Faith is the capacity to see what is anticipated as if it were already completed. It is the starting point of all our achievements in life. Its absence is a guarantee of failure. The power of strong desire backed by faith is incredible. It can take you from the bottom to the top in your profession. Faith can greatly enhance your relationships with others. Your financial picture can drastically improve. By faith you can effect change in every area of your life. But when doubt dominates, you lose.
THE OBJECT OF FAITH DETERMINES ITS POWER
Faith is a key theme throughout the Scriptures. The entire eleventh chapter of Hebrews is an account of the achievements of faith. Here we see God responding in supernatural power to those who had faith in Him. Faith in itself has no power. It is the object of our faith that determines its power. You can have faith in yourself and achieve what man in his natural mental and physical powers can perform. But faith in God brings about supernatural achievements. When He is the object of our faith, He releases His supernatural power into our circumstances, thus bringing about results beyond human capacity and imagination.
“Faith is both natural and neutral. It is natural in that we all have it. It is neutral in that it cannot be divided into secular and spiritual.” – Dr. Stanley
The only difference is the object of our faith. When we exercise faith in God, we are enabled to see things from His viewpoint. Faith is our third eye so to speak. We are able to see beyond the range of the physical eye into the spiritual realm.
Throughout the ministry of Christ we here Him requiring faith from those making requests: “According to your faith let it be to you” (Matt. 9:29), “If you have faith and do not doubt” (Matt. 21:22), “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25), “Your faith has made you well. Go in peace” (Luke 8:48), “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life” (John 3:36). We are saved by faith. We walk by faith. We pray in faith. We conquer fear by faith. Faith turns all our hopes into realities.
LEARN TO OVERCOME BARRIERS TO FAITH
Though we all have faith we do not all exercise it to the same degree. The Bible speaks of three (3) degrees of faith:
- Little Faith – which says, “I know God can, but I am not sure He will.”
- Great Faith – which says, “I know God can and will.”
- Perfect Faith – which says, “I know God can and will, so I shall act as if it is done.”
Our growth in faith is a process of spiritual maturing, of learning to overcome the barriers of faith.
What are some of those barriers to our faith? To name a few, they are:
- The opinions of others;
- Experience; and
Relying on any of these when our faith is being tried will result in doubt or unbelief. Remember, faith enables us to see things God sees them and to act accordingly. The greater our faith, the greater our achievements.
WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR FAITH
There are six specific actions we can take to increase our faith:
- Read God’s Word – as we see how God has worked in the lives of those in Scripture, we are encouraged to believe that He can and will work in our lives in similar ways.
- Pray – as we experience answers to our prayers, our faith will begin to grow stronger and our requests will grow greater.
- Face trials – when we face overwhelming odds and see how God overcomes the many obstacles confronting us, we grow more courageous in future trials.
- Observe the lives of others – when we see how God is working today in the lives of others through answered prayer, healing, and financial provision, we are heartened to believe He will meet our own needs.
- Obey God – when God challenges us and we obey Him, that obedience is always accompanied by blessing and we see His faithfulness.
- Exercise the faith you have – this is the key to increasing our faith. In the same way we build physical muscle, we build faith muscle – by exercise. “This is a law of faith: faith must act in order to develop and produce results.” – Dr. Stanley.