True Colors | The Widow's Big Faith

Do You Have A Big Faith Or A Halfway Faith In God?

Andrew Barber
Jul 4, 2021    1hr 16m
Has there ever been a moment in your life where you had or needed a big faith to overcome a big problem? We need to develop a 'big faith' in God. We will encounter situations where we will have to exercise faith in God; as He is the only one who can bring us out. He will exactly what He says He will do. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Andrew Barber: [00:00:01] Amen, amen. Well, happy Fourth of July, everybody. Thank you so much for being here this morning. Go ahead and look at your neighbor and say, Happy Independence Day. Isn’t it so awesome for us to be in this room together, sitting side by side? Like it's a beautiful thing that a year ago I really didn't think we'd be able to do this again. And so it's super awesome to be able to do that. Before I get started this morning, I want to thank Pastor James. Obviously, I am not Pastor James. He's a lot taller than me. I'm a lot shorter. So if you need to, like get on your tippy toes in your seat to see me, it's okay. I understand. But I want to thank Pastor James so much for the opportunity this morning. This platform is something that he guards very carefully, and that's because the Lord has entrusted him with that. And the fact that he entrusted me to come up here and speak is an honor. It's a privilege. Pastor James, I know you're watching. Thank you so much for the opportunity. Enjoy the rest, enjoy the relaxation, and overall, just have a good time. And so for those who do not know me, my name is Andrew Barber. I don't know why I said uh in front of that. Like I was trying to think. My name is Andrew Barber. I serve as the young adult pastor here at Journey Church. It’s a brand new ministry that we have.

Andrew Barber: [00:01:20] It's called YNG. And I'm super excited for that opportunity as well. I'm married to the most gorgeous redhead in the entire world, in fact, just the most gorgeous woman in the entire world. I don't want to just limit it to redheads. But her name is Taylor. She is absolutely my better half. And in that, the last time I spoke to y’all, I was telling about how I was excited about this. But since that time has happened, I have become a father. And I am, oh, he is the most beautiful baby boy. His name is Robert James. Pastor James, don't get any ideas of where that name came from. But he goes by RJ. And there's this like, there's a saying that I always remember growing up. It was that two ugly people make a pretty baby. But here's the issue. The issue is this. My son ain’t ugly one bit. You may think so, but I know that is a beautiful baby. And my wife is the most gorgeous woman in the entire world. And that can only mean one thing. That I carry all the ugly in my entire family. And so I guess I'm the blessing in that aspect. So whatever. It is what it is. Another thing that I get to do in my life is I get to teach seventh graders American history. So it's nice to talk to adults for a little bit. But, guys, this morning, obviously, it is Independence Day. We get to celebrate freedom, and this morning we're going to talk about freedom.

Andrew Barber: [00:02:57] But the freedom that I'm talking about is not the freedom that's brought to us by our founding fathers. The freedom I want to talk about this morning is the freedom that you get through faith in your heavenly father. Because those two things are drastically different. One of those things is a right. The other one is a gift. And the faith that you get in your heavenly father is a gift that can change your life. And so specifically, we're going to be talking about this man named Elijah. Everybody say Elijah. And if you're watching at home in the comments section, go ahead and type Elijah. Because we want everybody to be involved. And so we're going to talk specifically about this idea of big faith. Has there ever been a moment in your life where you had or needed a big faith? Before I get to that, I want to tell you something about my childhood. I used to play baseball. And let me tell you, I don't want to brag on myself, but I was the absolute worst baseball player in the history of baseball. I'm telling you. I had no coordination. I had no confidence. I was terrified of the ball. In fact, I think there's like nine players allowed to be on the field. And I was the tenth player on the team.

