Revival Owasso [Apr 18-20]
No Shortage of Miracles

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Story: Having to put my faith to work…

It was a fruitful week on our farm. The sheep have been out in our pasture, fulfilling what I commanded them to do: multiply! They’ve all had twins, with one more momma to go.

One of the lambs could not eat off its mom for whatever reason, so it became very weak and sick. We had to bring it in every few hours and feed it by sticking a tube down its throat.

I have no medical experience, so this was stressful, to say the least. You drown the lamb if you get the tube in the wrong spot! Thankfully, that never happened.

We tube-fed this lamb every four hours for two days, but there were no signs of progress. The lamb looked absolutely pitiful.

I vividly remember going to the sheep shed to get it for feeding. I put the lamb on her feet to see if she was getting stronger. She stood for a second, fell over on her side, and lay there.

Talk about an opportunity to apply my own sermon from last week. Over and over again, I had to choose to speak faith rather than get caught up in my experience.

Doubt would flood my mind, but I wouldn’t let it escape my mouth. Then I would hear my own sermon, “Faith comes by hearing! And you can’t just have faith, you have to speak it!”

So I picked up the half-dead lamb and said, “You will live and not die! Abraham’s blessing belongs to me. His livestock was blessed and multiplied supernaturally, so mine does the same. You are not permitted to die!”

Considering we had to feed her every four hours, I got the opportunity to eliminate doubt and speak faith over and over again. What a great opportunity to apply my own sermon!

Did you know that the Lord requires me to live what I preach? You don’t have a hypocrite in this pulpit. The Lord won’t allow it. He gives me immediate opportunities to practice what I preach.

Do you remember the four ingredients for faith to work?

  1. Have faith in God
  2. Speak faith
  3. Eliminate doubt
  4. Forgive quickly

This is everything you need to know to see miracles on the regular. Hear the Word of God often. This will cause faith to come; when it does, speak it boldly. 

When faith isn’t working, go on a hunt. Find the doubt and eliminate it. Hearing the Word of God usually gets the job done. But occasionally, you must pull out the big guns: prayer and fasting.

On top of it all, you must decide that you’d rather have miracles than unforgiveness. Jesus has made it easy to forgive. So, quit acting like it’s hard. Forgive first. Forgive quickly.

I’m glad I had all this fresh in my mind because it saved our lamb. She started to bounce back on day three, and now she is running around with the other healthy lambs.

We must live a life of faith! It is impossible to please God without faith. We cannot accomplish our call to make Owasso a safe haven without faith.

Our church has a responsibility to perform miracles in this city. It’s our calling. It’s our purpose.

If the sick are to be healed miraculously in Owasso, it will be through us. If demons are to be cast out in this city, it will be through us.

If there is to be a financial powerhouse for the Kingdom of God in this city, it will be us. We are willing and able through our faith in the power of Jesus Christ.

That’s why today, I will continue to help you tap into your faith for miracles. It’s already bubbling up inside you. I will help you pull it out and put it to work.

All the Faith You Need

When you believed in the resurrection of Christ and confessed Him as Lord of your life, you were born again! The very Spirit of God was deposited within your spirit as a guarantee of your salvation.

Since God’s Spirit is in you, you have all the faith you need. The same Spirit that raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives in you! You are not looking for more faith. You already have it all.

This can be hard to wrap your mind around, especially when we bring up Romans 10:17 almost every Sunday. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. 

If I already have all the faith I need, why does it need to come to me through hearing the Word of God? That’s a great question.

What’s the command most people use to get their dog to return to them? Come! When we read, “Faith comes…” we tend to think we are summoning faith into our lives.

That’s why we say things like, “I need more faith. I need to increase my faith. I’m growing my faith.” But this kind of talk doesn’t align with the reality of our salvation. Remember, the same Spirit that raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives in you!

So, just a few days ago, I looked up this word translated as “comes by” for the first time. I never even thought to look up such a boring word until then. Guess what the first definition is? “Out of.”

Faith comes out of your spirit by hearing the Word of God.

You already have more than enough faith to do whatever needs to be done in this life. It was deposited within your spirit when you were born again. You are just working on getting it out of your spirit and into this natural world.

