Daring Faith | Stretch Your Faith

Understanding How To Stretch Your Faith As A Christian

James Greer
Sep 25, 2022    27m
To stretch your faith is to have daring faith. When we have faith, we learn to see things how God sees them. Don't allow fear to hinder your faith. Instead, increase your faith and watch the promises of God unfold in your life. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

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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.

James Greer: [00:00:00] Morning, Journey Church. We continued, Darren. Didn't the praise team rock the house? Amen? Well, we continue, you know, we're going to actually go through the outline today. It's only been three weeks to go through the same outline. We're a little slow. But anyway, point number one. Point number one. Daring faith is to stretch our faith. Hope God will stretch your faith because until you stretch your faith, you don't get to enjoy the rewards or the miracle of God. You just come to church and you go home. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, he starts talking about that. He says this. He says, But without faith, it's impossible to please Him, to please God. You want please God. Amen? For He who comes to God, He must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder. We want the rewards of God. Of those who diligently seek Him. That alone should make you want to diligently seek Him or stretch your faith where you can enjoy the rewards God has for them. If you kept reading it, He would talk and give you a couple of examples. One of them, he talked about Noah and he said he told Noah to go build a boat. With faith, I want you to learn after two or three weeks, faith has substance. By faith, Noah went, and being warned of God. In other words, faith had substance. He was warned of God. God told him what to do.

James Greer: [00:01:23] The substance was God's Word. Amen? And so if he had just had the substance without the action, he wouldn't have built the boat. So faith has substance, which is God's Word. It was the action, building the boat that brought the reward. So many times we come to church, we can hear the Word. But if we don't take action on the Word, we don't receive the reward. Amen? Same thing with Abraham. It said by faith, Abraham, he obeyed when he was called out of the place, which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he would go. Now, God told him he wanted him to leave. That was the Word. That was the substance. But the faith was leaving, not even know where he was going. That was the reward and the inheritance he got. Amen? So what we want to know is there's one thing to have substance. The other thing is to enjoy the rewards. Now we have at least four things we've been daring you to do, and we're going to go over them again real quick. There's this thing I've been putting on my phone. And I try to remind myself when I leave every morning, I say, God, is there somebody you want me to invite, somebody to pray for, somebody to witness to, somebody to go see? And I'm going to add somebody to encourage. Just start asking God as you get ready to leave the house, and you'd be surprised how many times He would let you know.

James Greer: [00:02:47] So here's four things we're going to encourage you to do. And inside your bulletin, there should be a little handout that tells you that. It should challenge you to do that. Number one, we dare you to invite or bring somebody to church. Well, you should have something called invite cards. That's the easiest thing in the world. Amen? So just hand them out and say, I'd love you to come to church. The next thing we have in there is, I dare you to pray for someone who is lost and possibly use the wordless book. You don't know how important it is. Yesterday, we actually did a funeral. Mike Christie usually sits right there where Dean is. Huh, Dean? And him and Dean would alternate security almost every Sunday. Well, he's only 47 years old. But the good thing is he knew the Lord and so he went to be with the Lord. In fact, part of the families here, I'm glad you are here. He would be happy of that. So if you know somebody that doesn't know the Lord, at least invite them, come to church, pray for them. But as you know, everybody has a wordless book. And if nothing else, say, hey, take your phone and shoot this and say, Hey, could you see this? And it has me going through the wordless book for you. So you invite somebody, you pray for somebody that's lost. If you have the opportunity, witness to somebody that's lost.

James Greer: [00:04:04] Third, pray that God would do the impossible for you. Do a miracle. Man, God is doing miracles in so many lives. It's unbelievable. It's a miracle to have that many baptized at one time. Amen? And then Wednesday night, Wednesday night, we have about another four or five are going to be baptized out in the parking lot. I mean, we don't need to take God's grace for granted. His favor is upon our church, and He's working in a great and mighty way. Many times you miss the miracles, sometimes like me, because I'm angry. But God woke me up. He said, Man, you're angry and I'm doing a miracle. And so I've seen Him do several miracles even since we started this series. But He stretched my faith to make me see that. Ask God. God, do something great in my life or let me see a miracle in somebody else's life. It might be a loved one that you need to see a miracle done. But just ask Him. And then fourth is, don't forget, if you're not in a small group, you may want to come today and get one of these Journey on the Go. And people are doing it different ways. You can do it in the home, you can do it in a library, recreation, you can do it on your job, you can do it on the phone. You can do it in a coffee shop.

