Monday Devotion: Building Faith in Ourselves and Community, By Crystal Schmalz
One of the greatest challenges and needs of leaders today is the ability and call to build faith. We need leaders who know how to build faith not only in themselves, but also in other people. Building faith requires both the supernatural empowerment of the Holy Spirit, but it also requires the disciplined nature of practice in the life of the believer. Faith is built by God, but it is also built by people and our community.
There are several scriptures in the Bible which talk about faith, and how we receive it. I am sure you have read many of them. Romans 10:17 tells us faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Part of building our faith is by reading and hearing the Word of God. This can come in many forms. We hear the Word through preaching, through discussions with other believers in Small Groups, through the individual testimony of those around us, and through sitting down and reading the scripture for our daily devotions. As we hear the Word of God, it builds our faith and confidence. It helps us to know the dreams and callings of God are real, and they will come to pass in our life and ministry! When we read the Word of God, it is like making faith deposits in our faith checking account. Someday we may need to withdraw those stories we read in scripture, and may need them in a time when our faith seems small. Before we can help to build faith in others, we must first ask God to build faith in our walk and ministry. We need to be completely sold out to God, and know God can do anything in our lives! We need to know the Word, and need to be deeply rooted and founded in scripture. When the fiery darts of evil come our way, we need to pick up the sword of the Spirit and cut those darts with the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 tells us the Word is quick, powerful, sharp, and has the ability to discern the deep intentions and thoughts of the heart and mind. When we lack wisdom and faith, we need to use the Word of God to give us direction and correction. Building faith is also tearing down false doctrine and thinking in our mind. Let the Word of God stand strong and higher than any other voice in our life!
Hebrews 11:1 speaks about how faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is the supernatural work of God. Yes, we can practice building our faith by reading the scripture, but faith is also a “stepping out.” Faith stands in the face of the unknown, and walks forward. Faith is something God gives to us. Faith is a dispensing of grace in our life. Faith overpowers logic and our analytical minds at times, and says “Even though I cannot understand, I will still walk forward in the mighty power and anointing of God.” Faith enables us to move forward when direction and sight is limited. Like Peter who stepped out of the boat to meet Jesus, we too must step out and walk with Jesus. When we walk with Jesus, our faith builds, because we are walking with the One who calls all in existence, the One who has created all, the One with all power, glory, and wisdom! Then we too can say, we walk by faith, and not by sight alone (2 Corinthians 5:7)!
Today, let us be challenged. God wants to build our faith. Part of this process will come through the supernatural impartation of grace by God, and the other will come through the dedication and committment we have to daily devotion and practice. We know it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6), and so we need to build up faith in our ministry and in the ministry of those around us. If you have the ability to step out in faith, also help someone else step out. Pray with someone, encourage someone, and build faith together. We are not in this journey alone. We need other women and men of God to speak into our lives, and help bring faith into our hearts and minds. Be challenged today, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life to bring and build up within you the faith you need to stand strong, to keep the faith, and to hold on to your calling and ministry.
Copyright 2015 Crystal Schmalz Ministries