| The Voice of Faith|
The Voice of Faith
But now, this is what the LORD says
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
WHAT GOD HAS EVER DONE FOR ANYONE He will do for anybody else. Let us get a hold of this and not write the lives of our fathers and gild the sepulchers of the ones who have gone before, imagining that we live in a vacuum, void of those who have experienced God. Anything God ever did for anyone in faith He will do for anyone else who meets His conditions.
The voice of unbelief says, Yes, Im a believer. I believe the Bible. I dont like those modernists, liberals and modern scientists who deny the Bible. I would not do that for the world. I believe in God, and I believe that God will bless. That is, He will bless at some other time, in some other place and some other people. Those are three sleepers that bring the work of God to a halt. We are believers and we can quote the creed with approval. We believe it, but we believe that God will bless some other people, some other place, some other timebut not now, not here and not us.
Here is the problem: We have to have faith if God is going to do anything for us. Faith is the vitamin that makes all we take from the Bible digestible and makes us able to receive it and assimilate it. If we do not have faith, we cannot get anything. If we allow the gloomy voice of unbelief to whisper to us that God will bless some other time but not now, some other place but not here, some other people but not us, we might as well turn off the lights because nobody will get anywhere.
The voice of faith, however, has quite another message for us. The voice of faith speaks up brightly, though reverently, and says, Anything God promised and did at any time in any place for anybody God will do for us here if we will meet His conditions. This is basic. When God speaks, His message has more than one application. If it is truth, it is true for anybody who would believe it anywhere, anytime. Two times two equals four whether it is 400 B.C. or A.D. 1963, whether in Russia, in China or in Canada. Two times two equals four. No one can get around it; anybody can trust it. Nobody can dispensationalize it away. It is an unchanging principle.
When God speaks and His mighty voice thunders down the years, He speaks to His people called Israel and He speaks to His people called Christians. Nothing has happened to invalidate His promises. We must remember that. Nothing in history would invalidate the promises of God. Nothing in philosophy, nothing that science has ever discovered can invalidate His promises. Certainly there have been social changes, and people look at things differently now than they did in other times. Nevertheless, nothing changes God, His promises, human nature, Gods purposes or His intentions toward His people, so we can take the Word of God and say, Here is a living Word.
The first sentence of the Scripture passage says, This is what the LORD says. Many Bible translations print the word Lord in capital letters. This indicates that the Hebrew word used is Jehovah or Yahweh
The name Yahweh is sometimes called the Tetragrammaton. It is so sacred that ancient Jews would not even speak it. It was the name God spoke out of the fire to Moses when He said, I am who I am (Exodus 3:14). That is who is speaking in this passage. Can He make good on His intentions? He certainly can.
| 2004/11/18 16:42||Profile|
| Re: The Voice of Faith|
Seven names with Jehovah
In our hymnody, books of devotion and important books of theology there are seven names that God gives in compound with Jehovah.
First, Jehovah-jireh means the LORD will provide. If the people of God would remember this, I am who I am will provide. He who laid the foundation of the earth, who stretched the heavens above like a curtain and who looks upon the nations and sees them as dust in the balance will provide.
Second, Jehovah-rapha means the LORD who heals you. This is the expression that A.B. Simpson picked up and gave meaning to so it could shine through again. I am the Lord who heals you. We do not see much or hear much about that now. The doctrine of divine healing is divided into two classes: those who are making a circus out of it, and the discouraged people who are trying to believe and take pills to beat sickness. There is very little of real knowledge of Jehovah-rapha, the God who heals, anymore.
Then there is Jehovah-nissi, the LORD our banner; Jehovah-shalom, The LORD our peace; Jehovah-roi, the LORD our shepherd; Jehovah-tsidkenu, the LORD our righteousness; and Jehovah-shammah, the LORD is present here. This is the mighty God who is speaking, and He wants to get through to you.
| 2004/11/19 3:11||Profile|
Fed trash too many times
Do you know you have been fed trash instead of truth too many times? Do you know you have been betrayed and sold downriver instead of being fed the Living Word of God in too many instances? God is trying to get through to you in His Word, and He says, I am Jehovah. You are looking to me now. Look away from other people; look to me.
