Growing in Faith

If faith is dependent upon its object, then how much faith you have depends upon how well you know the object of your faith. If you know seven promises from the word of God, your faith is limited to those seven promises. If you know 7,000 promises from the word of God, your faith will be greatly enlarged. “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). We grow in our faith as we increase our knowledge and understanding of God and His word.

Suppose a father puts his child on a table, encourages the boy to fall or jump into his arms, and the child does. As the process is repeated, the father progressively steps farther from the table and the child continues to jump, because he trusts his father to catch him. Now suppose the father puts the boy on the limb of a tree and encourages him to jump into his arms. It is a little bigger leap of faith, but the boy does jump because he believes his father will catch him. Would the boy jump from the tree into his little sister’s arms? Probably not, even though the leap is the same, the object of his faith has changed. Even the ability of the best of fathers to be the perfect object for a child’s faith will diminish as the boy continues to climb the tree of life.

As little children, we adopt our parents’ name and depend on them for our daily existence. Salvation brings a change in identity. We become children of God and our Heavenly Father becomes the ultimate object for our faith. We hear about Him from Christian teachers, who instruct us in the ways of God. We read and memorize God’s word and learn to live by faith according to what He says is true. No matter how high we climb the tree of life, our Heavenly Father will always be able to save us from falling.

In order to live a victorious Christian life by faith; one has to know the word of God. It is presumptuous to step out in faith beyond that which we know to be truth. If we don’t know the truth, we can’t live the Christian life by faith. Deciding for ourselves what we want to believe makes us the objects of our own faith. Thinking that we can manipulate God by cleverly worded prayers and claiming false promises by “faith” will only bring disillusionment and despair. Many Christians are disappointed in God because He didn’t seem to respond like they thought He should. It is critically important that believers understand that God is under no obligation to them. He is under obligation to Himself and His word. He is a faithful Father who keeps all His promises and He will never deviate from His word.

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3). Little children trust their parents. They believe what their parents tell them and the well-trained ones instantly obey without question. In order to mature in our faith, we need that same child-like faith.

Dr. Neil

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