What happens when we don’t constantly
build ourselves up in holy faith?
We read in Jude 1 verse 20: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit…”
When we don’t build ourselves up in faith:
- Our knowledge of the truth gets rusty;
- We despise in grace;
- Our power in resilience decreases and we struggle to resist;
- We become discouraged much easier; and
- Our motivation to serve the Lord under difficult circumstances, decreases.
When we start to wane in our faith and we become resilient, we may experience a great loss of our spiritual knowledge and insight, and it starts to fade in our lives. We are not always immediately aware of this decline in faith. The devil conceals it so that we don’t see it, but those around us will start observing or experiencing the decline in faith. Then we, knowing or unknowingly, start looking elsewhere for security in our lives, in things and people around us. We also often turn to ourselves for security and rely on our own insights and power. This kind of searching for security can actually pose more danger for us.
When we find our faith waning, we will also find that our spiritual discernment decreases. We read in Galatians 3 verse 3 that the Galatians fell back into a physical state from the spiritual. Paul was surprised at their quick fall and he wrote the following in Galatians 1 verses 6 & 7: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.”
Then there was Solomon, who was a wise man – probably the wisest of all on earth. Solomon specifically prayed for godly wisdom. We read in 1 Kings 3 verse 9: “Give your servant, therefore, an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil…”
The Lord answered his prayer to great extent.
As time passed and Solomon started trusting his own power more than the Spirit, he eventually lost his spiritual power and discernment. More and more he trusted his own insight and experience until eventually, he was so far away from the Lord that he started worshipping the gods of other nations and in doing so, he plunged Israel into war and spiritual decay (1 Kings 11 verses 4 to 10).
Why must we persist in faith and increase in knowledge and grace?
To prevent us from ending up on the wrong path due to the lack of sufficient faith and knowledge, and in doing so stray from the Lord. Building up of faith is a daily activity that we cannot afford to neglect. The devil is going around, looking for ways to knock us off the path of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. He is only out to rob us.
Biblical faith isn’t the natural ability of our human minds. Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Faith functions on a spiritual level and is only established in us by the Holy Spirit when we hear the Word of God.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10 verse 17)
The Holy Spirit works through the Word of God to give us the life and promises of the Lord. Jesus said: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6 verse 36)
Faith in Jesus Christ as our Saviour can only be confirmed by turning away from sin and taking refuge in the Lord because He alone can forgive us and save our souls. He is the light of the world and in Him is eternal life. To believe in Him means that we turn our back on sin and place our trust in Him, to receive forgiveness and salvation while we also commit ourselves to a continuous process of growing towards spiritual maturity.
This road of faith is a daily process where we have to turn to the Lord time and time again and ask for His help.
In the different phases of our lives, we are faced with different situations, people, trials, and tests from which we have to turn away to prevent possible spiritual damage.
Therefore, I think that faith is a daily exercise that must be practiced.
The Holy Spirit wants to work powerfully through us when we can overcome stumbling blocks of disbelief. The Lord wants to reveal His power in our lives through our weaknesses.
The price of self-denial and cleansing is too high for some people in terms of what they will have to give up and let go of. There might be some habit sins, wrong spiritual beliefs, maybe even friends, that will have to be left behind. But when we don’t hesitate to take this step and turn our backs on the things distracting us from our faith, we can be sure that we will receive a new life in place of the old one. This new life in faith is exponentially better and more fulfilling than the life without faith because the power that you’ll receive through the Holy Spirit will carry you through every crisis in your life and enable you to make life changes. The Holy Spirit will help you grow spiritually – maybe you think that it is only for other people – but through faith in Jesus Christ and His mercy it is there for you to experience.
The Holy Spirit will make you aware of His presence daily, and prayer will have a bigger role in your life. Prayer is of cardinal importance and we have to make time for humility and self-examination in our lives and continue with it until we get the breakthrough and blessings which come with it. When we submit ourselves fully, the Holy Spirit will convince us of everything that we still need to let go of or confess that is standing in the way of a pure faith-filled heart.
“Create in my a clean heart, o GOD, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51 verse 10)
“Search me, o GOD, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139 verses 23 & 24)
None of us have the same faith stumble blocks in our lives, but when we are faithful in breaking with the wrong things and approaching the Lord in prayer, our old nature or the old “food sources” fed our disbelief until now will be deprived. When we deprive our disbelief of “food” then the Holy Spirit can fully take control of our lives and obstructively establish our faith in Christ in our hearts and lives. Then you can walk with the Spirit daily because you are now fed through faith and not disbelief.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5 verse 16)
When you look up the word “walk” in the dictionary, you will find words like life, behavior, and lifestyle. Our life, behavior, and lifestyle have to be dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Lord, I want to walk with Your Spirit every day of my life so that my security will not be in myself and my own power, but that my security will be anchored in You through my faith in You, my Saviour.”
I bless you with the holiest faith and the ability to pray in the Holy Spirit.
Remember that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Let us walk in the Spirit.
Angie Rossouw, Jatniël