Our works are born out of our faith. Faith is not born out of our works. Many sincere Christians long for deeper faith, but dig for it in all the wrong places. A better shovel may help you dig better, but it won’t make water exist below the surface. They think if they read the Bible more, they will have more faith; or if they pray more, then they will have more faith. Surely the Bible and prayer are means of grace, but not because we use them. Faith is not something we cook up in the empty kitchen of our own souls borrowing God’s ingredients. Faith grows when we feast on the Bread of Life God has already spread before us. God’s Word holds out faith-producing grace for us, not because we’ve read it or heard it, nor because some godly man has studied it or preached it, but because God spoke it, and He has spoken of His Son (Romans 10:17).
The point this text is not, “if you have faith, you can walk on water,” but, “Jesus walked on water and therefore He is worthy of your faith!”
It’s as if we go to a wine tasting and expect it to be great because we emphasize our technique. Perfect technique does not make a wine tasting excellent when the wine is wretched. The highlight of a great experience is the wine, not the technique; the tasted, not the taster. The emphasis here isn’t on the disciples faith, but the one “faithed”. What makes faith great is stressing not the beholder, but the Beheld; not the taster, but the Tasted (Psalm 34:8).
Man since the fall has tried to be a self-sustaining cannibal. Eating the apple was an infant’s attempt to be self-feeding. We were meant to be children reliant on our Father’s provision. Though made in the image of God, man is finite. When man tries to be self-reliant, to be his own source of life and thus eat on himself, there is always less of him after the meal. Seeking to be god, man becomes less godlike. Instead of living, he dies.
Better technique might help your Bible reading, but it is not decisive. It’s a shovel, it’s not water. You can’t quench thirst with a shovel. If you want good nutrition, it might help to chew your food better, but it is even better to chew better food. Introspection is good to see if you are of the faith, it is not good to grow faith. Faith will come when you look without, not when you look within. Look within for a faith-checking evaluation, look without for faith-giving revelation.
Put the emphasis on your conjuring up more faith, and you will eat yourself to death. Look to Jesus and see the feast that is. Great faith is a belly full of Jesus.