What does it take for Faith to Grow?

(Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.)

In our last visit together, we discussed how God has dealt to every man the “measure of faith.”

It is God’s faith. It is inside of you. It is right now a miracle working faith. But Jesus compared it to a mustard seed.

Matthew 17:20 “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

It is the measure of faith. It has miracle working capabilities. But it is like a mustard seed. And as a mustard seed, it needs to grow.

Luke 13:19 “It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.”

What does it take for God’s faith to grow in us so that it becomes like a great tree: unmovable, unshakeable, unwavering  like the faith of the Son of God? (Gal. 2:20)

How does the little mustard seed measure of faith grow to be the mature, fully grown God kind of faith? Just as a seed needs the proper type of ground, water and sunlight to grow, so the mustard seed of faith needs the proper nourishment.

Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

The Bible says in Romans 4:3 “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Other than Christ, Abraham more than anyone else is to be our example of faith. What is so special about Abraham?

In the book of Genesis, we read of how God chose Abraham and told him to leave his idolatrous home and go to a land that He would show unto him. Abraham obeyed, and later God told Abraham that his descendants would be as the stars of the heavens for multitude. In his later years, he and his wife Sarah had a son named Isaac. As Isaac grew into manhood, God told Abraham that in Isaac would his seed be called. In other words, that his descendants through Isaac would be as the stars of heaven for multitude.

Then a strange thing happened. God told Abraham to take Isaac and go to a certain mountain and offer him as a burnt sacrifice. Most, if not all, believers would not have believed that God spoke this to them and would not have gone. This was contrary to God’s promise. How could Abraham have descendants through Isaac and they be as the stars of heaven if Isaac was dead? Isaac had not yet married and had any children. This was also contrary to God’s nature, for God forbade human sacrifice and said that it was an abomination to him. But yet Abraham took Isaac and went anyway. Why?

Over the years Abraham had become so familiar with God that he knew His voice and never doubted. Abraham had walked with God. He had sat in the door of his tent and ate with God. The more time that Abraham spent with God, the more he knew His voice, His nature, His power, and His plan.

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice and another they will not follow.”

Abraham had learned that God always keeps his promise, so he knew that even though it seemed impossible for God’s promise to be fulfilled if he obeyed God, he still knew that somehow God would make his descendants through Isaac as plentiful as the stars of heaven. Abraham knew that God would never require a human sacrifice, so he knew that something would happen to prevent it. Abraham knew that God’s power was unlimited, so that even if his son suffered death, God was able to raise him up in order to fulfil His word.

And Abraham knew that God does everything by design. He knew that God had a plan, and that everything was for a reason.

So he told his servants, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and WE shall come again.”

Even when Isaac asked him, “Father, here is the wood and the fire but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?”

Abraham said, “God himself will provide a lamb for a sacrifice.”

After ascending the mountain, Abraham bound his son with cords, placed him upon the wood, and raised his knife. An angel immediately appeared and called to Abraham.

Genesis 22:11-18:

11 “And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.

15 And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,

16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”

The word “Jehovahjireh” means, “The Lord will provide”, or more literally, “The Lord will see to it.”

Abraham believed God and never doubted, because he had come to know the voice of God. He also trusted God. He had come to know the nature of God. The Bible says, “God is love.” He knew that God would never do anything contradictory to his nature, and so he knew that everything would work out for his good.

Abraham never doubted, even though the circumstances seemed against him. And because he never doubted but had faith and obeyed, God was able through this situation to foreshadow the coming of the Messiah and portray a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God slain for the sins of the world so that we might go free. Because of his obedience, Abraham received a blessing from God which now the Bible says that we have inherited.

How did Abraham have the faith that never doubted, the God kind of faith? By knowing and hearing the voice of God.

Romans 10:17- “Faith cometh by hearing…”

And how could Abraham have been so certain that it was God’s voice that he heard? Because he had come to know God by spending time with Him. God’s voice might be imitated, but never His nature.

Romans 10:17- “…and hearing by the word of God.”

Abraham could sit in his tent door and spend time with God to get to know Him. God has given us His written word so that we can read it, spend time with Him in it, and get to know Him even more so than Abraham did.

Psalms 40:7 “Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,”

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

As you daily read the word of God, you get to know Him and His nature. As you spend time with God in His word you develop spiritual hearing and learn to recognize the voice of God. Hearing and recognizing God then causes faith to grow from the “measure of faith” to the God kind of never doubting faith.

Matthew 11:15 “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”

There are those in the church today who have fed their faith. They have nurtured it and watered it until it has grown. But often they do not see a result of their faith.

