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A Growing Faith

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller
The Truth Network Radio
September 11, 2022 1:00 am

A Growing Faith

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller

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September 11, 2022 1:00 am

When God is silent, we often doubt His promises. After the birth of Ishmael, Abraham did not hear from God for years. In this message, we discover three lessons about the desires of the flesh and true submission to God. We cannot live as a child of promise and a child of the flesh at the same time.

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A covenant. In the Bible, it indicates a solemn promise. In the book of Genesis, God made promises to Abraham, promises that were not conditional, promises of a land and a posterity to occupy that land. In Genesis 17, God expands and clarifies His covenant with Abraham, and ultimately, Isaac is born as the son of promise.

Stay with us. From Chicago, this is The Moody Church Hour, a weekly service of worship and teaching with Pastor Erwin Lutzer. Today, Dr. Lutzer continues his series on Strength for the Journey, Taking Your Next Steps with God, a study in the life of Abraham. Later in our broadcast, we'll recount how Abraham developed a growing faith.

Pastor Lutzer comes now to open our service. With your hymnal open to 407, God has spoken by His prophets, those who wrote hymns intended to teach us theology, to direct our thoughts toward the Lord, and to help us to understand the extent of God's mercy and grace. You'll notice that the first stanza speaks about God speaking, yes, through the prophets.

The second one, God speaks through Jesus Christ, and then God speaks through the Spirit. And in this way, we listen to God's voice, the Spirit through the Word. So let us affirm both the truth of Scripture and the openness of our own hearts to receive His voice to us.

Would you join me as we open in prayer? Our Father, we want to thank you today that you have spoken with clarity. We thank you that we have a sure word that has come to us from outside the universe, that we have a God in whom we can trust. And we pray today that as we sing about your word and we sing about your voice, give us open hearts to hear, we pray. Incline our hearts to your word. In Jesus' name we pray.

Amen. In Jesus' name we pray. In Jesus' name we pray. In Jesus' name we pray. Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, give into your hands your name. In Jesus' name we pray. Holy Spirit, give into your hands your name. Our scripture reading this morning is taken from Romans chapters four and five. I will read the standard print.

Please join me in reading the bold print. In hope Abraham believed against hope that he should become the father of many nations. As he had been told, so shall your offspring be. He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead, since he was about 100 years old, or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God. But he grew strong in his faith and he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was counted to him as righteousness. But the words it was counted to him were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also.

It will be counted to us who believe in him, who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. And the land of the rich and the safe don't come home, we are saved by your name, in his name we celebrate. Lord, Lord, let us celebrate through your name, through your name, through your name, through Jesus' name.

Good night and good night, O King of the spring, O God and the night, and the sick and the lame, O stranger, help me and all things to say, that will provide the righteous the people that live. And through thy eternal years thy marriage shall lie, thy grace of salvation shall lead us so far, the grave shall not end without the Holy Spirit, thy cross and thy soul, and thy goal to remain. And thy soul, O King of the spring, thy grace of salvation shall lead us so far, the grave shall not end without the Holy Spirit, and thy goal to remain. Child of God, do not be afraid. Child of God, trust and obey. We will mourn, we will live the way. Child of God, do not be afraid. Lost and wondering in a world of sin, why should God ever take me in?

A cry rang out from Calvary's bloodstained hymn. He said, child, I love you, and I always will. Child of God, trust and obey. Just trust and obey, for He will.

He'll walk with you in the way. He's a child of God. Do not, do not be afraid. Instead you are too. Oh, to God's unchanging hands. Oh, to God's unchanging hands. And build your hopes on things that are eternal. Oh, child of God, do not be afraid.

No, no, no, do not be afraid. We've been following the life of Abraham, the pilgrim. God comes to him and says, Abraham, I'm going to give you the land and I'm going to give you a posterity. To your descendants, I'm going to give it to you forever. Abraham is obsessed, as we've learned, with how those promises are going to be fulfilled. On one occasion, he says, God, you have to understand, of course, the context is that I'm old.

Sarah is old. We can't bear children anymore. What about Eliezer of Damascus? He's my trusted servant. Could he be my heir?

Culturally speaking, it's possible. God says, Abraham, the answer is no. But the one who comes from you, your very own son, is going to be the heir of the promises. So then he and Sarah are having discussions and God is saying that he's clarified it, that I'm going to be the father. But Sarah, you're too old to bear a child. And so, as you know, Sarah makes a suggestion and says, take my handmade Hagar, have a relationship with her and bear a child.

