Intro…I was going to do another Message on Relationships as part of At the Movies, but Jill and I have watched a lot of tv this week because of the Hurricanes and Political Discomfort in our Country. And we realized that to be a Christian in the Coming years of America, and California, we are going to have to live with Fearless Faith.
We are going to need to stand up for what’s right like the Women in Hidden Figures. They had the solutions to the problems and they didn’t hold back…they moved in faith, not fear. We need to do the same. We have to stand up in Faith for what is right and for people in need and that is why I changed today’s message to
Fearless faith it is not for sissies. God is telling us to stretch our faith, challenge our faith, poke it, prod it and many times during the rest of our lives. Our Faith is going to have to stand and stand strong. Remember faith does not grow in comfort. Growth is often uncomfortable. But the result of growth is blessing, maturity, many other wonderful gifts that God will reveal. So today let’s talk about faith…
- FAITH IS SEEING FROM GOD’S POINT OF VIEW
“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”
And the Apostle Paul adds…“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.” Ephesians 1:18
Play, Hidden Figures Movie
The Women in Hidden Figures never lost their faith in what they could do, they never lost their passion or their desire to have an impact. They had Faith!! Fearless Faith. Let’s to talk about ways to increase our faith…let’s take steps to have faith.
But first let’s ask…
- “What is faith?
- Faith is “the reality of what we hope for,” is going to Happen…
- Faith is the “evidence for things we cannot see”.
- Faith is learning to see things from God’s point of view…[not what might happen, not hopefully, but what is going to happen] and ‘the evidence of things we cannot see.’” Notice the phrase we cannot see. Trusting God for what we cannot see…
- The Bible says that faith is a way of Seeing.
- If we have God’s point of view…I want us to look at what happens when we see with eyes of fear and what happens when we see with eyes of faith, or in other words see with the eyes of God.
- II. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE SEE WITH EYES OF Fear?
- A brief background to Numbers 13 and 14:
- Moses has led the nation of Israel to freedom. As God’s spoke person Moses freed from Pharaoh and the Egyptians; they’ve crossed the Red Sea. They’ve been traveling for about two years and they come to a place called Kadesh Barnea.
- At Kadesh, they’re ready to enter the Promised Land. This is the land that has been promised to them for 400 years that they would be free from slavery and have their own homeland. Yes let’s go…..YES…WHEW!!!
When they get up to the edge of the water, before they go…
- Doubt…Before we Go: Moses says, “Okay, before we go in, I want to send in a Spy team. I’m going to pick 12 guys to do reconnaissance. When they come back, they give a mixed report.
- Doubt 2…A Mixed Report: Two of the spies say, “It’s incredible. Let’s go take it. It’s ready for our taking. God has truly given us the Promised Land.” Those two spies were named Joshua and Caleb. The other 10 spies, whose names no one remembers, come back and said, “Yeah, it’s a great place, but…” and they have a whole laundry list of problems on why they can’t go in. They’re not seeing with eyes of faith, they’re seeing with eyes of fear.
- God says, “Okay, you failed the test. You can wander around the wilderness for the next 40 years until you all die.”
- I don’t want that to happen in your life or the life of Impact. I don’t want you to wander in the wilderness for 40 years and then die, simply because you didn’t learn to see with eyes of faith. This is why Fearless Faith is such an important spiritual choice–I want you in the Promised Land. Now, what happens when we see with eyes of fear and see with eyes of faith?
- Really this is serious…is your faith on hold…is your faith on fire…let’s check out each side…
5 happenings when we see with Eyes of Fear :
- 1. WE EXAGGERATE OUR DIFFICULTIES – Numbers 13:27-32
27…It is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. 28 But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there! Numbers 13:27b-28
31 But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” 32 So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites. Numbers 13:31-32
Now, here is an amazing thing. God has just delivered them from Egypt, the most powerful nation in the world and yet, now, they’re worried about some local tribe. How quickly we forget. When you look at your problems with eyes of fear, they get bigger. The more you look at your problem, the more exaggerated it gets. Somebody criticizes you, the more you think about it, pretty soon, you think the whole world is criticizing you. It grows by proportion.
Only two of the spies see with the eyes of faith, Joshua and Caleb. However we always trust the majority report because there are always more worriers and there are always more naysayers, and there are always more critics and more fearful and fretful negative people. When the Israelites walked up to the Jordan river everybody was excited about going into the Promised Land. It was only when 10 come back and said, “We can’t do it,” that everybody changed their mind and they began to get infected with a negative attitude. We exaggerate our difficulties.
Second thing we do when we see eyes of fear…
2. WE UNDERESTIMATE OUR OWN ABILITIES – Numbers 13:33
33 We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” Numbers 13:33
- We exaggerate the problem because we underestimate our own abilities. “we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” No one said they were insects they said it about themselves. Many years ago, people said things about you and to you that were not true, but you believe them.
Like Grass Hoppers from A Bug’s Life…They were always discouraged so quickly!!
- Somebody, a parent or a friend or brother or sister who said, “You’re uncoordinated,” and so you think you’re uncoordinated. Or “You’re never going to amount to much,” so you think you’re never going to amount to much. “You’re not good at speaking,” and on and on. They told you all those things. Well, you’re not in Egypt anymore. That’s a self-imposed prison. They’re not even in your life anymore. Some of them are even dead and you still believe their lies. You’re still enslaved to their image of you.
The third thing that happens when you see with the eyes of fear.
3. WE GET DISCOURAGED – Numbers 14:1
“Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night.”
- They had a giant pity party. Poor us, and they’re now crying, crying like babies, and weeping because they don’t get to go into the Promised Land. What’s keeping them out, their fear. They’re not living by faith. We get discouraged. Then quickly, we move to number 4 and that is, we move from discouragement to griping.
