Taith Chapter Nine
Last week I talked with you about believing. Believing comes about because we have been told something by someone we trust or we have been given instructions on how to accomplish something or we have seen something with our own eyes. We are not too far from the season when most people take their vacations. When we decide to go somewhere on our vacation if we aren't sure of the best way to get there we will get out a map and find out what the best way to go is. How can we be sure that the map is accurate? Because we have learned or have been told that if we will just follow the map and the road signs we will have no problem getting to where we want to go.
The same is true about the Bible. If we learn to study and meditate on the word of God it will give us the instruction on how to get to the Kingdom of Heaven and after we get there how we can learn to live the way God lives. The Bible has a lot of things to say about what He has already done for us and what we look like in His sight. What seems to be very hard for us is to understand is how God can see something in us that we have difficult seeing in ourselves. The reason for this is because we have been taught a lot of things about Him that just are not true. We have been taught about the awesomeness of the God that we serve and how He is just waiting for us to make a mistake so He can send us to an everlasting hell and there torment us forever. Nothing can be further from the truth.
That is the image the people of the God of the Old Testament had of Him because they choose to live under the Law. When the fullness of God's time had come, Jesus came to this earth to reveal to us that His Father really is love. Not having the characteristic of love but is love. If we are ever able to either see our Father or be able to get the proper image of Him in our spirit and in our mind we will discover what love is all about because He is love.
In the Old Testament the children of Israel were unruly, stubborn, stiff-necked, and self centered. God wanted to be the one they came to for instruction but they wanted a king like the rest of the world and insisted that God give them laws that they could live by so they would not have to come into His presence. The Law was given and was pure and holy but they were not and as a result they continued in their self-righteousness. The Law was given to them and it had wonderful promises if they would just be careful to follow it, but it also include terrible results if they failed to follow it. Paul said in Gal. 3:10-14,
"All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit."
Why is it that we always want to live by law. We are a nation established upon the rule of law and we govern ourselves by laws that have been set forth and agreed upon by those that we elect to represent us. These laws regulate our lives as to what we are able to do and by what we are not able to do. So we are not really that different from the children of Israel. It is a lot easier for us to know what to do if we have laws that govern us. God is certainly not opposed to the rule of law because His Kingdom is ruled by spiritual laws. Paul said in Gal. 3:11,
"No man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith."
Successfulness comes to those who wish to live by Law by how well they are able to obey these laws but with it also comes something that is opposite of the Kingdom of God and that is self-righteousness. Self-righteousness comes in the form of being prideful in what we are able to accomplish and does not depend upon God because we are able to follow a set of rules. Let me share with you what Paul had to say that Abraham learned about this. In Rom. 4:1-4, (KJV)
"What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he has whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that works is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that works not, but believes on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."
"What should we say about those things? What did our father Abraham discover about being right with God? Did he become right with God because of something he did? If so, he could brag about it. But he couldn’t brag to God. What do we find in Scripture? It says, “Abraham believed God. God accepted Abraham’s faith, and so his faith made him right with God.” (Genesis 15:6) When a man works, his pay is not considered a gift. It is owed to him. But things are different with God. He makes evil people right with himself. If people trust in him, their faith is accepted even though they do not work. Their faith makes them right with God."
Brethren, you can walk perfectly before both God and men. You can go to church every time the doors are open and work on every committee, you can give tithes and offerings and visit the sick and help the poor and that will not give you one thing to stand before God and brag about. It is nothing more than self- righteousness. Jesus said in Luke 17:10,
"So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.”
Jesus said in Matt. 6:33,
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Well, Dave, are you saying that we shouldn't do these good things? NO! Absolutely not!" What I am saying is what Paul was saying and that is that these things are not what puts us in right standing before God. What puts us in right standing before God is that we have faith in Him and do not worry about the outcome of our life because we can read in His word what that outcome of our life is going to be. We accept these things because we believe what God has promised us and because we have come to know the love that He has for all men!
Not only that but because we have come to realize that our Father loves us and is in control of all things and that we have nothing to worry about because our Father can whip up on anyone or anything that comes our way and that He will not allow temptations to come our way that we cannot handle. We have learned that our Father has given to us authority to rule over His creation and the authority to speak what His word has to say about any situation that we are faced with. As such, we have matured and become Sons of our Father!!!
As a result of learning these things about Him and about who we really we are able to declare His word to this world and bring about His Kingdom. We have learned to do these great works by faith. By faith in what He has told us through our big brother Jesus who came to show us how to live in love just like our Father.
Christians should be the most optimistic people on this earth because we know how all this is going to end, however, I have found that because of the teachings and doctrines of those who refused to believe God's word is not for us today but for sometime in the future, many Christians are very pessimistic about the future. This is nothing but unbelief. This is nothing more than failure to believe what our Father is telling us is the truth. We have a tendency to believe what our eyes tell us more than we believe what God has told us.
I don't know about you but I want to do everything my Father tells me that I am able to do. NOW! Not sometime in the future. NOW FAITH IS! NOW! Now is the time to believe. When we believe that we have received what we have been promised it sets things in motion that sometimes takes time to manifest. While we wait for it to manifest our faith is active because we know that it absolutely has to come. So with eager anticipation we await for it to come to pass. When it comes to pass you wont need faith because it has become a reality!
When you ask Father to do something according to His will you can believe that it has been set into motion and you do not have to asked Him again about it. If you really know that it has been set into motion then you can praise Him every day and thank Him that you have received it until it becomes a reality. This is a perfect example of your faith in operation. If you go back to Him tomorrow and ask Him to do it for you it will be because you did not believe that He did it for you today when you prayed believing. If that is the case you didn't believe that He did it today when you prayed because you didn't apply your faith. Or you may have doubted either that He is faithful or that He may have forgotten to do it for you.
I can promise you this, however, that if you doubted when you prayed, it WILL NOT come to pass! James said in James 1:6-8,
"Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."
When you go before our Father you don't have to beg or con Him into doing something for you. All you have to do is ask according to His will and it will be given to you. John said in 1 Jn. 5:14-15,
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
What are you seeking our Father to do for you this day? Get into His word and find out what His will is and ask Him to day to do that for you and start your faith to working for you. Tomorrow go back before Him and thank Him for hearing your prayer that you prayed today and tell Him that with open arms you received it from Him. And keep doing this until it manifest itself to you, or until it becomes a reality in your life.
Brethren, we have been children long enough don't you think? It's time for us to stand up and act like sons of the most high. We are a Kings son and it is time we began to act like it.