Supernatural Faith II

Hebrews 11:1-2, 5-6

Our present world is so different than it was a year ago. What if things never fully get back to the way they were or what if it takes a long long time? What if your life actually gets worse instead of better? What will you do? How will you survive, and even more, THRIVE- in this strange world?

I am talking about supernatural faith today. Faith that is supernatural in its foundation, expression, and results. How many of us really really need something supernatural working in our lives today?

Hebrews 11:1 NIV “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for. And certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients (fathers) were commended for. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: ‘He could not be found, because God had taken him away.’ For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”

Enoch’s life is recorded in this chapter. He pleased God through his faith!

Hebrews 11:6 “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.”

Years ago, sailing used to be my favourite activity, and it illustrates what faith is like. There is nothing like being on the open ocean in a sail boat. The majesty of the waves, the vastness of the water, the wind in your face. I love it. But occasionally the wind dies and you are “becalmed”- the sails lie still and the sailboat just rocks on the waves going nowhere.  However, a seasoned sailor will watch the ocean far off in the distance and see ripples on the water- a sign that the wind is coming. Lifting your face to the sky, you wait for the feel of a slight breeze on your face, knowing the wind is on the way. And when it comes, you adjust your sails and let the wind move you forward!

Faith is much like that. When life is not moving and you feel becalmed and helpless, you must look into the distance and expect God’s “wind” to come. 

It is impossible to please God without faith. The wording describes an ultimate impossibility. There is no other way to pease God. It’s  absolutely impossible to get God’s attention without faith. 

“He must believe that He exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” That too is faith.

Faith needs a focus. Your mood today could very well be an indicator of the focus of your faith. 20 times in this chapter God is referred to as the main character, and His people believed, obeyed, trusted, followed, listened to His voice and thrived against all odds. They witnessed supernatural miracles- because they had faith!

Let’s get some perspective on God.

GOD REALLY IS A BIG GOD!

Psalm 104:1-5 NIV “Praise the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot  and rides on the wings of the wind. He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants. He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.”

This is such picturesque language. “Oh Lord you are very great! Stretching out the heavens like a tent, setting the earthen its foundations so that it can never be moved, riding on the wings of the wind…” This earth is as alive, as vibrant, as solid as its Creator.

Psalm 135:5 NIV “I know that the Lord is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods.”

The psalmist recognized the existence of false alternative gods, along with the differences, and wrote that the Lord is greater than all of the alternatives that mankind could trust.

Psalm 145:3-5 NIV “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another;  they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works.”

Like the psalmist, we should declare, “I am so in awe of God and His greatness that I think about Him all the time. Whenever I have a minute, I just pause and think about how great the Lord is. “

Isaiah 12:4-6 NIV “In that day you will say:“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Isaiah wrote these strong words. I like to say it like this,  “Let everyone know how great the Lord is! Do some joyful singing! Do some joyful shouting! God is so great!”

This has nothing at all to do with what’s going on in our lives. Lay that aside. The bottom line is that He is great.

Its time for some pandemic celebration- 

a celebration of the greatness of God!!

When we come to God, we must believe that He exists. That is faith. He exists. He is real. He is powerful. He cares about me. 

Faith in God can move a mighty mountain but before your faith will become supernatural, you will have to believe in a supernatural God-  you will have to think like it, speak like it and act like it. You will have to sing it, dance it, jump for joy, lift your hands, and even weep for joy.

This kind of physical behaviour is faith in action, real faith. It demonstrates in a very physical way that you actually believe that He exists and you are happy about it! None of this is about you. None of this about your circumstances. It’s all about Him!

Great faith, supernatural faith starts with a great God. If you don’t see God as big, it will be impossible for you to live in supernatural faith.

GOD WILL REWARD ME FOR MY FAITH!

Habakkuk 2:4 “…the just shall live by faith…” This phrase burned into Martin Luther’s soul and on this rock he launched the Reformation! God revealed to him how that revelation works: belief in God and belief in His reward. Whether we have to wait a week,  a year, or an eternity, God will always come through. 

This is the only way to please God. Not with your works, but with your heart being expressed in the way you live.

  • Faith is not believing that God can, but that rather that God will!
  • Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.
  • Faith in God is is what leads to joyful life.

That’s why when we live by faith in God, we are joyful, peaceful and incredible secure. 

Faith actually follows hope. We are “sure of what we hope for.” You know, hope is a wonderful thing. It is that vision, that expectation of good things coming. Wendell Smith writes, “Some of us never move from hope to faith. Faith is what turns dreams into substance, into the tangible.”

Faith is being sure (substance) of what we hope for. Thats what our text says. “Hupostasis” is a Greek word coming from two other Greek words, one meaning “to stand” and the other meaning “under.” Faith is both the title deed that proves ownership and the foundation holds the building up.