Andrew Barber: [00:04:21] And so what they would do is they would put me behind the outfielders who if you played outfield in Little League, I hate to tell you this, you probably weren't any good. And so they put me as your backup in case of a ball really got back there. And they would like seek like a dog. Like, hey, go get the ball, go get the ball. And I would even fail at that task half the time. And so I remember playing for this one coach for multiple years. And every time I’d go up to the, what is it? The batter's box? Batter's box I guess. I would go up there. Anyways, while I’d get up to the batter's box, I would never swing because I knew that my chances of getting on base were better if I didn't even attempt. Because I was going to let this little 10 year old just walk me every single time. And so my coach was fed up with it. He was like, no, Andrew, you got to believe in yourself. You got to have a little bit of faith. And he gave me this big speech and hyped me up. And I got up to that plate, and I was ready to hit a home run. I was like, oh, let's go. And so I said, no matter what, the first pitch that comes, I'm going to swing and I'm gonna put everything in it. And so see, that's what faith does.

Andrew Barber: [00:05:38] It makes you get out of your comfort zone. So I got out of my comfort zone. I get in the batter's box, and I go to swing, y’all. And I swing with everything in me. And guess what happened? I missed because I told you I'm a terrible baseball player. And listen, y’all, see, the other thing that I realize as life went on is that even though I had faith in that moment, I still had a little bit of doubt. I didn't have a big faith because when I swung, I still swung with my eyes closed and I was still swinging with doubt. And so sometimes faith doesn't change the result of your situation, but it does give you the courage to swing. It does give you the courage to step up to the batter's box and actually give a hack at this thing. And so the definition of faith this morning, if we're going to talk about faith, we need to find faith. The definition of faith is a complete trust and confidence in someone or something. Complete trust. But if that's the definition, that means there's a couple of truths about that this morning. By definition, you and I can have a halfway faith in something. We can be a halfway believer. In fact, many of us in this room right now may be halfway believers. We halfway believe that God is who He says He is. We halfway believe that God's going to do the things that He says He's going to do.

Andrew Barber: [00:07:07] But I hate to break it to you this morning. Halfway faith doesn't move a big mountain. Big faith moves big mountains. And people in this room have some big mountains in their lives. And the reason that those things aren’t moving and the reason that the situation is the exact same is because you have a halfway faith. And number two thing is this. We all put our faith in something. You have a faith. It may not be in Jesus, but you have a faith in something this morning. So what is your faith in? Is it in God? Is it in our spouse? Is it in our pastors? Is it in science? Is it in our careers? When it comes down to it, where is your faith? And that's just the beginning of this. And so like I said, we are talking about big faith this morning. So if you have your Bible, we're going to be in 1 Kings 17. And go ahead and pull that up because we're not leaving that part right there. 1 Kings 17, going to start verse 8. But I want to go ahead and tell you everything you've missed in the first half right here. Okay? So you've got to bear with me here. I'm going to try to recap the Bible as much as I can because it's very important to understand why we are in this situation, why Elijah is in this spot he's in.

Andrew Barber: [00:08:34] So there is this chosen nation by God, and it's called Israel. And Israel is in captivity in Egypt. And God sends somebody named Moses to lead them out of captivity. And some incredible things happen with some plagues, and Moses leads these people to the Red Sea and God splits the Red Sea. And once they get to the Red Sea, you would think that they're like, hey, God's awesome. We're going to follow Him wholeheartedly. No, that's not what they do. They begin to rebel. And so because they rebel, Israel wanders around for 40 years, looking for the promised land. Well, eventually they get there, and God appoints prophets and judges to rule over them. But that's not good enough for Israel. They demand a king, and God eventually is like, okay, fine, you want a king? You get one. And he gives them Saul, and Saul is awful. Saul does everything exact opposite of what God would want him to do. But then they give him David, and David is awesome. So they go from Saul to David, and David is labeled as a man after God's own heart. And so David is here. But then slowly but surely, the kings that follow after him get worse and worse and worse and worse. And then we end up with this guy named King Ahab. Everybody say Ahab. Oh, I had to make sure you were still with me this morning because that's a lot.

