Sunday, May 5, 2013
Faith that Moves Mountains by Reba Altizer
Faith that Moves Mountains by Reba Altizer The Bible gives this description of faith in Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (NIV) Definition: Faith is belief with strong conviction; firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof; complete trust in or devotion to. Faith is the opposite of doubt. Faith is possibly the single-most important element of the Christian life. Hebrews 11:6 states, "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." (NIV) I grew up in church, loved God, heard the Bible taught, but still didn't get it. God wants us to get it.. 1. Faith for Salvation Except You Become As Little Children... Matthew 18:3 New International Version (NIV) 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Notice that this is something all who wish to enter that heaven must do! 2.Faith to move Mountains What does this mean? What mountain are you moving with your Faith? When I was 19, I remember going to church and seeing this big sign hanging in the front of the church that said RUSSIA. I suddenly felt I wanted to go. At this point, I had only been on one mission trip. I had grew up thinking all my life that Russia was the "Bad Guy", so I knew that wasn't my flesh wanting to go to Russia, but my Spirit. I don't think I knew this at the time, but God showed me this story later in life. What makes your Spirit jump or what draws you? It is important to recognize this, so you can truly be in Faith and not just fleshly. Most of the time, when God moves, it doesn't make sense in the natural world. For example, I was going to cosmetology school at the time. I was living with an elderly woman and helping her so I didn't have to pay rent. I had no extra money. I was just believing for gas at this point in my life. Why would I think I could raise thousands of dollars for a mission trip? This is how The Lord works. Mark 11:2026 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!" "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." Luke 17:6 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like the grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 3. Steps of Faith A. I went home and read Hebrews 11:1 in a different light. FAITH IS BEING SURE OF WHAT YOU HOPE FOR AND CERTAIN YOU DON'T SEE HOW IT CAN HAPPEN! I thought I qualify as being in FAITH:) I begin to tell everyone. I was so excited! It didn't take me long to realize I was not moving in wisdom, because discouragement came, doubt came, the devil came. Who do you think you are? B. Be led by the Holy Spirit. The next lesson came: Don't tell everyone. Be discerning. Tell those who can be in Faith with you. If God said it, He will make a way. I was working one day and overheard a lady talking to someone about Russia. I felt in my Spirit I was to go tell her I was planning on going to Russia. My first thought was "that is weird". First, I didn’t know her at all. I was overhearing the conversation, but I was young. "Okay, I will just do it". I went right over, and told her I overheard her talking. I told her I was planning on a mission trip to Russia. To my surprise, she was so excited. She followed me back to my working area and asked me what she could do to help. No one had ever said that to me. I just told her to pray. She said she would pray, but she wanted to know how much money I needed. I didn't want to tell her, because it was February. I was suppose to go in July. I had no passport or money... Right then, she gave me a check for $50. This was a great miracle to me. I told her I would give it back if I didn't go. Where was my faith? I think she had more faith in me than I did! GOD WILL ENCOURAGE YOU IN THE DIRECTION HE IS LEADING YOU! STAY IN FAITH AND BELIEVE. ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. 3. Get started. I remember calling the lady in charge of the trip to Russia, telling her I had only $80 dollars. I told her I didn't how this was going to work. She said, "well how much is a passport". I told her $80. She said, "well, get your passport, you're not going anywhere without a Passport" Use what you have... 1 King 17 Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath 7 Sometime later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” 12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’” 15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah. Once I sent for my passport Money came in little by little. 3. Your faith will be tested. I remember when it was getting closer money was coming but not enough and started thinking people are going to think I am lying but The Lord was so good He encouraged me in His Word. Proverbs 16:9 New International Version (NIV) 9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. My trust and dependence was now trusting God if this going to happen. Day by day more money came, and the opportunity to share in home prayer groups came. Humility stayed, because I don't know how it was going to happen. I had to keep planning and trusting God. The lady I had met in the beauty shop weeks earlier started sending money. She sent the first $300 dollars. She would always put John 3:16 at the end of the letter. The next check she sent was $500 dollars. I just kept wondering why she was doing it. When I would receive, I would just cry and thank God. Less than a month from the time I was to go, the woman from the beauty shop called my work. She wantedme to come by her house. I was so nervous because I still lacked $1000. I gathered my courage to see her. Once in her home, and seated, she questioned. She said, "honey how much do you lack?" I told her just pray. She said, "I did, but we have to put some legs to these prayers". She was persistent, and again asked me how much. I told her, and she wrote a check. She didn't know me or any of my family. I could only think this was a miracle from God. The final lesson: I learned when people ask, have a ready answer! God wants to move in your life and provide for you. He wants to put legs to your faith, but we have to take the steps- walk it out with Him. He loves you, He will see you through, and your faith will grow. I went on that trip and 16 more between the ages of 19 and 25. Faith works!