How To Increase Faith pt 4

 

“Draw Near to God and He Will Draw Near to You”

The first thing we must do is learn to draw near to the source of our faith. We must have a healthy and realistic view of what it means to draw near to the author of our faith. We must renew our minds, and understand that God is love. That the one who gave us faith loves us incredibly. If we do not understand that the only way that we are able to seek the face of God is because of the gift of salvation, by grace through faith, we work within our soul towards nothing. The only reason we are able to have a relationship and converse with our heavenly Father is because of the eternal sacrifice that was made for us by Jesus Christ.

Without that gift, and the mercy of God, our fallen human nature will prevent us from what we truly desire and what God desires for us, to be in relationship with Him. This is no ordinary love, but agape love, in which God was ready to move heaven and earth, causing Himself pain and anguish to a degree that we cannot even begin to fathom. We have little glimpse of what the cross means for God. We know that on our side, we are able to enter into communication, but until we meet Him finally in our new flesh, we do not know the totality of what God has done for us. Romans 8:37-39

If we have studied, meditated on, and come to realize that God so loved us, John 3:16, then we take the first steps of believing. It is here that many are tentative to ask God for anything beyond the initial meeting of God.

Imagine for a moment that you have come across a magnificent mansion with impenetrable walls, and a glimmering roof. Everyone who is on the outside of the mansion is in the family of Lost and the placard on the wall says “The Family of Found.” There is but one door into this mansion, and guarding the door is a man. This man is wearing white robes and has scars upon his hands, feet and side. He will not allow anyone to enter unless they acknowledge that he is the lord of the mansion and that you must join His family. Assuming you have found this door and acknowledged the man at the door, your name has been changed from Lost to Found, you have entered. The man at the door has said, “Welcome to the family! Go and seek the Father of the mansion.” Instead of seeking the Father, you decide to roam about the mansion, exploring, and every once in a while, you see the Father, but you run to another room or let Him pass, in order to not bother Him.

How many of us, who believe and are accepted into this family, treat our relationship with God in a similar manner? We rarely approach Him for anything, and when we do, it is out of fear and trembling as to not upset the Father? We rarely seek Him for comfort, for grace, for mercy, for the ease of our sufferings, because we assume we deserve such things rather than to approach Him with abandon knowing that God will soothe our hearts, grant us grace in abundance and we find mercy beyond knowledge. Matthew 7:11

How beautiful it is when we learn to run to God! Often when we first run towards God it is in the midst of our turmoil, and in our faith of approaching Him, we discover that He is good and faithful! Psalm 145:18

There is release and peace when we seek Him. That which many seek with a soul mate or lover is easily fulfilled when in union with God. To be known utterly and completely, that every sense of your being of who you are and what you are is not only known but created by God. Like with a soul mate, it is impossible to be in such a relationship when you do not know the other! If we love from afar, it is nothing more than mere infatuation or like the love one has for a celebrity, or even unrequited love. With God, He gives so much of Himself, how selfish of us to just receive and not return love to God! Here, it is impossible in our state, having corruptible flesh, to return such love upon our heavenly Father, for we love imperfectly, but we must attempt to do so! Not only is God magnified when we begin to return His love, but His love is magnified upon us, to such a state that we are overwhelmed by His goodness and love!

But we must earnestly seek Him. We cannot idle-ly seek the face of the Father. Jeremiah 29:13 To stumble across God, speaks of a heart that is not truly interested in what the Father has to say, what comfort He has to give. Think of a young adult that has received their first driver’s license. The young adult or child, indeed would like to use their parent’s car to drive from one place to another, and may decide to do nice things for their parent. Their motive is to not spend time with their parent, but as a means to use their parent’s possessions, often with ill intent, or without understanding all the responsibility that is carried with owning a vehicle. The child is intent on the vehicle and not interested in the parent, if we are honest concerning motives.

If we think of the child who has pandered to his parents for receiving the keys of the vehicle, once those keys are placed in the hand of the child, they will not pay attention to the advice, nor the requests of the parents in conducting their behavior. The child has received what they wished, nothing else matters. They are seeking the gift, not the Father.

If the child were to be completely attentive to their parents and out of the love of the parents, they grant their child the keys to the car for the purpose to pick up their grandparent and take them shopping, the motive and intent are different. Or, perhaps they are never given the key for the car, but they are content, because the car was never their ultimate goal. They already reside within the family and the house. They already have that secure, the car is an auxiliary item that may or may not be for them to use. It doesn’t matter, they are secure and content to reside. Mathew 7:11, Luke 11:13

Oh but our heavenly Father lavishes His gifts upon us, these are: mercy, grace, redemption, forgiveness, salvation, hope, love, and faith. Ephesians 1:7-9 Anything that He gives us above and beyond this is exceedingly to His glory and goodness, and for those that are yet to believe.

If we are honest with ourselves, we realize we need mercy, comfort, and grace every day of our lives. If we need these things, why do we resist approaching the throne of grace until we are desperate and at the end of our selves? Hebrews 4:16

This is an exhausting way of living out our faith. To sit so far from God approaching Him only when disaster strikes our lives. Drifting away on a dingy, a single rope stretching out for yards upon an open sea. If we allow ourselves to drift so far, we run the risk of our ropes breaking, our faith will not tether us if we stray to far from the throne of Grace. Remember, our faith is fed by love, and love comes from our Father. Why not run to His throne room, which we can enter boldly and with a sincere heart, Hebrews 10:22, and bask in the glory of His goodness, love, and mercy?

The more frequently we approach God, the more we approach His love, knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us, Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6, the more our faith grows. It grows not because of our will, out of our desire, or because we assume it will, but because God causes it to grow. Faith grows as a side product of interacting with God.

Just by that mere act of drawing near to God, believing that He will draw near to us for nothing more than to commune, your faith will increase. Faith is the result of accepting and knowing unconditional love.

Let us think on His love for us, how it is eternal and unfailing.

Until next time, meditate on scriptures that expound on God’s love and desire to be with you.

Next time we will discuss methods of drawing near to God.

 

FAITH PART 3

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