Hebrews 11:6 “And 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 seek Him.”
Because god likes it when we believe He is who He says He is, the things that He calls you to do will often require you to have faith. He likes it when we lean on Him, need Him, to do something. God doesn’t really respect our “comfort zones”.
Matthew 18:3 “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
1. The Lie of the Enemy
- Prior to eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil:
- Genesis 2:25 “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”
- They had a level of intimacy.
- After eating the fruit:
- Genesis 3:7-8: Then the eyes of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
- The serpent makes Eve question her relationship with God, whether He cares for her, whether He is withholding.
- Now they are covering themselves in shame and hiding.
- Adam and Eve treated God differently after
- What lie do you believe?
- How do I know if I believe a lie? Ask yourself some questions:
- How do I approach the Lord?
- What are some things I say or think to myself when things are stressful/ challenging?
- Stress and challenges makes you vulnerable and you may not notice as much when the devil comes in and plants a lie.
- What is the tone behind these thoughts and words?
- James 4:7 “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
- It is impossible to resist the devil unless you submit to God first. It’s hard to submit to God, but whether we feel something is true or not does not determine the actual truth.
- We cannot resist the devil without submitting to Him first.
2. The Idol of Our Experience
- Luke 1:5-20
- Zacharias and Elizabeth were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly.
- Shockingly Zacharias responds to the angel with doubt.
- Luke 1:26-38
- Six months later Mary, a relative of Zacharias, is met by an angel. She accepts what the angel has to say; what Gabriel says is enough.
- What was the difference between Zacharias and Mary? They are given the same information by the same angel in the same manner.
- Zacharias and Elizabeth knew years and years of heartache and disappointment.
- What is your experience? Is it helping or hindering you? It shouldn’t do either.
- Regardless of your experience, God is who He says He is and He doesn’t change because of your experience.
- Romans 4:19-20 “Without becoming weak in faith he (Abraham) contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able to perform.
- Where is your focus?
- On your experience?
- On your circumstances?
- On Him?
3. The Idol of Our Understanding
- Job loses everything.
- Job’s friends- Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar try to explain why and fail miserably.
- They try to come up with a reason for something they don’t understand.
- In trying to explain God, they misrepresented Him. (Job 42:7)
- Job 38:4-5 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements? Since you know, or who stretched out the line on it?
- I am God, you are man. We are different.
- There are going to be things about God that we don’t understand.
- Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
- Sometimes we have to yield to Him what we think is our right to understand.
- The lies I believe, my experiences, and my unanswered questions do not change who He is.
- We have to decide not to change our belief in Him and in His word based on these things.