Faith is many things and I will be adding to this category as I learn what it is.
First off lets see what The Bible has to say about faith. Many verses are written about it and when put into context and studied with a believing heart will shape you into a person you will love more and is more suitable to be in the presence of God.
In my recent faith I have found that it is much easier to be in a relationship with somebody I can believe is real. How don you feel about this?
In John Ch. 1 John writes that the Word is God. We won’t ever be able to prove God wrong. A way that my faith has increased so much further than I would have thought possible is through reading Scripture with a mind that knows it all is the truth. Understanding this is the starting point because you can change the way you think about the world around you and how to react to it based on bending your brain to support the idea that things in the Bible support each other. It tells us that
. So, when your carnal mind is telling you that scriptures are being contradictory it is time to snuggle up with Our Father so that we may be in which is . Those scriptures are in Romans chapter 8.
Trying to prove scripture wrong is an act supported by evil. It sounds innocent enough; However, with God being the Word if you successfully prove Him wrong than you would in human terms build yourself to His status or greater than His status or whatever. Proving the scriptures wrong is an act that comes from a prideful place. God wants us to be humble in everything that we do: healing, learning, filling others with grace, and helping one another to sharpen our faith. If we cast a mountain into the sea with faith we must be humble about it.
(If you do successfully convince yourself and others that you have proven a scripture to be wrong or contradictory you may appear to be right in the reality supported by the structure of language. In the structure of the physical and the spiritual reality you’re very sick and need to ask God for forgiveness. Then you need to ask God to help you to believe in His Son Jesus. Then as an act of humbling yourself to Him go get baptized. Baptized again if you haven’t yet had a baptism in which you followed the actions leading to a baptism that the scriptures encourage. It shows Jesus your personally making a decision to put Him in control of you)
Reading something in The Bible, with a heart of pride, that sounds like it is contradicting itself such as Revelation Ch. 22 verses 10 and 18 and 19 we immediately jump to the conclusion that The Bible is defunct. If It is defunct there might not be Jesus. That would put us in a position where we are greater than all of existence on Earth and need not humble ourselves. When our minds see a contradiction in the Bible, know that it is an opportunity for you to communicate with Your Creator. The goal is to find out how it is not contradictory through reading and studying the scriptures. Keep Jesus and those scriptures on the forefront of your mind, all day, until God answers.
The question How is a very powerful tool in strengthening ones Faith and we are about to learn why. The Bible is not a fairy tale and no part of it is to be overlooked. It is easy for us to overlook certain parts of the Bible that seem fantastical. That is a tool the enemy uses in order to keep us from Jesus. The enemy knows that worldwide the Bible is regarded as truth. This creates a psychological conundrum that applies to life in modern day society. The conundrum is that we don’t believe that fantastical things can happen in reality because we don’t experience them. We know the Bible is true and powerful and when we read something in it that seems unlikely we just kind of jump over it without fighting against it or accepting it. Its like our minds put a blank spot there where we don’t pay it any mind. So when we read about Jesus walking around performing miracles such as not eating or drinking for forty days we believe it. When we read about Jonah in the belly of the whale we are like really? that’s not possible. Throwing that sheet over our minds where we don’t really believe in a particular part of the Bible without really noticing it is the enemy using the power of the Bible to his advantage.
This Bible, especially the new testament, is all about how Jesus handles situations. The wisdom he holds. The friends He has and the council He keeps. You can read Jesus like book. because He is a Book. the things He did and wants the world to know about are in a Book for the world to study. study so that you can know who He is.
