What a blessing to begin this morning at Revive ’11 by hearing from Pastor Crawford Loritts on the topic of faith. This man is a wealth of biblical wisdom! Below, you’ll find a summary of my notes from Pastor Loritts’s powerful message…
Our faith is not lodged in blind ambition or in what we hope will take place; our faith is anchored to the Ancient of Days in the Person of Jesus Christ. Faith is a verb even when it’s a noun. The Christian life presupposes movement. The assumption is that you’re going somewhere…you’re becoming more than what you were yesterday. If we’re going to move forward, we must believe.
Faith is not about us reaching our capacity; we don’t have the capacity. Faith is the biography of God in our lives. A.W. Tozer said, “Faith is less about what you say you believe and more about how you behave on a consistent basis despite your circumstances.”
The Foundation of our Faith
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Certainty of faith (v.1): Faith is to the Christian what a foundation is to a house. “God said it and that’s enough.” Faith is confidence, not in myself, but in the belief that God will do what He promised every single time.
Conviction of faith (v.1): Faith always has to do with things that are in the future. The very nature of faith is that we trust God for things that do not yet exist. Every Christian should have the mission statement to glorify God by believing in Him to experience and accomplish everything He has planned for us.
Community of faith (v.2): Faith is the legacy of the people of God. We aren’t the only ones who’ve ever lived who have to believe God.
Continuity of faith (v.3): The way that God has always worked in the world is to make the invisible visible. This is how He works in our lives today.
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
If you don’t believe God, you can’t please Him. This ambition should be the consuming passion for those of us who follow Christ.
As Christians, we believe 2 things: that God is real and that God rewards. We can’t expect to get anything from God if we don’t believe He is real. The gap between where we are and what God wants us to do is faith. There’s no such thing as being close to God without believing Him. The reward of faith is God Himself. When our faith is tested, it is actually God that is tested, not us.
7 Keys to Strengthening Your Faith
1. Accept the reality of opposition.
You know you’re flying over the right target when you’re being shot at. Too many Christians have an entitlement mindset. God does not exist to make us happy.
2. Stand ready to resist.
Take up the shield of faith. It’s easy to believe when nothing is being hurled at us.
3. Keep your mind focused and filled with truth.
It’s important to think right at all times, but especially when we’re under pressure.
4. Embrace the growth pains.
It is going to be hard. The condition of our faith is a key indicator of the level of our spiritual maturity. Don’t stop working out because you’re sore.
5. Stay in God’s presence.
Love Him, commune with Him, practice His presence throughout the day.
6. Associate with faith-filled people.
Negative critical Christians dismantle the faith of others. A critical spirit is toxic.
Faith is what we do, not just what we talk about. It’s not only theoretical.