KEEPING YOUR FAITH ALIVE
Luke 22:31-32, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
I have prayed for you that your faith fail not… You need to understand what happened here.
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Peter’s faith did fail, but not utterly: he did fall, but he did not fall off, apostatize, or forsake his Master and his cause finally, as Judas did. I heard the story of a man who left church and quit Christianity completely to join his brothers in serving idols because he was facing some financial hardship.
For some, faith can fail but not utterly. But for some they fall off completely when their faith fails. It happens to young people who are desperate to make it in life. It happens to single ladies who are desperate to get married. In the case of this brother, he apostatized because of money.
I pray that nothing will ever make you to turn away from the Lord to serve Satan, in Jesus name!
Let us look at failure of faith that is not apostasy. Failure of effort is traceable to failure of faith. Faith can fail. So how do you keep it alive? We shall come to that but first let’s find out the significance of faith and what faith is.
The Importance Of Faith
Mark 5:35-36, “While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?  As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.”
John 11:39-40, “Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.  Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?”
The most powerful spiritual force available to man is the force of faith. And we are designed to live by it. With it you can move mountains, raise the dead, create a path in the sea, river or desert and reverse hopeless situations.
The only thing you need to recover from the worst problem or challenge in your life is faith.
The only thing you need to overcome your enemies is faith. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1John 5:4
What is faith?
- Faith is looking beyond your ability and unto the power of God to deal with a situation. It is your ability to rely on the power of God or your ability to draw power from God to deal with a problem or situation. This power of God is revealed in His names. Acts 3:16, “And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” Therefore, you need to understand what His name is and what it means so that you can believe in it and be blessed. You can have faith in His name Jesus which means Saviour. You rely on the Saviour rather than yourself. You can have faith in His name Christ which means Messiah, faith in His name Redeemer, faith in His name Healer, faith in His name, Deliverer, and faith in His name Provider. It is not about calling the name Jesus as a magic incantation. For instance, when you cast out a devil in His name, you are saying you invoke the authority and power of Jesus the Deliverer to set that captive free. When I have a need, I must believe that He is my Provider and therefore pray as such with assurance. If you don’t, you will not have that need met supernaturally. He works on our behalf through our faith in Him to do what seems impossible.
- Your ability to see your present challenge as settled in your favour based on the promise of God. Your ability to see yourself where God says He has prepared for you.
- Your ability to receive what God says He has given you by doing what He tells you to do.
- Faith is seeing as done what God says He has done. For instance, the Bible says, “By His stripes you are healed.” That means you must see yourself as healed no matter what! See yourself as blessed regardless of what is happening in your finances now.
- Your ability to hold on to the promise of God long enough until it comes to pass. Hebrews 6:12 says, “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Mark 9:17-24 (please read), “ And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
A man brought his son to the disciples of Jesus to heal him of a demonic problem, but they could not. Eventually, Jesus arrived and dealt with the situation. This scripture highlights some reasons why our faith fails to accomplish results. Sometimes we think we have faith, but we realise that we don’t, so, we cry, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
- Living by what we see. 2Corinthians 5:7 (NLT) says, “For we live by believing and not by seeing.” Faith is always focused on what God can do. When you are not in Faith then you are focused on what you can do. You are looking at the enemy, the problem, the obstacle, the situation, and that rules your emotions.
- Human Reason. There are times when God asks you to do something that feels unreasonable. We had only one million when God asked us to take this land. I started to reason how we were going to pay for it. God told me to only believe.
- Negative Counsel. Be careful who you seek counsel from. Don’t just allow anyone to speak into your life, protect the things you’re praying about. Seek counsel from someone who knows you and your heart. Someone who will pray with you and point you to the Word of God. The right counsel will encourage you, confirm, or correct you.
- Feelings – fear, confusion, guilt, shame, etc. Your feelings are not legitimate evidence of your life of faith. Many believers fail to follow God, waiting for the right emotion to come along. Fear is the opposite of faith. Fear says that God cannot when faith says that He can. Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:7, 9
- Not reading your Bible. The Word of God is fuel to our faith. Romans 10:17 (KJV) says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Knowing and understanding the Bible will give strength to your faith. Although we can hear from God in several ways, we most clearly discern His voice through reading His Word. If you want to know God in a deeper way and hear His voice more clearly, make the commitment to become a student of His Word. Read the Bible every day, and let the Lord speak to your heart. Avoid distractions. Spending so much time in entertainment, on your phone, social media, etc. indulging yourself is a potent assassin of faith.
- When you doubt the love of God for you. Most people don’t doubt the ability of God, we only doubt His love and willingness to help us. If thou wilth… The man in our text doubted if God was interested or willing to help him.
- Sin. Sin will always sink your faith and you. It is the most potent tool the devil uses to shred your confidence to pieces.
Keep your faith alive. You will prevail, you will testify, you will celebrate breakthrough after breakthrough from today, in the name of Jesus!
Bishop Dr. Charles Olowojoba is the General Overseer of Dayspring Bible Church Worldwide with HQ in Abuja, Nigeria & President, Dayspring Christian Ministries Int’l. Website: www.dayspringcmi.org e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Help line: 08035150515