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“So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
Faith is responding to the clear voice of God as it is embodied in His word. – Genesis 22:18
1. The Faith Builder
Our concept or understanding of who God is will determine our ability to exercise faith in Him. We can only get this understanding of who God is from scripture and that is why it is so important for God’s children to “live” in the Bible. (James 1:21)Weakness in this regard will retard one’s spiritual journey significantly and rob one of achieving the potential that God in Christ has for one. Many a Christian has failed to complete their mission because of failure to appreciate the nature of God. Consequently failure sets in because we see man made giants as bigger than God. If we really know who God is we will see giants as grass hoppers and with the help of God we will overcome them.
Jesus’ parable or lesson of the Fig Tree teaches us this lesson and therefore encourages us to have faith in God. (Mark 11:22-24) This parable also teaches us that the God we serve expects fruit and growth in our lives. (Mark 11:12-14) So, all this brings us to Isaiah who, although already a man of God and Prophet, needed an education in the greatness of God! This education totally renewed his faith and vision. We need the same renewal!
2. The Faith Lessons
In order for Isaiah to have his spiritual capacity enlarged he requires:
(A) An upward look. (Isaiah 6:1-4)
That is, he saw God as he had never seen Him before. He was literally overwhelmed by God’s glory, power and majesty. Scripture affirms that he actually saw Jesus! (John 12:41) Scripture also has a lot to say about the fact that we should constantly gaze upon Jesus by means of the eye of faith empowered by the word of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2; Colossians 3:1-2)
(B) An inward look. (Isaiah 6:5-7)
Isaiah’s view of God helped him to recognize his own sinfulness and depravity. The lesson is clear; we can only see who we really are when we truly see who God is! Although he was a great prophet and man of God he nevertheless cried out, “Woe is me!” We are generally deceived if we think that we are okay spiritually and thus we need to live in God’s presence brought to us by His word and prayer to see what we truly are. Faith works powerfully through clean lives. Isaiah was cleansed by a coal from the altar all of which is a picture of the cleansing and purifying fire that comes from the cross of Jesus. It is therefore certain that Christians need to rediscover the disciplines of meditation, repentance, humility and submission.
(C) An outward look. (Isaiah 6:8)
An interesting observation from this passage is that God’s response to Isaiah’s repentance etc is to give a general invitation for someone to rise up and go into the world with a message of salvation and blessing. God says, “Who will go for us?” This is truly odd because Isaiah is the only person in the throne room of Heaven. We learn from this that being right with God and cleansed does not mean that one will go beyond one’s self to serve the interests of God’s kingdom. Isaiah had to make a decision as we all do. We need faith to go by! Will you go?
3. The Faith Challenge
The twelfth chapter of Hebrews and the first two verses teach us how to maintain a life of “going faith.” We must:
(A) Stay steady; meaning that we must keep our minds trained on looking at Jesus.
(B) Stay clean; meaning that we must keep short accounts with God when it comes to dealing with sin.
(C) Stay free; that is we should not let legitimate pursuits hinder us from doing God’s will. Never forget that Christian freedom is the freedom to do the will of God.
All of the above requires faith to go by!
©Malcolm Hedding Ministries