Grow Your Faith!
By Rodney W. Francis
"But without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6 ).
If we were to ask ourselves the question, "When does my faith grow the most?" I wonder what our answer would be? My answer would be that my faith grows the most when I use it. The great men and women of the Bible weren't full of faith because everything always went right for them. No! They became great because they proved God to be faithful, no matter what the situation. If being a Christian was always an 'easy' road, we would never be stretched to grow and mature in God.
Abraham is presented throughout the Scriptures as a man of faith. He is an example of how he believed God in spite of the natural circumstances that surrounded him. When God asked him to do things he had never done before ~ or go to places he had never been to before ~ Abraham obeyed and went. He had learned that the voice of God was more accurate than any other voice he knew, even his own thoughts.
Consider these promises to Abraham: “Now the Lord had said to Abram (Abraham): ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him . . .” (Genesis 12:1-4 ).
Sometimes when things appear to be going wrong we can think we are 'out of God's will,' when in fact we are right 'in God's will.' We are right in a position for God to stretch our faith to take us deeper into Himself. It is worth remembering that God does not hand out cushions when He saves us. Joseph was right 'in God's will' when he was sold as a slave into Egypt and then became imprisoned for many years. And, even though his situation was extremely difficult, yet God blessed everything he worked at. The plan of God was to work character before comfort into Joseph's life. God even blessed his master, Potiphar, for no other reason than that Joseph lived under the same roof. Potiphar saw with his own eyes and recognized that the prisoner Joseph had a depth and quality in his life that he did not have. Joseph was totally faithful in the small things and, because of this, God promoted him to become a very great leader (see Genesis Chapters 37-50).
David as a young lad was totally 'in God's will' when everyone else thought he was mad. When he faced Goliath the giant, every man in the Israeli army thought he was somewhat disturbed in his mind. But David's faith was not in his own ability; that would have failed him miserably. David's faith was not in the Israeli army; they had already proved themselves to be cowards. David's faith was solely and completely in God, and, when he stepped out in the anointing of the Lord, God gave him the victory (1 Samuel 17 ).
God moves when by faith we declare His Word and His will into the situation, and act and move according to our declaration of faith. Yes, yes, yes! We certainly "can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us" (Philippians 4:13 )!
The subject of FAITH is always an interesting one to meditate on. Faith is a prophetic thing. It comes by "hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17 ). Faith is about standing on that which God has already declared to be His will. He wants it to happen! But He wants it to happen through believers demonstrating their belief in the Living God. When that word of faith comes to our heart, it has the capacity to overcome every obstacle that stands against the will of God (1 John 5:4 ).
True Bible faith is the greatest security we can know ~ GOD is backing us! Faith transcends logic, reasoning and natural circumstances. It is not limited to the voices of the people (unless we allow that to happen to us ~ then it becomes discouragement).
FAITH IS A RESPONSE TO GOD DEMONSTRATED BY AN ACTION!
We have a responsibility to respond to the hearing, receiving, preaching and teaching of God’s word. Let us be challenged by this Scripture: “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the Gospel was preached to us as well as to them: but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it” (Hebrews 4:1-2 ). Every time we hear the word of the Lord we have a responsibility to demonstrate to God that we believe it is He Who is talking to us. If we want to have the benefits of what God has said (and is saying) to us, then we need to respond to His voice in a practical way. We have to do something to show God that we really believe it is He Who is speaking to us. Until the time we respond in a practical way, there will be no profit for us in what God is saying to us. We have to “mix faith” with what we hear. Nothing happens until we do that. Far too many times we are guilty of being passive hearers ~ we sit and listen, but do not obey in a practical way to see the promises fulfilled in and through us.
The Christian life is a faith walk. It is believing what God says over and above every other "voice." Knowing the source of the voice is vital if we are to be faithful and fruitful in our Christian walk. If we do not know the source of the voice, i.e. who it is that is speaking to us, then we are going to be listening to the wrong voice(s) much more than we ought to be. Wrong voices will lead us astray from the straight and narrow path of Jesus Christ. The true voice is birthed in a personal relationship with Jesus, listening to Him, and then our act of obedience to that word He speaks to us. When we are “connected” to the right voice ~ and responding to it ~ then we find that God fulfils His promises and supplies our every need to enable us to do what He asks of us. This is our testimony in The GFM Ministry. It costs many thousands of dollars to keep operating, yet every month every bill is paid! And we are touching many thousands of people in the process! It never ceases to amaze me at how God “comes through” for us each month.
Things about you right now may be contrary and negative. Do not dwell on those things. Lift your eyes higher to focus clearly on Jesus, and faith will rise in you, as you discover afresh His heart is for you! Demonstrate your faith to God by your actions! I find my faith grows when I obey what ever He asks of me. And He never asks us to do anything we cannot do. We can always do what God asks of us, so there is no room for excuses when it comes to exercising faith. God bless you!