The gift of faith: how you can receive it

In the Bible, we learn that Jesus’ disciples wanted their faith increased so that they could effectively deal with challenges in their lives. But Jesus said if only they had faith as small as a mustard seed, they could move mountains. Growing up, I used to identify with the disciples a lot. I wanted to have faith that could move a few mountains. There was a particular hill close to our home then that I wanted moved a little further away if only to prove to myself that the faith of the Bible can work even for me. Jesus said all we needed was to have faith as small as a mustard seed: in other words, really very tiny faith.  It sounded simple enough and seemed very achievable: the only catch is my faith has not yet reached the level of a mustard seed up to now. That hill is still there. And as far as I can tell, no one has moved a mountain using faith as Jesus said it.

 

On the one level, I always want to give on this quest which at times appears insurmountable, but on the other hand, I don’t think I will ever give up on it. Although I know that the path to getting such faith can be very confusing, I will not give up until I find the answer. And when I do, you will most certainly hear about it on Yahoo! News or something. Wish me well.

 

gift-blue-boxBut today I would like to share with you something very fascinating that I have recently discovered about faith especially after embracing the message of God’s grace. I am realising more and more that faith, especially the kind that moves mountains, is a gift that we receive from God. God, through the Holy Spirit, supernaturally bestows this type of faith on us so that we are able to deal with whatever situation we are facing. No amount of self-effort can produce this type of faith in us to the level of potentially moving mountains. The interesting thing is that I am now able to see how this type of faith operated in several stories recorded in the Bible. Let me share with you three examples to illustrate this.

 

First, let us consider the story of David and Goliath. How did David acquire the faith and confidence that he could slay the giant Goliath and defeat the Philistines? Did he look up Bible verses on faith and courage while Goliath was taunting the Israelites? Did he fast or pray in order to get more faith to fight the giant Goliath? Of course not. David did none of such things. Instead, he cluelessly came to the battle field to deliver food to his brothers but once he saw how the Israelites were being taunted by Goliath, David instantaneously reacted with a deep solid conviction in every fibre of his being that God would deliver Goliath into his hand. David knew with certainty that Goliath was a dead man walking. Notice that apart from being clueless about the status of battle at that time, David was not even a soldier. Yet at this very critical time, it was David who received the gift of faith to fight the giant Goliath: and the rest was the birth of an enduring legend.

 

Do you remember the story of the twelve spies that Moses sent to Canaan to spy out the land the Israelites were meant to inherit? Ten of them came back with a report that inspired fear among the Israelites because they said the land was infested with giants, and that the land itself was known for gobbling up people.  Caleb and Joshua however had a different report. The two were convinced God would deliver the land to the Israelites as an inheritance and they fiercely protested against the bad report the others presented. Caleb and Joshua were instantaneously intensely opposed to the report by the majority. They even tore their clothes in exasperation when the Israelites chose to believe what the Bible calls the ‘evil’ report of defeat and doubt. The question we need to consider is this: was the faith that Caleb and Joshua demonstrated something they consciously mastered or was it a gut-level reaction from the gift of faith that came to them through action of the Holy Spirit? I believe they received the gift of faith at this particular time from God to enable them to react the way they did.

 

The last story comes to us courtesy of the Apostles Peter and John in the Book of Acts. The two were on their way to the temple and a crippled man asked them for alms. Again, just as in the two previous instances, we see that Peter and John’s reaction was very immediate and decisively clear:

Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk (KJV)

I am convinced that the type of faith that could move mountains in my life comes not out of my self-effort but rather as a gift that the Holy Spirit bestows on me in my time of need. Trials and tribulations reveal and ultimately reinforce either my faith or my doubts.

 

But the Bible is very clear about how we receive this kind of faith.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (KJV).

Based on this verse, I would like to share with you three insights that could help you receive the kind of faith that can move the mountains in your life.

 

The three steps to receiving the gift faith

 

I have great news for you. Receiving the gift of faith is very predictable and doable. You only need to do three things:

 

  • Understand that God speaks to you all the time
  • Understand that Jesus is the word of God and knowing him helps you to better hear God’s voice in your life
  • When you hear God’s voice, faith automatically arises inside you, and inevitably you become certain of things not seen

 

Let me unpack the three steps for you so that you can see how they work and how you can apply them in your own life today.

 

First, you need to know that God always speaks to you. And I am not talking about reading your Bible here. God always speaks to you daily. Jesus said ‘If a man love me, he will keep my words‘ John 14:23 (KJV). This is the living word that he gives us daily. Jesus said Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God Matthew 4:4 (KJV). Man is to live on what God is currently saying about his situation. This is present tense. God speaks all the time. Also please notice that God’s word as contained in the Bible is living. It is not static but dynamic. It is possible to read the Bible and not hear God. Jesus talks about this very thing in John 5:39-41. If you read the Bible but you don’t hear God’s voice for you for that particular time, you miss the point. Take time to read the Bible and listen for what God is speaking to you at that very moment. God always speaks. When you can hear God’s voice for you personally for the moment, your faith will rise up automatically. You cannot however hear God without knowing His heart and character. And this is where you need to know Jesus.

 

Jesus is the express image of the Father. Jesus is the physical manifestation of God, Jesus is God with us: Emmanuel. You have to see Jesus, and through him see God the Father who loves and cares for you deeply. You have to see God the Father who wants to be your friend, who wants to have a relationship with you. You have to see God the Father who designed and created you for love and relationship. Look to Jesus to understand God’s temperament. Jesus healed the sick because God heals the sick. Jesus fed the hungry because God feeds the hungry. Jesus called his disciple his friends, because God wants you to be His child but also His friend.