Guess who the gatekeeper is? Your thoughts. Your thoughts prevent or allow faith to come out of your spirit. That’s why faith comes by hearing the Word of God. The Word of God renews your mind!

You don’t need more faith! You already have more than enough. You just need to let faith out by renewing your mind! This can only be accomplished through hearing the Word of God.

If your thoughts are getting in the way (I’m talking to all of you), then keep hearing and hearing and hearing the Word of God until your thoughts in that area are completely renewed!

I’ll help you right now! I will read you the first two chapters of the Book of James. Instead of turning there with me, I ask you to listen intently. I want you to focus on hearing the Word of God.

James 1:1-4 NLTMy dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?

Uh oh. Didn’t we just talk about how your faith doesn’t grow, that you already have all the faith you need? Am I now being corrected by the book of James?

Take a closer look. What is growing here? Not faith, but endurance! 

Endurance

When you consider troubles an opportunity for great joy, your endurance grows. You become more sure of your faith. You become absolutely stable, where nothing can sway you.

But if you gripe about the troubles, you become more unstable. One moment you believe what God said, the next you are overcome by what you see.

If you find yourself unstable, you just got your answer. Quit griping about your troubles. Instead, consider them an opportunity for great joy and watch your endurance grow.

James 1:5-8 NLTIf you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

He just explained what it is like for people who gripe about their troubles. Complainers shouldn’t expect to receive anything from God. If you want to receive from God, stop complaining!

Poor vs Rich

James 1:9-11 NLTBelievers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.

The NLT didn’t translate this very well. The way it reads makes it sound like being poor should be a goal of the believer. Let’s read it in the Amplified for clarity.

James 1:9-11 AMP – Let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position [as a born-again believer, called to the true riches and to be an heir of God]; and the rich man is to glory in being humbled [by trials revealing human frailty, knowing true riches are found in the grace of God], for like the flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; its flower falls off and its beauty fades away; so too will the rich man, in the midst of his pursuits, fade away.

Did you catch it? This scripture does not say it is better to be poor. Rather, it gives direction to both the poor and the rich.

The poor are not to identify with their circumstances. They must identify with who they are in Christ. They are co-heirs with Christ, royalty, called to the true riches of God.

The rich are not to identify with their wealth. They must identify with who they are in Christ by reminding themselves that worldly wealth fades away, but the true riches of Christ last forever.

Don’t ever let money define you. Don’t let it decide what you will do and where you will go. So many people miss the call of God on their lives by chasing a job. What a waste.

God made this really simple. Seek His kingdom first, and He will ensure you always have plenty left to share with others. His ways are so much better than ours.

Temptation

James 1:12-18 NLTGod blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

In this life, we will face temptations. Temptation will not end until we leave this world. But don’t you ever say that God is the one tempting you. That’s a lie from the pit of hell.

And since sin and sickness are twins, they are both spawns of Satan; we could say the same thing about sickness. In this life, you will be tempted to be sick. But don’t you ever say that God is the one tempting you.

Because for every temptation, God provides a way out. There isn’t one temptation you’ll face that Jesus hasn’t already dealt with. He defeated sin. He defeated sickness.

Run to Jesus when you are tempted to sin or be sick. He will show you the way out every time!

Don’t be misled! Temptation never comes from God! Sickness never comes from God! God only gives good and perfect gifts to us. We are His prized possession.

You know this is right in your spirit. But many of you are still fighting it in your mind. Those nasty thoughts that God tempts you or gives you sickness are keeping you in bondage.

May the Word of God obliterate those wrong thoughts once and for all! May hearing God’s word renew your mind this day. May faith come out of your spirit and into this life so you can live healed, whole, and free from sin.

Temptation does not come from God! Sickness does not come from God! Poverty does not come from God! He only gives good gifts to His children.

Wealth & Influence

Please read James 1:19-2:12

I’ve hung out with poor people. I’ve hung out with rich people. I’ve spent time with unknown people. I’ve spent time with well-known people. Do you know what I found out? They are all people.

It’s absolutely foolish to treat people differently based on their resources or influence. In fact, it’s a sin that breaks the most important commandment Jesus gave us.

God is not concerned with the amount of wealth or influence you have. He doesn’t favor the rich over the poor, or the poor over the rich. He considers money a little thing.

