The Process of Faith

I’m sure that most readers have heard of Joel Osteen. Perhaps, because of that, you’ve heard of his father, John, and his mother, Dodie. John passed away in 1999, leading to Joel stepping in as pastor of Lakewood Church, Houston, TX. Dodie had another trial in her life, before losing her husband. She was diagnosed with cancer in 1981, and given just weeks to live. You can find out more about her story in books she’s written, but in this writing we are interested in two things we can learn from her story. Dodie is alive today, because she believed God, his word, and she believed in the process of faith.

These are the two main points relevant to this post:
First, faith in God’s word produces results.
Second, faith that produces results, is marked by patience.

The second point is what reveals that there is a process of faith. In Hebrews 6:12, we find this, “that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Emphasis added)

What does that process look like?

The process begins with planting, or sowing, the word. In Mark 4:14 Jesus said, “The sower sows the word.” Jesus was the original sower and he gave ministry gifts to continue that process of sowing. Ephesians 4:11-16 tells us that Jesus gave “some, apostles; … prophets; … evangelists; … pastors and teachers;” to “perfect (complete or mature) the saints (all believers) … till we all come … unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” He didn’t want us to be “children, tossed to and fro and carried about” by lies and deception. No, he desired that we would all GROW up (go through the process) (verse 15). Why grow? Verse 16, so the body would be fit together effectively to edify one another in love, and so that love would reveal to the world the nature of God.

He also had the word written down so we could use it for sowing, both into our own hearts and in the lives of others. 2 Timothy 3:16; “All scripture (the word written) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

So, the first step in the process is to hear the word; to hear good teachers, to read the Bible; to discuss scripture with wise people.

The second step is to “water” the seed of the word that has been planted in our hearts from hearing. We water the seed by considering it, by pondering on what it means, by hearing it some more. 1 Corinthians 3:6; “I planted, Apollos watered ….” When they heard Paul, the seed was planted. When they listened to Apollos, that seed was watered and nurtured. The rest of the verse tells us, though, from whom understanding and growth actually come. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” God increases, after we’ve done our part; planting and watering.

Another aspect of watering is Jude :20; “But you beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, (21) keep yourselves in the love of God…”  You build on what the word has deposited and you anchor yourself in God’s love.

The third, but not final step, is to weed and feed. (Not final, because this isn’t linear, this is a loop that we must continue to repeat.)

With respect to feeding, Jesus said that man doesn’t live by bread alone, but by every word of God. And Peter told us in his second letter, first chapter, verses 2-4, that we’ve been given great and precious promises (the word) that enable us to partake of EVERYTHING that pertains to LIFE and GODLINESS (not just godliness), and to partake of the very divine nature. In the next verses he tells us to “add to your faith….” The attributes we are adding are the attributes of the divine nature. How are we doing that? By those “great and precious promises.” We’re feeding. We’re increasing revelation, which is what feeding is.

Let me say that again. Feeding is increasing revelation. Which includes the aspects of the first two steps, “… planted, … watered, (and) God gives the increase”. Increased revelation.

Weeding is removing hindrances. What hindrances? Strongholds. Arguments, High things. Thoughts.
2 Corinthians 10:4; “… the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, (5) casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

What are these things? They are experiences you’ve had, that have caused you to believe that “it won’t work for me.” Or, they are things you’ve heard, things you observed, that are contrary to God’s “great and precious promises.” The word is truth. (John 17:17) What we experience may be fact, but the truth is greater, if we believe it. However, we often elevate our experience over the word. That especially can be a result of experiences from our childhood, or from before we’re born again. The world is teaching us to believe with our senses, but that builds strongholds and arguments and high things that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. Hear the word, water the word, pray in the Spirit, keep yourself in God’s love, let God’s word and Spirit tear down hindrances and increase revelation. In so doing, you will see INCREASE!

For more on God’s Heart for You, check out the links below:

Don’t Get Your Hopes Down!

You Can’t Let it Get to You

You can also get a copy of my book on the liberty we have in Christ (not nutrition as the title may suggest) on Amazon: Eat Healthy…Most of the Time!

Thank you for checking out this post. If you were blessed, I am glad and thankful. If you are blessed by what you read, please contact me at Transformation Church, and share how you’ve been touched. Email: tccolorado@yahoo.com Or find us on Facebook: Transformation Church