Summary: The only way to be what God wants you to be is to be totally sold out for Him.
I find myself often asking questions about my faith. Not that I ever question being a Christian, but I question my own commitment and resolution to being in that continual state of growth that we know is sanctification. Have you ever been there? And part of me says that I should never admit to this since I am the pastor of this church but the Holy Spirit is telling me to be real because many of you can relate to what I am about to say. In the past couple of weeks I have tried to encourage you with words about living your life in a continual state of worship and rising above being a so-so Christian.
I still have to stop and ask myself, "What am I willing to do to take it to the next level?" And that question is going out to you today also. I know we are all at different levels in our walk with the Lord. Each one of us is one level below where He wants us to be - one step closer to Him.
Sometimes I think out loud. Does anybody else do that? I do that a lot in my prayer time. I think about where I am and where God wants me to be and how do I get there! Sometimes it all becomes so confusing - like a high-speed merry-go-round. You know what I mean - as we go through our Christianity it seems like we end up at places where we’ve been before and it just keeps going round and round. I feel like I would be better if I could just get off for a while and clear my head but I¡¦m afraid to because I’m afraid if I get off I would never want to get back on. So I hold on for dear life and wait for the spinning to stop. It is then that my head clears and my thoughts once more become coherent and I can get back on track to where God wants me to be.
Now, I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t have to be like that. I believe that God wants, more than anything else, to take you to a beautiful place where you can only go by faith. I want to take you today by way of the Bible to the place that I long for - that higher place with God. And that higher place can only be reached when we make the conscious decision to be totally sold out for God. Nothing less will ever do.
I. BEING SOLD OUT FOR GOD REQUIRES FAITH. (1-6) "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" The first thing I want to do in this section is to look at the word "is". It doesn’t seem like much does it. In the original Greek trancript it is the first word of the sentence and refers to faith as a present and a continuing reality. Listen to how the Amplified Bible reads, "Now faith is the assurance(the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]." It is your physical eyesight that gives proof to the realities of the physical world. Faith is what gives spiritual eyesight to the things in the spirit realm. The word faith means, persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction, assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity So being sold out for God means believing that the word He has given us is true, even though we can’t see it. Even though the world tells us that everything came into existence by accident, by faith we know there is a Creator. "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Augustine wrote, "Understanding is the reward of faith; therefore do not seek to understand so that you may believe, but to believe that you may understand." If we have to wait to see healing before we can have the faith to receive it we will never get it. But all of God’s word and His promises are true and they are for you. Even though you can¡¦t see it at the present you can receive it by faith. Mark 11:22-24, "Have faith (be fully persuaded) in God" Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ’Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." You can’t be sold out for something you can’t have faith in. "6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Faith does not contradict reason, though it may go beyond reason. I may objectively prove the Bible is the most unique book ever published, and has impacted society more than any other book. But only faith can prove that the Bible is the Word of God. Therefore, this is a belief beyond reason, but not in contradiction to reason. That’s sold out faith and you can have it.