Prepare Yourself for Jesus’ Return (part 9): Faith Must Have Corresponding Actions
September 3, 2023
Prepare Yourself for Jesus’ Return (part 9)
Faith Must Have Corresponding Actions
This is the 9th lesson on preparing yourself for Jesus’ return.
I am a Shepherd. I am to warn you of impending danger and prepare you for what is coming.
We are living in an unprecedented time just prior to Jesus’ return.
We’ve talked about the time period we are in as the time period at the close of the age of grace and the time just before Jesus returns.
I mentioned that it looks like we just may be here to see the rise of the antiChrist world government.
I just cannot find the pre-tribulation rapture in the Bible!
I can see a pre-wrath rapture, which means we are taken out of here before God’s wrath from nature hits the earth. But it looks like we will be here for the first part of the seven years people call tribulation, and we just may experience persecution and challenge from the tyrannical antiChrist world government.
One-world government ideology has formed: to weaken the family structure through immorality and woke ideology, to remove parental rights, to control the individual, to force compliance by limiting access to your money, to create an eventual digital-only currency, to devalue (create the dissolution of the worth of) the dollar and its use worldwide in a play that will eventually produce hyperinflation, to move the world into WW3 as nations prepare for conflict. As a result of all of this, the goods you need and infrastructure services such as water and electricity may be cut or drastically reduced. Get ready now!
During that time the power of God will rise, and God’s power will flow through His people.
Philippians 4:19 (NKJV)
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
We have a covenant with God where He has promised to help us during judgment times.
God’s people were provided for in the OT during:
-a flood in Noah’s Time,
-a meteor strike during the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah,
-a famine in Joseph’s time,
-during Egyptian judgments during Moses’ time,
-and through national judgment during Daniel’s time.
Now is the time to prepare for what is coming!
It’s a time of getting close to God and keeping your heart clean and open to Him.
It’s a time of getting serious with the Bible and letting it fill your mind and heart!
Make yourself available to our services, podcast, blogs, Small Groups. Press in and pursue God!
Faith is what will enable us to thrive during this strange time that is upon us!
The last three Sundays I have been talking about the role that faith plays in overcoming challenges both now and in our future.
The victory that overcomes the challenges is our faith!
And our faith in God’s Word will take us through whatever we face in our future!
I have covered 4 points in detail.
1. The New Testament emphasizes living by faith.
Mark 9:23 (NKJV)
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Romans 1:16-17 (NKJV)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
2. Living by faith means taking God at His word even when you don’t see it working or feel that it is making a difference!
A person living by faith will be moved to remind God of what He says when any kind of lack, challenge, adversity, or sickness attacks in any way!
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NLT)
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
3. Living by faith means believing right now that what God says in the Bible is true, even when it contradicts what you see and feel!
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Living by faith means that you believe that right now, not some time in the future, you have what God has promised you. You are not looking to get it one day. You believe that you receive it right now!
It may at the moment seem untrue, but you just keep your focus on God’s Word, and act like you believe it, period!
Three things found in this verse:
1. Faith is NOW.
2. Faith is the title deed to what you have asked for. You may not see or feel it, but it exists!
3. Faith is the evidence that what you have asked for actually exists.
Hebrews 11:1 (NCV)
Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.
Dr. J. Oswald Sanders quote:
Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen.
SO you THINK as though what you have asked for is yours already. You SPEAK as though you believe you receive what you asked for. And you ACT as though you believe you receive what you asked for.
Your “job” is to stand in faith until it manifests. You think, you speak, and you act as though you believe you receive what you asked for.
Faith is a gap-stander. Faith takes the place of what you asked for until it shows up.
4. Your faith and your words are inseparable.
There is no faith without words.
If it never comes out of your mouth, or, if there is a mixture of doubt with hope, you are not acting with faith.
Our words are compared to the bit in a horse’s mouth, and a rudder that guides a ship.
What you are saying is your faith speaking.
22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in (of) 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.
Says is mentioned three times, and believes is mentioned one time.
Words are three times more important than believing, because words can actually change what you believe!
IF you are struggling to believe you receive from the Lord, the key is increasing your faith!
You MUST read and meditate God’s Word for faith to grow. There is NO OTHER WAY.
I cannot pray for you to increase your faith.
You cannot pray and ask God to increase your faith.
You MUST read and meditate the Word!
Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The Word will build up inward confidence or faith.
