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Others: The Triumph of Faith, Part 1

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
October 5, 2021 8:00 am

Others: The Triumph of Faith, Part 1

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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October 5, 2021 8:00 am

Dr. Tony Evans says that too many people believe that what they’ve done in their past has canceled out what God can do in their future. But in this lesson, Dr. Evans tells us a story that demonstrates what a dangerous lie that really is. You’ll also find out why deliverance only results from a certain kind of faith.

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Accepting Christ as your Savior takes you to heaven. Living by faith brings heaven to you. But Dr. Tony Evans says many of us only have faith in what we can see, touch, or figure out for ourselves. If you're living by sight, verse 1 of Hebrews 11 says, that's not faith, that's sight.

And the two are totally different. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans. Author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. Most of the time, faith makes no earthly sense. But today, Dr. Evans explains why that's the point, as he talks about the kind of trust in God that can bring supernatural power to bear on our earthly problems.

Let's join him as he explains. We've now come to the end of Hebrews 11, and we're talking about what it looks like to live your life by faith. We're talking about the men and women in Hebrews 11 who are men and women from the Old Testament being spoken of in the New Testament to encourage you and I what it means to make our daily operation a faith operation. The author of Hebrews has gone name after name, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Israel, Rahab, and he says these folks saw the hand and the movement, the power and the presence of God, and they saw it by faith. He has made it clear in Hebrews 11, verse 6, without faith, you won't see God, because without faith, you do not please Him. The absence of faith is the absence of the manifest presence of God.

In other words, you'll know He exists, but you won't necessarily experience His existence in your day-to-day life. So what it wants you and I to do is to begin to live our life by faith. Now, we have discussed the meaning of faith.

Let's review. Faith means to act like God is telling the truth. Faith is acting like it is so even when it's not so in order that it might be so simply because God said so. Faith is verifiable.

You don't have to guess if you're having it or not, because faith is measured by your feet, not by your feelings, by your walk, not by your talk, by your life, not by your lips. Faith is a verifiable reality. You can feel no faith and be full of faith because you're walking or moving in faith, which means you're doing what God says to do.

You're obeying Him even when you do not see the reality of your obedience. Faith must always—watch this—precede sight. Once you have sight, it is no longer faith. That's why Hebrews 11 verse 1 says, Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. If you have to see it first, you've canceled faith, for faith is prior to and apart from sight. Faith leads to sight, but faith must always precede sight. Most people, even Christians, decide what they're going to do by what they see first. And if you decide whether you're going to do what God says do on the front end because you see it, then you're not exercising faith, and you have canceled out seeing God move. So we regularly cancel out the supernatural because we've got to see the natural first.

But faith is apart from sight. The African impala is a magnificent animal. The African impala can, like, jump 10 feet straight up in the air, and it can jump out 30 feet. But if you put an African impala with all this beauty and power and ability to leap high and jump long into a little three-foot cage, it will stay incarcerated for life because the one flaw of the African impala is it will not jump where it cannot see. So it limits its movement to its sight. It has ability to jump high over the cage.

It has ability to jump long over things, but it won't do it if it can't see it, and so you can control it. Many of us are controlled by our circumstances and the devil because we're waiting to see first before we obey first, nullifying the movement of God. Faith must precede sight if it's going to be biblical faith. Now, having explained this, he now comes to his culminating section, his culminating point in the chapter. He begins in verse 32 of Hebrews 11, and I love how he opens it up, and he says, And what more shall I say? He says, I've walked you through 31 verses.

I've given you the great heroes of the faith and what they were able to achieve by faith. So what more can I tell you? What more can I say, he says? It made me think of Teddy Pendergrass. If you don't know me by now, you'll never, never, never know me.

