THE VICTORY THAT FAITH BRINGS
Scripture: – “Hebrews 11:1-4”
Text: – “Now faith is the assurance and confirmation, in fact it is the title deed, of the things we hope for, it’s the proof of the things we do not see, and the conviction of their reality. Faith perceives as real fact what is not revealed to the senses” – “Hebrews 11:1”
I don’t know about you, but one of the topics of the Word of God that really never ceases to amaze and thrill me, is the topic of faith, along with its works and results in the lives of the Child of God and the results in the experience of those outside of a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I don’t mean the “passive faith” which is in us and maintains our everyday walk with the Lord Jesus and in righteousness before Him. No! I mean the type of Faith that was at work in the lives of those recorded for us “Hebrews 11” and the type of faith that we read and thrill over of the Children of God throughout both the Old and New Testament, and so often read about in magazines and articles. I’m talking about “Active” working faith, that produces exploits.
The Bible has a tremendous amount to say on the subject of faith, and in Bible analysis, greater importance is placed on a topic or subject that is spoken of more than another. Faith is one of the foremost topics of God’s Word and one that Jesus was constantly reminding people that they should exhibit and use.
I have entitled my message to you today “The Victory that Faith Brings” and my reason for doing so is that it is the desire and delight of the Lord Jesus that we walk before Him in faith and claim that which is ours in order that victory may be declared.
Now there can be two very opposite reactions to the topic and content of my message to you today, we either switch off entirely and consider that “faith exploits” are not within the realm of possibility for us or we will listen passively, because’ it is the Word of God, but not let the Holy Spirit challenge us with it. The result of both of these reactions, is continuing mediocrity. Tell me, “Who likes being mediocre in their Christian life? I would hazard a guess that none of us would answer yes. If the answer was yes, then it’s time to take a “long hard look into the mirror of God’s Word” as something is radically amiss.
Let’s keep and open heart and mind and remember that faiths results are often forthcoming because we allow ourselves to “visualise our aspirations” and if we have aspirations, and we all should have, then contemplation of these will often result in the spurring on of the Holy Spirit into their fulfilment.
“Faith without Works is dead and without Faith it is impossible to please God” – “James 2:26” is what the Bible says very clearly to us, and therefore because our desire first and foremost is to be God Pleasers and not Man Pleasers, the best way in which we can do it is to manifest faith.
“UNDERESTIMATION OF OURSELVES” WE SEE OURSELVES AS OTHERS DO, AND FORGET WHAT GOD SEES
Now it all sounds very easy doesn’t it! But the reality is that it is one of the most difficult and demanding duties and requirements of the Christians journey. We know we should have faith; we know that we should exhibit faith, we know that faith should be clearly seen at work in our lives, but so very often we fall short of all the requirements. But Why? well, the first reason for it, is an “Underestimation of Ourselves” we see ourselves as others do, and forget what God sees.
So much of the preaching we hear in our day and age and it’s so noticeable as one looks on “Facebook”, “YouTube” etc is not specifically designed to keep congregations in a state of “need” or “living with a fortress mentality” or “living in mediocrity” but because it is so “gentle, un-offensive, vanilla and all about the ordinary” and maintaining (numbers / status quo) it results in Gods People believing that’s it’s their destiny and the way things are – Well! I’m here to say that its wrong.
What does God see? He sees those who stand before Him as Kings and Warriors before Him. He has and is enabling us to stand tall with our shoulders back and heads lifted high. He has entrusted and given to us His Banner of salvation to carry and lift up, and provided for His Authority, that supreme Kingly Authority to flow from His Throne unto His own, to who? Yes! you and me.
In the Bible there is a little phrase that seemed to pop out at me once and it says “They stand the Walls..” and you know that’s what God has enabled us all as His Children to do – to “STAND ON THE WALLS”. What do I mean by that? I mean and I believe it is also what the Holy Spirit is trying to both remind and encourage us with that instead of walls surrounding you and me and hemming us in providing barriers to us, and potentially for some providing a nice comfortable warm safe place to hide, they are in reality opportunities, for you and me to be provers of God. In experiencing this when the reality of our faith is revealed, and we are able to experience the truth that we are truly the conquerors that He has made us.
