The Harvest Is Ripe!
"He will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner"
(From a radio sermon of Bro. Julius Adewumi).
FAITH OF DAVID (Part 1)
I want to talk about the faith of the young man, David , who became the king of Israel. I believe we can learn something on how to exercise our faith from David's exploits. How to make our faith work.
In 1Samuel 17 we see the story of how David killed Goliath the Philistine giant. In this sermon, I want to go step by step to analyze this faith of David so that we can learn something on how to make our faith work, and how to get the Lord to do things on our behalf. As the Lord has said, "if you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it." (Jn. 14: 14 ). I will also go to the book of Daniel and compare the faith of those Hebrew men and point out the similarity in exercising faith, we'll see a pattern to faith.
In the days of King Saul, the Philistines were the archenemy of Israel. There was a war between the Philistines and Israel.
(1 Sam. 17:4) "There went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines named Goliath, of Gath"
It described the giant, Goliath, who was the champion among the Philistines to contrast his size with that of the Israelites.
(v.8-9) "And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? Am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? Choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us."
Goliath threw out a challenge and said, "I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together."
Nobody was confident to take up the challenge.
Now came David a young man who was not part of the army. He only came to the camp to see what's up with his big brothers.
Goliath was throwing out this challenge everyday morning and evening for forty days, and nobody was ready to accept the challenge, nobody was ready to risk his life for the army. By the end of forty days, God began to move in Israel and decided to send a young man to silence this giant. Remember the scripture that says "God ruleth in the affairs of men". Also, a scripture said, "He beholdeth the proud to bring them down".
Jesse did not know what was going on in the camp of the army of Israel. He simply felt like sending David on errand to see how his brothers are faring and to take their requests. I am reading this story to point out how faith works and the ground preparation for faith to manifest.
We are called to be men of faith in Christianity, and without faith, it is impossible to please the Lord.
How did David get his faith? Remember David had been anointed when he was younger by Prophet Samuel that David would be the next king of Israel. From that time forward, the Spirit of God started moving upon David. Well, someone may say, "that was David, anointed to be king. That was why the Spirit of God moved upon him". However, we Christians that have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and have been born again, the bible said we have the Holy Spirit also. He promised that "these signs shall follow them that believe" (Mk.16:16-18). If you that read this don't have the Holy Spirit, and you are a Christian, pray and ask the Lord to fill you with the Holy Spirit, because every believer is expected to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Because, in Mathew 3:11, when John the Baptist was preaching, he told the people, "I baptize you in water unto repentance; but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire."
Therefore, just as every one that came to John was baptized in water, everyone who comes to Jesus is expected to be baptized in the Holy Ghost and fire. If you believe in Jesus, why then will you not be baptized in the Holy Ghost and fire? He that asketh receiveth.
When apostle Peter also saw that all the gentiles that were listening to him in the house of Cornelius the centurion were filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts. 11:16 ), he said "then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost." The Holy Ghost is for every believer. This promise is unto all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call (Acts 2:39).
Therefore, if David's anointing gave him the faith, we Christians had been anointed also by the Holy Ghost and we ought to exercise similar faith or greater faith in our way. The Lord even said, "the least in the kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist".
Let's see how faith was exercised. It is one thing to have the anointing, which amounts to "potential energy", it is another thing to activate this anointing to do a great work. That is, every one of us has this potential energy resident in us. As a student of physics, remember that potential energy will not do any work until you begin to move, i.e. convert the potential energy into kinetic energy. A mass of object laying still on a cliff has potential energy. But when this mass of object begins to move, it can knock down anything on its way, which its massive weight can crush. This is due to its kinetic energy. Every one of us filled with the Holy Ghost has the potential to cast out devils and do the wonders mentioned in the bible. By being a disciple of Jesus Christ, there is power resident in you. There is faith resident in you. There is spiritual energy resident in you already by being a disciple of Jesus Christ. This is potential energy. Now put it into use to glorify the Lord. This exhortation is to show us how to use our potential faith for the Lord.
Our faith that is dormant can begin to be applied in real life to do greater things.
We are just like David as believers in Christ. We are to begin to exercise our faith.
David came by and heard this giant, Goliath of Gath, boasting and defying the army of Israel, and it roused in him a holy anger. Similarly if you are a believer and have the Holy Ghost in you, if a wicked person or an idol worshipper is bragging and boasting of his or her sinful exploits, or his magical charms, you should have a holy anger roused up in you. You should want to rebuke the sinner. If you are one who likes to hide yourself, ashamed for being holy, you should check yourself. Are you being a Christian? We are the light of the world. If you are the light of the world and you hear the ungodly boasting of their adultery, or their corruption, or their embezzlement, you should be bold enough to rebuke them, in love, and not hide your face. The scripture said, "it is a shame to talk about what they do in darkness, but rather rebuke them".
Don't be afraid to rebuke the ungodly. Don't be afraid to shine your light, peradventure they might repent. If they do not repent, It is darkness that should withdraw when light appears. You are the child of the King, you are the light of the world.
