Faith Till The End (part 8): The foundation for faith is a heart relationship with God.
September 4, 2022
Faith Till The End (part 8)
The foundation for faith is a heart relationship with God.
Today is part 8 of this series.
We are talking about what it looks like to live by faith .
Our challenges in the future will be won by living by faith.
The greatest commodity we carry into our future is the ability to act in faith in all of life’s circumstances.
You cannot live in faith and fear at the same time.
Or in worry.
Or in sin.
Living by faith is for people who have decided to sell out for Jesus, to give Him their all.
We have looked at the first 5 points of 8 things you need to know about faith.
1. Faith is a gift given to you by Jesus.
2. Faith can be increased by meditation and practice of the word.
3. Faith takes the place of what cannot be seen or felt until it actually appears.
4. Faith is never future. Faith is always in the present tense.
5. Faith cannot be separated from Words. (2 weeks on this!)
6. The foundation for faith is a heart relationship with God.
Mark 11:22-25 -NKJV
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. (23) For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (24) Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (25 )”And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
Faith is a heart thing.
Faith works best in an environment of love. Anything that affects your inner life – your thoughts and beliefs, can affect your faith.
Faith works when we have a heart full of love for God and for others.
God wants us to know Him personally and closely.
It is easy for routine to take the place of a relationship!
It is easy just to go through the motions to satisfy conscience and really not connect very closely to the Lord.
Isaiah 29:13 (NLT)
And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.
The prophet Ezekiel mentions the heart relationship with God that Israel left.
Ezekiel 33:31-32 (NLT)
So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money. 32 You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it!
(Life Application Study Bible NLT- Study Bible Notes) 33:32 The people were coming to listen to Ezekiel in order to be entertained. They weren’t interested in hearing a message from the Lord and then putting it into practice. Many people treat church as a form of entertainment. They enjoy the music, the people, and the activities, but they don’t take the messages to heart. They don’t seek to be challenged or to serve. Have you reduced church services to the level of entertainment, or does your worship truly have an impact on your life? Listen to God’s words and then obey—apply his words and put them into practice in your life.
Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’
Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
(Life Application Study Bible NLT- Study Bible Notes) 29:13-14 The people claimed to be close to God, but they were disobedient and merely went through the motions; therefore, God would bring judgment upon them. Religion had become routine instead of real…Often we slip into routine patterns when we worship, and we neglect to give God our love and devotion. If we want to be called God’s people, we must be obedient and worship him honestly and sincerely.
Love for God must turn into obeying or putting into practice His Word.
John 14:21 (TPT)
Those who truly love me are those who obey my commands. Whoever passionately loves me will be passionately loved by my Father. And I will passionately love you in return and will manifest my life within you.”
John 14:23-24 (TPT)
Jesus replied, “Loving me empowers you to obey my word. And my Father will love you so deeply that we will come to you and make you our dwelling place. 24 But those who don’t love me will not obey my words. The Father did not send me to speak my own revelation, but the words of my Father.
In our current climate, many have walled themselves off from others, and this can also move into your relationship with God.
Notice Proverbs 3:5-8 (NKJV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.
Proverbs 3:5-8 (MSG)
Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. 6 Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track. 7 Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil! 8 Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!
When I began my walk with God, I began to pull back a bit, feeling that I was not pleasing to the Lord in some way.
It was an air of inferiority that I was not sure that God really loved me and was pleased with me.
It was hard for me to get close to the Lord with these thoughts and feelings.
I read Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV)
The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
I needed to get to a place where I knew that God loved me, period.
I came to see that I was judging my relationship with God based on my relationship with my dad. I felt that I never measured up to my dad’s standards, always striving to but not fully accepted by him.
Once I saw this and forgave my dad, I found that I could more freely open my heart to God.
Your view of God as mirrored by your parents can affect your faith positively or negatively.
We relate to God as Father through the mirror of our parents, particularly our father.
To overcome this, I spent time reading and thinking over and over about God’s deep love for us as believers.
John 17:23 – NLT
I am in them and You are in Me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent me and that You love them as much as you love me.
John 16:27 – Amplified
For the Father Himself [tenderly] loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came out from the Father.
Psalm 145:8-9 – ESV
The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 The Lord is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made.
Psalm 145:8-9 – ESV
The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to You , and You give them their food in due season. 16 You open your hand; You satisfy the desire of every living thing. 17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His works. 18 The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him; He also hears their cry and saves them.
Psalm 103:8-13 – NLT
The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 9 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. 10 He does not punish us for all our sins; He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. 11 For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. 13 The Lord is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.
Once I began to see that God’s love for me was NOT conditional, I could then open my heart life up to Him and trust Him with every part of my life.
Because faith is of the heart, We must become tender to God on the inside.
Years ago, I ministered to a man in our church who had a life threatening liver disease. I prayed for him. I sent him to Kenneth Hagin’s healing school which was open at the time. The church paid his travel and hotel expenses to go to healing school all week.
When he got back, he told me that he could not receive from God. He just could not believe that God loved him.
He had issues with his father that were not resolved, and to escape the pain had turned to alcohol and became an alcoholic.
Hebrews 12:15 – NLT
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
He did get born again, but he died soon after. I could never get him to see that God loved him, and wanted to heal him.
This had a huge impact on me and showed me the importance of helping people develop a close heart fellowship with the Lord.
Once you know that God is loving and approachable, you can begin to pour your heart out to Him and trust him to hear you and answer your prayers.
Be willing to deal with your personal relational pain, and be willing to forgive the offender. These kinds of heart issues affect so many people.
Open ended relationships that leave emotional weights and wounds may hinder the free exercise of a confident faith in Jesus.
Since faith is a heart issue, be sure that there is no hardness of heart because of sour relationships.
Also, be aware of the issue of unrepentant sin. It can hinder your faith since it too affects the heart. This is anything that you constantly do that affects your closeness with God. You know it is wrong for you, but you go there and do it anyway.
If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19 But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer.
Proverbs 1:28-29 – NLT
When they cry for help, I will not answer. Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me. 29 For they hated knowledge and chose not to fear the Lord.
Proverbs 28:9 – NLT
God detests the prayers of a person who ignores the law.
Isaiah 1:15-16 – NLT
When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims. 16 Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways.
Isaiah 59:2 – NLT
It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, He has turned away and will not listen anymore.
1 John 1:9 – NLT
But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
1 John 2:1 – NLT
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the One who is truly righteous.
Example – Lady called to missions ministry in her teens. Could not receive healing. Her disobedience was keeping her from God’s best.
God wants us to know Him from the inside out! That way of knowing Him creates an atmosphere for strong faith!
1. Seek to develop a close relationship with God. Faith is a heart issue. Know that God loves you unconditionally and wants to be close to you.
2. Ask the Lord to help you become close to Him and open your heart life to Him. Forgive your parents if they were aloof and hash. God wants to be caring and close.
3. Keep your heart free from unforgiveness and personal sin. Forgive those who wrong you, and make it a point to ask the Lord to help you in your areas of fleshly weakness.