February 11, 2016

Increasing Your Faith (Part One)

If we're following Christ, most of us want to increase our faith. Faith is active. Faith does action. Faith does works. Faith lays hands on the sick and sees them healed.  Faith shares with others and sees them born again.  Faith transforms lives.

Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Faith is the substance that God created the universe from.  Faith is a substance that goes out from us and changes the world. Our faith, based in God's truth, changes our environment for righteousness.

So, how do we increase our faith?  The Word says that 'Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.'  Romans 10:17

The first step is to renew your mind in the Word of God.  This takes an act of your will.

When I rededicated my life to Christ in my 20's and was filled with the Holy Spirit, I spent every available minute in the Word of God.  I worked full-time and commuted on the bus a half hour into Denver. I would read my Bible on the way to work and on the way home every day. I carried my Bible everywhere I went. I spent my evenings reading the Word and praying.

I spent my lunch hours reading if I didn't have other plans.  I formed a Bible study with a small group at work so that we could talk about God.  I was in love with Jesus. And when you're in love with someone, you want to spend every minute getting to know 'your love.'  God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is a being and I wanted to KNOW Him!

I ended every day with 'Prayers That Avail Much', meditating and speaking scripture over myself.  I began to think like God.  I began to get an image of God and to establish a 'boundary' of Who He is. I began to see myself in the light of His Word.

I attacked every doubt and worry, every thought that I had that was contrary to the truth of God's Word, with His Word - the Sword of His Word.  Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."  This means that the Word of God will show us clearly the difference between our perfect spirit of God that lives in us and our soul/thought life, which is imperfect.  We want our soul (our mind, will, and emotions) to line up with our spirit (the Holy Spirit which lives in us).

2 Corinthians 10 says that we are to take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ.  We examine every thought against the plumb line of God's Word and destroy every thought that is in opposition with the Word of God.  You have to work at it.  You have to set your will to think like God. And you can't think like God if you don't know His Word.  He and His Word are one.

When outside ideas and philosophies come to you, you begin to recognize that they disagree with God and you reject them. You give them no place. Again, this is an act of your will. You set your heart to think like God.

There is a principle in God's Kingdom that says 'to get something into your heart, first you have to speak it.'  In other words, to get faith on the inside, you need to meditate on the Word of God by speaking it out loud.  When I read the Word, I will often pause and turn it around to first person and speak it over myself.

For example, 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "He made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."  I speak out loud, "Thank You, God, that you made Jesus, who knew no sin, to become sin for me, so that I might become the righteousness of God!"  Then I spend a while saying, "I am the righteousness of God, through Christ Jesus!"  A mind-boggling thought!  But that's what the Word says.  And as you do this, you begin to see yourself differently.

And the Word gets down inside of you, to your inner-man, and faith is born!

You can't fake faith. True faith quiets your soul. It gives you confidence. It can't be shaken. Once faith is born, it takes no effort to believe God for something. As you begin to know the character of God, it's easy to believe that He wants to bless you and strengthen you and heal you.

When lies from the world and the enemy come to you, they never touch you. Your shield of faith causes them to bounce off.  They are never even considered.

I believe it slanders the Name of God to say that He would ever want someone to be sick or hurting. It's not His character.  He is good, all the time!

If you had good parents, you trusted them to always love you, always receive you, always help you, always want the best for you.  As you get to know the character of God, you know that He always wants you to have 'LIFE and LIFE more abundant!'  Your faith rests in that knowledge.

God wants us to know Him intimately.  He does not want us to have faith that He is real.  He wants us to be established and fixed in Him and His Word and to use our faith to change the things around us for His glory.

Next post - Increasing Your Faith (Part Two)

love and blessings~

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