How To Fireproof Your Faith (1)
23 Feb 2014 Service – Kong Hee
This new series aims to teach believers how to walk through the fire of life and not be burnt, how to keep our sanity and our peace of mind; go through life with no psychological breakdown despite the numerous trials and tribulations life brings about – all whilst keeping our relationship with Jesus intact.
Because if God is with us, we can go through anything. We need to be drenched in God’s presence and power. We see this present in Numbers 12:8, where Moses is face to face with God, where the Lord speaks clearly and not in riddles “With him i speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord….” With God’s presence, we can find rest in the midst of the storm. Exodus 33:14 “The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
We are able to find peace and rest in the midst of everything. Because if Jesus is with me, everything is going to be ok. Judges 6:16 “The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”
Deep down, we all have this longing to cry out after God, this desire to connect to Him. Psalms 42:1-2 “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”
And God says in Proverbs 8:17, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” God wants to give you His presence dearly beloved, “… I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16.
So how do we go about fireproofing our faith?
In 1 Thessolonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Always means.. always. It means whenever you feel tired or when you are awake, when you are in the pits or when you are riding on the waves of success. Always means.. always. And in everything, give thanks. That is God’s will for us believers, to give thanks. Sometimes it’s hard to give thanks, especially during the storms of lives.. but there will always be something to be thankful for, be it big or small. It may be for the presence of your family, the job that you’re in, your good health etc… and if it proves to be too difficult to be thankful for the above, then there’s one thing that we can always be thankful for – God sent His one and only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to die for us, so that we may enjoy eternal life. And eternal life doesn’t start when you go to heaven, it has already started the day you invited Jesus into your life.
We thank God for what He’s done, but we praise God for who He is.
Praise is a very powerful act of faith. Despite the various situations that we are in, Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever. Therefore, praise involves sacrifice – to put aside all the worries, uncertainties, doubts etc and just praise God for who He is. God is always great. Praise creates an atmosphere of faith for God to come in! “through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” Praise God in our everyday life – even in our thoughts.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20
Praise is also a very powerful instrument of war. Psalm 149:6-9. May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints. Praise the LORD.
God will move to fight on our behalf, even our clapping is powerful. Job 27:23 Men shall clap their hands at him, And shall hiss him out of his place. Even our leaping and dancing in the spirit can be very powerful. Our feet is a symbol of authority, when we dance and praise God, we are tramping the devil under our feet.
Luke 10:17-21. Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” 18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” 21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
And in v21 we read, even Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit! Rejoice is “agalliao” in Greek. It means to jump for joy, to exult with exceeding greatness and joy. And we see that even Jesus was literally jumping for joy.
Worship is the secret to walking with the Lord in any crisis, the secret of being centered on Christ. God is not looking for worship, He is looking for worshippers. In John 4, a woman was fixated on the style of worship (v20). But in v23, the bible states that God is looking for true worshippers.
20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
True worship is unselfish and unconditional. Unconditional meaning that there is no personal agenda, that we are not worshipping God because we want a miracle or a blessing and get disappointed when God doesn’t show up… but are worshipping God for who He is.
Thanksgiving relates to God’s goodness.
Praise relates to God’s greatness.
Worship relates to His Holiness (Loveliness).
Worship just means you love the Lord and you want to let Him know. When you are in love with someone, it doesn’t matter if the other party returns any favour etc, because it makes it conditional. If you can love someone with no personal agenda, that love is unconditional.
Worship is never for ourselves. Worship continues even when the healing doesn’t happen, when the miracle doesn’t come, when the prayers go unanswered. We will still love the Lord and worship Him, all because we cannot live without Jesus in our lives.
Worship in Greek is Proskuneo, which means to lean forward to kiss. When we worship God, it is giving away a piece of you that will not be able to be taken back. When we worship God, we come with an attitude of submission, not aggression.
Worship is at its highest and purest when we submit fully to God (Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”) Purest worship is borne out of trials and suffering, surrendering is extremely painful. True worship is very costly. Hebrews 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. To love is to suffer, 1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. In Phil 3:10 Jesus is calling us to partake in the fellowship of His sufferings (note the plural in sufferings) Phil 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death
God is calling for us to be true worshippers, with no strings attached.
So the question here is, if there’s no deliverance, no healing, no blessings, no answered prayers, no anything, will you still be a true worshipper?