In “JOEL 2:7” it says “…They run like mighty men, they climb the wall like men of war, they march everyone straight ahead” and believe me Child of God “that’s just how the Lord sees you today.”
WE DO NOT ALLOW THE WORD OF GOD TO PENETRATE INTO OUR SPIRITS AND WORK THERE
We know we should have faith; we know that we should exhibit faith, we know that faith should be clearly seen at work in our lives, but so very often we fall short of all the requirements. But Why? well, the first reason for it, is “We do not allow the Word of God to penetrate into our spirits and work there” we see ourselves as others do, and forget what God sees.
What does the Bible clearly say to us? “Faith comes by hearing” did I, and did you hear that? “Faith comes by hearing.” As the Children of God, we are often not faith filled because a “spiritual deafness” has come upon us. It’s a known fact that as we get older naturally our hearing gets diminished and it is so unfortunate that as we get older spiritually the same malady can affect us.
The Word of God comes to us through Preaching perhaps, it falls upon our physical ears, but does not penetrate into our spiritual ears and thus into our spirits, where it can create faith, and we neglect so often to meditate upon God’s Word, and so it does not have time to enter before the Birds of the Air come and steal it away, in order for us as the title of my message indicates to have “The Victory That Faith Bring”. It is a spiritual imperative that we do not neglect God’s Word.
Now just a word for preachers – Don’t expect those that are listening to either respond, grow, or be motivated simply by preparing something because we have been asked or are fulfilling a preaching rota. No! I personally believe that there is a profound and awesome responsibility that falls upon the shoulders of anyone who is privileged enough to be a preacher of the gospel. It is true, that all children of God are preachers in that we are called one and all to be proclaimers of the gospel and to take whatever opportunity presents itself to share the good news – “1 Peter 3:15”. However, there are those who are called in addition to the standard calling to be public proclaimers – preachers in a corporate function.
If we are not fully persuaded of what we are preaching then we will not provide a moving exposition of God’s Word with the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon its proclamation and in addition, we will cause the hearers to underestimate the eternal impact and consequences the Word of God has upon them at that moment and in respect of their eternal destiny.
You see it’s quite easy for us in our good intentions to be as Leaders or as a Christian or a Church Group thoroughly evangelical but without being at all evangelistic. Likewise, we face the danger of becoming inward looking and not outward reaching. Sure, we can be holding “firmly to the trustworthy message” as Paul says in “Titus 1:9” but fail in our responsible of “holding out the word of life” – “Philippians 2: 16”.
In trying to reach a post-modern generation and a generation that is all about “Likes, Selfies and Subscriptions” who are totally enveloped in “Self-satisfaction, Self-appeasement and are Self Absorbed” to the point of narcissism – Have we fallen into the adversary’s trap of diluting the message and simplifying it in order to please all at the expense of – sound biblical and systematic teaching?
I’m so personally saddened when those who are children of God convey to me that they hunger after both strong and in-depth teaching. They enjoy the buffet table which teaches them how to live day by day but long for the feast that will enable them to have the inner resource to run the race more effectively. It’s a hard thing to say but those under our care or our influence should never find themselves in that sort of situation.
So, what do we offer my fellow leaders? Do we supply lightweight teaching that has very little doctrinal content under the illusion that our congregations do not have the ability to comprehend.? Or short encouragements with a spicing of Teaching under the illusion that our congregations are unable to concentrate or provide an attentiveness.? Let’s search our hearts afresh.
Anyway, now back more directly to the subject in hand.
Passive Faith Is: –
- A Consciousness of Doing the Right Things
- The Gift of God
Active Faith Is: –
- “Simply Acting” – Now that might seem very simplistic, but in reality, that’s all there is to it.
- It is simply acting.
I used the phrase earlier “Visualising our Aspirations”. How often do we sit down and contemplate the great things that we could do and accomplish for the Lord? Sometimes? Never? Do we ever do it at all. In fact, the question could be asked “Do we even have any aspirations for greatness in the outworking of Gods will in our lives?” If we answer in the negative of these questions, then we need to take a look once again at why He saved us.
