We’ve made to the middle of February just like that. And chances are if you are reading this post you have somehow left the “New Year’s Resolution “ phase behind and you really desire to get to things going for your life this year. When you converse with people around you, you often will hear things such as “I need to get my health under control”, or “I need to get my finances under control” and more times than not, “I want to know God on a deeper level this year”.
Well, I am here to tell you that getting to know God is the best decision you will ever make for your life. It is more than getting your weight and finances under control because when you get to know God more intimately, everything else falls into place. That is why in the book of Matthew chapter 6 verse 33, it tells us that we should seek the kingdom of God first, and then everything else will fall into place. It doesn’t just tell us some things will fall into place but all things.
God wants to get to know you just as much as you want to know Him but you have to put in the work! Once you are able to put in the work, just like going to the gym 5 days a week or just like studying for a huge board exam, you will see that you will be graciously rewarded. God loves to reward His children and those who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6).
Today, I want to share 7 tips with you on how you can and will grow your faith in 2016! As with anything else in this life, the onus is on you to get the work done. Remember this is just a list of some of the things you can do to know God more this year. Make sure to adjust this list according to your current walk with God and believe that by the end of this year, your relationship with God will have greatly grown.
In order to have a relationship with God, Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit, you must first of all believe. If you have a doubting mind then your relationship will not grow in the Lord. You have to believe that He exists. Hebrews 11:6 tell us that ‘anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him’. If you don’t believe in God then there is absolutely no way that your relationship in Him will grow. The bible makes us to know that, blessed are those who believe without seeing! Believing in God will open up so many doors for you. Believing in God will also increase your faith tremendously because you will have no other choice but to depend solely on God!
Read your bible
When you were in school or maybe you currently are, in order to earn a grade and eventually your diploma you had to read, read and read. Reading the word of God changes your mindset. It allows you to see life the way God has planned it. I can honestly tell you that anything that is contrary to the Bible, it doesn’t matter who the person is who wrote it or said it, is not the plan and wish of God. Reading and meditating on the word of God daily gives you strength and courage to face any situation of life. This life will throw all sorts of arrows in your path but if you are not reading the word of God you have nothing to fall back on. 2 Timothy 2:15 says “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. In order to know the truth it must mean that you have read it somewhere, you’ve encountered it and you live it. The only place to find the truth is in His Holy word. Read the bible daily!!!
Meditate on the word
Just as a professor would tell you, it is not enough to come to class and take notes; you must study the word of God as well. You must meditate on it daily. Meditating on the word of God means you’ve read it and during the day, the week, the month, you are reminding yourself of what the word of God says and you search for a deeper meaning from God. Meditating on the Word allows you to go deeper in the word. It gives you new meaning on God and how God thinks. And when you know how God thinks then you will be able to change your thinking as well. Joshua 1:8 says that this book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall mediate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. The bible further tells us that when we do this that you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success!
I’m not going to lie to you, this used to be the area where I struggled the most. Mainly because I didn’t know what to pray for or even how to pray. Fortunately, I live on Earth and there are struggles we all face and just by living on Earth with day-to-day problems and challenges, I was forced to learn how to pray! No matter who you are and where you are located, you always need to pray. There is something to pray for at all times, just take a look around you. Examine your life and you will see that you always will have something to pray about. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us simply to pray without ceasing. It is a very short verse in the Bible but a very powerful one. We cannot allow a day to pass by without praying. When you decide not to pray you leave yourself open for the enemies attack. And when the enemy sees that you have left yourself unarmed, uncovered, He will dispatch his demons to attack you. Friends, let me let you in on a little secret: either you are chasing something or something is chasing you and no matter which of the two it is, they both require prayers. Start praying for 15 minutes a day. You will quickly see that the 15 minutes will not be enough and daily you will be growing in your communication line with God.
Upgrade Your Circle
I am sure that we have all heard of the saying, “birds of the same feather, they flock together”! This is a statement that many people overlook and ignore. Being strategic about who you move around with, are seen in public with, and hang with is very important. Having the right circle of friends in so important in today’s society. If your desire is to grow your faith, you need to be around those who will help you to achieve this goal. Hanging out with those who are everyday club goers, smokers, drinkers, and perpetual fornicators will not allow your faith to grow in the Lord. Hanging around those who are church goers, faith growers and Bible readers will motivate you to know the Lord even more. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says “be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. You have no business around anyone who is an unbeliever, it will not help your walk with God nor will it increase your faith. You cannot change anyone into becoming a believer, it is the Holy Spirit that will do that for anyone! Do not entangle yourself with anyone, for any reason, who will not encourage you in the way of the Lord.
Bible believing church
The purpose of a church is so that we are able to fellowship one with another. Finding a bible believing church is a must for anyone who wants to grow their faith. I am sure someone are wondering are there such a thing as non bible believing churches and the answer is yes, there is! It is important that you attend a church that uses the bible daily by opening up the bible and reading the scriptures aloud. The bible tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God. In Bible believing church, the minister of God is supposed to encourage your walk with God. The minister of God is to teach you the ways of God and help you learn by example. Any church where you cannot learn from the leadership is not the church that you should be in. Be very careful of where you seek your covering. Your church home, is your covering, friends! Make a very wise and informative decision in a church home that will groom and mold you in the way of God!
Eight years ago, I attended a church night vigil in a very busy and popular city in Maryland. The location was not the safest and the garage in which I parked my car was not the securest. By the time the program ended at almost 3 am the next morning and I approached my car with my husband, I noticed that my car had been broken into. Initially I thought they stole my then GPS system that was tucked away in my glove compartment but upon checking they didn’t. I didn’t know what they took really but I called it in and took the car for repair. It wasn’t until the day I picked up my car from the repair shop, that I noticed that what was “stolen” was my 100 CD case that house my very secular music. Music that was not befitting of a child of God nor music that glorified God. I will not lie, I cried my eyes out because there were more than 100 CDs in the case of music that I loved so much; both music of the world and my gospel CDs. I was very angry with the person or people who broke into my car because I have a true love for music. I would have rather they stole anything else but the CD case. It wasn’t until almost 2 years later that God told me that the reason why it was taken was to rid my mind, body and soul of the filthy music. Any music that doesn’t glorify God is music of the devil and of the world. You even have to be careful of what you call “gospel” music because if it is a self righteous song, it is not true gospel. Music has a way of penetrating the very depths of ones soul and it is very important that you are very aware of the music that you listen to. The enemy has infiltrated the music industry and passes around hate, destruction and pain through music of today. Be very picking of the music that you listen to, friends, it is very important.
This, of course, is not a comprehensive list. It is just a list to help you get started on growing your faith in 2016. Remember that God desires to know you but you must be willing to get to know Him. Open up your heart unto the Lord and He will draw you near. I pray that 2016 will be your year of exponential growth in every area of your life in Jesus’ name.
Go in peace and God bless you!