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May 4, 2021 8:00 am
Step out in faith.
That's today's topic is reopened. God's word together with Dr. Don Wilton of The Encouraging Word broadcast see listening on the radio online on podcasts another were here for you to four hours a day on our website at T. W online.org W online.org now. Today's message with Dr. Don Wilton with me and with each one of us to the book of Nehemiah the Old Testament Nehemiah chapter Nehemiah chapter 2 the Bible tells us that we walk by faith and not by sight.
I'm going to make a confession to you this morning that from time to time. I'm willing to do. Probably one of my weaknesses. In fact, I know it's one of my weaknesses is that I always feel as though I have to know what is on down the road before I get there. It just makes me feel a whole lot better yet, the Bible says that I am to walk by faith and not by sight and that would walk in the New Testament literally means that as you are walking as you go. As a Christian person you are to continually exercise the faith into which you have entered into a relationship with the Bible puts it like this elsewhere without faith it is impossible to please God. Now what is that mean what it means is that without faith you cannot please God. The whole essence about salvation and the expression of our salvation is tied up theologically and spiritually into faith. In fact, the Bible says that you cannot begin the Christian life without the exercise of faith, the just shall live by what by faith. Now what do all the just those who have been declared just none of us can be declared to be just in the presence of a holy God. How could that be possible because all of us are sinners, but the Bible says because of the exercise of our faith, we can come into a just relationship with God, thereby we can be reconciled to God who is holy. Now the Bible puts it like this elsewhere.
Ephesians chapter 2 verse 89. The Bible says that you cannot step out in faith and to you have stepped into faith. Now what is Ephesians 289 teachers for by grace are you saved is the beginning point of our Christian lives. For by grace are you saved through faith, it is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, faith is a gift from God not of works, lest anyone should boast about. We walk by faith and not by sight. Well, one of the most difficult things to do as a Christian is to walk by foot because we have so many human things that hold us back, and impede our faith walk. Things that did in a way that block our vision that impede our progress. Nehemiah was a man who have to exercise faith in a very remarkable work and I want us to consider Nehemiah chapter 2 this morning stepping out in faith.
That's our subject. You see my friends Nehemiah had to step out in faith.
There was no doubt about just consider the facts for a few moments, Jerry was the Bible says in chapter 1 of the lost verse. He was cupbearer to King Artaxerxes. His people, he discovered having returned from the exile were now living in Jerusalem and the wolves were broken down. The place was in disarray. The people wearing disgrace. There was a shambles around Nehemiah's people and the Bible says that God came to Nehemiah and gave to him a specific assignment that if you and I it to weigh up all the odds and the options it was absolutely impossible. How could Nehemiah do anything about. After all, he was just a servant to the king, and he was seven to a king who himself was responsible for the condition of the Jews in Jerusalem. He was actually working for the very person who was responsible for keeping the Jews and the people of Judah suppressed in the manner in which they found themselves he was responsible in part for the broken walls of Jerusalem and yet he began to step out in faith. I want us to read together. Chapter 2 and verse first eight verses introduce in the month of Mason in the 20th year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him. I took the one and gave it to the king, let me just pause here for a moment let's not forget this man was cupbearer to the king what was his function. His function was to bring food and drink to the king, and he would always eat or drink first so that if someone had tried to assassinate the king if the king saw the cupbearer keel over and die. He said well tough on him. Let's get another cupbearer but I'm not going to drink whatever it is he drank. He played interference, as it were. He put the block tackles on all the others. He tried to prevent people from scoring touchdowns in the life of King Artaxerxes but something significant happened here. Look at it in verse one. I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, so the king lost me. Why does your face look so sad when you will not do this can be nothing but sadness of heart. I was very much afraid, but I say to the king. May the king live forever. Why should my face not look said, when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins and its gates have been destroyed by fire.
The king said to me, what is it you want Nehemiah.
