Supernatural Faith I

Today I want to speak to you on supernatural faith for 2021. This is a word the Lord put in my heart a few weeks ago. We will be reading from Hebrews 11. So get ready!

The mood of our present world is not good. Like me, are you weary and just plain tired of the way things are? It’s hard to relax when fear and anxiety stare us in the face. For many of us, it feels like living on the edge- the edge of catastrophe, the edge of disaster, the edge of uncertainty.

It can feel like everything is out of control. Who among us feels in control of our future? “I’ve lost my job! I might lose my job! I might get sick!” Well, no guarantees that I won’t. And then if I do get sick, what if I die? I really don’t want to die…at least not right now.

Some people put on a brave face. “I’m not afraid of anything. The Lord will protect me. I’m ok.” Then one morning your nose runs a bit, or you have just a slight tickle in your throat, or you woke up with a slight fever…”Oh no, I have it, I’m going to be sick.” And the unsaid words…“What if I die?”

What bothers me the most about our times is the mixed messaging- the inconsistencies between health care professionals, governments, politicians and media. What is the truth, the real truth? This lack of consistency makes almost everyone feel just a little confused and insecure.

Here’s the question. What if things never fully get back to the way they were or what if it takes a long long time? What if things actually get worse? What will you do? How will you thrive in this strange world?

The Lord has given me a Word for you from Hebrews 11- a word about Supernatural faith for 2021.

Hebrews 11:1 -“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. And 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.”

You may have never heard of a man called Rees Howells, possibly the greatest intercessor of all time. His ministry absolutely changed the world. He lived through two world wars, troubled times and pandemics. He knew how to pray and he prayed. He knew how to believe and he believed. He prayed and bought buildings with no money in his pocket yet bought them for cash. 

He prayed for sick people and would send word to them individually. For example, “On Sunday the 24th at 5 pm you will be healed.” Guess what? That is exactly what happened. 

Rees Howells started “The  Bible College of Wales, “ where hundreds of intercessors learned this life of faith. So great was their impact on the world that during the Second World War there were a number of strategic things that happened due to the prayers of Rees and the Bible school students. 

When the German Army was marching through Russia, they were approaching Moscow. The Russians were being slaughtered and wiped out as the Germans advanced. The Germans had been unstoppable. If they took Moscow, it was over for Russia. Howells and his team interceded for Russia, declaring that Germany would be stopped. Suddenly, on the verge of complete victory, Adolf Hitler inexplicably ordered his army to go another direction- just as the Howells team had prayed. This happened many times during the war.

One of his students of the Bible College of Wales was Reinhard Bonkke, a 19-year-old from Germany. While at the college, God called Reinhard to be an evangelist. After graduating, he began to evangelize to Africa. I personally heard Bonkke preaching, and he said, “Every crusade I have held in Africa has cost me 1 million dollars. I have never cancelled a crusade because I lacked money. I raised that 1 million dollars every month every year.” Bonkke’s crusades led 79 million people in Africa to Christ. I love his mission statement which was this,  “I am going to plunder hell and populate heaven.” 

What an example are the lives of both these heroes of supernatural faith!

So what is faith? Faith is being sure of God,  who He is and what He says. Faith is being willing to trust God no matter what you see. 

In reality everyone has faith in something or someone. No one believes in nothing. Everyone has faith even though it may not be in God. The only difference between you and others is the focus of your faith and the depth of your faith.

My favorite illustration of faith is the story of a South Seas missionary translating the Bible into a dialect in which there was no word for faith. He struggled with this, until one day one of his native students came in to his house.  He offered the student a seat. The young man sat down, sighed contentedly, and said, “it is so good to rest my whole body on this chair.” Bingo! The light came on in the missionary’s mind and he realized he had found the expression for faith: “Placing my whole weight.” 

Faith in God is placing my whole life, my entire ambition, my complete salvation and security, my total physical health and my whole future on God. Faith is making that decision to place your life in His hands and absolutely refusing to worry at all.

Reinhard Bonkke would say, “Faith is an attitude.” How’s your attitude today?

Notice verse 6. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” God wants you to totally depend on Him. Test yourself today. Do you have faith in God? List your fears and anxieties, and listen to the words of your own mouth. Possibly you should write them out and lay them before the Lord, and know that every one of those anxieties and fears shows where your faith has been misguided. 

Fear is misguided faith.

The story is told of a man crossing a desert on foot. He ran out of water and was dying of thirst. Then he spotted a pump near an abandoned shack. This was back in the days when the seals on water pumps were made of leather. When they were not used, the leather dried out and the pump did not work. I remember that from my grandmother’s well years ago. 

This very thirsty man found the pump and then noticed a jug of water near the pump with a sign. “Pour the water into the pump to seal the leather. Then pump the water you need and refill the jug for the next person.”

What a decision to make! What if he poured the water in and the pump does not work? Wouldn’t it be safer to drink the water and be sure he’d live another day?  However, if he “primed” the pump , there would be water for him and also for the next person in need! He had to choose.

This takes faith. Will God preserve me if I pour my life into God’s hand – prime the pump, so to speak,-instead of gratifying my urgent need right now?

