Living out our faith

(Habakkuk 2:4) Look, his ego is inflated, he is without integrity. But the righteous one will live by his faith HCSB

Prophetic-Prayer-21

1-We must “Live” out our faith:

The prophet Habakkuk first appears around 605 BC right around the time the Chaldeans (Babylonians) were dismantling the Syrian empire, Egypt is in turmoil. This conflict affected surrounding countries, and Habakkuk predicts that soon the conflict would spill over and the Chaldeans would come to Judah as well.
In his initial conversation with God, Habakkuk voices his concerns about the sins being committed, and lawlessness of the Jews, and how he thought the justice God doled out on the people was insufficient (1:1-4) We never know what God is up to, nor completely understand His reasoning to allow events to unfold as they do. This caused Habakkuk to break faith with God.
Then he complains how God plans to remedy the situation, and He would allow the people to suffer at the hands of a people that was more evil than they were. “Seriously,” Lord?! (Habakkuk 1:12) Are You not from eternity, Yahweh my God? My Holy One, You will not die. Lord, You appointed them to execute judgement; my Rock, You destined them to punish us. (Habakkuk 1:6-7) What Habakkuk failed to understand is, He needed to allow “God to be God”-to Let Him demonstrate His faithfulness, and rule in His sovereignty.

2- We must ” Walk” by faith(2 Corinthians 5:7-8) 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight, 8 and we are satisfied, to be out of the body and at home with the Lord. “Out of the body” and “At home with the Lord” *To live out my faith in total submission to the spirit, that one day I too will be seated at the right hand of God. We serve a “Big God” who needs His children to have “Big Faith” (Habakkuk 5:1) we know that if our temporary, earthly dwelling is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal dwelling in the heavens not made by hands.

FAITH: The substance of Spiritual Maturity and the Foundation of our relationship in Christ (Hebrews 11:1-3) Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. 2 For our ancestors won God’s approval by it 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by God’s command, so that that what is seen has been made from the things that are not visible.

We’ve all been there when we were so worried that our entire being shuts down. Our anxiety level is so high that we can’t eat, we can’t think, We are literally crippled by this fear, and uncertainty. It took bringing ourselves to that point to say, “God, I love you, and I need you,” I need you because I cannot do this on my own. ” Come” take this from me…Give it to Him, and don’t reclaim it! Then, when the storm has passed, we wonder, “What drove me to that place that I was in?”

Then, the Lord shows up:

After witnessing the hand of God destroy the Chaldeans for their atrocities against His people, Habakkuk ends his letter with a Shigionoth, a particular type of Psalm to express relief from the inevitable destruction: (Habakkuk 3:13) You come to save Your people, to save Your anointed. You crush the leader of the house of the wicked and strip him from foot to neck Selah.

Habakkuk rediscovers his faith:(3:17-19) Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there is no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,18 yet I will triumph in Yahweh; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation! 19 Yahweh my Lord is my strength; and He makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on the mountain heights *For the choir director on stringed instruments

Hard headed children need discipline

A study in the Book of Micah

God’s covenant blessings, then, as now,
were predicated upon keeping of the covenant by His people; and failure to keep the covenant meant forfeiture of every blessing
James Burton Coffman Commentaries

(Micah 3:11-12) 11You rulers make decisions on bribes;
you priests teach God’s law for a price; Yet You all claim to depend on the Lord. “No harm can come to us” you say,
“For the Lord is among us.”
12 Because of you, Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field; Jerusalem will be to ruins! A thicket will grow grow on the heights.

