Christine Caine - Marvelous Faith
God is always on the lookout for marvelous faith. The Bible is full of people that amazed God with their faith and in doing so pleased him. It's my greatest desire to live a life that is pleasing to God. I don't wanna settle for shaky faith or lazy faith, I want to aim for marvelous faith. Will you join me? I'm Christine Caine, and I have a personal mission to equip and empower people like you to connect with your God given purpose and potential. I'm so glad you're tuning in today. Let's get right to the message.
Hey everyone, I'm so excited to be with you, I'm so glad that you tuned in today. And I don't believe it's an accident. I believe God has a word for you, okay. So y'all know that I'm Greek and my mother, she had a beautiful, thick Greek accent. And every time I would come out and maybe I'd be dressed up to go somewhere, she'd go "Christina you look marvelous". Like marvelous, and that's one of the things I miss most about my mom because you know, moms always make you feel so good, and even if you look pathetic, your mother thinks you're marvelous, so although at times she said, "Christine, that's an outfit only a mother could love". But anyway, so it all happens.
But I wanna talk today about the whole subject of marvelous and what it is to have marvelous faith, because there is a kind of faith that makes Jesus marvel, and we're about to find out that. I want you to turn with me to the book of Luke 7:1-10. The scripture says, after he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. Of course, we're talking about Jesus right now. Now, a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death. So I mean, that's like more than sick, that's like legit sick. And it says, who was highly valued by him.
When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him, elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly saying, "He's worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he is the one who built us our synagogue". And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends saying to him, "Lord do not trouble yourself, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore, I did not presume to come to you, but say the word and let my servant be healed, for I too am a man set under authority with soldiers under me, and I say to one go and he goes, and to another come and he comes, and to my servant do this and he does it".
When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning into the crowd that followed him, he said, "I tell you, not even in Israel, have I found such faith". And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well. I mean, I love this story on so many levels.
There is a centurion, now of course at this time, Israel was under Roman domination. So historically, the Jewish people would not have liked Roman centurions. Now, a Roman centurion was kind of like a captain in the army. That word centurion is like, a century, he had about 100 soldiers under him. And you would put these centurions in different outposts around the nation, in different cities and villages. And basically they were there to do two things. They were there to keep the peace and to collect taxes. Now, that alone would indicate to you that that's not how you win friends and influence people, is like okay awesome, we're gonna collect taxes, but they were there mostly to do all of that.
But we're gonna learn something today about faith from this unnamed Roman centurion, from this unnamed gentile. We're gonna learn that there's a kind of faith, that is an unusual faith, a kind of faith that moves God. And when God is moved, God does miracles. I know that you've tuned in today, and you're believing God for some great miracle in your life. And unbelieving you have not tuned in by accident, that there is a God that can meet every need, there is a God that can move every mountain, there is a God that can heal every disease, there is a God that can save any soul, there is a God that can heal any heart. You have not tuned in by accident today, our God is able to do the impossible, impossible is where God starts, miracles are what God does, but there is a faith that you and I can have that can astound God and cause miracles to happen.
Now, we know some things about the centurion. Obviously, the centurion was a very compassionate man because he had a servant, and this servant was sick unto death scripture tells us. Now here's the point, that this word for servant here, that this man would have been more like a slave. It was not uncommon. I mean, we know through a21 that our mandate is to help abolish slavery everywhere forever, that slavery is wrong, that every human being is created in the image of God and deserves to be free, Jesus came, it is for freedom that Christ set us free. But in these times it was legal. And so it is highly likely that this man was the centurion's slave.
Certainly, when we read the same story in the book of Matthew, we know that he was a younger boy. And so it wouldn't have been unusual that he would have been an indentured servant or slave in this household. Now, here's the point. These people were like dispensable. You know, if one died you just got another one. It wasn't someone that centurion would normally care about or would have any love for. And so we know that he's very unique and compassionate because he was very, very sad and despondent that this boy was going to die and he wanted him to be healed. So that already tells us there was something different about this man. We also know that he must have been a very, very generous man, because you have the Jewish elders that ran out to Jesus.
Now, it is not normal that an occupying army that you would like the soldiers of that army, like none of us want to be occupied, and none of us are likely to be besties with occupied forces that are in our town. But these Jewish elders were running to Jesus, said "You've got to help this man. He's worthy of your help. I mean, he loves our nation, and he built our synagogue". I mean, how many foreign invading forces are going to build your place of worship? So again, we're reading this text going, there's something unusual going on here. This man is compassionate which is countercultural, in that he wanted his servant to be healed. This man is generous because he's built synagogue, he's built the temple.
