February 11, 2024

Faith

Faith

TRINITY HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH

 

SUNDAY SERMON

11th of February, 2024

Topic:                         Faith

Preacher:                   Reverend Ebenezer Olawuyi

Text:                           1 Samuel 17:40 – 50

 

MESSAGE

I welcome you into God’s presence. In the presence of the Lord, there is fullness of joy; in His right hand are pleasures forever more. Before I go on this morning, I want to give a recap of some of the things we shared during the week. It is so important that if the word of God concerning us this year must be fulfilled, we must pay attention to building our faith. If the Word of God concerning you must be fulfilled this year, you must pay attention to building your faith. Say, ‘If the Word of God must be fulfilled in me this year, I must pay attention to building my faith.’ This is just as Mark 11:22 and 23 say: So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.’ Also, our main text for the year, John 11:40, reads: Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe, you would see the glory of God?’ It is the desire of God to reveal His glory to us. It is His Will, and when the Bible talks about God’s glory, it talks about His Majesty, His Power, His Character, His Splendour, etc.

Everything about God is His Glory. Moses prayed and said, ‘Show me your glory,’ and how God answered him is to tell him, ‘I will cause my goodness to pass before you and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you’ (Ex. 33:19). That is, God’s glory will come to him as God’s goodness. God won’t speak a Word and not bring it to pass (Rom. 3:4), yet He said something in John 11:40 that can prevent us from experiencing the Glory of God and that is, lack of faith. You must believe. Jesus said to her, ‘If you would believe….’ In other words, if you dare to believe and take me at my Word; if you dare to trust me, then you will see my goodness, power and wisdom in your life and situation.

The story in our Bible text is about David. Goliath looked at him as a young guy… it doesn’t matter your physical size, what is important to God is the size of your faith. Your financial status, academic qualification, etc. has no relevance to God, what is relevant to Him is the size of your faith. Jesus looked at the Centurion, in Matthew 8, and said, ‘I have never seen this kind of faith in Israel. I have seen great men in Israel but haven’t seen such a man as this.’ Then, he said, ‘Great is your faith!’ Your connection is not important. Your family background is not important. What is important is the size of your faith, because God himself does not do anything outside faith. Abraham believed God when there was every theoretical reason to not believe Him. For 75 years, he kept believing, because God told him, ‘I have made you the father of many nations.’ Even though this man had every reason to not believe, the Bible says, he believed in God and was counted to Him for righteousness.

Goliath looked down on David as a small boy but David was a man of faith. Even when Saul told him he can’t go further because Goliath has been a man of war from his childhood, he insisted. Saul gave him an armour which he rejected, and told him to allow him use what he is accustomed with. He removed the armour and went with a sling and stones. David said, ‘You will know today that God does not save by javelin or spear.’ This is just as in the days of King Asa; when millions of army came against him, he prayed one prayer; ‘Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power….’ David said to Goliath, you have come to me with sword but I come to you in the name of the God of the army of Israel which you have defiled. The most interesting part of this story which we must not leave out is – ‘So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David.’ This is the message here – you can kill without a sword in your hand but you can’t kill without a sword in your mouth. He didn’t have a sword in his hand but he had one in his mouth. He said to the Philistine, ‘Today.’ Faith is ‘now.’ The Bible says, ‘Faith is now the substance of things hoped for….’ Faith is not a past tense or future tense. When it is future tense, it is hope, and there is a difference between the two. David said, ‘Today, the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day, I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Friends, that is the sword in his mouth.

When you see somebody who has been used to a particular habit and is about 70 years old, to change him from that habit is very difficult. Though born again, they still keep the habit. The reason it’s hard for some of us to have faith is because we have stayed too long in the flesh. Jesus tried to change the mentality of His disciples. He ensured to make them see what He wants them to, yet Thomas still does not believe Him after resurrection until he touched him (John 20:25). In living by the dictates of the flesh, what you do is that you can’t believe anything unless you see. It is easier to believe when you see. It is easier to believe when the doctor tells you the result is positive and you are pregnant. It’s easier to believe it, yet very difficult to believe when you have a negative report. This is a common thing with man. Man lives by what he sees, by what he hears, and by what is said. Thomas said, ‘I don’t believe it. Unless I see, I won’t believe.’ He was just being human. With this kind of faithless life, you can’t see the glory of God. Jesus tells Martha that she has got to believe if she wants to see the glory of God. He is telling you today that, ‘If you believe me, you will see my favour, promotion, etc. I can give you what you don’t qualify for. I can give you acceleration that you cannot cover with your own strength.’

Thomas said, ‘I won’t believe till I see.’ However, in John 20:29, Jesus says to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ That is, the people who are blessed are those who do not see and yet believe. Those are the people who are healed, lifted – those who don’t see yet believe. There are also some group of people who won’t say, ‘I don’t believe.’ They believe yet have ‘buts’, that is, they believe it but don’t believe it can work for them. These kind of people only have the Word in their head and not in their hearts. We are enjoined to have the Word of God in our hearts, according to Mark 11:23, ‘…whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart….’ Here, Jesus does not say, ‘…does not doubt in his head.’ It is possible for you to doubt in your head and your faith is not affected, because humanly speaking, it is possible for you to doubt. He doesn’t say you should not doubt in your head, however, you must never doubt in your heart. Doubting in your heart nullifies your faith.

