“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost…” – Jude 1:20
“God? Where are you in the midst of what I’m going through?”
Have you ever asked this question to God? Or maybe heard it from others?
We need to understand that our faith is always coming under attack and if we are not careful, we might end up questioning God Himself and cause our faith to deteriorate without even noticing it. Then, all of a sudden, we find ourselves bitter and cynical in life. And soon, the people around us will also begin to notice that the gleam in our eyes has begun to go out, and the joy and peace have begun to go out of our spirit. Like the rushing waters against the riverbanks, there is an erosion that comes to us living that way every day, and if we don’t do something aggressively to secure our faith, we begin to deteriorate in our faith.
This leads us then to the question: Who then is truly responsible for building up our faith?
Is it the pastors? The teachers? The church leaders? Is it something that God does for us? NO. The building up of our faith is something that we do for ourselves. It is our personal responsibility. The Book of Jude helps us understand that all of us have a certain level of faith, and if the foundation of our faith is going to be built upon, then we must commit and assume the responsibility to make it happen.
Build Your Faith Intentionally
If we are to build our faith, we are to build it intentionally. Nobody builds something by accident. Yet most of us Christians live every day just believing that our faith is going to be built up automatically, without us having any involvement in the process.
Regardless of who we are, we’ve got to have some level of faith in this world, or we literally could not survive. In Romans 12, we can read about how God dealt to every man a measure of faith. But Jude goes way beyond what Romans is talking about and says that we must build on top of our faith. This kind of faith is an intentional faith — a faith specifically toward God.
We need to understand that faith is not like a spare tire in our trunk that we only use when we have a crisis. Faith is like a muscle, it needs working out for it to grow stronger. And we have the ability to build upon what we have been given. It depends on what we intentionally do with our faith. It’s up to us to exercise it or not. We have the responsibility to build our faith muscles. It’s on us. Wherever we are in life, it’s because of what we did or did not do. We need to build up our faith so that we can establish who we are.
Build Your Faith “In God”
Jesus never taught us to have faith for faith’s sake. In Hebrews 6, we are commanded to “have faith in God.” Not in anyone and in anything else. Why?
Because if we have faith in ourselves, we’re only going to disappoint ourselves. This is also why we should not be surprised when others fail us. We all fail. If our faith is not in God, sooner or later, we’re going to be left without a solid foundation. We need a foundation that is stronger and bigger than our ability to withstand the vicissitudes of life, and therefore, we must have faith in God.
Placing our faith in ourselves, in things, or in people results in a deteriorating faith. Whenever we face problems and we trust our plans to get us out of it, we’re not having faith in God. Each time we face obstacles and place our confidence in our friends, our faith is not in God. Whenever we face trials and we reach for our credit card because we believe that everything can be resolved by economic resources, our faith is not in God.
Likewise, we can have things happen to us such as tests and crises that can literally knock the wind out of our sails — things that can handicap our faith, which is exactly why we need to have a strong foundation. And the only sure and strong foundation that we can build our faith on is Jesus. (Matthew 7:24-27)
In reality, all of us have to grasp that God and God alone has to be the foundation of what we rest our life upon. And it is our responsibility to build on that foundation of faith in God that we have. We are to live by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7) and this is why we must continually build our faith. It’s about time we prioritize exercising faith in our lives.