In many situations in the schools and colleges, and even in places of work, ungodly people have been known to dominate discussions, boasting and bragging of their reveling, fornication, adultery, and dirty jokes, while the Christian will go and hide. It should be the reverse. Don't be ashamed of your righteousness for that is the better way of life. It is the ungodly that should be ashamed to say they are in adultery or in fornication. It is the ungodly that should be ashamed to say they are in homosexuality.
You, Christian, should be bold to confess that Christ has changed you to righteousness, not by your own works but by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and invite the ungodly to accept Jesus' life into themselves also.
Therefore, lift up your head high. Where light appears, darkness normally will withdraw. We Christians should be the ones to speak the truth, in love, and let darkness and the ungodly keep their mouth shut, or withdraw. Amen!
Holy anger rose up in David. Holy anger should rise up in the Christian also to oppose the darkness whenever darkness is trying to promote itself.
David said, "who is this uncircumcised Philistine to defy the army of Israel?" Does anybody need a special reward to silence this giant who is defying the army of God?
(1Sam.17:28) "Eliab his eldest brother heard when David spake unto the men, and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? …. for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle." And he confronted David and said, "Why have you come over here, David, trying to watch the battle when you should be watching the sheep in the desert.'' Now I want you to take a note on this. When God brings you to a situation to exercise your faith, the devil has a way of bringing in some people, even close friends to confront you, or your brothers to rebuke your method. As I mentioned before, you should be the one to shine your light. Suppose you come into your office and some men are chatting on sin, "how many women they have fornicated with", or women chatting on "how many men they have ripped off, taking money from them deceptively"; when you try to rebuke them, someone may accuse you of not showing enough love, or being judgmental. Nonetheless go on with what you are doing. Because some folks will think they are trying to help you but they are not really helping. They are becoming obstacle to your act of faith. Watch against those things. David's big brother jumped on him presumptuously, but God has a plan, which they knew nothing about.
When God wants to do something through you, you may not be aware of it, and some of your church members may be the first to tell you to cool it. For instance, I preached inside a public bus to passengers one day, for few minutes and stopped talking. One lady who said she was a believer charged me to speak on. I told her, I was done. She said "you have not said anything, preach on." I asked her, "Are you a Christian?" "Yes", she replied. "Then you can take over, and preach to them because I am done", I said.
"You are the one that wants to preach, not me. Then preach on", she insisted. I replied, "if you know what more to say, you are free to take over and preach a whole sermon to the people".
I mentioned this to say that the lady was not trying to help, her motive was to ridicule or to confront.
David overcame the confrontation. He turned away from the critics and face those who are charging up his faith. Learn from David's example. Turn yourself away from those who are trying to quench your faith, and turn to people who are boosting up your faith. Similarly, if you attend a congregation where the pastor always drag your faith down, you want to avoid such congregation and look for preachers and congregation where you will be built up. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Doubt also can come by hearing doubts and unbelief preached into you. If you walk with friends that are trying to pull down your faith, you don't want to walk with such friends. You need to associate with friends that will boost up your faith.
David was invited by King Saul when he heard about what he was saying in the camp.
"David Said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
And Saul said to David, thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth."
David now gave testimonies of what God has done through him.
(v.35) "And David said unto Saul, thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: and I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine."
This is essential. Faith must be confessed. When you give testimonies of what the Lord has done for you in the past, it boosts your faith and also boosts the faith of others hearing you to support you.
In this story, we are pointing out how to exercise our faith. Faith must be confessed. Confess what God has done for you in the past. It will remind you to acknowledge the Lord in all your ways. David turned the fight to a fight for God, in declaring that this Philistine has defied the army of God.
David chose to go against Goliath with a sling and a stone, because he would rely on the power of God, and not on man-made armor of Saul.
In summary, remember, faith must stand tall. Do not hide your light in the face of darkness. Let your light shine and darkness will withdraw. Confess what you believe even before it happen. David confessed what he would do to Goliath before it happened in verse 45. In line with this the Lord Jesus said, "whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith." (Mk. 11:22).
You've got to believe it and confess it before it happens, and it shall happen.
Faith is different from boldness. Boldness has no spiritual presence, but faith in Christ has spiritual presence. Heaven is watching. Have faith in God and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
God bless you.
(to be continued …)
WHEN DOES MIRACLE HAPPEN?
I will share this question from a Christian brother who read my literature on the internet, and the answer I gave. The letter goes as follows:
Dear Bro Julius,
Have been reading some of your pages on the WWW and wish to ask you some questions regarding faith. As a Spirit-filled Pentecostal who has been in fellowship in the same group for 19 years, I have an urge to see some results of my faith, and so have been searching for groups /individuals on the internet who can testify of results to their faith that I can learn from them.
Was recently introduced to the books about Smith Wigglesworth and wish to become involved with the Lord in an active ministry like this man was - where He is glorified because He is able to perform through belief in the lives of people with needs both saved and unsaved.