Ooh, ooh, ooh. The author of Hebrews 11 says, if you don't get it by now, what more can I say? I've shown you, he says, what faith can do in everything leading up to this point. In fact, he goes on to say in verse 32, For time will fail me. He sounds like an old preacher, if I just had a little bit more time. If I had a little bit more time, I could tell you so much more, because there's so much more to tell about the power of faith. But he's run out of time, he's run out of space. And so he says, well, I don't have time to go into the detail I went into in the first 31 verses, but let me throw a little something, something extra along the way.

Let me, let me give you a little something, something. He said, if I had some time, I'd tell you about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, but I don't have time. I don't have time, I don't have space to go into all these other folk I haven't gone into. So since he didn't have a time, I'm going to take a minute to tell you about these folk he didn't have time to go into detail on, like he did all the previous people in the first 31 verses of chapter 11. He starts off with Gideon in verse 32.

Gideon was a judge, but Gideon was a passive guy and then God called on him because Israel was being invaded by the enemy. And he said, Gideon, I want you to go out there and I want you to take care of the enemy of my people. So Gideon, as scared as he was, went out and amassed an army of 32,000 men. And God looked at Gideon in the book of Judges and said, that's too many people.

I can't use 32,000. Now, Gideon logically was saying, we get ready to fight an army. That's a big army, I need as many men as I can get.

To which God said, you may need them, I don't. Your army's too big. So I want you to shrink it down, shrink it down again, shrink it down again until you get down to 300.

God, you got to be kidding me. You want me to fight an army that's huge with 300 men? No, Gideon, I want you to fight an army with 300 men and me. So guess what he did? He dropped logic, what he could see, comparing his 32,000 with the group that he was going to fight. He dropped his logic and he obeyed God. When he obeyed God, he routed the army with 300 men because God joined the 300 when he obeyed what he couldn't see.

If you ask him to logically figure it out, he couldn't do it. He had to do what God said do, even when what God said do made absolutely no sense at all. So since the author of Hebrews didn't have time to tell you, I just thought I'd tell you that by faith, Gideon routed an army, even though he was scared to do it.

The next name you get is Barak. If Gideon was scared, Barak was weak. He was a weak man. He was a man who ran from difficulty and ran from trouble. In fact, he got his strength from a woman named Deborah. He was too scared to go into battle himself. He told Deborah, I ain't going, girl, unless you're going with me.

So Deborah, as many women have to do, had to hold up my man's hands. Had to say, come on, man up, Barak. And with the encouragement of Deborah, who had heard the word from the Lord and transferred it to Barak, he believed that word, even though he was a weak man and God used him by faith to rout the enemies of Israel. Gideon was scared, Barak was weak, and Samson was a player. Samson was a man who had moral dilemmas, passion issues. But even though he was a weak man in a certain area, as born out again in the book of Judges, when he was willing to operate by faith, God would supernaturally invade him and use him to take care of the Philistines so that the Bible says, he killed 1000 men with the jawbone of a donkey. And at his ending days, he killed more in his death than he had killed in his life. Because when God got his attention, he would see the supernatural enter into the natural. The man had some problems, the man had some issues, but he still shows up in Hebrews 11.

It didn't nullify the consequences, but what it did say was when you're ready to operate by faith, you can see God show up. Well, Dr. Evans will come back in a moment with more of his walk through this Faith Hall of Fame, part of his current series, Heroes of the Faith. He's recently completed a companion book dovetailing perfectly with today's series.

It's called Kingdom Heroes. Together, these two resources explore what it's like to really live out the conviction that God can be trusted as we make the discovery that real faith is more than a matter of just what we believe. If you contact us right away, we'll send you this comprehensive series on CDs or downloadable MP3s, along with Tony's latest book, As Our Gift, when you make a generous contribution toward his work here on the air. We'll also include as a bonus the Kingdom Heroes Bible Study to help you dig even deeper into these stories and their important concepts. Don't miss out. Call us today at 1-800-800-3222 so we can make the arrangements and send you all three of these powerful faith resources.

