Summary: Is there anything we can do to protect the work of God in our lives and keep us from having the type of religion that is stale and boring? Yes, it’s called living by faith!
Introduction: There was a man who used to have problems getting his son to clean his room. He would insist that his son, “Do it now,” and he would always agree to do so, but then he wouldn’t follow through – at least, not right way.
After high school, the son joined the Marine Corps. When he and his dad were on the plane together coming home for his leave after Boot Camp, the son said to his dad, “My life makes sense now, Dad. Everything you said and did when I was growing up now makes sense. I really, really understand.”
“Oh yeah, Dad,” he added. “I learned what ‘now’ means.” Warren Lamb
The Bible clearly tells us that God expects us to be obedient NOW. We have just finished a series of meetings we called revival. For many of us – we really experienced revival. God is working and changing us from the inside out. He is changing our hearts and attitudes. Making us aware of things that challenge His Lordship in our lives. We heard great messages from God’s word that taught us that we must move beyond where we are now in our walk with God. We are to strive for deeper and deeper connection with God. This process requires obedience to what God says.
The book we read in preparation for our revival speaks very clearly about prayer and obedience. During the preparation we spent significant time in prayer asking God to reveal to us areas that were not totally His. As He revealed those things many of us surrendered to His will. We were obedient! That is why God blessed us with revival in our hearts. Remember, revival is God’s people getting serious about following what He says!
If having revival in our hearts and getting closer to God is so awesome, and it is, why do revival results typically not last more than a couple of weeks? The answer is actually found in answering why revival comes: Intense prayer and obedience to God’s Word; repentance and withdrawal from things that come between us and the Lord; our submitting to the work of the Holy Spirit, asking Him to move in our lives.
So how can we defend ourselves against sliding back to our old worn out ways? How can we remain obedient now?
ILLUSTRATION: A young girl became a Christian in an exciting revival at her church and was baptized the closing Sunday morning. That afternoon she ran through the house singing and dancing. Her sour grandfather rebuked her with these words, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You just joined the church and you’re singing and dancing on the Lord’s Day!” Crushed by her grandfather’s attitude, the little girl went out to the barn, climbed up on the corral fence, and observed an old mule standing there with a sad, droopy face and bleary eyes. As she reached over and patted the mule sympathetically, she said, “Don’t cry, ole mule. I guess you’ve got the same kind of religion that Grandpa has!” Bart Leger
Is there anything we can do to protect the work of God in our lives and keep us from having the type of religion that is stale and boring? I believe the answer is found in a simple yet very powerful word: FAITH! There is an acrostic that goes like this: Forsaking All I Trust Him. When you think about following Jesus daily – this acrostic says it all. To forsake something means that we abandon it, we renounce it, we turn our back on it, we leave it, we disown it, we give up on it. You see the life of FAITH is all about daily forsaking everything except that which glorifies God and builds up the Kingdom.
Do you want to live an exciting life of FAITH? It can be done! In fact, that is God’s will for you! He wants you to live by faith. He wants us to understand that to live by faith is the only way to really live. Listen to what Hebrews 11:1 and 6 says: 1 Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. Heb 11:1 (HCSB) 6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him. Heb 11:6 (HCSB)
We see 3 things from these verses: 1. Faith is a reality! It is real! 2. Without faith we cannot please God! 3. Faith is how we draw near to God.
So if we are going to continue living in the presence of God and experience daily revival – connection with God – we must learn to live by faith. For the next 3 weeks we will be taking a deep look at Living the Life of FAITH.