4. WE START TO GRIPE ABOUT OUR LIVES – Numbers 14:2
2 Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained.
- We Start to blame the Leaders, or our Boss, or our Spouse, or our Friends, always Somebody else’s fault…so let’s gripe!!!
- First, they cry and now, they can complain. What is it? It’s discontent. We exaggerate difficulties, underestimate abilities, get discouraged, and then gripe about our lives and then eventually…
5. WE EVENTUALLY GIVE UP AND WE BLAME GOD – Num 14:3
3 Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?
Mark Twain is right, the most popular Scape Goat for our Sin is God.
- You know what they’re saying there? We know better than God. Notice, they’re blaming God for not letting them go into the Promised Land. God isn’t holding them back. It’s their fear that’s holding them back.
- Now, all of a sudden they’re remembering the good old days of Egypt. Good old days? 400 years of slavery, why would anybody want to go back to Egypt? Safe slavery? We are similar we start to move forward with God and then we see what we are leaving and we want to hold on our go back…moving on in faith is tough…but let me recommend something…hold on for the Promise Land…no matter how tough…hold on!
You have to start this by seeing with the eyes of faith
5 HAPPENINGS WHEN WE SEE WITH EYES OF FAITH:
- FAITH SHRINKS MY PROBLEMS
14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? Genesis 18:14a
37 For the word of God will never fail! Luke 1:37
- First, see what God is doing around me…I see His hand at work in my life to grow me and take me through my problems.
- Second, begin to look at things from God’s viewpoint… everything gets a whole lot more manageable. My big problems are God’s small problems…
- Abraham and Sarah did not believe a very year old woman could have a child. Is anything too hard for the Lord, God reminded them
- When Mary was told she would bear the Savior of the world she wondered, “How can this be?” The angel Gabriel reminded her nothing is impossible with God.
2. FAITH OPENS THE DOOR FOR MIRACLES
22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. 23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. 24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. Mark 11:22-24
- Faith can move mountains. You find in the Bible that every time God moves a mountain, every time God moves on earth and does a miracle it is because somebody believed, even in the midst of unbelief. Faith opens the door to miracles. Faith can move mountains.
- Every time you stretch your faith, Watch God does miracles – every single time. What’s the mountain that needs to be moved in your life? What’s the thing that you look at that has never moved, it’s not going to move, it never will move? What is the mountain that’s “never going to change”? You’ve already decided it. How do you know? Maybe God wants to move that mountain. God has in the past, God has in the present. Faith opens the door for miracles. Our God is in the mountain moving business.
3. FAITH MOVES US TO BECOME WHAT WE BELIEVE
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.” Matthew 9:29
- Two blind men follow Jesus because they want to be healed. Jesus asks, “Do you believe I can heal you?” “Why yes master,” they answer and Jesus heals them.
- Go back for a moment to the Israelites on the edge of the Promised Land. Seeing with the eyes of faith they would not have had to wonder 40 in the wilderness. Because for 40 years the enemy was already scared!! “We have lived in panic for 40 years because we heard about the 10 plagues of Egypt.” Their fear prevented them from experiencing what God had planned for them. Faith not fear moves us to become what we believe.
4. FAITH TURNS OUR IMAGININGS INTO REALITY
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20
Paul says to his congregation: God is able to do far more than we would dare to ask or think. What are you afraid to ask God for? God is able to do far more than we can even think or imagine.
A few years ago, three teens were babysitting Robert and Jonathan Loveall, missionary children in Antigua in Guatemala, when four masked men forced their way into their home with guns. They tied up all five boys and threw them onto the kitchen floor. Then they began to ransack the house. In the middle of the robbery, the father, Andrew, came home. The robbers put the guns to his face and demanded all of the family’s valuables! Usually such home invasions end with the robbers killing all the witnesses. Tied up on the floor, the Babysitter whispered, “Let’s all pray that Jesus will protect us and make the bad guys go away.” The five boys prayed together. Then, for reasons that no one can explain, the robbers suddenly left — without taking hardly anything. Why did they leave so abruptly? Robert, who was five at the time, says he knows. He explained to his father: “Dad, when I was tied up on the floor and we were all praying for you, Jesus told me not to worry.” And so, Robert says, that’s what he did. He quit worrying, because he knew Jesus was going to take care of everything. And He did!
God says, All Saints, imagine the greatest thing I could do in your family, in your your church. And God says to you imagine the greatest thing I could do in your life. And then God says I can do that and more.
5. FAITH GIVES ME POWER TO HOLD ON IN TOUGH TIMES
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
- A Life of Faith is about Sticking with it…“Fearless Faith” What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!
- You know…
Faith doesn’t always take you out of the problem; it takes you through the problem.
Faith doesn’t always take away the pain. Faith gives you the ability to handle the pain. Faith doesn’t take you out of the storm; it calms you in the storm. So don’t give up.
- It’s easy to want to Walk back to Egypt, but that is not where God’s blessing is, nor where God is waiting for the Israelites!!
- Where is God waiting for You? On the other side of a chronic sin, around the corner from an addiction, just past my pain…where He waits for us to take us into His Promise Land. His place for us takes Faith…almost every great event or accomplishment in our walk with the Lord will come by Faith…where do you need Faith today!!
Let’s Live with Eyes of Faith…
- FAITH SHRINKS MY PROBLEMS
- FAITH OPENS THE DOOR FOR MIRACLES
- FAITH MOVES US TO BECOME WHAT WE BELIEVE
- Faith Turns our Imaginings into Reality
- Faith Gives me Power to Hold on in Tough Times