A Guide to Advancing your Faith

As we begin a new year, it’s the perfect time to reflect on what might be holding us back in our spiritual journey and what may be hindering us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. What stands between you and a deeper, more profound faith? Is it the fear of rejection, a need for perfection, or perhaps the weight of others’ perceptions? Let’s explore three common obstacles to advancing your faith and how you can overcome them. 

The Fear of Rejection

In Mark 6:1-6, we read about Jesus being rejected in His own hometown. Up to this point in his mission, Jesus had accomplished wonderful things. However, despite those accomplishments, the people of Nazareth only saw Him as a carpenter. They questioned His legitimacy, unable to fathom the transformation that had taken place through His miracles. Just like Jesus, we too might face rejection from those closest to us. This rejection can be a significant barrier, making us question our worth and calling. 

Overcoming Fear of Rejection: Remember that your true identity lies in what God calls you. Primarily, in what God has called you – His son/daughter. Seek affirmation from your faith and community rather than the acceptance of those who might not understand your journey. 

The Need for Perfection

In a world that often values flawless results, it’s easy to believe that our spiritual lives must be perfect. This pressure can lead to a fear of making mistakes, hindering our willingness to take risks in faith. In a world focused on perception, Christ was exemplary in following only after the will of His Father. Christ made of himself of no reputation (Philippians 2:7) and sought to rather take upon the form of a servant and to be offered as a sacrifice unto death. By laying down His life, He demonstrated to us that peace is not found in others’ opinions but rather in following God’s purposes.  

Overcoming the Need for Perfection: Understand that growth comes from imperfection. Embrace the ministry God has given you and remember that Jesus himself faced misunderstandings and imperfections in His earthly journey (Mark 6:2-3). 

The Weight of Others’ Perceptions

Often, we are confined by how others see us, just as Jesus was seen merely as a carpenter in His hometown (Mark 6:3). This can limit our ability to fully embrace and live out our faith. Mary and Joseph named their Son Jesus, signifying His mission to bring salvation. Yet, the hometown crowd reduced Him to mere familiarity, saying, “Is this not just the son of Mary, the brother of James?” Offended, they failed to grasp the profound truth – Jesus was more than a carpenter; He was a prophet and the Savior of the World.

Overcoming the Weight of Others’ Perceptions: Like Jesus, assert your identity and purpose beyond the confines of worldly perspectives (Mark 6:4). Focus on the spiritual truths and your personal relationship with God. 

We are to live up to the expectations of what God has called us to be, not the expectations of what others believe we ought to be. 

Before the enthusiasm of the New Year fades, let’s challenge ourselves to overcome these barriers. Let’s advance in faith, armed with the knowledge that, like Jesus, we are called for a purpose far greater than what the world sees. Reflect, embrace, and step forward into a year of profound spiritual growth.

If you are interested in understanding your identity in God, your purpose and mission in His kingdom, and how you can advance His plan, you can discover more in our free online Academy. 

Luke Morgan
Luke is a Passion Driven Intern. He is pursuing a Master's in Business Administration as well as a Master's in Intercultural Commerce. Luke uses his skills in those areas and his love for Christ to help the mission of advancing the faith!