Andrew Barber: [00:10:04] They had King Ahab, and he was married to a queen named Jezebel. Okay? You may have heard that word before. And see, prophets ruled the land throughout this timeframe, and that's how God spoke to the people. And Elijah is a prophet during the time of King Ahab. And see, in fact, Ahab and Jezebel have been killing all the prophets. And so Elijah is on the run, moving from one place to another. And see, that is what leads us to 1 Kings 17:8 because he ends up in the home of a widow. And so this is what it says starting at verse 8. Then the Lord said to Elijah, go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you. So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks. And he asked her, would you please bring me a little water and a cup? As she was going to get it, he called her, bring me a bite of bread, too, if you don't mind. But she said, I swear by the Lord your God that I don't have a single piece of bread. Look, Elijah, I'd love to help you, but we ain't got nothing in here. I don't know if you ever remember being a kid and like, you were like, oh, I’m so hungry, Mom. Can we pull over and get something to eat right here? And they’re like, oh no, there's food in the fridge.

Andrew Barber: [00:11:30] Ain’t never no food in the fridge. Ain’t none of what you want in there. Well, she's saying, look, I would love to feed you, but there is nothing here. I only have a handful of flour left in the jar and a little bit of cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal. And then my son and I, we're going to die. Elijah, I would love, what's so funny about that part? Ain’t nothing funny about that poor guys. Did I say it funny? All right. Let's keep reading. But Elijah said to her, don't be afraid. Go ahead and do just what you said. But make a little bit of bread for me first. Then use what's left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. I know you don't have any, but I'm asking you to go ahead and provide for me. For this is what the Lord the God of Israel says. There will be flour. There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time where the Lord sends rains and the crops grow again. So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. And there was always enough. Say always enough.

Andrew Barber: [00:12:41] Always enough for Elijah, for her family, for her son. There was always enough flour and always enough olive oil left in the containers just as the Lord had promised to Elijah. Today, as we talk about big faith, I want you to know the woman, the widow who had nobody to provide for her was always provided for because she had a little bit of big faith in that moment. So here's a couple of things that you and I need to know about faith this morning. Number one is this. If you're taking notes, you want to write this down. Big faith has a big price. Big faith has a big price. We go back and start reading verse 10. So we went back to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks and asked her, would you please bring me a little water? And as she was going to get it, he said, bring me a bite of bread, too. But she said, I swear by the Lord your God that I don't have a single piece of bread in the house. And in fact, I only have a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I want to take a little side note right here. God can do a lot with a little. It says in the scriptures, you have to have the faith of a mustard seed, the tiniest seed out there, to move mountains.

Andrew Barber: [00:14:00] See, the God that I serve turned water into wine. There's no wine in this situation. Turned water into wine. He fed the five thousand with two loaves of bread and five fish. And in fact, literally the next chapter, He goes ahead and feeds 4,000 more people with even less. The God that you and I serve can do a whole lot with just a little bit that you bring Him. There's not enough flour for bread. There's not enough olive oil for bread. And Elijah said, I didn't ask you how much you had. I asked you to bring me a bite of bread. And I only have a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal. And then my son and I were going to die. Elijah said to her, don't be afraid. And go ahead and do what you’ve said but still bring the bread. It's going to cost a price. Then use what's left to prepare a meal for you and your son. The Lord said there will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again. There is a price to pay with faith, a sacrifice to be made. Having a faith this big is going to cost you something. Because something that I left out is that these guys are in the middle of a famine.

Andrew Barber: [00:15:28] There is no rain, and without rain, there is no crops. And so she can't just go down the road and get some more flour and some olive oil. She can't do that. There is nothing in the entire land to make this happen. My question to you so far is this. What has your faith cost you? If we're going to have a big faith and it's going to cost us a big price, then that means that your faith has got to cost you something. Has it cost you a friendship? Has it cost you an opportunity? Has it cost you a relationship? Or has your faith been completely free for you? And I'm not saying the gift isn't free. Because the gift of salvation is free. But when you live a life of faith, it's going to cost you something in this world. And see, if your faith has been free and it's never cost you anything, I want to challenge yourself to ask yourself this. Why is that the case? Is it because I've had a lukewarm faith that is piping hot on a Sunday morning and it's hot on a Wednesday night but it's ice cold on a Saturday night? Is it because it's hot on a Sunday, but it's ice cold on a Tuesday afternoon in a staff meeting? Or is it because your faith hasn't been in Christ at all, but your faith has been in the things that this world can provide you and the things that you want in this life? Is it the relationships? Your faith’s been in the money? Your faith’s been in the career? Your faith’s been in the acceptance? Maybe your faith hasn’t been a faith at all? I've been there.

