Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Voice of FAITH

Doubt has a big mouth and dares speak with or without permission. It pours water on the fire of faith, denounces the dependability of God and questions the sanity of believers.

Doubters are usually surrounded by many friends and supporters, but believers often find themselves standing alone. Elijah stood alone on Carmel, but his voice of faith rose above the roar of disbelief and defiance and commanded a fire ball to fall down upon the altar from heaven. He practiced the essence of an old Chinese proverb which suggested that it is “better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” The candle he used was the voice of faith challenging doubt and celebrating confidence in God. The doubters could not silence him.

Faith must speak. The word of faith must be in our mouth. It is this voice of faith that acts on the command of Isaiah 35:3-4. “Strengthen you the weak hands, and make firm the tottering knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not.”

We call it encouragement. Zig Ziglar taught his students to remember: “You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.” Cavett Robert reminded us of something that is difficult to accept but perhaps true. “Three billion people on the face of the earth go to bed hungry every night, but four billion people go to bed every night hungry for a simple word of encouragement and recognition.”

We need not only staying power but saying power. Jesus said it like this in Mark 11:23. “Whosoever shall SAY unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he SAITH shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he SAITH.”

Speak with the voice of faith to mountains of colossus blunders, enormous guilt, staggering bad decisions, huge emotional meltdowns and immense family problems. Name your mountain, and speak to it with the voice of faith and demand it be moved in Jesus name.

In the Book of Romans, we are told that the word of faith “is as near as the tongue in your mouth and as close as the heart in your chest.” It is this “word of faith” that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. When you release the voice of faith, you are releasing God to move mountains and maneuver all the resources of heaven to come to your defense.

The effectiveness of the voice of faith is painted so clearly in I Kings 17. Follow the process carefully.

The voice of faith must be based on word of or from God.

(I Kings 17:8 – (“And the word of the Lord came unto him…”)

He acted upon good advice. God said it. He believed it and acted and spoke accordingly. Faith is not a gut feeling or imagination running out of control. It is based upon fact. Not scientific calculations and equations but upon the fact that God is; He can not lie; He will not mislead; and He will not change His mind. God is a guardian of truth, a faithful witness, a peerless leader, a merciful high priest and the Mighty God. If God said it, He will do it and you can shout it from the housetop.

The voice of faith must be accompanied by action.

(I Kings 17:10 – (“So he arose and went….”)

If you hear from God and see it in His Word, you can afford to act on it as if has already happened. Act on the Word. What we truly believe will be mirrored by what we do. Noah believed a flood was coming and built an ark. Sarah believed that a 90 year of lady could have a baby and made some baby clothes. Thomas Huxley made this astute observation. “The great end of life is not knowledge, but action.” The voice of faith should always be followed by affirmative action. Don’t just sit there. Do something.

The voice of faith must not be dissuaded or discouraged by prevailing circumstances.

(I Kings 17:12 – (“And she said…I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel….I go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”)

Circumstances are not always our biggest rival or enemy. They are opportunities for God to “shine”. We pick and choose who might have a chance to make things happen, but God doesn’t. He sees through the circumstance, and sees a dire need not a difficult circumstance. Elijah’s confidence didn’t bend or break, and he wasn’t dissuaded or discouraged. The voice of faith recognizes what God can do regardless of the circumstance and speaks as if the situation is a piece of cake to God. He didn’t see a last meal but a limitless miracle in the making. Abraham Lincoln declared, “Behind the clouds the sun is shining.” Don’t be discouraged by the darkness. It is almost sunrise. Tough times will pass away. A new day is about to dawn. Say it by faith and receive it with joy.

The voices of faith confesses that they are putting all their eggs in God’s basket and begins to count their blessings before they hatch.

(I Kings 17:14 – (“For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.”)

This is a two way test. The woman’s faith was being sorely tested, and God’s faithfulness was being tested as well. Thank God both of them passed the test with flying colors. The destitute single mom put all of her eggs in God’s basket. She didn’t spread her risk. She sunk it all in God. Either God would come through or she and her son would be pushing up daisies in the potter’s field shortly. It was do or die, and she decided to act upon the word of faith spoken by Elijah. She counted on God, and God did not let her down. The Bible tells us that God’s provision for her did not fail. It’s OK to put God to the test. He’s good at passing.

Speaking Faith,

Pastor Jimmy & Bob

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