Stand Still and Move Forward!

by Ken Kreider
An image!I am going to attempt to tackle a rather broad subject today.  Faith.  Not my daughter.  That is another story.  I'll tell you about that later.  (For those of you that don't know, my daughter's name is Faith.)
 
But I'm talking today about the concept of FAITH. And it is a broad subject BECAUSE it is a reoccurring theme throughout the Bible.

The Lord wants us to have faith.  Do you believe that? 
If not, then you have missed the whole point of the Bible.   Just read Hebrews chapter 11, and you'll see what I mean.

I'm going to talk about:
The difference between FAITH AND PRESUMPTION,
How IMPORTANT faith is to God,
And I'll give you a few EXAMPLE STORIES of faith.
 

2 Corinthians 5:7   "
We live by faith, not by sight."

 


Romans 1:17  "
For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

FAITH VS. CHARITY

Someone pointed out to me recently that "Charity is greater than faith."  OK, I don't disagree with that.  But CHARITY certainly does not diminish the importance of FAITH.  Is CHARITY greater than FAITH?  Yes, but we cannot live without faith. 

Heb. 11:6  "Without faith, it is impossible to please God." 


After Jesus calmed the storm, He did not say to His disciples, "Where is your charity?"  He said, "Where is your faith?"


However, faith should be expressed through love.  

Otherwise, why don't just we LIVE by LOVE and forget about all the rest.  Can we then throw out obedience?  Of course not.  Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments."  And we cannot throw out FAITH either.  Remember, "Without faith, it is impossible to please God." Heb. 11:6


HOW ARE FAITH AND LOVE SUPPOSED TO BE CONNECTED?

Galatians 5:6
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

 

 

DEFINITION OF FAITH

Let's define FAITH:

Hebrews 11:1
 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
We may not see how things are going to work out, but we trust in God that He will keep His promises, and He will see us through."


WHEN THE SON OF MAN COMES, WILL HE FIND FAITH ON THE EARTH?

Luke 18:8
  "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

 

 

SITTING IN A CHAIR

Awhile back, the Bible was being translated into a certain language in Africa.  And they didn't have a word for the word "FAITH".  The translator was struggling to find a way that he could illustrate the concept of FAITH.  Then someone there in Africa came to see him and used a word for the action of resting all his weight upon a chair.  All of a sudden, the translator had his answer!  When we have FAITH in God, it is like resting all our weight upon Him.

 

JESUS SAID WE MUST BECOME LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN.

WHAT CHARACTERISTIC DO CHILDREN HAVE THAT GOD WANTS US ALL TO HAVE?  THEY HAVE FAITH.

KIDS JUMPING INTO MY ARMS

One time I went to a wedding where Pastor Lee Venden, son of Morris Venden, was officiating.  After the service, I went outside the church and stood by a very large rock that was about six or seven feet high.  Then Pastor Venden's young children climbed up onto the rock and began jumping off into my arms yelling, "Catch me!"  And they would climb up over and over again to jump off yelling, "Catch me!"  I had to catch them or they would have been terribly injured!  And their faith in me really surprised me.  I thought to myself, I'm not even their father!  


When you think about how trusting kids are, we need to be more like that with our Heavenly Father, who will never let us down.


[THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FAITH AND PRESUMPTION

DA ch13

When Satan quoted the promise, "He shall give His angels charge over Thee," he omitted the words, "to keep Thee in all Thy ways;" that is, in all the ways of God's choosing. Jesus refused to go outside the path of obedience. While manifesting perfect trust in His Father, He would not place Himself, unbidden, in a position that would necessitate the interposition of His Father to save Him from death. He would not force Providence to come to His rescue, and thus fail of giving man an example of trust and submission.

Jesus declared to Satan, "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." These words were spoken by Moses to the children of Israel when they thirsted in the desert, and demanded that Moses should give them water, exclaiming, "Is the Lord among us, or not?" Exodus 17:7.


