I'LL BELIEVE THAT WHEN I SEE IT-LEARNING TO WALK BY FAITH!
John 20:24-25 (ESV)
24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
John 20:26-29 (HCSB)
26 After eight days His disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace to you!”
27 Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and observe My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Don’t be an unbeliever, but a believer.”
28 Thomas responded to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed.”
Some saying seeing is believing I say these verses say believing is seeing. That you can know more with your heart rather than your head!
Hebrews 11:1 from three different versions:
Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (HCSB)
1 Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
1. God loves faith
· You can’t please him without it
· You must walk by faith not by sight
· This is an epidemic that must be corrected among American Christians. Almost all are just walking like unsaved woman and men do. I know I had one of those t shirts-This guy Scot walks in the flesh (natural). I wanted with all my heart a different kind of t-shirt to wear. Finally, by God’s grace and mercy and my obedience and perseverance(all glory to him) I got one. This guy Scot can now walk in the Spirit.
2. To Draw Near to God-You must believe he exists (He is Real)
Thomas didn’t believe he was real until he saw him
Do you believe that God is real?
I am talking about more than just waiting for you in heaven and maybe answering an occasional prayer
· Is he right inside of you?
· Is he right in front of you?
· Is he right next to you?
· Does he have your back?
· Folks, I went from a doubting Thomas to a Believing Scot-I don’t see him out there somewhere but he is my best friend and he is right with me and I am conscious of that.
· Now I continue to grow in that but he is inside of me in front of me he is beside me and he’s got my back!
· How do you really see him; is it through eyes of faith?
3. You must believe that He rewards those who seek him
32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—
33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.
35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.
36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.
37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—
38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,
40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
4. Remember what kind of Battle you are in!
Ephesians 6:12-12 (HCSB)
12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.
13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.
· It’s easy to get drawn into a battle with other humans and to live on a natural plane (our fight is against the devil not other humans and he will often times use them to do his bidding)
-WHENEVER I HAVE DONE IT THIS WAY I HAVE LOST!
· Put on the full armor of God to do battle in the Spirit (Word/Prayer/etc.)-WHENEVER I HAVE DONE IT THIS WAY I HAVE WON!
Years ago, I was working at a job. I learned a lot from my boss. I appealed to him about a situation a few times. I felt like I was doing most of the work while others did very little. My appeal didn't correct the situation. Then one day, I thought I will let God contend for me. I did this. I asked him to intervene and help me to have a Christ-like attitude towards all. My attitude had grown cold. Guess what it worked. Every time I have been in this kind of situation I ask for God's help and intervention it always works!
5. Here is the battle (Spirit versus the Flesh)
Galatians 5:16-26 (HCSB)
16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions,
21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit.
26 We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
6. You are no match for it
You will power is no match. The harder you try the more you will fail or get a success in one area and transfer failure into another. We were not designed to overcome through the flesh (our will power)
Romans 6:12-17 (KJV)
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
7. There is only One Promise/One Law that is greater than the law or sin
Romans 8:2 (KJV)
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you and stand on this Promise/Law and you will be victorious (use your will power and you will be defeated)
I have tried it both ways: will power don’t work but Holy Spirit power always work:
· You just begin taking small steps and asking the Lord: help me to hear and know your voice
· Help me to be led by you in what you want me to do.
· If you have a word of encouragement Lord for someone else help me to hear it clearly and deliver it.
Here is the cool thing-the more you do it the stronger you get. If you are obedient God will give you more.