Today being Sunday, I went to chuch and heard a sermon. It was a pretty great one. Pastor Bill Bennet, the giver of this message, oversees a bunch of churches in South Africa. The message on faith, “Wanted: The New Frontier”, really encouraged me, so I’m going to write down some of my thoughts about various parts of it.
“Design determines destiny.”
Basically, his point here was that we are created and designed by God for a purpose, and that purpose is to live by faith in Him. This is the destiny: to “know Jesus, be like Jesus, make Jesus known”. I believe that it’s the most amazing feeling in the world to realize that you are a child of the Living God. To know that we are designed to do something gives direction to our lives. It’s great.
“Faith has a transcendant nature, supernatural, not tied to circumstances.”
Now that is really encouraging. A great thing about God is that He can show up even in the worst of times. We can choose to live by faith when everything else is telling us to give up. When the world is relentlessly telling us to give up, we can stand in faith. In his words, “Pressure does not equal penetration.” In our lives, the shield of faith can stand against all of the flaming arrows of the enemy. The only way we lose is if we give into the lies of the enemy and give up.
“Your level of value determines your degree of effort.”
Faith is given to us by God(Heb. 12:2). He is the author of it. That should give our faith a really big value to us. Gifts from God should always be held with the greatest honor and respect. That’s why realizing the awesomeness of our faith is the first step in using it. God gives us gifts to steward for a reason, and He expects us to use them wisely. The value of our faith is exactly the reason it should be excercised. Jesus is also the perfecter of our faith. We must always keep Him at the center of our faith, because through Him we have salvation.
“Faith is specific.”
Oh, yeah. This is where I have trouble. I can be really afraid to step out in faith for this very reason. The more specific I get with my desires, the more I get afraid of disappointment. And when I give into that fear and leave things ambiguous or give up, I’m really not using my faith at all. I think this is the biggest area I need to work on. The good news is, God does not disappoint. I know that when I start excercising my faith more and more, I’ll find this to be true. I just need to do it!
“Your faith is designed for action.”
Heck yes it is! When the disciples asked to “get more faith,” Jesus rebuked them. Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains! The problem was that they weren’t using their faith. I think I’ll start praying for Jesus to perfect my faith. I’m not a very active guy naturally, so I know I need His help. Every time I’ve been active in using my faith in the past has been an amazing experience, with God working through me. I definitely want to use my faith more each day! Here’s a cool verse:
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” -Hebrews 12:2