How many times have you said to yourself: I wish I had more faith? If I had more faith, I know I could overcome these fears and panic attacks.
I said that for years! Lord, give me more faith. Help my unbelief. Lord, give me a mustard seed of faith. But, nothing really changed in me. My situation stayed the same. I started to wonder if my prayers for more faith were accurate. After some deep study of the Bible in this area of faith, I started to change the way I prayed, because my understanding of faith was not accurate.
Here’s what I learned about faith:
What is Faith?
First, we need to know what faith is. There are two Greek words that appear throughout the new testament: pistis (noun) and pisteuo (verb). Interestingly, most Bible translates the noun as “faith” and the verb as “believe” but these two words have a very similar meaning.
Too often, we define “faith” as something different than “belief.” We talk about the Baptist “faith” or getting more “faith”, but I don’t think that’s Biblically accurate. Faith simply means “belief”. When you say, “I wish I had more faith”, you can also say, “I wish I believed more.”
Faith does not move God
This may sound weird, even heretical, but it’s one of the most powerful truths I’ve learned over the years. Faith does not move God, because God already moved 2,000 years ago. When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, he reconciled us to God and all the promises of God in Christ are available to us today. Peace, freedom, healing, joy and salvation are all available to us right now. Faith is simply renewing our minds to receive what is already ours. That’s why Romans 12:1, 2 encourages us to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. We need to think differently.
When Paul prayed for the Ephesians, he asked God to give them a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, that the eyes of their understanding would be enlightened. And, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:17-21). We have available to us today this incredible spiritual inheritance, and we must pray that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened so that we can see what we already have in Christ.
Too often, we focus our faith on things. We ask God for peace, healing, strength, and provision. I have done this quite a bit myself. And sometimes, those prayers are answered, but I don’t believe this is where we should focus our faith.
When we focus our faith on things, we can easily miss the Source of those things. What you focus on will organize your life. If you focus on freedom, healing and peace, then those things will organize your life, and you will be consumed with finding things instead of finding God. Jesus said it this way, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Our faith—what we believe—should be focused on knowing Christ and his righteousness. Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He should be our complete focus.
In John 6:28-29, the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, “What does God want us to do?” They were asking Jesus where they should focus their faith? Jesus responded, “This is what God wants you to do: Believe in the one he has sent.”
I want to encourage you this week to focus your faith on Christ. Seek first his righteousness and all the things you need—freedom, joy, rest, healing and peace—will begin working in your life. Renew your mind through prayer, scripture and Bible study. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and teach you all things.
Prayer: Father, help me refocus my faith on your son, Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith.