Where is your faith in the fourth hour? Have you left it alone – like a plant unwatered – and your faith is dead or dying?
Life changes the minute you realize all the random ups and downs of your every day are intentionally designed around you…to cooperate with your faith growth. When we close off, shut down, abandon our faith, or get angry at what life brings us, we’ve lost the main point: this is all happening to grow you toward good; God’s good. You’re upset because it’s not what you ordered, or asked for, or expected, and you don’t even like it; it’s hard and uncomfortable. Correct. Because it’s not about you. What *else* does God have to do in your life to bring your attention and loyalty back to Him? The Sovereign, Almighty, Creator God wants to give and do and bless and flourish all kinds of favor in your life; but He can’t, until you stop being stubborn you and give your life back over to Him to do so. Trust me, it’s a much better ride!
Ignore everything I just said if you want to continue in your stubborn, it’s-my-life, I’ll-do-it-myself ways. [Hey, we’ve all been there. Be honest, that you’re walking away, or working it out with God a bit more. Just bookmark this message, and when you decide to stop struggling and your heart softens, come on back.] -Or- Continue reading with open, willing heart and mind if you’re tired of the defeat, despair and doubt consuming you. You’ve put up the surrender flag and you’re ready for promised land living again.
“Walking with the Lord Jesus Christ is the most exciting life one could live. Your destiny is fixed forever, your companion is the Son of God. You learn to know Him intimately and personally. You learn His will for our lives. You listen to Him and obey Him; experience His presence His power and His wisdom.” – Dr. Charles Stanley
The Christian life is truly a walk of faith. The walk is continuous until
He calls us to our heavenly home.
Why do we doubt and have little faith? Read Matthew 14:22-33
Peter relapsed in his faith. He suffered faith failures. But Peter was the one out of the boat, walking to Jesus in the storm.
Fact: man cannot walk on water.
But Jesus says come.
Does your faith have you walking on water in the storm? Which of these three are you?
- Stay on the shore safe
- Get in the boat, but stay safe in boat
- Get out of the boat, walking on water
God’s will is that we learn to walk by faith…
Colossians 2:6, “as you have received Him by faith, so walk in Him.”
The Christian walk is a growing, advancing walk.
How do you advance in your faith?
10 ways that work. 10 things that will transform your life and future.
- Face and overcome obstacles, tests, trials and temptations in our life. Things that cause you to decide if you’re going to trust Him or not. Come to God with confidence and assurance. Don’t hesitate. Know He’s going to answer your prayer. He *designs* the test / trial to perfectly suit YOU, to grow YOUR faith. He’s going to use us in proportion to our faith; bless us in accordance to our faith. There will be tests, trials, hardships; He must get you off dead center; it must challenge you to say YES to Him. Building faith brings a test.
- Understanding the nature of God. God’s attributes are numerous; this God I serve has all power, all understanding; He knows what I need, how much I can stand. He knows exactly how to work in my life.
- Meditate on the Word of God. Absolutely an essential. God voiced the truth through the pens of scripture. You cannot grow in your faith and ignore the Word of God reading. Meditate in the morning and evening. You read it, and you know that God is speaking to you. I read what He says, then I watch it happen. Find out how does God act. The Bible is the fuel for my faith. Who is this God? How does He work?
- Apply the principles of the Word of God. Ask how do I apply this to my life? God honors that and you begin to grow. You see the evidence of God in your life.
- Observe the ways of God. He uses suffering to strengthen your faith; to bring you to your knees; to open your heart and let you make a new commitment to Him in your life. Sometimes He is silent. But when He answers, it is in the most awesome way. So sometimes He makes us wait. He will use the most inopportune situation, the most unusual people…
- Observing God’s work in the lives of other people. Hear how God has worked in others lives. If you work in their life that way, what will you do in my life. Catapult your faith.
- Obey God; leave all the consequences to Him. Practice this! Teach your small children to repeat this statement. That* is faith in perfection. Do what He says, no matter what it costs, no matter what it requires. Because I believe God always honors obedience. We are trusting God when we obey Him.
- Answered Prayer. Teach little children to pray about little insignificant things very early in life. If they do what God says, here’s what He will do. Talk to God, know how to ask of God, and receive from God. Pray with expectation, confidence, boldness, assurance… pray until you have assurance. Just jump into your Father’s arms. Get off the ladder to jump into the Father’s arms.
- Worship. Singing is confessions and statements of the truth of God. Confessing awesome Biblical truths.Confessing truth and building your faith.
- Confess your faith failures. Deal with it. Be honest. Ask Him to forgive you; ask for another opportunity.
You can do anything God has called you to do. You have all of God’s power behind you and enabling you to do what He made you for.
He wants His people to trust Him. To Believe Him. So He can bless you to the maximum. So He can use you to demonstrate to others who He is. And that He is the person everyone needs.
What can God do in your life? How far can you go?
Challenge: does God bring up anything in your life that you know is not right…attitude, feeling toward somebody? Are you willing to lay it down? repent of it and get forgiveness?
If you’re willing to deal with it…believe the truth you know, present yourself fresh and new, see what God can do in your life. Discover what God had in mind the day He brought you into this life.
These message notes were taken from Dr. Charles Stanley’s “In the School of Faith, Part 2 – Advancing in Faith.” Watch the entire message below: