Raise your hand if you’ve heard the phrase, “faith it until you make it.” I’m betting you raised your hand because it’s an entirely all too common phrase amongst Christians.
I’ve seen countless sermons, t-shirts, blog posts, etc. all encouraging Christians to just faith it until you make it and I’ll be incredibly honest, I have a huge problem with that for more reasons than I can count. But I’m going to try to tell you why this statement is false doctrine and why it’s time to ditch it from your list of advice.
Before you leave, I get it. It sounds good. I understand why we sometimes use this phrase. It’s better than “fake it until you make it,” right? Not really. Not in my world. The surface level concept seems great for many Christians because it implies we have faith. It says God has our six. The problem is that the faith is fleeting. The problem is that the faith only exists until you make it.
Right now, my church, Gateway, is in the middle of a series called “True-ish” and we’re dispelling common phrases and ideologies that Christians hold but aren’t actually rooted in the Bible. Sunday’s sermon was about the idea that God will never give you more than you can handle, which is not true at all. We see people all over the Bible being given more than they can handle but there is always a purpose. Last week, it was about how many believe God helps those who help themselves which again, is false. We’re supposed to minister to those who cannot help themselves. Since we’ve been in this series, I’ve been thinking so much about this statement, “faith it until you make it,” and it’s been on my blog posts to write list (yes, I have one) for an entire year now. I look at this topic every single week and couldn’t figure out why it hasn’t been written until now. So let’s dive in.
The word “you”
This is one part of this phrase I have a massive issue with. It says to faith it until you make it and in my opinion, you didn’t make it. I don’t care how successful you are, you didn’t make it. God made it. God put you in the position you are in and can just as quickly take that away.
Job 1:21 says, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” NIV
You are not the one responsible for being on the mountain. God gives and he can take.
The thing is we do not know God’s plan for our lives and the lives of those around us. As He is the one in control of the plan, it is irresponsible to assume we know better than God and have ourselves alone created success.
Continuing in Job 42:2-3, “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. / You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge? Surely. I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” NIV
Job is letting us know that God’s plans are far greater than we can see and to assume we know the plan is foolish.
In Psalm 10:4 it says, “in his pride, the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” NIV
This is the way I view that phrase. When we put the “you” as the forefront we forget about what God has done for us. I personally, don’t want to be counted among the wicked.
Isiah 26:3-4 says, “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. / He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to dust.” NIV
When we place ourselves as the One on High, God humbles us whether we like it or not. We have no control over it. When we act as if we have created our success on our own, God reminds us who is in control. He is always the one calling the shots. He’s always the one determining what is part of the plan and what isn’t.
The word “until”
This goes back to what I said earlier about the faith being fleeting.
I always think about the Israelites when I think about fleeting faith when they escaped slavery in Egypt. Their faith was ever fleeting. They doubted Moses and God more than they trusted. They murmured. They were unappreciative of the things given to them by the One who delivered them from bondage and slavery.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” NIV
Let me reiterate that. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
The definition of faith is being confident in the things we hope for and trusting God in what we cannot see.
Y’all, we cannot see His plan so we need to have assurance in it. We need to have faith.
Faith is not a fleeting moment. Faith is not something you decide to have when it’s convenient for you. You either trust His plan and have faith it in it always or your faith is conditional and you have faith until you’re on the mountain.
We see this time and time again in the scriptures. People are given a gift by God, they rise and live on top and begin to think it is them that got them there alone. Pride gets in their way and God brings them down to a valley. In that valley, they turn back toward to God.
This isn’t to say we won’t have moments of doubt.
They will come. They are natural.
But it is up to us to not just have faith “until” but to nurture that faith.
Romans 10:17 says, “Consequently., faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” NIV
Faith comes by immersing ourselves continually. Even in moments of doubt. Even in moments of fear.
David in Psalm 56:3-4 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. / In God, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” NIV
If we can learn anything from David and Paul it’s that faith is not an until thing. It’s a process. It’s something we must work on daily. It’s something that must consume us. It’s something that isn’t going away anytime soon.
Even in my moments of doubting churches, I never doubted God. I knew He had a plan for me and I’d end up where I was supposed to be.
There is no making it
Hear me out. We can never really make it. Making it to me is perfection and that’s something we cannot achieve.
If we could, there would be no need for a Savior. We will always be striving to make it.
The phrase “faith it until you make it,” is used for temporal things but spiritually we’ve never made it.
We will always be striving to be more Christ-like and for that reason, we’ve never truly made it.
To put so much emphasis on the tangible is doing a disservice to God. There’s so much left to strive for.
Next time you’re struggling or someone you know is struggling, don’t tell them to “faith it until they make it”, simply tell them to have faith. Have trust. Know God loves you and has your back. Know that God has a plan for your life. Know that God is working through you, even in the valley. Know you’re never going through it alone. Know that you have a Savior who knows exactly what you are experiencing and He is there for you. He is there to fill in the gaps for when you are weak, He is strong.
Check out the verses I used to formulate this conclusion. There's so much to say on this subject but we had to start somewhere. This short 1-page PDF gives you a list of 15+ scriptures you can lean on.