Faith that Works Part 1 sermon by Pastor Don
This is the closed captioning transcript for this sermon. I have edited the transcript to make it easier to read. For example if Pastor Don says the address of the Bible verse several times so that the people can turn to it, I only include the first mention of the address or if he repeats a phrase in talking. Anything is [brackets] is said by the congregation. Three dots means a pause. Enjoy.
Come on, let me see your Bibles. Let’s get busy for Jesus. Lift them up high, don’t be ashamed. Say, this is [this is] the Word of God. [the Word of God.] It’s in my hand, [It’s in my hand] in my heart, [in my heart] in my mouth. [in my mouth] I love [I love] the Word of God. [the Word of God] I love!!! [I love] the Word of God. [the Word of God]. I love [I love] the Word of God [the Word of God]. Amen.
Ok, see if you can find a few passages that we want to look at. I want to minister to you on a Sunday School lesson that is timeless. We need to talk about faith that works…How to make our faith work. I want you to go to Mark, Chapter 11.. That’s in the New Testament. You got it there? Did you find it? Matthew, Mark…
Now the reason we need to talk about operating our faith and making faith work for us, is because in these last days, the way things are shaping up, it appears you’re going to need faith, not just for healing and deliverance and for the big things. But we’re going to have to learn how to operate our faith for even smaller things…Come on, somebody. [amen] We’re going to have to learn how to operate our faith when the gas price goes up or whether it goes down. We’re going to have to pray prayers of provision and know that our faith will work. We’re in shaky economic times. Some of us think we have very secure jobs, and we will be losing our jobs. Others of us think that our mortgages are safe and fluctuations have already shown that your mortgage may not be so safe and you may not be so safe where you live. You may have to move. You may have to move from the house that you’re in or the place that you are renting. You may need faith for all of those different things in these difficult times.
Well, we need faith that operates. It’s sometimes easier to have faith for a catastrophe. You know, your back’s to the wall, and they tell you you’re going to die, and so forth and so on. Well yeah, you’ll get serious about the things of God. But we need to practice our faith that works for smaller things, so that when we get a terrible diagnosis, come on now, our faith will operate then. [amen] You know, it’s riding a bicycle and driving go carts, developing the ability to steer and all that, before you get to a car, that helps you to drive the car. We don’t just run out and jump on a bulldozer, and think we’re going to drive the bulldozer. We need to go through the steps and the process. And that’s why faith doesn’t work in churches generally, and in the body of Christ, because people haven’t first of all, practiced their faith, or learned the principles of faith, so when a faith difficulty occurs, their faith doesn’t work. And they haven’t learned how to do that.
I want to first give you, just a few simple things in the next half hour that you can direct yourself to so that your faith will work. Alright? Now, one of the greatest faith passages is in Mark 11. And it has two elements in it, one I show you all the time. But it has another element that I want to bring to your attention. And the first thing of faith is this, you need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you qualify, you are qualified to operate in faith…You are qualified. It has been delegated by God. Appointed to us by Jesus Christ. That you are qualified to operate in faith.
Now there’s some Bible teachers that put limits on that. And they say, “Well, you know, that was for the Apostles.” Or, “That died when the last Apostle died, then your ability to work with gifts, and work in the supernatural ended.” Well…I don’t think that’s accurate at all. Because, why would God remove gifts, abilities, powers, and faith, why would He remove it during the time that the End Times come, when the battle is going to be the worst? Why would He leave us powerless against an enemy in the Last Days before He comes when it says He is looking for a glorious Bride, a victorious Christ? Christ is looking for a victorious Church when He comes in the Last Days.
