How To Increase Faith Pt 2
At some point, we came to the conclusion that we could not, in and of ourselves, reconcile our own wrong doings, or we were inquisitive enough to pursue the divine, or the two met in our inner being, combined and we set out on a journey. That journey led us to the feet of Jesus. Once our eyes were revealed, we were presented with a choice, to believe and enter into a relationship where we acknowledge the supremacy of God, or to continue in darkness. Once finding the light of Jesus, we chose to believe upon that light. For those who do not believe, who do not have faith, they view faith as foolishness. 1 Corinthians 1:18. We must keep this in mind as we increase in faith.
Let’s return to the foundation of our faith, Jesus Christ, and the scriptures that initially declare the nature of God. John 3:16 For God so loved the world
We understood, that initially, we were at the edge of a precipice, one in which we could not fathom to cross on our own. Truly the bottom was without sight, plunging into a depth and darkness that we could not comprehend. The other side, the place we needed to be, where we no longer needed to strive to be good, or to try to wash ourselves from a long known emptiness and condemnation, was so far, we could not reach it on our own. No matter what we did on our own, we were left alone to contemplate the abyss before us. For by our very nature, we are condemned to be alone, apart, and in darkness.
What did pierce the abyss, that alerted us to the other side was the light we saw. This light being the light of the world. That light when we searched it out, was found to be Jesus Christ. (John 1:1-10) When we recognized that it was by the mercy, grace, and love of God that created a way for us to escape the darkness and come into the light, we had to leave a part of us behind and accept a new birth, a reawakening within our spirit, which meant we had to yield and lay down our pride, our own good works, and accept that they were not enough to reach the light. That initial faith, by which we believe and are born again into the family of God, must initially stay within the bounds of that first revelation, if we are to grow our faith properly.
Consider for a moment a seed. Once we place that seed in soil and add water, it will begin to sprout. There are many things people will do to encourage and cause the plant to grow. But at this young stage, we do not over water the seed, lest it roots do not take hold and grow rapidly without anything to grab onto when the plant is exposed to intense heat later in the season. We alternate watering, or if we allow the rains to water the plant, it is intermittent, at times small amounts of water, lengths without, allowing the tender roots to stretch and grow, establishing itself within the garden. We do not give tender young plants too much fertilizer, or it will burn the roots and cause the plant to perish. No, we give it small amounts of water, nutrients, and periods of dry time, in order that the plant will grow as it should.
We should treat our faith the same way.
Perhaps we have heard the scripture, Mark 11:23, that faith can move mountains.
Indeed, this is truth.
Perhaps we have tried to move mountains ourselves without so much as a tremble, or even the eroding of the side of a giant rock, exercising our faith and by repeating and shouting at the mountain with Bible in hand, expecting the mountain to fall, without the mountain so as much budging.
We must consider that our faith is yet a fledgling plant, still nothing more than a sprout.
This is very humbling, to acknowledge that perhaps our faith is still young, even though we may have made a commitment of faith many years ago! We may even have committed to memory many scriptures and spent hours studying lexicons, reading commentaries, and the scriptures themselves! There is no shame, only a realization that we must go to the author of our faith so that He may perfect it.
Let us take our sprout and consult the master gardener how we should allow it to grow.
We know our foundation is Jesus Christ, let us build upon that initial truth.
How did we first come to know God? Through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice!
We know that this sacrifice was made for each one of our sins, but we must know that it is necessary to repent of those sins. Luke 24:46-48
If you truly believe, or have faith, we know that faith produces action. That action is the acknowledgement that what we were doing before, the way in which we lived was not good enough, and so we repent. What is repentance? It is the remorse for the wrongs we have committed. If we are truly remorseful, we are keen to change our ways.
This is where we must know that there is no sin that can keep God from loving us. For God so loved the world, He gave. Not that if the world came to repentance and scrubbed themselves clean, could they receive Love from a distant God, but rather that He loved us so much, while we were still in our sin, while we were distant, while we were in darkness, while we were apart and alone, that He gave us a gift in which we could leave the darkness. There is nothing that we have done or could do to deserve this gift, God’s love was so great that He took it upon Himself to give a portion of Himself, to bear our pain, our darkness, our distance, so that we may come into the light. He did this for you, and this is why you believe, because of this great love.
But you are not alone in who can receive this gift. There are many others who are able, if they have faith and believe, that can partake of this gift.
The depth to which we know His love and forgiveness, is as deep as to the extent of our faith. If we are to grow our faith, we must grow in our love for God and His forgiveness of ourselves as well as others.
This is what grows the root of the plant. This is what fuels our faith. How much do you believe God loves you? Do you believe God forgives your pastor? Do you believe God forgives your neighbor? Do you believe God forgives your teachers, both good and bad? Do you believe the forgiveness in Christ Jesus is for those who are homeless? Do you believe that forgiveness is for those who are in jails and prisons? Do you believe the forgiveness of God extends to those who have gotten away with crimes? Do you believe that the forgiveness of God extends to those who have become involved with Satanic rituals? Do you believe that God’s forgiveness extends to the homosexual, to the Jew, to people in different religions, tribes and nations? Do you believe God’s forgiveness extends to those who terrorize, those who create havoc in the streets, to those who have abortions? Do you believe God forgives the pedophiles, the murders, the blasphemers, the atheists? Do you believe that the blood of Christ, the lamb’s sacrifice poured out for all mankind, extends to even Charlie Manson or Adolf Hitler if either was or did make a commitment of faith before their life extinguished?
Do you believe that God loves you as much as they?
Let us ask God to reveal the height, the depth, and the vastness of His love to us, not just of how much He loves us, but to reveal to us the love He has for all people.
Meditate and think about the vastness of God’s love, the sacrifice that was made for all of us, and return to this conversation at a later time.