We see how important faith is. Yet some people despair here, thinking that they don’t have faith. Yet faith comes (Romans 10:17), it can grow and develop. If you are not full of faith today, that doesn’t mean you will be that way all your life. You can choose to be a person of faith!
Here are some keys to developing faith.
1. Listen to the Word of God as much as possible. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Constant attention to the Word of God produces faith, especially if we attend to it with an open heart and mind. The book of Proverbs encourages us to constantly keep the Word in our hearts and to keep our attention on it (Proverbs 4:20-22). Health is one of the benefits promised.
What we listen to affects what we believe. If we listen to the TV more than to the Word, we will believe the lies of the world more than we will believe what God says. Constant attention to lies produces deception. Eventually the mind will accept something if that thing is heard often enough and persuasively enough. That is why we should keep hearing the Word of God, through preaching, Christian tapes, confession of the Word, daily fellowship with godly Christians. This will cause us eventually to believe the truth from our hearts.
2. Realise that every believer has been given a measure of faith by God. (Romans 12:3). We just have to use and develop what God has given. We must put it into action.
3. Pray in tongues and be full of the Spirit (Jude 20). We will look at this later. If you have been baptised in the Spirit as the disciples were in the book of Acts, you should pray and praise in tongues often because through this you “edify yourself” (1 Corinthians 14:4) and “build yourself up in your most holy faith”. Praying in tongues is a key to being full of the Spirit. Since faith is a fruit of the Spirit, all things things are related together.
4. Obey God and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It is as you walk that you gain strength. God will not reveal greater things to you until you are faithful in the things He is showing you NOW. Therefore obedience to the Spirit and what He is showing you through the Word or through your conscience is important in the development of your faith. You cannot have living faith without taking some practical steps of obedience. Act on what God is saying!
5. Give thanks. Give thanks for the results before you see. Don’t complain – that shows you doubt God’s love and God’s answer to your situation. Give thanks in all situations (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
6. Develop a life of praise and worship. Praise drives the powers of darkness away and brings the throne of God into your circumstances. Praising God is an act of faith and helps your faith to grow. It is commanded (Hebrews 13:15). Worship is admiring God through the Spirit. If you can perceive who is God, His power, faithfulness and love your trust and faith in Him will grow.
7. Spend as much time as you can with people of faith. The spirit of faith on them will touch your life also (Proverbs 13:20).
8. Speak the WORD. By saying with your mouth you exercise your faith, you hear the Word and you build it into your life. God’s Word is anointed and has power when it is spoken to change the spiritual atmosphere (Joshua 1:8; Romans 10:10). Confession of God’s Word (saying the same thing as God’s word) brings you into the place where the Lord will move to fulfil it (Hebrews 3:1). The angels hearken to the voice of God’s Word (Psalms 103:20)
9. Seek holiness, purity of heart. “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14). It is with the heart that man believes (Romans 10:10). To the extent that the heart has uncleanness, unforgiveness and other bad conditions within, the man will lose the spiritual perception of the Lord which enables his heart to believe. Purity and faith feed each other.
10. Remember that faith works by love (Galatians 5:6). The centurion (Matthew 8:5-13) and the woman of Canaan (Matthew 15:21-28) were both motivated by their love for another in coming to Jesus. And both were described as having great faith. Let us believe God for others to be blessed, in a spirit of love, and as we give of our selves God will give blessings to us also (Luke 6:37). This is related to the idea of “seed-faith”. Express your faith by planting a seed in terms of some form of giving. God will release a multiplied harvest in return if we endure and do not faint (Hebrews 10:36).