Who are the people we look to? They may be young and good-looking today, but tomorrow they will be old and crack-voiced. But the great God Almighty does not die. I am Jehovah; I am your righteousness; I am your shepherd; I am your peace; I am your banner of victory; I am your healer; I am your provider; I am present in your midst. This is the One with whom you are dealing. If you would only dare to rise, shake your head and say, I dare to believe this, you would find the truths of God begin to glow like the stars. You would have life where you have not life, light where you have not light and joy where you have not joy.
What did God do?
I, even I, am the LORD,
and apart from me there is no savior.
I have revealed and saved and proclaimed
I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses, declares the
LORD, that I am God.
Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
When I act, who can reverse it?
This is what the LORD says
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
For your sake I will send to Babylon
and bring down as fugitives all the
in the ships in which they took pride.
I am the LORD, your Holy One,
Israels Creator, your King.
This is what the LORD says
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick.
The great God Almighty is the God of history. And what will He do now?
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the desert
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen.
I believe that God has some chosen ones, and that God wants to bring drink to His chosen ones. To bring this to our church, we need to do a few things. One is to repudiate unbelief. The average evangelical church lies under a shadow of quiet doubting. The doubt is not the unbelief that argues against Scripture, but worse than that. It is chronic unbelief that does not know what faith means.
There is a difference between the unbeliever who does not believe the Bible, boldly says so and argues against it and the so-called Christian who simply lies in a state of coma and cannot rise and believe. It is like the difference between a man who has had an accident or becomes suddenly ill and the chronic invalid who never knows what it is to be quite well, but who is not quite dead. The invalid can always muster a smile and does have a heartbeat, but the person is not normal. He does have a temperature and respiration, but he is not normal. The person is not alive, but, thank God, he is not dead, either.
The person who hits the abutment of the road doing sixty miles per hour is still warm although dead. Drag such a person out and he or she is still warmbut dead. Death happened suddenly and dramatically. Likewise, something dramatic and terrible has happened to the person who says, I dont believe your Bible. Its a saga of old notions. Its filled with stories of adultery and murder and assassination. I dont believe your Bible. He or she has hit something hard and has been injured.
| 2004/11/19 3:12||Profile|
| Re: The Voice of Faith|
A state of chronic unbelief
But the churches lie around in a state of chronic unbelief. They do not expect God to do anything, and naturally He does not. On occasion one will be added to the church by mulling and wooing and needling and pawing over the person until we get him or her in. But the lift, freedom, brightness and joy of the true Christian who believes God is missing from us.
The voice of unbelief comes out of the psychology of nonexpectation. This is our trouble these days: the psychology of nonexpectation. So we sit down to have a board meeting. What are we going to do to stir ourselves up? Who can we get? Where will we look? We forget that all the time Jehovah is present. I am Jehovah-shammah; I am in the midst of you. Why dont you talk to me? No, we dont ask Him.
I am your banner of victory. But we say, I just wonder how much it will cost? How much does a revival cost? Absolutely nothing and absolutely everythingthat is how much it will cost. It will cost not one dime, and it will cost everything we have. You cannot import it by flying someone in from New Zealand. How many of these blessed preachers have come in from Ireland and England? They did some big things over there, we heard, so we flew them in and they never got anywhere. I never saw anything result from trying to import God. He does not fly over in a jet. He says, I am Jehovah; I am with you. I am where you are; I am here now. Call on me.
But you do not call on me, He says next. Yet you have not called upon me, O Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel (Isaiah 43:22). In other words, we are bored with God Almighty. We chuckle at Pogo and laugh at Dear Abby, but we are bored with God. You are weary of me; you are bored with me. I do not hesitate to say that much of what is going on in the name of Christianity today is simply boredom.
God says, Why dont you call on me? I am here, and I am ready to help you. I will do these things for you. The voice of unbelief says, Things will be as they are. There is no use. But the voice of Jehovah says, I will do a new thing. I will make a way in the wilderness. I will make rivers in the desert.