Again, that's 1-800-800-3222 or visit tonyevans.org. I'll repeat that information after part two of today's teaching and this. Well, the first time I went to the Holy Land, it made the reality of the Bible jump off the page and become an experiential event. Dr. Tony Evans says that same experience can be yours thanks to a big screen event coming to theaters near you, Journey with Jesus. You'll see the actual places where Bible history happened, but it's far more than just a travel film.

We've taken the site, we've surrounded the scripture, we've surrounded with practical applications for your life because we wanted this not just to be a sightseeing event, but to be a spiritual experience. Watch the Bible come alive in ways you've never felt before. Join Tony on a Journey with Jesus, coming to a theater near you November 15th, 16th, and 17th. It is our prayer and our hope and our expectation that, having seen the movie, you will be reignited.

Your fire for the Lord will be relit. Visit tonyevans.org today for theaters, showtimes, and more info. That's tonyevans.org. Let me tell you about Jafa. He was a child of a prostitute. The father was married over here and had a number of other sons. The other sons didn't want to have anything to do with Jafa, and as soon as he was old enough, they ran him off. So he had a bad background, questionable mother, rejected by his siblings. He was in a messed up family situation. But when God was looking for somebody to deliver his people, he went over to Jafa and said, Jafa, I know that your background isn't the best. I know that your family situation isn't preferable, but if you will do what I tell you to do, I'm going to use you in spite of your past.

I'm not going to let your past control your present or what I'm going to do with you in your future, but you got to do what I tell you to do. Jafa obeyed God and routed the enemies of God in spite of a poor background. Then there's David. David's small.

David's young. David's inexperienced, but he runs into this mammoth man named Goliath of Gath. And in 1 Samuel 17, he takes a slingshot and five smooth stones and brings the giant down to his level and below.

So he didn't let his size determine where this battle was going to wind up. We find out Samuel was weak as a father, and we're told in 1 Samuel 8 that his sons no longer followed the Lord. And so Samuel had some flaws as a dad. He didn't even win his own sons, but when he was willing to operate by faith, the prophet Daniel would be anointing the king of Israel, setting the nation of Israel on a spiritual course that would lead them to a new direction.

Now, why does he go through those names, and why did I go through those names? Because each one of those folks by faith achieved greatness, wound up in the hall of faith, are one of our heroes in Hebrews chapter 11, even though they had flaws in their lives. Every one of them had weak spots. Every one of them had areas that they hadn't developed yet. Every one of them had places that needed to be shored up and strengthened. But when they were willing to operate by faith, God graduated them to our museum, the Hall of Faith, and made them one of the heroes.

I don't know about your yesterday. I do know if you'll live by faith today, God can still use you tomorrow and recognize you for what you have done and achieved by faith. But it must be by faith, and faith must precede sight. If you're waiting for sight, it's no longer faith. And so God must see you trust Him by your feet, not by your feelings, by your function. He must see you operate by faith.

In each one of these men's lives, in each one of the people found in chapter 11 of Hebrews, men and women, there was a challenge that demanded faith. So the reason God allows a negative obstacle to come into your presence is to see whether you're going to face it by faith or face it by sight. When you face it by faith, God joins you in it.

When you face it by sight, you take care of it. He says you don't understand the power of faith, but you must be operating by biblical faith, which means faith must precede sight. So if you're saying, God, show me this, and then this is what I'll do, that's not faith. You're saying, show me, then I'll respond.

No. You respond to me, then I'll show you. It must be by faith. When you accept Jesus Christ, you accept Jesus Christ through faith. By grace are you saved through faith. You accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, and through faith, through trusting Him for the forgiveness of your sins, you're giving eternal life. But while you trust Christ through faith, you are now supposed to live your life by faith.

Two different things. Trusting Christ for salvation is receiving a gift. Living by faith is doing a work.

That is why the Bible says in James 2, faith without works is dead. He's not talking about to get to heaven. He's talking about to get heaven down to you. Accepting Christ as your Savior takes you to heaven. Living by faith brings heaven to you.

