“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
The desire to grow in faith is prevalent in every Christian. But although the desire to have faith is so common, great faith is scarce in the body of Christ. The reason is because faith is unnatural. Think about it: How can you believe in something that you have never seen? Faith is believing something that you have no evidence for.
So when we talk about growing our faith, we are really talking about increasing the ability to believe in things we have never seen. Although this may seem like an impossible task, God promises that we can have great faith. In fact, he expects nothing less. He gave us promises of what faith can do, and He told us how to get faith, so if we want to grow in this area it’s up to us, not God.
In short, this is how we grow in faith: We plant the seed in our hearts, which is God’s word. And then we grow the seed by continually walking in the Spirit.
How Faith Comes (Sow the Seed)
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
Faith comes by the word of God. Faith DOES NOT come by asking God for more faith. I say this because there is some teaching out there that tells people they should ask God for more faith, but the Bible never suggests that we should pray for faith.
Instead, the Bible tells us exactly how faith comes: by receiving the word of God.
If we take this knowledge to the parable of the sower in Mark chapter 4, we can get a greater understanding about growing our faith.
“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” (Mark 4:3-8)
Jesus told us that the seed in this parable is the word of God (Mark 4:14). Now notice that the seed was planted in all the different soils, it wasn’t just planted in the “good ground.” The growth of the seed was not just dependent on the fact that the seed was sown, rather it was also dependent on the soil.
So many times we hear people stress that if we want great faith we need to consume the word of God, and I agree with them. However, that is not how faith grows, that is only how faith comes. We sow the word by reading what the Bible says on any given subject. If you want faith in an area in your life start by reading what the word says about the subject. That is how faith comes. (Related Article: How to Start Reading the Bible).
How Faith Grows (Grow the Seed)
In the section above we looked at the parable of the sower and I mentioned how the soil is what caused the seed to grow. The seed wasn’t able to grow anywhere it landed, but it had to be planted on the right ground. In this section we’re going to be covering how to become that ground.
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:16,22-23).
The word faithfulness really means faith. It is the greek word pistis which is the same word that is translated faith throughout the entire New Testament. So Paul wasn’t saying that if we walk in the Spirit we’ll produce faithfulness, rather he was saying that walking in the Spirit produces faith.
Now, if you have read any of my other articles you probably realized by now that I quote Galatians chapter 5 all the time. The reason why is because it is the only requirement in the Christian life. The covenant we have with God is a covenant of His Spirit (2 Corinthians 3). We have entered into this covenant through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus, but we carry it out through walking and living in God’s Spirit. This is why I always mention walking in the Spirit, because it has everything to do with the Christian life. Even when it comes to growing in faith. (Related article: How to Walk in the Spirit).
So, what is walking in the Spirit?
Walking in the Spirit is simply setting our minds on the things of the Spirit.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:5-6).
It is when our minds our consumed with love for God and His kingdom. Jesus said it this way, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38).
So how do we go about becoming the good ground? Or in other words, how do we fill our minds with love for God causing faith to grow in our lives? Here are some tips:
- Whatever we consume is what we are going to focus on, and what we focus on is what we become. The Bible tells us to guard our hearts for out of it flows the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). The things that we read, the shows that we watch, the people we spend time with, all of it affects us. If we want to keep our mind stayed on God then we need to be willing to only feed on things that are of God, and not of this earth (Colossians 3:1-2).
- Spend time in God’s word daily. Now receiving the word of God is the way we plant the seed of faith in us, but we also can use it to know God in a deeper, more personal way. We can know God by His word just like we get to know each other by our words.
- Spend time with God in Prayer. Communing with God every day is a great way to keep our hearts softened to His word. It will cause us to know Him more and more everyday.
- Fasting on a regular basis. Fasting keeps the flesh under and causes us to live in the Spirit. It is a great tool to rid distractions and focus on what matters. (Related article: Fasting Under the New Covenant).
- Speaking in Tongues. Praying in the Spirit helps us to stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit throughout our daily lives, which will cause us to walk with Him consistently so we can produce His fruit everywhere we go. (Related articles: Speaking in Tongues: 5 Things to Know from the Bible and 5 Benefits to Speaking in Tongues).
Faith comes by hearing God’s word, but it grows by living our lives in His Spirit.