God had wrought marvelously for them; yet in trouble they doubted Him, and demanded evidence that He was with them. In their unbelief they sought to put Him to the test. And Satan was urging Christ to do the same thing. God had already testified that Jesus was His Son; and now to ask for proof that He was the Son of God would be putting God's word to the test,--tempting Him. And the same would be true of asking for that which God had not promised. It would manifest distrust, and be really proving, or tempting, Him. We should not present our petitions to God to PROVE whether He will fulfill His word, but BECAUSE He will fulfill it; not to prove that He loves us, but because He loves us. "Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." Heb. 11:6.

But faith is in no sense allied to presumption. Only he who has true faith is secure against presumption. For presumption is Satan's counterfeit of faith. Faith claims God's promises, and brings forth fruit in obedience. Presumption also claims the promises, but uses them as Satan did, to excuse transgression. Faith would have led our first parents to trust the love of God, and to obey His commands. Presumption led them to transgress His law, believing that His great love would save them from the consequence of their sin. It is not faith that claims the favor of Heaven without complying with the conditions on which mercy is to be granted. Genuine faith has its foundation in the promises and provisions of the Scriptures.

Often when Satan has failed of exciting distrust, he succeeds in leading us to presumption. If he can cause us to place ourselves unnecessarily in the way of temptation, he knows that the victory is his. God will preserve all who walk in the path of obedience; but to depart from it is to venture on Satan's ground. There we are sure to fall. The Saviour has bidden us, "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." Mark 14:38. Meditation and prayer would keep us from rushing unbidden into the way of danger, and thus we should be saved from many a defeat. DA ch13]


GOD IS FAITHFUL

When we say, "God is faithful", what does that mean to you?  

It means that we can always count of him.  We can trust Him.  

He never lets us down.

So if WE are to exercise faith, we must be the same.  Can God count on us?  We must not let HIM down.  We must not give up on Him no matter how bad our circumstances may seem.  We must be faithful to Him.  Being faithful to Him involves keeping His commandments.

Dt 11:13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today - to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul- 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD

James 2:26
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

 

 

 

[WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FAITHFUL TO YOUR SPOUSE?

Exodus 21:8
If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her.

OK, what does that mean?  He has broken faith with her?  Not being faithful often means adultery, doesn't it?

He chooses not to maintain his relationship with her, right?  He wants to go his own way now.

So it is with our relationship with God.  If we break faith with Him, what does that mean?  We are choosing not to maintain our relationship with Him, and are choosing to go our own way.

Deuteronomy 32:51
This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites.

How did they break their faith with God?  They did not uphold His holiness.  What does that mean?  They broke His commandments, right?  They chose to go their own way.

-   So our faith in God also involves keeping His commandments as well as maintaining our trust in Him.]


You'll notice I've entitled this sermon:

STAND STILL AND MOVE FORWARD

You're probably thinking in your mind, isn't that a contradiction?

How do you stand still and move forward?

And yet that is exactly what God asked His people to do.

Let me help you understand how this is possible.  Let's turn to Ex. 14:10.


Exo 14:10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD.

Exo 14:11 Then they said to Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?

Exo 14:12 "Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, 'Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians?' For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness."

Exo 14:13 And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.

Exo 14:14 "The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."

Exo 14:15 And the LORD said to Moses, "Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.

STAND STILL AND MOVE FORWARD!


The Lord wants us to STAND STILL AND SEE THE GLORY OF GOD.  Our trust in His power comes first.

Then we are to MOVE FORWARD in FAITH.  

When God makes a promise, you can be 100% sure that he'll open the way, is spite of how impossible it may seem to us.


This same thing happened again when the Isrealites came to the border of the Jordan River.  Let's turn to Joshua 3:8.

 


CROSSING THE JORDAN

Joshua 3:8

And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.

14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing.


Notice something here.  The Israelite priests had to actually set foot into the water before the waters parted.  They were moving forward on FAITH alone.


This same concept is illustrated again in Jesus' dealing with the paralytic by the pool of Bethesda.


WE SHOULD ACT ON THE WORD OF GOD.

STEPS TO CHRIST CH. 6

From the simple Bible account of how Jesus healed the sick, we may learn something about how to believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins. Let us turn to the story of the paralytic at Bethesda. The poor sufferer was helpless; he had not used his limbs for thirty-eight years. Yet Jesus bade him, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." The sick man might have said, "Lord, if Thou wilt make me whole, I will obey Thy word." But, no, he believed Christ's word, believed that he was made whole, and he made the effort at once; he willed to walk, and he did walk. He acted on the word of Christ, and God gave the power. He was made whole.