It allows you to see God enter history into your circumstance and show you the supernatural in the midst of the natural when He sees your faith working with your works. You're saved by faith apart from works. You see God by faith that has the accompaniment of your work.

That is, your obedience to His Word without seeing the result in advance. And therefore, most people, even Christians, don't live by faith. They live by sight, but then call it faith. But if you're living by sight, verse 1 of Hebrews 11 says, that's not faith.

That's sight. And the two are totally different. Let me tell you something else about faith. Verse 35, women receive back their dead by resurrection. That's what Elijah and Elisha did. They raised up the dead sons of the widows.

They raised them up. Now, faith can flip the natural order of things. See, when you die from a physical standpoint, you typically stay dead. So in order to have a resurrection, you've had the natural order of things reversed so that that which is dead now becomes alive, like what Jesus told Martha and Mary, I am the resurrection and the life. If you live your life by nature, you'll never see God flip something from the natural to the supernatural. You'll never see Him flip the order of things so that when you look at all the ways that your friends, the television, people will tell you it's supposed to work, if that's your faith point, then let your faith point fix it. But He says by faith, God flipped the natural order of things so that that which died became alive. Dr. Evans will come back in a moment with a final comment about how faith makes the impossible possible.

So stay with us. But first, we've been working our way through Tony's collection of messages called Heroes of the Faith. It's a two-volume series that explores the lives of biblical characters who took God at His word and went on to see Him change their lives and the world. Don't forget, if you can help us out right now with a generous contribution, we'd like to say thanks by sending you all 13 messages in this series, as well as a copy of Tony's brand-new book and companion Bible study, Kingdom Heroes. This Heroes of the Faith offer will only be available for a few more days, so make the arrangements right away at TonyEvans.org. There's a section on the home page that's there just for the special offer. That's TonyEvans.org.

Or let one of our team members assist you when you call 1-800-800-3222. Well, as you've heard, the Urban Alternative is celebrating 40 years of ministry this year. So you know your support is an investment in an organization that's been faithfully carrying the good news to a needy world for some time now. Well, Dr. Evans recently reflected on the early ministry call on his life. 1968, our little church became part of an evangelistic crusade in Baltimore led by an evangelist named B. Sam Hart.

His organization was the Grand Old Gospel Fellowship. It was a tent crusade, and I was an 18-year-old working on this crusade with our church. And on the first night he preached, he talked about being fully committed to being used of God. And that night is when I sensed God calling me to serve Him. I really then got more involved in the crusade and got to know Sam Hart. And then he sent me to Guyana, South America, to work on his crusade that was going on there, which of course is where I met Lois. So it was that crusade in 1968 that started the ministry direction for me. Your support of the Urban Alternative makes possible the important work that continues even today. So again, contact us at 1-800-800-3222. Let us say thanks for your help by sending you The Kingdom Heroes and Heroes of the Faith Resource Package. Again, that's 1-800-800-3222.

Or you can make the arrangements online at toneyevans.org. The Bible tells us faith is the evidence of things we don't see. Well, tomorrow Dr. Evans will talk about some of that evidence as he brings us more about the kind of trials and triumphs we experience when we truly believe.

Right now, though, he's back with a final word of encouragement for us. Everybody on your job may say this is the natural way it works. All your friends may say this is how we do it. And they may be giving you the natural. God says, do you want the supernatural? Because I can reverse the nature of a thing if it's by faith.

So you stay natural and you'll get natural. But if you live by faith, which means acting before you see the result, then that means you get to experience God even reversing something that is an impossibility to reverse. He says God is able to reverse it even though it's a dead situation. Any of you in a dead situation? Doesn't look like there's any way to change it. Doesn't look like there's no power you can go to to flip it. You don't have enough money to buy your way out of it. But my question is, have you operated by faith? And faith must precede seeing, or else it's not faith. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-13 22:04:05 / 2023-08-13 22:13:12 / 9

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