Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Your intellect and your five senses are hollering “No! It won’t work. I’ll make a fool of myself.” But God’s Word and His Spirit say “Yes!” We are faced daily with challenges to walk by faith, not by sight.

•• Philip took the proverbial “long walk on a short pier”. He had been having an immensely successful revival in the city of Samaria, with many conversions and healings, signs, and wonders manifested (Acts 8:5-8). Philip immediately left all that to follow the instructions from “an angel of the Lord” to go down to the desert (Acts 8:26-27), where he was to encounter the Ethiopian official.

•• Just imagine the scene, with uninvited Philip running up to the chariot of the queen’s treasurer, then jogging alongside! Talk about walking by faith! ... or more precisely in this case, running by faith! One of the Ethiopian treasurer’s guards could easily have run Philip through with a spear.

•• But the Spirit of God (8:29) was the instigator of Philip’s “long walk on a short pier”, and the Ethiopian high official was wonderfully ministered to by Philip, was saved and baptized in water, and went on his way rejoicing in his newfound salvation (8:36-39).

•• Philip’s obedience to the Lord’s prompting is a classic biblical illustration of God’s desire that we “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7, KJV). Philip did not “see” the results in advance. No, but rather he stepped forth in faith, in obedience to what he perceived as God’s leading.

•• When it comes to witnessing, let us take some long walks on some short piers.

• What do we have to lose? What’s the worst that might happen? — we get rejected ... we get made fun of ... we get ignored...

• What’s the best that might happen? — The person with whom we share the Gospel gets saved and spends eternity in heaven!

•• Many years ago my wife took that “long walk” of faith with a good friend of hers. She risked that friendship by making a strong presentation of the Lord’s salvation to her friend, caring more for her eternal soul than for the friendship that she was risking by her bold witness. Thankfully, the lady accepted my wife’s testimony, got saved, and has served God now for several decades, including time with her husband on the mission field.

•• Today your mission field is all around you. Each morning ask the Lord to allow you to touch someone’s life for Jesus Christ. Then listen for the Holy Spirit’s promptings inclining you to speak to this or that person. Then do it — take the walk of faith, step forth on that Holy Ghost leading. Walk by faith, not by sight or mental calculations.

Acts 9:32-35 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda. [33] There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. [34] “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. [35] All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

•• Healing is an area where we have numerous opportunities to walk by faith, not by sight. Just go ahead!

• Believe Jesus when He said that you “shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover” (Mark 16:18, KJV).

• Believe God when He said, “I am the Lord who heals you” (Exodus 15:26).

• Believe that Jesus “took up our infirmities and carried our diseases” (Matthew 8:17).

• That’s what Peter did! Walking in faith in His Lord and Savior, Peter boldly spoke to the crippled man and said, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up!” And Aeneas did get up, and the astounded populations of two entire towns turned to the Lord! All because a believer was willing to walk by faith, not by sight. His eyesight told Peter that the man was seriously crippled. But his faith told him that Jesus would heal the man. He acted on that faith, and a two-city revival followed!

•• Or remember the apostle Paul in Acts 14:8-10 — “In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. [9] He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed [10] and called out, ‘Stand up on your feet!’ At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.”

• Paul took the long walk on the short pier. He knew that Jesus was the Healer. But Paul still had to walk by faith, not by sight. He had to step forth in obedience to the word of God declaring that Jesus still heals today. Jesus the Healer “is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

•• How will people be healed if we don’t step out in faith?

• I think back to May 1978. My wife had been childless for the first six years of our marriage due to a diagnosed infertility condition. Then a woman of God came to us and said that the Lord had awakened her the night before and said to tell my wife, “Your barren days are over!” Walking entirely by faith, and in the face of our six years of childlessness, this woman declared God’s healing revelation to us. A year later the first of our four children was born! Hallelujah!

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