How do you grow your faith?
Real, working faith in God is not magical or mystical. It is not something that God gives to certain persons and not to others. Otherwise this would make God a respecter of persons. But we obtain faith by volition – i.e. the free-willed choice of the individual, which corresponds directly with the effort one applies in obtaining it. Read on to see how to grow your faith.
First things first
You may have heard some say: “You only need to believe!” But belief is not faith; nor is wishful thinking or assumption that God will grant what we desire. (See more about faith for salvation here)
To live the Christian life and ensure our calling, we need to know how to exercise the faith that produces salvation so that we can enter the joy and life God has promised. Real faith opens doors that have been shut to us. It gives hope for a future. And through it, God gives us strength for the things we need to achieve, and to do that which we have been called to do. Consequently, we will receive the blessings that follow in this life, and in the life to come (1Tim. 4:8).
The neglect of faith – The cause of our first sin
The lack of the true faith in the ever-present God is the cause of sin. This was Lucifer’s sin. It was what resulted in Adam’s sin, and has been the root of all subsequent sin. However, by the grace of God in the atonement of Christ, He has made our reconciliation to Himself possible by calling us to return to the obedience of faith. This was Paul’s principle message and purpose for us, recorded in the book of Romans, i.e. to bring about the obedience of faith (See Rom. 1:5; 15:18; 16:26).
God has called us to “the obedience of faith”
God’s Word commands all of us to come to the obedience of faith (Rom 1:5; 16:26). And what He commands He also gives the ability to perform. Hence, God has given the gift of faith to each person (Rom 12:3). Therefore, all we need to do is to learn how to exercise it!
Faith is an act of trust in someone or something. Everyone has the ability to apply faith. Trusting –
- that you will get paid your wage at the end of your weekly or monthly labors
- in your spouse’s faithful love for you
- or even that you will wake up in the morning
are all examples of acts of exercised faith. Some are exercised consciously while others unconsciously.
But what does it mean to come to “the obedience of faith”?
The obedience of faith is a returning to that form of living by which we were designed. It produces a conscious life in God. This is God’s intention for all moral beings, i.e. to exercise that faith with which we were created (Rom 12:3), and subsequently, to walk in loving obedience with Him in all that we do. Let us therefore, learn how to obtain and grow true faith in the reality of God, by which we will receive all we need to gain success in life, and consequently, the assurance of the eternal life in Christ to come.
Here are 7 ways which will help guide us back to real saving faith and a life in God.
7 Principles To Obtain & Grow Your Faith
1) God gives faith to all
We can take heart in that God has given all the ability of faith (Rom 12:3). We just need to know how to apply and grow it. He has also put into the heart of His creatures the inborn knowledge of His existence (Rom 1:19-20). Therefore, we are fully equipped to have faith in our Creator and enjoy a life in Him.
2) Use scripture
The Bible is the source and foundation of all truth. It gives us all we need to know about God, and to enable us to have confidence in Him and all that He promised to the faithful. So, read scripture. Get to know God and His goodness. For it is through the Word of God that we have a foundation to grow our faith (Rom 10:17 KJV). Contrarily, those who refuse to avail themselves of God’s Word will have nothing with which to apply and expand their faith. The Bible feeds our faith. It gives substance to our knowledge of God and His will for us.
3) Use reason
Exercising faith in God is a reasonable obligation. For it is by Him alone that we live and move and have our being (Act 17:28 KJV). How many acknowledge the things that surround them, but fail to recognize the very One who created all things? Use reason. God deserves all the glory, and the very first step of us glorifying God is to come to the obedience of faith in Him.
4) Learn the importance of prayer
It is reasonable to acknowledge that those who do not maintain a prayer-filled life in God, lack true faith. Indeed, we can measure our faith and life in God by our prayer life. Selfish prayer has no power, but praying according to the known will of God increases our faith and our expectations of the answers. We can see then that exercising true faith in God draws us to prayer. This is our mode of communication to honor Him in conversation, in praise and thanksgiving, and to present our requests before Him (Php 4:6).
See post on How we get answers to our prayers here.
5) Walk in conscious loving obedience
Walking in Christ is synonymous with walking in the Spirit, being sanctified / being holy, reckoned as righteous, etc. We can achieve this by exercising faith in the omnipresence of God. In fact, it is impossible to exercise faith in Christ, i.e. having conscious communion with Him and sin at the same time (1John 3:6, 9).
And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1Jn 3:3)
True faith begets loving obedience to the Object of our faith. Therefore, loving God and loving self-gratification through sin simultaneously is a contradiction in terms. They cannot co-exist. Consequently, you will love the one and hate the other (Mat 6:24). And scripture explicitly and often tells us that God does not hear the prayers of those who continue in sin. Therefore, those who refuse to walk in loving obedience through the conscious awareness of Christ in faith will not receive what they trust Him for in this life or in the one to come.
Whether we choose to believe it or not, it is our sin that separates us from God (Isa 59:2), and stops our prayers from being answered favorably, no matter by which name we call ourselves. Some will go right ahead believing that they have continued favor with God, but they never come to that place of firm assurance in Christ, nor do their lives reflect being hid in Him. Sin condemns our hearts and destroys our faith (1Jn 3:21). But those who choose to walk in conscious loving obedience exhibit great power and fortitude. They love God supremely and have a God-given boldness; and consequently, their former love and fear of the things of this world grow strangely dim.
6) Watch expectantly
Our faith is the assurance of all that God has promised. Therefore, we ought to watch expectantly for the results.
Faith covers a universal set of subjects, needs, fears, and hopes. And because we exercise faith according to His will, and are confident that our hearts are for Him supremely, we who walk in true faith know that our God will always supply all our needs and will give us the desires of our hearts.
7) Use your successes
No matter how small they are at first, use all of your successes with God as encouragements to press on and reach for more from Him. It is His will to bless you for His glory’s sake and for you to enter His joy to become a partaker of His benevolent, heavenly kingdom, where everyone serves God as the greater good, and consequently become partakers of that good.
David reminds himself: “Forget none of His benefits” (Psa 103:2). He reminded himself of the successes he had received from the hand of God.
When you are low in spirit, reflect back to how God has provided for you through providence and direct answer to prayer. Let your mind dwell on His goodness, forgiveness and mercy. Then gird yourself with the above principles of obtaining and growing your faith to stand against whatever life throws at you (Eph 6:13). You will then be well equipped to conquer and live victoriously!
Let me know your thoughts on the above at firstname.lastname@example.org