I Don’t Have Enough Faith - I Ain’t no Un-Fortunate Son - Purity 881
Purity 881 11/04/2022 Purity 881 Podcast
Today’s photo of a South Adelaide sunset comes to us from Dave Baun Photography (https://www.facebook.com/DaveBaunPhotography) as Dave shared this back on August 16th asking: “Who doesn’t love a good sunset? I mean really, do you know anyone that doesn’t?”
As much as I agree with Dave’s sentiments that we could assume that everyone loves a good sunset, I was reminded yesterday sometimes the things that we are so clear to us can be obscured or completely unseen by others. “Everyone” is a whole lot of people and I bet there are some of us that know people that struggle to see the good in anything, even spectacular sunsets from South Australia.
But that’s not me, that’s not me… I ain’t no Un-fortunate One
No, It ai’nt me, It ain’t me…. I ain’t no Un-fortunate son. .
Pardon the CCR song parody distortion but man, I lived in the shadow of the darkness of depression, pessimism, and skepticism for way too long and the Lord opened my eyes to the truth of who He is, who Jesus Christ is, who I am in Christ, and I just can’t help but see the beauty that the Lord has made every where I look and when I hear supposed Christians lament about the darkness of the hour or the perceived lack in their lives I have to trumpet the truth and be a voice of encouragement that tells anyone who will listen that God is good and He takes care of those who put their faith in Christ and choose to follow Him with the way they live their lives.
Well it is Saturday, and while I have to work today, I know boo hoo, I pray that all my friends, whether working or not, have a blessed day and a wonderful weekend because regardless of our current circumstances the Lord has made a WAY for all of us to have peace with Him and an abundant life of freedom, love, peace, and joy.
And that “WAY” is Jesus Christ. But you have to believe in Him, trust in Him, put your faith in Him, and receive what the Lord has given to us as FORTUNATE adopted sons and daughters to the King.
Yesterday, I was reminded of one of the biggest lies of the enemy, that runs rampant in churches and keeps Christians bound in bondage to sin, the victim mentality, and spiritual infancy.
What is this lie that is repeated and proclaimed as a rationalization for repeated failures or lack of peace?
The lie is: “I don’t enough faith.”
Amazingly, the people who proclaim this lie even have a life verse to stand on. They echo the prayer of the father of a demon oppressed child who pleaded to Jesus in tears:
24 … "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"
Instead of standing in faith, they proclaim their unbelief, or a lack of an adequate faith, and lament of their lack of peace or “good feelings” or good circumstance s in their lives. Instead of building up their faith and renewing their minds by studying and agreeing with what the word of God says about who they are in Christ, they claim a lack of faith capacity or the ability to believe.
Other derivatives of this lie include:
“I wish I could believe but I can’t.”
“That may be true for them, but it’s not true for me.”
“I don’t have the faith like them.”
These dejected Unfortunate children of God have more faith in their failures than they do in the Lord. By proclaiming their lack its not surprising they are sad because they are making a self fulfilling prophecy of doom and depression. They have forgotten the face of their Heavenly Father and have lost themselves in the mirror of self-introspection and fallen victim to fleeting feelings by not Abiding in Christ.
If I choose to I could see bad in everything. I could see that others are more gifted or “blessed” than me. I can have a real pity party about all the things others have that I don’t. I could even look at today’s sunset photo and tell you how it’s not so great or even go to a wild extreme and speak on how the sun is actually hostile to us and is just looking to give us sunburns and skin cancer, that that sunset is actually trying to kill us.
Or I could choose to see the good in God’s creation and in my situation.
But what if my situation is lacking? And it isn’t so good or has been better before? What if I can’t see the good here on the earth?
That’s why we need God.
If we look to ourselves or the world, we would only see that things are falling apart and that we are all going to die.
But the Lord sent Jesus Christ and showed us through His resurrection that death is not the end. There is more to our existence then this life. There is an unseen spiritual realm, God’s kingdom, and Lord has a plan for His creation that will culminate in Christ returning and the eventual will establish a new heaven and a new earth.
