“There are three kinds of faith in Christ:
1. Struggling faith, like a man in deep water desperately swimming.
2. Clinging faith, like a man hanging to the side of a boat.
3. Resting faith, like a man safely within the boat (and able to reach out with a hand to help someone else get in).”
Dwight L. Moody
I recently came across this quote from Dwight L. Moody, an evangelist from the 1800’s. If you don’t know much about him, Moody was a humble, devoted, and strong man of faith. At the time, he was simply living out his faith and spreading the Word of God in any way he could. Yet as we look back, we can easily say that he was one of the forefathers of the modern day evangelical movement. His service changed the trajectory of the church around the globe!
When I read the words of Moody, I realize that I don’t often take inventory of my own faith. After all, I spend so much time running, doing, getting, winning, losing, finding, preparing...and all the other “...ings”, that I hardly ever sit down in silence and reflect on my own heart. I honestly just rely on my faith being there, regardless of its condition. I suppose you could say I assume that my faith somehow always falls into the “Resting Faith” category. However, if I’m honest, the truth hits me directly in the heart that so very often I’m in the “Struggling Faith" or Clinging Faith” categories.
I don’t want to have a struggling faith or a clinging faith (I mean, really, who wants that!?). It’s during those times when my faith is weak, that I feel furthest from God. Rather than feeling like I’m wrapped in His arms, I feel like I can barely touch His fingertips. The truth of the matter is that in those times God hasn’t moved, rather, I’ve slipped away. It’s not God who is weak, it’s my faith that is weak.
So the question is, “How do I get to a resting faith in God? How do I get to a point where I am safely within the boat?” as Moody would say. Well, during my next three posts, I want to take a look at three ways we can grow in our faith. I hope to give you practical steps to follow that will help you grow in your faith and get yourself back into the boat! For today, let’s take a look at the first way to be strengthened in our faith.
Ask for it
Ok, let’s be real. How often have you found yourself realizing, halfway through a trial (or all the way through the trial for that matter), that you have not taken the time to pray. Yeah, I’m there too. Unfortunately, when we’re struggling with our faith, prayer is often missing in our lives. So if you find yourself out of the boat, struggling to get back in, spend some time in prayer. God wants us to be firm in our faith, so if you need strengthening simply ASK!
1 John 5:14-15 says...
"14Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him."
This isn't our free pass to get whatever we want from God, rather it is a path to align ourselves with God's will. God desires for us to look to Him and rely on our faith in Him to carry us through. Now get ready, because when we ask for strengthening of faith, God often provides it in ways we least expect. For me, it's not like I have a cosmic power up (like Mario devouring a flashing star), rather this strengthening comes in the form of words spoken through a dear friend, my wife, or even my kids.
I said we would have practical steps right? Well, here it is!
For the next seven days, when you wake up, ask God for strengthened faith. I'm not talking about a murmur, "Yeah, uh, God give me more faith." I'm talking about a heart felt plea to the Lord! Ask Him to grow you and strengthen your faith in Him. Ask Him to show you what it means to have a resting faith, where you're firmly planted in the boat, reaching out to help others. If you do this, every day, your heart will grow and your faith will too.
God Bless! See you next time!