Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Four Ways God Fortifies Our Faith

This week we are talking about faith and making our faith stronger.  For the next four days we will learn four ways God fortifies our faith.

1.    By Testing Our Obedience
God asks us to do things that are seemingly impossible or illogical to our way of thinking.

Examples of Faith-Building Testing:
The Manna Provision for Life - "The people are to go out each day and gather enough manna for that day. In that way I will test them and see whether they will follow My instructions.” Exodus 16:4.  Manna, you might remember, was the bread-like substance that fell from the sky; flaky stuff.  They had to go out each morning to gather enough to eat.  God said, “Here’s the command.”  There were all kinds of reasons that command didn’t make sense. "Just enough for today? Why can’t I gather enough for the week? It’d be more convenient that way. It’d be a better use of my time that way.  What if I get sick tomorrow?  What if I trip and hit my head on a rock and a snake bites me?  There are all kinds of reasons I need at least two days’ worth, God."

We find it difficult to be satisfied with enough for today.  We keep asking, “Am I going to be OK?” instead of “Am I OK?”  My question for you is not, “Do you have enough for tomorrow?” but, “Has God taken care of today?” "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

AbrahamPurpose in Life - Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." Genesis 12:1-3 

You remember his story. He was seventy-five years old when God said, “I want to take you out somewhere to make a difference in this world. I want you to go somewhere where you’ve never been, you don’t even know where you’re going.”  Abraham said, "Where exactly am I going?" God replied, "I’ll tell you." Abraham asks, "How am I going to get there?" God replies again, “I’ll show you.” Still uncertain, Abraham asks, "How will I know when I get there?" God’s answer was, “When you get there I’ll tell you that you’ve gotten there.”  How would you do with a command like that? We might say, "God, could I Google that first? I’d like to check it out. I’d like to get on MapQuest and get a point by point direction. Then I’’ll be ready to follow Your directions."  So the Bible says in Hebrews 11:8 "By faith Abraham obeyed and went."  We begin to doubt or question when we think God should or should not have done something; we may even question the way He should do it.

Elijah Proof of Faith - The word of the LORD came to him, saying, "Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. "It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there." So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook. It happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.  I Kings 17:2-7 Elijah's ministry was inaugurated for ONE DAY, then shut down for 3 1/2 years. This is not what Elijah expected, but God knew it to be necessary.  God knew that Elijah's faith was genuine. He wanted Elijah to know that his faith was genuine.  Elijah was sent to a place of loneliness, silence and inactivity, but God promised to sustain him for the duration of that period.  The promise accompanied the command.  Elijah was only required TO ACT on God’s promise with a grateful expectation of the promised supply.  In the end, the brook dried up and God moved him on to the next person He wanted to bless. 

These are just a few examples of many that God has provided for us to demonstrate faith building testing.  It takes great courage to step out on faith as these people did.  We cling to what we’ve got because we are fearful of losing it.  God wants us to let go so He can bless us.  He desires to take us to a new place with a greater blessing!

Scripture to Claim:
…And this is love that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.  2 John 1:6

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