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Date: 16 April, 2019
Title: The God of the Impossible and the Man of Faith
Proposition: You need to be a man of faith and walk with the God of the impossible.
Gen 13:16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
Gen 15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
exp. So said God to a man that would have no children until he was 100 years old and his wife
note: IT SEEMED INCREDIBLE - BUT THE PROMISE WAS ABSOLUTELY TRUE.
Gen 17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed,
Gen 18:13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
Gen 18:15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.
question: Why were they laughing?
1.) They are wonderuflly suprised that God was going to do this incredible miracle.
2.) They could hardly believe that this joy was to be received after waiting for so many years
Gen 17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
exp. they lived longer at this time - Abraham lived to 175 years of age. His wife died around 127 years of age. However, God tells us that SARAH CAN NOT GET PREGNANT.
Gen 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
exp. How could this happen?
IT WOULD TAKE A MAN OF FAITH AND A PROMISE FROM THE GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE.
ill. God assured Abraham and Sarah that He could do this great work.
Genesis 18:13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
Exp. In the context of faith obtaining the promise of God, God's Word says in Psa 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
NOTE: THE GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE IS STILL AROUND.
ill. He said to Jeremiah in prison:
Jer 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
ill. He said to his disciples after they questioned how anybody could ever get saved.
Luke 18:26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
NOTE: The God of the impossible is still here. But, what about the man of faith?
Abraham is the man of faith who is going to get this promise from God. The message this afternoon is going to focus on the man of faith which we need to be.
You need to be a man of faith and walk with the God of the impossible. Are you seeing God do the impossible? He hasn't changed.
I. Go out.
exp. God at times has instructions for men of faith which include the words, "go."
ill. Isaiah - Isa 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
exp. Abraham received God's call to go.
Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
exp. Abraham already has this promise of children 25 years earlier as God is working in His life. At 75 God says to Abraham, I want you to move out to a promised land.
1.) Abraham would have loved his home country.
2.) He certainly would love his family.
3.) But, the promise was dependent upon his going out by faith.
ill. We are blessed today to have many modern conveniences that make moving much easier.
1.) Our tools of communication are incredible.
2.) Our mode of transportation are incredible.
1. Shipping Containers
2. Vehicles - cars, motorways, jets.....
exp. For Abraham to go out - meant loading everything he owned onto camels. Kissing his family goodbye and heading to where God wanted him to go. He may never see them again.
ill. Other generations have sacrificed more greatly to go for God.
Adonirum Judson's letter to his future father-in-law as he asked his daughter's hand in marriage.
“I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world ? Whether you can consent to her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life? Whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this, for the sake of Him who left His heavenly home and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall resound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?”
app. Are you stepping out in obedience to God's direction? College, vocation, church, ministry... The man of faith - go's out.
II. Look up.
ill. Singing with my family. "He Didn't Look Down"
When Noah took his children in the ark... the clouds began to gather it grew dark (oh, so dark) but the window in the ark was up on top. And until the rain did stop, He didn't look around, He just looked up.
He didn't look down, he didn't look around, he just looked up, up up! He didn't look down, he didn't look around, he just looked up, up, up, He didn't look down in deep despair He didn't look around to the world of care, he just looked up and God was with him there.
exp. The man of faith looks up.
exp. Abraham had a nephew with him named Lot.
Their herds increased to the point where their continued travel together was impossible.
Abraham was the Senior partner in their organization.
He could have ordered his own steps to suit his interests - but he left the matter in God's hands as he let Lot decide.
Genesis 13: 8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
note: Abraham didn't have to manipulate things to suit his interests. He trusted God to watch over his interests.
14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
note: Abraham wasn't being lazy. He was being unselfish. He would let others have first choice and trust God to bless what remained for himself.
ill. Hudson Taylor - Founder of the China Inland Mission - one of the great modern missionaries - determined that he would learn to look up to God and not look around to man for help. He believed that if he couldn't trust God in England - he would never be able to trust Him in China. Because of that - he decided that he would not remind a forgetful employer when it was time for him to be paid.
