Monday, June 29, 2015

Faith or feelings ?

“For without FAITH it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6)

We can’t allow our feelings and emotions to dictate our faith. Our faith has nothing to do with feelings. Our faith has nothing to do with our emotions. Our faith is based solely on the Word of God and who He is.

We absolutely can't please God without faith . The Word says it is impossible!

Faith takes prayer. Faith takes patience. Faith takes endurance. We must never give up but we must stand fast and believe!

We are willing to try everything else first, but not faith. You see, our faith begins with perception. It is truth. It is not seeing but just believing. It's about imprinting our minds with the truth of God’s Word and the truth of who He is. That knowledge of His power and authority is what  strengthens our faith in God. Our faith is only as strong as the object of our faith. If our faith is in anything other than our Creator, we will be let down and disappointed.  When the object of our faith is God, we can't fail. It's all about knowing who He is and what He can do, and then believing.

Our faith will follow our trust. What we trust is what we place our faith in. Do we need other things to prop up our faith or do we cling to the truth and allow that faith in God to stand alone? 

So, is it our feelings and our emotions? If that is the case, they will always let us down. They will always fail us. They will always disappoint us. Feelings falter  and emotions change from day to day. So, when we place our trust in those things that are temporal and not permanent, we get temporary satisfaction.

But listen to God’s Word:

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly  abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” ( Ephesians 3:20)

We can't do anything worthwhile on our own. But through our faith in God, we can please Him. It is through His Power in us that this is possible. It is because He is constant and unchanging that we can place our trust and our faith in Him. He can do more than we could ever imagine in our lives if we would completely give Him the control that is already His.

By faith, Abraham walked in obedience. Immediate obedience. By faith, Enoch walked with God. By faith, Abel had a heart for God and offered the acceptable sacrifice. By faith, Sarah trusted in the promises of her God!

So, what about us? Has our faith set us apart? Has our faith made us different?

Is our faith causing us to be prayed up? Is our faith causing us to be surrendered?  Surrendered totally and willingly and lovingly with no questions asked?

Do you know what pleases God? Our submissive and immediate obedience to Him. Obedience when we can't see the end results. Obedience when our flesh is screaming ‘no’. Obedience when it seems impossible.   Obedience when it seems too hard. Faith requires response. It must be put into practice. And that is only accomplished through a deep faith in our God. Faith grabs hold of the truth in God’s Word and is energized by it and inspired by its Holy fire!

Faith determines our relationship with God. The whole weight of our faith rests in His Word. It is us looking to God and trusting in His promises. If we want to know what those promises are than we must be studying His Word. If we want that kind of relationship with our LORD, we must be cultivating our faith by looking deep into the scriptures. 

Believing God. Resting in Him. Trusting His Word.

True bible faith is not just submissive obedience, but it is also confident obedience. It is knowing that in spite of the situation or the circumstances or the consequences, we have placed our trust in the perfect source. We can know that God will never let us down. He will never leave us. He will never forsake us. He will always lead us down the perfect path that He has ordained for us.

“…For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not fear…” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

When we develop our faith in Him, several things will begin to take place in our lives. We will begin studying His Word more. We will begin to have a strong desire to read the bible and hear from Him. We will begin seeking Him in all that we do. We will start to listen for His Voice and we will hear.

God speaks – we hear and  we trust and believe.  So, then we act.

Our faith is our total response to what God has revealed to us.

When our total response is simply obedience, we begin to set our minds solely on Him.

“Set your mind on things above not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2)

* Christ has to be first and foremost in our lives.
* When He is first, we will seek those things that are above and not just here on earth. 
* We come to Jesus for Jesus, not for a rescue out of a situation or from a situation.. But we         come just for Him.

Do we only want God when we are desperate? When we need something? When we have reached the end of ourselves and our solutions?

Do we want a healing or do we want a Healer??

Do we want merely salvation or do we truly want a Savior??

We can't have heaven without a sacrifice. Jesus isn't merely a rescuer. He is a Redeemer and a Restorer. He doesn't just save us from a situation but He will walk beside us through them.

Truly, when our faith is based on Him, it removes our eyes off of our own weaknesses and places our focus on Christ. Our life is then hid in Christ with God. We begin to understand what it means to be crucified with Christ and live no longer. We begin to die to self.  

We are transformed into a people of faith. Faith in Him and Him only. When this happens, our lives will show it and we will be the “different people” that God has called us to be. We no longer base our trust in God on our feelings or our situations. Instead, our faith is based on the power of God. For His honor and His glory and His praise. Forever.

Real faith says:

I will…. I do… I accept it and I receive it!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Just like us....

As I read about the children of Israel and their continued acts of disobedience, lack of respect for God, idolatry, wickedness, stubbornness and blatant sin, it causes me to be shocked and almost horrified at their actions.

But then, the LORD taps me on the shoulder and whispers to my heart, "How are you any different?" am I different? How are any of us different? We may not have taken such extreme actions and our sin may not have been so continual and blatant, but we are still just as guilty as the Israelites.

Do we neglect His Word? Do we study the bible with indifference? Do we neglect His teaching? Do we refuse to hear or even to listen? Don't we act just like they did? We leave behind the commandments of the LORD and erect false gods for ourselves. We do evil. We provoke our God to anger.

Just like Israel, we've lost our land and disobeyed its law. We've angered the LORD and it seems we have not learned our lesson. We have compromised ourselves to the world.

What does compromise do? It continues to grow out of control and fester. Then evil begins to triumph over a weakened people. 

"A little leaven, leavens the whole lump of dough." (1Corinthians 5:6)

A little sin corrupts the body just the same as a lot of sin. Any sin in our lives is totally unacceptable. We have allowed the sin of the world to infiltrate our churches, our fellowship, our lives and our minds. It quietly grows and pollutes all areas of our life until it eventually takes over.

We have turned our churches into social clubs instead of a place to worship. We invent programs to draw the world in instead of just teaching the Word and pushing the world out! We have compromised our belief system.

We need to be about engaging in true praise and worship. We've turned our focus to entertainment instead of pure, unadulterated worship of the One True and Living God. Just like the children of Israel we have disregarded the God of redemption and conformed ourselves to be a godless nation.

We practice wickedness in secret. We practice idolatry daily in the name of materialism and entertainment. We repeatedly neglect God's warnings. We have forsaken our LORD and Savior.

It's time.... It's time for us to turn our eyes back to God. It's time for us to seek His face. Seek to follow His ways. Seek to be obedient. It's time to confess, repent and begin a new walk, looking like Christ. 

When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You, 
"Your face, LORD, I will seek. (Psalm 27:8)