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"FOR WE WALK BY
FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT" II CORINTHIANS 5:7
Over the years I have heard many people give their opinion of what Faith is...of what they "think" it is. I wonder, what
is your definition of faith? The Bible gives us a definition, and then proceeds to give numerous examples to clarify the definition.
The 11th chapter of Hebrews is called the faith chapter of the Bible. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the
evidence of things not seen ... without faith it is impossible to please God." Hebrews 11:1-6
That is the biblical definition, but what does it mean? I believe one of the most damaging doctrines being
taught today is the idea that faith is believing God for miracles...that "may" fall in the area of "flesh", instead of faith.
I have been a minister for more than 30 years and have witnessed a handful of miracles. However, most people never see miracles,
or perhaps never recognize a miracle. If you believe faith is receiving miracles from God you may be disappointed. That may
be part of what faith is, but that's not what faith is!
Based upon the examples of faith given in Hebrews 11. I believe an accurate scriptural description of faith
is: "A commitment to God that does not waiver...regardless of circumstances"!
BOAT TODAY - FLOAT TOMORROW
"By faith Noah" - Did he have the best of this world's goods, was he in the elite of the community? Was
that his desire? No, he just found grace in the eyes of the Lord, like any believer and he faithfully lived out a commitment
to God. Do you suppose that in the 120 years that Noah worked on the ark that he may have become discouraged? Do you suppose
his family ever questioned his commitment? Do you suppose they ever questioned the call of God on his life? Did he have the
support of the community? You know he must have wondered after 10, 15, 20 years...is it ever going to rain? You know his wife
must have asked, "Are you sure God spoke to you?" You know his children must have asked, "Come on Dad, we've been working
on this for 50 years...are you sure?" God spoke to Noah one time!
FAITH MUST BE IN WHAT GOD HAS SAID
One time is enough. God places something in your heart when he speaks. For 120 years Noah "faithfully" did
what God called him to do, he did not waiver...though he may have had questions, he may have had frustrations and persecutions
and very little encouragement from others, he did not waiver. God had placed something in his heart and I believe it was something
that allowed him to say in the face of all opposition, "Yeah, it's Boat today, but it's Float tomorrow!" If God has
not spoken it to your heart then it is not faith that you are exercising, it is wishful thinking.
ROAM TODAY - HOME TOMORROW
Abraham was asked to leave his home and go to a strange land...not even knowing where he was to go. He just
obeyed. Though he became a sojourner he did not live in uncertainty. God had let him see a city "whose builder and maker was
God...". He was able to say though in a strange land, "OK, it's roam today, but it's home tomorrow!"
PIT TODAY - PALACE TOMORROW
Joseph must have had some questions when his own family forsook him and even tried to kill him. Surely some
frustrations must have built when he was relieved from the pit only to end up in the prison. But God had put something in
his heart that allowed him to keep on walking. He was able to say, "Uh huh, it's PIT TODAY, BUT IT'S PALACE TOMORROW."
Many times our journey from the pit to the palace is by way of a prison. Faith is commitment to God that does not depend
MAKING BRICKS TODAY-MAKING TRACKS TOMORROW
What about the example of Moses' faith? A faith that allowed him to choose to suffer affliction, forsake
Egypt and not fear the consequences. Something in his heart was saying, "Yes, we're making brick today, but were making tracks
tomorrow!" A commitment to God that does not waiver...regardless
of circumstances. That's what I believe faith is.
Faith does not consider the desires of the flesh in fulfilling a commitment to God. Moses must have thought
he was doing something wrong when Pharaoh continually refused to "let his people go". He surely must have become frustrated
as the years passed and his people were hurting with seemingly no hope of deliverance...but he had God's promise and God had
placed something in his heart that allowed to discount the flesh. Bricks today, tracks tomorrow! Faith is believing
God's Word, it must be in what God said.
I tell you that I have seen more disappointment in the Christian life by those who believed they "heard"
from God but it was not in accordance with God’s Word. Faith must be in what God has said, not in what someone said
that God said. Do not place your faith in what others tell you that God told them about you or for you. Faith MUST be in what
God said, else it is not faith at all.
HEADACHE TODAY- HEAD HOME TOMORROW
Stephen must have had a few questions about faith - if he believed it to be what is preached today. As he
was being stoned to death did he wonder why his faith wasn't "working"? Of course not, because his faith was a commitment
to God regardless ... not dependant upon things going according to his fleshly feelings. God had put something in his heart
that would allow him to know that it is headache today, but it's head home tomorrow.
BANISH TODAY-VANISH TOMORROW
The faith of the apostles saw them suffer greatly for the gospels sake. Crucified upside down, shot to death
by arrows while in prayer, stoned to death, heads chopped off...sounds like something may have been wrong with the Apostles
faith. No, that is what faith is - an unwaivering committment to God regardless of circumstances, that's what faith is! How
can we be so gullible to believe that faith is something that fulfills our fleshly desires? Could it be that we are selfish?
Could it be there is something desperately lacking in our commitment? The apostles were faithful in their commitment unto
death. John was the exception and he was sentenced to the lonely island of Patmos. God had placed something in his heart that
would allow him to say amidst all of the persecution, "Yeah, it's banish today, but it's vanish tomorrow.!"
BEAT UP TODAY-BEAMED UP TOMORROW
The truth of the Gospel is that real faith often invites persecution. Paul said, "Yea, and all that live
Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2 Timothy 3:12. Did Paul live in a big house? Did he have the best in accommodations,
did he have a travel agent that saw to his transportation desires? He might could have been more efficient if he did, but
he didn’t. No, rather, he evangelized regardless, he spent most of his nights in the city jails, he was beaten (195
stripes), he was stoned, mocked, ridiculed and threatened. He had a physical problem he could not get removed through prayer.
Yet, God promised sufficient grace and had placed something in his heart that allowed him to continue. He could say, "Sure,
it's beat up today, but it's beamed up tomorrow!"
CROSS TODAY - CROWN TOMORROW
Paul wrote Timothy from death row. What had he done wrong that his "faith" did not work. No wealth, poor
health, about to be executed. He did his job, he fought a good fight, he finished his course, he had no complaints. He was
ready to go. He was able to tell young Timothy, "endure afflictions" ... Afflictions? Afflictions? I can hear some preachers
now, "If you just had the right kind of faith you wouldn't have afflictions." I pray you are not being deceived by "another
gospel", one that appeals to your flesh. Faith endures afflictions! Faith continues inspite of afflictions because faith is
a commitment not dependant upon pleasant circumstances. II Corinthians 4 tells us that "light affliction" works to our benefit.
Paul was also able to tell us all that there is a crown laid up for those who love Him. "Yes, it is cross today, but it
is crown tomorrow!"
The commitment of faith is impossible without the grace of God. Faith keeps on walking, because it does not
depend upon circumstances. It does not bend when we see the problems mounting, when dark clouds get darker, because faith
does not walk by what we see. The troubles in this world continue to mount. The greatest minds have no solutions. Perplexity
grips the hearts of many. Our world appears to be close to erupting with problems, about to explode from the dynamite of difficulties.
But real faith will allow you to keep on walking in God's calling and will let you say, "Sure, it's rupture today, but
it's rapture tomorrow!" I believe that's what faith is.Faith doesn’t keep records it keeps walking...regardless.
As always, thanks so much for your faithful support and prayers.
Just for Jesus,
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Next Night of Ministry HURST Brookside Center February 7