The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.” The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you! ~Luke 17:5-6 [NLT]
Show us how to increase our faith
Someone should have warned the apostles before they made this request. The only way to increase faith is to go through a season or multiple seasons of faith trying seasons. During the mountain highs, everyone has their faith on lock. Their faith is perfectly nurtured, and they are ready for whatever God allows. However, when the journey navigates through the valley is when the true amount of faith shows up. Maybe I am alone in having valley experiences that had me crying out to God literally and figuratively. Perhaps I am the only one who found myself curled up on the bed or on the floor crying “What is it I am missing?” “What is the lesson in all of this pain?” However, if I am not the only one, then welcome to the snotty nosed tripping club. 😊 You know when you get your good and ugly cry out of your system and you are reminded how God brought you out of hell, chaos, and confusion before. Or, after you have dried your tears, but your nose is still stopped up and you are reminded of how resilient you really are because you survived the foreclosure, the unexpected death, the layoff, or the relational betrayal. Or, when you are sitting in the bathroom putting more cold water on your washcloth because you must go to work tomorrow, show up for that Zoom call, or honor your commitment for that Food Giveaway. And now that we are wearing masks, people are realizing the true story was in the eyes all along.
How do you increase your faith? I am sure you could each share how you have done it over the years, and I am sure each story will have two things in common as the foundation for how to increase faith: 1) God’s Word and 2) God’s track record of 100%. God is 100% guaranteed to come through every time we need Him even if He does not come until what we feel like is the last minute. God’s word will give you examples of how God came through even back then for others. God’s track record in your own life will provide the reminders of how God came through for you even when you did not think He would. God is not moved by our schedule; but He is moved by our heart commitment and our willingness to follow Him.
Believe in your faith
Between God’s word and God’s track record in our own lives, we have enough faith to do all God has called us to do. It is easy to say we have faith, but it is something different to believe in our faith. We believe every pay day, that we will receive our paycheck. However, we also know that if we do not put in the work for said paycheck, then we will not receive it. So, our belief in pay day being consistent and on time is not just based on lip service, but our actions in performing our job or maintaining our business.
We must believe in our faith the same way. We can say we believe that God will multiply our income, save our unsaved family members, or adjust our attitudes. However, if we do not work to become better money managers, speak life and love to, around, and over our family members, or intentionally work on our attitudes, then how will the changes occur. Sure, we love to put it back on God and say, “God’s going to do it in His timing, so I’m going to leave it in His hands.” However, Hezekiah didn’t just leave it up to God for His healing, He earnestly prayed. Daniel didn’t just leave it up to God for His protection, He prayed and was obedient to God instead of man. The blind man didn’t just leave it up to Jesus for His healing, He went into the pool of Siloam as instructed. Prayer and belief are still backed up with action.
It is one thing to speak a thing or pray a thing, but it is another thing to actually believe in that thing and put action behind it. God loves for us to participate in His miracles and blessings. He often sits on the sidelines waiting to be invited into our plans, our accomplishments, and our dreams. It is when we reverse the order where we act and then invite, that we get a little salty with God because He did not bless it. Perhaps, if we actually put God first where He belongs and invite Him into every decision, every action, every encounter, and every situation, our frustration will be less, our faith will not take a hit, and we will see God in ways we have never seen Him before.
How do you have enough faith? You put action behind what you say you believe about a God who has never failed you, nor has He ever left you.
Have enough faith to keep applying for jobs, though months have gone by and you have not received anything. Pray about which jobs to apply for.
Have enough faith for your relationship that has hit a rough spot because of a misunderstanding or a miscommunication that went unaddressed too long. Pray about that conversation before you have it with that person.
Have enough faith to remove those toxic people from your life or move them to the outermost part of your life so their toxicity does not infect you. Ask God to show you who you can trust and who just wants to use or take advantage of you.
Have enough faith to go on a no excessive spending fast until your debts are reduced or your savings has doubled. Will you block your financial blessings because you do not want to let go of your current spending habits which have resulted in too much debt and not enough savings?
Have enough faith that your dream will become a reality. Invite God into every plan, every decision, and every activity that supports that dream.
Pray with me: Father, forgive me for moving out of your timing for things and then asking you why things did not happen in my favor. Help me be patient enough to wait for my blessings. Show me the actions I need to take to prepare for my blessings. Remind me daily of your provision for the blessings despite what it looks like. Show me how to actionably walk in enough faith to let go of what is not working and pursue what you have already purposed to work for me to not only bless me, but others. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.