Summary: Faith is confidence in God and what He says, enables Him to accomplish His will through us and requires action on our part.
God Calls for a Decision Heb. 11:6
INTRO.: Review: As we considered "Moses and Me," so far we have seen God is at work all around us, He loves us and wants us to love Him, and He wants us involved in His work. We have discovered God speaks to His people by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, answered prayer, the circumstances of our lives, and through His church.
As the Living God confronts us and speaks to us, He always demands a decision. We must decide what we believe about God and then act upon that belief. What we believe is revealed in what we do.
When Moses received his assignment from God, he was commissioned to do something impossible by human standards. He argued his inadequacy and God promised to be with him and enable him. Moses had to believe God could do the impossible through Moses. Then he had to act upon his faith. Despite his reluctance, Moses believed God and acted upon his faith.
Hebrews 11:24-29 celebrates the faith of Moses and what God did because Moses was willing to trust God.
Every time God speaks to us today, in any of the ways we’ve discussed, He expects us to decide what we believe about Him and act in accord with our faith.
I. Faith is confidence in God and what He says. Heb. 11:1
A. Our faith must rest in God, not in some concept or philosophy.
1. If what we believe comes from men then we will see what men and their ideas can accomplish.
2. If our faith is in God, we will see what God can accomplish.
3. Men say, "If your mind can conceive it and your heart can believe it, you can achieve it." That’s true in a limited sense, but with faith in God, there is no limit.
B. There is great power available to the believer.
1. "I 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." John 14:12
2. Matt. 17:20 "Mustard seed" faith can move mountains.
3. If we don’t receive an answer to our prayer, we need to ask if God has answered in some unexpected way, then check out our faith.
C. Let’s look a little closer at Matt. 17:20:
1. Jesus was on the mount of transfiguration with three of His closest disciples. As He returns to His other 9 disciples, He is confronted by a desperate father.
2. He had brought his son to the other disciples who could not help him.
3. When the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the demon, Jesus replied they lacked sufficient faith. How can that be? Aren’t they His disciples?
4. If their faith was lacking, is it possible ours is also? It is a possibility to consider.
II. Faith enables God to accomplish His will through us:
A. The feeding of the 5000 provides a wonderful example: Mark 6:34-44
1. The disciples thought to solve a problem by human wisdom. "Send the people away."
2. Jesus calls upon them to do the impossible. "You give them something to eat."
3. Only God could feed the crowd with the meager food available.
4. When they responded in faith, God provided a miracle.
B. There are lots of other examples: In every case God is glorified.
1. Crossing the Red Sea: Ex. 14:31
2. Crossing the Jordan: Josh. 4:24
3. The Day of Pentecost: Acts 2:41. The apostles accomplished this through faith
4. The Church grew because the Apostles acted in faith. Acts 4:4, 5:14, 6:7
C. God is powerful, but remember "without faith . . ."
1. God wants to accomplish His will through us, but we must believe.
2. Our faith must not be in a concept or plan, but in God.
3. We need to find out what God is doing and join Him in His work. We must believe He will enable us.
III. How we respond to God’s invitation reveals what we really believe about God.
A. A Biblical example: David faces Goliath. I Sam. 17
1. David believed God would deliver Him. 37
2. He stated this to Goliath along with God’s purpose to glorify God. 45-47
3. Because of David’s faith and willingness to take action, God gave Israel a great victory.
B. It’s still true, faith requires action. When we learn what God expects from us we need to demonstrate our faith with action. James 2:14-26
1. James says faith must be accompanied by work.
2. He gives an example that applies well to modern life in verses 15-17
3. Then he provides two biblical examples.
4. Especially notable in the example of Abram is verse 22: "You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did."