And she will bear a child and that child will be considered to be mine, which also was part of the culture of the day. And Abraham listened to the voice of Sarah. And Hagar became pregnant and she gave birth to Ishmael. So that's where we are when the 17th chapter of the book of Genesis opens. And I want you to turn to that passage, Genesis chapter 17. That's where we are, where God comes again and speaks to Abraham. Now, when the 17th chapter opens, Abraham has been in the land for 24 years. After the birth of Ishmael, Abraham doesn't hear from God for years and years and years. So that gives him lots of time to begin to doubt the promise. Is God worthy of my trust even after these years of silence?

That's the issue. God comes in chapter 17, ratifies the covenant, adds some new details. And what a chapter it is. What I'd like us to do is to look very briefly at the nature of the covenant. Then we're going to look at the participants. And then what we're going to do is to learn lessons that are going to change us forever. We'll never quite be the same because we've heard from God. Chapter 17 opens, the nature of the covenant or the agreement. It says when Abraham was 99 years old, we'll call him Abram at this point. We've been calling him Abraham, even though he has been Abram until this point.

Ninety-nine years old, when the Lord appeared to him and said to him, I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless. Now, notice that God comes with a new name. I am God Almighty.

Three different names for God in the book of Genesis. Elohim, God Creator, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Jehovah, the covenant keeping God.

Jehovah. And now we have El Shaddai, God Almighty, God of infinite strength. Because Abraham has to be convinced that he has all the resources of omnipotent deity to see that these promises are fulfilled. And so God said, I am the Lord Almighty, walk before me and be perfect, be blameless, as my translation says. And that does not mean that Abraham has to live a perfect life because none of us lives a perfect life. In fact, we saw that he lied when he went into Egypt. He did distrust God over the Ishmael matter and he's about to lie again, believe it or not.

But the word does signify wholehearted. Walk before me wholeheartedly. And Abraham had an obligation to do that, just like we also have an obligation to walk before God with wholeheartedness. That's what God is asking Abraham to do.

And then God says this. He says, behold, my covenant is with you and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.

Abram, exalted father. Abraham means the father of a multitude. Now you know that Abraham had hundreds of people as herdsmen. In fact, he took 318 of his own men to rescue Lot. So when he changed his name, he had to explain it to everyone. And I can imagine as he goes to a watering hole where the Perizzites and the Canizites and the other zites and the megabytes who are in the land.

And I can imagine him going to a watering hole and somebody says, what is your name? And he says, Abraham, father of a multitude. That's great. How many children do you have? None. Yes, I have one, but I'm waiting for another. Well, how old is Sarah?

She's about 90. And you're the father of a multitude. Good luck. Well, God not only says, I'm changing your name, I'm changing Sarah's name. For this, we have to go further in the chapter. Verse 15, God said to Abraham, as for Sarai, that's who she's been up until now, your wife you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. Sarah means princess. And well, might she be called a princess because I will bless her and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her and she shall become nations. Kings of people shall come from her. Well, no wonder Abraham falls on his face the second time. And this time he laughs because he's heard something that is impossible.

Except for one fact, a person who is speaking as El Shaddai, God the Almighty. Now notice what the covenant says. We're back in the first part of chapter 17 where God says in verse seven, and I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant to be God to you and to your offspring after you and I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession and I will be their God. Abraham, you're going to get the land. Your descendants will have it as an everlasting possession that is in perpetuity continuously.

It's going to be yours. Oh, they're going to be interruptions, but in the end, it's going to be yours and to your descendants. And God in this chapter also introduces circumcision. This is verse nine and following and circumcision is going to be a sign of this covenant because God has been talking to Abraham about the seed. Circumcision connected with the whole idea of seed and posterity and also the cutting away of that which is unclean. That's why it's used in the New Testament metaphorically as people circumcising their hearts. In other words, that they are separated onto God and so God says, Abraham, this is the covenant I'm entering into with you today.

That's the nature of it. All right. What about the participants of the covenant? Who is it now that gets the blessings?

Well, today, because we're covering a great deal of scripture, I'm only using certain portions. It's best if you read it all in context, but we're back in the verse 15 and following. You'll notice that God says, I'm going to give you a son.

Sarah is renamed and she is now Sarah. Verse 17, then Abraham fell on his face and laughed to himself and said, Shall a child be born to a man who is 100 years old? Shall Sarah who is 90 years old bear a child? And Abraham said to God, Oh, that Ishmael may live before you.

