INCREASE OUR FAITH
In Luke 17: 5-10 the disciples are walking with Jesus and ask him to increase their faith… Jesus tells his disciples that if they have the faith of a mustard seed they can move mountains. This is not questioning their faith, what he is actually saying is that in fact they already have all the faith they need. We may also sometimes feel our faith is inadequate, or like we do not have sufficient faith to accomplish what we feel God expects of us. But Jesus has told us through the scriptures that we already have the faith we need to do great and even miraculous things.
As I thought about this theme, other images revolving around “increase” came to mind. For example, I may have been given the gift to be a runner. But to develop that gift to become a great runner, how do I accomplish this goal? I can just run more and train more, but I might also want to get a coach to help me learn to train and run more efficiently. The same is true if I have been given the gift to become a great swimmer or a great musician. Yes, I need to practice every day, but finding a teacher who can help to guide me will help me reach that goal more effectively. Whatever gifts I have received may give me some natural ability. But to make the most of those gifts, I need to be intentional in training, practicing and developing those basic gifts.
So as we pray for God to “increase our faith”, we also need to apply this same idea. Take the gift of faith with which God has already blessed us, and through spiritual practices, we can develop those basic gifts to a higher level as well. Scripture study, worship, prayer, meditation, and fasting are the spiritual disciplines which will help us exercise our faith, and make it greater and stronger. While this is something each of us can do on our own, we will definitely benefit from finding mentors to guide us along the path.
God has already given each of us the gift of faith. And each of us already has within in us the faith we need to move mountains. But it is up to us to exercise that faith, and practice the spiritual disciplines which will help us feel more confident in our faith.