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Summary: When you pray, do you pray in faith? Or are you talking to God, getting a bit of temporary relief? When you pray, you have to pray with confidence. No confidence, no faith...One of the great errors of the Church is to base faith and standards by yesterday

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Sunday February 24th, 2008

Series: the Fight part eight

Scripture: Romans 10:17

Sermon: Faith For Today

Speaker: Pastor Michael West

When you pray, do you pray in faith? Or are you talking to God, getting a bit of temporary relief? When you pray, you have to pray with confidence. No confidence, no faith. Faith is not activated to the point that when you rise up from your prayer you really do expect a change.

How does faith come? By the Word, by hearing the Word—Romans 10:17

Faith doesn’t come by reading in your head, but by hearing what you read. All things are possible to him who believes—Mark 9:23.

I believe God’s plan of salvation for man is still His plan and everything that is going on is working to fulfill a worldwide outreach—Matthew 24:14

This means that the war in Iraq isn’t about oil or expanding democracy, that globalization of the nations isn’t about commerce only, it’s not about your circumstance, it isn’t just about those things, it is about opening the nations up and tearing down barriers so people can hear the Gospel. Internet and satellite aren’t just about expediting world trade, but to enhance the outreach of Christians to the world for Jesus.

Yes there is a lot of evil traveling those highways and byways as well, but like Daniel 12:4 says: In the last days mans knowledge would increase. God’s heart is still and will always be about reaching the nations.

We need to be more sensitive to His compassion and pray for laborers for the harvest, it is ripe.

One of the great errors of the Church is to base faith and standards by yesterday’s achievements. There are still many promises to be fulfilled before Jesus returns. In fact the Bible says that the church will experience not only perilous times—II Timothy 3:1

But times of renewal and restoration—Acts 3:21

We need to plan on seeing some things that our fathers didn’t—

Acts 2:19-21

We can’t measure ourselves by the success or failures of our predecessors.

We learn two lessons in II Samuel 5:6

This is about the time when David captured Jerusalem. If he had measured himself by his predecessors, he would never have completed the task. You see, Israel greatest heroes from Joshua to Judges had tried to conquer the Jebusites and lost miserably every time. They were a fierce mountain people, contemptuous toward David and Israel when they heard David was coming to take back the land—to the point they mocked David.

The first lesson is this: Those who desire to see the awesome promises of God fulfilled, HE says to us, Don’t be conditioned by the past...my mother did, her mother did, I will and so will my children...just because you haven’t seen the power manifested, know this, things can change overnight with God in the equation.

Second lesson: it probably won’t be the devil himself who comes out to defeat us, most likely it will be the doubters and you must guard against the misguided advice of an unbelieving Christian.

Remember the taught of the Jebusites? The blind and lame will turn you away. We may stand firm in faith against the spiritual hosts of wickedness only to be defeated by the spiritually blind and lame sitting next to us in the church.

Who are the blind? Simply, the ones who do not see the vision you see. They are blind to the faith future God has put in you r heart. Do not allow those who would be unequally yoked become your counselors. Many a Christian go astray because of this type of bad counsel. Beware of becoming sympathetic toward the spiritually blind...a little leaven of their unbelief can undermine your faith in the time of battle.

And then along come the emotionally lame. These are the stumbler’s, stumbling over something or someone in the past. They no longer walk stride for stride with Jesus. Beware of sharing your dreams with cynics.

If you heed the warnings of the lame, it is only a matter of time before their woundedness and lack of grace depletes your strength and then you will become overly cautious and suspicious too.

Counsel from other Christians, we need that. Remaining forgiving, we need to do that, even when they remain in opposition, but we cannot allow the words of the spiritually blind and emotionally lame to guide us.

Remember the Word IS God and these people remember are not our real enemies. The real enemy is the spiritual forces at work all around us. And remember, if we are suffering from being lame or blind, Jesus can heal us.

History is on the adversary’s side when you think about it. Not one of our predecessors was able to overthrow this spiritual enemy and you can feel the devil’s scorn when pastors and people of God begin to pray for revival.

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