Christlike: Creating a Culture of Faith
PASTOR JUSTIN WERVEN | BEULAH CAMPUS PASTOR
If you're anything like me, you've found yourself in trouble by the things you've said. One particular incident happened a few years ago. Our family was in the process of moving from our house into the church parsonage. I noticed our chihuahua (Bella) was a little more on edge than normal.
Thinking something may be wrong, I took her to the vet. She got a clean bill of health, but was diagnosed with anxiety. Apparently the move caused some raised anxiety resulting in unapproved behavior. The vet said you can either medicate her with an anti-anxiety medication or provide a "safe place" for her to be alone and get away from people. I opted for the second option.
Some of Bella's triggers were strangers, large groups of people, no alone time, noise, changes in environment or routine. I started thinking and made the mistake of telling Jennifer what I was thinking. I said to Jennifer, "You know, the triggers our anxious dog has are very similar to yours. I feel I understand you better now, after visiting the vet." Turns out she wasn't flattered by my recent revelation regarding introverts. Open mouth, insert foot.
Scripture has a great story of someone doing a very similar thing. No, he didn't insult their wife comparing her to the family pet, but he did speak when he should have stayed silent.
Zachariah, in Luke 1, is told by an angel that he will be the father of the one who would prepare the way for the Messiah. Instead of responding in faith, he reveals his unbelief in what the angel was saying. It resulted in his loss of speech.
I always wondered, "Why did the angel take his speech?"
The answer is revealed in Jesus' response to unbelief later in New Testament. In Mark 6, it says Jesus "Could not do any miracles there except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith." Jesus reprimanded lack of faith in his disciples in Matthew 8.
Unbelief has tremendous consequences. God's response to Zachariah's unbelief (loss of speech) was to prevent his unbelief from preventing his miracle (birth of John the Baptist). Unbelief will shutdown and prevent the supernatural. That's why it's so important to create a culture of faith. It wasn't until Zachariah declared his faith by naming his son John that his speech was restored.
A culture of faith is created first by "taking every thought captive" and making it "obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:5). We are constantly barraged by thoughts; our own, demonic, or Godly. Philippians 4 says that “whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy should be what we think on.” It becomes the filter by which we use to determine what we think on.
Luke 6:45 says that "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Whatever we think on becomes what we say. That's the second element of creating a culture of faith- speak words of faith. Our words have the power of life or death. When we speak in faith we create an environment for the supernatural.
Consider and evaluate for yourself:
Do my thoughts and words build or destroy my faith?
Do my thoughts and words embrace or reject the promises in scripture?
When we think and speak in faith we create a culture for the supernatural. I believe and pray New Life will be a place of great faith.