Faith's Divine Order #7
We're going to continue teaching on God’s divine order of faith. Today we're going to go on to step No. 7, but before we do that I want to briefly go over the first six steps. Step No. 1 is to “IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.” Step No. 2 was to “MAKE A QUALITY DECISION.” Step No. 3 is to “FIND THE PROMISE IN THE WORD OF GOD.” Step No. 4 is to “UNDERSTAND IMPORTANCE OF HEARING THE WORD OF GOD AND MAKE THAT EFFORT TO HEAR IT.” Step No. 5 is “MEDITATION ON THE WORD OF GOD.” And step No. 6 “CONFESS OR SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD.”
I) Once you take in these six vital steps, it’s time to go on to the next one. STEP NO. 7 is to “ACT ON THE WORD OF GOD.”
A) This is another area where many Christians tend to short-circuit the power of faith before they ever see any results.
1) No one in the Bible make a stronger case for acting on your faith then James. So let’s turn there.
B) James 2:14-26
1) In Verse 14 James says “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works?
a) Here he’s talking about a false faith, phony. Can this type of faith save him? Of course not.
b) The Bible Knowledge commentary says, “Faith by itself, or faith in and of itself with no evidence of action, is dead. Workless faith is worthless faith.”
2) Verse 21, 23 Then Rom 4:1-5
a) This almost sounds like a contradiction until you learn how faith really operates.
b) If you really believe the Word of God, you will act accordingly.
3) Here James very clearly tells us that “Faith without works is dead.”
a) That is probably one of the most quoted scriptures, but it’s also very true.
4) You can generate faith by hearing the Word of God, you can plant that faith in your heart by meditating on it, and you can even put into motion by confessing it. But unless you take the additional step of acting on it, there’ll be no life in it to produce what you need.
a) If you study out the Word “WORKS” you’ll find out that it literally means “ACTING ACCORDINGLY.” I think Kenneth Hagin coined the phrase “CORRESPONDING ACTION.”
(i) Living, moving, and producing faith will always be accompanied by corresponding action. And it’s a principal we’ll see repeated over and over again in the Word of God.
(ii) If you have faith there will be a corresponding action.
b) If you really believe the Word of God you’re going to act accordingly. Let me give you example, if you watched the news and they told you that there is a 100 percent chance that it’s going to rain. You would dress for rain.
(i) Why? You believed what they said, and acted accordingly.
c) That’s what we need to do with God’s Word. Believe what he says and act like you believe it.
C) James gives us several examples of people who backed up their faith with deeds. One of them is Abraham.
1) I’m sure you remember that Abraham and Sarah were given a miracle baby by God when Abraham was a hundred years old.
a) Later God spoke to him and asked him to take his son Isaac and sacrifice him on an altar.
2) Let’s look at the story and turn with me to Genesis 17:1-9
a) Here God made several promises to Abraham and his seed. The seed that God made the promises to and his covenant with is Isaac. Look at Genesis 17:21.
(i) Abraham had God’s Word back in (Genesis 15:5) that God was going to number him as the stars in the sky. Now God said to take that covenant seed, that covenant child, and offer him on the altar as a sacrifice.
(ii) Abraham had taken every step of faith we’ve seen so far in God’s divine order of faith. Now it was time for him to put his faith into action.
D) Look at what Abraham said in Genesis 22:5
1) Did you see that? “I and the lad will go and come again to you.” Abraham knew that the boy was going to come back with him. Abraham was willing to stake everything on God’s promise. And he did.
2) Abraham was more than just a hearer of the Word. He was a doer of the Word. Because of that Abraham even saw to a greater extent how God will keep his promises to us if we only believe.
a) But keep in mind that Abraham had done all the other steps of faith up to this point.
b) That’s a difference between Abraham’s experience and so many others that failed area of faith.
(i) Many people who are sick. Hear a little bit about faith, they read “By his stripes I am healed,” they confess get a couple times. Then they hear they’re supposed to act on their faith, so they throw their medicine away. And when they almost die, they wonder why that faith stuff didn’t work.
(ii) But they missed it because they didn’t know how to operate under God’s divine order of faith or they don’t operate in God’s divine order of faith because it’s just too much work.
(iii) Quite often people just want to take a shortcut but with the things of God it just doesn’t work that way. It is important to act on the Word of God. But you must have laid the foundation of doing the six other steps we’ve discussed.
c) Let me say this before we go on, nowhere in the Word of God does it ever say or tell anyone to stop taking their medicine. And the Bible never says that it’s sin to go to the doctor. Don’t let anyone tell you it is.
(i) God is still healer whether he uses a medical doctor or you’re healed by the Great Physician.
II) Once you’ve laid the foundation in operateing according to God’s divine order of faith and you have a promise from the Word God to stand on, it is vital that you act as though the promise is already the reality in your life.
A) Let me give you another example. Let’s say you see in the Word that you are to prosper and have an abundance. You also see that you are to be the head and not the tail. The lender and not the borrower.
1) Don’t wait for your bank account to start filling up before you act like a prosperous person. Act like it now.
a) You may not have a lot of fancy new close but you can keep the ones that you do have clean and looking they’re very best.
(i) Simply start thinking like a prosperous person, talking like a prosperous person, and acting like a prosperous person.
(ii) I’m not telling you to go out and spend money, as a matter of fact, I’m telling you don’t spend money and don’t put it on credit.