It's quite amazing what's going on. And then on top of all of that, he is also a very humble man. Because when Jesus is going to heal his servant, he says, "No, no, no, don't come in, I am not worthy". Now who, which Roman soldier would say, I'm not worthy? They would think, hang on a minute. Number one, we are in your town and we're occupying. So we're stronger than you, we're a stronger military force than you. I mean, we have built great roadways and great civil services throughout the nation. I mean, they could have said, you know, we've got great architecture, we've got great literature, great philosophy. I mean, we are the Romans and we are dominating you. But he actually, obviously had a recognition of who Jesus was.
So he is a gentile soldier, and he obviously recognized that this man, there is something unusual about him, there is something amazing about him. And he says, "You don't need to come to my house. You don't need to walk in. I just want you just say the word". I mean, what amazing faith is that? That he said to Jesus, "You just have to say the word. You just speak the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed". Imagine if we had that kind of faith, the kind of faith that says, Jesus just say the word, if it's in your word, if you said it, you will do it. If you said it, you'll come through, because you who promised are faithful, you are the kind of God that always follows through on what you said. That's one of the most powerful statements of faith in scripture. Just say the word.
Oh, to be a generation that believes God's word. I mean, this is the God that knows the beginning from the end and everything in between. So if he knows everything, how on earth is he amazed? So it astounds me that in scripture, the Bible tells us that Jesus can be amazed, that there is a kind of faith that you and I can have that makes Jesus be amazed. I don't know about you, but I want that kind of amazing faith. I want that kind of marvelous faith, I want a faith that makes Jesus stop and be astounded, and marvel and be amazed. There is a kind of faith that is available to us as believers that amazes God. I don't want an ordinary faith, I want an extra ordinary faith that causes Jesus to marvel. And so scripture tells us, he marveled at him.
Now I said that this word thavma is used twice in scripture in relation to Jesus. And the other time, we're gonna turn to the book of Mark 6, because it is amazing to me how both times that this word is used in relation to faith. And so here we see a faith that amazes him, I want you to hear this faith here in Mark 6:1-6. The Bible says, he went away from there, this is Jesus. He went away from there and came to his home town. And his disciples followed him. And on the sabbath, he began to teach in the synagogue. It's what Jesus did. And many who heard him were astonished.
Remember, I said that there was a faith everywhere Jesus went, people were astonished, people were amazed. And they were astonished saying, "Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us"? And, read this. And they took offense at him, and they took offense at him. Imagine being a person that takes offense at God. I mean it's right there in the Bible. I don't wanna be that kind of person. I don't know about you, but I don't wanna be taking offense to God, you know. And Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household".
Now that brings it close to home, doesn't it? Some of you have been wondering, you know, why does it see that everywhere else people celebrate me, everywhere else people can see that there's either a gift on my life or a call on my life, but it seems when I get around the people that know me best, the people that should be supporting me, the people that should be encouraging me, the people that should be my greatest cheerleaders, they are often the people that are the most negative, the most critical, that try to pull me down, that try to hold me back. I want you to know you're in good company if that's how you feel. It's not just you.
Maybe you've just tuned in and you're watching this and you're saying, you're speaking my story, that's what happens. You know, at school I excel or at work or I excel or on the sporting field I excel, and then as soon as I come back nobody celebrates. They all say to me, "Well, who do you think you are"? You know, and they try to pull me down to size. In fact in Australia we have a word for this. We call it the "tall poppy syndrome", we just love to pull people down and keep everyone equal, and make sure no one's stepping out of the boat. And often, your greatest criticism will come from those that should be supporting you the most, those that should be loving you the most.
I can testify to that in my own life, it's in my own hometown, those people that should have said, come on you can do it, you can make it, are the people that think, who do you think you are? Often the people that know you the most will hold you back more than anybody else. I want you to know that you're in good company. Jesus was the one that experienced this as well. And it says, listen to this. And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.
And he could do no mighty work there, is this not astounding to you? This is the God of the universe. This is the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God. This is the God that is all powerful. This is the God that can do whatever he wants to do wherever he wants to do it. This is the God that spoke the universe into being, this is the God that flung the stars into the sky, this is the God who was and is and is to come. That God that is all powerful, that God that is all knowing, that God that is everywhere, the Bible says, that God could do no mighty works there. Could do no mighty works there.
