Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Trusting God- 5 Steps to Build Your Faith

God Is Faithful

God operates by faith, and faith is the way He has provided for us to receive from Him.  God needs our faith to bring His promises to pass in our lives.  Without faith, we have no connection to God, and as it says in Hebrews, it's impossible to please Him.  We overcome in this life by our faith in God's faithfulness to us.
This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  1 John 5:4
Faith is available to whosoever will.  Faith comes to anyone who does what God says to do to get it.  People sometimes think that faith is something that God doles out from heaven and dumps on a handful of people, but most people just aren't good enough or haven't prayed long enough to have real faith.  So they get into a mindset that leaves them begging God to give them something that He's already provided.  Every born-again believer received the measure of faith (Rom. 12:3) when they were born again; it's up to us to develop that faith according to His Word.

But the important thing to remember is that we must put our trust in God, not in any formulas. God is faithful; seek His face, not a formula. Faith comes as we spend time in the presence of the Living Word. Trying to "get faith" can so very easily spin us off into works and religion, working some formula to get God's ear. You HAVE God's ear. You are the beloved- the recipient of God's love- and He will move heaven and earth for you. But if you don't know Him, you won't believe that.

It is so very vital that you just spend time in His presence, meditating on the Word of God that proclaims His love for us. Stay out of formula and get into relationship. I don't want you to take these steps and carve them in stone as a recipe for success with God. This is only a guide to help you get started in your relationship. This is not and end, it is merely a means to an end, and that end should be intimacy with our heavenly Father.

As you go through this post, concentrate on the Word that declares His love for His children. I will include a list at the end for you to start with. Nothing will replace a relationship with your heavenly Father. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of His love.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in Thee. Is. 26:3
All photos are mine.

Step 1- Hear the Word

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?  17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  KJV Rom. 10:14-17

When you first heard the Word, faith came into your heart to believe that Word of salvation, and that Word brought life to your spirit.  There is power in the preached Word-
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  KJV 1 Cor 1:18
As the Word is ministered in your heart- both by preaching, but more importantly by reading it- it brings power to bring salvation.  The first time you heard the Word, it brought salvation for eternal life.  But salvation covers more than just your eternal destination- it is the Greek word soteria meaning material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension; personal deliverance; safety. (From Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)  It covers all aspects of life here and now, not just in the sweet by-and-by.  The Word brings salvation for every aspect of your life as you read the Word concerning the promises that cover your circumstances.  The more you hear it, the more you believe it because faith cometh by hearing the Word.

Here I want to add a serious word of caution. Hearing the Word through preachers is not nearly as important as reading it for yourself, or listening to recordings of it on tape, cd or mp3. We have been conditioned to think that whatever proceeds from the pulpit is "The Word", but it is only one man's interpretation. It is the pure, unadulterated Word that brings life, not someone else's take on the Word. Don't put your entire trust in preachers, either locally or more importantly, on TV. If you are born again, you have the Spirit of God inside to guide you and be your teacher. Listen to Him, not exclusively to preachers, and be discerning. See my post Be Not Deceived- Learn to Test the Spirits. Link is below.

Faith- a Definition

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is a requirement, not a suggestion because faith is how God operates, and faith is how we have to operate to receive from God. We received our salvation by faith, and we receive everything else we need in this life the same way.

According to the Amplified Bible, faith is the leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust in his power, wisdom and goodness (Heb. 4:2). Faith is strong confidence in God to take care of you. When you are really in faith and not just human "wishing", you have joy and peace. That's the indication that faith is working in you, according to Rom. 15:13-

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. KJV

Hebrews 11 is the faith chapter of the Bible where God defines faith in verse 1-
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. AMP
Faith believes that what is not seen is just as real as what is seen. Consider 2 Kings 6:14-17-

So [the Syrian king] sent there horses, chariots, and a great army. They came by night and surrounded the city. 15 When the servant of the man of God rose early and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was around the city. Elisha's servant said to him, Alas, my master! What shall we do? 16[Elisha] answered, Fear not; for those with us are more than those with them. 17 Then Elisha prayed, Lord, I pray You, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the young man's eyes, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. AMP

Elisha and his servant were surrounded by enemy troops, thoroughly upsetting the servant. Elisha prayed that his eyes would be opened to see the heavenly troops that were there, far more powerful than the earthly ones. Even though those angels could not be seen with the human eye, their presence was very real. Faith believes what it cannot see, perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.