200 years ago there lived a businesswoman named Dionysia. She was described as a woman with a set jaw and serious determination. One day she lost a case in court over a piece of land, which she claimed to be hers. Dionysia determined to take her case to a higher court and sent her slave to the city of Alexandria with a stone box containing all her legal documents. On the way, the slave was killed in a fire at the house where he stayed overnight. The house collapsed. 2000 years later, archeologists uncovered the remains of the inn and found the stone box. Inside was Dionysia’s note to the judge: “So that my lord the judge will find my appeal in order, I attach my hupostasis.” The enclosed documents were her title deed for the property in question – the evidence of her ownership.

If you do not stand in your faith, you will not stand at all. Faith is the foundation- the whole “body of documents-” that prove ownership. Faith is the confident assurance, solid ground, title deed of all we hope for. It gives substance to our hopes because in our minds and hearts we can see what we’re hoping and praying for. We refuse to see it any other way.

Faith is trust, absolute and complete trust in God. It is not an option in your life. Without it, you cannot and will not please God. 

Rhinehard Bonkke, the great evangelist who spent his  life evangelizing Africa, expressed it this way, 

“Faith is not a leap into the dark; it is a leap into the light. To have faith is to act on the strength of what we know, expecting God to be to us what we know He is. When we risk everything on God, He proves to be faithful to what He has told us about Himself.”

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. “ 

Should we pray for faith? Did the apostle Paul ever pray for faith? No, he did not. But this is what he did pray:

Ephesians 1:18 “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

Paul prayed that we would see just how big our God is. He prayed “that your heart may receive the brightness of hope that comes when the wealth of God’s intentions in you is understood.”

Oswald Chambers wrote the famous devotional book “My utmost for His Highest.” What a man he was! His biographer describes him as a man “full of the Holy Spirit.” This was the secret of his happy service. He was absolutely free from worried living. He lived what he liked to call a restlessly restful life. He was a man full of faith. His biography was called “Abandoned to God.”

When the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of our hearts, we will be able to see all these great truths. Oh Lord Jesus, open our eyes to see the potential life you have called us to!

NOW FAITH

I want you to focus on the word “NOW” in Hebrews 11:1. NOW is the time to trust God. Now is the time to be saved. Now is the time to know God and His power. How do we use “NOW” faith?

In crossing the ocean, there are several ways to do it. One is to use paddles. Just paddle your boat. Paddle and paddle and paddle. Work at it, work at it, work at it.

A better way would be to use a sail. The wind exists. It blows, but to benefit from the wind, you must put up a sail. God exists, even without your faith. But plan your journey of faith in God, believe that He exists and that He rewards everyone who seeks Him.  Lift the sails of your faith to heaven and watch what the wind of God can do.

Once you have hoisted the sail, you head out for open water. Soon you lose sight of land, and there is nothing ahead of you but the open ocean. But you know what? It doesn’t matter that you can’t see land. The wind will still blow, the sails will billow and the boat will sail along just as it was designed. You will cross over!

Where are you going in 2021? Is your hope in destiny? Is your hope in some kind of karma? Is your hope in some form of positive thinking? Or is your hope- and faith- in the Lord?

What if things never fully get back to the way they were? What if it takes a long, long time? What if your life actually gets worse? What will you do? How will you thrive in this strange world? Can you stand up today in faith? Can you go out today in faith? Can you speak up today in faith?

Let’s use some faith, right now. I have preached to you the word of the Lord for your life today. Let’s stand up, lift our hands and shout for joy. Let’s give thanks to God for his past, present, and future  work in our lives.

Let’s speak faith. If there is no future in the road we’re on, then let’s believe God will give us another road. With faith, there is ALWAYS a way.

ACT IN FAITH

There was once a church congregation that had met to pray for rain because of the severe drought in the area. As they gathered, the preacher looked very skeptically at his flock and said: “Brothers and Sisters, you all know why we are here. Now what I want to know is—where are your umbrellas?”

Why waste your time praying if you don’t plan to act like you believe? When things look impossible, start speaking to that situation and declaring what you believe the Bible says about it. And then take action.

We are going to take this year by faith and not by works. We are going to face challenges believing for the wisdom of God not the experience of man. We will prevail against all opposition, all discomfort, all fear, all uncertainty by declaring our faith in God. I have the title, the right, the promise of God and I am expecting God’s blessing and miraculous provision in every situation!

“Faith is not a leap into the dark; it is a leap into the light. To have faith is to act on the strength of what we know, expecting God to be to us what we know He is. When we risk everything on God, He proves to be faithful to what He has told us about Himself.”

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