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After the death of King Solomon (1King 11:41-42), conflict arose between the king’s son, Rehaboam, and Jeroboam, (servant to the king). This conflict divided the king’s nation in two ( Rehaboam, the appointed king),faced the uprising of Jeroboam
(1Kings 11:29-31) 31 During that time, the prophet Ahijah the Shilomite met Jeroboam on the road as he came of of Jerusalem. Now Ahijah had wrapped himself with a new cloak, and the two were alone in the open field. 30 Then Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he had on tore it into 12 pieces and said to Jeroboam ” Taken10 pieces for yourself for this is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I am about to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand. I will give you ten tribes-Invariably resulting in Rehaboam’s rule of the south (Judah), On the other hand, Jeroboam would rule of the north (Israel)-1 KINGS 11:26-27 Now Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam son of Nebat, was an Ephraimite from Zeredah. Jeroboam rebelled against Solomon, 27 and this is the reason he rebelled against the king: Solomon had built the supporting terraces, and repaired the opening in the wall of the city of his father David. This, at a time when both the north and south were experiencing sudden affluent, economic growth, (with all its trappings), which presented challenges for an already obstinate people.

judgement sacle

Israel was divided into several dynasties (Groups of king’s from the same families), different cities with different names, the last of which was Samaria,(Israel’s capitol). Each dynasty operated its own government which became corrupted by unscrupulous business practices(2:1-3) They scheme, and devise ways to place financial yokes on others for their personal gain- These practices have found their way into God’s church, by way of false prophet prosperity gospels: (Micah 3:11) Her leaders issue rulings for a bribe, her priests teach for a payment, and her prophets practice divination for money. Yet they lean on the Lord,saying, “Isn’t the Lord among us? No disaster will overtake us” corruption had found its way into Judah (Micah 1:9) For her wound is incurable and has reached even Judah; It has approached the gate of my people as far as Jerusalem

In those days, the Lord sent prophets to deliver His message of warning of the impending wrath-He sent prophets who were priests, some were rich and advised the kings, while others became farmers. Some prophets taught their prophecies, many didn’t-They taught judgement and fairness, dreams of success, and destruction. Some saw the coming king as a ruler who would suffer, while others saw him as a servant. But all saw him as Messiah.

Lord God, sent Micah to deliver this message at a most troubling time in Israel’s history. The divisiveness of His children lead to the downfall of a kingdom, resulting in establishment of many corrupt governments practices, that found its way into the churches. Clearly, these atrocities will be atoned for, though, it is through the atonement process, God’s character is revealed.

God’s “Faithfulness”:(Genesis 9:15-17) God promised long ago, never to completely destroy mankind. So, in His righteous judgement, there will always be hope, a promise, and a provision. Prior to His judgement, God has already made provisions for reconciliation(Micah 6:7-8) Would the Lord be pleased with a thousand of rams, or ten thousand streams of oil? Should I give my first born for my transgression, the child of my body for my sin. No! (6:8) Mankind He has told you what is good and what the Lord requires of you: To act justly, to love faithfully, and to walk humbly with God (4:7-8) On that day-This is the Lord’s declaration-I will assemble the lame and gather the scattered those I have injured. I will make the lame into a remnant, those far removed into a strong nation. Then the Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion 8 And you, watchtower for the flock, fortified hill of Daughter Zion, the former rule will come to you, sovereignty will come to Daughter Jerusalem. The “Former” rule will come to you- The “Covenant” will be restored.

God’s Discipline

wornboots

(2 Timothy 4:7) I have fought the good fight, I gave finished the race, I have kept the faith

God disciplines those He love:

(Hebrews 11:1) Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen

Champions (heroes) of faith: By faith, Abel gave his very best that he would receive God’s favor, by faith, Enoch was taken away so he would not experience death, by faith, Noah didn’t know what to expect, but he built the arc,(Genesis 6: 14-15) 14 “Make yourself an arc of gopher wood. Make rooms in the arc, and cover it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to make it: The arc will be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. By faith, Benaiah slays a lion with only a spear Moses refused to identify himself as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, causing him to receive, and deliver the Ten Commandments, and ultimately lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt. Although she had been barren, Sarah, received the Holy Spirit (Through faith)gave birth to a nation, and Abraham, who offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice to the Lord.

Champions share a common thread : Other than being hand-picked by God, They understand the necessity of God’s righteous discipline, and correction-They had to. Why? If we didn’t understand God’s righteous discipline, how could we know His grace? His perfect will Will never take you where His grace cannot hold you (Exodus13:21-22) 21 The Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to lead them on their way during the day and in a pillar of fire to give them light at night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night never left its place.