In our assembly there are about 1600 or so saints who meet over 3 halls. We are "full gospel" and have been going here in Australia for around 35 years or so. In the last few months we have had 3 tragedies in our midst, with a father of 5 being electrocuted, another woman in her mid forties dying in her sleep (no apparent illness), and just 9 days ago a young lad of 15 killed when the car his sister was driving hit a tree.
This young man was from the closest family I have ever known, baptized, filled with the Holy Spirit, loving the Lord, real good value folk.
Some of us determined that this was not the will of God (going on the pattern in Scripture whereby every young person that Jesus or the apostles prayed for was raised up) and that this was an opportunity for the Lord to manifest His goodness and glory should the boy be raised up. I asked the Lord for a gift of faith so that I could go and pray for him that his spirit might be returned to him and the family be restored and I believed the Lord had given me this as I had a strong burning inside me for days till the opportunity presented itself, which was last friday the day scheduled for his funeral.
I went to the private 'viewing' and while alone in the room with him prayed for him and commanded he wake in Jesus name etc - but
unfortunately nothing happened. I understand that I take full blame for the failure of the prayer. If the prayer works then the Lord gets the glory, but if the prayer fails then I alone wear the shame. That I can cope with, as there will hopefully be something I can learn to do better next time (such as Cain's sacrafice was rejected, but The Lord offered opportunity to him to get it right another time) for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
My questions are; How does one know when one gets a gift of faith?
Did I blow it, or was the burning desire to pray over him just some emotional thing? How can I exercise the kind of faith that I read about in the Scriptures, and that used to happen in our group?
Any suggestions or recommendations gratefully received.
When the brother mentioned tragedies, the world has been like that recently. The end of the world is near. Both economic crisis and those evil things are earmarked for the world. From the brother's words, I gathered that he was saying things were not like that before: they had testimonies of faith and miracles before. They are "full gospel".
Every theologian would have had opportunity to wrestle with such question until some of them concluded and said "the days of miracles are gone". Maybe those theologians have never seen one miracle in their congregation. After they are confronted with unstoppable tragedies like that, they would say "I told you the days of miracles are past". That's how many theologians came to such conclusion.
I have seen miracles! This brother testified that miracles have happened before in their midst. The question came during the time when I also have prayers which have not yet been answered, therefore, I look to the Lord and say, "Now Lord, you answer this guy. What do I tell him?" I started typing my reply on the computer and the Lord gave me these two points which I made in my response:
I'm glad that you ask these questions. We all question the Lord each time we pray for a thing and it does not happen.
We have to refer back to the answer the Lord gave to the apostles concerning the same. "Why couldn't we cast the devil out?" That was the question the apostles asked.
Remember the apostles had been sent out to heal the sick and to cast out devils. They had done it before. But they came to this one when the Lord Jesus was not with them and the devil refused to leave. They were dumbfounded! Maybe they were even struggling among themselves who should be in-charge. Afterwards they asked Christ, "why couldn't we cast him out?"
But Jesus answered and said, "because of your unbelief.... However, this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." (Mat.17:20-21).
God gives special gifts for miraculous performance to reveal that it is indeed the Lord's will for man to be well and to live.
It's not a matter of "is it the Lord's will or not the Lord's will?" He gave those special gifts to reveal his will.
But because mankind is far from the ideal state (the stature of Christ) God has to bypass the norm to give special gifts to some, from whom he demands that they fast "long fasts" to contain the power. The special gifts are to be used to demonstrate his will.
Secondly, there is what is called "times of refreshing" when God also condescending, comes down to pour out much anointing upon the church, during which miracles and prayers are easily received without much effort from the believers. (Acts 3:19). Outside of that refreshing time, the anointing is scarce or withdrawn, therefore, believers had tougher time to get things done. It becomes then that the highly placed spiritually among us, who have acquired some level of anointing from the Lord, will get things done by their prayers more than the rest of the crowd, in performing miracles or wonders.
In summary, the Lord's will is in his word. But since we are dealing with rebel -satanic spirits, when we pray against some evils, we must realize that there is a wrestling match going on against us.
We must strive to put on the whole armor of God (Ephe.6:11-15).
We must attempt the long fasts seeking from the Lord the power that will place us above the adversary. You are not alone in the struggle, and God desires that the saints aspire to attain to that fullness of the stature of Christ. He is ready to help us, but He will not spoon-feed us.
You may notice that when we are freshly born-again, we almost get everything we ask in prayer often times. But after a while, the prayers seems to take longer times before it is answered. It is not just because we become "stale". It is like a new-born babe need not do much before food is served, and diaper is changed, and carried by the parent all the time. However that pampering will not be for ever!
After a while, the Lord stops pampering us. We are to understand our right and get it from the adversary who usurped it from mankind.
To get it we must be ready to fight for it, with the Lord on our side.
He said "resist the devil, and he shall flee from thee." Sometimes we must resist stedfastly in the faith. At times it's like a tug of war.
But we must remind the devil that our Lord Jesus Christ has already gotten the victory. That weakens the adversary.
May the Lord reveal more into your heart.
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry
Box 30387, Phoenix AZ 85046
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