by Rex Rouis
According to the Bible, growing faith is not a struggle. Faith is a grace, a gift from God. The gift of faith comes freely when we meet the conditions of the promise.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
We struggle when we try to work up our own faith outside of God’s grace. This kind of faith is no substitute for real Bible faith. Human natural faith is weak and temporary. It is emotional and intellectual. It is of the mind. It is usually referred to as ‘mental assent.’ This is when a person ‘mentally assents’ to something as believable but not yet fully believing it or receiving it. It is a mental faith and not a heart faith. It will not receive anything from God.
God’s faith is supernatural. It is spiritual, personal, and vital. It is alive and it is active. Its power is irresistible because it has the backing of Almighty God Himself. The Bible says that, “It is with the heart that man believes unto righteousness.” Faith comes to the heart when the answer to the promise is spoken to us by the Lord.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the (spoken) word of Christ. Romans 10:17
We simply cannot receive through mental assent. Faith alone is God’s currency. Faith comes alive when the word on the page drops from our head down into our heart. We must meditate on His word and seek Him until we know that we know that we know that we have heard from Him. Faith is not make-believe. It is not a hope so or a wish so. It is an imparted knowing from God. Faith begins when the will of God is known. To receive, we must determine whether we have a head faith or a heart faith.
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. II Corinthians 13:5a
For many of us the confusion on how one receives faith has resulted in countless vain attempts to believe. Not to mention the added disappointment of not receiving. Let us stop struggling. We cannot manufacture our own faith. Faith cannot be worked it up. Let us go to His word and into His presence and receive from Him. It will take time, discipline, and focused seeking but it will be worth it.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
It is worth it because when faith comes the answer comes. For faith, the Bible says, is the victory.
For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. I John 5:4