Then I prayed to the God of heaven and not onto the king if it pleases the king. If your servant has found favor in his site living send me to the city intruder where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it. Then the king with the Queen sitting beside him honestly how long will your journey type. And when when you get back it please the king to send me so I set the time. I also said to him, it would pleases the king, my I have letters to the governors of trans-Euphrates so that they will provide me safe conduct until I arrive in Judah, and may I have a letter to the ASAP keeper of the king's forest, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the Citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence. I will occupy and because the gracious hand of my God was upon me. The king drawn to my requests by the Lord righties word upon our hearts this morning. It seems to me significant that Nehemiah was doing ball about to embark on an extraordinary step of faith. Everything about him was impossible, and yet he began a journey my friends that resulted if we could get to the final page of the book it resulted in the most unbelievable pouring of the presence of God that anybody could've ever observed. I want us to contemplate for just a moment. Some of the steps that Nehemiah took as he began to step out in faith. Number one, number one, step number one. He understood the big picture.
He understood the big picture you see my friends right there at the beginning of Nehemiah's journey even though he hadn't even been to Jerusalem, even though he hadn't seen the broken walls.
All he had not according to verse chapter 1 and verse three was that he'd been told by his brother and by some others about the condition and the disgrace of the Israelites.
This man began an extraordinary's out into faith based upon the fact that he understood the big picture. He understood who God lost.
He understood my friends that God never operates in isolation he understood that God is the God of ages. He understood that God is so mighty that he can rule this mighty universe, and it is so small that he can live within our hearts be understood that God is create role. He understood God's covenant Micah. He understood that God's character builder. He understood that God is caretaker of everything that you and I possess and this man understood the big two people.
He even began his journey watermark of the spiritual man.
You see friends. So many of us in our human limitations are limited by our human understanding we are not prepared to understand the big picture. As far as God is concerned, we are not willing to accept the fact that all things work together for the good of those that love God and to those who are the called according to his purpose. We also impacted by the here and now. We also impacted by what went on in the path that we are not willing to even contemplate the future and get up was this God who said it doesn't matter if you been to the father's ends of the earth. If you are willing to reprint. I will call you back and I will take you to the place that I've chosen as a dwelling place for my name. Nehemiah understood the big picture. He understood the big picture, but I want you to note in the second place, he realized that he had no choice. Nehemiah realized that he had no choice. If you go back to chapter 1 in verse 11 with the conclusion to be spread. Nehemiah sizzle Lord let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant into the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name.
Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.
Nehemiah my friends as he began to step out in faith, realized that he actually had no choice.
Let me ask you a question. Is God positive towards God. Negative. He's positive, does God at any time.
Wish you and the worst upon his people, does God at any time say you know what I think I'm in a do.
I'm just gonna zap it, to make life miserable for them all the time.
I'm just gonna make a block and I'm going to do everything I possibly can to trip them up. Does the God of the Bible say listen, I'm going to give you an assignment to do and I'm just going to keep tripping you up and I'm gonna keep making you miserable and I'm gonna just pour out all kinds of stuff all of your friends, listen, not the Bible. The Bible says that as far as God is concerned. He wants to give us the very desires of our hearts.
God wants to give us the very best and Nehemiah.
As he stepped out in faith, realized that he had no choice.
God spoke, people lost me from time to time pasta would you like to do anything else other than preach and be a posture of the congregation, folks, this is not going to be honest with you.
I've thought about a couple of other things.
I mean, one of the things that I would love to do, I'd love to be a professional golfer I really I really would, because it would suit my personality. I can just see myself I tell you I could impress on put Larry Mize and the boys in the shade I'm telling.
I see myself just going all these fabulous golf resorts and playing in and I can even see my children running onto the 18th green to congratulate me, as I think that part. But you know something, but no choice folks and that no choice that God is not a negative thing.
It's a positive thing.
I want you to know that if you came to me this morning. Now some of you might want to take me up on this if you came to me this morning and say to me posture.
I'm going to give you $1 million. I'm in a give each of your children $1 million. I'm just going to give you everything that you ever want as much as I would want to accept your kind offer my friends.
I would have to turn you down if you told me the condition was that I had just preaching and teaching the word of God. You see all got no choice. It's not a matter of sitting down, then deciding whether I'm going to get my ducks in a row. It's not a matter with God that you and I sit down and say well I can do this so I can do that I'm going to say to you again my friend.