In like manner you are a sinner. You cannot atone for your past sins; you cannot change your heart and make yourself holy. But God promises to do all this for you through Christ. You believe that promise. You confess your sins and give yourself to God. You will to serve Him. Just as surely as you do this, God will fulfill His word to you. If you believe the promise,--believe that you are forgiven and cleansed,--God supplies the fact; you are made whole, just as Christ gave the paralytic power to walk when the man believed that he was healed. It is so if you believe it. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole, but say, "I believe it; it is so, not because I feel it, but because God has promised."

WE SHOULD ACT ON THE WORD OF GOD.


OPEN YOUR MOUTH WIDE AND I WILL FILL IT, SAYS THE LORD

Psalm 81:10

"I am the LORD your God, 
       

who brought you up out of Egypt. 
      

Open wide your mouth and I will fill it."

 Psalm 81:16 

"But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; 
       

with honey from the rock I would satisfy you."


 

 

What does that mean to you?

Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.  That's very self-explanatory, isn't it?  

Give God a chance, and He will do great things for you.

FAITH SHOULD BE EXPRESSED

Inspiration tells us, "If we would give more expression to our faith, rejoice more in the blessings that we know we have--the great mercy, forbearance, and love of God--we would daily have greater strength" 2SM243


INCREASE OUR FAITH!

Luke 17:5 
The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"


How can we build our faith?  By exercising it!  How do we build our physical strength?  By exercising our muscles!

How did Jesus respond when they said "Increase Our Faith"?  6He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.  Luke 17:5


FAITH IS NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH FEELING

Faith and Feeling Are Distinct.--Feeling and faith are as distinct from each other as the east is from the west. Faith is not dependent on feeling. Daily we should dedicate ourselves to God and believe that Christ understands and accepts the sacrifice, without examining ourselves to see if we have that degree of feeling that we think should correspond with our faith. Have we not the assurance that our heavenly Father is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him in faith than parents are to give good gifts to their children? We should go forward as if to every prayer that we send to the throne of God we heard the response from the One whose promises never fail. Even when depressed by sadness, it is our privilege to make melody in our hearts to God. When we do this, the mists and clouds will be rolled back, and we will pass from the shadow and darkness into the clear sunshine of His presence.--MS 75, 1893. (HC 120.) {2MCP 537.1}


Not a Matter of Impulse.--Many pass long years in darkness and doubt because they do not feel as they desire. But feeling has nothing to do with faith. THAT faith which works by love and purifies the soul is not a matter of impulse. It ventures out upon the promises of God, firmly believing that what He has said, He is able also to perform. Our souls may be trained to believe, taught to rely upon the Word of God. That Word declares that "the just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17), not by feeling.-- YI, July 8, 1897. (HC 119.) {2MCP 537.2}

     Do Not Rely on Feelings.--Let us put away everything like distrust and want of faith in Jesus. Let us commence a life of simple, childlike trust, not relying upon feeling but upon faith. Do not dishonor Jesus by doubting His precious 

538 

promises. He wants us to believe in Him with unwavering faith.--Lt 49, 1888. (HC 119.) {2MCP 537.3}]

 

FAITH RESTS UPON EVIDENCE.

Is your faith built upon the rock, or is it build upon sand?  We must have a reason on which to base our faith.  We do not follow cunningly devised fables!

[BUT HOW MUCH EVIDENCE DO WE NEED?

We should not be like Doubting Thomas.  He said, "Unless I see the nail prints in His hands, I will not believe."  Jesus said He would rise again.  Thomas should have known.  He should have believed, shouldn't he have?]


Sometimes it's hard to see how God is going to work things out.  But, if you are waiting for all the clouds to go away, you will never experience the victory that God wants to give you.  He who watches the clouds will never reap!

Ecclesiastes 11:4
  "Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. " 


WE HAVE THE MESSAGE, BUT THE MESSAGE WE HAVE MUST BE COMBINED WITH FAITH.

Hebrews 4:2  
"For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith."


WE MUST HAVE FAITH THAT GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF US.

