Fathom Faith: Understanding and Growing in Biblical Faith
Updated: Jul 15, 2020
Faith has been a“hot” word since I began my walk with Jesus. I have seen it on every page in every bible study and on every scripture DIY home decor pin. It has been preached to me, at me, and even snuck into (what I thought to be) unrelated conversations. I would listen and acknowledge and move on; however, the issue was I didn’t exactly understand the word FAITH as it was being used. I was confused because it was being used in different ways, multiple meanings like “bark” or “date.” The first time I began to feel like I had some idea about biblical faith was when the Lord enlightened me with the armor of God. (EPH 6:16)
I understood that faith is a protection given and created by God to protect me from the enemy!
“Uh, ok…. Now what?” I asked aloud. “How does this work? Please Lord, tell me what you mean.” Then our amazing triune God stepped in and began my journey to educate me on what biblical FAITH is.
FAITH is not just a shield to block: it is the force field that makes Captain Kirk jealous. It is the God-given spiritual power that comes with an abundance of grace with a helping of salvation, the Word and revelation on top. Biblical faith overcomes great opposition and trials. It triumphs over sin, temptation, and false doctrine - to name a few.
If we receive willingly; if we commit and confess that we wholeheartedly believe that Jesus was sent by God, He was born of the virgin birth, He was crucified and resurrected for our sins, then we receive grace and salvation from the one and only true God. This is biblical faith. Belief in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and all that He is and has done is faith. Just a thought to think about: we are given the revelation of our Lord; which in turn leads us to this starting point of faith. It is all chosen and begun by God himself.
Through Jesus Christ, the Word, and the Holy Spirit (received upon salvation) we receive the biblical foundation of faith. The core provides the promises and the honesty of God’s word. It contains evidence that God will advance His promises. Then, we are given a choice, the free will to decide how we will build on this foundation. It is up to us, to create a relationship with God, whether to have confidence and to trust the Lord, the word, and the Holy Spirit. If you don’t, then you don’t achieve a cornerstone of established biblical faith. Believing is not seeing, it is knowing.
Through grace by way of faith, we receive the Holy Spirit, the advocate who will help guide and teach us righteousness and holy living (John 14:26). Through this cultivation, we begin to develop the fundamentals of faith: knowing, responding, and committing. We receive knowledge by the literal hearing of the Word. We listen to preaching, sermons, and testimony. We listen to the Spirit himself. For me, it is that voice that some would call “instinct”. It advises, informs, and alerts to the path God has chosen for us individually. We interpret our responses to the presence of the Spirit by our emotional reaction to the will of God. I cry every time the Lord is present. My stomach whirs like an upside-down tornado when the Holy Spirit is urging me to pray or act. My emotional response encourages me and trains me to have confidence in these supernatural indicators. It promotes an active faith. The Holy Spirit inspires commitment. We are confronted with a choice of commitment to act upon the will of the Lord, using knowledge and response. Again free will challenges us: will you complete the task, seek God in the study, and/or encourage others? Will you become obedient and act upon your fundamental faith?
Faith becomes operative. It transforms into acts of love! We set out to believe in faith, repent in faith, embrace over faith, and rejoice all because of faith. How do we do this? Through prayer and acts of faithful service. Our prayers are always to be tempered with love and forgiveness for others; thus, developing honest and supportive relationships. Acting in faith is knowing the promises of God are being kept to either you or the receiving party. When we act in faithful service we are used to inspiring others to act, too. Our faith and relationships begin to grow as we continue to commit. Together we begin to see the blessing of faith.
If we have a growing faith in our Lord and Savior like our spiritual father Abraham had in God, we too are considered righteous (Romans 4:20-21.)We will reap the reward of an abundant blessing and authority. The Lord rewards those with faith via salvation; like a sundae topped with assurance, obedience, confession, and joy! We are ever-growing with endurance strength and hope. How AWESOME!!
(I can’t help but compare it to food at times. It makes me happy, especially ice cream. It is like the next best thing to Jesus… anyway, I digress.)
OK, so let’s recap: FAITH is a God-given force and power provided through proclaiming our belief in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It protects and leads us by developing skills we have received through the gift of the Holy Spirit. We then become operative through love and forgiveness, through prayer and acts of faithful service to one another. As we grow, we are rewarded and provided for, to keep growing and doing for others to keep being rewarded and provided for. SAY WHAT? It is the ultimate faith cycle! MIND BLOWN.
Alright, now time for the reality check. This is hard for some, ok, let's be honest, it is hard for us all. BECAUSE there are these little things called faith blockers. Yeah, and they are crummy, but they are real and they are present. So what are they? What do they look like?
Here is a quick list:
Lack of the WORD: no bible, no preaching, no teaching, no study, no Jesus
It means that you won’t grow into any spiritual depth. Worldly matters will be placed before the promise; which in turn causes doubt and unbelief. (James 1:21-25)
2. Faulty Motivation: “Doing it for the wrong reasons” (Matthew 6:33)
prayers and acts of service centered on insincerity and worldly pleasures.
3. Worldly Knowledge: Seeing to believe
Senses lead us to search for the “hard facts”
Worldly manners lead us to the flesh and sinful desires (Romans 12:2); thus, blocking the revelation given by God that leads us to and through faith.
4. Failure to confess belief: faith not verbalized means faith not activated
If you don’t publicly express or tell others about your faith in Christ, then it is not operative in prayer or service. You cannot do one without the other. (Romans 10:8-10)
So, what does this mean? What’s the point?
Well, for new believers and old, sometimes it is good to examine that in which we are being thrust into or instructed to follow. Always search it out for your understanding. If you can't remember, re-learn.
Faith is a God-given gift that births other gifts and actions in the name of Jesus. It can grow or be stifled. It is up to us in this cyclical relationship with our Father God, Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to grow deeper and to connect. Our faith is the key component for the foundation of a faith-guided life.
For me, my faith had to know where it came from and how it will grow. The Lord blessed me with this spiritual wisdom and more. This is my impartation from the Lord in prayer and study. We all have our walks, but we all have the opportunity to feel and experience the love of our God. I urge you to seek and test any information or revelations against the Word. Look for the truth within the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Today I pray for you and your faith. I pray that in the name of Jesus our faith will find the solid ground to grow upon and that the revelation of God’s glory will lead us to prayer and service. I pray that our faith will lead us to an abundance of hope and love. I pray to bind the enemy and blockers of faith. I ask you, O’ Lord, to protect our faith, to nurture and cultivate an enduring faith, in the powerful and mighty name of Jesus,