(iii) What I am telling you, is to change your way of thinking. When you walk into a room, walk-in with your head up, your shoulders back, your clothes clean and pressed, your make up on or clean shaving.
(a) If you believe you’re a prosperous man or woman start acting like a prosperous person. You can do it without spending any money.
b) People with a lot of money don’t worry about how are going to pay the bills; they don’t go around to everyone a complaint how little money they have. If you’re really expecting God’s Word to be a reality in your life, neither should you!
(i) Let me say one more time I’m not telling you to spend money so that you would look prosperous, but what I’m telling you is to change outlook. Hold on to the promise of God and act like it so.
2) There’s one other area along these lines that people seem to have a problem with and that is that people try to believe God beyond what they can believe him for.
a) For instance, someone that has an annual salary of ten thousand dollars, may have a hard time believing God for a hundred thousand a year. When they don’t see the hundred thousand come, they get frustrated and give up.
(i) It’s much easier to believe God for an increase of just a few thousand dollars annually. As you see God come through in the smaller things your faith will begin to grow and you’ll have a greater reality that God keeps his Word and fulfills his promises. You’ll then begin to be able to believe God for even greater things.
b) It works like stepping stone’s; you take one step at a time. But you don’t dare leap from one stone to very end, that could be very dangerous.
B) I mentioned just a moment ago that we need to change our attitude and our way of thinking. But sometimes old habits die hard. It’s not always going to be easy to change your way of thinking, but if you want to start walking in victory you’re going to have to get rid of the poverty mentality, you rid of the sickness mentality, get rid of the defeated mentality, get rid of the failure mentality, and get rid of the grasshopper mentality.
1) You remember what happened to the children of Israel when they went to spy out the Canaan land in (Numbers 13:33). The children of Israel had a grasshopper mentality. (Numbers 13:33) says, “We saw ourselves as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”
a) They had grasshopper mentality, a defeated mentality and that’s what caused their failure. You need to start thinking and acting as if the promise of God already is manifested in your life.
C) Jesus gave us some more about that in MARK 11:23-24 so let’s turn there.
1) Look at the last line, “Believe that you receive them and ye shall receive them.”
a) If you believe that you have already received them, you’re going to act like it.
(i) That means when you have a bill you can’t pay, you read, hear, and meditate (Philippians 4:19) which says, “My God shall supply all my needs” until it’s an inner reality.
(ii) After you’ve gone to God in prayer about this need, you should say “I believe I received this bill paid now in the name of Jesus Christ.”
(iii) If you really believe you receive when you pray, like (MARK 11: 24) commands, how will you act after you pray?
(iv) You’ll act like the bill is paid. You’ll think like it’s paid. You’ll talk like it’s paid. And you’ll have peace like it’s paid.
(v) Your flesh will want to see the bill paid before it acts like it’s paid. But that’s not how the kingdom of God works.
b) (2 Corinthians 5:7) says, “We walk by faith and not by sight.”
(i) A change of action must always proceed a change of situation, not the other way around.
(ii) You’re outward circumstances will begin to change by your belief and actions. Start believing and acting that God’s favor is upon you.
III) We have another example in the New Testament who acted on the Word of God and reaped a tremendous blessing.
A) Turn with me to LUKE 5:4-5 (Just a little side thought here, some have said that Peter did not obey the Lord fully because the Lord told Peter to let down the nets (plural) and in verse 5 Peter said, “ I will let down the net (singular).” But the King James translation is wrong in this verse. Every time the Word net is used the Greek has it as nets.)
1) Peter really didn’t want to let down the nets again after fishing all night, but out of obedience he did and look what happened.
a) LUKE 5:6-7 Out of obedience to the Lord and his Word they reaped such a blessing that they couldn’t contain any more.
B) We have another example of someone who very easily could have missed it, but finally obeyed the Word of the Lord.
1) In (2 Kings 5) Naaman who was a general of the Syrian army was stricken with leprosy. Eventually he heard about a great man of God named Elisha who might be able to cure him of this disease. So he pays him a visit.
2) Look at 2 Kings 5:9 he found Elisha willing to help them but he got offended.
C) It’s go on reading 2 Kings 5:10-12
1) Naaman was outraged for a few reasons.
a) 1st, Naaman was an important man and this preacher doesn’t bother to even come out and meet him.
b) 2nd, he expected this miracle worker to come out and do a dance or perform some other spectacular ceremony.
(i) Instead, he was told to go dip himself in the muddy, nasty old Jordan. So he walked away angry. Not receive anything.
(ii) If it wouldn’t have been for one of Naaman’s servants, Naaman would have died of that plague. Naaman eventually swallowed his pride, acted on the Word of God, and received his miracle.
c) 2 Kings 5:13-14
(i) Many Christians are like Naaman. They want somebody else to do it for them.
(ii) It’s scriptural to have people pray for you, but there is a second half to that. You have to stand on the Word of God for yourself and act like it’s true.
(iii) Child like obedience to the Word of God will never go with out its reward.
D) In LUKE chapter 6 Jesus told a group of listeners, “Don’t call me Lord if you’re not going to do what I say.”
IV) LUKE 6:46-49
A) If you will purpose to become a person who will not only hear God’s Word but does it as well, no storm in life can ever shake you.
1) Nothing that the Devil will ever thorough at you will ever prosper. Why? Because (Isaiah 54:17) says, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.”
2) Acting on the Word of God is other crucial step in God’s divine order of faith.
WOLCC Sunday, November 16, 1997