1. Live the life of faith. Andrew Murray has stated, “Faith in the promise is the fruit of faith in the promiser.” I cannot have faith in what He has promised unless I have faith in Him as a person. I must get to know Him and learn to trust Him. Then I will grow to believe in what He says and promises. Getting to know Him takes time, but perhaps not as much time as you think. Eagerly pray and read your Bible every day. Meditate on His Word every chance you get. Then obey Him in everything He tells you. Soon, sooner than you think, you will develop a close relationship with Him. You will love Him and trust Him. This is the life of faith, and in this life there is much prayer.
In my last post I wrote a little on how to have great faith instead of little faith. If you are still not sure how you can increase your faith (make your faith more complete or consistent) here are a few ideas—taken from my book Prayer A to Z.
Eight Ways to Increase Your Faith
1. Take your unbelief to God. Ask Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit and with His desire. Surrender yourself completely to Him. Be humble before Him and confess your sins and helplessness. Be like the man who said to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mk. 9:24)! Always remember that faith is a gift from God. None of us were born with it; none of us can create it in ourselves. We have to humbly ask for faith. Asking for faith in prayer is the way we received it when we were…
The apostle Peter, in 1 Peter 2:2, wrote, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby.” Here we see that spiritual growth is by the Word. But what I want to point out is that since faith is the foundation of Christian life, when we grow spiritually, which is by the Word, our faith grows too. Our spiritual growth is always a growth of faith. And so we grow from faith to faith (Rom. 1:17). Just as we were saved by faith, we live the Christian life by faith; and at every point we are to continue to live by faith—“from faith to faith.”
Now the question is, why do some people have very little faith (their faith doesn’t seem to grow), while others have great faith (their faith grows and grows)? Here are…
As I see it, there are basically two different kinds, or categories, of faith: saving faith and Christian living faith; that is, faith to be saved and faith to live as a Christian. These are found in my book Principles of Prayer.
1. Saving faith. In Ephesians 2:8-9 Paul said, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…” Here we see that our salvation is a gift from God. It is totally a gift. We did nothing. That means that our faith was a gift too. He gave us faith to believe, which resulted in our salvation. What a great gift!
2. Faith to live the Christian life. Every part of the Christian life, if you live as a Christian, is a life of faith. As Paul said in Galatians 2:20, we live in the flesh, but we…
In some respects the meaning of faith is so simple. It means to just believe God, to trust and rely on Him. But because we are human and sinful, faith becomes so hard for us. Hence, we seem to need to dissect it and to look at it from different angles, in order to get the meaning of faith that pleases us or that helps us to understand it. And I think that’s good. We need to do that.
In my reading on faith I have come across numerous descriptions. Here are a few I have put together. I hope these will help you understand faith. Perhaps from these you will come up with your own description.
1. Faith is a work of God’s Spirit in the heart.
Andrew Murray wrote, “Faith is completely the work of God’s Spirit through His Word in the prepared heart of the…
God has revealed Himself to us by His Word and through His Spirit; and by these He works in us to tell us who He is and what His will is; and He urges us and leads us according to His will. Thus, these are, generally, the three foundation stones that we build our faith on: knowledge of His will, knowledge of His character, and whether we experience the urging of His Spirit.
Three Foundation Stones that we Build Our Faith On
1. Knowledge of God’s will
The Bible tells us that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). Hence, the will of God (concerning a certain thing) that comes to us in our ears, by His Spirit, and through our diligent study of the Word, builds in us a basis for our faith (in obtaining that certain thing). This…
Faith is the avenue through which every believer became a Christian; and it is the way every Christian should live. I’m sure most believers would say that they desire to have a stronger faith. I sure do. Well I have 8 different blog posts ready to go on this subject, which are excerpts from my book Prayer A to Z. This first one is most basic and what we need to know in order to begin this study. I want to ask you right from the start if you would consider making some comments. So, when you read this, think of that you want to contribute.
The Definition of Faith
Vines dictionary defines faith (pistis) as “firm persuasion, a conviction based on hearing.” The verb of faith (pisteuo), translated as believe, is defined as: “to believe, to be persuaded of, to place confidence in, to…
All the things we have discussed so far in previous blogs, with the resolve to pray over them, will help us with boldness. Being aware of the harvest will make us more compassionate in our boldness. Seeing the horrors of hell, the shortness of the time, and our grave responsibility to witness will make us more urgent in our boldness. But I think the most helpful thing is to have a Christ-like love for the lost and to be excited to share with them. This is what I think we should really concentrate on.
