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Archive for the ‘walk’ Category

To Walk by Faith

For we walk by faith and not by sight – 2 Corinthians 5:7

Faith is not about what we can see, control or orchestrate.

Faith is about what we cannot see.

Faith is about what we do when things are entirely out of our control.

Faith is absolute trust in God— trust that could never imagine that He would forsake us.” – Oswald Chambers

Faith is about how we hold on when the things that we seek to orchestrate are squashed and all sorts of other inevitable things begin to snowball into an avalanche of trouble and turmoil.

We have to have faith that causes us to walk without having any indication of a map or guide.  We need to have faith on a level that will allow us to stand throughout the seasonal storms of spiritual warfare.  We have to discover the depth of our own faith at a level that will cause us to uphold God’s truth without losing our minds based upon on how bad things look for us.

We need to have the kind of faith that allows us to walk by faith and not by sight.  Our testing will true show the degree of faith that we possess within us.  Find your faith and go forward in faith.  Fully trust and depend on God by His Spirit and based on His Word.

“The test will either prove your faith right, or it will kill it.”- Oswald Chambers

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When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah.22 Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters.- Gen. 5:21-22 (ESV)
Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings 

Change can come in many forms.  We may have different causes for our change, but we need to ready ourselves for change.  We need to prepare for it as much as possible.  You may never see it coming down pipe, but you still need to ready yourself for the day it comes.  Sam Cooke sang: “Change gonna come.” In The Art of War, Sun Tzu said,”In everything there is change.”

My suggestion is that you be so prayed up and prepared that no change catches you by surprise.  You need to downsize your home.  It will come one day.  Your children will move out.  Hope and pray that you have done all that you can to prepare them.  Your job is laying off people in every department.  Think over your next career move.  Your wife just said that she’s pregnant.  Get yourself ready, buddy.

I have always been amazed about Enoch’s walk.  Not only did he walk with God, but he walked with Him and “he was not” due to the fact that God did not let him see death.  The New International Version says: “he was no more.” Let’s take a factual approach to this.  He was gone.  He was out of everyone’s sight.  You could have turned over every rock east of Eden and still never would have found Enoch.

Why?

God’s sovereignty.  God did with Enoch as He does with us all.  He did whatever He chose to do with Enoch.  Let’s not get this theologically twisted.  Let’s not dummy-down the doctrine here. 


Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.- Psalm 115:3 (NIV)

He is sovereign.  Yes, Enoch walked differently due to his son being born.  He walked with the Lord.  Yet, we tend to stress the goodness of Enoch and his walk, not the greatness of God who “took him away.” 

Look at God and His power.  Who but God could open up heaven and allow on such as Enoch to walk in? Who but God could look from on high and be considerate of the ways of man, still saying that there is none that does good; no, not one? We have to pay more homage and honor to God for His goodness because He is holy.  Enoch shows us the power of God, not a perfect example of submission.  Don’t put too much emphasis on Enoch when you need to see the power and might of the Lord at work in Enoch’s life.  Surely, through His power, He can bring about change.

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And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.-Luke 14:27 (NIV)

Salvation is free.  It’s an open opportunity.  All you have to do is believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  It costs you nothing.  He already paid the penalty.

There’s a cost for the prize, though.  The prize comes at a price.

In Luke 14, Jesus shares about what discipleship will cost a believer.  It contains statements such as:

  •  If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. (v. 26)
  • Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? (v. 28)
  • Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? (v. 31)
  • In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. (v. 33)

The Lord was serious about sharing about discipleship.  He was honest and real about it.  He shared that becoming a disciple has to be a calculated and conscious decision because of the cost involved.  He never hid anything about it.

The prize is to be called and considered the Lord’s disciple.  Yet, the prize must come at a cost.  And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple (v. 27, NIV).  You have to be willing to pay the price in order to gain the prize.  You can’t simply pursue the prize.  There’s a price involved in pursuing the prize.  You have to pay the price as you pursue the prize. You have to carry your cross and follow the Master.

The price always comes prior to the prize.  Pay the price and gain the prize.  Of course, that is only applicable if you are willing.

 

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Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.- John 12:11 (KJV)

Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus.  He emerged from the grave and lived on.  His living was not in vain by any means.  Surely, Lazarus lived on as a testimony of the very power of Jesus.

The Gospel of John speaks of Jesus as deity, as God, and as part of the Holy Trinity.  Jesus demonstrated His power in raising Lazarus from the dead, but Lazarus’ life testified about the power of Jesus over the grave simply by his living.  It is said that many believed on Jesus because of him.  The people came not  just to see Jesus but to also see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead  (John 12:9, KJV).   Even the chief priests sought to kill Lazarus, according to John 12:10.