James Greer: [00:05:13] Jesus basically went around with 12 people and they fellowshipped, prayed, and had a spiritual component. And there's so many ways. I just met with a couple on the way going out today and he said, What we're going to do is we're going to try to get three couples today and we have the church app. If you don't have the church app, you need to get it. And somebody will be glad to show you how to get the church app on your phone. Just go to your app store and download it and they're going to go here and where it says free devotions and they're going to go down here and they're going to say create a marriage that lasts. Bingo. And they're going to take three or four pages and read them and meet every week and talk about them. There's other ways you can do it. You can do the same lessons. Daring faith is in there. You can do almost anything. There's all kinds of, there's outlines in there, there's previous messages in it. There's all kinds of help for hurts in there. And they're just going to meet once a week and talk about it. They're going to fellowship together and they're going to pray for each other. They're going to encourage each other. So that's the fourth thing. So at the end of the service, if you want to try that, come and get one of these.

James Greer: [00:06:22] And then how many of y'all signed up to go skydiving? Did y'all sign up, Tony? Both of you. You can sign up again today. I think every Sunday you come, you ought to be able to sign up again. Jeff, you didn't sign up? How many over here signed up to go skydiving? There you go, baby doll. Go, girl. I'm going to ask the doctor if I can go again. My wife said absolutely not. But the truth, the first time I went skydiving, she said no. I said, Come watch me. She said, No. I said, Come cheer me on. She said, no. So I'm not sure. But she's a little stricter now. So I may not be going. Anybody over here signed up for skydiving yet? Oh, go ahead. Oh, both of y'all. You sign up again today and put them in there. Okay. You can also put in, if you decide to pray for somebody, invite somebody, if you do all four of those things, you can put those in there, too. Okay. You ready? You ready? We're going to actually give you point number two, point number two. Faith is seen from God's point of view. But I want to give you a simple, simple definition of faith. I can make it so simple. Faith is just simply believing God's Word and obeying it. Simply believing it and obeying it. I mean, I tell you, like this, like last week when the guy gave me the Cajun version of Exodus 14:14 and I said, What does it say? Sit down and shut up.

James Greer: [00:08:09] But that's not really what it says. It says, and the Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace and remain in rest. So when I say just take God's Word and obey God's Word, sometimes that's a physical obedience. Like Noah said, go build an ark. Like Abraham, he said, Leave. Sometimes it's a spiritual obedience that you're overreacting like I was, and you're all fearful like I was. And God said, Hey, just relax. Be still, have peace, and remain in rest. Both of those are taking God's Word and obeying God's Word. Amen? So let's got faith. Now we're going to talk about what happens when you see eyes of fear. Now, so many times, that's what I'm concerned about. I'm concerned that people come to church, they hear God's Word. That's the substance. But they don't act on it. So they have, you leave with eyes of fear. You don't fight through it. See, you exaggerate your difficulties and your problems. That's what they did in Numbers 13:27 and 28. It said, Then they told them, the spies, they went into the Promised Land. God already told them they could have it. We went into the land where we were sent. Man, it was flowing with milk and honey. And this is the fruit. The fruit was so big, the grapes were so big.

James Greer: [00:09:28] I have a, on my desk, a reminder, it was so big. They had two men. They had poles to carry the grapes. God said, I told you. He said, And I'm going to prove it. But then they said, But nevertheless, the people who dwell in the land, they're strong. The cities are fortified and they're large. Moreover, they're descendants of Anak there. They're descendants of giants. Well, God didn't say you didn't have to fight. And so now what they're saying is this. They're exaggerating their problem. So now instead of stretching their problems, they've been strained and drained. When you're strained, your faith and your drain. You can say, but you're not believing. You're not acting. So you're missing out on the rewards and blessings of God. What I do when I really start feeling overwhelmed, I actually many times write down what is the worst thing that could happen to me if this really happens? And then I write on the other side. Because most of the time, it's not near as bad as I've allowed my mind to run away with me. But when you see through the eyes of fear, you exaggerate. Second, second, you underestimate your own ability. When I say your own ability is with God with you. And they said, Listen, we saw it. We saw the giants, the descendants of Anak. From the giants and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight. And so we were in their sight.

