Faith series 2 - Faith Speaks
Sermon Idea: Faith in God is one of the most crucial commodities of the Christian faith. Without it we cannot please God – with it we can conquer giants and move mountains. This series is looking at different aspects of faith. Today we look at Faith’s Voice – faith that is alive speaks the words of God and has a strong public confession that is crucial to see God’s heart made manifest in reality in the earth.
INTRO: ELIM City Church has a vision. We believe God has called us to become a church of INFLUENCE in our nation and nations of the world. We are a multi-national church that has a love for ALL people – no matter what the colour of your skin or your ethnic background. Red, yellow, black or white – we are all the same in GOD’S SIGHT!
Our vision is to become a church of 2000 members that is having a radical influence upon our communities. We have a city vision with a community focus. We are part of a wider congregation called ELIM Christian Centre – a multiple campus church. In total we are believing to influence the lives of 10,000 Aucklanders over our current 3 campuses.
Why? Because Jesus said,
Matthew 5:16 (NKJV) "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
We exist to give glory to our Father in Heaven – to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
We cannot do this or achieve this goal without having a radical reformation inside of us to do with FAITH in God!
RECAP: Last time I spoke about how OVERCOMING FAITH is formed in our spirit-man and how we can nurture and protect God’s seeds of faith in our heart.
We understand that 1 John 5:4 (NKJV) For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.
We need faith that is BORN of GOD that will overcome every obstacle in front of us. To achieve the call of God over our congregation and steward that call – we must become OVERCOMERS. Amen!
Today I want to talk about Faith’s voice – the fact that faith that is born in our hearts by God has a voice – FAITH SPEAKS!
Words are Under-valued in our Culture
The spoken word is often held in low esteem today. We say things like “words are cheap” or “all talk and no action”. Through newspaper, television, broken election promises and our own abuse of the spoken word, we have little or no understanding of just how important words are.
The Bible, however, has a lot to say about the power of the spoken word:
Matthew 12:36 (NKJV) "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
Jesus regards every word we say as being important – so important in fact, that every idle word we say will be brought into account.
Why does Jesus Christ consider our words to be of such importance?
1. Faith’s Voice has created and constructed the World
Listen – the whole universe is constructed and held together by the power of words:
Hebrews 1:3 (NKJV) who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high
God Himself operates by faith. Before he created the universe He held a picture in his mind of what the world and the universe looked like. He had a plan, a purpose and a vision inside Himself.
He believed it, was convinced about it, before his plan had even appeared. Neither man, nor the earth or the universe itself was in existence. Nothing was visible except what His inward eyes were able to see. God’s faith saw what was to come.
Then one day everything was physically manifested. How? God spoke it out!
Genesis 1:3 (NKJV) Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
God spoke and the world came into existence. He said “be” and it was. As God’s words came out of his mouth, His power was released and what was in his heart in the form of a picture and a conviction became a manifested, physical reality.
How? By the power which flowed out from His spoken Word.
Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV) So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Psalms 33:9 (NKJV) For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
2. Faith’s Voice operates like the Royal commands of a King.
a. Man is created to Rule on the Earth
Genesis 1:26 (NKJV) Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
Man should be like God, think like God, act like God and speak like God. NOT BE GOD! But be like God. We have been made in His likeness and in His image.
God is KING. His Word are commands which when issued are intended to change the state of things. When God created man he placed him also in a position of DOMINION over creation, saying “fill the earth and subdue it”.
b. Man has been given delegated authority in the Earth.
Man was appointed to the lofty position of leadership over the earth:
Psalms 115:16 (NKJV) The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD s; But the earth He has given to the children of men.
How do we carry out this responsibility? In the same way God does! God rules as a King – he speaks his royal commands and it is done.
When man comes into close fellowship with God, receives a picture of what God wants to do in the future. This is meant to be spoken out and watch God’s creative power released through our words. We see a little of this with Adam naming the animals (Genesis 2:19). Have you ever wondered how hard that would be without God’s help?
c. The Devil wants to steal the authority of God’s Word
What went wrong? The devil came to sow doubt regarding the Word of God (Gen.3:1) “has God indeed said…..?” – causing man to fall into sin and die spiritually.
Here is the satanic pattern – SOW DOUBT IN THE RELIABILITY OF GOD’S WORD IN OUR HEARTS AND STEAL THE AUTHORITY OF GOD’S CREATIVE POWER FROM OUR LIVES.
