Introduction to Faith
This question came in asking, what is faith. I will be doing other articles on this topic in the near future giving you all of the major, power verses pertaining to faith and how it will specifically apply to the different parts of our walk with the Lord.
But just to give you a brief introduction on what faith is and how it plays into our relationship with God, I will go ahead and do this brief article for you.
What is Faith
1. Faith is a spiritual substance on the inside of you that can either grow or wane. Here is the main verse from our Bible which will tell us exactly what faith is:
“Now faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Some believe this verse may be telling us that faith is literally a “spiritual substance” that operates on the inside of us and that it is capable of growing or waning.
However, other Bible Scholars do not believe that faith is an actual substance. Their argument is based off the Greek word for the word “substance.” This Greek word is “hypostasis” and it means:
“A setting under or support (foundation), assurance, confidence, confident expectation, an assured impression and a mental realizing.”
Other good definitions on what faith is from some of the different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries are the following:
“The assurance of things hoped for, a belief or confident attitude toward God, conviction, trust, belief, reliance, and a trustworthiness towards God.”
But whether faith is a spiritual substance and/or more of a mental quality – it can still be actually increased or decreased as you will see in the following verses. And we are also given a certain measure of it by the Lord.
2. The Bible tells us that we have all been given a certain “measure of faith” by God in which to work with. Here is the verse that will give us this specific revelation:
“… as God has dealt to each one a MEASURE OF FAITH …” (Romans 12:3)
The best way to understand faith and how it operates on the inside of you is on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most amount of faith you can have and 1 being the lowest amount of faith you can have.
Most people start out in their own personal walk with the Lord at the lower end of that range – in the 1-3 category. And that is just fine with God! One of the most amazing insights that I feel God has given me on this subject is the following analogy:
I felt like this really came from the Holy Spirit. He said to me: “If the Bible says that faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain, what do you think faith the size of a golf ball could do? Or faith the size of a baseball? Or faith the size of a basketball?” This means that your faith is capable of growing.
The mustard seed is supposed to be one of the smallest of all seeds. The above analogy tells us two things:
One – that your faith can literally grow in the Lord over time – from a mustard seed size – to a golf ball size – to a baseball size – to a basketball size, etc. Here is the verse that will specifically tell us that our faith levels are capable of actually growing in the Lord:
“… because your FAITH GROWS EXCEEDINGLY …” (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
Two – look very closely at the above analogy. The Bible says that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains! This means that we do not have to have our faith levels up in the 5-8 category to get God to become very active in our lives. All we need is a very small amount of faith to get the show going with God.
In other words, on a scale of 1-10, all you need is a 1 amount of faith to get God to start moving in your life – and everyone has at least a 1 amount of faith when they get saved because the above verse tells us that God has given each one of us a certain “measure of faith.”
God has to give each person a certain measure of faith, otherwise we would not be able to get saved, as the Bible specifically tells us that we are saved by grace through “faith.”
So when you witness to others, explain this analogy to them. Explain to them that they do not need to have great or large amounts of faith in God to get Him to become very active in their lives when they first enter into the real walk with the Lord.
God will take whatever amount of faith you have to start off with, and He will then start the building process with your life with just that small amount of faith!
How to Increase Your Faith
Now here is how your faith is built up and increased into the higher ranges over time. This next verse will tell us exactly how faith is able to enter into us, and from there, how it can actually grow into these higher levels over time.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
“Hearing” means that the Word of God is entering into your mind either through “reading” the Bible on your own, or “hearing” someone else preach or teach about the Bible. Either way, the Word of God is entering into your mind where you actually receive it.
What the Bible is trying to tell you is if each person will spend some kind of good, regular, quality time trying to read and understand the Bible as best they can, then the low amount of faith that you have started out with will actually start to grow. Why?
Because your mind is receiving direct information and knowledge about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and all of Their ways.
As you start to read all about God in the Bible and all of the miracles that He has done in the past with other people – then your own personal levels of faith will start to grow and build up on the inside of you because you are now actually starting to believe what you are reading.
The Holy Spirit will also be bearing witness on the inside of you that what you are reading is real, pure, God-truth.
The other catch on this is that it really is the Holy Spirit who will be the One to build up your faith on the inside and cause it to grow into these higher ranges over time. This is something that He magically does for all of us. All of a sudden, your faith has just gone from a 1 to a 2.
Then a little further down the road, your faith will grow from a 2 to a 3. However, the Holy Spirit will not cause your faith to grow into these higher levels over time unless your are actively seeking after knowledge about God. And the Bible is the #1 source of knowledge that we have about God on this earth.
