Faith to Change by Pastor Don Moore
I edit the transcript to make it easier to read (such as making it into paragraph form), but kept the words as spoken. What is in [brackets] is what the congregation said.
Lets go to the book of John Chapter 14…we’re going somewhere today…The book of John, Chapter 14. If you don’t have a Bible, you want to look under your seat, you’ll find one.
This will be…Say, “This is going to be painless, Pastor Don.” [This is going to be painless, Pastor Don.] Alright, here we go. Come on, no, I’m just serious. [laughter] I want to touch on a few highlights here… Last night my wife and I had an interesting night. While we were sleeping, at 4:00 in the morning, someone rang our home. And, in the ministry business that does happen. And you have to be prepared for that. So I answered the phone. When I answered the phone there was no one on the other end of the line. But I could hear the conversation going on in the room. So, somehow this person’s phone rang and I could hear them, but they obviously were not on the phone. I could hear what they were saying and it was one of those situations where, as I listened, I realized this is one of our members and I could hear her voice and identify one of the people, but not the other. And the person’s voice that I identified was one of our sisters who is an EMT. You know, emergency people that show up.
It’s 4:00 in the morning, and so she’s dealing with something and I thought to myself immediately, you know, do they know that they just called our house? And I realized that obviously they didn’t because I could hear the conversation as they were getting this person from a chair, discussing whether to put them in a wheelchair or not, and whatever, whatever.
Now, my first reaction was, “Ach!! What are you doing calling my house!!!!” [laughter] But my second reaction was this, that there must be some reason for this to have happened. It could be random chance, that this member doesn’t know us well enough to have our home number. We’re listed in the book, so that’s no great miracle there. But I asked my wife, I said, “They’re not listening, they’re not talking on the phone nor are they listening to this conversation. And I hear that they’re doing this, she’s trying to be nice to this person and it may be a medical emergency that we need to attend to spiritually, even though in the natural she’s not going to…it doesn’t sound like she’s going to pick up the phone and talk to me.” So, after a few moments, after awhile, the phone, I could tell, they weren’t hearing me, there was nothing going on, and it was after they finally moved this woman to wherever they moved her to and her voice sounded like an elderly person. The line then disconnected.
So I took my wife’s hand and I said, “Baby, maybe the Spirit is leading us to pray, so let’s pray in faith believing that this situation at 4:00 in the morning, it is being worked out for the best. And that this circumstance and situation is working out for the best.”
There are things that will happen in your life that are not explainable in the natural. Things that you do not understand. Sometimes they are random chance. Sometimes they are just chance. But I assure you, there are a lot of things that happen that the Spirit of God is trying to lead you into. He’s doing His job. The question is, what is the Spirit of God’s job? The answer is clear to us in chapter 14, 15, 16 and 17, and we’re just going to touch some of the highlights there. Are you ready?
In verse 16, Jesus is the one that is speaking. And He says, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another…” What? [Helper] “…another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of...” what? [truth] “…the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him,”…”but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
Sometimes, look up here, in an evangelistic effort, we want people to know God. But we have to know the rules of engagement. The rules of engagement are very simple. God says, He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. And those that, therefore, know that He is, He is therefore responsible to respond only to those that know that He is, and expect Him to do something. So God is going to reward those who are after Him. Come on now. [amen]
Don’t take somebody who is a nonbeliever, who doesn’t believe in God and say to them, I’m going to show you God. It’s beyond your ability to do that. And God hasn’t promised that He’s going to go around and show Himself to people that don’t want Him, or don’t know Him. So there are spiritual things that will be hidden from people, and you can’t do anything but pray and ask, “Lord, lead me. Lead me to the people who are prepared to know you or to hear your voice.” Alright? Everyone is not a Child of God…Everyone is not a Child of God. Jesus said it very clearly, but some of you are children of your father, the devil… And the devil is doing his work which is to what? Kill, steal and destroy. And so, we must recognize that God, by His Spirit, will lead us to those who are prepared for truth, and everyone’s not ready for truth.
I can remember being a rebellious young adult. I was an obedient teenager, but I was a rebellious young adult. I wasn’t looking for God and didn’t want God at that time. I wanted to prove that my parents were complete idiots with this God and church stuff. So, at that time period, I could not hear from God. It wasn’t until I had a heart change that I began seeking Him, (clap) praise God! And then, when I began to seek Him, He began to reveal Himself to me.
