Here, every month a different contributor will give a different perspective on faith
Thought for the month of September
Good growing conditions for Faith.
Earlier in the year l planted some seeds indoors hoping to plant them out in the garden later in the year. They were not a great success as it turned out. They came up, but after a while they started to look leggy and straggly. So, l went to find out why from the fount of all knowledge, YouTube (just joking!) to see where l had gone wrong. In the process l learnt a lot about ideal growing conditions and it got me thinking about faith because it seemed there were a lot of parallels. Jesus often used parables about farming to get across deeper messages.
You see when l planted my seed l fully expected to see them come up because l knew l had put something in the soil. But what would you think if l hadn't planted any seed and was waiting for something to come up. That would seem a bit daft but as Christians we do that all the time. You see in order to get a crop you need a seed and the right growing conditions for that seed to germinate and grow.
In this physical world in which we live we hear people say "l'll believe it when l see it," but as Christians we are told to believe without seeing. Jesus says in Mark 11:24 "Therefore l say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them".
It's worth reading from Mark 11:22 - 24 . What Jesus says can be difficult for us because we grow up to large extent trusting just our five senses and not in the unseen spiritual world, so if we pray for something and don't see a result quite quickly, we start to doubt.
So, what are good growing conditions for our spiritual seed? Well, first of all prayer, but on its own prayer is not enough. Just as when you are growing something in the garden you need certain things; water, heat, light and a lack of competition in your soil. We need these things for our spiritual seed.
In spiritual terms, water is prayer, heat is hope, light is revelation and lack of competition is anything that promotes unbelief or that counters the promises of God's word. We often go straight to prayer without sowing any seed (God's word) imagine watering ground with no seed in and expecting something to come up. What does the bible say about the thing you are praying about? What are His promises. Look them up, read them, speak them to yourself, start sowing God's word into the soil of your heart. Water it with prayer, good prayer, not begging, but thanking Him for His promises with a confidence that when you prayed it was done in the heavens even if you don't see anything straight away.
Next warm the ground with hope. Hope isn't a desperate hanging on by your fingertips it should be a confident expectation of good, patience goes along with it. Patience is simply remaining in that state of hope until you see fruit.
Light is revelation, sometimes it's like you know there is something missing, one final piece that needs to drop into place. You may need a word from God, a revelation, or a word of wisdom, so pray and ask God for wisdom in this situation.
Finally, you need to stop any weeds popping up in the soil of your heart that will suck up the nutrients of everything else you are doing.
Unbelief is a strong counter to your Faith so anything you can do to minimise unbelief will help. Imagine you are sick and believing that by your prayers you will be healed. But at the same time you go on the internet and research to the ninth degree all the symptoms and outcomes of previous cases of whatever you are asking healing for, this would show that you do not truly believe that Our Lord will answer your prayers and heal you.
Mix with people of faith who have walked in divine healing, listen to their testimonies, build your faith that way. But most of all sow the incorruptible seed of the word of God in your heart and give it the right conditions to take root there and produce fruit. Remember Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. I hope you will find this helpful the next time you need to pray and believe.