Exercises in Faith

Faith is like a muscle, it needs regular exercise. If you left your hand in your pocket pretty soon your arm would be weak. If you use it normally then your arm will have normal strength; if you exercise it strongly it will be become very strong. The same is true of faith. We each have been given faith as a mustard seed; that is, very small but with great potential. This is a gift from God. Now we must exercise and nurture it. The more we do so the stronger it will become.
You can make up your own exercises, but they must be in line with the word of God. No amount of faith will prevail if you ask amiss. I will describe an exercise of faith to get you started:
Come into a prayer mode of mind; greet our heavenly father, speak to him of the things of your day, and those that concern or worry you. Now ask God for a stratagem to deal with a particular problem, and a sign following so that you may know you have ‘heard’ or ‘seen’ correctly. Then be still, and quiet. Wait patiently whilst focussing on God. After some time has passed and you realize that your attention has wandered, examine what you have been thinking about. That will contain a message from God right there in what you were thinking about. It takes experience and skill to sift out what is of God and what is just flumph from our own miasma of thoughts and emotions, but the more you do this the clearer you will be. Jesus taught that we (the sheep) would know his voice (the Shepherd).
Remember the first time you heard someone on the phone; you would not know the voice, but when you are used to hearing that voice you are able to know who is on the line even with one word spoken. It is like that in ‘hearing’ God.
Now, speak again to God telling Him what you think you ‘heard’ or ‘saw’ from Him. Say you want to act on that, but desire a sign following so as to have some confirmation that you ‘heard’ correctly.
Once you have that sign and know it is from God, do not rationalise it away. God knew this time would come for you and long ago put things in motion to bring that sign to you now. Receive it by faith and know it is the voice of the Shepherd.

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