 

Remember that in the Garden of Eden, apart from forbidding Adam from eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because of the bad consequences that would come to man because of it, God left Adam to do as he pleased. God told Adam to multiply and subdue the earth and rule over it. Notice how God would go out and come back in the cool of the evening to talk to Adam to find out what he had done that day. Adam did not need to obey any laws; he just did what he felt like doing. When Jesus came, Jesus did not change the fundamental nature of God to man. God still wants to have a relationship with you. He loves you and wants to relate with you on whatever you are doing. When you understand that God is your friend, that God loves you with all His divine passion, you will be able to recognise His voice when He speaks to you. He wants you to volunteer your love to Him, because He loves a cheerful giver. When He gave His only son, Jesus, to come and die for us, know that He gave cheerfully. He wants a cheerful relationship with you: not one where you feel obliged or manipulated: that cheapens the death of Jesus on the cross. You should want voluntarily to live for God, not under compulsion or fear. That is the relationship Jesus came to establish for us. When you understand that the whole Bible is talking about Jesus, and that Jesus reveals the true nature of God, then you will be able to recognise God’s voice when He speaks to you in your daily life.

 

To hear from God, you must have a strong conviction about God’s love for you: Jesus came to die on the cross to take away the sin of the world but also to demonstrate how much God loves you. I have found that when I walk in the message of God’s radical grace, I do get to hear God’s voice more clearly. And sometimes hearing from God is so fast and so imperceptible that it does not even appear that I am hearing God at all: rather God’s heart becomes one with mine and I just find myself having a clear picture of something that is currently not there but which I would like to manifest. In those moments, God leads me with divine intuition that I become sure about something not seen. This takes us to the third and final part of the manifestation of faith.

 

Notice that Hebrews 11:1 is not prescriptive but descriptive. We do not get faith by trying by our own self-effort to become convinced about things that are not seen. If I am having a headache, I do not have to intellectually convince myself that I am healed for me to have faith. Rather, what Hebrews 11:1 says is that whenever we get into a state where we are convinced of things that are not as if they were, such a state is faith. Faith is when I am convinced in my heart that my headache is gone, though in the moment, it is still pounding. And the way to receive this gift of faith is by hearing the word of God you for the moment. Once you hear God, you automatically receive the gift of faith.

 

In Ephesians 2:8-9, the Bible says:

For by grace are ye saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works
lest any man should boast
(KJV)

 

Not of works; not of self- effort: our salvation is by grace through faith, all of which is the gift of God. There is no room for boasting.

 

Ok, so am I saying that there is nothing you can do to increase your faith? Not at all. I am not implying that your having faith is down to God’s sovereignty and there is nothing you can do. What I am saying here is that what we are conventionally taught about doing various things in order to get faith: read the Bible, pray, fast will not necessarily grow your faith if done anyhow. What I would like you to do is focus on hearing the voice of God while doing all those things. In other words, focus on having a relationship with God. Your faith is not in reading the Bible per se, it is in hearing God’s voice for you in the moment while you read your Bible. Your faith is not in your fasting per se, rather it’s about you denying yourself food so that you can become still and hear God’s small still voice in your life today. It is only the word of God that you hear which will automatically produce faith in you. God is always speaking but it is only the word that you hear that produces faith in you.

 

Notice that the devil fights that you should not hear the word of God. Notice that the devil fought that Daniel should not hear the word of God (Daniel 10). Notice that God’s kingdom is preached. Notice that Jesus proclaims Good News. Through these processes, God’s word comes through to us and it only the word that we hear from God that automatically produces the gift of faith in us. Our chief role therefore is to get ourselves in the likely circumstances where it is easier to hear the word of God for us. It means reading the Bible with that intent, praying with that intent, preaching with that intent, and writing and meditating of God’s word with that intent.

 

I have always known this verse where Moses said: stand back and see the deliverance of the Lord. Yet a few months ago, when I was facing a crisis; this verse became alive to me. I knew God was telling me that He would rescue me from the crisis I was facing. God spoke to me through that verse and when I heard it, it automatically generated faith inside me. God’s word is a seed which always produces when it falls on the fertile ground. That the beauty and mystery of our Christian lives. Our role is to just ensure that we focus our ears to hearing God’s voice always. Through focusing on God’s word will our mind get transformed and our faith increased.

 

If you would like to hear God more, I encourage you to have the right understanding of God’s heart and nature. God is not interested in having you as a servant or a robot but rather as a friend. I have written a book Encountering your Designer where I go into details about how you can meet God and understand Him from the perspective of His radical love for mankind. The book is coming out in January next year. In the book, I show you how you can begin your journey of encountering God so that you can understand God’s heart and His temperament. You don’t have to guess about God. Just look at Jesus the only way, truth and life, and you will see the true nature of God. It is only after you encounter your heavenly Father and understand Him well that you can understand His voice when He speaks to you. My sheep hear my voice. Take time to get that book to kickstart your journey. But if not, just take time to focus on knowing God as your loving heavenly Father. As you seek Him, He will speak to you and blow your mind away.

 

May God bless you today

 

www.encounteringyourdesigner.com

1 Comment

  1. Jenny
    Mar 21, 2015

    Very well written, I’m beginning to enjoy reading your insights of God’s word!
    Let’s never forget that without faith it’s impossible to please God.

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