Want More Faith? Here's how...
Ps said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. Luke 17:4-5
From Jesus' perspective, it doesn't take a lot of faith to move mountains or trees -- mustard seed-sized faith will do it! From our perspective, however, we struggle to believe God's awesome promises to the point of actually seeing them emerge.
Mark 6:1-6 records two kinds of amazement...the folks in Jesus' hometown were "astonished" at his wisdom and mighty works. The word in Greek means literally to be struck, to smite. Jesus then "marvelled' at their unbelief, a word meaning to be in wonder. He was able to perform only a few healings due to their unbelief. Miracles, healings, signs and wonders require faith.
Sometimes the faith is in the person being healed (Acts 14:8-10)
Sometimes the faith in found only in Jesus (John 5:6-9)
Sometimes the faith is found in others nearby (Mark 2:1-12)
Sometimes faith looks like desperation (Mark 5:25-34 Mark 7:24-30)
Jesus "marvelled" at the Centurion's faith, who said you don't need to come to my home to heal my servant, just say the word. Here are six practical ways you and I can deepen, strengthen, and increase our faith in God, His Son, and see more promises fulfilled:
1) Understand the partnership God desires. Although He does the work of the miraculous, God has chosen to partner with you and me in gospel work. My part is very small, but it is crucial that I understand this partnership and do my little part.
2) Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
What are you hearing? Faith goes up or down depending on what we hear. We must monitor/control what news we listen to, whose opinion we value. Intake of the Bible is non-optional if we desire more faith. More Word, more faith. Less Word, less faith.
3) Moses in Exodus 34 met with God face to face. The Hebrew word for presence is literally "face." – Faith increases by presence. To increase faith, we bask and soak in God's presence. 2 Cor. 3:18 says as we behold the Lord's glory, we are transformed into his image. Worship, soaking, waiting in God's presence increases our faith.
4) Celebrate little victories in order to see more and bigger victories. Rejoicing over what God does, even if it seems small, is the path to seeing larger victories.
5) Increase expectation by Focus and Rehearse -- Psalm 107 records five separate groups of people: "They cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress." Psalm 107:20 "He sent his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction." Our faith increases and deepens as we say out loud key promises from God, as we speak what He has said, and declare what He has promised. Say it. Declare it. Believe it.
6) Choose to take some risks – “Holy Spirit, come” -- “May I pray for you?” In the Vineyard we spell faith R I S K. Only as we (gulp) step out of the comfort boat into the water, so to speak, will we see the mighty works of God. Scary, yes. Rewarding, absolutely. As we take the risk of believing God AND ACT LIKE IT, our faith grows.
Praying for more faith as I practice these six "faith-intensifiers" for me and for you,