This week’s theme is Faith. I have personally had quite a difficult relationship with Faith but I wasn’t aware of it until it became a Word that people used against me.
When I fell ill and began to seek support from people in the church, the F word began to pop up a LOT. I was told that I didn’t have enough faith and that I needed to have more faith.I was told that I didn't have enough faith and that I needed to have more. Click To Tweet
To say these words annoyed me would be a bit of an understatement, they really peeved me off. However (emphasise x 3), it got me thinking more about faith, the nature of faith and my relationship with it. I began to pray about it and scour the Bible for insight. What I didn’t admit to myself then was that I was secretly afraid that they were right and that I didn’t have enough faith. It hurt me to think that maybe it was my fault that I was the way I was.
In psychology there’s this term called meta-cognition, I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned it here before or not, basically it’s about thinking about thinking. In my case I was afraid of my thoughts around lack of faith, but instead of allowing it to keep me anxious, I got to studying what God said on the subject. I looked to both the Greek and the Hebrew to inform my understanding so I wouldn’t have to listen to people who frightened me with my inadequacies.
From all my study I became quite well versed on what faith was and wasn’t, and how it related back to other faith-related concepts such as belief and trust. This was good but it wasn’t really enough because all of that was in my head. Having the head knowledge played a part in beginning to soothe that fearful voice but I could still hear it whisper deep down inside.
A few scriptures have really blessed me a long the way when it comes to moving faith away from the head space into the heart space. From shifting faith from being something I think about to something I feel, live and experience. (When I spiritually mentor women this is always a big emphasis for me because of my own experiences).
Faith is a Divine Gift (Ephesians 2: 8-9)
For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God—not by works, lest any man should boast
The Bible says it but I feel when we focus on how little or much faith we have, we forget that it’s actually something given to us. In fact every human being has faith, we need it in order to get out of bed in the morning and do anything at all. Our ability to believe in God and Yeshua isn’t a given, it’s not something you can rationally convince someone to do (you might have noticed that by now). The faith to believe is a gift. And there’s that special measure of faith given by the Holy Spirit as a spiritual gift as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12: 9, again it’s a gift.
I realised that faith wasn’t something I had to strive for but something that was given to me, and this knowledge loosened the grip of fear on my heart. I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone, I didn’t have to think of myself as lacking, I could rest in the fact that I already had a measure of faith given to me. Size doesn’t matter, God’s Word tells us that even the smallest measure of faith can do amazing things when it is applied.Even the smallest measure of faith can do amazing things when it is applied. Click To Tweet
There is NO Fear in Love
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
Another scripture that has enabled me to stop being afraid of whether or not I had enough faith was this one. I realised that more than faith, I needed love, the complete love of God to enter into my heart. Once I could open myself up to the Love of God, fear was banished by focusing on the infinite beauty of God’s love constantly extending out towards me. I didn’t need to worry about what I did or didn’t have, I just needed to believe in His love for me. When I allowed love to overwhelm fear, instead of striving to get more faith, my symptoms began to die down and I began to blossom and thrive.
What I have learnt about the Experience of Faith
I know that I don’t have the strongest measure of faith (boy you should see my husband), but what has been more important to me isn’t how much faith I have but how I use the faith I DO have. Instead of faith being in my head, I allow faith to enter into my heart no matter how uncertain it may seem to my rational mind.
I have learnt that Faith is all about Acceptance, there is nothing pushy about Faith. In fact if you look at all the gifts of the Spirit and the character of YHWH there is nothing pushy about them or Him at all.
When someone tries to make you feel inadequate because you don’t have enough faith they aren’t speaking truth over you. They are actually causing you to creep into a place of fear so that you begin doubt the gift that you do have and operate from your mind. Faith can’t operate when you are afraid to embrace it.
I am reminded of this verse,
“And now these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love” (1 Cor 13:13)
These traits are actually very similar to one another in nature but their direction of influence and impact is different.
None of these can be forced, it’s always an invitation. They just don’t work when they are forced, instead we are invited to let go of what we hold in our grasp in order to receive the gift offered. Yet love is even more important than faith.