Opening the Windows of Heaven through Faith

Bible Book: Hebrews  3 : 19
Subject: Faith; Trust; Belief
Introduction

Hebrews 3:19 is a very important verse because it reminds us that God’s people were not permitted to enter Canaan in the Old Testament because of their unbelief - their lack of faith. A lack of faith slams shut the door of blessing and victory but true faith opens the windows of heaven and allows God's blessing to flow into your life. A look at our text from Hebrews reminds us that a lack of faith closed the gate of opportunity on God’s people and kept them from entering into the Land of Promise. In other words, lacking faith robbed the people of a promised blessing and this is something we must learn and remember.

Faith is the key that unlocks the door of promise. For example, God has promised to save those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and call upon Him for salvation. A lack of faith robs a person of receiving the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Every blessing from God requires faith, and it is impossible to please Him without it! Let’s look at some reasons why faith is so critical.

I. Faith Confirms God’s Reality

Look at Hebrews 11:6 and note that those who come to God must believe that He IS! Faith begins with belief that God is God! Faith is the fundamentally an act of trust in Gods revealed Word about Himself. Faith does not find God, it rather leads us to trust the God who has found us! Faith, then, is the genesis of confirming belief that God exists and that He blesses those who trust Him.

A lack of faith reveals that one simply does not believe in God and in His promises! Now don’t miss this - a lack of faith is a form of atheism. One who says that he believes in God, but does nothing to actually prove that through his or her works is, for all intents and purposes, a practical atheist. Real faith produces action on the part of the believer. The people of the Old Testament failed to enter the Promised Land because they failed to belief what God told them. God had clearly said that the land before them was "given" to them. Yet, the Hebrew people lacked the faith to believe God. They saw the giants as not just bigger than they were, but apparently bigger than God! Faith looks through the world, the atmosphere, the historical period in which we live, the leaders of world governments, the problems tht surround us and sees all the way to the throne of God, where the omnipotent Master sits in majesty. When we believe Him, He opens the windows of heaven and pours out blessings upon faith!

God begins to bless us at the point of the most elementary principle - that you believe that He is who He says He is! When we believe in Him and act upon it, God’s reality is confirmed in our hearts and minds. This also applies to those of us who have trusted Him for salvation - we must act in faith to fully receive all He has for us and to accomplish all that God intends through our lives.

I was saved at the time I was called to preach, but for many years I tried everything else in this world rather than obey His call upon my life. The evening that I fully surrendered, my wife and I were discussing my calling and the fact that we saw no path whatsoever to doing what was necessary to accomplish His will. Finally, I said, “Honey, we can’t figure this out. He called me and taking care of us is His problem, not ours!” I’ll never forget that night and how absolutely liberating it was for us. Married, with a wife and daughter, and twenty-three years of age, I was enabled by the Lord to go to college, graduate in four years and do so cum laude! Amazingly, I was interim pastor or pastor of a church for more than three years of that time in college. God continued to open doors and I eventually graduated with a master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees. I cannot tell you how impossible that seemed to on that night in North Carolina almost fifty years ago. How did it happen? Was it my skill or my wife’s abilities that made it possible? Was it knowing all the right people? Was having plenty of money and leisure time to study? We knew little of what was required of us, knew almost no one in places of power, and had absolutely no money to meet our needs. Only one thing proved valuable - FAITH - faith that God had called and God was going to supply our need. That simple childlike faith opened the windows of heaven upon our lives and the blessings continue to flow almost fifty years after the night we bowed and believed!

God is not a theory to me, nor is He an imaginary figure! He is real. He is personal. He is God!

II. Faith Corroborates God’s Integrity

Again, Hebrews 11:6 states that, “He is the rewarder of those who come to Him.”

Faith is simply believing, saying, and acting in a way that reveals you believe God is telling you the truth when He makes a promise. In other words, faith says that God is not a liar! God will not open the windows of blessing on those who believe and act in a way that implies that God is a liar and His Word cannot be trusted. To prove this, look at Romans 10:17. The Scripture says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” In other words, faith must believe what God says.

Note something very critical here. Faith is not something you create but rather it actually comes from God. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, and He who authored the Word will develop the results of that faith as we trust Him to do so.

Look at Hebrews 12:2-3 and note that God is the author and finisher of our faith. The Greek word for finisher here means to mature, perfect and bring to full fruit. Jesus authors faith and you allow that faith to blossom as you believe His Word. In other words, you do not call Him a liar but trust Him. Then, you keep your focus on Him, study His Word and that faith which first appeared to you will grow - He will develop it in you! As this happens, you are placed in the position of blessings from above.