He says, God, you have just promised something that is beyond your limit to promise. I'm 99. Sarah is 90. We're well beyond the ability to bear children. Our bodies are dead in terms of their ability to reproduce. God, don't you know that I've already worked something out on your behalf?

I didn't want you to be embarrassed to make a promise you couldn't keep. And that's why Ishmael is here. As a matter of fact, I love him now. Oh, God, oh, that Ishmael may live before you. God, fulfill it in Ishmael.

Now the question for the next few moments in this message is, did God fulfill it in Ishmael or did he fulfill it in Isaac? And here we come to some conflict, conflict of discussion. Because followers of the Muslim religion have a different interpretation.

So let me give you a little bit of background, a little bit understanding of history, and then we'll see what the differences are. In order to get some perspective, you have to realize that the book of Genesis was probably written 1400 years BC. I'm speaking roughly today in terms of centuries, in terms of hundreds of years. Some may say it is 1500 BC, but give or take a hundred years.

Written by Moses, inspired of God to tell us history we couldn't know in any other way. Then centuries pass. You have the coming of Jesus and Muhammad who was born in 570.

He's born in 570. Let's say that the Quran is written about 600 years after the coming of Jesus. We have, minimally speaking, about 2000 years, 20 centuries between the writing of scripture, the account in the Bible, and 20 centuries later you have the Quran being written by Muhammad. What the Quran does is it mentions Isaac 12 times. Excuse me, it mentions Ishmael 12 times, I should say. It mentions Ishmael 12 times and it speaks of Ishmael as being an apostle and as a prophet. It relocates him to Mecca and says that Abraham takes him there to Arabia.

Abraham visits him and disapproves of the wife that he selected and then Ishmael is remarried and a second time then he is married and Abraham likes the second wife. Regarding the sacrifice of Isaac as recorded in the 22nd chapter of the book of Genesis, the Quran speaks about this as being a dream and it does not name the son as to who was sacrificed. Although when the account is over it does say and God gave him a son by the name of Isaac and there are passages in the Quran that speak about Isaac as being the one to be the child of promise. But that explains why Muslim interpreters in the early centuries believed that Isaac was indeed the child of promise. But by the 10th century opinion was equally divided because the pendulum began to swing in the other direction and the view was that Ishmael is the child of promise.

And today the concise encyclopedia of Islam says it is accepted today in Islam that Ishmael was the favored son and the argument would be that Ishmael was the first born. Now I want us to see how that the Bible contrasts with that and how it faces this issue very directly and very pointedly. For example we find that God names Sarah.

I've read the text already but I need to read it again. As for Sarah your wife, you shall now call her Sarah. Actually she was called Sarai. I will bless her and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her and she shall become nations kings and peoples. Abraham falls on his face and says oh that Ishmael may live before you. And God says in verse 19 no but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son and you shall call his name Isaac and I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring and those who follow him. As for Ishmael he's going to be blessed.

I've heard you behold I've blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply greatly. So there's a blessing here for Ishmael but the child of promise is going to be Isaac who is born of Sarah. Now take your Bibles very quickly and turn to Genesis chapter 21 where we have a very interesting story. Where God explicitly excludes Ishmael as being the child of promise. In chapter 21 at last Isaac is born.

The Lord visited Sarah as he had said and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. She conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him and Sarah bore to him Isaac and then it says that Abraham verse 5 was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him and Sarah said God has made laughter for me.

Everyone who hears will laugh over me. The name Isaac by the way means laughter and she said who could have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children yet I have borne him a son in his old age and now Isaac is about to be weaned. He's about one or two years old we know that Ishmael is about 15 or 16 because he was 14 when the covenant was ratified and it says and the child grew and was weaned and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned but Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian whom she had borne to Abraham laughing. Other translations is mocking. So she said to Abraham cast out this slave woman with her son for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac and this was distressing to Abraham because he loved Ishmael but God said to Abraham do not be displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman whatever Sarah says to you do as she tells you for through Isaac your offspring shall be named.