He saved us in order that His glory could be manifested through the deeds and actions that we are involved in. He wants to manifest His life through us. In eternity past it had been decided that God would make Himself known to us, and thus He gave us Jesus Christ. Jesus is the exact representation of the invisible God! What does it do? Well! In Christ, He manifested His glory in such a way that it became tangible to our senses; the invisible came to us in visible form! The very essence of the invisible God is to be expressed through us (His people) to all the earth!
Child of God let me say as a challenge “Its not good enough to lead a good life” there are simply millions in the World around us and they are going to a hellish eternity. No! It’s got to be more than that for we who are the recipients of His Grace, Anointing, Power, and continual Presence. He desires to reveal His majesty through every one of us.
Submission to the work of God must always be real and actual, and it must be lived out. Superficial submission alone cannot ever receive God’s praise, and merely obeying the superficial aspects of God’s word, without seeking change in one’s disposition, is not after God’s heart.
Obedience to God and submission to the work of God are one and the same. Those who submit only to God but not to His work will never in His eyes be deemed obedient, much less those who do not truly submit but are outwardly sycophantic. Those who truly submit to God are all able to gain from the work and achieve understanding of the disposition of faith and the work of God.
Oh! We say “My Church Leadership are not behind me on this” – Well! Okay, if you really feel that God has called you then – Pray more about it, seek further guidance – But in the end if still convinced then “Go for It”.
I remember a Missionary to China a Miss Lilly Hewitt. She had a physical challenge it that she was crossed eyed. She felt God had called her to China but was rejected by numerous Missionary Societies. However, she believed what the Scripture says in “Acts 5:29” – “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, we ought to obey God rather than men.” She went to China anyway and did a tremendous and lasting work for God – She had aspirations and these birthed by the Holy Spirit caused her to soar.
HE HAS TAKEN THE RESTRAINTS OFF
There are so many of God’s Children today who like the people of Israel of Old have come out of Egypt, but have not gotten Egypt out of them, and are continually living restrained and restricted lives. God wants to remind us today that He has taken the restraints off, He has set us free into the glorious liberty of the sons of God,and He has liberated us so that we can walk in victory.
The individual responsibility for Faith falls very squarely upon every one of us as God’s Children, we may like to leave it to the Leaders, Elders or Cell Leaders or others, but in the end, we cannot get away from the fact that it is all down to each and every one us. In “Hebrews 11:29” it says, “By faith THEY passed through the Red Sea”, the operative word there is THEY. Individually, they together took steps and passed through the opposing Red Sea, through a seemingly impossible situation they faced it together, and were victors in it.
Do we today have any Walls to Climb? Are they’re Red Seas in our experience that we need to pass over, Pharaohs to Conquer, then if so, let’s together do it right now, today?
Don’t for Heaven’s Sake, and I mean just that don’t for Heaven’s Sake allow the enemy to continue in His domination of our lives and experience.
He is a defeated enemy and foe and has been for over 2000years – Let’s declare the words of Jesus over our “Walls, Mountains and Seas” – “It Is Finished”. He is totally demoralised, and the heavenly armies of God’s people are continually bombarding his forces.
There are many Fellowships that suffer from Numerical Stagnation, many a Child of God from Spiritual Stagnation and Natural Complacency, and it’s all because the enemy in his death throes, whispers into their ears and minds messages of doubt and despondency.
PHARAOHS OF PAST DREAMS AND VISIONS, WE’LL LET THEM GO, THAT’S RIGHT LET THEM GO
Israel faced continually Pharaoh in their lives. Even after they had left Egypt, there was the shadow of Pharaoh over them; and in the lives of many Christians there are the Pharaohs of past Dreams and Visions, we’ll let’s let them go, that’s right let them go, that is what the Holy Spirit would say to us today, and start claiming our inheritance in Jesus, and Walk the Steps of Faith again.
Today, we may have caught a glimpse once again of our potential in God. I hope we have and if so, lets cherish it and contemplate the tremendous change it can make.
Let’s believe that God is going to move us forward and that the seed He has planted is going to grow wonderfully and that His kingdom is going to be extended and His glorious name magnified.