Summary: Part 1 of our BELIEVE series looks at Faith and control. Real faith is about relinquishing complete control of your life to God. It is all His.
Part 1- Where is Your Faith?
Pastor Ryan Akers
Introduction to the series this morning.(Values- Evangelism, Fellowship, Worship, Ministry, Discipleship) I will not be taking us verse by verse this morning in one particular passage as I normally do but will be hopping around. I really spend some time to set up what we will be diving into over the next 5 weeks.
I want to talk to you about faith this morning. The most commonly used scripture on Faith is found in the book of Hebrews 11:1. “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” My question this morning is, “Where is your faith?” What do you put your faith in? What do you believe will happen without proof that it will happen?
Everyone here puts their faith in something. Driving safely to work, expect things to work (Pastor Eric- stand collapsing- fall 21ft), water will run and lights will be on. There is a major difference between having faith in these things and having faith as the bible speaks about it. The difference is that we have faith in driving, or tree stands, or buying something we want, or that our water and electricity will be running ONLY BECAUSE we have control of it. We have a confidence because I have control in driving my car, I have control in what I buy, I have control in paying my utility bill, I have control in where and how I put up my tree stand. Because we are in 100% control of the situation we have 100% confidence that things will work, that we will arrive safely, that lights will stay on.
But see that is not faith at all. Believing that something will work because you are in control of it is not faith. True faith requires us to relinquish all control and to jump head first into the unknown. Faith is about believing that something will happen even when you have absolutely no control of the situation. And this is where we fail miserably in our spiritual faith. We say we have faith in God, that God is all powerful, all knowing, never runs out of money, will never leave us or forsake us yet the actions we continue to live our lives by prove that we have no faith in God. Our actions do not back up our talk.
What do I mean by that? Coming out of college fired up for Jesus- Church people saying, “I remember when I was like that. That will pass.” The church sticks with things that they can control. Budget- we know we can reach this amount so let’s stick with that amount. Giving- We give exactly what we know we can afford to give, but to step out in faith and give beyond that we refuse to because that would require faith and relinquishing control over finances. Programs- we know that these programs work so let’s stick with what we can control and know work. People- we stick with who we know and feel uncomfortable about branching out. I know these people are my friends and I am comfortable with them. So for me to introduce myself to someone new or to branch out and make new friends means I have no control and so I don’t risk it. Witnessing- Sharing out faith with others is out of our control so we don’t do it. We are afraid that we won’t know what to say, we don’t know how they will react, we have no control over the outcome. It takes faith that is out of our control to witness to others and so we don’t do it because we don’t have confidence and have control over the situation because we are completely unsure what the outcome of the conversation will be.
Discipleship- We fear discipleship, going to small groups for 1 meeting new people which I just mentioned. 2 we may learn something about ourselves that we don’t want to change. God may reveal truth about us we refuse to confront because we would have to repent and seek forgiveness of our sins and 3 people would quickly learn that you are not perfect and all your hard work of wearing your façade every Sunday would be for not. When we relinquish control to God and let him reveal truth in us and about us we feel threatened, fearful, uncomfortable because it takes faith to let him work. It takes us relinquishing control of our lives by trying to become what we want to become and instead let God turn us into the person He wants us to be. Worship- We like a controlled environment- We don’t like the unknown in our worship services. We don’t like to see electric guitars and contemporary music because its unknown, its uncomfortable, its not what we are used to, its out of our control and comfort. We like what we can control. We like to stick with what we have always done. Ministry- We are afraid to serve because we are scared of the unknown. We don’t know what we are doing, we fear making a commitment, we are afraid we will hate where we are serving and it requires us to take a leap of faith know that it will work out. So we help with things we can control, don’t take time, and doesn’t require us to step out of what makes us feel comfortable.