Increasing Faith

 

Increasing faith


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Written by ANDRÉE SEU

February 23, 10:03 AM


Our faith was designed by God to be increasing. To imagine how exciting this is, you must consider how things could have been. It could have been that God gave us each a certain fixed amount of faith at conversion and we had to live with that until the end. That would have been wonderful enough—wonderful just to be saved by the blood of Jesus and never receive another thing. But in fact God did not intend for our faith to remain at the point it was in the start of our journey, nor to plateau at some point:

“We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged” (2 Corinthians 10:15).

“We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing” (2 Thessalonians 1:3).

“For if these qualities [including faith] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:8).

But I wondered: What does increasing faith look like? I asked my most faith-filled friend, and he said, without missing a beat, “If I were to answer with one sentence, I would say it is increasing God-centered focus.”

I thought it was a perfect answer. I had considered a few alternative formulations before I asked him: “Believing God for more and more kinds of things” or “Believing God for increasingly sustained periods of time.” But I knew immediately that David had hit the nail on the head. And I know that his life backs up his talk.

The life of increasing faith is like a circle that grows and grows until everything is brought into it, and nothing is left out of it. Every area of your existence, every plan you make, every word you utter, every argument you reason, every mood you allow to dominate you, every social situation you take part in, every impression you receive, every problem you work on, every delight you choose, every affection you embrace, every thought you entertain—is taken captive to God and His Word. It means rigorously and consciously, at every point, putting the Word of God above the word of any man, the report of any witness, or the insistence of any emotion in your heart.

To make this practical, I would like to exhort us regarding a single area. That area is the way faith speaks. If we would but covenant with our lips before God to not “talk trash”—if we would allow nothing but words consistent with God’s Truth to ever exit our mouths—we would experience faith increasing. This is not behaviorism but the blessed fruit of obedience. The apostle James understood the dynamic of the tongue’s ability to steer the whole man.

Thank God for the mustard seed that is enough to begin. Thank God for the increase, by which we hope for more breadth and length and height and depth.

http://online.worldmag.com/2011/02/23/increasing-faith/

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