“We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” (Heb 6:12)
Something really funny happened the other day. Mark’s mom called, and said “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” No, that wasn't the funny part, keep reading. When we got there, we found her lying on the floor next to the bed with a pile of old pictures and books next to her. We asked where all that junk came from and she explained that as long as she was just lying there, she would make herself useful and clean the mess under her bed. I thought that was hilarious!
I was impressed by that, but not surprised. You see, my mother-in-law is no slacker. She grew up on a farm, and has been a hard worker her whole life. So even when she’s stranded on the floor, she makes herself useful. If that were me on the floor, I’d probably just lie there and daydream of chocolate covered strawberries, George Clooney and sunny beaches. I wouldn’t feel all that guilty if I couldn’t clean my house right then and there.
Hebrews 6:12 calls us on the carpet to not be lazy in our faith. Doesn’t the word ‘lazy’ bring a picture to your mind of a sink full of dirty dishes, or a couch potato planted in front of the TV? For most people, laziness speaks of sitting on our butts when we should be attending to the needs of the day, but being lazy in your faith is an altogether different affair. Picture it – a body builder with rock hard abs and muscles as big as boulders working out with a Bible balanced on each bicep. I mean seriously, how on earth can we build up our faith?
Most Christians want to be strong in their faith in the manner that Bill Gates and Donald Trump were strong in their achievements, but few will make it. If you are not a spiritual person, or you’re not hungry for the things of God, you’re up against a stumbling block before you even begin.
The first step towards building your faith is getting to know God. Unless you know Him, you can’t possibly have enough faith to trust Him. For example, I know who Santa Claus is, but I don’t expect him to cram his way down my chimney any time soon. His creed is, he’s ‘gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.’ I need something a little more specific to hang my hat on.
Building your faith is a process. We all start out with baby steps in this area; this kind of faith doesn’t come overnight. The first step toward increasing your faith, is to hear the word of God. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) It is hearing the word of God that brings faith. Immerse yourself in the Bible. Get to know God and how He operates, so that your faith has a means to grow. When you come to understand that God is faithful, and that He does not break His promises and cannot lie, then your faith will grow.
Another way to grow your faith is through adversity. When we endure troubles and tribulations with patience, as the Bible instructs, our faith increases. If everything is going honky dory and we have need for nothing, we are not likely to depend on God for anything. Paul says “For Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (1 Cor 12:10)
How are you doing in your faith walk? Do you need your mustard seed to grow? Plant that seed in the soil of this promise:“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14).
And last but not least, you should always keep a Bible handy, in case you ever fall and you can’t get up. Make yourself useful while you’re lying on the floor doing nothing!