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Have you ever felt like you could use a little more faith? I am sure we all have. In fact, ask the question any Sunday morning in your church service, and I guarantee you that most will raise their hands wanting more faith.

I would like you to stop and think for a moment why you want more faith. What does having more faith mean and how would it affect your life right now? I am sure that most would conclude, "If I had more faith, I would be healed of this particular ailment immediately."

Or possibly you may be thinking that if you had more faith your financial situation could be turned around instantly. I am comfortable saying that most of our "wanting more faith" is directly linked to wanting more of something that we haven't yet been able to obtain.

Obviously, the Word of God declares that our God meets our needs (Phil. 4:19) and that God wants us to be blessed while living in God's abundance (2 Peter 1:3). However, is this the purpose of having "more faith?"

Four times in the Word of God, we are told that, "The just [us] shall live by faith" (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). Are these scriptures telling us that we are to live by faith so that we can have more "stuff"?

"Lord, Increase Our Faith"
Let's look at this "living by faith" philosophy of the Bible. There came a time when Jesus was talking to His disciples and they responded to Him with the words, "Lord, increase our faith." I am sure most of us are familiar with this verse of Scripture found in Luke 17:5.

It is obvious that there came a time in these apostles' lives when they realized, just as us, that they needed more faith. However, have we ever studied out why these apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith?

It's possible that the apostles - after witnessing the great miracle of Jesus feeding the five-thousand men, women, and children with the loaves and fishes - realized that if they were going to have similar miracles in their ministry, they would need more faith.

Maybe the apostles' response came when Jesus stopped the funeral procession and raised the young lad from the dead. Or maybe it was when Jesus called into the tomb and commanded Lazarus arise and walk out from the place where he had been laid.

However, neither of these were the situation. Let's look at the situation that most likely caused the apostles to want "more faith."
Then said he [Jesus] unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come…. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. And the apostles said unto the Lord, increase our faith.
(Luke 17:1-5 KJV)
The Lord just told the apostles that if somebody did them wrong seven times in a day that they were to forgive them every time. This statement caused the apostles to say to Jesus, "Lord, increase our faith."

This is where many people miss "living by faith." Faith and obedience to the Word cannot be separated.

Christians so often quote Romans 10:17 saying, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." However, if this was a stand-alone scripture, then most Christians would be faith giants because they are "hearing" the Word two or more times a week in addition to their own study times.

We Need To Hear and Do The Word
Faith does come by hearing as Paul told us in the above scripture, but this scripture is not complete in itself. In fact, earlier in Romans Paul had expounded on another principle in the Word of God which stated, "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified" (Rom. 2:13).

In addition, James expounds on this subject and completes the "increasing faith process" stating, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (James 1:22).

Very clearly we are told that if we hear only, we are deceiving ourselves. Another way to say that is, "Don't think that faith is coming just because you're hearing the Word."

If faith came only by hearing, then when Jesus spoke the Words that the apostles must forgive someone seven times in a day, they should have had increased faith as the Word came. However, this was not the case. The apostles realized that "The just shall live by faith" which means they must have confidence in the Word and submit their lives to it.

It was a hard saying that the Lord gave to them, but they knew their authority was based on their submission to the Word. Therefore, their response was accurate in asking for more faith.

Christians are believing for many answers from God in their lives, but very few realize that their faith cannot exceed their obedience to the Word. When they don't receive their answer, they cannot figure out why their faith is not working.

One of the greatest problems seen in the Body of Christ is in the area of money. It seems that most Christians are believing for some area of their finances. Throughout the New Testament, you will find the subject of stewardship spoken about frequently.

We are to be good stewards in all areas of our life, which includes our finances. This includes paying tithes, sowing seeds of offerings, and conducting our financial lives in a responsible manner.

Yet, so many Christians are over their heads in debt, many do not tithe, even fewer consistently sow seeds of offerings, and a small percentage helps the poor and needy. Submitting ourselves to the Word of God (being a doer of the Word) is essential in our living by faith.

Do you want more faith? Be obedient to the Word in all areas of your life and always remember that your faith will never exceed your obedience!

Copyright © Fellowship of Hope
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

David Shipman
Web site: Covenant of Peace International
Pastor David Shipman is one of the founding pastors of Fellowship of Hope and presently serves as the Senior Pastor. He employs a very aggressive and responsive attitude toward the Word of God. Believing whole heartedly Jesus’ Words found in Mark 9:23, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

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