So it says that the Holy Spirit is a helper. He will help you. But that means He will help you if you’re like the lady who’s crossing the street, and the Boy Scout comes over and says, “Let me help you cross the street.” And the lady starts beating him with the umbrella, you have to realize that she didn’t want to cross that street, she really wanted to cross this street, and didn’t feel she needed any help. ckoo ckoo ckoo I never got beat with an umbrella. I don’t know, my wife never tried that, so I have no experience with that. But God is not going to expose Himself to your umbrella…I think I did that too fast. Did I do that too fast? I think it went over some people’s heads…So, if we’re going to beat up God, God’s not going to be there for it. He’s looking for those that are looking for truth, and He will assist those. Everybody got that? [yeah] He is a helper.
Now, what else does He do? Go to verse 25. “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will…” what? [teach] “teach you…” a few things… [all things] one or two things [all things] “He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” You see, there’s some things that we’ve heard when we were little kids that God spoke, but we don’t remember them. So, He’s going to bring those back to remembrance. Everybody got that? Then at verse 27, it tells us what Jesus will do. It says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Going into these last days, child of God, you don’t have to be afraid. [amen, thank you Lord] I said, you don’t have to be afraid. [amen] As the world comes apart, you don’t have to be afraid. As the financial markets crash you don’t have to be afraid. Our life is not placed in the heart of the world, our life is placed in the heart of God. [hallelujah] Can I move on a little bit? [yes]
Now, I want you to see in Chapter 15, just a few things. Verse 2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He…” what? [prunes] “…He prunes…” expect to get clipped. [amen] It’s a part of the process. Verse 4 “Abide in…” who? [Me] “…and I in…” who? [you] And verse 7 “If you abide in Me, and My words….and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
Sometimes people ask Pastor Don a hard question. I’ll give you the hard question. I prayed on Wednesday, how come I prayed on Wednesday and by next Wednesday nothing had happened? That’s one of the hard questions. Then there’s the other hard question. How come I prayed on Wednesday and things got worse? [amen] I’m not afraid of the hard questions obviously, right? How about this one. I prayed on Wednesday, things got worse, right? And, now I’m praying against my prayer, because I’m afraid it might happen. [whoa] Well, yeah. Those are the real deal. How about this one? I prayed for so and so to live and he died. I prayed for grandma to live and she died. What happened?…
When we get to the things of God, we have to realize something. Jesus is saying, He will do it for you if you abide in Him. But He didn’t say He was going to do, watch this now, what in your wisdom was the best thing to do… [chuckling] If we abide in the Lord, it means that we have to be prepared, that because we abide in Him, He’s going to do what’s best for us. And what’s best for us, may not be what we desire. [amen] His best may not be what you thought it should be, when you thought it should be it.
I really thought that because I could sing and entertain that I should have a hit record. I really did. And so I worked at that. I worked at trying to get a hit record. You know, now I realized something. I realized that when I did get a hit record, it wasn’t until I was abiding in Him. [amen] When I released my first Gospel album, it went to 138 stations and played coast to coast, nation to nation. I’m coming up the New York State Thruway from the City, and I’m turning on the radio, and I’m hearing, “I’m going in.” And I thought I had a cassette in there or something. And, I’m pushing the buttons, and no cassette’s coming out. No CD’s coming out. And I turned the dial and I realize, I’m on the radio! [laughter, amen] I’m on the radio! [whooht]
And then I thought, wait a minute, Lord, why didn’t you put me on the radio when I was smoking dope and snorting cocaine and drinking and acting crazy? Why didn’t you do it then? I prayed for it then. Why didn’t I get it then? Cause it would have destroyed me… Oh, is anybody here today? You’re hearing my heart. There’s some things we pray for, that if God answered them when we prayed for them, they would destroy us.
There’s some husband or sister that you prayed for, that if you got him, Lord have mercy…[laughter] Lord have mercy. You think its a burden handling your budget? Do you really? Do you really want Ted Turner’s budget? Do you really want to go from paying $130 you know, Central Hudson bill to keep your lights on to finding, what was that rich guy, He’s on all the TV shows, no, I can’t think of his name, You know He takes from here and puts it over there. [laughter] Donald Trump. Donald Trump. Donald Trump [laughter] I remember Donald Trump, he was looking for something like 16 million dollars, and I thought to myself, I’ve never had to look for 16 million dollars. [laughter] I’m looking for $16. [laughter] 16 million! I’m trying to get out of Burger King without using, you know, without using my credit card. You know what I mean?