Mountains don’t move and circumstances remain the same.

Why?

Perhaps their faith is misdirected. There is only one direction for faith. In our next visit together, we will go deeper into the Word of God and find out what that direction is.

Remember, Jesus loves you no matter what- Raymond

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The Faith of the Son of God

(Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.)

Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

FAITH. The Bible says that it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Simply put, it is the ability to believe in something or someone without any evidence of the existence.

No taste, no sight, no sound, not anything to prove the reality, yet you still believe with all of your being, even to the point of eternity. This is real faith. This is the God kind of faith. This is the faith that never doubts.

Just as there is a God kind of love (agape love), there is a God kind of faith. This is the kind of faith that calls those things which be not as though they were, and then they are. This is the kind of faith by which God framed the worlds.

Hebrews 11:3 “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

Unwavering, unshakeable, undeniable faith.

There are those who think they don’t need it. That if it can’t be seen, or felt, or touched with the senses then it doesn’t exist. Such is a miserable existence.

There are those who think they have it, or who hope they have it, or who work hard to try to get it. Such is an uncertain existence.

And then there are those few in whom it actually dwells. Those who walk with God. Those who, as it says in the book of Daniel, do exploits for their God. These are those who live and walk in real joy, and peace, and the anointing of God.

There is only one way to obtain it, and that is to receive it. And there is only one you can receive it from, and that is from God. God is the only one who can create it, and He is the only one who can give it away. God is the source of faith, and it is His gift. This ability to believe and never doubt is a gift from God. And there are few who have it.

Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through FAITH; and THAT not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God:”

Matthew 7:14 “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it.”

This gift of faith given by God is called the “measure of faith”.

Romans 12:3 “For I say… to every man that is among you … God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

The Bible teaches that this gift of faith, this God kind of faith, is given only to those born again believers in Christ in whom the Holy Spirit has come to live.

The Bible teaches that when we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in our heart that God raised Christ from the dead, then we are saved and become born again. (Romans 10:9)

The Bible says in Romans 8:9 “… Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” When we are born again, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells inside of us and with Him comes this measure of faith. It is His fruit. It is, among other things, what He produces. (Galatians 5:22)

Understanding that God through the Holy Spirit is living inside of you right now, and that the Holy Spirit is producing God’s faith inside of you right now, is the beginning of operating in that faith right now.

There are those who say to “release your faith”. This is not Scriptural. God’s faith does not need to be “released”. It is not bottled up inside of you, or in prison. As a matter of fact, the Bible says that even our unbelief cannot make the faith of God of none effect. (Romans 3: 3 & 4)

It is God’s faith. It is inside of you. It is right now a miracle working faith. But Jesus compared it to a mustard seed.

Matthew 17:20 “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

It is the measure of faith. It has miracle working capabilities. But it is like a mustard seed. And as a mustard seed, it needs to grow.

Luke 13:19 “It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.”

The Gospels tell of an occasion when Jesus was with his disciples in a ship upon the sea and a storm arose. As the storm blew, Jesus was asleep inside the ship. As the disciples feared for their lives, they awoke Jesus and he spoke three things concerning their faith.

To those who were still not believers (remember Judas Iscariot) he said, “How is it that you have no faith?” These were the ones who asked Jesus, “Carest thou not that we perish?” They didn’t believe that the Lord even cared for them, that he was unaware or could care less about their situation or what was happening to them.

Then there were those to whom Jesus said, “Oh ye of little faith.” These were the ones who said to Him “save us, we (including Jesus) perish.” They were believers in Jesus because they had been given faith. They knew Jesus loved them and cared for them, because He stayed with them during the storm. They knew that He would never leave them even if it meant that He would sink with them. They knew that He could save them, because they asked Him.

However, they were unsure if it was His will to save them. This is the position of many Christians today. They believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. They have been born again and have received the measure of faith. They know God can do anything, that His power is able to deliver from any situation. But they do not know what His will is concerning that situation.

These are those of little faith. They have the mustard seed of faith, but it needs to grow. They may think they know God’s will, or they may hope that it is His will, but as long as there is any doubt then it cannot be the fully grown God kindof faith that sees something come from nothing.

How does the little mustard seed measure of faith grow to be the mature, fully grown God kind of faith? Just as a seed needs the proper type of ground, water and sunlight to grow, so the mustard seed of faith needs the proper nourishment.

In our next blog posting, we will look at what the Bible says about how faith grows.

Remember, Jesus loves you no matter what- Raymond

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