Matthew 6:30  
"If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
"


Does the Lord take care of your needs?  When I was a colporteur, I used to challenge people who told me that they could not afford the books, "Seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you."  And I'd say, "Have you ever lacked food on this table no matter how hard of times you have gone through?"  I had a family tell me once that they couldn't afford to pay tithe.  The tithe should be the first bill we pay, amen?  After all, that money does not belong to us; it belongs to God.  If we pay a faithful tithe, he will bless us, won't He?  And he'll make the remaining 90% go further than if we had kept the tithe for ourselves.

GOD HAS A THOUSAND WAYS TO PROVIDE

Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us, of which we know nothing. DA330


Malachi3:10 "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty.

Are we displaying a lack of faith when we withhold our tithe, the tithe that rightfully belongs to God?  I believe we are.  By the way, although God uses your tithe, God does not depend on your tithe.  He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  Our tithe paying is SIMPLY a matter of expressing our faithfulness to God.  You are calling down blessings or cursings upon yourself by the you're actions.


HOW IMPORTANT IS FAITH TO OUR SALVATION?

Ephesians 2:8
  "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God"

WITHOUT FAITH, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD, HEB. 11

Hebrews 11:6
  "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."

 

WE MUST BE PERSISTENT

God loves to wait for the last minute to answer.  Why?  Because He wants to see the level of our faith.

 

ABRAHAM AND SARAH

Did you know that Abraham's name means Father of Nations, and Sarah means Mother of Multitudes?  That must have been embarrassing for them as they were getting old and they still had no children.  Imagine someone asking them, "So, what's your name?"  "Um, Father of Nations."  "And the wife?"  "Um, Mother of Multitudes."  "So how many children do you have?"  "None."  Well, you know how the story goes.

When God promised Abraham and Sarah a child in their old age, Abraham must have thought to himself,  "Well, I better help God out a little."  So he went to have a son with his Hagaar his concubine.  Is that how God intended to fulfill His promise?  When God makes a promise, he does not need our help to fulfill it.  Our God is a God of miracles.  We must stand still and see the power of God.  He says,

Be still, and know that I am God.


ABRAHAM'S SACRIFICE

Due to Abraham's lack of faith the first time, God had to give him another test.  You know the story.  God asked Abraham to take his only son and sacrifice him.  That must have been hard to take.  This test was harder that the first, wouldn't you say?  But this time, Abraham passed the test.  When Isaac asked, "Where is the sacrifice?", Abraham responded, "God will provide a lamb."  And he did, didn't he?  An angel of God stopped Abraham just as the knife was raised, and provided a ram in the thicket for the sacrifice.  Abraham had passed the test of faith.  And just like Abraham, if we don't pass the test the first time, we will be tested over and over again, until we do pass.


ELIJAH AND THE FIRE

There are so many interesting stories about faith in the Old Testament.  We do not have time here to cover them all.  I particularly enjoy the stories of Elijah and Elisha.

In 2 KINGS 4:

There's the story of the WIDOW'S OIL that would not fail,

The SHUNAMITE WOMAN whose child was brought back to life,

But I'd like to point out a part of Elijah's experience that many do not know about.  Did you know that Elijah, like Jesus, had an experience of feeding a multitude?

Feeding of a Hundred IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

 2 Kings 4:42  "A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. "Give it to the people to eat," Elisha said."

 43 "How can I set this before a hundred men?" his servant asked. 
      But Elisha answered, "Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the LORD says: 'They will eat and have some left over.' " 44 Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD.


(BUILDING A CHURCH)

Now, do you think that with what little you have, or with what little we, the Red Cliffs Church have, that God cannot use what little have and multiply it?  Have we read all these examples of stories of FAITH in His Word and not yet applied it in our lives and our circumstances?


OPEN YOUR MOUTH WIDE AND I WILL FILL IT, SAYS THE LORD!


From His resources He can spread a table in the wilderness. By the touch of His hand He can increase the scanty provision and make it sufficient for all. PK ch19


I'd like to tell you a couple of stories about a man by the name of

GEORGE MULLER, WHO WAS AN INCREDIBLE EXAMPLE OF FAITH.

And ran an orphanage.