Let me establish this: Romans 10:10 says, ‘For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’ Belief takes place in the heart. That’s why we say for you to understand what faith is, you have to know what it’s not. Faith is not about imitation. You don’t imitate it. You can be challenged by somebody’s life but it won’t work for you if your own faith is not springing out from your heart. Jesus asked His disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?” Jesus then faced Peter and said, ‘Who do you say I am?’ Peter replied, ‘You are the son of the Living God.’ Then, Jesus replies, ‘Flesh and blood have not revealed this to you.’ That is why whenever you hear the Word, you need to go back, sit down, meditate on it until the Word leaves your head and moves to your heart. It is then in your heart and not because somebody says it. In the world, everybody has faith but that kind of faith is that which you see to believe. Unfortunately, the scripture says, such faith is not blessed. You can’t see the sustained hand of God in that situation. You need to move it to your heart.

One other important aspect in the life of David is that a lot of people in the body of Christ, find it difficult to use their mouth. They like to use their mouth for negative things. Speak what the Word of God says concerning you. A Bible faith believer does not deny negatives but he doesn’t make it so big that he thinks about it every time. The Bible says about Abraham in Hebrews that he did not consider the impotence of his body; he didn’t consider that Sarah’s womb has gone from menopause to ‘menostop’. It’s not that those things don’t exist but the Bible faith does not pay attention to them. Faith doesn’t say you should not see the doctor and do medical test, rather, it says you should put your belief in God. People would rather believe science than believe God. They don’t see atoms but believe that they move in the air. They believe so much in science to the extent that they don’t believe God exists and can change situations.

One thing about Bible faith is that you don’t deny symptoms, however, you don’t pay attention to them also. At a stage, the doctor said to me that my ulcer has gotten so bad that they have to cut off a part of my intestine. I visited the doctor, I got the report but you know what? I didn’t pay attention to it. I didn’t keep thinking and dreaming about it, what I did instead was to take the Word of God on a daily basis, believe it, meditate it and say what the Word says concerning me. Proverbs 4:20 – 22 say, ‘My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my savings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.’ Instead of attending to other things, pay attention to the Word. Think about what the Word of God says. Faith is not magic; if today is 11th February and the Word of God declared on the first, you have not remembered and use that Word to pray at least 10 times, you are trying to play magic.

Many years ago, when I was still much younger – by the grace of God, I’m an old man now – I had problems with my eyes. I remember that it was difficult to read. I remember going to see the doctor, they ran tests on me and it was obvious. The woman then said to me, ‘You’ve got to get glasses.’ (I am not trying to reduce your own faith and don’t copy me until the Word has settled in your own heart.) The woman laughed at me when I told her I won’t use it. She said a lot of people say so also and that I will eventually come back. You know what I did? I took time searching the Scripture for words concerning the eyes. One of them that moved me so much was Deuteronomy 34:7 – ‘Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigour diminished.’ I ate that Word until it became part of me; I dwelled on that Word. There is life in God’s Word and it will work for you.

The scripture says in Romans 10:10, ‘For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’ No matter what is in your heart, if you don’t use your mouth, it won’t work. That’s the problem with believers, you can use your mouth to speak negatives but won’t use it to recite the scriptures. David says, ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and strength.’ Psalms 107:2 says, ‘Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.’ You must say what the Lord has redeemed you from – death, sicknesses, etc. Always declare what God has redeemed you from. When faith is in your heart and you bring it to your mouth, you become a giants’ slayer. And it doesn’t matter the giant, whether cancer, stagnancy, barrenness, etc., the giant must come down.

The word ‘salvation’ is the Greek Word soteria, which is all-encompassing – it talks about preservation, safety, provision, healing, etc. You must learn to use this mouth. A closed mouth is a closed destiny. Say it to that Goliath of your life and destiny. You can’t tell me you believe without speaking. You can’t tell me you believe and you speak timidly, you must speak boldly! You must speak out and you must speak boldly. 2 Corinthians 4:13 – ‘And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believe and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak.’ What I believe, I speak. If I believe, I therefore speak. I can’t believe and keep quiet. A lot of time, when we come together to pray is when you say, ‘God, don’t let me die’. No! Make the declaration part of your life. Recite the Word of God, even as you walk, drive, etc. Faith is not timid, it does not shut its mouth. It speaks and it speaks boldly.

Mark 11:23 says, ‘For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.’ If you say, do not doubt in your heart. So, whether big or small, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have to speak out. When you say a word, it shall come to pass. Like that centurion who only told Jesus to speak and the healing shall be. Speak your provision, victory, healing and deliverance. As you speak, you receive the Glory of God this year. Amen. In your marriage, finances, health, etc., you will see the glory of God. This year, God will demonstrate His goodness in your heart. Amen.

Prayer

Say, ‘Father, thank you. I believe in you. I believe in miracles.’

Tell the Lord to increase your faith. Ask that God will help you to trust Him.

Say: ‘Father, I have asked of you that you will increase my faith. Lord, increase my faith and help me to pay attention to my faith. Thank you, Father. In Jesus Name I prayed.’ Amen.

Call to Salvation

The Bible talks about the Spirit of Faith. That is, there is a Spirit of Faith and God does not put His Spirit in a heart that hasn’t surrendered to him. You want to surrender to Jesus so that the Spirit of faith can be in you? Say this prayer: Lord, I give you my heart, I give you my life. I surrender to you. Take this heart and use it for your glory. Amen.