1.) Pay was past due and Taylor was out of money. His rent was also due.
2.) Employer remembered and asked if his money wasn't due him.
3.) Taylor said it was and his employer said that he wished he had reminded him as he had already sent all the money to the bank. (What Taylor was working on boiled over - he was glad to rush from the room.)
4.) The employer left to go - but returned chuckling to himself. A rich man had felt compelled to come pay the bill. Taylor thought nothing of it - to consumed with his own need - the employer said - "Don't you see - now I can pay you."
app. Are you looking up for God to care for your interests? Abraham was content to wait upon God. You can be consumed with the worry of making sure that your interests are taken care of OR YOU CAN TRUST GOD TO CARE FOR YOUR INTERESTS.
III. Sally forth. (fight - Abraham rescuing Lot)
exp. Old expression - go out to battle.
William Carey "Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God."
quote: It has been said, "Pray as if everything depends upon God and work as if everything depends upon you."
exp. Abraham, while waiting upon God, was not a pacifist as a man of faith. He trusted God BUT that did not mean that he expected God to work if He did not.
exp. Chederlaomer had made war with Sodom and Gomorrah. He captured them and made them his servants for 12 years. The 13th year they rebelled and were defeated. All the inhabitants of the city and all their goods were taken in the battle. (This included Lot.)
11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.
12 And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.
14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.
16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
exp. Abraham could have said, "I'm a man of faith. I believe God can deliver my brother Lot." But, if he didn't participate as a man of faith - IT WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED.
app. If you are here today and you think, "I want to see the God of the impossible reach my neighbor, my family, revive my church, change my life" and you don't participate - you are a man who is a fatalist and not a man of faith.
1.) Do evangelism. (tell you rneighbor)
2.) Deal with sin in your life. (Get in God's Word - Get out of the world.)
3.) Never miss an opportunity to be in the house of God.
(You wouldn't want to miss what you are asking God to send.)
4.) GET IN THE BATTLE!
IV. Shake hands. (Covenant with God.)
ill. Watching antique show - bargain hunt - always shake hands when making a deal - that ratifies the deal as both commit.
exp. Our world is scared of commitment.
ill. Number of families in the UK is growing, with cohabiting couple families growing the fastest.
12.9 million married or civil parner couples
3.3 million cohabiting
2.8 million single parent families.
ill. Witnessing in Princess St. Gardens - speaking about what God has given me in a Christian family - Wife, children, provision, house, cars.... she said, "We have all that as well - what makes our life different from yours." I said, "Are you married? You are living in fornication. You don't have the security of committing to one another." After 20 years she had hoped that weekend that he would ask her the question. HE IS UNWILLING TO COMMIT.
ill. Privilige of marrying a couple last year. Vowing before God to be faithful to one another until death do us part. THEIR MARRIAGE IS A COVENANT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THEM AND GOD.
exp. When God entered into an agreement with Abraham it was a covenant relationship.
It was ratified by a sacred ceremony and an act of obedience.
1.) It began with a promise and faith.
4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
2.) It was clearly visible by sacred ceremony.
Gen 15:17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces
3.) It was maintained by obedience
Genesis 17:10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
app. Abraham covenanted with God. Have you you shaken hands with God?
1.) Do you believe God? (Salvation)
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
2.) Have you made that evident through ceremony? (Baptism)
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
3.) Are you maintaining that relationship by obedience? (local church)
Acts 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
THE MAN OF FAITH SHAKES HANDS WITH GOD.
V. Wait on.
ill. King David - Psa 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
exp. The shepherd son of Jessie was annointed king when Saul was still in power. He had to wait at least 15 years before becoming King of Judah and 7 more years before being king of Israel.
exp. God didn't give Abraham a son the day he promised him a son. He didn't give him the son of promise for 25 years after promising
Rom 4:18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
Rom 4:19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:
Rom 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
Rom 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
app. Have you quit believing God for the impossible because you have not yet seen it though you have believed God for it?