SITTING DOWN AT THE TABLE

One time, George Muller and the kids in his orphanage did not have any food.  It came to be suppertime, and Muller said, "Let's set the table."  The children said, "But we don't have any food!"  He said, "God will provide.  Let's set the table."  So they set the table and sat down to eat.  Then they had the blessing.  As soon as they finished, there was a knock at the door.  They went to the door and a food delivery truck was there.  They said, "We had a surplus of food and we just felt impressed to stop here and see if you could use it."


FOG LIFTING

On another occasion, Muller was on a mission trip over seas and a very heavy fog settled over the ship that he was on.  The ship dropped anchor.  So he went up to the ships captain and said, "Sir, I have never missed an appointment that God has made for me and I need to be at such and such a place by noon tomorrow."  The ships captain said, "Well, this is some of the thickest fog I have ever seen.  We are not going anywhere."  

Muller said, "Well, I'm a Christian, and I think we should pray about it."  

The ships captain said, "Well, I'm a Christian too, but I don't think that the fog is going to lift by just a little prayer."

Muller said, "Let us go into your states room and pray."

The ships captain thought, "Well, he claims to be a Christain.  I guess it won't hurt to pray."

So they went into the states room and knelt down to pray.  George Muller prayed first.  He prayed a very simple prayer.   He said, "Dear Lord, You know that I have never missed an appointment that you have made for me, and you know that we have this little fog problem.  And we're asking that you would lift it for us. Amen."

Then the ships captain started to pray.  But he felt a hand on his shoulder and he looked up and there was George Muller.  Muller said, "Sir, you don't need to pray."  

The ships captain asked, "Why?"

Muller said, "For two reasons sir.  Number one, you don't really believe that God is going to answer your prayer.  And number 2, I believe that He already has.  Sir, if you look out, you will find that the fog has lifted."

The ships captain said, "I stood to my feet and looked out at the most beautifully blue lit sky I'd ever seen."

Needless to say, George Muller made his appointment by noon the next day.


His experience reminds me of the experience that Mitch and I have had twice now while we were distributing copies of the Great Controversy.  Twice it has been raining on us when we started, and on both occasions, we stopped to ask God to stop the rain.  Is it not his will that the Great Controversy be distributed?   On both occasions, the rain stopped instantly when we finished praying.  That to me is evidence that God supports our work.

OUR STORY OF MOVING TO UTAH

When we were trying to decide whether or not we should move to Utah, I followed George Muller's 8 Steps to Know God's Will.  I'll share those steps with you in a few minutes, but first, I want to tell you a little bit about what happened.  We were considering moving here when a math teaching position opened up at Cinnamon Hills Youth Crisis Center.  In Florida, we attended a large church and we didn't get to help out in the church as much as we do here.  I worked all day teaching and to make ends meet, I also worked in the evening at Sylvan Learning Center.  Persy had been working at a Montessori School, but quit her job when our daughter Faith was born.  I was ready to accept the job here when it was offered, but Persy was not quite convinced that we should move.  One evening, some friends came over to try to discourage us from leaving.  If there were any "giants in the land", thy were there to remind us of all the problems we might have.  

What if I couldn't sell my house for 6 months or even a year?  

I wouldn't be able to back the U-Haul truck up.  

He even drew up a budget for us to show us how it didn't make financial sense.  By the time they left, Persy was very discouraged.  We had a long discussion about whether we should stay or go.  So I shared with her George Muller's 8 Steps To Know Gods Will that I was trying to follow.  One of the steps is to consider providential circumstances.  She didn't notice any providential circumstances, so we prayed for God to give us some providential circumstances or make it clear that we should not go.  The very next day, we had an offer on our house at our asking price, and not long after that, we had a Puerto Rican gentleman come to rebuild our garage door, and he offered to take lots of junk that the previous owners had left in our garage.  Also, someone called Persy to ask if we wanted to make any donations of furniture or any merchandise, which, of course, we did, since we were moving, and in the course of the conversation, Persy discovered that she was talking to a relative of hers from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, that had moved to Orlando.  Then Persy was convinced that God had sent several providential circumstances that we should move to Utah.  We also had lots of help loading up the truck in Florida.

