Tag Archives: increasing your faith

Strength Training

I’m not a person who goes to the gym a lot, but I’ve got plenty of friends who do. I know some people who enter into body building competitions as well. It turns out that there’s a difference between muscle building and strength training. I always assumed very muscular people were super strong, but strength isn’t what they’re going for. Muscle building works to induce bulging muscles and increase muscle size. However, in strength training you’re trying to increase the functionality of your muscles. I love the idea of that. It’s not just about looks, but ability. Many people who go to the gym hope to get toned, but what they need to be doing is strength training instead.

Consider that understanding as we look at Ephesians 6:10. Paul wrote, “Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power” (GNT). Paul didn’t ask us to build up our spiritual muscles so we look good. He told us to build up our strength so we can have endurance and increased functionality in the Body of Christ. So many of us spend so much effort trying to look good by doing things that get noticed, but that’s the equivalent of body building. We need to be in strength training instead ready to fight spiritual battles, to carry other believers who need help and to endure hardships. Spiritual strength is what we need most.

Just like someone who is in physical strength training, spiritual strength training requires consistency. You must consistently pray, read the Bible and apply God’s principles to your life. Stepping out in faith in areas where God leads you is another way. You gain strength when you keep trusting in God during difficult times when your mind and others tell you that you should be cursing Him instead. You must push yourself beyond your current abilities and situations to the point it challenges you. Until you do that consistently, you’re not building your strength. If we’re not willing to stretch our faith through application of God’s principles, it’s no different than going to the gym, sitting on the equipment and never using it. You can know how to do it, but you only build your strength when you actually apply what you know.

Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

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More Faith

There are times when I feel like I have the type of faith that can move mountains. There are also times when I feel like my faith is much smaller than a mustard seed. Sometimes I read verses like John 14:13 where Jesus tells us to ask for whatever we need in His name and He’ll give it to us, and I think, “What if I ask and you don’t answer?” Hen I think, “What if I don’t ask at all? What happens then?” Having the faith to believe sometimes feels like the gas gauge on my car. Sometimes it’s full, and other times it feel empty. Either way, I believe God honors the faith we do have, but He’s also encouraging us to have more.

In Mark 9, Jesus came down from the Mount of Transfiguration to find his disciples arguing with some teachers of the Law. When he asked them what they were arguing about, a man pushed forward and said he had brought his son to be freed from demons, but the disciples couldn’t do it. Jesus asked for the boy, and Ashe approached, the demons threw him into a fit. The man begged Jesus to help them if He possibly could. Jesus responded, “Yes, if you yourself can! Everything is possible for the person who has faith” (GNT). To that, the father answered, “I do have faith, but not enough. Help me have more!” Jesus cast the spirit out and the boy was healed.

Faith is a partnership between us and God built on trust and communication. Jesus wanted to partner with this father’s faith for his boy, but the man felt he needed more. He is a lot like several of us doubting our faith isn’t enough. Jesus was able to use what faith he did have to free his son. Later, when the disciples asked why they couldn’t cast it out, Jesus told them, “Only prayer can drive this kind out. Nothing else can.” It’s a reminder to us to look at our prayer life when our faith feels small. How much quality time are we spending with our Heavenly Father? I’ve found that the more time I spend with Him in prayer, the greater my faith is. You and I can have more faith, but it comes through prayer and reading the Bible.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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