In a world of veiled offers, snake-oil salesman, and political side-stepping, teach your people to lean on God’s word. Disappointment has programmed us to doubt and question, two characteristics incompatible with a growing faith.
Promise is the language of God. He does what he says he will do. He doesn’t understate nor over reach. Every word is true and backed by the authority and capacity to see it through.
- He promises friendship. Help your church receive it. (Jn 15:15)
- He promises peace. Show your church how to expect it. (Jn 14:27)
- He promise guidance. Enable your church to ask for it. (Isa 42:16)
- He promises strength. Model for your church how to lean on it. (Phil 4:13)
- He promises rest. Reveal to your church how to enter it. (Heb 4:9)
Churches cannot doubt his provision; they will never walk by faith. They cannot question God’s character; they will never enter the deeper life. Walking by promise is the surest defense against sin. Promise led Israel out of Egypt. Promise entered our world at Bethlehem. Promise was sealed at Calvary. Promise was proven by the empty tomb.
…for He who promised is faithful (Heb 10:23)
Don’t be a city dog. Quick to dart out the door, run off, escape, flee your Master’s care. The only way you come home is by leash and lead digging your paws in the ground, whining and whimpering as you return.
Don’t be a young country dog. Trouncing in the mud. Bounding through the briers and brambles. Searching out skunks and chasing squirrels. You return to your Master eventually but only muddied and bloodied and exhausted.
Learn the life of the old country dog. Sure, you ran the marshes and chased the vermin once but have found the best place is near your Master where an affectionate rub behind the ear and occasional biscuit is best. You can run; you are free. However, why would you ever leave Your Master’s side?
But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge… – Psalm 73:28
Pride is the first sin, the foundational rock of every wrong choice we will make today. Pride topples nations and leaders. Pride is my downfall and yours. Pride exalts what we do not need while at the same time attempting to cover over what we do. Pride says, “I don’t need God’s help. I don’t need your help. I must do this myself.”
So, before you begin building your week, whether for a heavenly kingdom or for a diabolical empire, walk your foundation with the Chief Inspector. Subject every stone to his watchful eye. Many a mighty wall will fall because it was built on pride.
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation…Let each one take care how he builds upon it. I Corinthians 3:10
Faith is positional not proportional. It is about a “who” not about a “how much”. It is not about having enough to enter the amusement park. Faith is the actual ticket in. And, you only ever need one ticket; God gifts faith to you. I don’t think God is a cheep giver, Indian-giver, holding-out-on-you giver. God is the perfect giver. And He gave you faith, singular. Why do you think you need more? Well, if you believe you need more than you get to believe you have to work for it, a human tendency which voids the gift and is no longer about faith. You search and search and pray and pray attempting to accumulate enough faith to reach some divine, predetermined tipping point that releases whatever you feel you don’t have enough faith to receive.
Faith is a shield but everyone always wants a tank. You don’t need a tank. God sent you out with a shield, the perfect size to get behind. You don’t need to ask for more shields you just need to use the one you have been given.
Do not be afraid, I am your Shield – God (Genesis 15:1)