Unbelief is entirely logical and true to nature. People of faith, however, have a logic that is higher than natural logic, a logic that cannot be seen by unbelievers. But unbelief is entirely logical. The sun rises, and the sun also sets. It rains and it snows. Seasons follow each other. The ducks fly to the north and then to the south. Babies are born and old men die. Things go on as they go on. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall bethat is the only hymn we know. Things will be as they have been, we sing in unbelief.
| 2004/11/19 9:56||Profile|
| Re: The Voice of Faith|
Behold, I will
But the voice of Jehovah says, Behold, I will. When you introduce God, a new thing happens. I will make a way in the wilderness. Who ever heard of it? I will make rivers in the desert. Who ever heard of it? Unbelief is logical and true to nature because nature is fixed in a regular routine. You may expect nature to continue to go right on in that routine. However, another factor is now introduced. God introduces the supernatural, and He says, I am who I am and I will. God wills to do a new thing.
We keep going the way of nature in the fixed routine. You cannot expect anybody to do anything about it. But I hear another voice saying, I am who I am. Since I have been a Christian, I have lived for that voice. I have lived to hear God say, I am who I am. You cant, but I can. You arent, but I am. You are not able, but I am able. You have no wisdom, but I am Jehovah and I have the wisdom.
We approach Him through Jesus Christ His Son. Never forget that all the power of this great Jehovah with His awful and awesome glorious names is channeled through the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, to His people. Jesus dug a channel, so to speak, through to the mighty ocean that is Jehovah so all the sweet waters, the healing waters, the soul-quenching waters that are God can flow down to the Lords people if they would only believe.
God does not say that this is new to Him. Nothing is new to God; it is just new to us. When God says to us, I will do a new thing, what is it? Is God going to create something brand new as though He were creating a galaxy out of nothing? No, He is going to repeat for a new generation what He did for an old generation. He says, I will do it for you. Why do you worry? I will do it for you. I am God. I am Jehovah. I am your righteousness. I am your provider. I am your healer. I am your banner of victory. I am your shepherd. I am your peace. I am your everything.
If God is all this to us, then there is no reason why anybody should be downhearted in this hour. If God could make a world out of nothing, why cant He make anything He wants now for His people? God invites us to see Him work.
God will do it in such a way that nobody gets the glory but Himself. God is going to get the glory, and He is not going to share it with anybody. I am Jehovah, and my glory I will not share with another. God wants to do things in a way that nobody can say somebody else did it. God is doing it because He wants the glory and must have the glory because of who He is. He says, I will make. We need a God who can make things; we need a God who can create, and He invites us to watch Him create.
| 2004/11/19 12:24||Profile|
| Re: The Voice of Faith|
Dont allow past to paralyze you
Do not let any of the things of the world or past mistakes paralyze your hearts. I believe there are Christians who have allowed some of their past mistakes to paralyze them. You were so bright and cheerful in your spiritual life once, and then you made some tragic mistake or had something happen to you. You got out of it somehow, and prayed and wept your way out of it. But it did something to you, and now you cannot lick it. Past wrongs that have been done to you, past failures, times you thought you were going to win and did not, or present sins or discouragementthese things are not mental at all. They are deeper than that; they are subconscious, and they prevent us from believing.
I most urgently exhort you, and I trust God Almighty to deliver you; to sponge that out of your spirit; to sponge that out of your heart so you are not hindered by unbelief. The simple people of the world can believe God in a way that we who are more sophisticated have a hard time doing. That is why God has to begin with the simple people. Jesus could not get the Pharisees to follow Him, but He did get some fishermen and some simple people. He got one tax collector, but He did not get very many great people. God comes to simple people.
If we could shake off our sophistication, our pseudo learning and the cheap crust of unbelief that is over us, we could hear Him say, I am that I am, and I am with you. I am on your side. My Son died for you, and hell cannot take you out of my hands. You are made for my glory. I formed you for myself to praise me. If you will only believe, I will give you waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. I will give drink to my people, my chosen. I will do these things for you.
An element of the supernatural enters here. Nature says it cannot be, and nature is right. But God steps in and says, I am who I am, and it can be. And God is right. I cannot win against my enemies, but God says, I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
If we will unite our hearts and intentions and dare to believe it, we will see God begin to move in great strength and in great power. We will see coming down from heaven that which we so desperately struggled to bring in from the outside. We will see the great God do it and then it will not be said, This man did it, or That woman did it. But we can all say together, Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty (Zechariah 4:6b).
| 2004/11/19 16:35||Profile|