That was a heavy hurricane year for Florida, but we had no idea the hurricanes were coming.  The day after we closed on our house, the first hurricane passed over it.  I think it only tore off a few shingles and knocked down the fence.  But I don't know what happened after the other two hurricanes passed over the Orlando area.

Another problem we were concerned about was that since we were arriving in St. George on a Friday afternoon after driving for five days, we wanted to make sure that were able to unload the truck before sundown.  When we arrived at our apartment, Pastor Adam Hendron and Jason Canfield were there to help us unload, and we had it all unloaded way before sundown.  We even had time to go get a bite to eat.


GEORGE MULLER'S 8 STEPS TO KNOW GOD'S WILL

1.    Do not have a will of your own.  You will never have no will of your own outside of a relationship with Jesus.  In other words, if you don't have a good relationship with Jesus, you're going to follow your OWN will, not HIS.

2.    Don't go by simple feelings or impressions.

3.    God always guides us according to His word.

4.    Use God's word on a daily basis to keep in touch with Him.

5.    Consider providential circumstances.  Is this a logical step in my life?

6.    Consult Godly friends.

7.    Claim God's promises in prayer to guide you.  (see Luke 1:79)

8.    Make a decision.  Ellen White says, "Even a wrong decision is better than no decision."

9.    Consider all steps in deciding; then inform God of your decision.

10.    Ask God to open or close the door as you move forward and trust that God will lead you.

 

And by the way, God loves to wait for the last minute.  (For example:  the Ark of the Covenant)

 

OUR DAUGHTER FAITH'S STORY

Well, you're probably wondering why we named our daughter Faith.  When Persy was about 4 1/2 months along, she got what's known as The Fifth Disease, which is related to Measles, Mumps, and Chicken Pox.  Usually if the mother gets it, the unborn baby gets it.  If the baby gets it, it could cause calcification in the brain, hydrocephia (water on the brain), anemia, or heart failure.  Well, we prayed and prayed about it, and others told us to have FAITH that the baby wouldn't get it and the Fifth disease never passed to the baby.  At 35 1/2 weeks, Persy's placenta stopped working, which caused the baby to not get any nutrition and caused the baby to stop growing.  Thank God that the doctor caught it in time, but we still needed to have FAITH that the baby would be born healthy.  As you can see, she is very healthy and we are so thankful for that.  God has worked miracles for us.

 

WHAT CAN WE DO IF WE HAVE FAITH?

John 14:12  "
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."


THE 12 SPIES

The Sabbath School lesson for the Cradle Roll this week has been about the 12 men who went to spy on Canaan.  And in reading that story to my daughter, it struck me that here is yet another account of struggle of God's people between faith and unbelief.  Joshua and Caleb said, "We are well able to take the land."  Had not God promised it?  They did not focus their attention on the giants in the land, but on God's power.  And they had faith in His promise.  

But because the Israelites chose to believe the other 10 spies, they had to wander around in the wilderness for another 40 years, until they had all died off except for their children and Joshua and Caleb, the faithful ones.  They were the ones that got to enter the land of Canaan, the Promised Land, which we all know represents the real Promised Land, Heaven.  Only the faithful can enter there.

What is the verse in Revelation that we as Adventists always quote?

These are they that keep the commandments of God, and have the what?  The faith of Jesus.

 

FAITH ADMITS THAT THE BATTLE IS NOT OURS, BUT THE LORD'S.

2Ch 20:15 And he said, "Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: 'Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's."

2Ch 20:16 " 'Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel."

2Ch 20:17  " 'You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you."


DID YOU KNOW THAT GOD GETS ANGRY WHEN WE LACK FAITH?

Ps 78:19

"They spoke against God, saying, 
       

"Can God spread a table in the desert?

 20 When he struck the rock, water gushed out, 
       

and streams flowed abundantly. 
       

But can he also give us food? 
       

Can he supply meat for his people?"

 21 When the LORD heard them, he was very angry; 
       

his fire broke out against Jacob, 
       

and his wrath rose against Israel,

 22 for they did not believe in God 
       

or trust in his deliverance."


HOW IMPORTANT WAS HAVING FAITH TO JESUS?:


JESUS EXPRESSES DISPLEASURE AT THE DISCIPLES LACK OF FAITH

Matthew 8:26
  "He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
"

Matthew 13:58  "
And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
"

PETER FALLS INTO THE WATER

Matthew 14:31
  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"


Matthew 16:8
  Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, "You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread?


