Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Feed Your Faith

                I have been struggling with a few areas in my life, areas I know the Lord God wants me to let go of and move forward, but the problem is that there is a mountain in my way. I say to the mountain, be removed, but more often than not, that mountain just stands there, staring at me with a sly grin. I haven’t become frustrated yet, because my faith is not in me being able to move the mountain, but my faith is in the Lord moving the mountain for me.  I began jogging and am determined to get my body in shape, so that the Lord can use me as much and for as long as He so desires. But it has been hard, let me tell you. But He keeps me going, every day giving me the strength I need to keep pressing forward.
                As I was preparing to leave for our women’s study last night, the Lord gave me a picture that has encouraged me so very much, and I wanted to share it with you all today. He showed me a picture of someone that eats Twinkies all day, they never really get any nourishment to their bodies, they just eat sugar, and all that is bad for them, all day long. He showed me that over time, this person will become unhealthy, they will become slow, not having any energy and eventually, they will wither away and die.  Our bodies need nourishment, they need foods that build up and strengthen us. If we all just stopped eating good food and only ate what was bad for us, our bodies would eventually give out.
                Not only do our bodies need to have good nourishment, but they need to be exercised as well. This is an area that I have struggled with for years. I had a saying that I would repeat anytime I thought I needed to exercise, “If you can’t spell it, you shouldn't do it.” I always had a problem spelling the word exercise, until spell checker was invented, and the Lord took that excuse away from me! But, as I have gotten older, I have seen the benefits of living a healthy life style, and the benefits of daily exercise. I not only have more energy, but I feel better all together, and I am beginning to enjoy the time I spend getting my body into shape.  
After the picture of what I could look life if I kept going on the path I once had taken, He said to me, “Faith is the same.” Our faith needs nourishment; it needs good solid food to keep strong, to endure, and to be built up so that it can be used. If we only ever feed our faith on junk food, and never give our faith the nourishment that it needs, what do we think will happen? The same thing that would happen to our bodies, our faith would become slow, weakened by the lack of nourishment, withers away and die. Going to church each week is good, and the bible tells us that we should not fail to assemble ourselves together, but our faith needs more nourishment than just an hour a week. We must allow our faith to be nourished by the Word of God continually. Just as the body needs food, so also does our faith.  
Secondly, our faith must also be exercised. In Luke 17:5 the Apostles say to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” Feeding our faith through the Word of God daily will increase our faith, our faith in Him and in His word will grow, and it will become stronger. But we also must put that faith to use. “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?” (James 2:14) Faith is a gift we have been given. Think of it like this, you have been given life, a life to live- but if you never leave your home, will anyone ever know you were even alive? Faith must be nourished, but it also must be exercised.
James tells us that faith without works is dead. (James 2:17) We all have faith, if we believe in Jesus Christ; we have been given a measure of faith. But that faith must be used, it must be exercised, and it must be nourished. So many of us are withering away because we do not nourish our faith by the Word of God, instead we feed on books and TV programs, junk food for our souls. I talk with women all the time who are struggling in their faith because they read the latest Christian best seller instead of the Word of God. There is nothing wrong with reading books about God, but we must first go to the Word of God to receive the nourishment our bodies need.
 We want our lives to be all rosy and easy, but what good would faith be then? James goes on to tell us that “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled’, but do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? (James 2:16) We can say we have faith, but faith is seen, not just heard. The world around us should see our faith in action. You would not go to the gym to work out, and then get there and just stand- no, you would get on the equipment and use it. Our faith is no different. If we do not take care of the faith we have been given, we will become useless and find ourselves undernourished and withering away and eventually our faith will die.
Having faith is a gift from God, we are not given faith so that we can hide it; our faith needs to be out in the open, fully seen. We must nourish it, feed it, and allow God to grow it. My heart’s cry today is the same as the apostles was, “Lord, increase my faith.” I need the faith that I have been given to tackle the mountains before me. I need the faith that I have been given to be strong enough to say to the mountain before “Be removed” and that mountain be removed. Faith is to be used, it is to be seen. We should see faith in action, being exercised, being used, being fed and being nourished. There is only one way for that to happen, and that is by getting into God’s word each and every day, allowing Him to increase our faith, to expand our borders and then to face the mountains in the strength of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Jesus tells us in Luke 17 that our faith should be as a mustard seed. The seed of faith is planted in our hearts, and then the Lord God, through His word cultivates it, nourishes it and gives it the increase. So much so that it grows into a mulberry tree and we will be able to say to the obstacles and mountains of our life, “Be removed” and they will obey and be cast into the sea. And it all begins by giving it the right food and exercise. Simple, really, when we think about it, so why then do we have to make it so difficult?
Today, I pray that the Lord God would increase your faith, that you would be able to say to the mountains that are before you, “Be removed” and they shall run into the sea and be no more. Father God, give us faith that can move mountains, give us a heart that desires to increase in You, to increase the faith You have given us. Let us nourish and exercise not only our bodies, but our faith too. In Jesus Name, Amen.