“What Happens When You Have Faith?”

Pastor Lori
February 28, 2016

“What Happens When You Have Faith?”

What Happens When You Have Faith?

Faith and miracles go hand-in-hand. We kick off our 10-week Daring Faith series with a messageSlider_DaringFaith_990x415 about what faith is. You’ll discover that faith may not be what you think. It’s not a desire, a feeling, or a way of pretending that something is what it’s not. Instead, faith is a way of seeing — a way of looking at things from God’s point of view. Learn about problems that result from seeing with eyes of fear and the benefits of seeing with eyes of faith. You’ll find that living by faith opens the door.  Don’t miss out on taking your first step to become a person of Daring Faith!

DF1-OrigBulletin Notes

Daring Faith: Key to Miracles

“What Happens When You Have Faith”

2/27 – 2/28

Introduction:

Good morning and welcome to New Hope Central Oahu! I’m Pastor [Name], and I’d like to welcome you to our [Time] Service here at the [Location] Campus. Today we’re going to be kicking off a brand new series entitled, “Daring Faith: Key to Miracles” from Saddleback Church. We have made commitment cards available so that you can commit to grow with us over the next 10 weeks in our faith.

Illustration: Another Point of View

Have you ever been so certain about something only to look at it from another point of view and realize you had it all wrong?

Faith believes that even though we don’t see the whole picture, God does, and He will guide us if we trust Him. Another way to put it is:

FAITH IS SEEING FROM GOD’S POINT OF VIEW.

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you,” (Ephesians 1:18a).

Earlier we sang about this, “Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord”. What is this song talking about? Any cardiologist or optometrist will tell you that there are no eyes on the heart. So what are we talking about? What Ephesians is saying is that there is an unseen reality all around us. In fact, we just came out of a series that addressed the unseen spiritual battle that is taking place all around us. With our physical eyes we can see the temporary world all around us. But when God opens the eyes of our heart – the eyes of faith, we see things from His perspective. There are stories of this all through the Bible.

In Genesis 21, a woman named Hagar and her son Ishmael were wandering through the desert with no water and were about to die. Hagar cried out to God saying, “Don’t let me watch my child die.” All of a sudden it says, “God opened her eyes,” and she saw a well of water in the middle the desert and they lived.

In 2 Kings 6 Elisha and his servant Gehazi were surrounded by an enemy nation and Gehazi began to freak out. So Elisha calmly prayed, “Lord, open the eyes of my servant”, and God opened the eyes of his heart and he saw an army of angels surrounding their enemies and was no longer afraid.

After His death and resurrection, Jesus appeared to two of His disciples and walked with them even though they didn’t recognize Him. As they were eating together Jesus prayed and it says, “God opened their eyes”, and all of a sudden they realized Jesus was there.

Faith is seeing from God’s point of view. When we do we find hope. When we do our fears are relieved. When we do we realize Jesus is in our midst.

But often times in the Church we can have misconceptions about what faith is. So we’ve already seen that faith is seeing from God’s point of view but I want to clarify some things faith is not.

Faith is not desire. You can wish for something, you could hope for something, you can even pray for something. That doesn’t make it faith. Faith is not desire. Desire may lead you to faith but desire isn’t faith.

Next, Faith is not pretending that something is true that isn’t true. I can put a dollar bill on this podium and say, “I believe this is a million dollars,” and I can actually believe that it is a million dollars. But it’s not going to be a million dollars no matter how much I say it is. Faith is not psyching yourself up and pretending something is true that really isn’t. In other words, faith isn’t conning yourself into believing something.

Faith is not a feeling. This one is really important. In fact, often times feelings can get in the way of faith because we tend to trust our feelings rather than rely on our faith. A lot of times, faith says, “I’m going to move ahead in spite of my feelings.”

And, Faith is not bargaining with God. Faith is not doing something for God so that He’ll do something for us. We can’t bribe or bargain with God – that’s not faith.

So this week we’re going to talk about faith as a way of seeing. Faith is looking at the world from God’s point of view – it’s having God’s perspective.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Again, we don’t always see everything but who does? God. So faith has to do with our vision. Today, we’re going to do a couple of things. I want us to look at what happens when we see with eyes of fear and what happens when we see with eyes of faith.