Our faith will operate. We need to know, though, that we are qualified. That He delegated it to us. That we can do everything He said we can do. Now in John Chapter 14 it says this, He says, “And greater works.” [yeah] He said that we will do the greater works. Greater works than these, meaning everything that the Apostles saw, everything that the Disciples saw, He said, you’ll do that and even greater works…Alright? Now, when He delegated that, He was not just speaking to the disciples, He was speaking to anyone that would believe and in John, Chapter 17 He says, “and this is unto those, who because of the testimony of the disciples, would believe.” So the qualification for operating in faith is that you are a believer who believes that your faith will operate…Did you get that? Is that too many beliefs for you? You are qualified if you are a believer who believes your faith will operate. Alright?
Now to get this scripturally, hold your place there and go to the last chapter of Mark, the 16th. And let’s just nail this down. In the 17th verse, Mark 16, verse 17. What does it say? It says, “And these signs…” Well what are the signs? The signs are that you can preach the Gospel to every creature. The signs are that you can baptize those that believe. The signs are that you will be able to operate in the supernatural, casting out of demons, speaking in new tongues, fighting the demons and serpents in the physical as well as the spiritual. And, not being able to be poisoned by words, or theories, or bad Gospel error. And all of those things won’t hurt you. And then, “…lay hands on the sick” in verse 18. And see that the sick would recover. [amen] That’s what it says. And verse 17 is the qualifier. It says, “And these signs…” all those things I listed, “…will follow…” who? [those who believe] “…those who believe.” They will follow those who believe.
Now we can debate this theologically, but we can also do one better…Go do it… Go do it and see if it works. It says the signs will follow those who believe. So, if you are a believer, go do it, and guess what, the signs will follow. The reason that you will not, I’m not trying to be mean, but, the reason you will not see it happen in churches that don’t teach it, is because the qualifier is, do you believe it? If you don’t believe it, the signs will not follow you.
Heard a guy on the radio say, well I actually didn’t believe in speaking in tongues and so forth, and so on. He didn’t believe it was of God, and you know, will he ever speak in tongues? No he won’t. Why? That sign will not follow him. Why? Because he’ll never step into it. So he’ll never see it or hear it. He’ll never experience the wisdom and the prophetic message of God through tongues. He’ll never know tongues and interpretation. He’ll never know tongues and the aspect of having a feeling of God on the inside, operating in you and doing what? The Apostle Paul says, in the 14th Chapter of Corinthians, he says that it edifies, that it builds up your spirit man. This fellow will never know that experience. He will never have that. He will never have the ability or way to build up his inner man through the gift of tongues. Will it happen to him? No. Why? Because he refuses to believe. These signs follow those who believe. Will he go to the hospital, lay hands on a sick person, and see them recover? No he will not. Why? Because these signs follow those who believe. When he gets up to preach will he see 1000’s come to the Lord? No. Not unless he what? Believes that those signs follow. [amen]
How are we doing? You’re ok? So, the first thing is to know that you are qualified. Now, let’s go to the 11th Chapter, where I want to show you another example of the fact that you are qualified. You ready? I’m going to begin in verse 22. It says, “…Have faith in…” who? [God] faith in who? [God] So the first point if we want our faith to work and operate in these last days, our faith has to be in God… Our faith has to be in God.
Now, it brings us to an interesting question. The sovereignty of God. How far does the sovereignty of God expand? [whooo] How far does it go? …. Well no it doesn’t. It goes right to you…. God is sovereign, but He has given you individual will…God is sovereign but in His sovereignty, He delegated ability to you. You are a glorious creation. God is looking to develop human beings he can hang out with. [yeah] He is looking for supernatural people. Jesus said, “Are ye not gods?” He says, “Does not the Psalms declare, are ye not gods?” In other words, God thought so much of us that He delegated God ability to us and He gave you the will to carry it out. [amen] And here’s what He said, He said, my ability will stop where your will begins. [whoa] … He said He put His Word above Himself. And then He said, I delegated this authority to you where? In the earth…Who did He give dominion to. He gave it to Adam and Adam’s children. He said to Adam, take dominion over everything I’ve created on the earth. You have dominion over everything I’ve created on the earth…
Jesus died on the cross, and rose from the dead, to give us dominion over serpents, over satan. To give us dominion over our circumstances. To give us dominion over sickness in our bodies. To give us dominion over our marriages, dominion over our children, dominion over…everything. [holy!] Dominion. Well, our ability is not going to begin. Our strength is not going to begin until we accept that by our will, given us by God, that God will enrich our will. Will strengthen us, if we ask Him, come on now. If we ask Him for wisdom, what will He do? [give us wisdom] He’ll give us wisdom. If we ask Him for more faith, what will He do? [give us more faith] If we ask Him for more grace, which is ability, what will He do? [give us more grace] He’ll give us more ability.
