In or Out of FaithMarch 4, 2019
Can you believe it’s already March? The days of this year seem to be flying by, and there is so much for us to accomplish between now and the end of 2019. But with God’s grace, we can do it!
Before I get into my teaching today, I want to say thank you for helping us do this ministry that God has assigned to us. With your prayers and partnership, we are making such significant progress in reaching people that really need to be reached. Denise and I and our team are giving our all on the frontlines, but what you provide financially and in prayer is empowering us in practical ways so that we can actually do it. For this, we are so very thankful.
It’s crucial that we know exactly what God wants us to do in life and not just expend energy in a random or scattershot way. To do that, it means we’ll have to discover where God wants us to be and then stay put in that place in faith. That’s what I want to talk to you about in this month’s letter: staying in a place of faith! I’ll be sharing a slightly different aspect of a familiar verse to show you the importance of the obedience of faith.
Hebrews 11:6 says about God, “But without faith it is impossible to please him….” Today I want to do a brief word study with you on the word “without” in this verse. It comes from the Greek word choris, which means to be outside of something, and it pictures someone who lives outside the perimeters of a city. It presents a comparison between being outside or inside something — for example, in the house or out of the house; in the yard or out of the yard; or in the car or out of the car.
The word choris — “without” — depicts someone who is out of, not in, a specific location. Because this word is used in connection with faith, the writer of Hebrews lets us know that we can live in or out of faith.
ARE YOU LIVING ‘IN’ FAITH OR ‘OUT OF’ FAITH?
This also means that faith must be a real place with borders, perimeters, and boundaries. Just as you can live in the city or out of the city, you can live inside faith or outside of faith. The determining factor is your obedience to the assignment God has given you! God wants you to be located at this address of faith — for this is the location He deems the most valuable and profitable for your life. So residing at a place of faith for you means being exactly where God told you to be and staying right there, resolutely, in that place of faith.
Hebrews 11:6 could be accurately rendered:
When you live outside of faith, living beyond its boundaries and perimeters,
it is impossible to please Him….
Have you ever had a moment when you absolutely knew where God told you to be, what He told you to do — and you stuck with it, regardless of how difficult it was? If so, did you see God do the impossible for you as a result?
On the other hand, have you ever moved “out” from where God told you to be and from what He told you to do? If you’ve ever done this, you already personally know how disastrous it can be to surrender the place where God told you to be and to walk away from what He told you to do. The price for moving “out of” a place of faith is so costly.
I encourage you to stay put and not abandon the place where God called you to be. Don’t walk away from what He told you to do. It may be temporarily hard as you wait, but if you’ll hang on and stay put in faith, the Bible promises that you’ll eventually see God move miraculously for you!
QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU IDENTIFY
WHETHER YOU ARE ‘IN’ OR ‘OUT OF’ FAITH
To determine if you are in or out of faith, you must answer honestly the following questions:
- Am I doing what God told me to do?
- Am I determined to fulfill the assignment He gave for my life?
- Am I living in obedience to His Word and to the revelations He has given me?
- Am I faithfully sticking with the plan Jesus asked me to execute?
As long as you stay in that place where God told you to be, you are residing at that address of faith and you therefore please God. But the day you give up and move out of that place of faith, you will be moving into cheaper territory that God doesn’t value as highly — a location where you will experience the hardships and inconveniences of poor choices and defeat.
As you read on in Hebrews, you’ll see that the entire eleventh chapter is about men and women who lived inside the perimeters faith. They each received a word from God for their own lives or for their generation. Although it was difficult to do, they held tightly to their mandate from Heaven. As a result, they changed their generations and pleased God. Faith was the location where they lived — and because they stayed in that place where God had called them, they brought great pleasure to Him.
A REWARD FOR THE PERSISTENT
The devil will try to discourage you from being steadfast and faithful. He’ll orchestrate situations designed to fill you with worry and fear. If you let the enemy’s plan work, it won’t be long before your bags will be packed and you’ll be changing locations — moving out of faith to low-level areas of defeat where you will not please God.
But for those who stay in faith, there is a reward. That is why Hebrews 11:6 says that God is a Rewarder. For those who refuse to be moved by circumstances; who adamantly reject any inclination to throw in the towel and quit; and who rebuff any temptation to let go of the word God gave them — it is just a matter of time until their faith is rewarded. They will receive the FULL manifestation of what they believe!
Hebrews 11:6 says God “…is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” You see, it takes diligence to stay in faith! It will require you to be focused, concentrated, and committed till the end. When circumstances try to knock you out of faith, you must have a fierce, unwavering commitment that you are not going to leave the place where God has called you.
- So what has God asked you to do?
- What is that place of faith where you are supposed to be living right now?
- Are you staying in that place of faith, or have you been vacillating back and forth, in and out of the place where God called you to be?
Make the decision that there is no turning back from where God has called you. God promises that if you stay in faith, there is a glorious reward awaiting you in the near future. It’s only a matter of time until the full manifestation of what you are believing will come into view!
So make every effort to stay at your address of faith! Inside that place, with its borders, perimeters, and boundaries, you are living in the most valuable, beneficial location for your life. You are living where God can really bless you!
Writing this letter today has encouraged me to stay in the place of faith where God has called me. I pray it has had the same effect on you. We must dig in our heels, resist the enemy, and determine to be unmoved until we receive the full manifestation we are waiting for from Heaven!
As you stay in your place of faith, it helps to have others praying for you. So how can we be praying for you right now? We have a whole team of people who pray with Denise and me for the needs of our partners. Please let us know how to specifically pray for you, and we’ll get busy calling out to God on your behalf. I promise this to you!
As I close, I want to say thank you again for every financial gift you send to our ministry. We do what we do because you do what you do. Together we are truly partners affecting the world with the Word of God.
We love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families