So there's a kind of faith that can either activate the mighty works of God or actually quench a move of the spirit. Some people go, "well, Chris God will do whatever he wants to do", I totally agree. God can do whatever he wants to do, I totally agree. But here from scripture, it seems to indicate to me that there's a kind of faith that either activates God to do all the great and awesome things that he could do, which is exceedingly abundantly above and beyond anything that any of us could ever ask of or could thing, and there seems to be a lack of faith and an unbelief that clinches the work of God. That's what scripture says, "He could do no miracles in that place, except lays hands on a few people and heal them". And here's what scripture says, "And he marveled because of their unbelief".
Wow, yeah. Same word, of marvel, only used twice in relation to Jesus. Remember it's used 43 times in the scripture, but only twice in relation to Jesus. So in the scripture, there are only two times that Jesus Christ marveled, only two times that he was astounded, that he was astonished, that he marveled, and both of those times had to do with faith. Both of the times Jesus marveled was in the context of faith. The first time, it was, he marveled at the amazing faith of the centurion, and he healed his servant, a miracle happened, he marveled at that faith. The next time he marveled at the unbelief of the Jewish people in his own home town.
And so your unbelief or your faith can either activate or quench a move of the Spirit of God. See, some of us we think God's just gonna do whatever he wants to do. But I'm here today to say you can stir up that gift on the inside of you, because Jesus is gonna marvel one way or another. Jesus is gonna marvel either because of your unbelief or your faith, I want him to marvel at my faith not my unbelief. I want that kind of faith that's gonna cause Jesus to marvel, that's gonna cause him to be astounded, and that's what I wanna see.
Do you remember when you used to be amazed? Do you remember when you first got saved? And everything, I mean, you could see Jesus everywhere. Everywhere, that was God, I got the parking spot right there at Walmart. I got the parking spot, now we laugh and we think, well you know, that's just simple faith, the people with the parking lot anointing, I laugh you know, when I get around people, and they kind of go oh yeah, you know, but what that does is just keeps me on my toes. You know what Jesus you here, there was a time that everywhere I could see God's moving. There's, you know a gift coming here, and someone gives me an opportunity there, and Jesus, and I marveled at everything Jesus did.
And then you walk with him for a while and you start to just take things for granted. Nazareth is a dangerous place, familiarity is a dangerous place. When you start to get familiar with what you once marveled at. When you start to just get familiar with the Bible. You just get familiar with church. You get familiar with worship, "I don't feel like worshiping today, you know, I just don't feel like it. I feel like having a quiet time today. I don't feel like you know maybe giving today or serving today or doing something", well, and you start to get familiar around the very things that you were once wide eyed open about.
Those of us that went from death to life, we have a lot to learn about familiarity, and someone's just switched on and you didn't even mean to switch on right now. And you're actually trying to change me and it's just not working. You it's a, your remote control is broken, because God's got your attention right at this moment. And there was a time you were once passionate about the things of God, you were passionate about the presence of God, you were passionate about the purpose of God and the call of God. And somewhere along the line, you just got familiar, you just got complacent, you just got lazy.
I'm here to tell you, you didn't tune in by accident today. God has got you because even though you may become familiar with him, I want you to know that he is still so desperately in love with you, that he's still got a plan for your life, a purpose for your life, and the hound of heaven is pursuing you that you may live a fruitful life and you may fulfill the call and the purpose of the plan of God for your life. The good news is it's never too late, that even if we become familiar, we could stir our heart right now to say:
God restore unto me the joy of my salvation. Let me fall in love with you all over again. Lord, I want to have a faith that causes you to be amazed. I want you to be amazed by my faith. I want you to be amazed by my loyalty. I want you to be amazed by my passion. I want you to be amazed by my purpose. Jesus, I want to amaze you.
I am on a pursuit across the body of Christ to go, let's stir up that gift of faith that we might amaze Jesus cause if we amaze him, he does amazing things. If we amazed him, he does miracles and signs and wonders in our midst. Let's not be complacent Christians that just go through the motions. Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to church I go. Here I am. And now I'm going to listen to my little sermon. And then I'm gonna do my little pirouettes, and then I'm going to just listen to, go out and have a little lunchette. And it's all like just like here we are.
Some of you are so boring. Some of you are so predictable, I could set my clock by your little boring life. How about we choose to live an amazing life that amazes God and making sure that we fulfill an amazing purpose on the planet. Some of you, your problem is you're just bored. Cause you're boring. Seriously, you know to be interesting, you gotta have some interests. Do something interesting, drive to work a different way. Buy something different for lunch. Shock yourself. Go out and meet some new people. I mean, you look up at the sky and get amazed by this glorious God. Look at a mountain, go and walk along the ocean. Get out of your routine. Get out of your normal life.
