The Six Phases of Faith
by Rick Warren
"Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, "Let it happen, then, just as you believe!" Matthew 9:29 (TEV)
"When things don't happen on our timetable, we tend to run ahead of God and create detours to make it happen. You may end up making the wrong decision."
God takes our belief and he blesses us through it, and that makes life a great adventure. It is critical that we cooperate with God as he builds faith within us. Because of its importance, I want to review the six phases of faith we've studied over the past week. This will also let you see them all in one place.
Phase 1—Dream: Do I have a dream planted in me by God? If you don't have a dream, start praying, "God give me your dream." If you can't write down the dream God has given you, you need to be praying. If you don't have a dream, you're not living, you're just existing. God placed you on this earth for a purpose.
Phase 2—Decision: Do I need to make a faith-decision that will help that dream become a reality? Some of you have a dream from God, but you haven't made a decision to follow it. You're still on the fence. God's word for you is "Go for it!" Some of you may need to make the decision to give your life to Christ. Some of you may need to make the decision to join a church. Some of you may need to make the decision to get involved in ministry.
Phase 3—Delay: What has caused my dream to be delayed? If your prayer hasn't been answered, that's okay. It just means you're in God's waiting room. Now is not the time to detour. When things don't happen on our timetable, we tend to run ahead of God and create detours to make it happen. You may end up making the wrong decision. Wait, wait, and wait for God to work his hand.
Phase 4—Difficulty: What difficulties have I faced waiting for the dream to be fulfilled? You are being tested, but it's not going to be the last time. You'll go through many, many tests in life. God says, "I know exactly what you're going through. I see it. I'm watching. Don't think I've forgotten you—I haven't."
Phase 5—Dead End: Have I come to a dead end yet? Some of you are there ready to give up. But the truth is—you're right where God wants you. You're getting prepared for deliverance. God's word for you is "Hang on! Keep on believing! Don't give up!"
Phase 6—Deliverance: Do I expect and trust God to deliver me? "According to your faith will it be done to you." (Matthew 9:29 NIV) God is faithful. What he tells us to do, he will do. But it doesn't happen overnight. You go through the faith-phases of Dream, Decision, Delay, Difficulty, and Dead End . . . and then comes Deliverance.