Many of us take our faith for granted. We fail to realise or frequently forget how precious and fragile it is living as we do in a world that is wholly controlled by the evil one (1 John 5:19).
I have personally been reminded of this truth afresh over the past weeks in conversations with a young adult whom I’ve known for almost his entire life. This is a very bright young man at a prestigious university in the UK who was born and raised in a devout Christian home and had a few years ago himself made a decision to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. He is now struggling with his faith, finding it more and more difficult to reconcile it with current social trends and the discoveries of science that seemingly disprove and cancel the existence and necessity of God.
Not a small matter. And I am certain he is not alone in his predicament.
The great apostle Paul exhorted his young protégé Timothy not to take his faith lightly or for granted but to, “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12 ESV
And yet so many of us take our faith for granted not contending or fighting for it but innocently assuming it will always be there as long as we keep to the tradition of Sunday church attendance. Not so. It is this innocent thinking and the gullibility it fosters that the devil takes advantage of. The devil’s attacks to undermine our faith come from varied quarters – some well-known and obvious, others not so but subtle and unexpected.
Your faith will not be there tomorrow unless you fight for it today, fight to keep and sustain it. It will not be there unless you take the necessary steps to regularly fortify and maintain it. Fortification of the faith is an ongoing exercise and discipline of a disciple’s life. We need to be regularly positioning ourselves in many ways in order to safeguard our faith keeping it steadfast and strong.
It is both the daily routine of drawing close to God through regular devotion and the concerted and systematic study (individual and group) of scripture truths that will not only yield the best possible defense but equip us for serious onslaught on the enemy and his attacks. It is your voluntary and determined self-engagement with God through His word that will guarantee the fortification of your faith. A spoon fed faith cannnot and will not last long. Self-service and willing engagement are an absolute necessity.
When the devil sought and asked to sift Peter like wheat, the Lord prayed for him that his faith may not fail – nothing else (Luke 22:31 – 32). Temptations and tests will come, onslaughts and attacks by the enemy in various forms and guises through friends and foe alike are a fact of life. But we need to be aware that in all this it is our faith the enemy is after, it is our faith the enemy seeks to destroy and rob us of and it is our faith that we need to guard and vigorously defend. Jesus prayed for Peter’s faith not to fail. That says a lot.
Let us not take our faith lightly or for granted, it is the most precious treasure that we possess, it is the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen,” (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV), it is the gateway to our inheritance.
As per the apostle’s exhortation consider how you can, not only fortify your faith against attacks but go on the offensive with your faith to do exploits for God and His kingdom. Here’s the testimony of the scriptures on what it takes to do exactly that:
… but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
Daniel 11:32 (KJV)
It is a personal knowledge of God that not only enables and empowers us to resist the varied and numerous onslaught of the enemy but go over and beyond and carry out exploits for God and His kingdom. Hence the need to equip and arm ourselves with this very personal knowledge of God, to take our personal quest for the knowledge of God to a different level – with utmost seriousness and total commitment.