As I've said too many people in the ministry. If you're not willing to accept God's assignment. Why didn't you go back and become president of United States of America. That's all you can do you see Nehemiah realized he had no choice. God had spoken. He understood the big picture, and he realized he had no choice but noting the third Pisces third step was that he operated in the spirit of prayer. I wonder if we've mentioned prayer in our congregation before, but it seems to me, my friends, that is obvious is that is every page that we turn in God's book we going to find ourselves going back to the seat into the roots of prayer that seems to me rather significant that in verse four when the king said to Nehemiah. What is it you want that. The first thing he did was that I prayed to the God of heaven, this man believed in the power of prayer.
We can take all kinds of of all of the ramifications we can put all kinds of discipline on our children.
We can make all kinds of decisions. We can give them the best education in the world but rearing children in today's world is an enormous fight Nehemiah was a man who not only understood the big picture and realized that he had no choice but he operated in the spirit of prayer, but I want you to note in the fourth place. That is, he stepped out in faith. He knew that he had to trust God. Look at the site because the gracious hand of my God was upon me.
The king granted my request this man.
You that he have to trust God.
Now that word the gracious hand of God has extraordinary significance and reminds me of children you know if you want to see trusted. It's very best. Take your little boy or your little girl to a swimming pool somewhere. I cannot just love that I used to love playing the people in the bus go up and down, up and down. I that's my favorite all-time fire people in the bus go up and down all around the town downtown.
Listen what you do the children get them to stand on a diving board and then get down into that swimming pool and stand out of the bottom and is your little child or some adult and say okay jump you know they do they jump they just jump. I mean I get on the exit of coming down the can you just imagine a mom or dad as that little two-year-old, a one-year-old and three-year-old jumps. Can you see a dad just saying. Alright buddy but see what you might've man swim what data mom would do that you don't renew his dads and moms. We stand down there and when that little thing comes through the air. We just grabbed them and embrace them with the confidence in the certainty with which we love them and the word trust my friends related to faith means that God invites us to stand on the precipice of life and launch ourselves into his gracious all and he says I will never leave. I will never forsake Nehemiah understood and he knew that he have to trust God please forgive the eruption this powerful message stepping out in faith will bring to you in its entirety.
Just a moment.
Dr. Welch must be provided two things one were available to pray with you right now at 866899 word that's 866-899-9673 were also available to be a part of your life to the daily Encouraging Word here's Liz with all the details daily Encouraging Word daily devotional available in a quarterly booklet deliver each morning in your email if you would like to request is free devotional. Please call 8668 or our website at de Encouraging Word and OIG are confident it will be up and laughing to you. The Encouraging Word is a viewer listener supported ministry. Thank you for listening today. Now let's dive back into stepping out in faith. Today's message from Nehemiah chapter 2 with Dr. Don Wilton trustees giving your self. God's is God Jehovah go I will never leave you or forsake you. And when you step three complete trust in who not always be the you see if it's without play that we cannot please God. That means my friends that until, as born-again believers we are willing to jump off the cliffs of life in obedience to God's commandments we never going to please him when lost of you jumped into God's arms, not knowing where you going over what you doing or how you doing at all when you going to do it.
You just simply saying, Lord Jesus, I know that you spoken and I'm going to surrender my life to you.
What were the steps in their minds, stepping out in faith.
He understood the big picture. He realized that he had no choice. He operated in the spirit of prayer.
He knew that he had to trust God. But I want you to note. Step number five. He agreed to let his guard down GU IRB.
He agreed to let his guard down just look back.
Bruce want to get Bible says in the month of Nisan, the 20th year of King Artaxerxes I took the wine and I gave it to the king. I had not been said in his presence before you know why he had never been said in the presence of the king because he wasn't allowed to be said. Do you know what historians tell us if ever the cupbearer looked sad. I mean even looked said if the cupbearer had a flat bottom lip. When he came in to serve the king or for the Z, the king wouldn't tolerate. The cupbearer always have to be up and you know in order for full Nehemiah to step out in faith what he have to do have to paint outside the lines of these expectations he have to paint outside the lines of societal perception he have to paint outside the lines of these accepted responsibility and he had to take a step of faith by letting his guard down.