FAITH AS A MUSTARD SEED

Matthew 17:20
  He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Mark 4:40
  He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"


Mark 6:6
  And he was amazed at their lack of faith.


Mark 16:14  
Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.


JESUS REBUKES THE STORM

Luke 8:25  
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. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."


Luke 12:28  
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!


PETER WALKS ON WATER

Matthew 14:31
  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"


The Healing of a Boy With a Demon

 14When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15"Lord, have mercy on my son," he said. "He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him."

 17"O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me." 18Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.

 19Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"

Matthew 17:20  
He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Israel's Unbelief

 Romans 9:30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone." 33As it is written:

   "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble

      and a rock that makes them fall,

   and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

Romans 9:32
  Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone."

 


JESUS RESPONDS TO EXPRESSIONS OF FAITH

FAITH OF THE CENTURION

Matthew 8:5  When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.

Matthew 9:2
  Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven."


Matthew 9:22
  Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment.


Matthew 9:29  
Then he touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith will it be done to you";


Matthew 8:10
  When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.


JESUS REWARDS A WOMANS FAITH

Matthew 15:28  
Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.


Mark 2:5
  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."


THE WOMAN WHO TOUCHED JESUS

Mark 5:34  
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."


Mark 10:52  
"Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.


Luke 5:20
  When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."


Luke 7:1
  [ The Faith of the Centurion ] When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum.


Mark 7:24
  [ The Faith of a Syrophoenician Woman ] Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret.


Luke 7:9
  "When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel."
 "

Luke 7:50  "
Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
 "

Luke 8:48
  "Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace."
 "

Luke 17:19  "
Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."
 "

Luke 18:42
  "Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you."
 "

 

THE WOMAN WHO TOUCHED JESUS' GARMENT.

DA ch36

"The wondering crowd that pressed close about Christ realized no accession of vital power. But when the suffering woman put forth her hand to touch Him, believing that she would be made whole, she felt the healing virtue. So in spiritual things. To talk of religion in a casual way, to pray without soul hunger and living faith, avails nothing. A nominal faith in Christ, which accepts Him merely as the Saviour of the world, can never bring healing to the soul. The faith that is unto salvation is not a mere intellectual assent to the truth. He who waits for entire knowledge before he will exercise faith, cannot receive blessing from God. It is not enough to believe about Christ; we must believe in Him. The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces Him as a personal Saviour; which appropriates His merits to ourselves. Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is life. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power.

There is greater encouragement for us in the least blessing we ourselves receive from God than in all the accounts we can read of the faith and experience of others."

 

JESUS TELLS US TO HAVE FAITH

Mark 11:22
  "Have faith in God," Jesus answered.


John 14:12
  "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."

FAITH AS A MUSTARD SEED

Matthew 17:20
  "He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."(Luke 17:6
  "He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.)"

Matthew 21:21
  "Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done.
"


WE MUST HAVE FAITH IN GOD'S PROMISES.

GOD'S PROMISES NEVER FAIL, AMEN?

DA ch20

Not because we see or feel that God hears us are we to believe. We are to trust in His promises. When we come to Him in faith, every petition enters the heart of God. When we have asked for His blessing, we should believe that we receive it, and thank Him that we have received it. Then we are to go about our duties, assured that the blessing will be realized when we need it most. When we have learned to do this, we shall know that our prayers are answered. God will do for us "exceeding abundantly," "according to the riches of His glory," and "the working of His mighty power." Eph. 3:20, 16; 1:19.

 


I've just given an whole sermon on the subject of faith, and we have not even read the HALL OF FAITH chapter, Hebrews chapter 11, which gives many more wonderful examples of faith, (IF TIME:  so let's take a quick look at it now) OR (IF NOT TIME:  but I'll leave that for you to read.)  It's Hebrews chapter 11.  It's interesting that many of the stories that I have referenced are not even mentioned in this chapter.

HEBREWS 11, THE HALL OF FAITH CHAPER


In conclusion, I'd like to read the verse from Galatians again.

Galatians 5:6
 "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."