Do something amazing to stir up the awesome creativity that God has put on the inside of you. Fall in love with Jesus again, by getting out of your routine, getting out of your rut, getting out of just doing things the same old way. Mix up your spiritual disciplines a little bit. Maybe mix up the way you do some things and fall in love with this amazing God all over again. He is amazing, he is awesome, he is great, he is mighty, your eye hasn't seen, your he hasn't heard, nor has it entered into your heart the things that God has for you. He is an awesome God, he is not a boring God.
Let us never get familiar with this amazing Jesus. When we are not familiar with him, we believe him to do amazing things and he will do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond anything you could ever ask, hope or think according to that power that works on the inside of you in Jesus name. There is so much more for you in him. Let's get our lives with some amazement in them that we may be holding, be amazed by him and then amaze him with the awesome faith he's put on the inside of us, and then we're gonna see him start to do some amazing things in and through our lives in Jesus name. In Jesus name, amen. Amen, and amen and amen.
Hey, everyone! I am so fired up. I am so grateful that you've tuned in today. I believe that go has a word for you that's gonna stir up your faith and help you to fulfill your God-given purpose, and your God-given destiny. You know, I love this series. We're talking about a faith that causes Jesus to marvel. I mean who doesn't want to cause Jesus to marvel, and of course we see in the book of Luke that the centurion had an amazing faith that made Jesus stop. And the Bible says that Jesus had never seen this kind of faith anywhere in all of Israel. It caused him to marvel, and then we also saw that the people that Jesus grew up with in Nazareth, they were so full of unbelief that they also caused Jesus to marvel.
So there's a type of faith that causes Jesus to marvel. It's both unbelief and amazing faith, and I don't wanna go down in history as the chick that didn't believe God. I mean what a waste of time on planet earth to go all the way through life on this earth and then just go, oh. I stand before God and go, "Oh, I wish I believed you more". No, I'd rather hear him say, "Chris, you should've taken a chill pill". And that's okay. I don't mind if Jesus asks me to take a chill pill. If he says, "Honey, you were just like really enthusiastic, and Chris, you could've slept a bit more".
Some people say to me, "Chris, you're so full on. You keep going". I go, okay, worst case scenario. Say that I'm going full, on and I'm doing a whole lot. Well, on Judgment Day when I stand before God, at worst, he's gonna go, "Honey, take a nap. You know what, honey, take a nap. You should've had more naps on earth, but it's okay, we got all of eternity in heaven, so you can have a long nappy". I would rather do that then get up there on Judgment Day and Jesus go, "You know what, Chris? I had all of these good works that I had prepared for you to do from before the beginning of time, but you were so busy napping, that you missed your purpose".
So I'm like, you know what? Even if I am a little bit too much. My little 13 year-old daughter, she goes, "Mom, you're so extra". And so, even if I'm extra, I'd rather be extra and risk amazing Jesus with my faith than be so un-extra and blend in with this culture so much, and just be a nice little Christian, and that does my sermonettes. I don't want to be that kind of person. I didn't sign up for a boring religious life. I signed up for a faith adventure of following Jesus into the unknown and doing all he's called me to do, and being all he's called me to be. So I want the kind of faith that is marvelous and causes Jesus to marvel.
You know, I remember, because, what familiarity does is it just, in many ways dims your faith. You get cynical, you just get, you know, people are like, "Christine, you're just excited because you're young". Well I'm 52 now, so I don't know why they're still saying that. But I remember when people used to say that to me, when I'm in my twenties. I made an internal vow. I said: when I get into my 50s and 60s I'm never gonna be that person. I'm never gonna turn to a younger generation and go, "Oh, just wait till you get to my age. You're gonna have seen so much".
I mean, it's just somehow we think that's maturity, to put our negativity, and our fear, and our doubt and our disappoint, and disillusionment on a generation. I'm just being authentic. I mean, keep your authenticity to yourself, sweetheart. And so, people are like, I'm just being real. I want a generation to have faith. I don't want them full of doubt. A generation of children of Israel in the wilderness, their doubt, and their negativity, and their murmuring, and their grumbling, and their complaining.
