THE DYNAMICS OF FAITH Part 2
Pastor Wole Gbogboade
Text: Gen. 28:13-15
- It is important to see examples of people that God had taken through a journey from flesh to faith. It will make the Bible real today as ever. Secondly, we will appreciate efficacy of the word of God in the lives of others who have gone through the journey of faith successfully and are now part of the “cloud of witness” watching as we are all running the race of eternal life. Thirdly, it will confirm to us that Jesus is the same yesterday, and today and forever.” We will take example from the Old and New Testament of the Bible.
JACOB: His life is a typical example of a journey from flesh to faith.
The name Jacob means supplanter, schemer and it is the epitome of crookedness. He exploited Esau, his brother’s hunger and carelessness to usurp his birthright. He also impersonated his brother with the connivance of their mother to steal Esau’s blessing from their father.
His brother was so angry, he planned to kill him. Then, his parents sent him to Padan-aram to marry from the household of Laban.
- The name Laban means white, purifier or brick builder. Jacob had no choice because he was running away from his brother not knowing he was in for a humbling experience. Laban was a type of discipler.
Jacob was to serve Laban for seven years to marry Rachel, his heart throb. Unknown to him, he would have to spend the next twenty years serving Laban and only God would deliver him from Laban. After the agreed seven years, instead of Rachel, Leah was packaged together with a maid for Jacob whom he discovered the following morning. He complained, and Laban asked him to serve another seven years to marry Rachel. He spent fourteen years to marry, with a maid for each wife. After serving for about twenty years, God’s divine intervention got Laban’s wealth transferred to Jacob. Gen.31:6-16. Laban pursued him for seven days v.23 but, God delivered him. v.38-42.
- Gen. 32:25, the supplanting Jacob got his name changed through divine intervention.
- Gen. 33:3, Israel had to restitute to Esau by prostrating seven times with his hands raised up as a mark of total surrender to his brother and called Esau my Lord. This is a clear departure from his past lifestyle. v. 3, 8. Esau embraced and kissed his brother and they both wept. He gave his brother Esau a kind of “trespass offering.” God made his brother Esau to love him instead of vengeance. Prov. 16:7.
Now that he started to work with God by faith, his life has completely changed. Then, God blessed him and transferred the blessings of Abraham and Isaac to him, God became the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. Gen.35:9-12.
A life of faith is the life that God cherishes from His children because it is pleasing to Him.
DISCIPLES OF JESUS:
When the Lord first met His disciples and called them, they were just like any natural human beings who were out to please themselves as they grab as much as possible for themselves from the resources available in their nation so they could make enough wealth and probably gain recognition of men. They had no idea what the journey of faith in God looks like.
- In John chapter 1 for instance, Jesus met Simon son of Jona and changed his name to Peter or Cephas. Simon means reed or rig that the wind can easily toss about. But Peter is petros in Greek meaning a stone (living stone 1Peter 2:4-5). However, the old nature in the life of Peter and the rest of disciples continued to manifest itself as they struggle in the journey of faith which is absolute trust in God and not in flesh. 2Cor. 5:7. The Lord patiently and steadfastly continue to teach and train or disciple them by living the life of faith and taking them out to see how He demonstrate faith in God’s word on a daily basis.
- Gradually, His disciples began to experience the work of faith in their own lives which began to build trust in the Lord and in His word. They also began to develop boldness like the righteous. Prov. 28:1.
- Eventually, through intimacy, they got to know the Lord. Matt. 16:14-16. Faith will first bring you close to the Lord then, strengthen you in the Lord to make you do exploits for Him and for His glory. Dan.11:32 (b).
- The same disciples who were ignorant men and so fearful could face the Jewish ruling council, the Sanhendrin to speak boldly in witnessing for Christ. Though they knew them to be ignorant men yet, they took cognizance of the fact that they have been with Jesus. Acts 4:13. Jesus Himself had testified before the Jews in their synagogue that His doctrine is of God when they were amazed that a carpenter could teach so much. John 7:14-16.
“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;” 1Thess. 1:3
- The people of old pleased the Lord with their work of faith. They are also found faithful because they worked by faith. This of course we know can only happen when you know God and His word. Then, you can recognize His voice and have developed faith to do what He says. Paul acknowledged the work of faith not of flesh that the Thessalonians rendered to God.
- Of course, when we work by faith, we don’t murmur, complain; we don’t do eye service or please men. Instead, we focus on God who will reward us, not man. Also, it is the work done by faith that pleases the Lord. Finally, a work done by faith brings satisfaction to us. And God reward those who diligently seek Him and please Him.
“For without faith, it is impossible to please God…” Heb. 11:6
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