Faith corroborates God’s integrity but a lack of faith does not destroy God’s integrity. God is, we are told, and He blesses those who trust Him.

Always remember this: A lack of belief does not diminish God, but a lack of faith does diminish US!

I can never be all I am meant to be unless I act in faith toward God. When I do fully trust Him, He will prove Himself to me and through me to others. He will place in my path all I need to be His servant. Even if I fail at times, He will not fail me. Why? Because none of us are perfect, but God IS PERFECT and His promises are true. Faith blesses us even when we don't always bless God. You don't believe me? Look at Simon Peter. He denied Jesus three times in public and swore in the process. Yet, Jesus chose Peter to preach the initial sermon of the New Testament Church, at which time 3,000 people were gloriously saved. Why did Jesus choose Him to preach that sermon? There may have been a number reasons, not the least of which was to prove that the work of the Church was not in the man but in the Master; however, I believe it was also because Peter was the one who first proclaimed, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God!" That faith was not forgotten!

Do you desire God's blessing upon your life? Believe God! Trust Him! Step out in faith and He will not fail you.

Now, notice one more thing about opening the windows of heaven through faith...

III.  Faith Channels God’s Energy

Let me call your attention to Mark 9:23-24. Jesus told the father in this incident that all things are possible through faith. Did you notice that the father of the afflicted boy asked Jesus to help him in his unbelief? Wow! Very few of us will ever admit that our faith is weak. Most of us who are Christians will pretend we have great faith even when we are doubting. We certainly don't want others to see us as lacking profound and deep faith in God. Now listen carefully, there is nothing evil in being honest with God – don’t claim to have faith that God knows you don't have. Simply believe Him and ask Him to help you to advance your faith to the point of heavenly blessings. Such faith channels God’s energy into your life! Real faith is honest with God.

Another incident is seen in Mark 5:35-36. Here Jesus tells a father not to be afraid but to only believe! God doesn’t require of you that which you cannot do, but He does require of you what you can do, and we can simply believe - we can have faith.

A lack of faith caused Peter to sink in the waters of the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14:29-31).

A lack of faith caused the Scripture to declare in one place that Jesus did not do many mighty works there because of the unbelief of the people (Matthew 13:58).

Remember this passage - Matthew 9:29. It says, “According to your faith be it unto you!”

In Ephesians 2:8-9 we read, “For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves…” We see that God’s power is made available through faith. Faith is a conduit through which God’s mighty power is delivered into the life of an individual. If you wish to experience God’s powerful energy in your life, you must ACT in faith!

Conclusion

Corrie Ten Boom said, “If all things are possible with God, then all things are possible to him who believes in him.”

Do you need to express renewed faith in God this evening? Perhaps you are living in some state of disappointment – don’t let that crimp your faith. Maybe you are passing through some form of suffering – don’t let the pain block your faith. It may be that someone close to you has hurt you and let you down – don’t blame God for that. Turn to Him in faith and cast all your cares upon Him. He will prove Himself to you and will confirm that He is God! Don't expect to see the answer immediately, but wait upon the Lord and He will renew your strength. He will uphold His integrity in your life! He will release His energy in and through you.

One preacher has said, “We need passion in our faith! Instead of praying, ‘If I should die before I wake,’ we should pray, ‘Lord wake me up before I die!’”

Another has said, “A faith that says I am willing to go with Jesus to the cross is of no value if it doesn’t take you to church.”

In other words, we must have a faith that acts! We must have a faith that trusts in the depth of God’s resources, the dynamic in God’s actions, and the integrity in God’s promises.

William Blake wrote of the absolute defeat coming to those who fail to trust God with these words,

“Mock on, mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau;

Mock on, mock on; 'tis all in vain!

You throw the sand against the wind,

And the wind blows it back again.”

It is foolish to doubt God. It is like throwing sand into the wind, it simply blows back into your own face!

Someone here tonight needs to turn from sin and place faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. Don’t let fear keep you from faith. Don’t let doubt keep you from faith. Don’t let the world keep you from faith. Trust God’s Word and know that He loves you and His Son died to give you eternal life.

Also, those of us who know Him best ought to trust Him better. Let us renew our faith in Him right now. Come to Him. He blesses those who come to Him in faith and He will prove Himself to you and to the world around you.