Summary: Sermon twelve in a fourteen sermon series based on the popular Bible study by Henry Blackaby.
As we have discussed how we experience God in our lives, we have said:
A. God is always at work in our lives.
B. God pursues a love relationship with us that is real and personal.
C. God invites us to join with Him and cooperate in the work He is doing.
D. God speaks by His Holy Spirit to reveal Himself, His purpose and His ways through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church.
Today, let’s consider what happens when we know God’s call. When God calls, we face a "crisis of belief."
The "crisis of belief” is a turning point where I must make a decision concerning what I really believe about God.
If I believe that God really does know what He is doing, that He really can do what He says he can do, that He really does know what’s best for my life, and that His cause is one worth giving my life to, then I will respond with obedience to His call. If I really don’t believe these things, then I will not obey His call. It’s that simple.
It is at this point that I discover whether or not my belief about God is a belief of conviction or convenience. A belief of convenience is one I hold to only when it is convenient, but a belief of conviction is one I hold to even when it is not.
How I respond at this turning point will determine whether or not I cooperate with God in what He’s planned for me or miss out on what God has "prepared in advance for me to walk in " (Ephesians 2:10).
It is very important that when I sense God is speaking to me that I respond appropriately. In our text, we read about how Israel faced a “crisis of belief” and how their response to God’s call revealed their true belief about Him. From this story, we learn two things:
1. A proper response to the call of God requires faith -
Because of their lack of faith, the people of Israel failed to enter into God’s desire for them. They did not respond properly to God’s call.
“We see that those people did not enter the place of rest because they did not have faith.” - Hebrews 3:19 (CEV)
Let’s think together for a moment about faith.
A. The source of faith -
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” - Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
Faith comes from . . .
1) Our lives being filled full with God’s Word -
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” - Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
2) God’s Word being fulfilled in our lives -
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
- Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
“They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.” - Numbers 13:27 (NIV)
Through filling our lives full with God Word, faith rises up within us. But that faith must be applied if it is to grow. Through obedience, our faith is allowed to grow, as what God has said is confirmed in our experience.
D. L. Moody once said, “If all the time that I have spent praying for faith was put together it would be months. I thought that some day faith was going to come down and strike me like lightening. But faith did not come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, ’So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.’ I had closed my Bible and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible and began to read God’s Word and faith has been growing ever since.”
B. The object of faith - 14:8-9
Our faith does not rest in a concept or an idea. It must rest in a PERSON -God Himself. Faith is only valid in God and what He is purposing to do. In fact, when God calls us to take a new step of obedience in our walk with Him, it will always be new territory for us. It will always be something we have never experienced before. It will always be something only God can do. That’s why our faith must be centered in God and God alone.
“Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.” - George Muller.