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Faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. So faith in God is simply having complete trust in God. And by having complete trust in God, every battle we ever face is conquered.
Hebrews 11:32-34 says And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith [that is, with an enduring trust in God and His promises] subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promised blessings, closed the mouths of lions, extinguished the power of [raging] fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became mighty and unbeatable in battle, putting enemy forces to flight.
When I read that passage, what stuck out to me is the fact that all of that was accomplished, this scripture says, by simply by having faith. And to think if they could do all of that through faith then surely I can too. If I have complete trust in God, I can administer justice, obtain God’s promised blessings. I can close the mouths of lions and put out raging fires. I can escape the edge of the sword, become strong out of my weakness, become mighty and undefeated in battle, and I can put enemy forces to flight.
Through faith I have nothing to fear. When I put my trust and confidence in God, every battle I face is already conquered.
In Ephesians 6, we are encouraged to take on the armor of God every day. In verse 16 it says above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Its the only piece of armor of God that has a reason why you need it. To me, that means it must be one of the most important ones to have.
Which makes sense because the shield mentioned here, the word translated is described as the type of shield used to protect the whole body, not just a small captain America circle shield worn on the arm. But this shield would be the size and shape of a door. It typically had an iron frame and had several layers of leather and if it was soaked in water before a battle, it could put out firey darts thrown by the enemy.
Those firey darts are being thrown at us all the time. How many times has doubt been thrown at us, fear, or lies. That’s why it’s so important to have the shield of faith put on every day, to have complete trust in God every day because you don’t know what will be thrown at you.
When you have complete trust in God, there is nothing to fear. You can trust that God will provide even if there is no money in the bank. You can trust that God will direct when a door of opportunity is shut.
Last week Austin talked a little bit about mustard seed faith in youth service. He said the Israelites didn’t need much faith to conquer the people living in the land God was giving them, but the 10 spies out of the 12 basically had none, no faith! If they would have had the faith as the grain of a mustard seed, they wouldn’t have wandered the wilderness for 40 years.
The mustard seed is very popular because of its size which is only 1-2 millimeters. If you took a pen and put a dot on a piece of paper, that’s about how big a mustard seed is.
But what does it mean to have mustard seed faith?
When Jesus talked about mustard seeds, he related them to faith in the book of Luke and Matthew and and He related them to the likeness of the Kingdom of God in the book of Mark. Faith and the kingdom go hand in hand. You cannot have faith without the kingdom of God and you cannot have the kingdom of God without faith. For without faith, it is impossible to please God. Without faith, it is impossible to be apart of the kingdom of God.
Now mustard seeds can never be anything other than what they were created to be.
Now days, scientists can make hybrid vegetables that have a type of built in bug repellant in their DNA. They take the DNA of the plant and change it so it is undesirable to bugs and insects by taking part of another plants DNA and introduce it to the plant they’re working on. So for example if they are working on corn, they want corn to have a type of bug repellant in its DNA, they will take a plant like mint that bugs tend to stay away from and introduce its DNA to the corn making the corn “sick” by introducing the mint as if its a virus. the mint plant’s DNA is now in the corn creating a hybrid plant and the corn can now repel bugs. But scientists have found that mustard seeds cannot do this. If they were to introduce mint DNA to the mustard seed, the mustard seed would refuse to accept the “sickness” or any other DNA.
Mustard seeds are not influenced by this world. When things are thrown at them, it doesn’t effect them or change them. And to have mustard seed faith, maybe it’s more than just the amount that you have. But to have mustard seed faith is also about not being moved or changed when life is thrown at us because we have complete trust in God. Our shield is up, we trust God, we are putting out the fiery darts of the enemy because of our shield of faith.
How to gain faith?
Romans 10:17 says So faith cometh from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Faith comes from hearing the word of God. Part of what your pastor does is so important! He preaches the word of God! Part of his responsibility is to help in building our faith which we need to be apart of the kingdom and to please God. It is so important to hear the word of God in our lives. And if you can’t hear it preached to you then get into the word yourself and read it out loud. The word of God is part of the armor of God. Faith is the shield but the word of God is the weapon and they go hand in hand. You can stand all day with the shield and be protected but if you have the sharpest sword in the world that can not only conquer your enemies but can also expose and judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart, why stand around all day behind a shield? That doesn’t conquer anything. Just like if God tells you He is going to bless you with a job and you say great, I trust you and believe you but then you don’t put in applications and just sit around all day, you may not be getting a job any time soon. But it’s when we take God’s word and apply it and take it to the enemy’s camp, that’s when we see the victory.
Going back to my scripture, Hebrews 11:32-34
Those mentioned in these scriptures, subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promised blessings, closed the mouths of lions, extinguished the power of [raging] fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became mighty and unbeatable in battle, putting enemy forces to flight all because of their faith. Many of them, their faith came from prophets speaking the word of God into their life.
God told Joshua to have the Israelites walk around Jericho and God would cause the walls to fall. What would have happened if Joshua did not take God’s word and put it to action? They would not have defeated Jericho. Or Noah, God told Noah a flood was coming and he needed to build an ark. Noah took God’s word and applied it. If he had not, he would have perished with the rest of the world.
I’m going to close with some scriptures, the word of God, to help encourage us and to build our faith, to put our trust in God. And if we take these scriptures and apply them to our lives, we can conquer anything thrown at us.
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, In God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, And respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths.