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Maturing Christians Develop Faith

How is faith both a gift and a requirement?

by Andy Davis on May 28, 2024

"Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 2 Kings 6:16
"And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
Hebrews 11:6


With his heart beating wildly, the young man looked out from the house at the hills surrounding Dothan, scarcely believing what he was seeing. Somehow in the night, a massive force of Aramean soldiers had snuck in and taken position around the city. They even had horses and chariots, and images of fleeing in terror and being cut down by a skilled charioteer brought instant terror to his mind. He ran back into the house and summoned the seer, frantically describing the scene to the man of God. "O my lord, what shall we do?" he exclaimed. There seemed to be no escape. Elisha surveyed the scene with the practiced eye of faith, and calmly turned to the young man. "'Don't be afraid,' the prophet answered. 'Those who are with us are more than those who are with them'" (2 Kings 6:16). The young man was bewildered; it seemed like thousands against two. But his eyes betrayed him. There was more in reality than could be seen by the natural eye.

" gifted with the ability to perceive who God is and what he is doing in the world."

The kind prophet, spiritual mentor to this young man's growing faith, turned to the Lord, the author and perfecter of faith: "O Lord, open his eyes so he may see." Suddenly, the young man could see what had always been there but had been invisible to his unaided eyes- the hills filled with horses and chariots of fire, all around Elisha. The human army, which a moment ago looked terrifyingly formidable, suddenly shrank into laughable nothingness. Elisha's mature faith enabled him to see in the spiritual realm what the young man's physical eyes could only see in the physical. Those horses and chariots of fire were not produced by Elisha's faith- they were there whether Elisha believed or not. But by faith Elisha perceived their presence before the young man could see a thing.

Faith is the eyesight of the human soul. Faith has the unique power under God to perceive invisible spiritual realities and truth. It is gifted with the ability to perceive who God is and what he is doing in the world. Like the eye, faith does not create reality but passively receives information about the true nature of things. One common error that springs from spiritual immaturity is the false belief that we can compel God to do something he is not willing to do, or to create something out of nothing (as if we were gods ourselves). Rather, faith is a passive faculty of the soul by which God communicates spiritual realities, and through which he can pour into the believer all the good gifts his love and his wisdom have determined to give. God has ordained faith to play the central role in our justification; he gives it as a gift of his grace, enabling us to receive full forgiveness in Christ. Even in its immature stage it is still well-pleasing to God and is fully equal to the role of justifying the wicked.

However, like every living thing in God's creation, faith is designed to grow. The growth of our faith is essential to our ongoing sanctification. Fully mature faith is a truly worthy goal for Christians to strive for!

(this is an excerpt from Andy Davis’s book, An Infinite Journey, pages 129-130)

Tags: walk by faith, internal journey