Pastor Bertha Cruz Sein shared very powerfully on faith; how faith enables us to take our eyes of this seen realm, because it will soon be gone… then helping us see that FAITH must be in the Lord and we heed His Word and that is what pleases God. Eboni helped us understand it is GRACE that helps us walk out our faith… apart from His Grace, our lives are lived sloppy and full of entitlement, taking control of a life that belongs to God…
Having said that, please remember a very important scripture that Pastor Bertha brought out…
Luke 8:18 (AMP): So be careful how you listen; for whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more [understanding] will be given; and whoever does not have [a longing for truth], even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him.”
Faith is always associated by what we DO… ACTIONS WE TAKE… or else it is simply presumption.
Faith - complete trust or confidence in someone or something
(Synonyms – reliance, dependence)
We typically only hear those synonyms in relation to assurances we need before making a decision or taking action
Presumption - an attitude or belief dictated by probability
(Synonyms – audaciousness, audacity)
When I hear these common synonyms, it tells me more about attitudes towards a matter and less about action taking place
Hebrews 11:1 (AMPC): Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
When I read these definitions and think more about faith, it remains clear that faith is a knowing that something is real, making my actions toward what I have faith in my obvious next steps.
We heard the testimonies of Apostle & Pastor Cruz Sein… when he entered the hospital, he remained on his post praying and Pastor Bertha shared that when they received (by faith) the keys to their new home, she started packing.
I remember when I was moving from my previous home, The Rollison Team were my realtors helping me secure an apartment… well, just DAYS before my move, the apartment I chose, denied me. WHAT TO DO… have faith! Take Action! They found another apartment and I went to complete the paperwork. As I pulled-up to the clubhouse, I parked in the space marked, ‘FUTURE RESIDENT’ … As I completed the paperwork, the leasing agent said that this process usually takes 24hours… OHHH DID I MENTION THIS WAS A FRIDAY EVENING? So we left and the paperwork was completed, but with just hours before I was scheduled to move, I had faith in God that He had a place for me, which is why I took action. The apartment leasing agent called me, 2-hours later… “Mr. Jacobs, you are approved. We simply need the rest of your deposit when you come pick-up the keys.”
You see my faith wasn’t in my realtors, my faith did rely on the leasing office…
MY FAITH WAS IN GOD… THAT HE KNOW MY NEEDS, SO MY FAITH HAS TO BE SUBSTANTIVE AND EVIDENT… I had to take action on what I believed was REALITY & REAL FACT
Hebrews 11:6 (AMPC) But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
Let’s look at some biblical examples if having Faith and taking Action TO SEEK HIM OUT…
Psalm 27:10-13 (NKJV) When my father and my mother forsake me,Then the Lord will take care of me.11 Teach me Your way, O Lord,And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. 12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. 13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LordIn the land of the living.
It would be easy to dismiss this Psalm as poetic prose. A psalm David wrote to speak wonderful words about the Lord, but that would merely be PRESUMTION…simply an attitude toward God. NO, this Psalm was written when David was overthrown by his own son Absalom, he left the kingdom to hide out with only a portion of his people and there was a real fear for his life and the life of those around him … (2 Samuel 15:30 - describes how he wept as he waited on the Lord to speak before he took action.)
Weeping alone does nothing to move the Lord, unless the weeping is while anticipating hearing from the Lord, in order to make a move.
Another example of having Faith and Taking Action…
Hebrews 11:4 (AMPC) [Prompted, actuated] by faith Abel brought God a better and more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, because of which it was testified of him that he was righteous [that he was upright and in right standing with God], and God bore witness by accepting and acknowledging his gifts. And though he died, yet [through the incident] he is still speaking.
Able’s righteousness move the Lord because what he gave was prompted by the Lord…
Prompted – (of an event or fact) cause or bring about (an action)
(Synonym: resulted in… lead to… produce)
How many of us have been prompted in our faith like, Abel that led to a corresponding action?
Last year, I had a major court victory with my immigration status, let’s just say that the challenge was that I faced deportation. Then once God moved the next challenge arose, file for my US Citizenship again… it was months before I got an answer and that answer from US Immigration was ‘NO’…’DENIED’, but I was not accepting that. I wrote my attorney and he said that he would look into my file for more information.
After several attempts, I have still not heard anything… but one night last week, I was watching the Republican National Convention. I turned it on exactly as President Trump was participating in a US Citizenship swearing-in ceremony at the White House. (let me explain that every time a story on the news shows a US Citizenship ceremony, I believe that I will be there.)
THIS PARTICULAR NIGHT, was different… there were 5 new US Citizens from Ghana, Lebanon, India, Sudan and Bolivia… WELL, THAT NIGHT THERE WAS A 6TH PERSON FROM CANADA…
I was PROMPTED by the Lord to stand and take the Oath, word-for-word with those others. I was PROMPTED to see myself receiving my certificate of citizenship. I was PROMPTED to see myself shaking hands with the President.
Then the next morning, I was PROMPTED by the Lord to write a letter to President Trump, detailing my situation and how I too took the oath like those others, regardless of being denied.
Romans 4 1-3 (MSG) So how do we fit what we know of Abraham, our first father in the faith, into this new way of looking at things? If Abraham, by what he did for God, got God to approve him, he could certainly have taken credit for it. But the story we’re given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. What we read in Scripture is, “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.”
(THE TESTIMONIES I GAVE YOU EARLIER IS A GOD-STORY, NOT A PAUL-STORY)
Romans 4:17-18 (MSG) We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”
Romans 4:19-25 (MSG) Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. That’s why it is said, “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right.” But it’s not just Abraham; it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless.
Our having Faith in God and willingness to Take Action in what The Lord spoke, and not sit in PRESUMPTION, it will change our lives… it will display Jesus before unbelievers, coworkers, friends and family… IN FACT IT MIGHT JUST PROVOKE THE FAITH OF SOMEONE ON THIS LINE!
This Hebrew Month of Elul is characterized by ‘The King is in the field’ to meet us and hear our requests… All can approach The Lord, as He shines his countenance upon everyone.
The KEY is that we must do come … we must believe He is there for us… we must TAKE ACTION ON OUR FAITH IN HIM.