There’s some stuff that we just can’t handle. And God knows the season and the time for it. [amen] You all want to succeed. I’m going to give you a few key things just to write down. Cause God wants you to have it. He’s just saying there’s some things that, if you got your way, it would be not the best way. There’s some things that have to die in order for us to live. [amen] And people need some things. And I want to just give you about four or five of the things that people need, in the order that we need them to happen in… Are you ready for this? [I am] Did I warm you up enough to receive this? [yes]
Can anybody tell me, what does, anybody tell me what does, what Hebrews 11:1 says? Now… [Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.] That’s the kind of church I want to pastor. I want to pastor a church where people know what the Word of God says. That when someone comes misquoting it, or changing it, or altering it, or telling them that God said such and such, when He did not. When someone is giving you an interpretation of something that God did not say, or changing it to suit their personal needs, we have to be the ones that stand up and say, “No, that’s not what it says.” When someone tells you that faith is one thing, you need to be able to say, it says, “Now faith is the evidence of things not seen” and what? “…the substance…” It is substance. Faith is evidence and substance. But, where does faith begin?… What is the beginning of the verse? What’s the beginning of the verse? “Now, faith…” [Now!] “…is…” of what? Who said hope? Who said hope? Who said hope? Here’s a dollar. No, I don’t have a dollar. I owe you! [laughter] Hope, say “Hope.” [Hope] Hope, hope. Hope, what kind of hope is Bible hope? Bible hope is a hope of expectancy. [yeah] Bible hope is hope for what? That things, for something good, not for something bad.
Hope is the beginning of faith. You have to desire something that is outside of yourself, that is beyond your reach. That’s hope. I don’t need to hope for 20 bucks. I’ve got 20 bucks. I don’t have a dollar so that’s why you ain’t getting none, yet. [laughter] I don’t need to hope for $20, I have that. Biblical hope is, I’m hoping for something that is beyond my reach. I’m hoping for something that is outside of me. Biblical hope is, I have a desire for something that is good, that is just around the corner. And if I can get around the corner, I have hope that, expectancy that, expecting for something good. I’m looking for something wonderful here. I want Biblical hope. [whoot whoo] We need hope! We need to have hope.
When the President doesn’t have the answer and it says that he does, he’s a politician, he has to say that he does. Who’s going to follow a guy that gets up and says, I don’t know where I’m going? [laughter] You guys, you don’t follow me because you know I don’t know where I’m going. But what? You know who I’m following. [yeah] I’m not quite sure who he’s following. Well, praise God. Can we move right along? [laughter] Just remember, I’m not political. I am not political. My president is Jesus Christ. [amen] I’m not of this world. My kingdom is the Kingdom of God. [amen] I love America. I wave the flag. I cry at the flag. But, we’re not what we used to be. We must know, they’re pointing us in a different direction. Come to the Bible prophecy conference.
Now, what do we need hope for? We need hope because hope is the only thing that can lead us to belief… If we don’t have Biblical hope, we can’t get to Biblical belief. What does Biblical belief look like? Some people tell you that belief is faith. Well, belief cannot be faith. They’re two different things. Belief is mental assent, mental agreement. I come to believe something.
For example, I believe that there are blue chairs that you are sitting on. How did I arrive at that? I made some mental decisions about the blue chair. I see it, and it’s there. And I mentally agree, and I go, “I believe that there’s some blue chairs here.” That’s mental assent. Sometimes belief is based on what we know. Sometimes we have bits of knowledge and we know certain things.
But Biblical belief is based upon hope. We have a hope and an expectancy for something that is not there, therefore we come to believe it, slowly but surely over a period of time, we begin to believe it… We begin to believe it.
When does marriage begin to really work? Marriage doesn’t really work till the wife, who got married because she was hoping … [right] gets to a place where she now is believing… and then when she gets to a place of believing, she stops saying the negative things that she was saying about this knucklehead. He’s still a knucklehead, but she’s saying something different now. [yes, amen] Awww, come on. Why, because why? She has Biblical hope, she gets to the place where she’s believing, so now she begins saying something different. Instead of saying, “You never nothing right!” She begins to say, “I hope you’re going to do right.” [laughter] But that’s a better place to be than I know you’re not going to do right, cause that’s a place of doubt and unbelief and negativity. She now begins to look at this knucklehead and she says, through the eyes of hope and belief, everything’s going to turn out alright, honey. Does she have faith for it yet? No, because she’s still what? She’s believing, expecting, she’s in the process of it, and so she’s going, she’s looking at him now, and she’s beginning to see his Godly potential. [amen] Because why? She’s believing something. She’s beginning to have mental agreement with what she hoped for… Everybody got this? [yes] I do this in depth in the seven steps of faith. You need to get the tape. If you don’t have the money, I’ve got 20 bucks, I’ll buy it for you.
