Friday, February 19, 2016

Of Faith or Fear - Part 2

Michael continues that according to Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  My strength is not by my own power but only by the power of God's mighty hand. It's easy to speak and think things that are theologically correct until the crisis comes. We have no control in the midst of the storm. Isaiah 41 says, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee;  be not dismayed; for I am thy God:  I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold the with the right hand of my righteousness." To be a man or woman of faith, we must die to ourselves in order to live for Him. Our security is not in the things of this world ... our government, our job, our paycheck, our family, or our accomplishments. The secret of Gethsemane, was the conclusion of Jesus' prayer: “If it be thy will, let this cup pass from me...  nevertheless, not my will but thine be done." Prayer is not aligning God's will with my will, but rather, aligning my will with God's will. The conclusion to your prayer will determine whether you will be a man or woman of fear or a man or woman of faith through believing according to His will.

Often we ask God to work a miracle and to deliver us immediately from the crisis of the hour. However, God often says wait. For tribulation works patience and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope makes not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the holy spirit which is given to us. Until we put our hearts on the altar of God, we will never hear "Well done thou good and faithful servant."  It's not the amount of faith that you have, rather it's the quality of your faith.  What's important is the object of your faith, Jesus Christ. Not in my own strength but in His strength alone ... I must decrease that He may increase.

Luke 18 begins with Jesus' parable about a judge who feared neither God nor man. A woman who was consistent in her request continuously petitioned the judge to settle her dispute with her adversary. Because of her persistence, the unrighteous judge granted her request. Likewise when the Son of Man comes will He find persistent faith upon this earth?  When the crisis comes, God expects his men and women to be the reliable ones who endure faithfully to the end. God has plans for our suffering so that we will be the faithful ones who prove His power in the time of trial and tribulation. The Apostle Paul even though he was in jail said "I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." 

Are you a man or woman of faith or fear? Jeremiah was called the "weeping prophet" because he warned Israel that because they failed to make faith-based decisions, Israel would be taken captive by Babylon. In the midst of his lamentations, Jeremiah wrote by God's inspiration, "Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father...  there is no shadow of turning with thee.  Morning by morning new mercies I see.  Thou changest not thy compassions they fail not, great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me.

May God richly bless you,
Your brother in Christ, Michael

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