We build up our faith by reading and studying the Bible, and from receiving what we’ve studied as the spoken Word of God. We accept it and believe it and praise God for it, and it becomes part of our own being. The more we read and build up our own knowledge of God, the greater our love becomes for Him and the easier it is to believe His Word.
This believing is called “faith“.
But faith alone will not do us any good unless we use it. We need to put it to work. This is called “practice”, and each time we practice our faith with our works, we become stronger in the Lord and our faith in God becomes more solid.
A great analogy would be if you wanted to be a pianist in concert. You buy the perfect baby grand piano, tune it regularly and clean it constantly with the perfect polishes. You buy the best music sheets and books to study by and your passion to play grows with each page you read. After a long period of time, someone approaches you and asks you to play Rhapsody in Blue in front of a massive audience. You are overjoyed that you have been given this honor. You buy the perfect outfit to wear and join other talented musicians on stage. You place your hands on the keys and die of embarrassment.
Why? Because you have learned everything there is to learn about playing the piano and you have all the theory in your head and you assumed that you would be able to perform because it has become part of you. But in fact, you have never played a single key on the piano in your life and you don’t have a feel for the keys or for the petals, and have no idea how to blend with the other musicians. You had never practiced playing and when you tried to look perfect, you didn’t know how to apply what you had learned.
Faith works the same way. You need to use your faith and make it work starting with small things. It’s hard to have the faith for something big when you’ve never put it to the test for something small. Kenneth Copeland has stated publically many times that although he has the faith now to believe for a jetplane, he began by testing his faith for a pair of socks – and it didn’t come the first time around…he had to practice and practice until he understood that he was actually believing God for those socks. And from there, he tested his faith for something bigger and then again for something bigger, as his faith continued to grow.
Our faith grows as we put it to work because when we start small, we prove to ourselves that we actually have the faith – the ability to believe God for what we have learned. And we gain the confidence in ourselves to use that faith and put it to work. We can’t leave it hidden until the time that a great need arises because we won’t know how to use it.
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead, also.” ….. James 2:26