This is why the Bible says that your faith will grow by hearing the Word of God.
In other words, your faith will grow as you continue to increase your knowledge base about the Lord, especially through the study of Scripture.
When you are hearing the Word of God – you are increasing your knowledge levels about the Lord, and that is what will cause the Holy Spirit to raise your faith to these higher levels over a period of time.
A good example on all of the above are the healing verses in the Bible. Sometimes it may take faith up in the 3-4 category to pull down a major healing miracle from God. The way this is done is that the person needing the healing needs to meditate and chew on all of the Scripture verses pertaining to divine healing.
When you start reading all of the healings that Jesus did, all the healings that the apostles did, and all of the verses on how God can heal and answer your prayers – your faith will start to grow and build up on the inside of you. Maybe from a 1 to a 3 or 4.
That 3 or 4 may then be just enough faith and belief that God will need to heal you. But before He will heal you, He may want your faith levels built up to that range.
And it is built up to that range by soaking into all the Bible verses pertaining to divine healing. Your faith is growing as you are “hearing” the Word of God on this issue. “Hearing” in this case means you are reading the Bible verses for yourself and believing what you are reading.
It is the “Word and the Spirit” working together that will really cause your personal, faith levels to increase over time.
When you start reading and studying the Bible in order to increase your knowledge base about the Lord, and at the same time establish a close, personal relationship with the Lord – you will have set a fuse to powerful bomb – a 1-2 punch so to speak.
You have to have both – “knowledge” that the Word will give you and “power” that the Holy Spirit will flow through you.
You can increase the levels of your faith and the levels of your anointing in the Lord by establishing a close, personal relationship with Him – and by studying the Bible for increased knowledge about God. Do both of those, and over a period of time your faith levels will eventually grow from the 1-2 levels to the 8-10 levels.
Smith Wigglesworth was called the “apostle of faith” because his faith was operating in these higher levels with God. This is why he had so many dramatic miracles in his ministry.
He had the higher levels of faith to believe God for the bigger miracles and as a result, God would do the bigger and mightier miracles for this man – all simply because he had his faith operating up in these higher ranges. And the only Book he had ever read was the Bible!
This is why getting your personal faith levels up in the 5-10 category is so powerful. God will be able to do mightier and more powerful miracles through you if your faith is operating at those higher levels with Him!
But your faith does not grow to these levels overnight. This is a building process that will occur over years, not months. This is why the apostle Paul calls our walk with God the “fight of faith.” We have to fight for, to strive for, to press further on to get our faith levels to increase over time with God.
How Your Faith Can Decrease
Just as your faith can grow, your faith can also wane or decrease. Bad things can happen to you. Adversity has just struck. You felt like you just got hit with a two-by-four.
All of sudden, you will feel your faith levels drop from a 5 to a 2. Then you have to fight to get it back up to that 5 level. You do this the way athletes do when they go into slumps. They give themselves pep talks.
It’s the same way in God’s realm. From time to time, you will have to give yourself pep talks to keep your faith levels from dropping too low when adversity hits you.
You will have to tell yourself that you are not nuts, that God has been with you all this time, that there is a reason for this adversity, that you cannot give up, and that God will eventually bail you out and deliver you.
If you stay with these pep talks, then over a certain period of time your mind will start believing what your pep talks are telling you to believe.
The Holy Spirit will then start to move back up on you and you will then feel your faith levels start moving back up to the level where they were initially at before you got knocked off course by the storm cloud. This is how you stay in the game.
And from time to time, God will arrange to have your personal faith levels tested – to see if you will continue to hold fast and stay the course with Him until the trial has ended.
It’s easy to have high levels of faith in God when everything is going good and great. But let any kind of adversity strike, and many Christians will all of sudden lose their faith in God.
The story of Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness is a perfect example. All of the Israelites over 20 years of age did not make it into the Promised Land – all because their faith was not operating at high enough levels to believe that God could actually overcome the giants and strongholds they saw in the Promised Land.
Since they did not have enough faith and belief in God to overcome their enemies in the Promised Land, God would not allow them to enter in.
He then only allowed Joshua, Caleb and the younger generation under 20 years of age to enter in – all because they did have high enough levels of faith and belief that God could overcome these giants and give them this land as their possession!
And God proved them right! Joshua was completely victorious in gaining every ounce of land that his foot had stepped on – all because his faith and belief in the Lord was so strong.
In other articles, I will be giving you all of other major, power verses from the Bible on faith and how to get it built up into these higher ranges over time so can God can really start to work through you in a much stronger and mightier way.