Summary: What walking by faith really looks like.
Walking In Faith
April 7, 2002
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old received divine approval." (Hebrews 11:1-2, RSV)
[The main points and the majority of the intro and body come from Rick Warren. The Faith Factor In Ministry. Http:www.pastors.com ministry toolbox Issue#45, 3/27/2002.]
Introduction: Faith = Vision
"The only lasting motivation for ministry is because we want to please Jesus Christ, out of a deep heart of gratitude.
I know that your heart is like my heart, and my life goal is to one day stand before Jesus Christ and have Him say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
At that point He says that it will be worth it all. You won’t be in heaven five seconds and you’ll say, "Why didn’t I serve more? Why didn’t I give more? Why didn’t I love more? Why didn’t I obey more?"
Hebrews 11 is the classic chapter on faith. Verse 6 says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God." If I’m not ministering in faith, I’m not pleasing God. The Bible is even more specific than that. It says, "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." (Romans 14:23, KJV) If I’m not ministering in faith, I’m ministering in sin. That’s strong stuff!"
"for we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7, RSV)
"Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith." (Habakkuk 2:4, NKJV)
"Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain." (Psalms 127:1, RSV)
Six Characteristic Of What It Means To Walk By Faith
I. Walking In Faith Is Believing When I Don’t See It
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1, RSV)
Ill- Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
3 tests of a righteous man
2. Prayer, calls on the name of God
Ill-Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God, p.134
"Faith is visualizing the future in advance. It is seeing the future in the present. Every great achievement began when somebody saw it in advance. We didn’t put a man on the moon until one day JFK stood up and said, "Let’s put a man on the moon." When he said that, the technology had not even been invented.
Faith is believing when I don’t see it. Some things have to be believed before they can be seen. The world says, "Seeing is believing." God says, "Believing is seeing." You have to see it in advance."
II. Walking In Faith Is Obeying When I Don’t Understand It
"By faith [Moses] left Egypt, not being afraid of the king" (Hebrews 11:27, RSV)
Exodus 14, Moses & the Hebrews trapped. Told to cross the Red Sea
All the saints mentioned in Hebrews 11 stepped out in faith when they didn’t understand.
"(Hebrews 11:8) Abraham is a classic example of obeying when he didn’t understand. He was about 75 years old, and God asked him to give up all his security – right at an age when Abraham should have been getting Social Security!
God said, I want you to leave. Pick up everything and get ready for the greatest adventure of your life.
The scary part of it is God gave Abraham no details. Abraham says, "Where are we going?"
God says, You’ve never heard of it.
"How long is it going to take?"
You’ll find out.
"How will I know when I get there?"
I’ll let you know!
Sometimes God will tell you to do something in your ministry, and you’ll think, "There’s no way this is going to work!" Yet, God says, Do it!
And guess what? It works!"
When we fail to plan, we’re planning to fail!
III. Walking In Faith Is Giving When I Don’t Have It
"By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings" (Hebrews 11:4, NIV)
"By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts" (Hebrews 11:4, KJV)
"Isn’t that interesting? Giving and faith go together. God uses money to test our faithfulness. God watches the giving of a Christian. The Bible says:
"if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? (Luke 16:11, The New Living Translation)
"give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back." (Luke 6:38, RSV)