James Greer: [00:10:55] Now, you saw what kind of faith. In their sight, we're a grasshopper. In our own sight, we were grasshoppers. So what they had done is they started saying, hey, they had grasshopper myth. They had grasshopper faith. That's when a Christian falsely believes that there's any problem too big for God. That's what it is. Judges, Gideon, they didn't see themselves as God saw. Gideon in Judges chapter 6, he was in a wine press hiding from the enemy. God comes into the picture, and He said, Gideon, mighty man of valor, mighty man of courage. That's how God saw it. And what happens if you as a Christian, if you're not careful, you see yourself as other people have seen you, other people have said to you, other people have thought about you. You began to see yourself as that instead of seeing yourself as God sees you. See, God sees you different. God sees you as fearfully and wonderfully made. God says, I'm with you, I am for you, and you cannot lose when God is with you. Amen? But they got to see themselves as they were instead of who God had for them. Third, you get discouraged. So the congregation lifted up their voice and they cried. And the people wept that night. One of the main causes of discouragement is deprived of confidence. You lose your confidence. You lose your hope. You're operating in self-confidence instead of God confidence. You falsely assume or believe the lie of the devil that God has left you.

James Greer: [00:12:28] Or worse than that, here's even worse. You ready? A lot of people believe when they're discouraged that God is punishing them instead of trying to bless them. The truth of the children of Israel when they're weeping and crying, God was trying to bless them. He said, I've already given you the victory. Yeah, there's John and Sarah, but I'm going to help you overcome. I want you to go to the Promised Land. I want you to quit running around the wilderness. I want to go from the wilderness to the Promised Land. And they thought God was saying, No, no, they're too big. They're too bad. God was not trying to punish them. God was trying to bless them. And so many times, Christians missed the blessing because you won't push through your problems. You stay back from your problem. You don't push through your problem. You don't get the blessing. Now, that doesn't mean, see, you can have faith, you ready? But you still have to fight. You have to have faith, which is God's substance, God's Word, right? But you still have to fight. You've got to take the action. You can have fear. We have fear. I have fear. You have fear. We all have fear. Amen? But your faith helps you overcome fear because your faith has substance, which is God's Word. And you take God's Word and you apply it to fear and you overcome it.

James Greer: [00:13:34] God didn't give you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. But if you don't, see, if you don't apply your faith, which is God's Word, which has substance, to your fear, you'll let your fear overcome you instead of your faith overcoming your fear. That's good. Apply it. Amen? Number four. Number four. You start griping about life. Any of y'all at church grippers? Don't raise your hand and if your husband and wife, don't look at the other one. All pastors understand this. I mean, they know. Moses and Aaron, they were trying to lead these children. They were in slavery. God had parted the Red Sea. Supernatural delivered them. And all the children of Israel complained. They complained against Moses and Aaron, who were trying to lead him into a better life. The whole congregation said, at least for me, it's one at a time. Usually not the whole congregational. If only we had died in the land of Egypt. If only you had died? Or are they slaves? Or if only we had died in the wilderness. You'd rather die than go on the Promised Land? No, you're just griping and complaining. That's what you're really doing. Let me tell you what. People with critical spirit always are insecure people. They're always insecure. Insecurity comes from misplaced identity. Now, when you're insecure, what you could really do, most people don't do that, but when you're insecure and you're griping and complaining, it's usually because you're insecure about yourself.

