Faith comes to us through the Word of God. Read Romans 10.17. Faith does not come to us through visions, prophecies, miracles, healings and other stuff so popular with charismatics and pentecostals. Faith is based on God’s Word, which is Truth. Anything outside of God’s Word is a LIE. It is the devil that promotes visions and dreams and prophecies; carnal people, enslaved by their lusts, are attracted to ‘signs and wonders’, ‘miracles and healings’.
Faith has to be established and enlarged. Faith is established by our reading and meditating upon God’s Word. “It is written” was the answer to Satan in the wilderness, and Satan fled. Are we reading that written Word of God? Every word in the Bible is true, and if we do not understand certain portions in God’s Word we would do best to leave it to God to reveal His truth in His own time. Never ever doubt God’s Word. Creation in Genesis chapter 1 is a Fact; evolution preached today in schools is a Lie.
By studying God’s Word (preferably on one’s knees) we gain insights into the Truth; we come to have sound doctrine. There are some who cannot understand the Trinity; few human minds can grasp it – but it is the Truth. Sound doctrine is a must for every believer. Read Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus, where he stresses the need for sound doctrine to establish one’s faith.
The Book of Romans must be studied thoroughly, along with the Book of Hebrews. These two books stand like cathedrals of faith in the architecture of the New Testament. Both books must be comprehended fully; alas, while some seem to understand Romans, there are few who understand Hebrews. The cardinal truths of the infallibility of God’s Word, the truths of the Blood, the Cross, the Holy Spirit; the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the future glory of the Church (seen in the heavenly Jerusalem) – are the foundations of sound doctrine. If we move away from God’s Word, we will soon be ensnared by the devil who comes as an angel of light, misleading the carnal and gullible with visions and prophecies.
So our faith must be established in God’s Word. At the same time, our faith must be enlarged; we need a living, practical, tested, proven, pure and growing faith. That comes through practical experiences in life. God tests our faith; He takes us through the fire. Afflictions and adversity help in planting us deeper into Christ; the trial of our faith makes our faith to become pure and deep-rooted. God hates shallow faith, which is nothing but wishful thinking. Real faith is what goes through the fire and comes forth as gold, 1 Pet 1.7. “Thou hast enlarged me in distress” was the cry of the Psalmist in Psalm 4. “We went through fire and water, but You brought us into an abundant place.” Psalm 66.12. Through the tests of sorrow and suffering, our hearts are enlarged; our faith is deepened. We begin to rely wholly on God, just like Abraham in his final test – when he surrendered his most precious possession (Isaac) on Mt Moriah. If we do not have a 100% faith in God and Christ, we are giving scope to the devil to puncture our faith-life, arrest our spiritual progress , blind our spiritual eyes and deceive us through our own deceitful self. Do I believe in God with all my heart? (Do I dare to distrust myself?) Pure, whole-hearted (not half-hearted) faith is what pleases the God who leads us to perfection, and gives both grace and glory.