Would you like to have more faith? You can! In fact, it is up to you, not up to God, how much faith you have! It is your choice. Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17), and it’s completely up to you how much of His word you hear. Hear a little, have a little faith. Hear a lot, have a lot of faith. No one can do your hearing for you – only you decide where you faith level will be. But when you stop and read what the Bible has to say on the subject, getting more faith may not even be the issue.
First, let’s establish that you cannot pray for faith. You can pray in faith, but you cannot pray for faith. That’s been tried, you know. In Luke 17, the disciples asked Jesus to give them more faith. Notice that He didn’t say, “OK, sure, here’s more faith!” Instead, He placed a premium on acting in faith. In fact, he said that if you had faith like a mustard seed, you could speak to a tree to be uprooted and thrown into the sea and it would obey you. That’s pretty drastic, isn’t it? Wouldn’t you think (if you hadn’t read the Bible) that you would need gargantuan faith to pull off a feat like that? If you spoke to a big oak tree and it zoomed through the air and it landed between the breakwater and Vinalhaven with a mighty splash, you’d probably have people lined up to interview you for all the Christian magazines because they would think that you have mammoth faith. Yet according to Jesus, you don’t need big faith to do something like that. You could actually have itty-bitty faith and use it and get results like that.
It’s not enough to have faith. The man in Acts 14:7-10 had faith to be healed, yet he was still sitting crippled when Paul spoke to him. How could that be? If he had faith to be healed, why wasn’t he walking, leaping and praising God like the man in Acts 3? Paul challenged him to get up and walk. When the man acted his faith by getting up, the healing he already had faith to believe for was manifested in his body.
Many people mistakenly think that they will have whatever they believe for -- that if they have faith, they will get the answer. But that is not true because it leaves out a crucial step. Jesus said that you could speak to a mountain and command it to be thrown into the sea. Not pray to God about the mountain, but speak to the mountain yourself. Jesus said that you would have whatever you say and believe in your heart, not just whatever you believe in your heart. If you don’t believe it enough to say it with other people around, you really don’t believe it at all, you just assent to it mentally. Mental assent will not get the job done. Just believing something is true will not get the job done. You have to say something. You had to say something to get saved.
I’ve heard people say, “Well, I’m sure so-and-so was a Christian even though she never said anything to anybody about it.” That can’t be true, because with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. There is no salvation without the confession of faith. If you are unwilling to tell anyone that Jesus Christ is your Lord, you are not saved. Real faith believes in the heart and speaks with the mouth as the Scripture says, “I believed, and therefore I spoke.” With the mouth confession is also made unto healing, freedom from debt, and any other benefit the new birth gives people. If you want to find out whether or not someone is in faith, just listen to him talk for five or ten minutes and the confession of his lips will reveal what is really inside. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks – that works for “good” abundance and “bad” abundance equally well.
So how do you make sure that there is good abundance in your heart so that your mouth will bring forth good things? This goes full circle to where we started. Feed on God’s words. Hear what the Bible has to say about you. The more you lay it up in your heart, the more it will come out of your mouth when the squeeze is on. So if the price of gas goes to $4 a gallon this summer, your mouth will say, “My God supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus even if gas goes to $10 a gallon! Praise God for His faithfulness! He is my Provider!” Doesn’t that sound a lot better than the confession of unbelief? “I don’t know how we will pay our bills if gas keeps going up like that. We could lose everything. Bummer.”