Faith in God for our daily lives will drive out fear. Fear is the spiritual opposite or reciprocal of faith. If there is fear in you about anything, that is an indication that you need to work on your faith in that area. Faith puts you at rest. In Hebrews 4:3, Paul tells us that true Biblical faith will give us rest-
For we which have believed do enter into rest...KJV
When you are really walking in faith, you have no doubt that God is in control and you have nothing to fear. It is the "full assurance of faith" (Heb. 10:22). When you are completely trusting God for your life, all joy and peace will follow (Rom. 15:13), and you will find rest for your souls (Matt. 11:29). And it's when you really know God and know He loves you that it becomes easy to trust Him.
Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom! Luke 12:32 Amp.
We need to learn to "let go and let God". God needs faith in you to work in the earth; faith isn't a hard thing. He's made it available to everyone.

Step 2- Believe the Word
Part One of Faith in Two Places

Faith must be in your heart as well as in your mouth.  Believing the Word, getting the Word into your heart, comes first.  Jesus spoke of hearing the Word and keeping it-
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.  KJV Luke 8:15
Hear the Word, then make the decision to keep the Word in your heart.  You choose to believe what you want to believe.  As you surround yourself with the Word and guard your heart, faith will come.
My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings.  21 Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart.  22 For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.  23 Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.  24 Put away from you false and dishonest speech, and willful and contrary talk put far from you.  Prov 4:20-24 AMP
Hearing the stuff of the world continually will undermine your faith.  It is so important to guard your heart.  Keep the Word foremost before you, for they are life and health to you.  Proverbs is loaded with exhortations to hear the Word and keep it in your heart.  Hearing the Word continually is what will bring life and deliverance into your circumstances.  Faith comes by hearing, and faith is what God needs in you to work in your life.  Guard your heart from the influences of the world.  Thinking like the world will keep you from believing God's promises for your life.  Paul exhorted the Romans to renew their minds:
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  Rom 12:2-3  KJV
The measure of faith that God placed in you when you were born again will develop as you continue to hear the Word, and that includes hearing as it comes out of your own mouth.   Which leads to #3- Speak the Word.

Step 3- Speak the Word
Part Two of Faith in Two Places

Faith has to be in two places- in your heart and in your mouth.  As you speak the Word over your situations, it brings the power of God into that situation to bring salvation.  Speaking the Word builds your faith in that Word, and that brings the power of God into your life to change things according to that Word.

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.  2 Cor 4:13 KJV

Faith speaks:
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)  7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)  8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.  Rom 10:6-8 KJV
The next two verses are the blueprint for salvation:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  Rom 10:9-10  KJV
Salvation is obtained by believing in your heart, then confessing with your mouth.  Everything we receive from God is received in the same way- believe God's promises in your heart and confess them with your mouth.  Faith speaks.

Now look at Mark 11:22-24:
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.  KJV
Notice how Jesus connects believing with saying.  Believe in your heart, say with your mouth.  Faith speaks.

Step 4- Do the Word
Speak the Word and Walk in Love

There are 2 main aspects to doing the Word.  The first is a repeat of #3- speak the Word.  Speaking the Word is doing the Word.  The second aspect is to walk in love.  Faith only works when we are walking in love.
For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.  Gal 5:6 AMP
Jesus left us with one main command- to love; to love God and to love one another.  Selfish people can't operate in faith because there's no love in selfishness.  You can't be in faith and be selfish and walking in offense or anger.  Love is concerned with others, and is concerned with ministering the love of God to those around them.  When you're walking in love, you don't have you on your mind, you have others on your mind, and you are believing God to take care of you.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.  James 1:22-25 KJV

Step 5- Pray in the Spirit
All Joy and Peace in Believing
But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith [make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], praying in the Holy Spirit. Jude 20 AMP
Praying in the Spirit is a most necessary part of building your faith. Paul says that as we pray in the Spirit, we speak mysteries, uttering things that are understood by God, not by man (1 Cor. 14:2). The Spirit is sent to be our Helper, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby (Amplified in John chs. 14-16), and He manifests in those ways as we pray in the Spirit and allow Him to pray through us. We don't know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit comes to make intercession according to the will of God (Rom. 8:26-28). Praying in the Holy Spirit edifies and builds us up (1 Cor. 14:4; Jude 20). Isaiah had seen the day that the Spirit would be made available to us:
With stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people; To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing. . . Is. 28:11-12)
True rest comes in praying in the Spirit; there is a true refreshing as you allow the Spirit to speak through you, speaking mysteries and intercessions that you don't know to pray yourself. It is truly a wonderful, uplifting, edifying practice. The true test of faith is given in Rom. 15:13:
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Joy and peace. When we have that joy and peace deep down inside, that is the indication that we are in faith. And that joy and peace is "through the power of the Holy Ghost." It comes as we pray in the Spirit, allowing Him to pray mysteries, and allowing Him to build us up in our faith.