Alright, so when we need to, if your faith is going to operate, God is looking for you to believe it first, and then He will agree with it. [amen] God is looking for you to believe it, then He will agree with it. Once He agrees with it, then the scripture that says where two or more are in agreement, I’m in the midst. And Jesus said in John 14, 15 and 16 and 17, He just kept saying it over and over, and then you can ask anything that you desire, and I will do it…So, He’s qualified you to operate His power and His ability in the earth. He has qualified you. He has limited His sovereignty.
Now, when is He absolutely, totally sovereign? When in your world, you give Him His place… You can choose to disobey God. You can choose to disobey God…. But if you choose to obey God, and you say, “Lord, you are sovereign…I recognize that you are sovereign over my life for whatever. You’re sovereign over me.” Is He sovereign over everything? Of course He’s sovereign over everything, but in your individual case, you have free will. You can put a limit to what God can do…You can say very simply, “I don’t believe God’s going to help me with this.” And you know what God does? “Well, I guess I can’t help him.” He’ll fold His arms on you in a hot minute. And it could be something really good for you…At the end of Matthew, Chapter 28 the Lord says, He says, “All power, all authority in Heaven and in Earth is Mine” and then what did He do? He gave it to the disciples. He gave it to the believers. Lord have mercy! He gave the whole thing to us. The whole shooting match. Okay? So, you’re qualified. You need to know that. Whose ability is it? It’s God’s ability working through you, if you will what? Give Him His sovereignty, give Him His place in your world.
You know, if we’d be honest about it, there’s some stuff we withhold from God. There’s some stuff we keep to ourselves and we won’t let God touch it…You know, well God, I want you to fix my job. I want you to fix those people that I don’t like. But God, I’m not, I’m not ready, I’m not ready to give up my stuff. And then you go through a whole list of, bad attitude, drugs, [laughter] lying and cussing, the whole list. And you say, “I’m not going to let you.”
A person is like a series of rooms. And when God comes into you, He wants to go in all the rooms. But, let’s face it, there’s some of us won’t let Him go in the rooms. I’ll give you one example. Somebody hates their momma for something momma did 20 years ago and they just hate her. Well, whenever God is invited in, they’re a worshipper, they’re praising God, they love everything, God keeps saying, “Let me in that room.” … And the person goes, “You know, Uh Unh, I’m going to hate her.” And they say stupid things. “I’m going to hate her until I die.” Well guess what, then that means that when you pray in faith for things, there is a ceiling… called, “I hate my momma”, that God’s sovereign will cannot remove. You have to remove it. Now, if you got that, raise your hand and wiggle it at me. You got that? Do you understand what I’m trying to say?
Jesus said in Mark, Chapter 11, verse 25, “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you…” [amen] Ok, so the only limitation that will always block your faith is unforgiveness. Resentment, unforgiveness, those things are not allowed… Alright? Ok? We’ve got that? Then, are you qualified? [yes] Can you operate in faith? [yes] Alright. Whose will is it? [ours] That’s it. And then, when you give your will over to God, then all of His sovereign ability comes into operation…boom! You got it? [we got it] Ok. Now, so – we’re qualified. We know that it’s God’s ability. Alright?