Wow! Parenthesis did you notice men? God says to Abraham obey your wife. Now I might say that the first time he shouldn't have obeyed her when it came to the matter of Hagar but this time he should have. I don't know about you but my wife has had a lot of good suggestions and the Bible says that we have to honor our wives and oftentimes gentlemen I wouldn't say this out loud but this is just between you and me oftentimes they're wiser than we are that's been my experience. You say well when do we agree with them and when do we disagree? Now maybe you have this kind of marriage like one person said to me said you know we've been married for 25 years and we've never had a disagreement. I said to him my marriage has never been that boring. Where two people agree one is unnecessary but God did say Abraham in this instance obey Sarah.

Now that aside what we have here is very interesting. Ishmael is cast out of the house Hagar goes with him God begins to provide for him she finds herself beside a well reminiscent of the previous instance when she was pregnant with him and found a well. He goes into Egypt the Bible says or at least he takes an Egyptian woman as his wife he becomes an archer and Ishmael goes off and pretty soon he has his own posterity and that's where a lot of the conflict that is mentioned in the Bible that still has some remnants today in the Middle East all has its Genesis all has its beginning.

But what's going on here in the text? Why is it that Ishmael can't be in the same house as Isaac? First of all because he can't be a threat to the promised seed there can't be any rivalry God says I don't want any discussion of this point there's no possibility of that happening but there's another reason in chapter 22 the very next chapter which comes in my Bible right after chapter 21. In chapter 22 Abraham is asked to sacrifice his only son the only one God recognizes Isaac on Mount Moriah and what God is saying is he's saying Abraham I have to wean you of all possibility of thinking yes I can go ahead and I can kill my Isaac and then God will use Ishmael to fulfill the promises God says I don't even want that as a fallback position you must be willing to sacrifice your son your son Isaac and believe even then that God will raise him from the dead because Ishmael will not inherit the promises. What's interesting is in the New Testament this whole story is used as an allegory that's what it says in Galatians chapter 4 an allegory because Ishmael is seen as a son he's seen as a son of the flesh whereas Isaac is seen as a child of promise and the difference is between law and grace and there it is for us to look at. Now very quickly I have to give you three transforming lessons that we can learn from this whole story as we try to pull the threads together and ask God to change us forever.

I hope that whenever you come to church you say God change me today forever. First lesson is this God's promises are based on God's power. God's promises are based on God's power.