If you are struggling with believing that you receive from the Lord, it is an issue of taking time to build up your faith. It will grow, just like muscles will grow.
And let me also mention this – you can get faith to work for you, but not always for someone else!
God respects personal boundaries. And God expects us to develop and grow spiritually.
If you are a baby believer, yes, someone else may be able to pray for you in faith and get an answer.
But if you have been a believer for a long time, you may not be able to get someone else to pray and get your answer for you. God expects you to do some things yourself.
For a stubborn, self willed person who refuses to grow and expects everyone else to assume their problem and help them, you may not be able to get their answer for them.
There is intercession and supplication for them that can be given to their friends and family by the Holy Spirit.
5. Faith must have corresponding actions or it’s dead faith!
It’s not enough just to believe.
The devil believes, so says James 2, but he will never do anything about what he believes about Jesus.
James 2:19 (NKJV)
You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
But again, they do not put what they believe into action.
For faith to bring results, there must be actions with it!
James 2:17-20 (New Century Version)
In the same way, faith by itself–that does nothing–is dead. 18 Someone might say, “You have faith, but I have deeds.” Show me your faith without doing anything, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe there is one God. Good! But the demons believe that, too, and they tremble with fear.
20 You foolish person! Must you be shown that faith that does nothing is worth nothing?
James 2:26 (NCV)
Just as a person’s body that does not have a spirit is dead, so faith that does nothing is dead!
Let me cut to the chase here a moment. IF you have prayed and asked Jesus to forgive and cleanse your sin, but there is nothing in your life there EVER changes, you have dead faith!
No, we are not saved by works, we are saved by Grace through faith!
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
But, on the other hand, if you have faith, it will show up in how you live, or, it is dead faith!
James mentions Abraham offering his son as a sacrifice at God’s command. He SO believed that God promised him a lot of children and grandchildren, that he followed through with actions! And God stopped him at the last minute.
James 2:20-24 (NKJV)
But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
David is another example of faith expressed in a person’s actions.
1 Samuel 17:32-50 (NLT)
Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”
33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”
34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The LORD who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”
Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the LORD be with you!”
38 Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. 39 David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before. “I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again. 40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.
41 Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, 42 sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. 43 “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. 44 “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. 45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the LORD will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone assembled here will know that the LORD rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the LORD’s battle, and he will give you to us!” 48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. 49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword.
MAY 2005 – my back and my knee, at the same time…
Faith must have corresponding actions or it’s dead faith!
James 2:17 (AMPC)
So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).
So, believe you receive answers to prayer BY FAITH. That means you believe you have the answer before it looks like it, feels , like it, etc.
Speak like you believe it.
Talk like you believe it.
Then in every way you can, act like it!
If you hesitate to act until you SEE the manifestation, you lose.
Example: mom – 1978 – Bible school – my stomach hurt SO BADLY. I could not eat. Threw up a school. Got home. Went to my room. My mom was making collards. Ham. cornbread. TO ME it smelled awful!!
My mom came back to my room and said, “I believe the Lord spoke to me and told me to tell you, that if you will come and eat a plate of the collards, ham, peas, and cornbread, you will be healed.”
I DID it, and I was healed!!!!
Faith MUST have corresponding actions to work.
If you believe you receive your healing, then as much as you can, act like you are healed!!
When you pray about anything, as much as you can, act like you have the answer.
NOW, if you are under a doc’s care, or are tasking meds, I am NOT saying stop taking them. I am saying keep taking them, and in the middle of your regular routine, start believing you receive, say what you believe, and worship God and thank Him over and over. AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, act like you believe.
Years ago, when I pastored in SC, a person came to me and told me how they were healed of a condition. The person said they started by meditating on healing scriptures and taking the meds, and continuing under the doctor’s care.
Then, after reading the word over and over on healing and meditating on it, then one day the person took ¾ of the pill instead of the whole pill. Did it for a few weeks. Went to doc. Tests were ok. then ½ over a period of weeks; then ¼ over a period of week, all the while going to the doctor.
Finally, after cutting back and cutting back, all while under the doc’s care, stopped the ¼ and the test came back normal. Then the person told the doc – he was very surprised.
1. Are you reading and meditating the Word of God so that your faith will be built up? Having a hard time with believing you receive right now what God promises is a clear sign of a lack of faith. The cure is getting into the Word!
2. Do you actively find a way to show your faith? Does what you do express that you believe you receive from the Lord?
3. Do your words agree with what you are praying?