When we yield to the Holy Spirit to pray through us, it honestly does great things in your spirit, building you up in faith. This is such a marvelous ingredient of faith, yielding to God to do His work in us.

Dove of the Holy Spirit; stained glass ca 1660, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican is free image from Wikimedia Commons.

Have Faith in God
Guard Your Heart

The key is diligence. As you stay consistent in feeding the Word into your heart, in speaking the Word over your situations, and in praying in the Spirit, faith will come. And as you walk in love, that faith will begin to work in your life to bring deliverance into your circumstances.

Guard your heart. Feeding continually on the world's mess that's on the television will only undermine your heart and your faith. And you may have to part company with people who are consistently negative and will keep you from going where you want to go with God. Faith is a lifestyle, not a fad or something you "try". God is faithful; seek His face continually, and as you seek His face faith will work in your life.

Scripture Promises- God's Love for His Children
Old Testament Scriptures

Deut. 31:6- Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Ps. 103:17- But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children.

Ps. 136 (all)- Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. (ESV)

Isa. 54:10- For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

Jer. 31:3- The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

Hos. 11:4- I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love. . .

New Testament Scriptures

John 3:16- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 17:23- I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Rom. 5:8- But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

2 Thess. 2:16-17- Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, 17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

1 John 3:1- Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

1 John 4:9-10- In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Daily Confession of the Word of God

What follows is a sample confession of the Word of God that you can use for yourself and personalize according to your specific circumstances. Personalizing verses makes the Word really speak to your heart and goes a long way toward building your faith in God. Never beg God for anything; use the Word in your prayer time instead. God honors faith, and the more you pray the Word, the more it will build your faith. The verses used are referenced at the end.

I thank You, Father, that Your Word will not return to You void, but it will accomplish what You please and it will prosper in my life, for You watch over Your Word to perform it. I thank You, Lord, for the covenant of blood I have with You by the blood of Your Son, Jesus. I receive that blood and the covenant promises of life, health and provision over my life today.

Jesus, You were made to be sin for me that I might be made the righteousness of God in You. I receive that life over me and my house today. As for me and my house, we serve the Lord. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and I am saved and my house. The seed of the righteous shall be delivered. I thank You, Lord, that You are pouring Your Spirit upon my house and Your blessing upon my offspring. I thank You, Father, for salvation and the blessing that is working in my house today.

I thank You, Lord, for the healing You have provided my house by the covenant of blood. For You bare my sins in Your own body on the tree that I being dead to sin might live unto righteousness, by whose stripes I am healed. You sent Your Word and healed me and delivered me from my destructions. I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord. Your Word is life and health to all my flesh. I receive the healing in my body that You died to give me. By Your stripes I am healed.

Now Father, I receive Your provision for my life today, for I know the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ that though You were rich, yet for my sake You became poor that I through Your poverty might be rich and abundantly supplied. You are making all grace come to my house in abundance that we may always, and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient- possessing enough to require no aid or support, and my house is furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation. I thank you Father for seed for the sowing and bread for the eating. I am enriched in all things and in every way. I seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness and all these things are added unto me. I thank You, Lord, for giving me power to get wealth that You can establish Your covenant in the earth through me today. The blessing is working in my house today.

Now Lord, I declare that I am not weak in faith when I consider my circumstances. No unbelief or distrust makes me waver or doubtingly question concerning Your promises for my life. I am growing strong and am empowered by faith as I give praise and glory to God, fully satisfied and assured that You, Lord, are able and might to keep Your Word and do what You have promised in my life. I have the life of God. I overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of my testimony. I thank You, Lord, for the life, health and provision that You died to give me, so that the world will see Jesus in my life. I give You all the glory, in Jesus' Name, amen.

References- Is. 55;11; Jer. 1:12; 2 Cor. 5:21; Josh. 24:15; Acts 16:31; Prov. 11:21; Is. 44:3; 1 Pet. 2:24; Ps. 107:20; Ps. 118:17; Prov. 4:22; 2 Cor. 8:9 Amp.; 2 Cor. 9:8-11 Amp.; Mt. 6:33; Deut. 8:18; Rom. 4:19-21; Jn. 10:10 Amp.; Rev. 21:11.

Blog Posts

Scripture Promises

Scripture Promises- Fear Not
Scripture Promises- God Is Faithful
Scripture Promises- Healing, Provision, Salvation

Trusting God

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