Church Redefined Pt 6 – Authentic Faith
Oct 15, 2013 1973
By Tony Elshof, Wollongong Vineyard Church Plant
This message is to empower and equip you to live a better Kingdom life.
“Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, ‘Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel’” Matthew 8:10.
I remember the first time I heard God speak to me, He said, “I know where your wallet is, and if you ask me, I will show you.” I will never forget the day that God revealed Himself to me, proving that he cared and loved me.
Even though I have had hundreds of answers to prayer, had my life miraculously saved numerous times, and seen angels and demons, there are still times when I ask God to give me the faith to step out and take a simple risk for His Kingdom.
More often than not, taking a risk involves asking complete strangers on the street would they like to be blessed and have me pray for them. I love seeing the Kingdom of God break out and people being healed from their injuries, illnesses or diseases.
But sometimes before I step out, I feel a bit like the man in Mark 9:17-29. When Jesus questions the man about his child’s affliction, the father says, “….But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” And Jesus said to him, “If I can? All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”
Of course I know God can act, but I want the assurance that He will act before I step out in faith. My mate Robbie Dawkins from the movies Furious Love & Father of Lights says, “If you want the assurance before you do something, that’s not authentic faith. Trust is knowing God can, but real faith is knowing God will.”
To explain faith Robbie uses the analogy of electric doors at a shopping centre, he says, “Faith is like an automatic door, when you’re in front of one you don’t stop and wait for it to open, you walk right up to it with the expectancy that it will open and you just walk through.”
As the church, we are the present day representatives of Jesus. It is essential that we have the faith spoken in Hebrews 11:1 that says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
When we step out and take a risk for the Kingdom of God, we should walk in the assurance that God will act in accordance of what we hope for, and that we have the conviction of a result that we cannot yet see. To think and act in any other way is not walking in the faith we are called to.
Note Jesus’ words to Thomas in John 20:19-29, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” Jesus seems to be saying that it is better to have faith, before having the physical evidence to support it.
I want you to know that when you take a risk for the Kingdom and step out in faith, God will show up every time. Your Heavenly Father is saying to you, “Don’t stop and wait for Me to open the door, keep on walking and I will meet you there and open it with you. Blessings Tony.