What an incredible thought. You see friends, all of us about inhibitions. We are bound by our own human limitations. We are surrounded by our fear of us have problems being able to cope with doing anything that would in any way seek to violate the boundaries of our existence we never want to operate unless we are absolutely certain that we got everything in line and get this man agreed to let his guard down. You see, he became the scar from the school of those around them. We going to read about it, San Ballack and told Byron on and on. The list went all day came off to him because he let his guard down even have to stand in line with King Artaxerxes 20 years upon the throne with these queens sitting beside him.
Who could've ordered him executed just at the click of a finger. And yet God had spoken to this man and he was willing to take a stand. No matter what the cost, and no matter what the consequences. I know God said we must go. He said to Abraham in Genesis 12 he said get up and go to leave your father and your mother and your country and those familiar surroundings just leave them drop women and in verse four the Bible says so I departed, as the Lord had spoken on what he said to Abram was simply this, I want you to let your guard down. I want you to understand the big picture. I want you to trust in me. I want you to be willing to paint outside the lines, I want you to launch your self all the precipice of life and I want you to find out, gracious hands, waiting to embrace you, because without it is impossible to please God.
It is impossible this man was stepping out in faith. I want you to note in the six place the six step that he took.
He willingly buried the hatchet. He willingly buried the hatchet. Now there's something interesting about Artaxerxes. He ruled this was in the 20th year of his reign. Do you know that Artaxerxes was the man who had the power to set the people free. We know that because once Nehemiah got through to him by God's grace. He was the man he gave permission to Nehemiah to go do what he did. Artaxerxes was the man who had the keys to the freedom of Jerusalem in these hands, don't you think it's rather ironic that Nehemiah the cupbearer to the king was serving the very man was oppressing his own people. What a strange kind of relationship. Wasn't it ironic that Artaxerxes I servant in the court that Nehemiah 7 in the court of Artaxerxes have to go before the king who could not only have executed him, but could have wreaked havoc among the Jewish people because of the audacity of this Jew, who would seek to go and do the very thing that would destroy so-called the kingdom of Artaxerxes and yet he did it. You know what he was willing to do as he stepped out in faith.
He was willing to bury the hatchet, beloved friends watch me. You and I will never step out in faith. If we are not willing to bury the hatchet you will never step into the future of God's grace dragging parsed resentments behind you. You will never see God pour out his Spirit upon the church. If your major preoccupation is with the parsed you will never see God do anything in your own life.
If your concern is all the comfort zones of your pasta life you've got to be prepared to lay them aside. You've got to be prepared to bury the hatchet and turn and face God and his grace and launched yourself all stepping out in faith trusting in God implicitly and explicitly through his word. He understood the big picture. He realized he had no choice. He operated in a spirit of prayer.
He knew that he had to trust God. He agreed to let his guard down. He willingly buried the hatchet, but not in the seventh place. He demonstrated tact and wisdom. This is a tough one here for us humans to understand is if you got right throughout your through this passage in chapter 2 going to notice that the manner with which Nehemiah spoke to the king was a manner that was ordained with the grace the tact and the wisdom of God. But I want you to note in the eighth place that he asked, but he accepted responsibility for his action. There is a final stick that I want to close with this morning he expected a positive response.
God sees step out on foot and see what I'll do for you. If God is spoken to you today and it's time to take that step of faith know this God promised never to leave you or forsake you are not making the step of faith alone he is with you and we love to be alongside you as well. Connecting a TE W online.org or 8668. That's 866899673 before we get away closing thoughts from Dr. Don Wilton are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Why don't you pray this prayer with me right now. Dear God, I know that Iversen and I know that Jesus died for me on the cross. Today I repainted and by faith I receive you into my heart. In Jesus name, my friend. I welcome you today into the family of God. This is exciting news. Welcome to the family got. I know some of you have prayed long for the pastor to rededicate your life will give your life to Jesus and we want to have the free resources that Dr. Don Wilton to have by calling 8668998668999673 email us at email@example.com G that's TE W online.org