If you find your faith lacking or if you feel like the man who asked Jesus to heal his son and when Jesus asked him if he believed he could, his answer was, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) or “I do believe, kinda-sorta.”
If you find yourself in need of more faith the place to start to change that, to really build faith, is to immerse ourselves in God’s Word. It becomes our daily friend. It’s living and active. It builds faith. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Notice it is not by hearing the latest self-help person, or by reading the bestselling book at the bookstore. It is faith that comes by hearing the Word of God. That is where the power is.
If you want to get in good shape, chances are, you probably want to eat the right things, or less of the wrong things. Right? And you probably want to go to the gym or start some type of an exercise plan. Likewise, you want to grow your faith? Then you have to feed and renew your mind regularly with God’s Word. It becomes a part of your life. And just as you go to the gym, you get bigger muscles. Well, you listen to God’s Word; it makes your faith bigger. I can trace in my life the times when my faith is big, and I am believing God. I am in His Word. And the times when I am in doubt, I am not in His Word the way I should be.
Now, you may say, “I tried to read the Bible. I don’t even know how to start. Well, where do I start?” This is what I do. I use a one year reading plan. If I read 20 minutes a day I can read through the Bible in a year. My reading plan is in a little book called a Life Journal. I read for 20 minutes then I journal for 20 minutes. I write down a scripture that has spoken to me. I then write my observation of that scripture. I follow that with my application of that scripture to my life. What do I need to do about it? And then I write out a brief prayer. Scripture, observation, application, prayer. That spells SOAP. It is the best plan and the biggest faith builder I have ever brought into my life. I am in the Word daily and it is growing my faith daily. (If you are interested in a Life Journal I can connect you to the source.)
And sure, when I read the Bible there are some things that still don’t make sense to me, but they might next year. But you are just feeding yourself the Word, and it renews your mind out of the garbage of this world into the truth of the kingdom of God, and your faith grows.
Here are a couple other ways to get into the Word each day. If you have a smart phone download YouVersion. It is a free version of the Bible with numerous features and applications, including and audio Bible.
And if you would just like the audio Bible, check out the Daily Audio Bible (DAB, for short). The leader, Brain Hardin, reads through the Bible throughout the year, starting with verses in the Old Testament, then New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. They also have a DAB for Kids, where they read through just the New Testament. It is a great way to listen to the Word, especially on your way to work! They also have Podcasts for your IPod. www.dailyaudiobible.com is the website.
So however you do it, the first step to growing a strong faith is to immerse yourself in the Word of God. There is no substitute for this. I repeat, nothing replaces getting into the Word.
I would be interested in hearing other ideas that any of you have about how you keep yourself in scripture each day. Please pass them on. Let’s help each other in this faith building process.