This past week three of us had the opportunity of going to an observatory and speaking to an astronomer who teaches astronomy at the University of Chicago and he was showing us various telescopes and what have you and he showed us pictures of the galaxies blotches of ink on this table and yet when you shine light on it suddenly you realize that every blotch is hundreds of thousands of stars and he told us that the Hubble telescope they decided to aim it in space where there was nothing they chose the point in space where there was least ability to find anything and they found tons of galaxies and trillions of stars. I said to him do you think it's right to say that there are as many sands on the seashore of the world as there are stars in the sky and he said yeah he said that could be right think of that and he referred to this scripture where God says if you can number the stars which you can't you'll be able to number your posterity which you can't if you can number the dust of the earth God said to Abraham then you can number your own descendants well you can't do that nor can you do the other one those are the two analogies that are used in scripture and God is El Shaddai he just decided to throw a party and say I'm going to create a bunch of stars just to show what I can do and he did it all in a couple of seconds one afternoon I don't know whether it was afternoon or morning but wow El Shaddai Abraham walk before me now the text is open you have your Bibles don't you notice what it says all throughout here God says I will oh I love that notice it says I will this is now the beginning of verse 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful I will make you into nations verse 7 I will establish my covenant verse 8 I will give you the land I will be their God it says in the last part of verse 9 I will I will I will I will God says this is an unconditional covenant as we learned in Genesis chapter 15 this is something that God says he's going to do whether people are faithful or not he will create them within them a desire to be faithful his covenant will be fulfilled God says I'm going to do this if Abraham were able to look into the future I could imagine him having an argument with God at this point he could say God what if I tell another lie like I did in Egypt what does that do to the covenant and God says I will be your God and I will establish my covenant with you forever and give your descendants the land he says God what if I have a great grandson whose name is Jacob who turns out to be a crook what will that do God says I will establish my covenant with you and to your descendants I will give the land but God what if one of my descendants is going to be named David and he is going to commit adultery and then murder somebody to cover it up God what does that do to your covenant then I will establish my covenant with you and I will give it to your posterity as an everlasting possession but God what if some of my descendants turn out to be idolaters I will establish my covenant before you and I will give that covenant and the land to your seed and to your offspring forever but God what if some of my descendants end up crucifying the son of God what then I have spoken I will establish my covenant before you and I will give you the land and to your posterity as an everlasting possession why can God talk like that it's because God is not a man he is God El Shaddai and when you and I enter into a covenant with God when we claim the promise he who believes in me has everlasting life and we have savingly believed in Jesus we enter into a new covenant and it too is an unconditional covenant you say well God what if I sin he who believes in me has everlasting life they shall never perish neither shall anyone pluck them out of my hand but God but God what if the time comes for me to die and I'm full of doubts and I begin to think about going into the vast unknown and in my heart I am now feeling and wondering whether Jesus is able to meet me on the other side what then God they shall never perish neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand because God is God and the Apostle Paul says in the book of Timothy he says even if we believe not and become faithless he says God will not change and God remains faithful because he cannot deny himself and it is upon that that we stand today the promises of God are backed by the power of God God El Shaddai don't you love it? God El Shaddai God Almighty second lesson is that God's promises are a test of our own submission take it slowly God's promises are a test of our own submission how do you think Ishmael liked being told that he was not the child of promise? well I assume he didn't like it very well he was mocking Isaac later on his own history shows that he was always angry with his cousins the descendants of Isaac and you have the whole history of the Middle East all filled with conflict and envy we can understand that I guess because to us we say you know it's unfair that what we all would say it's unfair Ishmael gets blessing but he doesn't get the same blessing as Isaac it's unfair resentful anger complaining to God Ishmael would have been better off if he would have said you know I'm going to let God be God and if God wants to give the promise to Isaac I am willing to accept whatever blessing God gives me and God does give him blessing and if he had capitalized on the blessing that God was about to give him he may have indeed received more blessing from God but when you and I are resentful because God doesn't treat us all alike as we've learned he doesn't treat Hammurabi like he treats Abraham and he doesn't treat Ishmael like he treats Isaac when you and I become angry with God because somebody has been blessed more than we have we are then in a position where the blessings that he does give us cannot be enjoyed and cannot be multiplied because we've not allowed God to be God Jesus tells that awesome parable in the 20th chapter of Matthew where he says at the end of the day those who came early in the morning they agreed for a denarius a day in the vineyard and then later on there were those who showed up as late as five o'clock in the evening they worked one hour and the time came to get paid and wouldn't you know it they got paid a denarius too and the ones who came early were angry yeah we agreed for a denarius but it's not fair that you should take somebody who works one hour and give him the same to us and we have borne the heat of the day it's not fair remember what Jesus said is he said cannot I do what I will with those who are my own are you envious because I'm generous if I want to give to Isaac something that I haven't given to Ishmael don't I have that right can't God do as he wishes with you and me are you resentful today because you've not received the same blessing that somebody sitting next to you has it will not help you in your walk with God it will diminish you and the blessing of God will be diminished and not increased until you and I say I'm going to let God be God Dr. Ryrie who wrote the notes for the Ryrie study bible tells an interesting story of when he was on American Airlines and some people were asked to go first class because they ran out of room in the coach department but he was not among them so you know you see these other people who are sitting next to you and they get to go first class but he's not so he began to say you know to himself you know this isn't fair and his mind went to that parable in Matthew chapter 20 and then he read it this way did you not agree with American Airlines for a coach seat yeah aren't you getting a coach