Complacency is the enemy of progress in any area of our lives.
For example: say you're chasing a promotion or a raise at work. You don't achieve this by doing the bare minimum: showing up on time, completing your tasks but not taking on any extra, showing up to meetings but not volunteering any input. Rather, you go above and beyond—you show up early, take initiative on new projects, and provide constructive input.
Similarly, if your goal is to lose weight, you won't get anywhere by sticking to the same diet and exercise routine you've had up until this point. You identify a course of action that will help you reach your goal weight—such as cutting back on sugar, or working out more—and stick to it.
In either case, the common denominator is growth—and the effort it takes to achieve that growth.
The same principle applies to our relationship with God. Too often, we treat our faith as a series of boxes to be checked: we go to church, pray every so often, read the Bible occasionally. But to be a devout Christian is to be continually seeking God and striving to find ways to be closer to Him. To find salvation, God asks that we put in the work to deepen our relationship with Him over the course of our lives.
How To Grow in Faith: A Scripture-Informed Approach
Fortunately, God gave us the Bible as an instruction manual for how to expand and grow our faith. Here, we'll explore a few pieces of scripture that help us better understand what it means to increase our faith, and how we can go about doing that in our own lives.
"…take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:17-18).
In this letter, Peter is telling us in no uncertain terms about the importance of making a committed effort to grow in our knowledge and service of God.
However, there's something else going on here. The overarching purpose of Peter's letter was to convince readers not to fall prey to the influence of false teachers and heretics. To grow in their faith, early Christians had to be able to tune out the voices of all those who denied the divinity of Christ or the fact of His eventual return and remain focused on what really mattered: their belief in God and the grace of Jesus.
There's a message here for modern Christians here, too. We can't grow in faith if we allow ourselves to be distracted from our relationship with God. And these days, false teachers and distractions are more numerous than ever. To be able to grow in our faith, we must remain focused and resist anything that threatens that focus.
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).
One of the true joys of any long-term relationship is the process of getting to know the other person on an increasingly deeper, more intimate level.
This holds true for God as much as for our relationships with our friends and spouses. God is infinite; and thus there are infinite ways that we can continue to get to know Him over the course of our lives. Studying the Bible is a good place to start—even if you've already read it, you might find new nuances and meaning in familiar passages that deepen your understanding of Him.
But also, try looking for God in the world around you. Where do you see Him in nature? In other people? Where do you see small miracles that speak to His love for us?
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16)
Here, we return to a common theme: to have faith is not just to believe in God, but to act on that belief by doing good and serving others. However, Matthew includes a pointed reminder here that the purpose of good works is not to elevate ourselves, but to glorify God.
There are two potential action items here, depending on where you are in your spiritual journey: first, if you are not already in the habit of making service a regular part of your routine, consider finding a way to do so. Perhaps that means volunteering your time to help others, donating money or items to a worthy cause, or looking for small ways that you can serve others in your day-to-day life. Second, ask yourself how you can better glorify God through your service.
Word of Life Church is dedicated to making the world a better place by spreading the Word and Love of God. Our mission is to create an authentic, welcoming worship community, and to empower people to live a life of faith and service in the name of Jesus. Our offerings include a variety of worship experiences, LifeGroups, youth programs, and service initiatives for individuals of all ages, all of them designed to offer community and opportunities to engage with God. Attend a sermon or contact us today to learn more about how we can serve you, or consider donating to support our work.