This past week in our devotions we read in Numbers 13 and 14. The Israelites are at the edge of the river about to enter into the Promise Land. Before they enter in, Moses sends in a team of how many spies? The 12 spies survey the land but come back with a mixed report. Two spies say, “This land is awesome, fruitful, and ready for our taking. God has certainly given us this land.” What were the two spies names? Joshua and Caleb. The other 10 spies say, “Yea it’s a great place but…” and they begin to list all of the obstacles and problems of why they can’t go in. They’re seeing through eyes of fear and not through eyes of faith. Let me ask you this; raise your hand if you can name one of the 10 spies who brought a negative report. Here’s the point, nobody remembers the naysayers – those who say it can’t be done. The only people who get remembered are the ones who say, “Let’s go do it in God’s Name!” This is why Daring Faith: Key to Miracles is going to be such an important series. Because we don’t want to wander in the wilderness for 40 years, we want to enter the Promised Land.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE SEE WITH EYES OF FEAR

So continuing in Numbers 13-14, let’s take a look at what happens when we see through eyes of fear.

  1. WE EXAGGERATE OUR DIFFICULTIES.

The 12 spies came back and 10 of them gave this negative report,

“They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there,”

(Numbers 13:27-28 NIV).

One translation says, “We saw Anakim giants there.” The Anakim were of the tribe of Skywalker and the force was strong with them. Sorry, that’s a different story. But the descendants of Anak were giants.

Now, of the 12 spies, how many brought the negative report? That’s right, 10. So the majority report of the spies was negative. I want you to catch something here. In life, the majority report is almost always negative. Anybody who’s going to get something done in this world is going to have to go against the majority report because the majority of people look at the world through eyes of fear and not through eyes of faith. They said, “We’d be devoured, they’d eat us alive!”

Only two of the spies had faith, Joshua and Caleb. But did the people trust the minority? Unfortunately, the negative majority swayed the people. Here’s the problem – negative attitudes are contagious. Up until the edge of the Promise Land everyone was excited. It was only after the 10 came back and said, “We can’t do it,” that everybody changed their minds and became infected with the negative attitude. So because they trusted in fear rather than faith, the Lord had them wander in the wilderness until that entire unbelieving generation died off. The saddest part of all is that when the next generation did enter the Promise Land, you know what the enemy said? They said, “We have lived in terror these last 40 years because we knew God’s people were out there somewhere and we heard reports of what God did in Egypt. Their enemies knew God was on their side but fear caused them to exaggerate their difficulties.

  1. WE UNDERESTIMATE OUR OWN ABILITIES.

Of the inhabitants in the land the 10 spies said, “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them,” (Numbers 13:33 NIV).

They’re saying, “We’re insects compared to those guys!” Talk about low self-image! But then they go a step further and said “They see us as insects!” See what they’re doing? They’re projecting their fears and insecurities on others. When we have fears or insecurities we tend to project them on everyone around us. We don’t know how people truly see us but we assume they see the same insecurities we see.

Dove Real Beauty Sketches | You’re More Beautiful Than You Think (4:18)

The Israelites had been enslaved for 400 years to Pharaoh and had been free for 40. But even though their bodies were free, their minds were still enslaved. No longer were they enslaved to Pharaoh but not they were enslaved to an idea, an image, and a self-perception.

Maybe prior to Christ, some of you had hurtful things spoken over your lives. Like the Israelites, maybe you’ve been free now for 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years but maybe your mind is still enslaved to an old idea, image, or self-perception. Maybe prior to Christ you struggled with anger, lying, or immorality. Those were the things that you were enslaved to. But now you’re free. The devil would have you believe, you’re still you’re still an angry person, you’re still a liar, you’re still immoral. But in Christ we know that we are His children. So maybe you’re a child of God that struggles with anger. Maybe you’re a child of God who struggles with lying or immorality. But those things don’t define you. Your identity is in Christ. See the difference? The devil defines you by what you do – You are a liar, but God defines you by who you are in Him – You are my child.

  1. WE EVENTUALLY GIVE UP AND WE BLAME GOD.

After hearing the negative report, look what the people say, “Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” (Numbers 14:3 NIV)

Notice, they’re blaming God. They’re saying, we know better than God. They’re saying God is keeping us from entering in to the Promise Land? Was God keeping them from entering the Promise Land? No, it was their fear that was holding them back. Then they say it would be better to go back to Egypt.