Now how can we put us, you at the center of this thing? Let’s look at Mark 11, and let’s see you. Let’s see who this was written to. In Verse 23. “For assuredly, I say to…” [you] Ok, underline it. “…whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his…” underline “his”, He’s talking to you. “…his…heart, but believes that those things he….” underline “he”. He’s talking to you. “…says will be done, he….” underline “he”, He’s talking to you. “will have whatever…” underline “he” “says.” He’s talking to you! [amen] “Therefore I say to you…” He’s talking to you. “…whatever things you ask…” He’s still talking to you. “…when you pray…” He’s still talking to you. “…believe that you…” put you under there and underline it because He’s still talking to you. “…you receive them, and…” Underline the next one. “…you will have them.” Who’s He talking to? [us]
He’s talking to you. Don’t wait for Jesus to pray it! Jesus already prayed it. He’s waiting for you to ask. He’s waiting for you to pray. He’s waiting for you to believe. He’s waiting for you to receive. [amen] You’re in the driver’s seat. What are you going to do with it? He has delegated it all to you. Daddy left the keys to the car. He left the registration. He left the insurance policy. He’s left it all on the kitchen table. Stop walking around the kitchen table and saying, “Lord, do something. Help….” [amen] Pick up the keys, the registration, and the insurance thing, go get into the car and go drive it. [amen] Drive that bad boy. Put it to work…[and a full tank of gas] And a full tank of gas too. Whoa, your God gave you gas too! [Whew] …
So we have to believe in God’s ability and we have to realize that it’s you. We’re at the center of this faith thing. In Mark 11, there are two words that are key. And the one is, “you,” because we have to have a sense of our responsibility to operate in faith. Everybody got that? And then the second word is, “say.” “Say” occurs more times in this passage than believe does. [amen] I do a long teaching on that, but this is not the point. I’ve only got about 7 more minutes. So we have to realize that we have to do more saying than we actually have to do believing. Because the scripture says, “Faith cometh by…” [hearing] Hearing. So, the more that we hear the Word of God, the more that we come to church, the more that we come to Bible study, the more that we read, the more that we hear, our faith will grow. You faith grows in proportion to how much you hear. If you’re not hearing anything, then it means that you’re only hearing the doubt and unbelief between your ears.
Have you ever noticed how, whenever you’re hoping for something, there’s this other conversation that opposes it? [yes] You all don’t notice that? When I decide I’m going to do something, all of a sudden, this whole long list of why it can’t be done begins to emerge in my consciousness. All the reasons why it can’t be done, and how it’s not going to work, and all that. That’s the conversation you must learn to hit “delete.” [amen]… Not speak it. And that’s where we get bound up. So, let’s look at that.
Let’s go to the, the book of James, first chapter. It’s after the book of Hebrews. It’s in front of the book of Revelation and Peter and all that jazz. And then, you get to the book of James, chapter 1… are you there? [yes] Come on, somebody say, “My faith is getting stronger right now.” [My faith is getting stronger right now.] Alright, amen. Yeah, it sounded like it. Some will say, “Well I’ll say it because I have to, I’m not…” Then others of you didn’t even open your mouth. Which attests to the reality that that’s your problem. [amen] That’s alright. There’s something wrong on the inside of you and you need to yield yourself and start repenting. Alright?
In James Chapter 1,… Let’s go to verse 2. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials…” Notice, it doesn’t say temptations. Various trials. Well what’s a trial? You’re facing something that you may not want to do, but you know you have to do it. What’s a trial? You want to go out into the parking lot and there’s somebody you don’t want to see but you know you have to see them and take up time. What’s a trial? You lose your job and it’s not your fault, your company closed down and you have to go through a process. That’s a trial. You know, we face various trials. Temptations are different. Temptation is that you have a flaw in your inner man, or in your flesh, and your mind, and therefore, you are subject to be drawn to something that is not good for you…That’s a temptation. A temptation is you are drawn to something that tempts you, that something that calls you, something that has your name on it.