Listen – faith is crucial to the outcomes of God’s purposes in the earth and this is why the devil attacks the very core of what moves God’s people ahead – the SPOKEN word of FAITH.
The devil gets us to believe and act upon his words instead and this gives the devil the right to steal, kill and destroy – something he has been doing right up to this day.
Words filled with faith release the power of God, while words filled with doubt, criticism, unbelief and hatred release the devil’s power and give him free reign to cause havoc.
We have regained our position to act with royal authority on the planet – just as Adam did in the beginning before falling prey to the devil’s tactics of doubting the validity and authority of God’s words.
1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Revelation 1:6 (NKJV) and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
d. Example Jesus recommends: The Centurion solder
Matthew 8:8-10 (NKJV) 8 The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 "For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." 10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
This man understood the power and authority of words. Jesus marveled because of this mans understanding of the significance of words. The centurion knew that because of Jesus’ position of LORDSHIP, what Jesus spoke would release the power of God.
He believed in the power of faith-filled words!
Jesus walked on the earth, holding the same position that Adam had prior to the fall. With his words He healed the sick, rebuked storms, cursed the fig tree, raised the dead, and fed thousands of people.
3. Faith’s Voice has a good confession
a. By the confession of our mouths we become saved:
Romans 10:10 (NKJV) For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Gk homologeo – confession, to speak in accordance with.
Many understand this word only in a negative sense – to confess our sins:
1 John 1:9 (NKJV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When we confess our sins we are simply agreeing with God about what we have done wrong. His forgiving power is released when you say what He says.
The devil has abused this principle by getting people to constantly talk about how unworthy and sinful they are. He has drawn in their spirit a wrong picture of their true nature. Your words create, both in yourself and in others. BUT CONFESSION MEANS MORE THAN JUST CONFESSION OF SIN
Hebrews 10:23 (NKJV) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
1 Timothy 6:12 (NKJV) Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Hebrews 3:1 (NKJV) Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,
Confession is speaking out what God says, what God sees, what God wills, what God wants to do. It is declaring out loud his promises, our position in Christ, naming our position ABOVE the enemy – that he has been conquered and can do very little!
b. Do I have to say it?
YES. When we believe we SPEAK it out. From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks!
2 Corinthians 4:13 (NKJV) And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak,
c. The tongue – our speech has the ability to create death and create life.
Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV) Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
Words of hatred, criticism and unbelief create a SEED BED for the works of the devil. Where these words are spoken out the devil is released to perform his works and carry them out!
Before I became a Christian my flesh determined my speech. I spoke what I felt, what I thought and nothing at all about what God said in His word. My whole being was dominated by the information I was receiving through my five senses and flesh life.
Our world is dominated by this kind of make-up of words. If we saturate ourselves in it –we begin to speak the language that surrounds us and release the opposite power of what God wants to do in our lives.
Too often our speech is filled with negative words that have come from being moulded by the prince of the power of the air.
d. Speak God’s Words into every Situation
Don’t believe the lies of the devil – “you’re just like those eastern religions – chanting your Scriptures just like they chant their mantras!”
- We talk to cars and tell them off when they don’t start.
- We yell at the step when we trip over it.
- We scold buses, rain clouds and so on – no one things anything about it!
- We prophesy negatively that our possessions will break, that we will miss the bus, that we will never have enough money!
Why? We have believed lies and been indoctrinated by the spirit of this world. It’s time to change our confession and begin to SPEAK GOD’S WORDS OVER OUR SITUATIONS.
It may seem dry and mechanical at first but keep going. It’s like learning to walk. You don’t try and then give up because you could only walk two steps before falling over.
Confession of faith works in two ways:
- Confession to faith
- Confession from faith
“to faith” – you begin to speak god’s promises of the Word over a particular situation in your life. You will have to work hard at this since the devil will attack the Word and do all he can to make you feel uninspired, mechanical or legalistic. Just keep going! Read the Word, meditate on it, and speak it out!
“from faith” – if you keep going speaking to faith – there is a build up of faith in your heart from the Word of God and one day it will MOVE from speaking ‘to faith’ to “from faith” from your heart!
You will discover that where you used to react with fear, panic, disappointment, and bitterness, the LIVING WORD will come SPEEDING out of your SPIRIT, moved by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT, like a huge LOCOMOTIVE under full steam.
e.g. CURLING sport. The player releases the granite stone and then the sweepers take their broom and sweep frantically as they stone slides effortlessly across the ice.