And not only do we have a bright future with the Lord but our faith in Christ also gives us power to overcome and to experience the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Before taking pity on the man and his demon oppressed son, Christ said
23 … "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."
He also said in
10 … I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
So the sky is the limit, but we have to believe the abundant life that Jesus promised us is possible, We have to believe that it is available to us and we have to have faith and follow His wisdom to receive it.
And when I say receive it, don’t get me wrong I am not talking about some prosperity gospel here. Christ has already given us everything. He has given us eternal life. And no matter what situation is if we realize what we have in Christ, we can see that even our Unfortuante circumstances will have some fortunate circumstances and regardless of what we have or done have materially, we have everything spiritually.
But if we doubt, if we disbelieve, or if we take our eyes off of Christ, we can believe the lie that we have nothing, or we don’t have enough faith.
While we may lack somethings in this life, we have everything we need in Christ. And time and time again, scripture tells us that through faith we can receive all kinds of things like: healing, peace, freedom, victory, love, and joy.
But if you are proclaiming your lack of faith or your unbelief, you won’t see the Glorious Son or all the things He has given you.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Peter 3:15-16 (NLT2)
15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.
16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.
Today’s verses encourage us to worship Christ as the Lord of our lives and explain to others that our hope comes from Him and to live a good life.
Today’s verses set up the expectation that if Jesus is our Lord that we will live good lives that are beyond reproach and that will exemplify hope.
Surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus is the key to Christian living. We don’t stand on our freedom to do whatever we want, we follow Him and when we do that we have clear consciences and we will have a life of peace and hope that others can see.
Our Christian faith is a belief that has no discernable difference from our unsaved neighbors. Our faith is a lifestyle of righteous living. Our faith changes the way we live and the people we used to be and will cause us tell others about it.
So if you don’t have peace or the abundant life, repent and worship Christ as your Lord and follow His Way that leads to a clear conscience and an ongoing testimony of righteous living and hope.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
The Sermon on the Mount
On the Hidden Nature of the Christian Life
The Hiddenness of Prayer
“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you in public. When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matt. 6:5–8).
Jesus teaches his disciples to pray. What does that mean? We should not take for granted that we are allowed to pray. Of course, prayer is a natural need of the human heart, but that does not mean that human beings have a right to pray before God. Even when it is done with firm discipline and practice, it can be fruitless and without promise. The disciples may pray because it is Jesus who tells them to do so, and he truly knows the Father. He promises them that God will listen to them. So the disciples may pray only because they are in the community of Jesus, because they follow him. Anyone who is bound to Jesus in discipleship has access to the Father through him. Thus, every true prayer is mediated prayer. There is no such thing as unmediated praying. Even in prayer there is no unmediated access to the Father. Only through Jesus Christ may we find the Father in prayer. Faith, adherence to Christ, is the presupposition of prayer. He is the only mediator of our prayer. We pray trusting in his word. So our prayer is always prayer bound to his word.
We pray to God, in whom we believe through Christ. Therefore our prayer can never be a pleading with God. We do not need to pose before God. We may trust that God knows what we need before we ask for it. This gives our prayer greatest confidence and joyous certainty. It is not the formulation, not the number of words, but faith which reaches God’s fatherly heart that has known us so long.
Genuine prayer is not a deed, an exercise, a pious attitude. Rather it is the request of the child to the heart of the Father. That is why prayer is never demonstrative, neither before God nor before ourselves, nor before others. If God did not know what I need, then I would have to think about how I should tell God, what I should tell God, whether I should tell God. But the faith out of which I am praying prevents such reflecting or demonstrating.
Prayer is necessarily hidden. It is the opposite of a public act in every way. When people pray, they no longer know themselves; they know only God, to whom they are calling. Because prayer does not reach out into the world, but is directed solely to God, it is the least demonstrative act there is.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship