This Sunday, March 5th, 2017, Pastor Duane White continued our word of the year by beginning a new series called Over the Top Faith here at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX.
Over the Top Faith:
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6, NIV)
What is faith?
Some speak of faith as coming to faith. In other words “I became a Christian, a believer, and after forty years of trying it on my own, I finally came to faith.” Faith to them is salvation, which is completely accurate, but faith is really more than just salvation.
To others, faith is a magic wand of sorts to get God to do the stuff they want him to do. While faith can and does produce lots of amazing results, we must remember that the primary reason God wants us to have faith is to come to Him.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV)
Faith is two things:
- Substance. It is the substance of things hoped for. Hope is the dream, while faith is the building material to build the dream. Faith is the only tangible thing in the intangible world of the Spirit.
- Evidence. It is the evidence of things not seen. Everyone who does not have faith wants you to prove God. Your faith is the evidence. The evidence of an unseen God is your faith, but it takes faith to believe in an unseen God.
Here are three simple points that will lay a foundation for what faith really is according to Hebrews 11 in the Cotton Patch paraphrase:
- Faith is seeing the unseen.
- Faith is turning dreams into deeds.
- Faith is betting your life on unseen realities.
Your promise already exists, you just haven’t seen it in this realm yet. Everything you will ever need has been provided by grace.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8, NKJV)
You can never have real faith for anything grace has not already provided for you. It’s a futile effort when you’re trying to have faith for something God hasn’t already provided in the spirit, by grace. Nor can you have faith for anything that you don’t have a revelation for that God has already provided for you. God may have provided it, but you need a revelation of it.
“But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9, NKJV)
Faith begins where the will of God is known. Once you discern the will of God, that is the starting point of faith.Then you are seeing the unseen.
How do we know the will of God?
Here a a few quick guidelines:
- His Word
- Wise Counsel (that lines up with His Word)
- The Prophetic (that is judged and lines up with His Word)
Once you know it’s God’s will, and faith comes, you need an appropriate corresponding action, and once you act, you hold on until the dream manifests. Faith is our handle on the unseen realm.
Faith gives substance to the un-manifested, unseen, promise of God. Faith comes by hearing God’s Word, so once you hear, faith comes to you. Faith without an appropriate action is wishful thinking that produces nothing. Hope is a dream while faith is turning dreams into deeds.
Why would you bet your life on something you can not see? You probably wouldn’t unless:
- You see what others can not see. We understand that their are two realities: the one you see and the one you don’t see.
- You trust the source more than the fear of what is unknown.
“Faith is believing in advance what only makes sense in reverse.” (Philip Yancey)
People of faith raid the future and bet everything they have on it until the future manifests in the now. Our lives are meant to merely be a projection of God’s divine intention.
Watch the full message here:
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