Sit down for 20 minutes and say a prayer that is appropriate to your true relationship with Jesus. The one that no one knows about ( MAYBE NOT EVEN YOU) no matter how deep into a relationship you may seem to be by the words you say to other believers; but the relationship that your mind wont let your heart see. There is no shame in saying you’re in a deeper relationship than you really are ( well kinda, but its a defense mechanism or a tool pride is using to put you in control using the name of Jesus so you wont have your christian friends preaching at you). People like to convict and devour one another through making them feel small. A great way to combat that is to make yourself holier than them. This is also a great way for Satan’s armies to keep you away from the truth. It makes you believe in a relationship that is not there yet. Keeping you from God is Satan’s job and it pertains to all alive. In christian circles everyone agrees that we believe in our savior Jesus Christ and the power of the cross. The truth is that Satan is using the words in our mouths to trick our minds and hearts into thinking that we really do believe. If you say you don’t believe than you can imagine christians looking at you like your the spawn of a demon. Saying you don’t believe is actually the beginning of creating a true relationship. admit to yourself you say you believe but you don’t always believe. Then start trying to believe. (This sounds terrible, but read the entry on the first sign or miracle in the book of John and it will help.)
We are all in this battle together and the believing rapist, the believing murderer and the believing adulterer are all equal to one another. Some of us who can humble ourselves in the works Jesus performs through us may have more grace, but we are still equal to the 15 year old cashier at wal-mart and to David Jeremiah (an amazing preacher).
Sit down for 20 minutes and ask Jesus to show you what it means. What all this relationship with Jesus jibber-jabber that Jesus freaks are always talking about is. Or if you already have a relationship with Him ( I mean really have a base in scripture that has allowed you to fumble yourself to Him) than ask your friend Jesus to soften your mind and heart to ready yourself to carry the yoke of some of his wisdom that will better bring you into the fold of Jesus’ Love. The spiritual yoke Jesus has for us is different for each of us and should be worn with contentment like a general wears his pins given to Him by his country. Same thing, minus the pride. Be content in the sea of humble. Be comfortable feeling small. Praise Jesus when you are being convicted, it tells you you are getting another chance to give your sin to Jesus on the cross and change who you are to spend more time believing in Him. Unless you truly believe in the cross you cant truly send your sin to it.
Now that you have said a prayer whether it took 30 seconds or 30 minutes. open up the gospel (or any book) and study the whole darn thing. Or at least one chapter. try to get through the whole darn thing in a few weeks or whatever fits your schedule and the length of the Book. I started in Ruth. because it is short.
Studying scripture is not for the matter of regurgitating words to fellow believers in order to prove you or your friends are right. That spirit of contention is evil. People with misguided thoughts in the Bible will become better guided through prayer and scripture reading and being around people they trust and would be less apt to argue with. Have faith God will work with a person you know wont accept truth that contradicts what they are saying and concentrate on the truth they are saying. Pray for them and do what God tells you to do, not what you tell you to do.
Studying scripture is so that you can place yourself into the story and imagine the social network of that story. The implications of the words and actions of the people in the story, and how in the heck that story made it into Sacred Scripture when there are billions of all the stories in history. Ask yourself, why is that story there, what is Jesus trying to do in my life right now through this story; and how is this going to change who I am to make me a more suitable bride for Christ Jesus. Be a little selfish, those lessons are for you, not your neighbor. Your relationship with Jesus is like intimacy with your spouse. It is ok to boast about it. Telling others how to “do it”, not so ok. unsolicited advice is annoying.
In closing Faith can be built in your life by spending time with Jesus a few times a month alone. pray to Him. open the book knowing that it is true. God helping you to understand how it is true is part of deepening your faith. Don’t just study it, try to get a deep and full understanding of it. ask questions and endure. This will help you in your personal walk with Jesus. He is trying to change you. Leave changing your friends and the people you care about to Him. His job is to be there when they come to Him to be changed. He cant be there as much if your trying to change someone else. He is trying to change you. its ok to be scared because when you act differently than normal people react in ways you aren’t ready for and that is uncomfortable and can be scary. God loves you and wants you to be more like Him. Try to change and base those changes on the belief that you have earned through time spent in prayer and reading about who He is in the Bible.
Note: I support evangelizing. People need to hear the gospel and traveling with the goal of sharing the gospel is noble if you are doing it for Jesus. not for you or your family or to bring any human pride. to bring glory to Jesus is the way any evangelizing can be from a righteous heart and fully pleasing to Jesus.