With that said, I would like to talk more now on love, then on hope, and last on faith in an effort to make us bolder in witnessing.
Boldness by love.Jerry Wiles says that boldness is “born of love.” He says, “Lack of boldness is very likely related to a lack of…
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. 25 “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. 26 “And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. 27 “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.”
Here is a picture of two men, a wise man and a foolish man. The wise man had a true and good foundation. The foolish man had a foundation made of sand—it would not last.
In this illustration, the wise man is a Christian. His foundation is Christ. The foolish man is a non-Christian. His foundation is his own works and his own philosophy of life. But his foundation is not true and so it is unstable—as sand.
The rain and the floods and the wind represent the tests of our faith and what our life if built on. Notice that both the Christian and the non-Christian are tested.
The rain may represent things like illness, loss or disappointment. Floods may represent the world, or worldliness—“the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” And the wind may represent Satanic attacks, such as to hurl doubts and evil thoughts at us.
Now for the non-Christian, the main disaster for him will come at the judgment, when it is discovered that there is no foundation, that Christ is not his Lord. The Christian does have a lasting foundation, which is Jesus Christ. But the trials of life will nevertheless test his faith to see how he has built upon that foundation (look at 1Corinthisna 3:12-15). And our rewards at the end of our life will depend on it.
One of the most important things for a Christian to do is to see to it that he has a good devotional life, and also that it doesn’t become mechanical. We must remember in our quiet times with the Lord, to stop and meditate on what we read from the bible, and listen to what God is telling us. Then determine to obey Him and to be always asking for His help and guidance along the way. He is our anchor and firm foundation.
I have been writing on the subject of worry. We are still on that subject, from Matthew 6; this time our emphasis is on not living like a Gentile (a non-Christian), but rather like a Christian. In Matthew 6:31 through 33 Jesus said,
“Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ 32 “For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
We Are Not to Live Like the Non-Christian
In verse 32 Jesus mentions that the Gentiles (non-Christians) are always seeking food, drink, and clothing, and yet they always seem to be worried over it. It is because they have a wrong view of life, a view that leaves open the door to worry. Here are two life views of the non-Christian.
1. The theory of contingency. This view holds that everything in life is accidental, that things happen without rhyme or reason and we never know what will happen next.
2. The theory of fatalism. This is the idea that whatever happens we can’t do anything about it. It is the belief that there are unknow powers, good and bad, controlling things, but we can’t do anything about it—whatever happens, happens; whatever will be will be. Doris Day use to sing that song, remember?
When I was just a little girl I asked my mother, what will I be Will I be pretty Will I be rich Here’s what she said to me
Que sera, sera Whatever will be, will be The future’s not ours to see Que sera, sera What will be, will be
The non-Christian still has these views about life, and so you can see why they worry. And many will try to overcome worry by one of two way.
1. Party it up. They say, we don’t know what’s going to happen, so we might as well live it up now, for tomorrow we may die.
2. Suicide. There are all kinds of suicide. There is drug overuse, or immorality, both are used to blot out a depressed life. And some go crazy and just flip out, killing others and themselves.
Living by Faith
The Christian view of life is quite different than the non-Christian view. We could call it…
Thedoctrine of certainty. In this view things are certain because we are in the hands of the living God.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that l all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Therefore, we believe that God has a perfect plan for our lives, and much of that plan we see from day to day as we read His word and walk in His Spirit.
But why do so many Christians still worry (like me)? The answer is easy. Though they are believers and have the Holy Spirit, they unknowingly live not by the Christian view of life, but by the non-Christian view. And sometimes what they may say in ordinary conversation betrays them. They may say something like, “Well, we never know what the future holds.”
The answer to a worried life, of course, is to build up our faith; to constantly remind ourselves that we are a child of God and that we were meant to live by faith. Here are four things you can do to build up your faith in God.
1. Put every crisis in the context of your faith.
2. When faced with a crisis ask yourself, will my conduct show me and others that I am a Christian and that I belong to a higher realm.
3. Know that you will never be in any situation that is outside of God’s love and care.
4. When faced with any situation in life, know that you should seek first His kingdom and righteousness, and then believe that all other things will be taken care of by God (read Matthew 6:33).