Adonirum Judson -
Ann Judson had a miscarriage and two children died in infancy.
Adonirum would be imprisoned and nearly lose his translation work.
Ann died from illness contracted while caring for her husband in prison.
It is said that in prison when asked what the prospect was then of the conversion of the heathen....
"The future is as bright as the promises of God."
exp. Online source - 18 converts after 12 years, when he died 100 churches, 8,000 believers, 2.5 million evangelical Christians in Myanmar, 3rd largest number of Baptists worldwide behine the US and India.
app. Would you have quit if you were Judson or Abraham? They kept the faith and "waited on." The man of faith waits on.
VI. Get up.
exp. Abraham's great faith would not be without failure.
Genesis 16:1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived:
exp. Though God's plan from creation was one man for one woman. The law forbidding multiplication of wives had yet to be given. It was not uncommon for this to take place. However, this was a believing family who had been promised children. They were going to do this TO HELP GOD FULFIL HIS PROMISE - KIND OF....
question: Have you ever tried to help God meet your needs and messed things up?
exp. Family problems take place now -
1.) Sarai deals harshly with Hagar and she runs away.
2.) Ishmael later mocks the late pregnancy of Sarai and the family is again divided.
ill. "They on the heights are not the ones, who never erred nor went astray,
who strode unswerving to their goals, along a smooth rose bordered way,
nay - those who stand when first comes down are those who stumbled but went on."
Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
app. You may have consequences in your life from choices of unbelief. But, the man of faith doesn't quit - he gets up. If you find yourself today in unbelief instead of faith - get up.
VII. Stand up.
Eze 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
exp. God wasn't looking for someone to stand up and sit down. He was looking for someone to stand and keep standing. Specifically an intercessor.....
note: God wants men who will stand and keep standing.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
ill. Abraham, as a man of faith, was a leader for God. He stood for God and kept standing.
1.) He led his family out in service to God.
2.) He led his servants into battle to rescue Lot.
3.) He commanded his home to covenant with God through circumcission and they did.
Gen 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
app. Are you a man of faith who is standing for God?
1 Cor. 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
exp. It is possible to think you are faithful - when you are not!
Pro 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
ill. Charie Kittrell - "if you have tracts in your pocket, if you have done your devotions, if you have witnessed to one person every day...." We were there seeking revival...
app. If you aren't attending church every time you can accept for when providentially hindered - are you really standing? If you aren't having devotions daily and spending time with God - not participating in evangelism, church and missions giving - are you really a faithful man. If everyone in your church was just like you - what kind of church would there be?
VIII. Pray down.
quote: "Prayer is to ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy."
exp. The greatest glimpse into the prayer life of this man of faith comes as He intercedes for those he loves who are standing in jeopardy of God's judgment.
- Sodom and Gomorra are to be destroyed by fire and brimstone from Heaven.
23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
exp. He works God down to SPARING THE CITY if there were 10 righteous people.
32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.
33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.
exp. When God looked for a man to stand in the gap for Sodom and Gomorra, he found a man in Abraham who begged him not to destroy it for the sake of the righteous.
app. How many men of faith do we have in this room who have prayed down God's mercy for Ireland, for men's camp, for their local church? The man of faith - prays down God's mercy.
We have seen this afternoon the God of the impossible and the man of faith.
Abraham and Sarah laughed in wonder and amazement at the bold promise of God. How could this wonderful promise possibly occur. AND YET THE SON, ISAAC WOULD BE GIVEN.
Genesis 21:3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.
4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.
5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.
Gen 21:6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.
exp. The name Isaac means laughter.
Psa 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
We serve the God of the impossible. Are we men of faith?
Go out! Has God called you to go out?
Look up! Are you trusting in yourself or God?
Sally forth! Are you trusting and participating?
Shake hands! Have you decided to covenant with God?
Wait on! Have you quit because it has taken too long?
Get up! Are you letting the flesh remain in failure?
Stand up! Are you faithful?
Pray down! Are you accessing God's mercy for others?
May God help us to be men of faith who serve the God of the impossible!