TV Transcripts

“Growing in Faith” Conclusion
Broadcast #1627
December 10, 2023

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1627 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

Phil: Faith without works is dead, being alone. What good is it to say that I believe but it never is translated into action? God just doesn’t want us to come in here on Sunday morning and sing nice songs and, and declare our faith. He does want that, but this has to be translated into what we do this afternoon and tonight and tomorrow and the next day and in the battles that God places before us because he will place them.

He is going to bring us... If He’s gonna have a people that are able to stand in this hour, we’re gonna have to learn on the field of battle how to stand, aren’t we? We’re gonna have to have a faith that is ready to stand in this battle and that battle and the other one and stand on behalf of one another too.

You know, part of what we read in First Peter Five has to do with resisting or being alert for the devil and so forth. He wants to go around and eat people basically, whom resist, firm in the faith, steadfast in the faith, depending on the translation.

There has to come a place where we not only recognize what’s going on, but we are standing and we’re saying, No, devil, I don’t believe you. I believe God. I am trusting my life into His hands. His purpose is the one that is going to prevail in this circumstance. If the Lord allows you to kill me, praise God, I know where I’m going because Jesus has already taken hold of my life. He’s given me a life that you can’t kill.

All the forces of hell tried to keep Him in that grave and not one of them could prevail. He came forth and the devils ran, screaming. They stopped their three-day party and they went screaming into the night. My God, it’s all over. Our greatest... What looked to be our greatest final victory turns out to be our absolute defeat.

Thank God for what happened at the cross in the resurrection. The battle was won. Satan was paraded in defeat. But God wants everyone here to know that the same power that brought Jesus out from the dead is the power that He operates in our lives through. It’s the one that He offers to us so that we can share in what He has given to us.

I don’t have it in myself. God has lots of ways to show me that, to remind me of that. Does He not with you as well? Do we not come regularly to a place where we suddenly see what’s lacking in us? I’m so glad God is faithful. I’m so glad He wants to take me to a better place where faith is stronger.

What a wonderful thing it was for Jesus, the example, to go through his day looking to his Father, walking with Him, seeking His wisdom, always letting his Father know, I’m here to do Your will, not mine. I don’t know what to do, Lord, father. Show me what to do. And acting on that and believing that the God Who gave him that wisdom and that direction was gonna make it happen. And it didn’t matter what the devil threw at him, he was gonna go and just do it and be at rest in peace.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have that kind of a rest and a confidence in our heart? I need that. And as I say, God is gonna give us circumstances that will absolutely bring that to pass in our hearts. There’s so many things that could be said and I’m just, again, I’m just looking to the Lord as to where the focus needs to be.

But obviously, faith is... First of all, it has to be there. If somebody, if you have opened your heart and Christ has come in, you’ve got faith. The problem is that we don’t live by that faith to the degree that we need to. And God, like I say, is going to bring us into circumstances where we’re gonna have a choice.

You know, we had a message, oh, I forget how many, just a few years ago now, called Facts Versus Faith. You remember that? And how many times God will bring you to a situation and it has brought his people to situations where the facts are clear. If you go by every earthly indication, there is no possible answer for that situation. But then God says something different. Now, which are we going to go by? The facts or the faith?

Abraham was brought to that place, wasn’t he? He was brought to a place where there was no possible answer, no possible way on a human level that God’s promise could be fulfilled. His wife was 90 years old, long past the age of childbearing. Abraham himself was what? 99, something like that? And there they were. And yet God said, I’m gonna come in a year. You’re gonna have a son. That’s the one that I’m looking for. What did he do? Which did he go by? Every, every earthly consideration, the facts of the matter dictated this cannot happen. But God said. Do you not know? Do we not know that God can do anything? God’s not limited. I’ll tell you, whatever He declares outta his mouth, it’s gonna happen.

You know, I had this picture of the Lord at the beginning saying, Let there be light. Whoops, that didn’t work. Let me see if I... (laughing) Maybe I didn’t hold my mouth right. Let there be light. No. Do you think that’s how it is with God? He is all powerful. When He says something, it happens. I wanna be one of those that says, Lord, thank you for your word. Thank you for your promises.

If we’re sensitive to him... I’m not talking about trying to use God to make my earthly life better. I’m talking about that place of humility where I’m in His hands and I want His plan, I want His will. I’m committed to that. When I ask for wisdom, I’m committed to that wisdom before I know what it is. I mean, how can we say we have faith in Him if we’re waiting on Him to, as we say, lay His cards on the table, and then we decide. We’re just saying, I’m my own God. Let’s negotiate.

There ain’t no negotiating. I’ll tell you, if we really trust in Him and put our faith in Him, everything is laid on the line and we say, God, just tell me what to do. And by faith, I’m gonna step out. I’m not gonna just sit here and say I believe. I’m not gonna stew in my mind with all the fear and all the anxiety and all the trying, the earthly figuring. I’m just gonna say, God, You do what You’re gonna do. You are on the throne and I am trusting in You.

