Summary: Today's sermon is about the power of faith, and it goes through four steps or phases to see that faith realized, from believing in God's dream, being willing to take a risk, being a people of great expectations, and refusing to give up.
The Power of Faith
Several weeks back we looked at the way of the faithful, and last week pastor Mike talked about stepping out by faith using the illustration of Abraham as brought out by the writer of Hebrews in the chapter we know as God’s Hall of Faith, or Hebrews chapter 11.
And while I’ve talked about this at different times and in various messages I think it’s appropriate to address this topic once again, and that is the power of faith in our lives, and why not only do we need to be a people of faith, but a people who live by faith.
There is something we all know it to be true, and that is God gives us power when we make right choices. When we choose to live our lives in accordance with His word, His will, and His way He’ll give us additional power to live effective lives.
Today I’d like to look at the power of faith. Many people ask,
“What kind of person does God bless? What kind of person does God use? What qualities do these people possess?”
We ask these questions because deep down that’s the person we want to be.
God uses all kinds of people with different backgrounds, of various ages, economic status, languages, and ethnicity. But they all have this one thing in common, and that is they weren’t afraid to trust God completely, or what we call as having faith, and this faith produces enormous power for God’s greater purposes.
The Bible tells us that there’s a direct correlation between faith and power. The more faith we have in God, the more we allow God to direct our lives, the more power and blessing we’re going to have.
We see this correlation when Jesus visits His hometown of Nazareth.
“He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:58 NKJV)
Notice the connection between power and faith! Because of their lack of faith, Jesus didn’t do the mighty miracles He was able to do elsewhere.
The Bible tells us that Abraham was the father of faith. The Bible tells us that Abraham was justified by faith, Romans 4:1-3, and God’s commentary on Abraham’s life shows us why. This is found in Paul’s letter to the Roman church. He said,
“He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.” (Romans 4:20 NKJV)
Abraham never wavered in faith. God promised Abraham descendants as numerous as the sand on the seashore, or as the stars that are in the sky, Genesis 22:17, and yet it took over 25 years for Abraham to have his first child, and that when His and Sarah’s ability to have children was as good as dead, Abraham being around 100 years old and Sarah around 90.
But Abraham never wavered in His belief in God’s promise, even when God told Abraham to take Isaac, his only son, and sacrifice Him. You see, God was testing Abraham to see whether or not he believed in the promise, or would he now vacillate in unbelief.
God never meant for any of us to go it alone in this world. What do I mean by that? God never meant for us to go through this life in our own power nor with our own understanding. God has tremendous power just waiting and available for us to plug into, and faith is what plugs us into God’s power for life.
When Jesus told the disciples of their need to forgive those who wronged them as many times as it was necessary until the job of forgiveness is accomplished. But the disciples knew that such forgiveness was virtually impossible within their own power. So they asked Jesus to increase their faith.
Today I’d like to look at four phases or four steps for increasing our faith so God’s power can become evident in our lives, so we can tap into God’s power.
1. Believe God’s Dream
It all starts with a dream, or a vision if you would.
The Bible says,
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18a KJV)
This more literally translates,
“Where there is no prophetic revelation of God, when there is no divine revelation, then people cast away from them all restraint going here and there without any clear meaning or purpose in life.”
It starts with a dream, with a vision, and it takes faith to see that dream, to see that vision. So nothing happens until we believe in God’s dream, that is, His vision for our lives and for the church.
One of the more popular subjects within leadership is the art of delegation. A good leader is one who knows how to delegate both responsibility and authority to make sure goals are met.