“I don’t have faith”; “My faith is not enough”; “My faith is not strong”; “I wish I had more faith.” We have all said those phrases as we have been confronted with situations that require faith. We have also said things like that person “has a lot of faith”, their “faith is so strong,” they have “amazing faith” and are so “faith-filled.”
There is some comfort in knowing that we have all been given a “measure of faith.”
Rom 12:3 “…think of yourself with sober judgement in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”
But the question I used to ask was: “Is the measure of faith I have been given less that He has given other people?” Emphatically, no, it is not less. But it is important to understand what scripture says about faith.
The faith we have is a “gift from God” (Eph 2:8) and it is enough to bring us into salvation, to believe and receive Jesus Christ as Lord. This faith-gift carries with it victory over the world and is all that is needed to “overcome the world.” ( 1 John 5:1-5) This is the measure of faith that God gives us as believers and everybody receives it in their Spirit upon salvation.
It is like a seed of belief deposited in your spirit that then needs to be developed and used in your daily life. We need to grow in our ability to “live by faith” Heb 10:38 says: “Now the just shall live by faith.” If we don’t practice and grow our faith, it will stay the same size (measure). God our Father deposits this faith in us and grows and develops it in us (Heb 12:2) because He is the “author and the finisher of our faith.”
How does our faith grow?
“Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God” – Rom 10:17. The source of faith is the Word of God, regularly hearing the Word and putting it into practice develops faith. “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22. You feed your spirit with the Word of God and this grows the seed of faith that God has deposited in you.
“Pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” Prov 4:20-23
So I understand that all of us are given the same gift of faith which is enough for salvation and to overcome the world. I also understand that this faith deposited in me can grow and IS grown by spending time in the Word of God and putting it into practice.
God continually grows faith in me as author and finisher of my faith.
Therefore the “measure of faith” I have is the result of me spending time in God’s Word and co-operating with Him in developing my measure of faith. Now I also understand why the father in Mark 9 could say in verse 24: “Lord I believe, help me in my unbelief.” He had faith, a measure of it, but was asking Jesus to increase it, to expand his understanding to believe more. When we spend time in the Word, our understanding of God is expanded and our faith increased.
Just like our physical body is strengthened by regular food, so our spiritual person is strengthened by regular spiritual food, the Word of God.
There is already a deposit of faith in me, it is grown to be my “measure of faith,” which is what I already understand to be true according to the Word of God. The challenge is to speak and act according to the truth that I know.
- At salvation all of us receive a seed of faith (a gift from God) that is deposited into our hearts by God. Take some time to write a thank you letter to God for that seed of faith and the work of Jesus in making it possible to have this seed of faith in your heart. That seed brought you to salvation and victory over death.
- Have you ever considered your responsibility in nurturing that seed of faith in your life?
- How would you go about nurturing that seed of faith in your heart in your day to day life? What would need to change in order for that seed to start growing?
- Would you say you are a person that is characterised as one who “lives by faith and not by sight?” Is your faith well fed and strong?
Jesus, thank you for sacrificing your life so that my debt of sin could be paid. By your blood I can now enter into Your presence and worship You. Thank you for the gift of salvation and the gift of faith that comes with it. Everything I have received, comes from the goodness of Your hand, but I acknowledge that I have not been responsible about growing and maintaining my faith in the Word of God. It explains Lord, why I cannot believe for the immeasurably more than all I can ask or imagine. Help me in my unbelief Lord, my faith needs to grow. I confess that You are both the author and perfecter of my faith and that You will strengthen my faith to rise up with a measure of faith that pleases Your heart Lord.
The last thing I expected was that the measure of faith I had, was the result of my own doing. Faith had to be nurtured and maintained. I needed to grow my faith in the Word of God and apply it to my life, the Spirit would show me how to do it and as I co-operate faith would grow in my heart. Yes, I needed to “think of myself with sober judgement, according to the measure of faith” I had. I was also relieved to know that all was not lost. God had deposited a seed of faith in my heart, and if nothing else, at least I had a seed. Now I needed to grow it.
James 5:16b-18 (AMP) “The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power]. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours [with the same physical, mental, and spiritual limitations and shortcomings], and he prayed intensely for it not to rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its crops [as usual].”
Elijah was an ordinary man, with the same physical, mental and spiritual limitations and shortcomings as I do. Elijah was ordinary, he was also growing in faith and in his ability to trust God. God trained and tested him, grew his faith and prepared him for the future faith he would need to stand up against Jezebel’s priests. But when he prayed, God’s dynamic power moved because of his faith.
Michelle is an ordinary woman, she has physical, mental and spiritual limitations. God will train her and grow her faith, so that when she prays, God’s dynamic power will move and accomplish much. Lord grow my faith.