Our Heritage:

We are called Brothers, and Sons of God because of our relationship to God; We are His children. It is a term of endearment-Parent/child. We are on loan to our earthly parents in our redemption, we return to Him.

…makes us worthy of God’s loving correction (Hebrews 12:3-12)

The Shepherds Staff- Used to tap the hind leg of the sheep and cause it to change direction when they begin to wander. We would receive the same tap when we were young and began to stray (Only our Tap was with the first object my mother got her hands on).
*(Hebrews 12:5-6)And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly or faint when you are reproved by Him, 6 for the Lord disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son he receives-*Remember, I am your Father, This is for your own good
When we submit to God’s DISCIPLINE, We ascribe to His POWER: (Deuteronomy 4:20) But as for you, the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of His inheritance, as you now are. Brought us out of the smelting furnace-Our impurities have been burned away. *This is NOT a One Time event, It is a process. We will pass through the furnace until the day of redemption.

SO WHAT?:

God’s correction and discipline is Not punishment (Hebrews 12:5-6).

Virtues of Champions; “Faith” (1Timothy 1:18-19) Timothy, my son, I am giving you this information in keeping with the prophesies previously made about you, so that by them you may strongly engage battle 19 Some have rejected these (Teachings) and suffered the shipwreck of their faith.
“Steadfast” Champions push through their Walls, and remain fixed on the finish: (Galatians 5:7) You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you ESV

6.16

TRANFORMATION THROUGH THE SPIRIT

Handtools

And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritence among all those who are sanctified (Acts 20:32)

Acts  (9:3-9, 15-20)

Saul’s Conversion:
The most important event in Christianity next to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. If Saul remained a Jewish Rabbi, we would be missing thirteen of the twenty-seven NT books, which lead to the early expansion of the Gentiles-We would’t know the Gospel.

 

NOTICE TO PROCEED: Saul, a man of action goes to Caiaphas and receives letters of introduction (arrest warrants), and permission to proceed to the synagogues in Damascus to arrest Hellenistic (NT) Jewish Christians who were preaching in the name of Jesus Christ. He was feared because of his reputation to not only issue threats, but to carry them out.

DEVINE INTERVENTION: (9:3-9) On his way to Damascus, he encounter’s, and is arrested by God’s sovereignty *Bright light (7:31, Exodus 3:4-10)-Electrical storms of the plains of Damascus. Though this was Not lightning, but a supernatural mid-day phenomenon (9:7) The men who were traveling with him were speechless, hearing that sound and seeing no one. *Saul’s conversion; Objective event, with third party witnesses.
Blinded by the “Light” was Not punishment, but to cause Saul to look inward to see his spiritual bankruptcy-To think about what he was doing to God’s people. The “Light” is used in major themes in Luke-Acts, and on other occasions to describe Pre-Chritianity, to Salvation; Was Blind but now I see.
At the same time of God’s intervention with Saul, Ananias was also visited to announce Saul’s arrival.

DEVINE APPOINTMENT Saul’s instructions was to go with Judas to his house and remain and pray with him there, until he received further instructions. Ananias was instructed to go to him, pray over, and baptize him. Ananias was obedient to the task.

But,

ANANIAS APPREHENSION (9:13-14)” Lord,” Ananias answered,”I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And, he has authority here from chief priest to arrest all who call on Your name. Yes, Saul was a challenge, but what Ananias failed to see is Saul represented hope-The hope that the Spirit of the Lord can take obstinate people, change them, and use them mightily for His glory (9:22) But Saul grew more capable and kept confounding the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that this One is the Messiah. Message: Love your enemies.

GOD ALWAYS MAKES AWAY Their disdain for Saul never subsided: (9:23) After many days had passed, the Jews conspired to kill him, 24 but their plot became known to Saul. So they were watching the gates day and night intending to kill him. (9:25) With the help of his disciples, the gospel was completed: 25 but his disciples took him by night and lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the wall-Which is how he was able to escape