Okay, folks, we’ve had a couple of inspirational blogs so now it’s time to pull up to the table and share a meal of the meat of God’s word. There’s an old song we used to sing years ago entitled “Come and Dine”. Here’s the chorus:
‘Come and dine’, the Master calleth,’Come and dine’
You can eat at Jesus’ table anytime.
He who fed the multitude,
Changed the water into wine
To the hungry calleth now, ‘Come and dine’.
So, this morning I invite you to come and dine with me at the table of God’s word!
Hebrews 5:12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
When we are babes in Christ we need constant milk whereby we grow just as babies begin their lives. But as we are fed the milk of God’s word and begin to put our roots down in Him we find the necessity of going forward and growing in the things of God so we can be nourished by the solid meat of the word and not just the simple, feel good scriptures that give us the warm, fuzzy feelings. There is a place for inspirational messages and a different place for those that challenge us and cause us to grow up and become the over-comers that God intends for us to be. It is only as we exercise what we learn that we will grow. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
Paul said in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
What happens when we go through a crucifixion? It is the dying of our fleshly motivations in living life so that Christ can live through us to His honor and glory. We see from the crucifixion of Jesus that He had to lay aside His will in order to fulfill the will of the Father. It takes faith to do that. Paul said that once he had crucified his flesh, in order to continue to live the life that God wanted, he had to do it by faith.
Faith makes things possible, but not always easy! Walking by faith means that instead of reacting to something that happens in my life, I will respond according to God’s word regarding that situation. Faith is believing what God says before I see the reality of it. We often make the statement that “seeing is believing”, but faith says that “believing is seeing”.
Abraham is listed in God’s word as being the “father of faith”. As we look at the example of how he lived his life by faith we can see a pattern to follow in living our lives.
Romans 4:17-21 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
God gave Abram a promise: that He had already made him the father of may nations. Abram could then either react in disbelief because it had not yet been manifested in the natural, or he could respond in faith by choosing to believe what God said over what he saw in his situation. He saw the deadness of his body and that of Sarah, his wife. He heard the negative voices that came into his mind saying “this is not possible. You both are too old. It’s never going to happen. Look at how long you’ve been waiting for this promised child to arrive.” All those things came against him, just like they come against you. But Abram didn’t waver in believing what God had said, but he made the choice to stand with God and resist the enemy that tried to come to destroy the covenant promise that God had made to him.
God promised a child to Abram and Sarai and when He made the promise He sealed it with the sacrifice of a blood covenant.
Genesis 15:8-11 And he said, “Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it?” So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
Child of God, He has made promises to us throughout His word, sealed by the blood of Jesus that are covenant promises. It’s time that we shoo the vultures away from our covenant and begin to take a stand on His word that paves the way for the manifestation of His promises. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy our lives, God’s promises to us, and we are the ones that have to enforce the protection of those promises through faith until we see the reality of them. Faith looks out into the future and grasps what God has promised as if it already exists.
Colossians 3:1-3 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
What are you thinking about? Do you have your mind set on the things of God or what you see going on around you? Abram had to lay aside the negative thoughts and pictures of his situation in order to embrace the truth of God’s promise. He had to die to self and live in God. We have been born again, given a new life, and that life is the life of faith that God lives within us; we are in Christ Jesus, a new person, created in His likeness and image and given the ability to function by faith through His strength and power.
We are to put off the old man and “put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge, according to the image of Him who created him,” (Colossians 3:9,10)
God gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did! (Romans 4:17) Are you calling things that don’t yet exist as though they did or are you reacting to the situation by speaking about the reality of life as it is now?
Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things now seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand the the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Faith sees things that are not real in the natural, but understands that the spiritual viewpoint over-rides the natural. The spiritual is real, the natural is a manifestation of what we have already seen in the spirit realm. If your focus is on the negative aspects of life, you will find that those negative things which you have meditated on will become a reality in your life. The elders obtained a good testimony through believing that what God said was the reality and then walking it out. God framed His world by what He said. He brought the spiritual into the natural through His words.
Paul said that even though he went through persecutions and difficulties that he realized that God was working in his life and the situations he encountered were so that the life of Jesus might be manifested in him. He said in 2 Corinthians 4:13: And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak. You see, faith takes God’s promise, believes it first and then speaks out of the mouth what is believed in the heart. Speaking gives faith the avenue to bring into your natural world what God promises in His word!
Jesus said it this way in Matthew 12:34 “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
What we put into our hearts and meditate on will eventually come out of our mouths! If we believe that God lives in us and is the greater One within then we will begin to speak that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (1 John 4:4; Philippians 4:13) If we believe that the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives in us and has seated us far above the principalities and powers that are arrayed against us, then we will speak that and act on it! (Ephesians 1:19-23)
Jesus encountered a “faith issue” with His disciples in Luke 8:24, 25. They encountered a terrific storm in their lives as they were crossing the sea and Jesus was asleep in the boat. As the storm raged the disciples became more and more fearful of what was going to happen. They awoke Jesus and this is what He said to them:
Luke 8:25 NIV He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked His disciples.
This morning I ask you, “where is your faith”? Are you believing the lies of the devil that your life will never be any different than what it is today; that the bad things that he has brought into your life are what exist in your future? Or will you stand up and say, “no, I choose to believe that God has a good plan for my life and that is what exists in my future”!
Father, I thank You that You have equipped us with the God-kind of faith; faith that believes Your word and acts on what You have said. Father, I pray that as we are challenged to walk in faith that we will not be offended by what we read in Your word, or by the messengers that you send into our lives to share that word with us, but that we will be encouraged knowing that You have already made the way possible to for us to live as over-comers; soaring above the storms of life, rather than chickens who always are looking here and there for a morsel of food, hoping that the bareness of the ground around them is not an indication of the future. May we be not only hearers of the word, but doers! Thank You, Father, for the victory that is ours in Christ Jesus. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.