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June 23, 2016

How God Reveals Himself to Us

“… God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:17 NKJV)

The only way to truly know God is by faith.  The Bible says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 (NIV2011) God reveals Himself to us through faith. The Bible is filled with examples of this to help us understand the mystery of faith and how we may experience God.

Joshua’s conquest of Canaan in the Old Testament is a great example. God revealed Himself to Joshua and a new generation of Israelites by faith.  As they trusted Him for each step they took, God gave them the blessing He had intended for them to have for over 40 years! They experienced God with a new and deeper revelation as their faith grew.  It illustrates an interesting phrase that Paul uses in Romans 1:17 when he says that God is revealed from faith to faith.  That phrase implies that faith is a progressive journey.  It began as God gave specific instructions for Joshua to follow, and he responded in simple obedience.  The first step of faith was to cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land.  As they took that step, God parted the river, and they crossed over on dry ground!  That step of faith was followed by another – their first confrontation with an enemy in Canaan, the Battle of Jericho!  As they marched around the city in obedience to God’s Word, they saw Him bring down the walls and conquer the city!  Their faith was growing!  They were experiencing God at work among them – and through them – as He was revealing Himself!  The next step would be a lesson learned through discipline at a battle they thought they could handle on their own.  No need to stir everyone up over this conflict or even pray about it.  Their defeat at Ai, as well as the deception of Gibeon, taught them to seek God in every decision and obey Him explicitly if they were to continue to live by faith.  It also showed them that God forgives and restores us when we turn to Him in repentance.  It prepared them for an even greater challenge when they faced five enemy kings in the south that would come against them.  After defeating that southern alliance, Joshua and the people of Israel would face one of the greatest challenges yet, against 24 kings in the north.  Each victory was met by an even greater challenge.  God revealed Himself to them from faith to faith as they learned to live by faith!  Faith is a progressive journey that develops with increasing measure through adversity, obstacles, and even adversaries.

What obstacles are you facing in your life today?  Consider them opportunities for you to grow in your faith as you put your trust in God to meet each one!  The greatest joy will not be in overcoming the obstacle but in experiencing a greater revelation of God Himself to you!  Let God reveal Himself to you from faith to faith!  Each step of faith requires obedience to the revealed Word of God.  When you take a step of faith to trust Christ as your personal Savior from sin, the first step of obedience He asks us to take is baptism.  It’s a simple act of faith that demonstrates our allegiance to Him as a public profession of our faith.  If you’ve never taken that step of obedience, you can this weekend, June 25th & 26th, at a Woodlands Church campus near you!  Celebrate Super Summer Baptism with us after any one of our weekend services.  I encourage you to watch the video below to see a recap of our first Super Summer Baptism earlier this month.

Baptism is not the final step; it’s the first step as you grow from faith to faith!  Each step brings a greater revelation of God in your life.  He becomes more real to us as we obey Him and experience His presence and power to do His will.  I hope to see you this weekend at Woodlands Church and celebrate with you the next step of faith in your life!  Register now!