I thought of this in one sense, so many scriptures and examples that God has given us in the word that bear on this. Obviously one of them is David and Goliath. We’ve heard the account so many times. But here was David brought to a place where God was going to bring him out and make him, you know, begin to move him toward the throne and make him a public figure. Everybody would know.

And there he was coming to the battle and there was this nine-foot-nine-inch champion challenging the Israelites to man-to-man combat and that’s gonna determine the course of the war. Now that’s a pretty tall order for someone just to march in there unprepared. And so that’s how the army was. They were just scared to death every time he came out.

David got there and said, What’s the problem? This isn’t an earthly battle. David, in the first place, he saw beyond just the earthly, didn’t he? He realized these were the heathen gods inspiring these people, but we serve the living God. We serve the One Who’s on the throne. This is not an earthly battle here. This is His battle.

Now, how in the world could David say such a thing? It was faith, obviously, but do you not see how God prepared him for that hour? God just didn’t suddenly throw him in the deep end of the pool and say, Now let’s do something heroic here. God knows where we’re at. God knows where you’re at. He’s not upset with us. He knows that we’re in that place.

Jesus commented on their faith and the need for more faith through his disciples. But it wasn’t in a tone of disgust. Do you think it was? God, what’s the matter with you? I don’t think it was that way at all. Rather, it was just pointing out the need and reminding them, God has put us in a situation in this storm in that one instance where we’re gonna have to trust what God said rather than what we are seeing and experiencing in the natural realm.

But you remember how the Lord brought David to that place and got him ready? Yeah. I remember one time, you know, lions and tigers and bear... There’s no tiger in this one, this story. But David’s job was keeping the sheep and there was a faithfulness in it, but David just didn’t sit out there and twiddle his thumbs and keep the sheep. There was a relationship going on. He was looking to God and he was learning how to worship God. He was getting to know God using that time that he had to learn how to be a good shepherd, a faithful shepherd.

And the Lord said, You know, I want to use him down here. I’ve got a job. I’ve got a time when I want to really demonstrate Who I am, not just to the Philistines, not to the rest of Israel, but to the nations. They’re going to hear about this one. And I want to use him in a very special way, but he’s not ready.

And so the Lord sent a bear and now David has got some facts to deal with. That bear’s bigger than I am and he’s hungry. What am I gonna do? And the Lord gave him the faith to deal with the bear. So, he had “bear faith” at that point. He had what he needed to meet that particular need because there was a willingness to look to God and to keep doing what he knew he was supposed to do. Realizing, I can’t do this on my own strength, but God’s with me. God’s given me this job so I’m going to do what I know is right and I’m trusting God to give me the strength to do it. He doesn’t go into that kind of detail but can you not see that that’s what’s going on? And so there he was and he dealt with the bear.

And the Lord said, Praise God, that’s good. And He said, But I still need to give him another lesson. And that’s when he sent the lion out and the same thing happened. He literally took that lion by the beard. Anybody here ready to do that? (audience muttering)

Yeah, we can read about it and say, isn’t that great? But you know, there are situations God is gonna put you and me in where that’s about what has to happen. God give us the faith and the strength to be able to rise up and say, This is not the earthly battle. This is God’s battle. This is not just circumstances and people coming at me. The Lord has allowed the devil to come. There’s an inspiration behind what’s going on here and it is an attack when the devil is trying to take me down and work in me and discourage me and sidetrack me cause me to try to rely on myself. What are we gonna do?

Well, David learned in the battle in the field of real circumstance. He had faith, but he took action based upon that faith and God backed him up. And so when Goliath came, he was ready. There’s probably some Goliaths coming, aren’t there? Don’t you think? Do you wanna be one of those people? Do you have the strength in yourself? I certainly don’t. I don’t know what’s coming but I know that right now, today, God is going to put you and me in places where we are going to have to take a stand and believe Him in the face of whatever circumstances are dictating and seeming to say. May God help us.

Of course, everybody here knows the account of Jehoshaphat. Here was a king over Israel and right before that chapter, chapter 20... I don’t think I’m gonna turn there necessarily, but chapter 20 of second Chronicles, is right before that, you see him doing all kinds of good, honorable things in Israel trying to set this right and that right and tell the people that they’re rendering judgment. In conflicts, be sure you judge rightly and all those things. He’s trying to be a righteous king.

And then what happens? You have an incredibly large army that he suddenly says, They’re coming. And I am so blessed that when that happens, I don’t see him calling a war council. That would have been the natural reaction to that. Let’s get our generals together. Let’s have a strategy meeting. Let’s figure out how we can deal with this. He didn’t do that. He called a fast. Let’s get together and pray and simply lay this before God. We did not ask for this circumstance. We didn’t do anything to provoke it. We’re just here minding our own business and this happened.

Many of you know what I’m talking about. You ever go along in your life and you’re minding your own business and suddenly something happens that just comes at you and you have to deal with it? Yeah, that’s life. That’s called life. And it happens and God allows it. And God was the One Who’s allowed that army to come.