Now, when we get to believing, we need to believe. But then there’s this big step. We need to move from I’m believing something to I have faith for it. So, somebody gets on the phone and says, “Listen, I saw your wife with another man.” … Well, if you have Biblical hope, and you’re believing for something, if you’ve arrived at faith, you’ll go, “I know that’s no problem. She’ll tell me what that’s about later.” [amen] But I have, what? Faith. “I know he’s not messing around. And I’m not going to listen to you plant that seed in my head.” [hallelujah] Because why? She’s in faith, believing. You know what I mean? Anybody know that?
Yeah, I love my boat. My boat died. It was a gift from God. It was a blessing. I got three years use out of it, me and my wife riding around, having a great time on our boat. But the boat died. Somebody said, “Well, didn’t you pray for that boat?” I said, “Yeah, I prayed for it.” But the boat was mechanical, mechanical things don’t last forever. Hello. [yeah] Spiritual things last forever. [amen] And you know, I prayed for a wife, got a wife. She’s going to last forever. [hallelujah] You’re my wife forever, baby. [laughter] See, so, so now I’m in a situation where I have to make a decision. I am hoping for another boat…Am I then going to take the step to believe for another boat? I don’t know yet. I’m mulling that over…
But, I’ll tell you something, if I get to where I’m believing for it, I’m going to step over into faith for it. Now, once I step over into faith for it, even though I don’t have it, I know I have it. And you’ll look and say, “Pastor Don, do you have your boat yet?” And I’m going to be, “Yeah, I’ve got my boat.” [chuckling] “Well where is it?” “I have it.” “Where do you have it?” “I have it now. I have it now by faith. I know it, I have it.” [yeah] You all see my wife? I have a wife. I know it by, I don’t need faith to know that, cause it’s already past that point. Do you follow me? So you need, what do you need? I’m talking about what you need. Now…everybody got that? [yes]
Faith is, I know I have it. I know…I know I have it. I know it. Boy that hurt. (coughing) [laughter] I know I’m not going to do that again. [laughter, hallelujah] Amen. Now, when we get to faith, there’s something else that we need then. Since faith says, I know it, what has to come after faith. And I know most people do not teach you what has to come after faith.
But this is what has to come after faith, because in reality, do we see it yet in the natural? No, we don’t see it in the natural. Do I see my boat yet in the natural? No. If I have faith, if I go through the process of believing and having faith, it becomes a picture. I begin to see it. I begin to visualize it. I begin to take pictures of it and look at it. I begin to use my printer to factor it, to print out photographs of what I have faith for. I begin to see it… Everybody got it?
When I first became pastor of this church, I used to just walk in the sanctuary and I used to just see it. I used to speak it into existence. I used to see this room completed and finished. I used to see this room with people in it. I used to see this place with people getting healed from diseases and falling out in the Spirit. I used to see miracles happening. I used to see myself. And when it was just plywood, I would come up here and I would just walk around, seeing myself sport words of wisdom that were not mine, because I’m just a man. But I knew that the Word of God could come and be alive in me. I began to speak it by faith. I would see it.
But, if I only got to faith, it still would not become fact. Now, why not? Because faith has to lead us to courage…[yeah]. Without courage, we cannot acquire that which our faith has spoken. [Oh, yes!] Can’t acquire it.
So, David says, “I have the faith to kill Goliath.” Well, he can have the faith to kill Goliath, but that faith needs to be manifested as courage. He’d better go get a rock. [amen] Faith is an action word. And courage is the reflection that faith is in evidence. When we have faith, we will have the courage to what? Acquire what we know. It’s no longer in wishing and hoping, it’s no longer in believe it, it is a fact! I know it’s mine!
Therefore, what? We begin making movement toward getting it. We begin making movement to make it happen. Lord have mercy. If you get this, it’ll change your life. Don’t tell me you have faith and you’re still sitting there. You’re a lying dog. That’s not faith. Don’t tell me you have a job by faith, and you haven’t applied. What are you talking about? You filled out one application and you tell me you have faith? That one job may be your worst nightmare. God may be waiting for 15, 15 applications and then He’ll give you that job. Cause what’s He looking for? He wants some courage. He wants some courage that is beyond what your fear can stop. Your fear, your fear comes through your flesh. He wants you to exhibit the faith that says, “In the name of Jesus, nothing can stop this dream! Nothing can withstand. Nothing can hold it back.” [amen] What are you talking about?
