Ps Clinton Phillips 3rd November 2019 ()Clinton Phillips, November 3, 2019
Part of the Faith series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
Feed your faith!
Eph 6:14-16 - Armour of God. There are fiery darts. This is one of the prison epistles, under house arrest. Paul converted a lot of the roman soldiers. Picture of a Roman shield, almost the size of the soldier. “The Turtle” formation - when the soldiers were under attack, formed a massive square of shields, move forward slowly to take ground that way. Paul writes above all - there’s belt truth, breastplate of righteousness - you’re going to face opposition, but this armour will help you stand in that time. Right relationship with God, right relationship with others.
When the gospel was preached, signs would follow that. Gospel has the power of salvation. You don’t get new shoes just to put into the cupboard!
Above all, taking the shield of faith, you will be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one. There is an enemy, and he is shooting fiery darts.
There are times when God will send a way out to get through this (avoid) - like the Israelites fleeing the Egyptians opening the dead sea. But there are times when God gives us the strength to stand our ground in battle.
The enemy comes to steal, kill, destroy. Not the same thing told three times, three different things. Maybe we’ve survived an encounter with the enemy, but what he’s done is to steal our joy.
Pete was encouraging us - what is that one thing that’s locking you up, that you can’t trust God for, that you need to give over to God? We end up living a mediocre Christian existence, when God wants so much more for us! We hear about it, spoke about, but nothing’s really happened. When unbelief comes in, criticising comes in. Rejection in relationships. Our reality is filtered by the rejection. God is saying that he wants to set us free from that. If I’ve formed agreement with unbelief in our lives, this stops God from moving.
Numbers 13:23-33. A land flowing with milk and honey.
Whatever we feed in our life, grows. Are we feeding fear or faith? When I continue to feed my fear, it grows and becomes bigger than my faith. My fear makes it seem like it’s so much bigger than what God is able to do. What are we feeding on? Whatever we feed on affects and shapes us. When it comes to our faith, how are we feeding it?
Faith comes by hearing God’s word. The Israelites see God deliver them from captivity in Egypt, paid in gold and silver, experienced God wiping out the nation’s army in one moment. How many have seen the signs and wonders of God, and in that space, about to step into the new, about to give us the land. Israelites send out 12 spies, 2 come back with positive report, 10 come back with negative reports. Some points to note:
- People of fear and of faith experience the same things, same things in life. We think people of faith experience different stuff, but we don’t.
- People of fear turn a positive into a negative. That’s how you feed your fear. They build on the negative. See vs 29. Not only the fact of the people in the land, but surrounding areas. Feeding your fear vs feeding your faith.
- People of fear reject encouragement. When I rehearse my story, it justifies why I stay where I am. vs 30. Caleb says lets go up and take possession of it. Didn’t you hear our story?
- The outcome: let it be to you, according to YOUR faith. The outcome is determined by your faith. What are you feeding? Above all, take up the shield of faith.
What is that thing that God is challenging you on? When you step out into what God is asking you to do, he backs you up!
A person of faith says “we can have the promised land now”. “Now” faith. Challenging! Theology filtered through experience. Faith is acting like God is telling the truth. What truth is he telling you about your situation?
Person of faith series: Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego. The truth of faith is “I will trust God, no matter if he does or he doesn’t”. I trust you that you know about my situation. I am acting on this like you are telling me the truth.
Acts 4:13-21. Healing in Acts, threatened by the Sanhedrin to stop preaching Jesus. Could’ve just given in, and abiding in the law. In their doing there’s beatings, lack, etc - case before God as to why we should stop. But that’s feeding your fear!
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