Day 44: By Faith

                On Tuesday April 7th, the super moon could be seen in all its beauty. One person wrote, “If you needed a break from the pandemic, look up. When all feels troubled on the planet, looking up invokes a sense of wonder and promise.” Yes the fact that the moon rose is a promise from God. No we are not to worship the moon as some do, but we are to listen with our eyes. Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Jeremiah 33:20 “This is what the Lord says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, 21 then my covenant with David my servant—and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me—can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. 22 I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars in the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.’”
                The good news is that the moon did what it was supposed to do whether you saw it or not. Unfortunately in our area we had a storm instead but looking at the pictures it was an amazing sight. The truth is I really did not need to see it as God has already spoken through His word. You could be blind and never have seen the moon but because God’s word tells us about His lasting promise to David, by faith we believe. I didn’t see the moon that night but we still saw a light show, as God’s eternal power was on display in another way. All of a sudden there was thunder and then for at least ten minutes or more there was sheet lightening across the sky that seemed to stay in the same spot. It was awesome. The truth is these displays of God’s power are bonuses for us but it does also mean all men are without excuse. Some will dismiss it; others will take a peek and then forget about it. Some will study and admire it and some will worship it. There is a huge difference between astronomy and astrology but similar if they reject God. “Astronomy is a science that studies everything outside of the earth's atmosphere, such as planets, stars, asteroids, galaxies; and the properties and relationships of those celestial bodies. ... Astrology, on the other hand, is the belief that the positioning of the stars and planets affect the way events occur on earth.” Two warnings; if you have replaced God with science, repent. If you are in any way part of astrology, repent and run. All are accountable to God the creator and sustainer of the earth. Many scientists will put their faith in a god particle and others will put their faith in what they think that god particle can do for them if they line up. Romans 1:21 “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”
                Putting your faith in science or in what you think that the power of universe is, is useless. No god can do what God can do. Isaiah 42:5 “This is what God the Lord says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: 6 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. 8 “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. 9 See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.” It doesn’t say the moon or your horoscope or how the stars aligned can do all these things for you; it states this is what God the Lord says. This is actually what the church was supposed to do in the first place, but we put our faith in what our hands have made and instead we exchange the glory of God for something disgraceful. Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. 7 The more priests there were, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their glorious God for something disgraceful. 8 They feed on the sins of my people and relish their wickedness. 9 And it will be: Like people, like priests. I will punish both of them for their ways and repay them for their deeds.” Romans 1:26 “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
                What happened to Israel has happened to the church except the difference is our enemies are not human like they were when they fought wars. (Not the crusades by the way) Our war is a spiritual battle and the battle is still God’s. Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” So while the enemy is vast, we do not have to fear. 2 Chronicles 20:15 “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
                Jeremiah describes the desolation that has happened to the church because we did not stand firm of God’s word. Jeremiah 44:2 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You saw the great disaster I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Today they lie deserted and in ruins 3 because of the evil they have done. They aroused my anger by burning incense to and worshiping other gods that neither they nor you nor your ancestors ever knew. 4 Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, ‘Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!’ 5 But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods. 6 Therefore, my fierce anger was poured out; it raged against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem and made them the desolate ruins they are today. 7 “Now this is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Why bring such great disaster on yourselves by cutting off from Judah the men and women, the children and infants, and so leave yourselves without a remnant? 8 Why arouse my anger with what your hands have made, burning incense to other gods in Egypt, where you have come to live? You will destroy yourselves and make yourselves a curse and an object of reproach among all the nations on earth.” Every Sunday churches around the world are burning incense to other gods. (other gospels)
                You may say what desolation? You may look at all the churches and say God is good. You may look on the Internet and say wow millions are following but the truth is we have lost this war and the church has been taken captive. The church has been thoroughly deceived and therefore there is no power. This is what happens when we are unfaithful. Jesus asked if he would find faith when he returned. At this point that will be a problem. Yes men and women have faith in what their hands have made but faith in God is a different story. Our idols have replaced the word of God and we have angered God by what our hands have made. This is how subtle it can be. I listened to a man share his experience with the coronavirus that almost killed him. He said he prayed constantly and when he was better he gave praise to the talents of the doctors. Isn’t it a little strange that the healing power of God has been replace by doctors? (No offense directed at doctors.) This simple switch of praise has affected most in the church. Yes they will say God used the doctors but the healing part of our faith is missing. 2 Chronicles 16:12 “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians.” Many have stopped praying for healing because they are not seeing an answer. Others like many in the church are praying for a vaccination. The power then comes from the vaccination. We pray to God but have become dependent on what our hands have made. Isaiah 1:15 “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!” James gives us a different picture. James 5:13 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” It has been so long since this was normal everyday church, that most just don’t believe it possible, so their prayers end up like the ones I described and they say thank God for doctors. Where is the power to heal and cast out demons? This global shutdown has shown us the church does not have the power to heal and cast out demons from Pentecostals to Catholics. Some churches are fighting for their right to assemble but the church is far more than that. Yes they will assemble and follow their doctrines and theology, which are false gospels and expect to be covered by the blood as I heard one lady say. She said she was covered by the blood of Jesus but not if you are following other gods / gospels. The scary part is most don’t know that they are not covered. They only know what they have been told. God will not answer our prayers when we disobey him by submitting to other gods. Isaiah 42:8 “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.”
                 The church is supposed to be a people of faith. Faithful people of the bible are described in Hebrews. This is where we start with our faith. Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” Hebrews then goes on to give examples of the faithful. Most in the church still don’t get Genesis 1:1 “ In the beginning God…” If you would submit to the creator of all, you would have no problem with your faith and you would live in confidence. You then would trust the beginning of Matthew that states, Matthew 1:1 “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Knowing that Jesus is the King of kings, the Messiah, death would have no sting because 1 Chronicles 29:11 “Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.” We are supposed to be a church of power. Revelation 1:5 “Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.”
                No matter what happens around us, our faith in God’s word stands firm! Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8 Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
                God is God no matter what. 2 Timothy 2:11 “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” It is never God’s faithfulness that is in question. It is always about our faithfulness. There are many but look at this example of faith and not even a Jew. How does your faith compare to this centurion’s faith? Matthew 8:5 “When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” 7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.” 16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” This how the church is supposed to be but it is not happening because of our disobedience. Having faith in the man-made has left the church powerless and open to attack form our enemies. Sure men and women can fill stadiums and sell things but where is the authority to go out heal the sick and cast out demons. So one day you stand before Jesus and show him all you have built and Jesus will say away from me I don’t know you. Building things is not what God is looking for. He looks at your heart and wants you to be faithful to Him not to your idols and gods. The question is, are you powerful or filled with the power of God. If so then as Luke tells us you will then have Luke 9:1 “power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” That's not happening. Yes you may see signs and wonders because satan is masquerading, as are his servants. 2 Thessalonians 2 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing.  2 Corinthians 11:14 “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” The church is not clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit. To have true signs and wonders again we must adhere to the word of God once again. Hebrews 2:4 “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” Mark 16:20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”
                God tells us what to do and gives us the choice to make. Isaiah 30:15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. 16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! 17 A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.” 18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” We are given a choice to obey and wait or turn and flee. Jude 17 “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. 20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. 24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”