Andrew Barber: [00:17:08] I remember being 17 years old, leading at a church camp as a junior in high school. And I did not have my life together. See, I was 17 and in love. And I don't know about you, but every stupid story I have starts with 17 and in love. All right? I feel like we can all agree upon that. And so I remember teaching Bible study to some younger kids. And I remember talking to them about this thing called an idol. And an idol is anything that you place in front of the Lord in your life. And I was telling them, like you got to lay your idols down on the altar. You got to turn your life to Christ. He's got to be number one in your life. But the exact prayer that I kept praying every single night is, God, you can have everything but this relationship. Oh. If you tell God that you can have everything but this, anything that you put after the ‘but’ is an idol. It is a problem in your life. It is a red flag.

Andrew Barber: [00:18:19] It is something that you have put in front of Christ. And I remember teaching these little kids in Shreveport, Louisiana, sitting there telling that story or telling them, hey, you got to get rid of the idols in your life. And I remember that I'm continuously praying that prayer. And as soon as I said amen and I was done with them, I sprinted to the little sanctuary that we had, a little makeshift sanctuary. And I fell face down on my knees to the Lord and said, God, you can have it all. You can have the relationship. You can have my future. You can have everything. And, you know, part of me was still hoping that He was going to make that relationship last. But we broke up two months later. And what He replaced it with was a beautiful, beautiful woman named Taylor, a beautiful son named RJ, a great opportunity to serve my Lord at Journey Church, to do all these great things. Because I promise you this. Whatever you sacrifice, God will replace, and He will make it so much better than what you ever thought the sacrifice was going to cost you. Big faith has a big price. We have a saying here at Journey Church. You can't out give God. Your little sacrifice, God will take it, and He will bless you with it. Number two is this. Big faith requires big action. Oh. Verse 15 says this. So she did. Everybody say did. She did as Elijah said. And she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days.

Andrew Barber: [00:20:17] There was always enough flour and always enough olive oil left in the containers just as the Lord had promised through Elijah. See, I love how it's put there. She did. She didn't think about it. She didn't just hear it. She didn't just go, that's a good idea and not actually apply it. She did what the Prophet Elijah was telling her to do. And guess what? God came through on the other end. Because here's the thing. It's not enough for you and I to know what our faith is going to require us to do. It's not enough just to know about the faith, not to just know about the action. You and I actually have to do the action. We actually have to do the thing that our faith is calling us to do. We actually have to do it. There's too many believers in this world who have all the head knowledge right here. And they may even know it right here. But that faith has never touched their hands, and it's never become an action that they do. They don't actually love their neighbor. They don't actually follow the things that Christ has called them to follow. They've not done the things that their faith is going to require them to do. Your faith, if it doesn't reach your hands and become action, is dead.

Andrew Barber: [00:21:38] I didn't say that. The scriptures say that in James 2:26. And it says this. Just as the body is dead without breath, faith is dead and faith is useless without good works. If your faith doesn't call you to action, then it's not a living faith, it's not a breathing faith. See, I'm tired of being around believers who know it but don't show it, believers who understand it but don't practice it. They say they believe, but they don't live like they believe. See, this woman acted on her big faith, and the Lord did exactly what He said He would do. He provided. She never went hungry in the midst of a famine, in the midst where everybody else is going hungry, she provided not just for herself but for her son and for her guest because she did what she was told to do. Many people in this room have a hunger in their spirit that only God can satisfy. Trust in the Lord and do what He says for you to do, and He is going to provide every time. And not only is He going to provide, He's going to show out. There was always enough flour and always enough olive oil. There was an abundance of it. And so Elijah, the widow, and the son lived happily ever after. Except that's not what happens. See, I know, I know. I've just been talking about how God's always going provide and that your price, the Lord is going to bless the price.