seat are you envious because American Airlines is generous if they want to take somebody who's in coach and give them first class treatment cannot American Airlines do as it wills with those who are its own are you resentful because God is generous it's amazing how we change things when the shoe is on the other foot one day my daughter and I were flying somewhere and we were taken from coach and we were put into first class in United Airlines I didn't write a letter to United and say what kind of a schlocky outfit do you guys run anyway I pay for a coach seat and get first class treatment no no no no no I thought to myself it's about time that's what I thought when we're the recipients of blessing we think it's about time but when somebody else gets to go first class and we're in coach we say it ain't fair listen the second lesson is this that God's promises are a test of our own submission willing to rejoice in the success of someone else and the blessings of someone else are you going to become resentful angry and leave the people of God and leave church because it ain't fair there's a third lesson and that is this that the true nature of Ishmael is revealed when Isaac is born the true nature of Ishmael is revealed when Isaac is born here's Ishmael growing up and he's a wonderful boy I'm sure he's 14 years old he has a little brother it's not just your average little brother it's the little brother that God shows to be the inheritor of the promises and so what happens when the boy is being weaned Ishmael mocks because after all it ain't fair but the true nature of Ishmael is revealed in the presence of Isaac you and I find that our lives are going along quite well I've I've heard testimonies to that effect and then suddenly you accept Jesus Christ as your savior and now suddenly you have an allegiance to Jesus and the devil and the flesh begin to mock and they become angry and they say that your allegiance was to me and now that you've received Christ your allegiance is over there and you begin a whole sense of conflict accepting Christ as savior doesn't always bring immediate peace the peace is there but sometimes it's preceded by huge conflict because now you realize what the flesh is really like flesh is only happy when it's served when it's when it's encouraged when it's honored that's that's what the flesh is but it will not will not accept the authority of Jesus easily that's the point of the Apostle Paul in the fourth chapter of Genesis what he was saying is is that Isaac is the child of promise Ishmael is the child of the flesh the child of the flesh represents the law and as soon as we accept the promise and we accept what God has done we find within us the resentment and all of those things that the flesh brings about and what Paul says is allegorically speaking cast out the slave woman and her son because you can't have two different ways to live you can't live under law and grace simultaneously you can't live as a child of promise and the child of the flesh at the same time get rid of that which stands between you and entering into God's awesome promises I love to tell that story that you probably heard me tell before happened in the lobby of the church many years ago when a woman came to me and said you know I was living with this man we were unmarried now I've accepted Christ as savior so I've asked him to leave and he won't and I said well I said you know it's very clear you have to move out because committed Christians who are interested in walking with Jesus don't live together without being married and so I said you have to leave she's well it's more difficult than that I own the apartment oh alright a little bit of truth there changes it and she said I've told him to leave and he won't now here's the question how does a 120 pound woman get a 200 pound man out of her apartment it's a good question well I told her I said you know if nothing else you have to go to the police and get an order of protection and have them remove him well she did that and eventually she got rid of him I'll tell you to get rid of the things of the flesh and the things that are wrong are really really difficult and you have to do it with authority she didn't have the strength to do it herself she needed the authority of the law and we need the authority of Jesus to say to the flesh leave because I'm living by promise I'm living by the spirit I'm living in the freedom of Christ and I will not be bogged down by the things of the flesh that keep dragging my soul away from God so that's our agenda but the true nature of the flesh is not revealed until the spirit comes that's why the flesh lusts against the spirit the spirit against the flesh because they're vying for control they're vying for interest and you and I need to cast out the flesh and walk in the spirit if you've come that far in your Christian life and if you love God today would you bow your head with me in prayer our father we thank you today for your love and grace that brings us to this hour to this moment we thank you that our faith is in God El Shaddai we thank you that your promises are absolutely absolutely secure despite our tendency to disbelieve them and we pray in Jesus name that you will help all of us to respond to whatever truth God has shown us today for those who feel a sense of insecurity may they be granted the ability to cleave to your promises for those who are angry because they've been bypassed when the blessings were handed out give them a spirit of submission to capitalize on the blessings that you've given them so that you can give them more and we ask for those of us who struggle with the flesh and the spirit whatever God's talked to you about would you talk to him right now silently where you are if you've never accepted Christ as Savior you can do that even where you are seated you can say Jesus I thank you that you died for me I receive you as mine I believe you I embrace you in my heart and say Jesus I accept you as the one who died for me as my substitute if you have a burden that you've not transferred to the shoulders of Jesus do it come to us father because we are very very needy very needy very prone to deception very prone to self-protection come by your spirit and make us real people living in light of eternity in Jesus name Amen Amen let's sing together hymn number 527 527 as we've been talking about God's covenant and the assurance of it I know whom I have believed 527 an old song that some of us sang when we were younger needs to be sung again today 527 stand up as we sing please on today's Moody Church Hour Pastor Lutzer spoke about a growing faith the seventh in a ten-part series on strength for the journey a study in the life of Abraham next week three mysterious visitors appear announcing the impending birth of Isaac and pronouncing judgment on Sodom join us then for a praying faith our series on Abraham can be yours for a gift of any amount to The Moody Church Hour call 1-800-215-5001 let us know you'd like to support Moody Church's ministry our thank you will come as a CD album with all ten messages on strength for the journey call 1-800-215-5001 or you can write to us at Moody Church Media 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard Chicago Illinois 60614 online go to moodyoffer.com that's moodyoffer.com join us next time for another Moody Church Hour with Pastor Erwin Lutzer and the Congregation of Historic Moody Church in Chicago this broadcast is a ministry of The Moody Church
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-26 17:36:51 / 2023-02-26 17:53:24 / 17

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