There’s a computer programming expression, “Garbage in, garbage out.” It is true in life. There are things that cause our faith to deteriorate. Many of those things are easily avoidable if we understand a few things. I have listed a few, but I am only addressing the first one.
- Doubt comes by hearing
- Faith decreases by not practicing it
- Meditating on past failures
Faith is something that can be inherited. I remember hearing stories about people who were healed by God. I would rehearse these stories in my mind until I owned them. It was as if God had healed; the deliverance God had given them became personal.
During Unleavened Bread, God instructs us to tell our children of our exodus from Egypt, as if we were there.
And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you: What mean ye by this service? that ye shall say: It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s passover, for that He passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.’ Exodus 12:26-27
If you’ve never heard of God or His Power, how likely is it you would believe in Him? Not very likely. You may have a belief in a god, a “higher power” or “the universe” but not God. A good example of hearing and believing is Rahab in Joshua 2:9-11, it reads
And she (Rahab) said unto the men (two spies): ‘I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond the Jordan, unto Sihon and to Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard it, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more spirit in any man, because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above, and on earth beneath.
Rahab’s faith is seen in her actions, it’s from what she heard. Other heard the same events but they rejected it and were willing to challenge the power of the God. It’s the examples like this I believe led Paul to write, ‘Faith comes by hearing’ see Romans 10:17. He was speaking about how we come to believe.
It is important that we hear the Word of God. Listen to the victories written in its pages. Listen to the defeats and ask, ‘Why was Israel defeated?’ The answer is usually doubt. God doesn’t change and He’s faithful to His word.
How many times have you doubted the validity of something because of a bad report? Whose report will you believe?
People are working overtime to get you away from believing in God. People will say they prayed once and it didn’t work. Once? I tried that Bible thing once… Yoda from Star Wars said it best, ‘Do or do not. There is no try.’
There was a documentary about Tele-evangelist. The narrator asked about the people with obvious problems. Missing arms and legs? Or twisted bodies sitting in a wheelchair? They are there but never visible by the cameras. These ‘miracle workers’ play on your emotions, calling the ‘unseen disorders’. Then they leap for joy. They tell their stories about issues no one knew they had. Jesus healed people who were Crazy! Certified! No eyes blind… Healed! The healings were obvious. Most of them are snake oil salesmen with their cure, that they will give you for a faith offering of $200.
What do you hear?
To build our faith, we need to regulate what we are listening to. When they say there is no cure, do we put our confidence in them or in God ‘who heals all our diseases’ see Psalm 103:3. Unfortunately, faithless people are everywhere, sometimes living in our home. They are dream stealers. Think of them as blessing thieves. Would you let a thief in your home? They may not even know it but being around negative people and naysayers aren’t healthy spiritual companions. But we don’t have to listen to what they say.
Reinforce the word of God
Write the testimonies you have seen and heard, review them, so you can remember the victories of God, make them a part of your life. We need to use the technology at our disposal to capture the word of God. Read God’s promises about healing and salvation aloud. Record them. Save it to your mobile device listen to them from exercising to driving, set them as a ringtone, so then every time your phone rings you hear the word of God. Get post-it notes and write verses that encourage you and post them on your mirrors, refrigerator, doors, thermostat, steering wheel, television, computers, etc., It doesn’t take a lot to make a change it takes doing something.
Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Stop putting garbage in your mind and reject the garbage others give you. When the naysayers start talking let them know, “Hey, I’m sorry my garbage can is full.” It takes time and practice, but with God, faith is possible. You and I are always at a crossroad. We must always choose Faith in God.