“I never felt like I had enough faith.”
I was shocked. This friend that I had known for years, my strong, beautiful, and confident friend’s testimony revolved around one overwhelming conflict, an insecurity of faith. Sure, I have had lots of moments where I disparaged my lack of faith, but her? This friend whose unwavering boldness had always intimidated and inspired me?
She grew up on the mission field, overseas in a country that blended Islam and Voodoo. She was surrounded by darkness and light: pustulating diseases miraculously healed, demon possessed natives rescued and restored. Exhausted parents and neighboring missionary families constantly crying out to the Holy Spirit, His saving power reaching out to help time and time again.
Yet while surrounded by darkness, nothing ever happened to her. She never prayed over anyone for healing, was never confronted by a demon, and during an especially scary occurrence inside her own house, her parents rushed to find her sound and peacefully asleep.
She thought something was wrong with her, that while every other Christian she knew was deeply engaged in all of these supernatural experiences, she was not. She believed it was because she didn’t have enough faith.
So she overcompensated, throwing herself into all leadership ministries, doing anything and everything to prove to God, others, and herself that she DID have enough faith. Outside, she was a bold, brave leader in the church, inside, her insecurities and doubts consumed her.
Every single woman in our bible study hung onto her story as if we were frozen, waiting for the end. It was so real, so honest, and most of all so relatable. How many times had each of us plastered on a good face, throwing ourselves deeper into “doing”, trying to ignore or attone for the fact that we weren’t enough?
As I sat, I realized that these beliefs that we had about ourselves were not founded on truth, but on a misunderstanding of faith, of who God is, and why His Son died for us.
You see, we will never measure up on our own. We will never be able to do enough, achieve enough, or have enough faith on our own. It is only through Jesus Christ, that we are made enough.
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV
We try so hard to compensate for our weaknesses, we forget that weakness is the origin of all faith! It is only through us admitting our utter helplessness and failures that we can finally accept that we need God, surrendering our will for His, receiving His grace.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” – Galatians 2:20-21 ESV
When we have been crucified with Christ, God assigns to each of us a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith is meant to be grown! We do not receive salvation and then BAM immediately receive a FULL PORTION of faith. No, it matures as we walk with Christ, listen to the Holy Spirit, and surrender our lives further and further to Him.
Even the disciples needed their faith to grow… the men who eventually became apostles, writers of Scripture, and founders of the church. How did their faith mature? By BEING with Christ, studying His life, allowing Him to confront them in their weakness, giving them His strength in return. Christ, the “founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2)
It was only later that my friend discovered that it was not a lack of faith that kept things from happening to her, but God’s provision. She was so blinded by her own insecurities, that she did not see the true act of love and protection God was extending to her. Recognizing that allowed her to heal and fall into a deep loving relationship with the Lord (a relationship through which God has worked many miracles for others).
It is not the question of “do I have enough faith”, but am I walking out in the faith that God has given me?
“...that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ (the founder and perfecter of faith) may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:16-19 ESV