Several years ago, friendship bread was a big thing in my circle of acquaintances. How it works is, a friend gives you a starter batch of dough. You set that dough on your kitchen counter for 10 days. Each day there is a specific instruction on what to do with the dough. Most days, all you do is stir it but a couple of times during the 10 days you add ingredients. At the end of the 10 days, there is enough dough to bake delicious bread AND in addition there is enough to share starter dough with your friends. Then your friend starts the process all over.
The starter dough will not produce any bread unless you do the required steps to make it into bread. The starter dough will not produce more starter dough unless you do the required steps to make more dough. If it is left alone and nothing done with it, it will not produce anything.
This is the same with our faith. God gave us a starter batch of faith – he called it the measure of faith. Once it is given, it is up to us to follow his instructions to grow it. We cannot rely on someone else’s faith. We must do it ourselves. You will not gain muscles from your spouse going to the gym everyday. You have to go to the gym yourself and do the workout to build your muscles. Likewise, you must be the one to exercise your faith in order for it to grow. No one can do it for you.
How does faith grow?
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 KJV
Stir it up – Spend time in God’s Word
The starter dough for Friendship Bread needs to be stirred every day. Similarly, we must stir up our faith every day. Do this by spending time with God, get to know Him. Set aside time each day just for Him. For me, morning works best. Maybe for you, it’s at night right before bedtime. Whenever it is, make it a priority. Make it a habit. The measure of faith that we start with is God’s faith. He knows how it works and he will teach you how to use it. Spend time with Him and get to know Him.
This time that you spend, just you and Him, doesn’t have to be structured or in any certain order. We are all different so how we interact with our Creator will be different. The one common ingredient is the Bible. It is God’s Word. It is God’s will. It is the best way to get to know Him.
Add Ingredients –
Find verses in the Bible that pertain to your situation. If you need to grow your faith in the area of healing, find healing scriptures. If you need to grow your faith where your finances are concerned, find promises in the Bible for prosperity. Are your relationships a mess? There are scriptures for that. Maybe you need more faith to have more faith. You can do that too! Find the scriptures and start feeding on them. There is an answer for every situation, but if we don’t know what the Word says about it we cannot believe for it to turn around. We need to search it out. Find out what God says about it and then set your mind in agreement with it. In other words, believe it.
Meditate on the Word. Now, don’t get all weirded out by “meditation”. I just mean keep the Word in the forefront of your mind. When doubts come, remember what the Bible says. When worry comes, remember what the Bible says. When you feel like giving up, remember what the Bible says. Think about what you think about. Don’t just let thoughts come in to your head and stick there. Especially if they don’t agree with what God says.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, thing on these things. Philippians 4:8 KJV
True, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report…sounds like God’s Word to me!
Another important ingredient is the words that we speak. Words are powerful. They shape our lives and most of us don’t realize it. Do not say anything you do not want. Do not say anything that does not agree with the scripture you are believing. We all need to be able to talk about our problems to get it off our chest, but resist the temptation to complain to everyone you know. This ingredient is difficult. It takes practice and the help of the Holy Spirit.
Bake your bread and share! Connect with others
As your faith grows, you will begin to see results. Just as the starter batch of friendship bread eventually yields a delicious loaf of bread, if we stick with it our faith will produce results. Healing comes, relationships are restored, finances turn around – all from believing what God says about it.
And because your faith has grown, you will have enough left over to share with others. We are placed on this earth to help each other. God never intended for us to trudge thru this life alone. A kind word spoken here, a thoughtful gesture there could be just what someone needs to give them courage to keep going.
There are many wonderful teachers, preachers and prophets that we can learn from. I have ministries, authors and blogs that I follow to help me grow my faith. There are some out there for you as well, people who you will connect with. Their message will speak to you and through them you will learn things that cause your faith to grow. Find your people and partner with them. Together we are the body of Christ in this world and together we can do great things for the Kingdom of God.
Finally, NEVER GIVE UP! No matter what, stick with it. Even if you feel like it is not working, it is. Faith and patience work together.