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THE POWER OF FAITH

THE POWER OF FAITH

THE POWER OF FAITH

THE POWER OF FAITH

Study Text: Mark 11:20-24

  And passing on early, they saw the fig-tree dried up from the roots.

Mar 11:21  And Peter, remembering, said to Him, Rabbi, behold, the fig tree which You cursed has withered away.

Mar 11:22  And answering Jesus said to them, Have faith of God.

Mar 11:23  For truly I say to you that whoever shall say to this mountain, Be moved and be cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he said shall occur, he shall have whatever he said.

Mar 11:24  Therefore I say to you, All things, whatever you ask, praying, believe that you shall receive them, and it will be to you.

Introduction:

-           Faith in God is something we do not possess naturally, but a gift from God.  Eph. 2:8 

-           God enables us to believe in Him for salvation, then He gives every believer some “measure of faith”, Rom. 12:3.

-           That is, God empowers His children to believe Him, to serve Him, to glorify Him through the power of the faith in Him that He gives to us!

-          This outworking of faith in God’s people has allowed them to see demonstrations of God’s power that marvel the mind.

-           It has allowed them to receive answers to prayers for things that appeared impossible.

-          Consider the following:

         Joshua 10:12-14 – Joshua commanded the sun to stand still so Israel could defeat the Amorites.

         Isaiah 38:1-6 – King Hezekiah was told that he would die. He prayed to the Lord and God added 15 years to his life.

         Genesis 22:1-14 – Abraham was told to sacrifice his son Isaac, who was the son of promise. He obeyed by faith and God spared Isaac, providing a ram in his place.

         Joshua 14:6-16 – 85 year old Caleb believed God for the power to defeat a mountain infested with giants. God gave him that mountain.

         1 Samuel 17:1-54 – A teenage boy named David believed God for the power to defeat a giant named Goliath. God gave him the victory.

         Daniel 3:1-30 – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed God to keep them from the power of a pagan king and a fiery furnace. God met them in the furnace and protected them there.

-          The passage before us today magnifies the power of  faith. On Monday morning of the Lord’s Passion Week, as Jesus his disciples walked toward Jerusalem, Jesus cursed a fig tree, 11:12-14.

-          When they passed by the next day, the fig tree was dried up. Jesus uses this experience to teach His disciples a lesson about The Power Of Faith.

-          When we exercise faith in God and His promises, we can expect amazing results.        

-          We shall discuss this topic under three sub-headings

1.         The Object Of Biblical Faith; 

2.         The Opportunities Of Biblical Faith; and

3.          The Obstacles Of Biblical Faith.

 

  I.      THE OBJECT OF BIBLICAL FAITH

-           When the disciples are amazed at the withered fig tree, Jesus simply says, “Have faith in God.”

-           The emphasis of that command is that God people should have a deep-settled, consistent, ongoing confidence in Who God is; what God has said; and what God will do.

-           It speaks of a constant communion of prayer with God, dependence upon God, and obedience to God.

-           When Jesus says “have faith in God”, He is encouraging faith in several aspects of God’s character.

A.    In God’s Person 

-     If you are saved, God is your Father. As your Father, He cares about every need in your life, 1 Pet. 5:7.

-     As your Father He invites you to bring your needs, burdens and concerns to Him, Phil. 4:6-7; Heb. 4:16.

-     As your Father He desires to open the resources of His kingdom and give them to you, Luke 12:32.

-     Our God loves His children and He wants them to come to Him on the basis of simple, childlike faith. Like a child trusts its parents for every need, the child of God can trust the Heavenly Father.

B.   In God’s Promises 

-     When it comes to the matter of faith and approaching God in prayer, the people of God have some very precious promises.

  God invites us to pray to Him – Phil. 4:6; Matt. 11:28; 1 Pet. 5:7.

  God promises to hear us when we prayers – Jer. 33:3; Psa. 10:17; 65:2.

  God promises to answer our prayers – Matt. 7:7-11; Isa. 58:9.

-           When it comes to the promises of God, we have the Lord’s guarantee that He will keep every one of them, Rom. 4:21; Heb. 6:18; Num. 23:19.

-          By the way, you cannot have faith that God will do something for which there is no biblical promise!

-           Prayer and faith are not a blank check! Prayer and faith are an opportunity for God’s people to demonstrate their confidence in the written Word of God.

-          When God says something in the Word of God, we can have absolute faith that He will do what we ask.

-           When we pray outside of the Word of God, we cannot pray in absolute faith because we do not know what God’s will is in that matter. Faith is always based on a clear word from the Lord, Rom. 10:17.

-          So, while it is right to pray about every matter in your life, it is wrong to expect God to do everything you want Him to do.  God honors faith, but genuine, faith is always based on the Word of God.

C.   In God’s Power 

-     It’s one thing to make a promise; it is another thing to have the power to keep the promise.