Andrew Barber: [00:23:27] But shortly after this, the widow’s son gets sick and he dies. He's not hungry and he dies. He gets sick and he dies. See, the story isn't over right here. Because number three is this. Big faith produces a big testimony. Big faith produces the big testimony. Everybody say testimony. I got to make sure you're still with me. Read with me in 1 Kings 17:17, and it says this. Sometime later, the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died. But then she said to Elijah, oh, man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and then to kill my son? But Elijah replied, give me your son. Give me your dead son. Give me this person who has no life in them. And he took the child's body from her arms, carried him up the stairs to the room where he was staying, and he laid the body on his bed. Then Elijah cried out to the Lord, oh, Lord, my God, why have you brought tragedy to this widow who has opened her home to me, causing her son to die? Then he stretched himself out over the child three times, and he cried out to the Lord. Oh, Lord, my God, please let this child's life return to him.

Andrew Barber: [00:24:59] The Lord heard Elijah's prayer, and the life of the child returned and he revived. He came back to life. What was once dead is now alive. Then Elijah brought him down from the upper room, and he gave him to his mother and said, look, your son is alive. Then the woman told Elijah, now I know for sure that you are who you say you are, that you are a man of God and that the Lord truly speaks through you. Big faith produces a big testimony. And what you and I can take from this story is this. No person is ever too far gone. No situation is ever too broken beyond repair. Guys, let me, I told you last time that I was so excited to be a father. And my baby boy was supposed to be due on May 3rd, but he came on March 10th. And he came eight weeks early. And that situation that happened was horrifying. My wife, perfectly healthy, never sick whatsoever, doesn't even get a sniffle, is the healthiest person I know, was bedridden for days. And we finally went to the hospital to ask what was wrong, and they said that she had pneumonia and that she was going to be fine. And they put on some antibiotics, and she slowly got worse. This was back in March. She just kept getting worse and worse and worse. And every day that we thought we were going to get out, we ended up having to stay.

Andrew Barber: [00:26:36] And then one night, she ends up going to have to get a CT scan or something of that nature. And they find this abscess that's growing on her throat and it's spreading and it's spreading down into her chest. And the situation goes from my wife's got pneumonia, we're going home tomorrow to my wife has to have emergency surgery at two o'clock in the morning. And y’all, that situation was the scariest thing that's ever happened to me because I can't do anything. And when I married her, I vowed to protect her, I vowed to provide for her, I vowed to be everything I could be for her. And in that moment, I'm completely helpless. The doctor, when he's wheeling her back, he looks at Taylor and says, if things go sideways in here, do you trust this man to make decisions for you? Because if this is any worse than we think it is, this can be life threatening. And my heart fell to the floor. And in that moment at Cabrini Hospital, I'm the only person in that entire building on a Saturday night at two a.m. And the only thing that I can do is pray. The only weapon that I have is faith. The only thing that I can do is give it to the Lord. And I remember calling, I remember sending text messages just vaguely out to all the pastors on our staff. I was like, guys, I know nobody's here.

Andrew Barber: [00:28:16] I know nobody is going to be up right now. But I need you to pray. And then next thing I know, my phone rings, and Richie Thornton comes and drives to the hospital at 2:00 a.m. in the morning and sits with me and he prays with me and he lets me question things and he lets me work out my faith. And he was just everything I needed in that moment. All we had was our faith. But by God, that's all we needed. Because the Lord came through. I ended up becoming a father five days later, and he ended up having some problems too where faith had to come back through. And he's healthy as an ox now. I mean, guys, the only thing that I had was my faith, but the only thing that I needed was my faith. And this morning, you may have a mountain in your life. You may have a situation that looks dead. But the only thing that you need this morning is your faith. And listen, that may be the only thing you got, but God is saying to you that's all you need. You bring the faith. I'll bring the promise. You bring the faith. I'll bring the product. You bring the faith, and I'm going to come through. See, tonight or this morning, my final question to you is this.

