Pastor’s Prompt

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Don't Believe in Dumb Things that Smart People Believe

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We're in the middle of teaching series called, "Don't Believe in Dumb Things that Smart People Believe." We're looking at a myth, at a belief, that really has some dangerous implications when it's played out. The belief that faith can fix anything. I think all of us, or most of us if not all of us, have bought into this myth at some point or another. It just sounds right, doesn't it? In fact, saying that faith doesn't fix everything almost sounds sacrilegious. It's sounds like I shouldn't be saying those things, but we've all thought, "Well, maybe if I just prayed a little more." or "Maybe if I just tried a little harder," or "Maybe if I just gave it my best shot," that it would fix it. Sadly, we often treat faith like a fix anything, we just think that if we have faith that it will fix all of our problems.

That belief is a myth and has some dangerous implications when it's played out. If you buy into this idea that faith can fix anything, essentially, what you're doing is you're reducing God to a genie who comes at your every wish. It can fix any situation you're in. You're saying, "God, the creator, you're just a genie to fix this situation that I'm in." And when played out, it has some very dangerous implications for our lives.

THE DANGERS OF THIS BELIEF:

  1. I choose an improper object of faith. We put our faith in faith and not in God.

  2. I'm hesitant to take action. We say it is all up to God so we do nothing. Infact, doing something shows a lack of faith.

  3. I judge others for lack of faith. We look at others and say if you just had more faith this would have turn out right. Should have prayed more etc. If we don’t say it to others, we say it to ourselves. If I only would have more faith maybe God would answer my prayer.

  4. I blame God when things go wrong. When a crisis hits Christians we say, “How could God allow that to happen?” “Why did God do this to them?” So we blame God for not keeping his part of the bargain. We had faith so God you should have done protected us.

DON’T BELIEVE FAITH CAN FIX ANYTHING

The bible defines faith differently. "Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Faith is ultimately believing in someone you don't see, Jesus Christ, and trusting that he has your best interest in mind. Faith is not a promise to fix everything. Faith is not a guarantee that everything's going to be all better, but instead, it's a promise that God can guide you through everything. So then what is faith for? What is faith supposed to do?

DO BELIEVE IT: MY FAITH SUSTAINS ME THROUGH ANYTHING

HOW TO HAVE FAITH WHEN MY FAITH DOESN’T FIX ANYTHING

 

1.  BELIEVING WHEN I DON’T SEE IT.

It's hard to believe in something when we don't see it. The truth is every dream that God gives us begins with faith. Whenever God gives us a dream, whenever God speaks into our lives and tells us, "Hey, this is what I want to do in your life. This is how I want to work in your life. This is the impact that I want to have and the impact in the world that I want to make through your life." It begins with faith. God speaks that dream and throughout the Bible we see examples to this. God gave Noah a dream to build an ark. God gave David a dream to build the temple. God gave Peter a dream to build the church. The question is, how do I know if this is a dream for God or just something I'm thinking up on my own? This feeling that I have inside, how do I know if that's God speaking to me or the takeout that I had last night? How can I tell the difference? The simple answer is that a dream from God will always require faith. It will be beyond what you're capable of doing. It will be so big that you can't do it by yourself. It will be beyond the resources that you have at your disposal. It require faith, because without faith, you won't be able to fulfill the mission that God has called you to.

“It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely, seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

The world says, "Seeing is believing," but God says, "Believing is seeing."

2. OBEY WHEN I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT.

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8)

Abraham left everything he knew for 75 years to follow God to an unknown place to do something he didn’t know. Would you leave everything not knowing where you are going or what you are going to do? Probably not, right? We use it as an excuse not to be obedient. Faith is not a skill we master. It's not a promise that life is going to be pretty. Faith is a map we follow, and as we follow this map, God honors us and God blesses us when we're obedient, even when we don't understand it

3.  GIVES WHEN I DON’T HAVE IT.

Why in the world would I give something I don't have? Why in the world is giving ‑‑ what is giving have to do with faith? Why would I do that? That doesn't even make sense…Here's why, because giving and faith always go together. Giving and faith always go hand in hand. I'm not just talking about like giving of your time, I'm talking about giving up your resources, financially, and what God has entrusted to you. You see, the very nature of giving requires that you have faith, because you are letting go of something that you hold onto closely and dearly and entrusting that to someone else. Giving always requires faith.

There is an incredible story in Luke when Jesus is watching people bring their offering and tithes to the store house. The rich were bringing large gifts but none of them caught Jesus’ attention accept this widow who gave two cents.

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. 4For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” (Luke 21:3-4)

The point is she was willing to give everything when she had nothing. This should challenge our faith to start giving. Remember it is not the amount but the willing to start and make a step of faith. For some of you have already giving on a regular and consistent bases. The step of faith is to start tithing regularly. To trust God to provide for your needs. For others of you, tithing is not a problem. You have been tithing for years but it is really out of surplus, not a faith step. Then I challenge you to take a step of faith to give beyond and above the tithe.

4. PERSIST EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT.

Persistence is one of those values that's rare to come by in our culture. So much of what we value in our culture is based on our feelings. "Hey, if you feel like it, then do it. If you don't feel like it, then don't do it." We make these decisions based on our feelings, but ultimately, that doesn't lead to long term growth, that doesn't lead to sustainable growth when we simply make decisions based off how we feel. Think about it this way, if you were to ask Lebron James, "Hey, do you always feel like practicing?" He'd probably look at you like you're kind of dumb and be like, "No, of course not." But he practices and he's persistent in it, because he wants to be the best that he can be even when he doesn’t feel like it. The same is also true for us in our faith. We persist in faith even when we don't feel like having faith.

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.(James 1:3-4)

5. I BELIEVE WHEN I DON’T SEE IT.

I think we have over time misappropriated faith to some of the heroes of the bible. For Hebrews tells us the other side of the story. It says they haven’t received all that God promised, but at the same time it says received something better.

All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. (Hebrews 11:39-40)

Key Idea:

It’s not about my faith, its all about God’s faithfulness.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6)

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