Increase My FaithApril 10th, 2013 by Oleg Kostyuk
A few days ago we were asked a very important question, “How can we develop our faith in God?” It’s a fundamental question, but the answer might not come too easily. So, here is the result of our digging into the Word for the answer.
In Luke 17:5 we read about the apostles coming to the Lord and saying, “Increase our faith.” You see, the disciples simply came to Jesus and asked him to increase their faith. They were not too concerned with the techniques of how to do it themselves; rather, they understood that Jesus was the one who could increase their faith. Now, does this mean that we need to sit around and wait for our faith to be increased? Certainly not!
The faith of the disciples was growing more and more as they were walking with Jesus. And it fully matured after Jesus was lifted up on the cross. So, how can our faith be increased today?
First of all, we need to understand that Jesus is alive now and he is literally with us. In fact these were the last words of Jesus when he was ascending, “I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, even to the end of the age” (Mat. 28:20). Jesus is alive and he is with us today and we can ask him the same question the disciples asked him: “Increase our faith.” For many years, I used to pray “Lord, be with me.” But, at some point I almost heard God saying back to me, “I did not leave you. I am with you now. Don’t you feel me?” My prayer has changed since then. Now I thank him for being close with me always and I ask him to help me recognize his presence.
Secondly, when the apostle John was writing his Gospel he clearly stated that, “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but THESE ARE WRITTEN THAT YOU MAY BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30,31). The Bible is given to us so that our faith can grow. By abiding in the teachings of Jesus and in His Word our faith is increased. So, if I want my faith to be increased but fail to abide in his Word and obey his teachings, my faith will not fully grow. Sure, you may say that some people do not have access to the Bible. But, if we do have this access and do not enjoy it, there is something wrong… Once you taste the transformational power of the living Word, you will not be able to go a day without it.
Thirdly and lastly, it is important for us to communicate with Jesus, so that our faith can continue to grow. You see, more than anything else God wants to be in close union with us. In fact, right after Adam and Eve sinned and were hiding in the bushes of Eden, God went looking for them (Gen. 3:8,9). He knew that they sinned, but he went on a journey to look for those first sinners.
And it was not the end… When the Israelites almost forgot about God in the land of Egypt, he called them out of slavery and was longing to dwell with them. You see, God wants to unite with his people again. He literally pitched a tent among them and dwelt with them in the ancient Tabernacle. (Exodus 25:22) In the very last verse of the book of Exodus we read that “The cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys” (Exodus 40:38). God wanted to dwell among his people.
Finally, the greatest revelation of God’s desire to connect with us is Jesus Christ. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:14). In fact, the word that is used to describe the fact that the Word dwelt among us can be translated as “tabernacled.” That is to say, Jesus is God himself descending to literally dwell among us because he loves us so much. That is why more than anything else I want to be in this close connection with him through prayer.
To sum up, we cannot increase our faith, can we? It is Jesus who does it for us and in us. So rather than try and do it on your own, try and connect with him in these three ways: (1) remember that Jesus is with you always, (2) abide in His Word, and (3) stay connected with Jesus in prayer.
And you will witness how the mustard seed becomes a mighty tree.