Andrew Barber: [00:29:36] How close are you willing to get to the dead areas in your life? What do you mean by that, Pastor? See, many of us have a dead area in our life that needs a little bit of faith this morning. Maybe it's depression. Maybe it's doubts. Maybe it's guilt. Maybe it's your faith this morning needs some work. Maybe it's your addictions. Maybe it's something that's completely out of your control like a child's decision making, a friend that you love who doesn't know Christ. Or maybe it's a dead-end pursuit of you striving to be enough. How close are you willing to get to those areas in your life that you have deemed dead, that you've deemed untouchable, that you've deemed unsaveable? See, Elijah was willing to lay on top of the child and cry out to the Lord. Maybe you have tried to let God into those areas. Maybe you have prayed about it. Pastor, I keep doing this. It feels like this thing keeps coming up, and I keep bringing it to the Lord. But nothing happens. Let me encourage you with this. Elijah didn't stretch out over him once. It says in the scripture that he went back three times. And I promise you this, after each time, I bet you there was more sorrow, more sorrow. The situation looked hopeless and more and more defeated. But he kept going back. This morning, maybe you need to go back.

Andrew Barber: [00:31:19] Maybe you need to bring your dead area of your life back to Christ. See, I want you to know that there is power and going back. There is power in persistency. there is power in not giving up. There is power in not quitting. This morning, don't give up, don't quit fighting, don't quit pursuing. For many of us, you need to start fighting this morning. You've accepted defeat for too long. See, you fight this morning. Quit swinging like I used to in Little League. Quit swinging with doubt. Go up to the plate and swing with big faith, and know that God's going to come through. It may not look like you want it to, but God's hand’s on the situation, and God is going to come through. See, when it comes to the Lord, the best place for you and I to fight is on our knees. It's with our praise, it's with your prayers. Cry out to God this morning. Cry out to Him. Today as we talked about a big faith, I want you to know that there are some of us who do not have a faith in Jesus Christ at all. And so this morning, I want you to hear this. See, our sin separates us from God. See, back in the Old Testament, God required a sacrifice from Israel. It shows a nation each year to redeem, restore, and cleanse them from their sins. See, one day, God sent his son Jesus to walk among us.

Andrew Barber: [00:32:57] Jesus lived a perfect life, and He died as the perfect sacrifice for my sins and your sins. When His blood was spilt, His blood redeems us, it renews us, it gives us a new hope, it gives us a new future. Once we accept Him in our lives as the Lord and Savior, He saves us and washes us white as snow. See, that blood that was spilt was effective when I was an 11 year old and I gave my life to Jesus. It's just as effective then as it is this morning, as it was 2,000 years ago in the moment it was spilled. See, because of that blood, because of that sacrifice, because of your faith in that sacrifice, no situation is too broken, and no person is too far gone. Stand with me as we pray this morning. God, thank you so much for the opportunity to be here in this room worshiping you and hearing your Word. God, I pray this morning that we show the courage to have some big faith. God, what man says is broken and it's too broken to be repaired, God, that's where faith comes in and you step in the situation. Because no person is too far gone, no situation is too broken. God, I pray that we show our faith in this moment and that you allow us to step out and you show just how good, how big, and how gracious you are. God, it’s in your name I pray. Amen.

Bruce Goulart: [00:34:49] On behalf of Pastor James, I just want to say thank you for joining our online presence today. Man, happy 4th of July. I hope that y’all have an amazing and safe day. But if you need someone to pray with you right now, we have people on standby. Click the link in the description and someone will get with you right away. Also, we have an amazing website,, that if you go to, there's a whole bunch of different resources to help you out with anything that you might be struggling with. I hope to see you next week.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360