James Greer: [00:15:07] But you could trace it back and find out why you're insecure. Now, most people won't do that. Have you ever traced it back why you're really angry? I mean, I know. I know you're blaming your wife. You're blaming your kids, blaming your boss. Have you ever traced it back? Was it fear? Was it disappointment? Did they embarrass you? Was it jealousy? Was it wrong expectations? I didn't do this. I was in my 50s probably, and I wish I had done it when I was 20. When I would get angry, I would just say, that's just the way I am. Telling me God can't transform you? Romans 12:1. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. God, right. No, I was just making excuses. So what I had to do is start saying, why am I really angry? Did they embarrass me or was it wrong expectations or what was it? I felt like they were attacking me. And so I got angry. So that's the reason that I was doing that. And I had to learn to accept responsibility for myself. Until you do that, you'll live insecure. You'll think they're doing something or saying something to you and you're insecure. Your real security, you'll never be secure till you're ultimately, your security is in Christ. That He's with you, He's for you. You're fearfully, wonderfully made. He's forgiven you and a whole different thing.

James Greer: [00:16:33] So that's where you got to get your security. Okay. Fifth, you eventually want to give up and blame God and others. Why has God brought us out into this land to fall on the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Wouldn't have been better to return to Egypt and be slaves? This is really important because everybody does this without knowing it. Most people blame other people because they don't want to accept their own responsibility. Why didn't you do that? I was late because of traffic. Why didn't you leave earlier? And so if you understand that, most blame comes for two reasons. They don't accept responsibility or they don't accept correction. They had a problem and you tried to correct them and they got mad and they blamed you for correcting them. Have you ever corrected a child and the child get mad at you for trying to help them? Well, you ain't got any youth then. You will one day. And while they're blaming you for their problem, you were really trying to help them. Or people that blame other people and don't accept responsibility. Most relationships would still be together if they stopped blaming other people and accepted their own responsibility. That's the reason you got so many divorces today, because everybody is blaming the other person instead of both of them accepting their own responsibility, they'd still be together. That's good, too, Brother James. Amen. Anyway, fourth. What would happen when you see with your eyes through faith? When you start seeing through eyes of faith, you begin to fight with faith.

James Greer: [00:18:25] You've got faith. You got power. You begin to fight. Fight your fear. You fight. What happens in faith shrinks your problem. Listen to this. Genesis 18:14. It says, is anything too hard for God, yes or no? Well, why don't you act like that? Is anything too hard for God? No. But at the appointed time, I'll return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Well, what I don't like about that verse, I like that there's nothing too hard for God. I do not like, at God's appointed time. What I want, God, is nothing is too hard for God. I want you to do it at my appointed time. But God doesn't do what I want to do. God does what He wants to do. Oh. For with God, nothing will be impossible. Amen? But it might not be on your timetable. It might be on God's timetable. But it changes your outlook on things, so it shrinks your problems. I'm telling you, when you're really fired up and you have faith in God, God is stretching your faith and your faith has substance. You have God's Word and you really take action. It's unbelievable what you can do. Second, faith opens the doors for miracles. Mark 11:23. It says, for surely I say to you, whosoever says to this mountain.

James Greer: [00:19:46] First of all, I want you to look at this. It says, and it's talking about a mountain. When the Bible talks about a mountain in this situation, it's talking about a problem that looks impossible for you. And it also says, what does he say? Well, you've got faith. Amen? Your faith has substance. What's the substance? God's Word. So now most surely I say to you, if you have faith, in other words, you take God's Word and you speak it to your problem, be removed and be cast into the sea. And do not doubt that's your faith in your heart, but believe that those things he says will be done and he will have everything he says. Do you understand what he's saying there? He says, now what you start doing instead of running, instead of being accepted, you start speaking faith to your problems. How do you do that? Well, my faith has substance. The substance is God's Word. So when I have a problem, I have to start learning what God's Word says. The cool thing today, at the end of the service, when we give an invitation, our counselors are going to have promise books that have promise, which has substance you can apply to your problem. That's good too, Brother James. Also, Jesus said, I didn't do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. So maybe God's not doing too many miracles in your life. Maybe you feel like He's not answering many of your prayers.

