I encourage you to grow and stretch your faith
Faith needs to grow and stretch in order to mature us “to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). God didn’t gift us with faith expecting us to neglect it and watch it shrivel then wither away. You see, if believers are not proactive in a spiritual faith exercise program, nothing grows, and eventually life stagnates and loses it’s vitality of life in Christ. If left alone, so-called confessed faith soon ceases to be faith, and eventually the self-deceiving human heart will regress to disbelief and indifference.
For the believer; “we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). The lover of Christ affirms that they “hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law” (Romans 3:28) and that “in Christ Jesus (we) are all sons of God, through faith” (Galatians 3:26). While there is unitedness between believers, there is equally uniqueness. Paul explained to the Romans that “we have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith…” (Romans 12:6). Faith is the means by which God engages with His people and it is that same faith which must be exercised in order to develop and mature in our relationship with Christ.
If we do not put faith to work, we invariably become reclusive and elusive of service for the Saviour. Eventually, diminished faith will happily allow you to become spiritually isolated from God’s people. And so the arch enemy of Christ wins the faithless heart and great disgrace occurs.
Faith Benefits Everyone
Paul makes this very point to the Corinthians; “as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand” (2 Corinthians 10:15). Those who minister in our lives and Churches gain advanced avenues for administering Christ to us as we develop more and more in our expressions of faith.
For those of you who are young, or at least young in your Christian walk, Paul encourages you with these words; “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Your trusting belief in Christ as Lord is to motivate loving obedience which expresses itself through trustworthy and courageous service.
For those of us who have walked with the Lord longer; “be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13). Age does not protect us from the relentless attaches of the enemy, but with age should come the wisdom that causes us to stretch spiritual mussels through trusting prayers and courageous actions.
So, faith that continues to grow and stretch, is faith that chooses to step outside of our comfort zone. It’s genuine belief that generates spiritual tenacity which perseveres without compromise in spite of opposition. It’s a dependency upon the filling of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God that causes a holy discontentment with the status quo by looking for more of Christ in everything.
Put simply, growing faith stretches through the entirety of our lives. It presses through every relationship, and through every human endeavour we engage in. It does not settle for anything less than a growing promotion of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. I encourage you; “live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:8).
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz