Summary: Why do you pray if you don’t expect God to hear and answer? Faith is the key to approaching God in a way that pleases Him.
March 8, 2009
Text: Hebrews 11:6
Title: Exploring the Possibilities
We were over at church praying on Friday morning at our normal prayer time, Alice, Frances, Melanie and I were there, and even though it was our normal prayer time it was far from being a normal time of prayer. The Spirit of the Lord began to move in church and became so strong that His presence drove me to my knees and I had an Isaiah 6 moment. I began to see who God is and how insignificant I am in His presence and I began to weep. It was then that I began to ask, “Lord, who am I that You would use me”?
Have you ever asked that question?
When I do ask myself that question I always have to stop, take a breath and remember that it is not about who I am, but is about Who God is.
Today I want to take you through the scriptures to show you that even though we are less than perfect people, we are the ones who God has left here to do the work that Jesus began to do. Doing the work that Jesus began starts with prayer and is completed by faith in God. Mark 11:20-24, 20In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
22“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Now, turn to Hebrews 11:6. What does it take for you to be everything that God has intended for you to be?
6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Open up your spirit to receive the seed that God wants to plant in you today.
I. PLEASING TO GOD …without faith it is impossible to please God… In order for us to get a good understanding of what this means we really need to break it down to its simplest forms. What is faith? According to Webster’s dictionary faith is, “trust, confidence; complete acceptance of a truth which cannot be demonstrated or proved by the process of logical thought; the virtue by which Christians believe in the revealed truths of God.” The Greek word is “pistis” and, according to Strong’s concordance it means, persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself:—assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity. Simply put it means to be fully persuaded. The best definition of faith probably comes from the Bible itself. Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Let’s do a word study on that whole sentence. Now – not or yesterday but right at this minute – faith – Being fully persuaded or having the utmost conviction in something - is being sure of – having confidence in the reality of something - what we hope for – hope is not some pie in the sky dream but the expectation of what you are sure of - and certain of – proof - what we do not see – that which is invisible. Let’s restructure the words and come up with a definition that goes deeper into the meaning. Right now, at any given time, faith (being fully persuaded) means having confidence of the things you are sure of and the proof of things that are invisible. If you could see those things then how much faith is required? Romans 1:18-20, I want you to get the extent of the concept of faith - 18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. What was made came about by God’s word – He spoke all of creation into existence. It is God’s word that is supposed to be the basis of our faith. What God says is a perfect reflection of who He is and it is in that fact that your faith is supposed to lie. Look at the last part of Romans 1:20. Most of us would look at that and say, “Well people don’t really have an excuse for not believing in God. He has revealed Himself through creation.” But it doesn’t say that the unsaved are without excuse, or that the world is without excuse. It says that men are without excuse. That includes the church as well. The God who spoke creation into being is the same God who has given His word concerning miracles – John 14:11-12, Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father – concerning healing - 1 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits— 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases… - concerning spiritual authority – Luke 10:19, I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you… - concerning your needs – Philippians 4:19, And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. God’s word is sure and true because of its source. Those who don’t trust God for salvation are destined to spend eternity in torment in hell. But to me it is scary to think that even Christians are not pleasing to God when it comes to trusting Him to be faithful in all His promises. without faith it is impossible to please God…