, hearing the testimonies of others, and other support. All these things will help grow your faith.
• Not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
4 - FOCUS
Your hunger for things of God is a measure of your spiritual health! Is you focus on Eternal Things? Put your mind on the things of God and avoid the stuff of the world. Watch Christian DVDs instead of immoral ones, read Christian books instead of pornography. Set yourself goals that are biblically based (like going to Bible College or helping others) instead of saving for material things. The fallen world is set-up to erode your faith and trap you in un-Godly things, focusing on Godly things will help grow your faith.
• So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18
5 - FELLOWSHIP
It has been said that the best vitamin for making friends is B-1. Fellowship is spending time with other supportive Christians. Sharing testimony, prayer and support with like-minded people will increase your faith as you mutually build each other up.
• And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works,
6 - BE
“Freedom lies in being bold.”
- Robert Lee Frost
Be Confident and avoid letting your worries get the best of you; remember, Moses started out as a basket case! Regularly remind yourself of whom you are in Christ. Memorise some relevant verses; write them into your heart and your mind. Going over them in difficult times will strengthen you and your faith. Get a copy of the appendix – Who Am I.
• The wicked flee when no one is pursuing them, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
• I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.
7 - PRAY
“He who kneels before God, can stand before any man.”
- Ezra Taft Benson
In Mark 9:14-29 “The Power of Faith over a Demon”, we see an example of man with wavering faith. After the Apostles failed to remove the demon from his son, the father asks Jesus “…But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us” (Mark 9:22). Then Jesus challenges him to believe by saying “‘If You can?’ Everything is possible to the one who believes” (Mark 9:23). The father declares his faith, but then realising the truth, he immediately asks Jesus to help his wavering faith. “I do believe! Help my unbelief.” He cries out in Mark 9:24. Jesus answers both requests (demon deliverance and faith) in verse 25 and 26. Everyone suffers from doubt at one time of another; there is nothing wrong with asking God to give you the faith you desire.
So pray. In Godly endeavours, God backs up Christians, making a way for them and giving them strength. A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing! Praying directly involves God in what you are doing and allows Him sovereignty over your situation rather than relying on your own strength. Truly knowing that God is for you (If God is for us, who is against us?; Romans 8:31b) will give you great faith. If God is your Co-pilot, it is time to swap seats!
• Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.
"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men."
- John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy
Faith is an integral part of your spiritual body. Like any part of a physical body it must be fed, exercised and taken care of. Left to the world alone, faith will dwindle and die. It takes a conscious effort to grow faith. There are many ways this can be achieved. Apply these seven steps and you will be well on your way:
1) Feed (Romans 10:17; Joshua 1:8),
2) Do (James 1:22-24),
3) Go (Hebrews 10:25),
4) Focus (2 Corinthians 4:18),
5) Fellowship (Hebrews 10:24),
6) Be (Proverbs 28:1; Philippians 4:13), and
7) Pray (Ephesians 6:18).
Finally, Benjamin Jeremy "Ben" Stein (born November 25, 1944), an American actor, writer, lawyer, and commentator on political and economic issues put it this way; "Faith is not believing God can, but that he will!"
I HAVE BEEN…
· redeemed by the blood Rev 5:9
· set free from sin /condemnation Rom 8:1-2
· set free from Satan’s control Col 1:13
· set free from Satan’s kingdom Eph 2
· chosen before foundation of world Eph 1:4
· predestined to be like Jesus Ephesians 1:11
· forgiven of all my trespasses Col 2:13
· washed in the blood of the Lamb Rev 1:5
· given a sound mind 2 Timothy 1:7
· given the Holy Spirit 2 Cor 1:22
· adopted into God’s family Romans 8:15
· justified freely by his grace Romans 3:24
· given all things pertaining to life 2 Pet 1:3
· given great and precious promises 2 Pet 1:4
· given ministry of reconciliation 2 Cor 1:22
· authority over the power of enemy Lk 10:19
· access to God Ephesians 3:12
· been given wisdom Ephesians 1:8
· complete in him Colossians 2:10
· free forever from sin’s power Romans 6:14
· sanctified 1 Cor 6:11
· meet for the Master’s use 2 Timothy 2:21
· loved eternally 1 Peter 1:5 /
· eternally kept in the palm of his hand Jn 10:29
· kept from falling Jude 1:24
· kept by the power of God 1 Peter 1:5
· not condemned Romans 8:1-2
· one with the Lord 1 Cor 6:17
· on my way to heaven John 14:6
· quickened by his mighty power Eph 2:1
· seated in heavenly places Eph 1:3
· the head and not the tail Deut 28:13
· light in the darkness Matthew 5:14
· candle in a dark place Matthew 5:15
· city set on a hill Matthew 5:14
· salt of the earth Matthew 5:13
· his sheep Ps 23 / Psalms 100:3/ John 10:14
· a citizen of heaven 1 Peter 2:11
· hidden with Christ in God Psalms 32:7
· protected from the evil one 1 John 5:18
· kept by the power of God 1 Peter 1:5
· secure in Christ Jn 10:28-29
· set on a Rock Psalms 40:2
· more-than-a-conqueror Romans 8:37
· born again 1 Peter 1:23
· a victor 1 John 5:4
· healed by his strips Is 53:6
· covered by blood of Jesus Rev 12:11, 1 Pet 1:19
· sheltered under his wing Psalms 91:4
· hidden in secret place of the Almighty Ps 91:1
· access to the Father Romans 5:2
· a home in heaven waiting for me Jn 14:1-2
· all things in Christ 2 Cor 5:17
· a living hope 1 Peter 1:3
· an anchor to my soul Hebrews 6:19
· a hope that is sure and steadfast Heb 6:19
· authority to tread on serpents Luke 10:19
· power to witness Acts 1:8
· the tongue of the learned Isaiah 50:4
· the mind of Christ 1 Cor 2:16
· boldness and access Hebrews 10:19
· peace with God Romans 5:1
· faith as a grain of mustard seed Luke 17:6
· do all things through Christ Philp 4:13
· find mercy and grace to help Heb 4:16
· come boldly to the throne of grace Heb 4:16
· quench all the firey darts Eph 6:16
· tread on the serpent Luke 10:19
· declare liberty to captives Isaiah 61:1
· pray always and everywhere Luke 21:36
· chase a thousand Joshua 23:10
· defeat (overcome) the enemy Rev 12:11
· tread Satan under foot Rom 16:20
· be separated from God’s love Rom 8:35-39
· be perish or be lost John 10:28, John 3:16
· be moved Psalms 16:8
· be taken out of my Father’s hand John 10:29
· be charged or accused Romans 8:33
· be condemned 1 Cor 11:32