Sunday 26th September 2010 – Pastor Mark Ballosingh
Psalm 31 19:24 19 [Oh] how great [is] thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; [which] thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! 20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. 21 Blessed [be] the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city. 22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. 23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: [for] the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. 24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
Faith plus Courage = Deliverance. Faith cannot work without Courage. One would not know how resilient their Faith is unless placed under a difficult situation.
Ø Is being able to let go off the familiar and step into something which seems uncertain, unsure or unpredictable. When Peter came out of the boat and stepped unto the waters he was stepping into something uncertain.
Ø Is not only being able to understand what it is but to demonstrate it.
Ø The ability to stand up and speak but also gives us the ability to sit down and listen
Ø Will be tested through storms and trials to classify and clarify our Faith
Ø The ability to live. It is said that it takes courage to live because everyone dies. Faith takes courage to walk each day knowing that there maybe something that will happen which will require Faith to be activated.
Ø Believe the report of the Lord rather than report of the World. When Joshua sent the 10 men to Canaan only 2 men (who had great Faith) came back with a good report. It would take courageous Faith to go into the land after hearing only 2 good reports.
Ø To step away from the things which discourage us from focusing on God.
If your Faith ebbs low, your courage ebbs low. Courage – to be bold, to be confident. A man who knows and is close to God demonstrates that boldness and courage.
Courageous men of Faith are men who are confident about their God understands and knows the voice of God and are not distracted my men. David is said to be a man after Gods’ heart and he espouses the virtue of courage in the battle between him and Saul, David would be in a position to slay Saul but wouldn’t. “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart: wait I say on the Lord”.(Psalm 27:14)
Joshua while leading the children of Israel to Canaan would speak words of courage to them Joshua 1:6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
King Hezekiah in the battle against Assyria was a courageous man, had he been a man who was faint hearted he would have given up and lost the battle before the enemy entered. This is the same King who challenged God to add more time to his years and to turn back the hands on the dial who had Faith and trust in God to keep them during the battle. 2 Chronicles 32 7&8 Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that [is] with him: for [there be] more with us than with him: 8 With him [is] an arm of flesh; but with us [is] the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
In the natural eye it would look as though Hezekiah and his army would have no chance as the enemy surrounded the city. It is said that in battle the enemy would cut off the city from their supply of water, food and finances but when the arm of flesh faced them, the Arm of God fought their battle.
In the account of Elijah when the enemy surrounded him his servant was overcome with fear but Elijah being a man of Courageous Faith was not afraid 2 Kings 6:16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that [be] with us [are] more than they that [be] with them.
There are things in our life that the devil knows are essential for us to survive and he will try to cut those things off to strike fear in our hearts but be of Courageous Faith, open your eyes and ears for there are more for you than against you. Speak things which were not as though they were, though crisis surrounds you, be not faint nor falter but encourage thyself in the Lord.
THE ARM OF FLESH VERSUS THE GOD OF WAR
· Teaches us wisdom and how to war – in the time of battle do not cower down or run but declare a courageous Faith, declare that my God is God over my life and over every battle I face. “My help cometh from the Lord”, when the arm of flesh comes up against me the arm of God will rise up and protect me and his angels will encamp around me.
· Produces Courageous Faith – be courageous for there are more for us than against us. Whose side are you leaning on, whose report will you believe?
ADVERSITY OF VEXATION VERSUS THE COURAGE TO BRING REVIVAL
2 Chronicles 15 1-9: 1 And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: 2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD [is] with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 Now for a long season Israel [hath been] without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. 4 But when they in their trouble did turn unto the LORD God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. 5 And in those times [there was] no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations [were] upon all the inhabitants of the countries. 6 And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity. 7 Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 8 And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that [was] before the porch of the LORD. 9 And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God [was] with him.
- When the Spirit of vexation faces us, Faith and Courage must tell us to be Bold and Confident for there needs to be a Revival. Vexation of Spirit will cause provocation which leads to a Spirit of murder. How our nation faces the adversity of vexation which has taken over our homes, families, relationships. The church has masked the problems of the nation and doesn’t want to face the reality of the problems our nation faces.
What caused the Spirit of Vexation?
The people had turned away from God they set up idols and altars throughout the nation. Where the Spirit of God doesn’t abound there will be a Spirit of vexation and disunity. But even in their times of adversity when they sought God they would find him. Aren’t you glad you can call on our God although there isn’t a temple or preacher and he will still hear you, aren’t you glad our God isn’t dependant on man!!!
Asa will call on the prophets to remove all the idols. It would take Courageous Faith for Asa to make that declaration to the nation, not only to remove the idols but to renew the place (the altar) where God is so worship could be revived.
So too in our lives the enemy will attack us mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially and we would feel discouraged and cant pray or worship but it would take Courageous Faith to re-establish the Altar of Worship.
ADANDONMENT OF FLESH VERSUS THE COURAGE TO WAIT
Psalm 27 7-14: 7 Hear, O LORD, [when] I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. 8 [When thou saidst], Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. 9 Hide not thy face [far] from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. 10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. 11 Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. 12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. 13 [I had fainted], unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
· Courageous Faith will give us the courage to abandon flesh and wait on the Lord. It is a great challenge to abandon the flesh as it is always easier to focus on what the enemy is doing than what God is doing or what he wants to do through and in us. Take hold of Courageous Faith and abandon the flesh for God is saying Wait on Him. Fix not your eyes on what the world, people or flesh is saying rather Courageous Faith says Wait on the Lord!!! Isaiah 40:31But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint
9 REASONS FOR COURAGEOUS FAITH
1) Comes from a person who fears God, knows how to pray, trusts God and communicates with God.
2) Brings with it the Goodness of God in the Land of the Living
3) Conceals us from the snares men set for us. He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler and from the noisome pestilence, Psalm 91:3. As a child of God, stand for Holiness and Righteousness and he will conceal you in the secret place of his pavilion. Psalm 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
4) Will give us protection from the plot of the enemy. God would direct Mary and Joseph to a different course to deliver Baby Jesus. God would protect Moses by directing his mother to send him down to river Nile as there was a decree to kill all the first born males. Courageous Faith will cause you to take a different route for Salvation and Survival.
5) Allows us to experience Gods’ marvelous kindness.
6) Brings certainty to our Prayer. When we pray we must put God in rememberance of his Word. God you said “Ask and it shall be given” “By your stripes we are healed”
7) God keeps his promises to us. God told Peter to come out and meet him on the waters God does not want us to worry or have fear but step out as he is not a God to lie but he is a God who keeps his promises.
8) Gives us the ability to see when God punishes the wicked. We may think that those who have done us wrong are not being punished but God says “vengeance is mine”Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
9) Will strengthen the heart. John 14 1-3 1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Strengthen your heart beloved knowing that this World will come to a fiery end but death has no hold on you, the grave shall have no victory over you because of your Courageous Faith the Lord will take you up.
Courageous Faith – having Grace under Pressure. With Christ in my vessel I can smile at the storm, doesn’t matter what you are going through Courageous Faith will give you the grace to pass through it. “Build my Faith Lord, when the adversity of the arm of flesh comes upon me let my Faith be a Courageous Faith to make it through”