Reflections of Grace 30: Walking in the Spirit – Faith

Reflections of Grace 30: Walking in the Spirit – Faith May 22, 2014

Faith – many people struggle continually to have more of it.  They groan and strain like a woman in labor.  They think, “if only I had more faith my prayers could be answered.”

Hebrew 11: 5-6 says

 “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death.  He could not be found, because God had taken him away.  For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”

Revelation 4:11 says 

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”

  • Just how significant is it that Enoch pleased God?  Well in Revelation 4:11 it says “and by your will they were created.”  God created us to bring Him pleasure.  Therefore, when we read that Enoch was commended as one who pleased God, we realize that He fulfilled his calling.  It seems that Enoch was so enraptured with God that God raptured him.
  • Are you still searching for your calling?  Are you still wrestling with your purpose on this earth?  Our calling is to please Him.  To wake up every morning saying YES, to the Lord.  Then live through the day to discover His calling.
  • Enoch walked with God then he was no more, because God took him away.  The only evidence we can uncover in a life set apart as one who pleased God is that he walked with God.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:7 says: For we walk by faith and not by sight.
  • What kind of faith motivates a person to walk with God?  Looking back at Hebrews 11:6 god seizes the opportunity to tell us something very important about faith while he is on the subject of Enoch.  The scripture reveals that faith is an absolute necessity in the life that pleases God.   The moment the church was born, the book of acts referred to Christians as believers.  We were called believers long before we were called Christians.  The term means to be faithful or as those who believe God.  If we refuse to keep believing God after salvation, we only hurt ourselves and our faith does not grow.
  • Do you ever tire of riding the roller coaster of faith?  Of being up one day and down the next?  Of believing him one day but not the next?  We can exercise our faith in God two ways.  One leaves us at the mercy of life’s ups and downs. The other is the key to steadfast faith.  The way off the roller coaster is to begin walking with God and practicing a faith that can’t be greatly moved.  Every believer falls into one of these categories:  Basing our faith on what God does or who He is.  That is the key.
  • The person who bases his faith on what God does is established on how often and how well God answers us.  Such faith is fueled by sight and results.  Faith in what God does is your ticket to that ride that ascends the hill during times when God’s activity is obvious and then that faith barrels down the hill the moment God seems inactive.  The process never stops.
  • We will rarely be able to perceive God’s actions, though they will always and ultimately be wonderful.  They are beyond our earthly understanding.  In the times when He seems inactive He may be accomplishing more than ever.  You see, the kind of faith based on what God does is not even faith.  Although it is focused on God, it is still born in the realm of the obvious or that which is seen.
  • Genuine faith walks steadfastly with God for the pleasure of His company, not for his results.  Enoch exercised this kind of faith:  based on Gods existence and His desire to be sought.  God does not call upon us to seek his works.  He calls upon us to seek His heart.

Hebrews 11:1 says
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

  • Faith goes beyond what we can perceive with our physical senses, so it does not work by the rules of science. Faith allows us to believe that the invisible God can do what is physically impossible.
  • In that sense, faith is built and grows on a spiritual plane, not a physical or scientific one.
  • Romans 1:20

    For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    Test all things; hold fast what is good.

  • God’s way is rational, and He wants us to test it out and prove that it works. But there is more to faith than what we process in our rational brains. There is a spiritual and emotional component that is a gift from God and grows as our relationship with God grows.

Who is the source of faith?

  • Ephesians 2:8

    For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Our relationship with God starts with God. He calls us and opens our minds to understanding and believing. That initial seed of faith is a gift of God and as we are studying today, faith is also a fruit that comes through using God’s Holy Spirit and as we grow our faith grows.

What can we do if we don’t have enough faith?

  • Mark 9:23-24

    Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

    Matthew 7:7

    “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

God is pleased when we recognize our own inadequacy and seek His strength and encouragement.  Ask Him for the fruit of His Spirit, which is faith.

How do you grow in faith?

Romans 10:17
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Hearing and studying the Word of God can help us see God’s faithfulness in the past and His solid promises for the future.

Is believing in God enough?

James 2:19
You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

God wants us to believe in Him.  God also wants us to believe what He says.  He wants us to diligently seek Him, which is done through prayer.  What did Jesus Christ tell us to believe?

What did Jesus Christ tell us to do?

John 14:15
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

When we believe what God says, we should do what God says.

  • Real, living faith motivates our actions. When Paul said faith was a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8), he continued by saying we were “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

Romans 2:4
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?  Or turn around from doubt and unbelief.

  • Jesus commanded us to believe the gospel. God’s goodness leads us to this next step in turning our lives toward God.
  • Trusting him and allowing His spirit to grow us up in the fruit of His faithfulness allows us to enter His rest.  And rest is a place of peace where we are able to enjoy life while we are waiting for him to solve our problems.  He cares for us.  He will solve our problems and meet our needs, but we have to stop thinking and worrying about them.  I realize this is easier said than done, but there is no time like the present to begin learning a new way to live.  A way of living that is without worry anxiety and fear.  We need to begin thinking and saying, I trust God completely in everything we do!!

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