Those who … have received a faith as precious as ours. 2 Peter 1:1 (NIV)
Faith is a gift to receive and a command to obey. “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22 NIV). That’s a command! God calls us to do it.
Isn’t it strange that we say to an unbeliever, “Put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ”? How can an unbeliever put his or her faith in Jesus? If you’re an unbeliever, then by definition, you do not believe. You don’t have any faith to put in Jesus!
How then can anyone ever be saved? When the disciples asked this same question, Jesus said “With man this is impossible, but … all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27 NIV). God created the world out of nothing, and He is able to create faith out of nothing too.
Augustine, a bishop in the early church, understood this and said to God, “Command what you will, only give what you command!” In other words, “Lord, command whatever you like. Command me to believe. But I don’t have faith, so you need to give it to me.”
If you are not yet a Christian, this is a great place to begin. You can come to God today and say, “You command me to have faith. I don’t have it. So give me what I do not have. Make me what I’m not.” If you come to God like this it will change your life.
You are admitting that you cannot save yourself. You are casting yourself on Him. You are agreeing with Jesus that your salvation is impossible apart from God. The first step of faith is to admit that you do not have faith, and to ask God to give you what you do not have.
Have you taken this first step of faith?