Well, I’ve had diabetes for 20 years. No, so what? So what! If you get over into the faith realm, your faith will give you the courage to eat right, live right and do what? Acquire that which God says is yours. [yeah] Look in the mirror. You’ll be like me. Get up in the morning and say, “I walk in divine health.” Well, when I apply faith to that, then I live in divine health. [amen] I think two people got that. Anybody else get that? [amen] If I’m declaring it by faith, then guess what? It has to be reflected in my life.
That’s why I get so upset with people who say grace is, grace is unmerited favor… And that’s the limit of their definition. I wish they had a Strong’s Concordance, and could look it up, or at least buy my book and read it. Faith is much more, because faith is, faith manifested in grace. Grace is God saying to us, “My grace is sufficient for you.” … It is sufficient which means, if you put feet to your faith, and exhibit some Godly courage…Lord have mercy! Then the mountain moves. [amen] Then the mountain moves…
I love the NBA finals are coming, that’s basketball, who’s going to win? Not the team that is the best organized. Not the team that’s the fastest or can jump the highest. Or the team that has the most black guys on it. No, no, no, none of those are determinants of winning. Great winners, great winners are made by when they step on the court by faith, they know they’re going to win the game. And they’re willing to what? Exhibit the courage to make it happen…We need courage.
At some point, your spiritual talk has to turn into action. And that action has to be courageous action. If you’re here today and you lack courage, you need to read the book of Joshua, from the beginning to the end. It’s not enough to say, “and me and my house shall serve the Lord.” You need to read the beginning of the book where Joshua realizes that God has endued him with what? The courage to get it done. [yeah] Oh my goodness!
You see, life always says to you what’s impossible, but courage tells you what’s possible. It’s not possible just because you can dream it up. It’s possible because God’ll give you the courage to act your faith. You say you believe it. You say, I know it’s yours. Then the courage will come…
When was Goliath dead? Goliath was dead when David picked up the rocks. [yeah]… When he picked up the rocks. What Minister Joy’s talking about, was the fact that when he picked up the rocks, he was not going to kill just Goliath, he was going to kill his brothers too.
Anyway, let’s move on. Can we move on to the next one? Well, courage then, what do we need courage for? Are you ready? Are you ready? [yes] Your courage is necessary for change. Without courage nothing’s going to change. You got that?
For those of you that now just decided, this is good stuff, I need to write this down, we must need hope. We need hope in order to have belief. We need belief in order to have faith. We need faith in order to have courage. We need courage in order to change…
Why is church not effective for some people? Can I tell you? Because a good church will always put pressure on you to change. If you’re good, it’ll put pressure on you to be better. If you’re better, it’ll put pressure on you to be great. If you’re just ho hum, it’ll put pressure on you to get off your butt.
Peter and the disciples were doing good, but listen, they had to listen to Jesus say over and over again, “Oh, ye of little faith.” Oh, my God. How many times do you want to hear that? If I was hanging out with Jesus and every three weeks He goes, “Oh, you of little faith.” [laughter] You know, I’m going to get an attitude. What’s with you Jesus? That’s what Peter did. You know, Peter just had enough of Jesus talking about going to Jerusalem to die and raise again. You all remember that? What was he saying? He was saying, I like things the way that they are, let’s not change it. [laughter] Come on somebody. Anybody here? If you’re saying, “I like it the way that it is, there shouldn’t be any change.” But listen, if we’re going to live in God’s house, I told you in the beginning, He’s going to change everything. He’s gonna to….
Heather’s Blog Recent Posts
- John 14:1-14 – Many mansions, the Way, the Truth, and the Life taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Multiplying disciples/Discipleship identification – notes from discipleship class taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Multiplying Disciples – notes from Discipleship class taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Syria – letter from trapist nuns
- John 14:1-11 taught by Pastor Don Moore with comments from Rabbi Michael Zeitler
- Notes from homily taught by Father Raphael Iannone taught August 25, 2013 – Luke 13:22-30 – The last shall be first, the first last
- Homily – Luke 13:22-30 – The last shall be first, the first last taught by Father Raphael Iannone
- Notes from a Homily on Luke 12:49-53 by Father Raphael Iannone
- Facing Your Jerusalem – transcript Say Amen show 161 taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Mammon – homily by Father Raphael Iannone