James Greer: [00:21:13] Maybe the problem's you. Maybe it's your faith life. Maybe it's your spiritual life. I can tell you, the next verse how important it is that faith moves God to act on our belief. Then he touched his eyes and he said, You ready? According to your faith, let it be done to you. According to whose faith? You're the only one that can limit what God does in your life. You're the only person that can limit what God does in your life. Not your parents. Not your past. Not your education. Nothing. Not where you came from. Not where you live. Not nothing. You're the only one that can limit what God, it says, according to your faith, let it be done unto you. Let me tell you what. Do you think that anybody can stop what God wants to do in your life? Do you think that anybody can stop what God wants to do in your life? No. Then quit blaming other people. Amen? Quit blaming your school. Quit blaming your boss. Blame your partner. Quit blaming everybody. Say, hey, man, by faith, you can do that. All things are possible through Christ. Amen? Oh. Fourth is good. Forth is good. Faith unlocks all the promises of God. There's over 7,000 promises waiting for you to claim. Isn't that something? How many? Over 7,000 promises. Look at this. I want to show you something. In the church app, by the way, if you hadn't downloaded the church app, go to the app store and download the church app.

James Greer: [00:22:47] It's so cool. Just while we're starting right now, we just now started. Josh has already started. I was telling him how excited I was about the promise book. He's already trying to load the promise book on our app. So eventually, probably by the end of the service, you'll just be able to go there, punch your problem, and you have a promise. Is that cool? Josh is cool. Josh is cool. You know what's even cooler? The first time I read 2 Corinthians 1:19. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among us, by me and Silas and Timothy. Today it's me. Well, it's not yes and no, but in him has always been yes. In other words, God's saying all my promises, yes, for no matter how many promises, over 7,000, has God made, they're a yes in Christ. I love the next part. And so through him, the amen is spoken by us to the glory of God. And everybody said Amen. Because he said that all His promises are a yes. You got 7,000 promises in God's Word, and He said, they're all yes and amen. And amen says, Let's agree with God. Amen? Well, to do that, first of all, you got to know Jesus Christ. Jesus said, I'm the way and the truth and life. No man comes to the Father, but by me. If you're going to have access to these 7,000 promises, activate the power of God.

James Greer: [00:24:29] If you're here today and you're not sure if you died, that you go to Heaven and you don't know, you don't know. When Jessica went to wake Mike, he was coming to church that Sunday morning. I got a call at 7:40. He didn't know that. She didn't know that. 47 years old. You do not know. I think I've had four or five funerals in the last six weeks. I would not leave here today. I don't care upstairs, downstairs. I would not leave here if I didn't know for sure if I died, I'd go to Heaven. It's the most important decision you'll make in your life. And you can come to God just by faith of a child. You've got counselors up here that'll help you walk through it. So that's the most important thing. So first of all, if you're not sure, come to do that. Second of all, maybe you've been discouraged or maybe you've been exaggerating your problems and today you need to say, Hey, I need to see my problem through the faith of God. You need to say, hey, God says there's nothing impossible for me. Maybe you need one of the 7,000 promises. Maybe you need to come and let one of these counselors say, Hey, this is my problem. Can you help me find the promise? Now, listen, the key to that is this. The promise is the substance. The action is the reward. But God has an answer for your problem.

James Greer: [00:26:00] I don't care what it is. I believe God is the greatest answer to our problem. He is the great one. And there's nothing too hard for Him. I don't care how discouraged you are. I don't care what you're going through in your life. Listen, God's mercies are new every single morning. And today God wants to work in your life if you'll let Him. Would you stand and let me pray with you? God, you're an awesome God. I thank you for your Word. I thank you for your promises. I thank you that we can have faith. I thank you, nobody can limit what you do in our life but us individually. God, I pray that there's those that might not know Christ as their Savior, today's the day they would come and let one of these counselors lead them. Let them know how to come to know Jesus. I pray for those that have a problem. Man, we got your promises right here. God, it's your promises. That's your Word. We'll take action and we'll get the reward. Maybe they want to join the church. Maybe they want to follow through with baptism like the whole family did while ago and like we're going to have Wednesday night. Maybe they want to join the church. Whatever you've laid upon their heart, God, please don't let them go. Maybe they came fearful and they want to fight through it with their faith and overcome it. Whatever's on their heart, let you have your way in their life. I ask it in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

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