Yes, He wants you to have more than enough. But if you live your life poor, He won’t treat you any differently than the person who decided to live in God’s endless flow of wealth.

I know way too many people who need to read James chapter two. They forget everyone else when a person of influence walks in the door, which is disgusting behavior.

At NoLimits, we will never do this. Yes, influential people will walk through these doors. But we will treat them just as well as we treat the average Joe. 

Works vs Faith

Please read James 2:14-26

A few months ago, we had this incredible moment in a service where the Holy Spirit revealed that God didn’t save us to get something out of us.

He did not have an ulterior motive. In absolute purity, He made a way of salvation through Jesus Christ simply because He loved us—even while we were still sinners.

This is foundational. If you don’t understand this aspect of salvation, you’ll find yourself working to receive God’s approval. And if that is the motivation of your good works, they become like filthy rags.

God did not save us to get something out of us. That’s the truth. But some people abuse this truth. They walk around saying they have faith, but there are no works to prove it.

James is clearing this up for us. He is keeping us on the straight and narrow. Works are not required for salvation. But true salvation results in good works.

Faith and works are not enemies. They are allies. They work together. If you have one without the other, you are messed up.

Works without faith is religion.
Faith without works is deception.

If you try to earn something from God through your works, you reveal that you have no faith. Faith is when we receive from God the things He has freely provided.

On the flip side, if you say you have faith, but do not have good works to prove it, you are only deceiving yourself. True faith produces good works. That’s all there is to it.

Faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good works, it is dead and useless. We are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. Just as the body is dead without breath, faith is dead without good works.

Faith and works are allies. They go together. If you have one without the other, you are messed up.

Don’t do good works to earn something from God. Do good works because you’ve already received every good thing from God.

If you don’t pair good works with your faith, your faith will die. And I don’t think you want to take that risk.

God has given you everything you need, but you have to put it to work. You have a garage full of tools, but if you don’t use them, they are worthless.

Tap into what God has given you and put it to work by serving those around you. Good works aren’t for God. They are for others. God commands you to put your faith to work by serving others.

Two verses in Philippians sum all of this up really well:

Philippians 2:12-13 NLT – Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. 

God is just too good. Not only does He give you the power you need to do these good works, but He also updates your desires.

You may not feel like it when you start, but God will update your desires as you put your hands to good works. It won’t be long before you actually feel like doing what you should be doing.

Works that come from our salvation

But you have to start the process. Decide now to deny your selfish tendencies and get to work serving others. As you do, you’ll find yourself in a place of great joy.

Working miracles are part of these good works. Our city needs us to put our faith to work. Your church needs you to put your faith to work. Your family needs you to put your faith to work.

If you are not showing up to serve others on Sundays, this is your wake-up call. Church was never meant to be something that you consume. God designed the church as the body of Christ.

If your hand stops working, it shrivels and becomes useless. If the veins in your foot stop working, your foot dies and falls off. If your heart stops working, your whole body dies.

If you attend church to get something but aren’t interested in doing your part, your listening will result in nothing. We can’t just show up to listen to the Word. We must also show up to do good works. Otherwise, we will forget who we are.

Remember, we don’t do good works to earn something from God or each other. We do good works because it’s who we are. Our genuine faith produces a harvest of good works.

The time to take action is now. Don’t wait until you feel like it. Decide now to deny your selfish tendencies and get to work serving others.

Serving Your Church

You may not feel like it when you start, but God will update your desires as you put your hands to good works. It won’t be long before you actually feel like doing what you should be doing.

Show up next Sunday to hear the Word. But don’t stop there. Show up next Sunday to take part in good works. Ask the Holy Spirit how you can serve the body of Christ.

Don’t wait for some formal request or scheduling. You don’t have to get our permission to serve. Show up early and look for ways to help. Stay late and look for ways to help.

We are on our way to becoming a church that doesn’t even have to schedule volunteers. People simply show up early, stay late, and fulfill their role in the body of Christ. All needs are met.

Don’t wait to sign up to serve on Sundays. Don’t wait for us to tell you what to do. Just start showing up and asking the Holy Spirit to guide you to what needs to be done, who needs prayer or encouragement, who needs healing and deliverance.

 

About the Author

Kade Young

Kade Young is the lead pastor of NoLimits Church.