“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” Hebrew 11:6.
Ladies and gentlemen, one of the most costly adventures in life is our walk of faith and as much as we confess we are people of faith, when it comes to the price to pay we shy away especially in the Western part of the world where I am privileged to live in. When we talk of faith we all know that it is acting on the word of God that we hear and believe. Faith has root in the divine word of God. Faith is not faith until the promise from God is given! Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Romans 4:3b. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out not knowing where he was going” Hebrew 11:8.
Faith is trusting God for the unknown and the price is real!
Even though you have no clue what lies ahead, you have the confidence in Him who has spoken, to land you safely on the shore of success – that is faith. Faith is in step by step instruction i.e. the next instruction is waiting for you when you obey the present instruction. Now if you are a person known to be comfortable in your present environment (like Abraham was in Haran) to respond to the unknown will cost you. May 2012 be your year of manifestation as sons who walk by faith and not by sight and to do so I would like to help prepare your mind for the following:
You Will be Ridiculed
How do you explain to your family (including husband/wife) you heard from God to resign from your £120k a year job with all its benefits here in London and go to Senegal to be a missionary and your finances from now will be daily provision like Manna in the wilderness.
Unless the Lord revealed to your husband/wife same day, you are in for a serious ridicule. You will be told “you are out of your mind” your friends will be called (like Job’s friend) to speak your senses back to you, your colleague at work will say “mate, it’s not funny is it?” now if you have children and you are to go together, they will laugh you to scorn because they are raised in comfort (according to the standard of the world with material benefits).
Do not say you are walking by faith until you are willing to be ridiculed.
Abraham and Sarah had no son but everywhere they went, until the word of God became reality, Abraham called his name Abraham not Abram as it was before meaning: father of many nations Genesis 17:5. Obviously some will laugh as when he would be asked where were your sons, he would be silent and I believe it was in that moment of despair that God appeared to Abram and told him not to be afraid. But Abram said, “Lord God, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir” Genesis 15:2-3. Remember there is a grace to sustain you in the midst of ridicule.
You Will Lose Friends
There is something about our human nature. Some of us like to keep what we have even if it is not productive. I believe when Abraham left Ur of Chaldean, he had friends. Rich folks always have friends – good and bad ones too. But when he heard God, none of them followed him neither did he ask them to follow. You see, trusting God for the unknown is not a journey you take friends into, unless your friends are on your radar with God so that they can understand His language with you and even then, a time will come that if your friends are not growing in Him, there will be conflict of interest.
It is great to have friends. We all need friends (Good and not so good are parts of our making in life). But with a friend like Abinadab, you need no enemies – you already got one.
The value of a friend is demonstrated in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion, but woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up”. We need godly friends who will stand by us, stand with us and stand for us in prayers. But often such friends are never at the beginning of our walk of faith. They come along as we ourselves define our length and breadth of the journey and decide how far we too want to go. In other words, your decisions along the line will attract who your type of friend will be. Apostle Paul made up his mine to finish the race and keep faith and not many stuck it out with him; only the remnant.
Your friends may be too many at the moment. The test of loyalty to faith will bring separation. Wait for it. It will always come.
The Likelihood of You Losing Your Earthly Inheritance is Real
We read of Apostle Paul who was once a Pharisee but became an Apostle of Jesus Christ. In his Epistle to the Philippians he wrote “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ, yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith”. Philippians 3:7-9
Many of our brethren whose backgrounds were in other religions have suffered losing their earthly inheritance, position and fame for a heavenly inheritance, which is greater! Some even lost their lives! The testimonies of brethren from around the world in this position are very encouraging. The same grace that sustains them is available to us all. Beloved, let us make up our mind to pay our own price too.
Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with a Person called JESUS the Son of God. To follow Him takes Faith. The initial step to follow Him was by faith. This faith is God’s gift through unmerited favour and from then on, we are to be determined to go all the way with Him. The journey is made possible by the Holy Spirit given as our seal unto the day of Redemption!
Life Will Not Always be Rosy
Many times we have preached another gospel to the Church. Making them believe that following Jesus will solve all their problems. If that is true there will be no need for faith again. Even Jesus told us that in this world we will have tribulations but we should be of good cheer because He has overcome the world. John 16:33.
The word “tribulation” means many troubles. Trouble means trouble.
Where did we get all these wicked doctrines from that promise God’s people when you simply pray, everything will be alright? Yes that is true BUT it depends on what you mean, preacher. All will be alright as God will give His people the strength and grace to bear the trouble till Christ is glorified in our trouble – then we will celebrate!
Make up your mind in 2012 to endure, so Christ can take glory and you can have your testimony.