TAKING GROUND: Strengthening Your Faith

In order to possess the land God has for you, you are going to need to many things such as favor, opportunity, resources, wisdom, help, etc. The list is long. But on that list, you will find that there is one essential that you cannot do without called faith.

Whether you know it or not, you already have faith inside of you. God put it there. It exists. But the truth is, in order for you to take possession of all God has for you, the faith that you currently have is not enough. But there is good news. Your faith can grow!

FAITH is the process of hearing, believing and acting upon the things God says, causing the supernatural release of things promised.

FAITH: EVERYONE RECEIVES A PORTION FROM GOD

  • Ephesians 2:8, ESV For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

  • Romans 12:3, ESV For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure (GK – metron) of faith that God has assigned.

FAITH: MEASURED IN TERMS OF STRENGTH

  • some function with no faith: Mark 4:40, ESV He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”

  • some function with little faith: Matthew 17:16–20, ESV And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

  • some function with great faith: Matthew 15:25–28, ESV But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

FAITH: IMPACTS YOUR ABILITY TO TAKE THE GROUND

  • Hebrews 3:19, ESV So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

  • Matthew 9:29, ESV Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”

  • Mark 11:23–24, ESV Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

FAITH: CURRENT STRENGTH NOT SUFFICIENT TO TAKE FUTURE GROUND

  • Matthew 17:19–21, NASB95 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

FAITH: CAN BE INTENTIONALLY INCREASED

  • Luke 17:5–6, ESV The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

    • the disciples wanted Jesus to increase their faith

    • their request was out of alignment with kingdom principles

    • the kingdom functions like a seed

    • the process of faith increasing is in the process of faith functioning

  • seeds planted create more and more seeds and faith exercised increases faith!

EXERCISING FAITH TO INCREASE FAITH


1. INGEST THE WORD

  • Romans 10:17, ESV So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

  • clarifies God’s character and will

  • clarifies your prerequisites and methods

  • define the things that are actually in your lot

  • read and listen to it

  • listen/re-listen to preaching

  • read books

  • reread/listen to prophetic promises

2. TELL OBSTRUCTIONS WHERE TO GO

  • Matthew 21:21–22, ESV And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

  • asking has a place - whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith

  • declaring plays a key role in faith-filled prayer - if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.

  • let mis-alignment be a magnet

  • be bold to pray

  • be persistent

  • partner with others


3. FAST

  • Matthew 6:16–18, ESV “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

  • fasting is not a hunger strike to convince God to do something

  • fasting intentionally creates a difficult moment for you to rely on God to sustain you through the discomfort.

  • the pain of fasting is the same as the burn of lifting weights – it’s the evidence of stretching to the next level.

4. LEAN IN TO MOMENTS REQUIRING FAITH

  • Matthew 14:28–29, ESV And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.

  • Romans 12:6, ESV Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;

  • step out a little farther

  • don’t look for a substitute – trust God!!!

5. TITHE, GIVE, REPEAT

  • Malachi 3:7–12, ESV From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.

  • Luke 16:10–12, ESV “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?

6. SPEAK LIFE OVER THINGS THAT ARE CURRENTLY DEAD

  • Ezekiel 37:3–6, ESV And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

  • 1 Corinthians 10:10, ESV nor grumble (onomatop – to mutter, murmur, complain), as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.

CLOSING:

Genesis 12:1,4, ESV Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. So Abram went,