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How do I grow in my faith?

Most of my life I seem to be fighting an internal battle between my desire for comfort and God’s call to act in ways that put my comfort in jeopardy. And I’ve learned the hard way that we don’t grow in faith by sitting on our hands – we have to act, often in ways that seem rash. The step of…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Most of my life I seem to be fighting an internal battle between my desire for comfort and God’s call to act in ways that put my comfort in jeopardy. And I’ve learned the hard way that we don’t grow in faith by sitting on our hands – we have to act, often in ways that seem rash.
The step of faith rarely seems prudent. Prudence contemplates what
can be perceived with the senses. Faith, according to Hebrews 11:1 means
being certain of what is not seen. Because we are physical beings
living in a spiritual world, we need faith as a navigational aid.

Jesus expended a lot of effort in helping his followers
rely on faith. Over and over again he pointed out those who exercised
their faith or those who did not.

So, how do we know when to exercise faith? First, we must be clear about his purposes and passions. They are a reliable guide to action. Second,
we must listen for his voice. He will tell us when to act. Third, we
must look for his hand. If he is at work, faith may safely impel us to
join him in his work.

Steps of faith tend to seem to be big and periodic, whereas prudence
should be ongoing in its impact. Faith frequently flies in the face of
what seems prudent. But prudence should not be allowed to contravene
what faith has apprehended. Not once do we see Jesus exclaiming over the
prudence of a follower, but repeatedly he lauded those who saw with the
eyes of faith. When faith speaks, prudence must be turned off. The walk
of faith is always imprudent.

If you look around, it seems that many Christians live their lives giving lip service to faith.
They struggle to trust the goodness of God and they may feel deaf to the voice of God. So it is that when the guardrails of a
comfortable existence are removed that the goodness of God becomes more visible.
 
Sometimes in the crises of life, we lurch about, crying in
desperation, “God where are you?” Only to be startled into a state of
spiritual wakefulness when He answers, “I am here.”

While we, by nature, don’t want to have to trust a God we cannot see
or understand, we are happiest when, having trusted Him, we have found
Him trustworthy. Doing so at the time may have seemed imprudent, but in
retrospect seems evidence that your faith has grown.

Comments (3)

  • Dictionary definition: Prudence, calculation, foresight, forethought imply attempted provision against possible contingencies. Prudence is care, caution, and good judgment, as well as wisdom in looking ahead.
    Thought provoking post, friend.
    I will be thinking about this today.
    “Faith frequently flies in the face of what seems prudent.”
    I ponder, for starters, “How much does this have to do with personality?”
    Throughout life I have gone where angels fear to tread…often imprudently.
    And, I have suffered some pretty long-ranging consequences.
    Others I know are prudent to a fault, perhaps.
    Taking a long time to move forward to the edge of the dock, much less dive.
    I see God working differently in each of our lives.
    For me, He has kneaded prudence and patience into my spirit like a tireless bread-maker. For others, I see Him challenging them to leap into the water when they would linger on the dock for an eternity, weighing all the costs.
    As I said, you have got me thinking.
    Which is a good thing…
    ;o]
    Judith

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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