About Phil

You Gotta Have Faith - Part One

People would mostly want to stay with what they know rather than what they don't know even if it promised to be better, that's why - You've Gotta Have Faith! This week we start in our new series with the first message on the Spirit of Faith.

These are my notes from last weekend's message, to listen, click here. We'd love to see you in church this weekend! Got to c3churchglobal.com to find a C3 near you. 

Genesis 12:1 (NKJV) Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. 

You have to leave the past to lay hold of your future, even if it means leaving your family, your home, your country. Abraham was unaware of what the land was that God was leading him to. God was asking him to leave what he knew for what he did not know. People would mostly want to stay with what they know rather than what they don't know even if it promised to be better. 

Another example of this is when Jesus called for Peter to step out of the boat in Matthew 14, Peter had to leave what he knew was secure for what was completely unknown. The step of faith is as much about having the courage to leave as it is the courage to join. Abraham was 75 when he left his home. This is the age when people are looking for security, not an adventure. The call of God is never convenient. There's always a cost to the call. Why didn't the Lord call Abraham when he was 35? More energy, more vision, fewer disappointments. God needed to grow Abraham's faith so it was a journey he was committed to. It was a walk of faith. 

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 

Abraham couldn't see the land. There were no brochures, no videos, no photos, no searching the internet of the land of Palestine. For all Abraham knew the Earth could be flat, yet he obeyed the Lord and started walking towards his destiny. He took the first step, then another, then another until it became a walk of faith, not just a step of faith.

Faith empowers us to do what God tells us to do. Without faith, we will find obedience is beyond us. The faint hearted Israelites at Kadesh-Barnea had no faith to defeat the giants ahead of them, so they disobeyed God and returned to the wilderness. Our obedience, therefore, relies upon our level of faith. Abraham had no idea where he was going but simply did as he was told. Who knows what enormous results will come from what can seem like small acts of obedience in your world today?

Romans 4:18-22 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be." And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore "It was was accounted to him for righteousness"

Abraham did not stagger at the promise of God through unbelief because he continually gave God the glory. He was a worshipper. He continually praised God. This strengthened his faith. If he had stopped believing that God would lead him to the land of promise, he would have turned back and returned to what he knew, rather than keep on going. If he had doubted that he was going to have a child he would have given up after his mistake with Hagar the maid. If he had doubted he would never have accepted the change to his name that the Lord gave him. The promise he had received was that his children would be like the sand on the shores of the world and like the stars in the sky, uncountable. If he had turned back and given up, he would never have become the father to the multitudes that have been his descendants. 

It takes faith to persevere. The walk of faith is not just one successful step after the other. Some steps you take may fail, some will be mistakes. There will be times when the step you take is not a step of faith or a step of obedience but a step in the wrong direction, a step backwards. You may be the cause of the failure or it may be something else. Whatever it is you must be able to get back up again. It can take as much faith to accept that the direction you're on is not working and it would be wise to try a new approach. Paul the Apostle tried to go to Asia, but things kept getting in his way, so he eventually accepted that he needed to go to Europe instead. It was the right time. Several years later, he did get to Ephesus. 

When I met the Lord, I was hoping to become an artist, but then I knew, He had called me to serve him in building the church. So I gave up painting, for around 25 years. Then one day He gave me a new way of painting that worked well, I was happy to never pick it up again. It took as much faith for Abraham to stop living where he had been living in security. It took as much faith for Peter to step out of his secure, dry boat onto a stormy ocean. 

See you in church!

13-Oct-2016 Share
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