The question we ask ourselves is why would the Israelites want to go back to Egypt? Egypt represents slavery. But here it is – it was the slavery they were familiar with.

A lot of people get stuck in slavery because it’s familiar. Some people are enslaved by a relationship, or a habit, or a thought-pattern. They don’t really like it but at least it’s predictable, it’s familiar. We want to go back to Egypt because at least we know what’s there! The truth is that there is no real freedom without taking risk. This is why faith is so important. It will take faith to overcome self-defeating habits and patterns. God made us to live by faith. God made us to be risk-takers, not to die in the desert.

Now, let’s contrast that with what the Bible says happens when we see through eyes of faith. This is when we learn to be dreamers, learn to see God’s vision, and learn to see things, not as they are, but as they could be.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE SEE WITH EYES OF FAITH

  1. FAITH SHRINKS MY PROBLEMS.

If seeing through eyes of fear enlarges our problems, see with eyes of faith will shrink them. Seeing things from God’s point of view gives us new perspective. When you see your problem from God’s point of view, everything becomes more manageable. If you have a small God, problems get big. If you have a big God, problems get small.

Genesis 18:14 says, “Is anything too hard fro the Lord?” This is a rhetorical question so the answer is obviously, “No”. In Luke 1:37 Jesus says, “For nothing is impossible with God!”

One of my favorite examples of this in scripture is the story of David and Goliath. None of the trained soldiers of Israel would stand up to Goliath. When David accepted his challenge they told him it couldn’t be done. “He’s a warrior, you’re just a kid.” What were they doing? They were comparing themselves to the giant. But what did David say to Goliath? “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” The soldiers looked at Goliath through eyes of fear. David saw him through eyes of faith. The soldiers compared themselves to Goliath and ran. David compared Goliath to God and won. When you have a small God, problems get big. When you have a big God, problems get small.

  1. FAITH OPENS THE DOOR FOR A MIRACLE.

The Bible says faith can move mountains. Mark 11:22-24 says, “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

What Jesus is showing us is that in God’s hierarchy of laws, the law of faith is actually higher than the laws of nature. This is where miracles come in. Miracles happen in scripture when people have faith. How many of you believe that God still performs miracles today?

One of the reasons I’m so excited about this series is because I believe we’re going to see some miracles. My question is, as we’re launching this series, what’s the mountain you want to see moved in your life? What’s the thing you believed would never happen? The thing you said would never move. You say it’s impossible. In God’s hierarchy, the law of faith is higher than the laws of nature. With God nothing is impossible.

In Matthew 9:29 Jesus said, “According to your faith it will be done to you.” See the problem is, we think the wrong thing moves God. God is not moved by complaints. God is not moved by our anger or grumbling. God is moved to action when we say, “God, I’m trusting you and I’m expecting you to keep your promise.”

  1. FAITH GIVES ME POWER TO HOLD ON IN TOUGH TIMES.

Faith has the ability to shrink your problems but that doesn’t mean you’ll be taken out of the problem. Faith gives you the ability to make it through the problem. Faith may not instantly calm the storm but it will calm you in the storm.

Paul writes, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed,” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9NIV). Where do you get resilience like that? Faith.

In closing, if you haven’t filled out a commitment card yet, I want to encourage you to commit to joining us for the next 10 weeks. First, let’s commit to coming to Church these next 10 weeks. Then, we want to encourage you to watch and discuss the six video studies in an Ohana Group. We will have a listing of all the different groups that are available. If you will make the commitment, that’s your first step of faith. For those who want to go even deeper we want to encourage you to read the daily inspirations in your workbook as a daily devotional. As with most things in life, you’re going to get out of this what you put in. If you really want to grow deeper in your faith the opportunities are there.

Conclusion:

Closing Prayer:

Lord our prayer is that you would give us daring faith. We don’t want to live safe balance beam lives. We want to live lives of daring faith. We want to see you do miracles and believe for the impossible! We ask that you would use this series to stretch our faith. We know the majority is going to live life through eyes of fear but we want to see through eyes of faith. We want to have Your perspective. Lord we ask that you would move mountains in our lives. We know that nothing is impossible with you. We give you all the glory. Amen.

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