As we speak God’s word it is like releasing the granite stone and as the word comes out of our “mouth” it tidies up in the spirit realm and sweeps aside all resistance and releases the power of God.
Psalms 8:2 (NKJV) Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
God has put power in our mouths. The power of His Word.
4. Faith’s Voice speaks God’s Word to our circumstances
a. We don’t speak the circumstances – we speak what God says about the circumstances.
Some say “Oh but we can’t deny the reality of the situation”. No and we should not. However, reality is much more than what we may presently be able to see with our physical eyes!
We need to learn to distinguish between faith facts and physical facts.
If you have a pain in your leg, that fact is that you a pain in your leg – it is not well. If someone asks you are you alright and you reply with a strained smile on your face “Oh no I feel just fine” then you are telling a lie. This is not right and will not attract God’s power.
There is no reason to deny that your leg hurts, that would be foolish. What you should do instead is speak what God’s word says about your leg, rather than merely agreeing with what your leg continually tells you.
Pain is not permanent. For the things that are seen 2 Cor 4:18 says, are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
b. Speak the Word to the Mountains
This means in spite of how they may look, circumstances in this world can be changed. They are temporal. The Word of God however, is ETERNAL and has a higher value.
The invisible existed before the visible; therefore what is seen must submit to the unseen. Faith is the certainty of things not seen (Heb 11:1)
Of course you feel the pain in your leg (relevant to both Viv and myself right now) – so don’t deny it. But at the same time you hear the voice of pain you hear another voice that says something else – something God has shown you in the Word. You see that by the stripes of Jesus you were healed (1 Pet 2:24). You see your healing, grasp it with your faith, and SPEAK it our with your mouth.
“Yes, my leg hurts, but by the stripes of Jesus Christ I have received healing and the power of God is working that healing in my body.”
This is what Jesus was talking about in Mark 11:23-24 (NKJV) 23 "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says(not thinks) to (not about or concerning or speaking with others about) 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. 24 "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Jesus is telling us that we can have what we say.
Let me put it to you in plain English:
If faith, certainty, and conviction from the Word of God is in my heart concerning my particular mountain, circumstance or problem, I will not doubt. Then I will not speak as though the mountain were something final as if it will always be there. In my heart, through faith, I see what God says. His word reveals to me and I know, I’m convinced that He doesn’t want that mountain to be there. He is for me and not against me. So what do I do? I release his power through words full of faith. I speak to the mountain, a royal edict is issued and a command is sent forth which tells the mountain to move.
c. Lesson of the Fig Tree
Just prior to teaching this lesson Jesus had spoken to a fig tree and cursed it, to demonstrate this lesson (Mark 11:14,20,21). It wasn’t until the next day that the disciples noticed the leaves had fallen off and the tree had withered.
The instant Jesus spoke however, the Word went out of His mouth and what He said took place in the spirit realm. The root was cursed, but it took a while for the visible manifestation to show or appear. Jesus then explained using the analogy of the MOUNTAIN.
The key is understanding that your spoken words of faith have had an effect – Mark 11:23 (NKJV) "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.
We refuse to allow the temporal circumstance that is steering us in the face to be final.
Abraham – Romans 4:18-21
He saw and acknowledged that his own body was as good as dead (100 yrs old) but he did not let it act as his final source of information.
Romans 4:18-21 (NKJV) 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be." 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
Abraham had to trust God and hold onto what He had said to him and that despite being 100 yrs old – his body was not going to dictate the final outcomes in his life!
Hebrews 10:23 (NKJV) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
I will not let my circumstances move me but I will move my circumstances by holding fast the confession of hope and not waver!
Words are containers. When they are filled with God’s Word – spirit and life – God’s power is released! When it is released it CREATES a different situation. The situation that God paints as a picture in our minds of what His outcome is to be NOT what the devil or our flesh is telling us will be final.
Do you have some mountains to move in your life today?
Are you going to let your circumstances dictate the outcomes of your life?
WhAT does the Word of God say about your situation?
Are you speaking what God is speaking about your circumstance today? Or are you agreeing with the world, the flesh and the devil about your lot?
It’s time today to release faith into our hearts and stand upon the Word of God by SPEAKING it out and allow the Word’s creative power to change our WORLD!