You know, one of the greatest temptations that I face in life that I’ve struggled hard to get away from is the temptation of distraction…Distraction….Distractions are temptations to get you off course. Come on, somebody. And one of the greatest distractions is between your ears, your thought life is a distraction. Do you ever notice how you can get focused on something, somebody in your family did wrong. And all day you are going, man, they did that wrong. Man I can’t, nah, nah, nah, nah nah, nah, nah nah, nah, nah. In the mean time, all the stuff you’re supposed to be getting done is laying there, not getting done because you’re focused on what they did wrong. You can get an obsessive/compulsive person who somebody left a dirty dish in the sink, and that will ruin their day. And they really think the solution is, watch this, that the other person should be considerate that they are obsessive/compulsive and wash that dish. Well, that’s not the solution. The solution is that the obsessive/compulsive person is distracted by something in their mind and they need to deal with that. Because the dirty dish is not important to the cycle of life…. Well, moving right along. Got some unhappy people here. [laughter]
But a clean house does not make a happy person. A clean head makes a happy person. [amen] But if you have a clean head, it’s easy to clean the house. [amen] But we just have to figure out which comes first. [amen] unhuh Which comes first? Amen. The clean head. Once we get our mind ordered, then our environment can be ordered. But I always say it this way, if you want to know if you are in trouble, walk in your house… It’ll tell you right away. See, if your house is in total disorder, you probably are too… I’d better move on. [laughter] moving, moving right along.
Alright, now, in James Chapter 1, he says, you fall into various trials, “…knowing that the testing of your faith produces…” what? [patience] “…patience.” Everybody here that your faith has worked every time raise your hand. Alright. Woah, woah. Ok, only one person is confused about the question. So, let me ask you another way, how many of you realize the fact that sometimes your faith is not operating? Yeah, good, now we’re on the same track. Well what, what, you say, well what is that? That is the ability to develop patience… Cause sometimes your faith worked and you didn’t wait for it…. Sometimes your faith worked and you didn’t wait for it. Especially where children are concerned. Parents will say, I’ve prayed for this child. I’ve prayed for this child. I’ve prayed for this child. Well, wait a minute… It takes a lifetime to grow the child. Some baby’s a couple of weeks old. I can see him standing over the crib, “and you will do what I say.” [laughter] But that’s when you begin. Training and training that child. You know, building and building them up. So it says here, patience. Sometimes because your faith failed, is the only way that God, I’m not saying God let your faith fail, cause if you faith works it has to work. But when it does, you have to learn patience… Patience is what operates here.
If God answered all of your prayers when you prayed them, things would get all messed up in the real world…All you wives that are dissatisfied with your husband, if you – without patience – you would pray for your husband to be fixed, and the next morning you wake up and he’s the perfect husband, and he’s married to you… [oooh oh, laughter] You get the point, right? So you need some patience, cause slowly as he develops, you’re developing and you’ll catch up and he’ll catch up.
But 4, “But let patience have it’s perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” … That’s God’s plan for you. And, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Verse 6, let’s read together. “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is…” what [double-minded] “a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” …
You want faith that operates? Then you can’t be double-minded… You can’t say, I prayed in faith on Monday, and then by Tuesday afternoon you don’t believe it anymore. You still have to be holding to what it is that you prayed. You can’t be a shape shifter. Know what a shape shifter is? Sunday morning at church I’m a faith person…Sunday night, ah, I hope it happens. You can’t be shifting your shape, it’s got to be consistent. You have to say, “I am believing, I am delivered from this.” … And you’ve got to go, “I’m delivered from this. I’m delivered.” Not, “Ah, I messed up. It ain’t going to work.” No, you can not, you can not be tossed about. God isn’t wishy washy. If you ask for it in faith, believing, God is firm on it…
Part Two was continued last Sunday – I have the transcript and CD of the show to share with you tomorrow.
Have a blessed day,
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