There are no simple manuals and quick steps to be studied for one to learn and grow in faith besides the Bible for the believer in Christ. Like Paul emphasized in Romans, ‘faith comes by hearing the word of God’. And as we become more acquainted with the accounts of men and women who lived out a life a faith, we gain insight into their mindset and the conviction that formed their decisions. Interestingly, they just lived their lives without realizing that they were ‘exercising’ their faith in God. The fruits of their actions are an evidence of their level of faith and we can learn lessons from their lives.
I had a great challenge in my early 20s in coming to believe the veracity of biblical accounts. Though I attended a campus Christian fellowship, I hardly read my bible or the various books in the fellowships library which were under my custody. I felt the Bible and Christian books had no answers to the questions that bugged my inquisitive mind. And when I settled down to scan through, they literally made no sense to me. So I quit trying to understand the Bible and just followed through the motion of going to church and attending fellowship.
But things kinda changed when I had a life-changing encounter that made me believe in the existence of God. Like a snake that de-sloughs to enter into a new phase of life, it was as though my mind received a new sense of perception. Each time I opened the Bible to read a portion or two, the words seem to leap out of the pages and hit my consciousness. My excitement knew no bounds and since I wanted to read and know more about God in the Bible, I felt it was better to get a Study Bible. I began to visit bookshops to buy Christian books and borrowed books from Christian libraries in Kano. I spotted a ‘Student Study Bible’ in one of the bookshops that I dreamt about owning, but had no money to buy it.
My uncle had just visited Kano that same period and gave me my allowances for the months ahead. But I did a very ‘stupid’ thing then; I used the allowances to buy the expensive bible leaving me with little or no cash to sustain me till I was due to get another allowance the following month. I was so happy that the fears of what to eat tomorrow didn’t bother me. I read my newly-acquired Bible voraciously, highlighted and colour-marked as many verses that made a strong impression on my heart. I was ready to stay hungry for the remaining part of the month having acquired the Bible that meant so much to me.
However, an interesting thing happened a week later, when my uncle visited Kano again and sent for me. Without bothering to ask what I did with the pocket money he had given me a week earlier, and without my asking for any money, he gave me money, far more than I had expected or imagined! Questions lingered in my mind; did God touch his heart or what? Was it rational enough for him to give me extra money without my having to account for the previous one?
I have had several other experiences when I was certain that God spoke to my heart and I acted in faith by obeying the instruction. Some of the instructions were contrary to my desires, wishes or aspirations that my mind questioned their rationality. Sometimes, I prayed and struggled for days about the decisions till am convinced enough to step ahead in obedience. In a lot of the cases, I got a nudge to go ahead after reading a portion of the scriptures that emboldened my heart to take the leap of faith. With the looming uncertainties ahead, my wobbling legs took the first steps and I didn’t drown like I had thought. The outcomes and results of such steps of obedience have been amazing to say the least. Though it could be tough learning to live by faith, the true Christian has no other choice or options left if he/she must do exploits and impact people around him/her. Whatever it will take you, take those little steps of faith, and watch God do amazing things in your life!