But oh, what an example that is of a king who stands there and prays and he acknowledges God’s goodness, God’s greatness, what God has done, what God has promised, and said, Lord, we don’t know what to do. And God gave them an answer.

And the answer was an amazing one when you think about it from a military point of view. You’re not gonna even have to fight in this battle. And so you remember how they did. They sent the choir out ahead.

You know, one of the things that I thought about and I know I’ve made this point many times before. One thing I think we need to be careful of is looking into scripture and deriving formulas for getting things done, because this is the way it happened in this instance. How many of you know that every instance is different? It’s unique.

You can’t go and say, Well, this is what I did, these are the words I spoke, these are the actions I took, therefore this is what I’m supposed to do and this is gonna be the result. God is never going to put His purpose and His plan in our hands through formulas. He is never going to relieve us of being able or needing to look to him and say, God, this is a unique situation. You have sent it. I know it doesn’t matter. Thank you for everything you’ve ever done but I need to know what to do here and now.

You know, I made the semi-humorous point about the different ways that Jesus healed people’s eyes. He opened the eyes of the blind. There were occasions when He spoke to them. There were occasions when He reached out His hand and just touched their eyes and their eyes were opened. And then there was the time when He stooped down and gathered up some dirt, spit on it, made mud and put it on the man’s eyes and said, Go to such and such a pool and wash. And he did and he was healed.

Now, which one is the right way to do it? You know, I’ve made the point in the past. You’ve got a basis for three denominations there. The “speak the word only,” the “put your hand out and touch,” and the “mud in your eye” bunch. (audience laughing) Folks, there is nothing that’s going to relieve us of being in the position where all we can do is stretch forth our hands and say, Lord, this situation allowed by you is unique. You haven’t given me a formula. I need wisdom for this.

And over and over again, you see that in Jesus’ ministry, this sense of I’m walking with my Father, I am looking to Him. I don’t know what to do necessarily. I mean, this is Jesus basically, needing his Father to lead Him. That was the position that he took coming into this world. He didn’t know it all as a human being. He needed his Father the same way we do. And there He was looking to His Father every step that He took. And there were those He was trying to teach. Where’s your faith?

Well, God showed them that here’s a situation. I wanna bring you to the place where you can handle this, but right now you’re not. And I want you to understand, you come into this situation looking at it and looking at it a certain way, an earthly way. And you’ve already decided this can’t happen or this can’t be, or this is something to be afraid of, or we gotta come up with a plan.

And Jesus has just relaxed and saying, Lord, I’ve cast my burden. Father, I’ve cast my burden upon you. You’ve already told me what to do and we’re gonna do it and trust you. Doesn’t matter what the devil throws in our path. You know, you could go on and on I guess, and I’m just trusting that this is what the Lord wants to say this morning, but it certainly is to me.

But I sense... I sense the heart of the Lord saying that, You’ve got a little faith. I brought you a certain amount of distance in Me. You’ve grown in Me and I’ve got a people that have opened their hearts to Me and they’re alive and they’re Mine. They’re My children and I love you. And I want you to grow in Me. I want you to get to the place where you are far more ready to trust in Me instead of what you see and what you feel.

God doesn’t put us in situations and say, I’m standing back. You figure it out. He puts us in situations where faith is going to have to trust Him. Faith is gonna have to trust Him when He waits and, and is silent, when He speaks, whatever the circumstance is that’s right in his plan for your life and mine. Remember, He’s the one writing my story and yours. He is gonna bring us safely through. And the awesome thing is that, like Paul said, nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus and everything serves a purpose to prepare us for life in this world and in eternity with Him.

So, I just want to trust Him this morning. Again, I don’t wanna be one of those that just is stuck in a place where, Where is your faith? Well, I believe in you or I believe in this book. I go to church, I believe in you. When God is gonna put us in real-life situations where faith is gonna have to take some kind of an action. It might be an action of just praying and looking, waiting, when your natural reaction is to do something and God says, No, this is not the time to do, this is the time to wait. Or we’re afraid and we don’t wanna do something and the Lord says, This is the time to do this, and we’re gonna have to step out and do it.

God can lead his people. Do you believe that? - Yes. - Does that apply to you or just to everybody else around you? See, this is the life that God has called us to and I don’t want to be one that’s just stuck in this mode of, where is your faith? and oh, ye of little faith. I wanna be one that says, God, increase my faith, and realize that what He’s given us, realize His promises are true and He’s real and He’s with us and He’s gonna be with us to the end.

So, I don’t think we’ve said anything that you haven’t heard, you know, many, many times before, but I dunno, I was gonna say, maybe this isn’t relevant to everybody else, but it sure is to me. And if it isn’t right now, if you’re not in that place and things are comfortable, just wait. God is not here to give us a comfortable life where everything just is easy and pleasing to our flesh. God is gonna put us in places where everything in our flesh, in our circumstances, is pushing us in a certain direction and we’re gonna have to say, No, God, I’m Yours. I am willing to do Your will, come what may. I’m trusting in You and I’m gonna stand on that. Come what may. And I believe that God is gonna help us, don’t you?

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