Monday, January 19, 2015

"The Time For Faith Is Now"

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.  Hebrews 11:1-2
The first time God ever spoke to me personally through His word can be found in Ezekiel 3:17-27 I was a new believer and I was praying and asking God to show me what He wanted me to do with my life. I was just learning how to listen and to hear His voice. I heard Him say, "Ezekiel 3." I turned there and immediately my eyes were drawn to verse 17. It is where the Lord says, "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from my mouth, give them warning from Me."

Obviously it goes on, but to summarize He is explaining to Ezekiel his need to speak what He has given him to say. He explains it using four types of people with for different results. He explains it to him in a way that reveals to him it is his job to speak what God gives him, period, and then the results of what happens is up to the hearers and God. He is to speak and then they will have the choice to respond. God makes His command for Ezekiel to speak clear to Ezekiel because He also gives him a warning that if he has a warning for the unbeliever or a righteous man who has turned a way from God and he doesn't give it and they die in sin that God will hold him responsible.

Now as a new believer I was terrified by such a thought. I am not one for the spotlight. I am pretty quiet, especially in a crowd and I was not known for my boldness! In high school I would take a 0 rather than give an oral report. Suddenly in answer to my cry of, "Use me. Send me. I want to hear Your voice." it appears that He is calling me a watchman and is gong to require me to speak. With my heart in turmoil I decide I must have heard Him wrong! There is no way He wants me to have to speak out. I'm a nobody special, from no where special. I'm too young and too afraid. So, the next thing I do is to cry out and tell God I'm sorry I heard wrong, and can we try again. I listen. I hear Ezekiel 33. I sigh with relief. I did hear wrong. I turn to chapter 33:1 and I started reading:

     Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them:'When I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life.
     But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand.'
     So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.
     When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you shall surely die!' and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. ... Ezekiel 33:1-10

It was the same word as Ezekiel 3! I didn't hear wrong! He was calling me to be a watchman ...

I tell you all that to say this: It is 35 years later. I am still no one special from no where special but I have spent those 35years faithfully sharing and speaking His word! I no longer question or doubt when He speaks to me. I know the sound of His voice and today is a day when: IT IS TIME TO BLOW A TRUMPET!
As I read the verse above in Hebrews 11 today God spoke a word for you and I, His people. It says ...Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.  Hebrews 11:1-2

Chapter 11 then proceeds to give the list of all the good testimonies that by faith the elders received. The word He spoken to me to speak you today comes from this phrase 'For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.'  The IT in this phrase is faith. Seems obvious and therefore why am I pointing it out? Because too often today the faith in the lives of those who profess Him as Lord is missing! The church today proclaims that they believe but...? Do we truly have faith to believe all things are possible? Do we truly believe that mountains will move? The Lord directed me to Jeremiah 32:27 where He declares to you, "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh." and then He asks you, "Is there anything too hard for Me?"

Take a minute to contemplate His question to you! Is there anything too hard for God? Do you really think that there is anything in your life that He can't handle?  Do you by faith trust Him with everything?

The elders received a good testimony by their faith! They knew that He was God and that He would reward them by performing His word. They didn't waver in their faith because they knew that whatever He said He would bring to pass! In Hebrews 11:6 it says, 'But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.' Read Hebrews 11. Look at the testimonies. Do you see results that you would like in your life? Do you to want to be listed as ... those who received? Then by faith take a stand and believe! Is He the same God who said, 'Let there be light" and created and set the foundation of the world in place?  Is He? Do you believe that He is the same God who parted the Red sea? Is He the same God who sent manna? He the same God who sent His Son to redeem us? Is He the same God who sent His Spirit to empower the new testament believer? Do you believe He is the same God who not only performed and did mighty acts int the lives of the old and new testament believers but that He can and will do great and mighty things in and through you as well? Will you have faith and believe Him to be well able to deal with whatever you need in your life?

In His warning to the church of Laodicea He said,  "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot." and it is His warning to the church today. We are too lukewarm in our faith!  It is too easy to look to the things of world for answers. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." It is time to be a people that seeks from Him first! It is time to be a people of faith to not be afraid to say something as impossible as; 'Bid me to come, Lord, and I'll walk on the water with You!' It is time that a people of faith, dare to believe that He still heals the deaf ears and the blind eyes! He still raises the dead back to life and that He still moves and that the the power of His word still accomplishes all that it is meant to! When is the last time you believed for the impossible? Get ready! Pray! He says to you, "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know!"

It is time for His people who are called by His name to believe for the impossible! It is time for the people of God to not only speak His word but to be a people who by faith not only receive, like the elders of old, but also reflect in all their ways, a great testimony of faith!!! The time for faith? IT IS NOW!

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