How live our lives will serve as a testimony to others.  Some will accept it and embrace us.  Others will reject it and seek to diminish our testimony.  Just live it out in faith.  Someone will see what the Lord has done in your life.  Perhaps, after they hear your life’s story and your testimony, they will seek the Lord for themselves and allow Him to enter into their heart.

 

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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.  Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

You’re getting nowhere with your plans.  Yes, God gave you the vision.  You have prayed and sought counsel on the matter.  You have even shared the vision with others. And, alas, nothing has transpired.  You have put forth a lot of effort and energy.  You have exhausted all of your resources and you still appear to be getting nowhere.

The problem may not exist with the action plan and the timeline.  It may not be related to the multimedia presentations of PowerPoint after PowerPoint and message after message. It may simply boil down to fundamental flaw.  There may be an issue of faith.

The Word shares that it is impossible to please God without faith.  Is God pleased? Are you remaining faithful? Is it still on your prayer list? Have you checked back in with God… and heard from Him?

We are to walk by faith.  That is how we are to approach all matters- in, by and with faith.  Yet, discouragement feeds into doubt, and then doubt leads us to becoming dispondent and we eventually start forgetting to hold on with faith.  Don’t let that become your story’s ending.  Remain faithful and stay patient.  There is an unspeakable joy awaiting those who wait upon the Lord.

But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.- Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)

  • But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength: Waiting and trusting the Lord will find “new strength.” The lord can strengthen you for what it is to come.  Let your waiting lead to your preparation as the Lord strengthens you.
  • They will soar high on wings like eagles: Let God take you to new heights and expand your horizons.  Perhaps, if you think about it deeply, God wants you to do more than what you initially set out to do.  This may be another phase to what God wants you to do His name and among His people.  Go where He takes you and extend the limits of your imagination above the haters and critics.
  • They will run and not grow weary: Focus on staying the course and picking up the pace, not dropping out of the race.  God’s promise is that you “will run and not grow weary.” Weariness leads to becoming worn out and wiped out.  Keep going in faith.
  • They will walk and not faint: Walk in faith.  Do not get faint, especially faint-hearted.  Step out in faith, taking every step on the promises of God.  When you can’t run, walk.  Just keep progressing towards what God has for you.  Every step, even the smallest and the slightest step, gets you closer to the goal.

Whether it is a building campaign or launching a new ministry or business that can’t seem to get off the ground or pick up momentum, wait on the Lord in faith.  Trust Him today.  Try to recall times when he provided and protected.  Most of all, recall and reclaim His promises.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.- Psalm 27:14 (KJV)

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5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. 6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. – Nehemiah 8:5-6 (ESV)

The people of God were in some bad shape.  In fact, the people of God were in real bad shape when it came to the Word of God.  They had strayed from God and His commandments and it cost them dearlyThings were not going well for them economically, socially or spiritually. Yes, the walls and gates had been rebuilt, but the people of God were in need of reconstructing their own spiritual lives. 

Nehemiah chapter 8 begins to unfold their journey towards rebuilding their spiritual lives.  In order to rebuild your spiritual life, you are going to need some connection to God and His Word.  The psalmist clearly states that his own affliction and troubles were for his own good since they caused him to go to God’s WordJeremiah’s lamenting leads to his praise and thankfulness for God’s new mercies and His faithfulness despite our fickleness.  What we learn about getting spiritually straight is that His Word lays the foundation upon which we need to build the change.

The Word will set the stage for the following three things in succession:

 

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In the same way, let your light shine before men,
that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.- Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

We talked about the church working from the “inside out.” We consider it the outward working of the church that starts with an internal spark like a combustible engines. You start discipling and developing people. Then, after that, you look at disseminating the Word and demonstrating the Word. All of this is done with a kingdom mindset that is not of this world.

Jesus talked about sharing and showing our light as He calls us the “light of the world” in Matthew 5:14-16. He shares that a lit candle is not lit to be hidden but to shed light on all that is around it. He expressly states that we should let our light shine before men for a two-point purpose:
*Men are to see your good works
*Men will glorify God

Paul shared that we should think and act like Christ as if we had His mind (Philippians 2:5). We have to be careful to not just talk a good game but to be able to walk it as well. We must practice what we preach.

Ministry has the ultimate purpose of glorifying God. Guess what? When you do your good works, you are letting your light shine before men just as Jesus shared for us to do as the light of the world. However, when these men see your good works, they won’t give you the glory. No, they will see your good works and give glory to the One who provided the light. They will give praises to the Lord who caused us to let our lights shine before men in the first place.

Share it and show it.
Let your light shine.

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