What would you do?

God will not be mocked. What you sow, you will reap. You will reap where you sow, in the way you sow, and with the intensity you sow. When you place your whole life in that chair of trust in God , you will be living in supernatural faith. 

Whether you sow into the kingdom of God financially, with your energy, or with your talents, you are going to reap. That faith invested in God will bring you a huge harvest. 

We are in a time when the devil has bound up much of the church with fear. Few churches are adding souls to the kingdom. We appear more worried about our own lives- which already have a secure eternal destiny- rather than a multitude of lives that have no heavenly hope.

We have the words of Jesus in Matthew 24. These words describe the most troubled times you can imagine. There will be wars, famines, and earthquakes in many places, persecution that even leads to death, false prophets and deceptions. It speaks of very troubled times in a world full of trouble. But what does Jesus say is God’s agenda?

In this chapter of turmoil you will hear God’s agenda. It’s not the rapture! It’s not the deliverance of the people of God!

Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

This is what is on God’s mind today. As most of us fixate on the troubles of our lives, God’s heart is for the world. The peoples, the nations, the gospel, the good news…that’s what God remains focused on. Does this occupy any space in your mind? If not, what is your life focused on? In which direction are you focusing your faith?

The gospel is never preached by those whose focus is on themselves or on this world. It is preached by people who may have troubles and who live in troubled times.  But they have an eye on the kingdom. They see a God who is working and will continue to work. They see an eternal, all knowing, all powerful, almighty God into whose hands they have put their lives.  

The world today is reeling under the stress of our times. Denie has a friend in her prayer group who is a nurse in one of the large Calgary hospitals. She said, “The morgue is full, stacked with bodies. We have a just a handful of Covid deaths; the rest are all suicides.” People are dying from fear- misplaced faith! Their faith is in the negative spiral of this world and the doom to come. They see no hope. So they end their lives.

I want to reinforce what the Spirit is saying to us  through I Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not I vain.”

This is living by and walking by faith. 

WHAT CAN FAITH DO? 

Read this entire chapter of Hebrews 11. As you read, remind yourself that these are real people in real life challenges, with a real life faith in God. Read about Abel, Enoch, Noah, Sarah, and Abraham. Read about Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses. There are many more. The reason they are listed in the “heroes of faith” chapter is because of their lives of active faith, not because of what they said. What they did was a sign of what they believed. Our actions tell what we believe.

Here’s what Jesus said in Mathew 17:20, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Here’s what Jesus said in Mark 9:23, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Hallelujah, What looks impossible to us is easy for God.

Back to Hebrews 11- Here’s what the heroes’ faith did:

Through acts of faith in God, the heroes toppled kingdoms, made justice work, and took promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and swords. They turned disadvantage into advantage, won battles, and routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead, others stood up under torture and persecution, and some became homeless, friendless and powerless. The reason they ALL are listed is that everyone of them prevailed and overcame by faith in God, even the ones whose promises did not come in this lifetime. They had their eyes on God.  They had decided there was no other way. There was no turning back. 

Faith has a focus. For us that focus is Jesus. 

He  remains our champion. 

This is what pleases God. You are convinced that what Jesus has done and has promised is where you will stand. 

The Lord Jesus has given us a mission in this city and this nation and the world. We are here to fulfill the Great Commission. It has never expired. For some of us our faith has expired, but it’s time to renew our subscription to a life of faith.

A life of faith will not be interrupted by demons, devils, difficulties, pandemics, circumstances nor  inconvenience. This gospel of the kingdom must be preached by faith in faith and through faith in all the world.

Can you see this today? I hope you are not so misguided to think that Jesus is all about you. Jesus is about the world! God loved the world. God loved you in order to lift you up to become what you have been called to be.

Supernatural faith is what we are all called to live by. “The just will live by faith.” Circumstances have nothing to do with our mission. Convenience has nothing to do with our calling. Faith must stand alone.

As we look into 2021, what exactly have you planned to do by faith this year? What exactly have you determined you will do for Jesus and the kingdom? 

Faith sees no mountains it cannot climb. Faith sees no rivers it cannot cross. Faith sees no difficulty it cannot overcome. Faith sees no disease that God cannot heal. Faith sees nothing is impossible to God.  Faith sees no one is impossible for God to save. Faith sees no shortage that God cannot supply. Faith sees no evil spirit that cannot be cast out.

Faith is an attitude of the spiritual champion. Faith is the man or woman who sees that Jesus overcame and made it possible for us to overcome. 

Faith always speaks. Faith always acts. Faith in God always wins.

What is the guiding presence of your daily life? Is it worry, hopelessness, fear, financial insecurity? 

Or is it the presence of Jesus, never leaving, always abiding, every quickening, and forever empowering?

Take a stand today. Make a faith declaration today. Say it out loud so that the spirit world can hear you, God can hear you, and YOU can hear you.

“I am a child of God. 

My faith is in Christ alone. 

I determine to live 

by supernatural faith 

in 2021. 

I will not be moved. 

I shall not be shaken. 

I will not be defeated. 

I place my entire life by faith 

in the hands of God.”

This is the Word of the Lord for 2021.

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