-     The children of God can have absolute confidence in God’s power to do everything He has promised to do. He has the power to do anything we ask Him to do. He has the ability to do anything He pleases to do.

-     We serve an awesome God Who possesses all power in Heaven and earth, Matt. 28:18; Eph. 3:20; Jer. 32:17; Job 42:2; Luke 1:37; Isa. 40:12.

D.   In God’s Purposes

-     When it comes to faith in God we must always remember that He has an eternal plan that He is working to accomplish. He has a purpose, and everything in the universe, even our requests, are subject to His will.

-     He will do nothing that is outside the bounds of His eternal purpose. He will do nothing that is not part of His plan. He will not do everything we ask, just because we ask it. He will do those things that He wills to do, and He will accomplish all things that He has willed to do. Isa. 46:10; Eph. 1:9-11; Pro. 19:21

-     Prayer is never about getting what we want from Heaven. Prayer is always about aligning our will with God’s will so that His will is done on earth.

 

 II.   THE OPPORTUNITIES OF  BIBLICAL FAITH

A.   Allows Us To Believe The Impossible 

-     There are so many situations in life that appear hopeless. There are people that seem so lost that they will never be saved. There are needs so great that it appears they will never be met. There are problems so big it appears they will never be overcome.

-      Faith in God, and in the promises found in His Word, allows us to believe God in the impossible situations of life.

-     We can believe God for the salvation of that lost soul because of what He said in His Word, 2 Pet. 3:9; 1 Tim. 2:4.

-     We can have faith that God will meet that need which seems impossible, because that is His promise, Matt. 6:25-34; Phil. 4:19.

B.    Allows Us To Receive The Impossible 

-     Jesus said that, if we could believe Him, we could have what we ask for. Faith has the remarkable ability to enable us to hold in our hands things that have yet to be seen, Heb. 11:1.

-     Faith is the guarantee, the assurance that we will have the things God has promised to us. The word “evidence” means “conviction”. Faith allows us to hold in our hearts things that have yet to appear.

-     The faith described in that amazing verse is the absolute, God-given, present confidence in a future reality.

-     It is the conviction that what we have believed by faith is already ours, even though we cannot yet see it. This kind of faith is not based on what the eye can see, but it is based on what God has promised!

-     The faith mentioned here gives substance to the promises of God for our future.  Faith in God and His Word make the future promises present realities.

 

III.   THE OBSTACLES OF BIBLICAL FAITH

-           While Jesus points out the great Object of faith and reminds of the Opportunities of faith. He also mentions some Obstacles to faith.

-           While faith in God is powerful and allows us to experience the incredible and receive the impossible, that faith can be hindered.

-           There are many obstacles to prayer and faith in the Bible, let us consider some of them.

A.    Unbelief – “and shall not doubt in his heart

 -    Doubt is deadly to effective prayer. The word “doubt” means “to be divided in ones thinking; to hesitate; to draw back”.

-     When we pray from a heart of doubt, we are drawing back from the Word of God. We are saying, “I know what God said, but I do not believe it in this matter.

 -    Doubt calls into question the character and ability of God. Doubt says, “God may have promised it, but I don’t believe He can or will do it.” The prayer of the doubter will not be answered, James 1:6-7.

B.   Selfishness – “What things soever ye desire

-     The word “desire” means “to ask, to beg, to call for, to request”. It sounds like a blank check. It sounds like you can ask for anything and receive it.

-     The Bible is very clear that answers to prayer come when we pray according to the will of God. 1 John 5:14-15.

-     Prayer must always be based on what He wants and not what we want. John 14:13-14.

-     When we pray selfish prayers that are based solely on what we want in a situation and not on His will, we can expect those prayers to be unanswered. James 4:3

C.   Unforgiveness 

-     Jesus commands His disciples to forgive those who have wronged them. On the surface, there seems to be no connection between faith and unforgiveness.

-     Just as faith connects us to God and enables our prayers to get through, unforgiveness stands as a barrier between us and the Lord.

-     An unforgiving spirit puts us at odds with the Lord. He has forgiven us of all sin, and He expects us to forgive others of their sins against us, Eph. 4:32.

-     When we possess an unforgiving spirit, our prayers will be hindered and God’s forgiveness will not be realized in our daily walk.

Conclusion:

-          Faith is a powerful weapon. Mountains yield to its power. Sin, Satan and sorrow all must bow before its authority. Faith is among the greatest of God’s gifts to His children.

-          In light of what we have studied today, how’s your faith?

1.         Are you walking in faith, believing God for the unseen?

2.         Are you looking to Him to move some big mountains in your life?

3.         Are you seeking His will for every situation you face?

-           If that describes you, keep praying, keep trusting; in His time, He will bring it to pass in your life!

 

tagsTags: FAITH

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