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Walking By Faith

Mar 01, 2020

Neal spoke about walking by faith, rather than by sight. 

 

2 Corinthians 5 vs 7

 

I guess for most of us we can walk by faith when things are going well and our faith is not tested to much but when the going gets tough and our faith is tested often we find ourselves reverting to walking by sight and not by faith. Today I want to look at three things that can help us in those times of testing.

 

William Ward says ” Worry is faith in the negative, trust in the unpleasant, assurance of disaster, and belief in defeat! It’s a magnet that attracts negative thoughts. Faith is a much more powerful force that creates positive thoughts and emotions but we have to exercise it!”  Exercise your faith – Increase your faith muscle!

 

We have a phrase that we use sometimes which is  I can’t see the wood for the trees meaning we are so involved in the detail od something we cannot see or understand the bigger picture – So often this is where we find ourselves – Our Perspective is small and God’s perspective is different and bigger! So how do we change our perspective?

 

  1. Let’s get our vision of who God is correct!!

 

John Piper – 2020 “ What Churches and Leaders need more than anything else is a great big vision of a great big God- A God of magnificent love and lavish Grace”

This quote was based on looking at Ephesians 3 vs 16-21 where Paul lays out his prayer for the church at Ephesus and is an amazing piece of scripture which we can pray exactly the same way today – Look at what it says

 

-          That we might be empowered with inner strength from God’s glorious, unlimited resources (Is anything too hard for God??)

-          That Christ will make his home in our hearts as we trust him

-          That our roots will grow down into God’s love and keep us strong

-          That you may have the power to understand, how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love is, AND experience that love for yourself

-          That you may understand that God is able, through his  mighty power at work in us, to accomplish infinitely MORE than we ask or think

 

This is the view of God we need to have that he can do more than we can ask or think in our wildest imaginings! We are so conservative in our wishes and we have a God who is beyond our comprehension and understanding!

 

AW Tozer “ God is looking for people through whom he can do the impossible. What a pity we plan only the things we can do ourselves”

 

How big is your vision of God – Are your problems too large for God to deal with? He is well able – we just need to ask and move our perspective from the problem to the solver of the problem!

 

  1. In times of trial and when we cannot hear from God what do we do – We need to REMEMBER his promises and his faithfulness. These are what we come against the enemy with – the sword of the spirit – the word of God!

 

Lamentations 3 vs 21-22 “This I call to Mind, and therefore I have hope – the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end, great is his faithfulness,  his mercies begin afresh each morning – I SAY TO MYSELF – The Lord is my inheritance = therefore I will hope in him”

 

This is a great scripture and is active not passive – so often when trouble comes into our lives we go passive – we need to be active – “This is call to mind” – “I say to myself”

 

John Piper – “ One of the greatest enemies of hope is forgetting God’s promises – Reminding ourselves is vital in our battles – The mind has great power – It can talk to itself by way of reminder: The mind can “call to mind” as the text says and therefore in doing that I have hope! If we don’t call to mind what God says about himself our mind can be filled with negative thoughts “I can’t” “She won’t” “They Never” ‘It won’t work” “It’s not going to happen” – Reasoning your way out of an impossible situation is not as effective as reminding yourself that God does impossible things!”

 

Psalm 77 vs 4-16 – David’s great turn from despair to hope is based on him remembering That God is faithful and his recall of who God is and his deeds of long ago! We could do with doing the same! Read the Psalm!

 

“I will recall all you have done O lord, I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago – They are constantly in my thoughts”

 

Active not passive again – “I will recall”

 

2 Corinthians 4 vs 17-18 – “For our present troubles are small and won’t last long – Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. So don’t look at the troubles we can see now, rather we fix our gaze on things we cannot see – these last forever”

 

Active not passive – “I will fix my gaze on thins we cannot see” – We have faith in things we cannot see but in understanding who God is, his faithfulness and his promises our faith is increased and our vision changed.

 

  1. We have to recognise we are in a spiritual battle and prepare for that.

 

Ephesians 6 vs 10-18 – “ For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, the authorities, against the powers of the dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” How do we deal with this – by putting on the armour of God – these are actions words – not passive

Be strong, Put on the armour, Stand Firm, Resist, Stand your ground, Be prepared, Hold up the shield, Pray, Stay alert, be persistent, Don’t give in, Fight!

Take the shield of faith – hold it up to deflect all the fiery darts of the enemy – Take the sword of the spirit which is the word of God – This is truth and we need to come against the enemy with truth from God’s word.

 

Why do we come under attack so often – getting to group, getting to church, baptisms – recognise the tactics of the enemy and start to come against them!

 

1 Peter 5 vs 7-9 – Firstly – ‘Give all your worries to God” WHY? “Because he cares for you” – TRUTH – Important – Don’t let the enemy tell you that he does not care for you because he does – but also take the truth on board and then “ Stay alert, Watch out, stand firm, be STRONG in your faith”

 

Active not passive – but based on the truth of the Word of God which is the sword of the spirit – cut down the enemies lies and stand on the truth of scripture!

 

To finish I want to pray Paul’s prayer from Ephesians over every person here today – I pray

 

-          That you might be empowered with inner strength from God’s glorious, unlimited resources (Is anything too hard for God??)

-          That Christ will make his home in your hearts as we trust him

-          That your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong

-          That you may have the power to understand, how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love is, AND experience that love for yourself

-          That you may understand that God is able, through his  mighty power at work in you, to accomplish infinitely MORE than we ask or think.

 

Questions

 

  1. Why do we have a tendency to walk by sight and not by faith and what can we do to change our response to situations as they arise in our lives?
  2. Today I have highlighted just three areas that can help in us in faith walk – what other areas do you find helpful that you can share together?
  3. We talked today about exercising our faith and being active not passive – How do we do this in our everyday lives?

 

 

 

 

 

 



Tags: Neal Garratt
Category: Talks

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