How did that work out for them? They died in the wilderness, and then we wonder why there's a whole generation of our people dying in the spiritual wilderness. It's because somewhere along the line, they preferred Egypt and they didn't wanna go into the Promise Land anymore and they're like, "Let me tell you why you'll never never get there. Let me tell you why God will never do that. No, he doesn't do that today. He doesn't do that today".
I'm thinking I don't need a God that did it yesterday. I need a God that's gonna do it in my today. I need a God that's gonna do it in my tomorrow. I need that kind of God that's going to do that. I want an amazing faith. I don't want familiarity or longevity with the Lord. I don't want my daughters to walk around and go, "Wow, is that what happens to you when you've been following Jesus for 30 years"? I want them to look at me and go, "I can't wait to keep following Jesus".
I spoke in our church in Los Angeles yesterday and I love that my daughters packed a car load of their friends from school to bring them to come and hear me speak, and I thought, okay, I must be doing something right, because I'm telling you, you're all nice to me because you have to be, but your kids really don't have to be and they know the real you. But if your kids are daring to bring their friends from school to hear their mom talk about Jesus, I thought, I don't care what the world says about me.
That is where I know I've still got a faith that says yes, yes, I'm gonna keep going forward. I'm gonna keep loving God, and keep making it happen, and the fact is that familiarity breeds a laziness in our faith. That's what it does more than anything else, because I won't believe God anymore, because you know what? I was so disappointed that I didn't see what I wanted last time, I'm not even gonna believe he's gonna do it this time. And you start, your disappointment, your disillusionment, and your discouragement begins to dim your faith, and then you just end up living a bland, boring, religious, Christian life.
And you just go to church, and maybe, maybe go through your spiritual disciplines, but you can't even remember the last time you believed God for anything. You can't remember the last time you woke up and thought, I am believing God in this relationship, in this, for healing in this physical situation. I'm believing God to open a door and to make a way where there doesn't seem to be any way, and we basically just go through our life without any faith. We have a faithless Christianity.
I keep saying to people, the issue on the earth, some people go, "We got political problems, and we've got social problems, and we've got moral problems, and we've got ethical problems, and we've got economic problems". I'm like, "Yes, to a degree we've got challenges those areas, but what we really have is a faith problem. We've got too many unbelieving believers. We need some believing believers that are gonna believe that God is who he says he is, that God will do what he says that he can do". And so I wanna stir up faith in the body of Christ. Faith is the currency of heaven. Faith is what activates miracles in our lives through the hands of Christ. So I love that. I love that.
You know, I was speaking at a conference a few years ago and it was a whole bunch of leaders from the Chinese underground church where there's four major streams of the underground church, and so there was leaders from every one of those streams, and they had asked me to come so that I could teach them about leadership with the next generation because there was such a revival that had swept through China, which was just a miracle of God that that could happen despite any... There was no formalized religious institution or structure, and this revival went through all of the villages and so many millions and millions and millions and hundreds of millions of people got saved in these underground churches all over the place.
Now a lot of the young people have gone into the cities with the industrialization and urbanization, have gone into the cities and they're like, "Christine, we're worried about the next generation". Because this older generation that got saved, I mean, they had no other choice. They had to believe God because you were out in a village and you just had to believe that God was gonna show up. You didn't even have access to the Bible. You just had little bits. People would go to jail for having one verse in their pocket.
I mean we hear story after story of so many martyrs, and people in prison, because they had one little bit of the Bible. That's all they could hold on to, so they were on the edge of their life every single day believing God, and miracles were just what they saw all the time because they expected God to move, and they said, "We don't know what to do with the next generation".
Cuz sometimes, then, you get too cool for school. When your parents have been believing God, but you don't have to believe God. You come out and you start doing laps around mount Sinai in the wilderness and you're just like, "Oh, manna's gonna come cuz it always has, and this just happens because it always has". And then before you know it, you haven't believed God for anything for a really long time, and you get sick of the religious system so you end up walking away from the things of God, but you never really had faith in Jesus in the beginning. You might have had faith in a system. You might have had faith in an institution. You might have had faith in a structure. You might have stuck around other believers, but you had never really believed God or surrendered your life and your heart to Jesus anyway.
And so I remember those leaders were saying to me, "Would you teach us how to lead young people"? And they said, "Because we never got any leadership training. The only leadership training we ever got was, we were taught how to witness to the jail guard that would lead us to our execution". Okay, that's exactly how I felt.
I went, "Did I just hear right? You're saying the only thing you were ever taught to do, was to tell the person that was taking you to kill you about Jesus Christ"? And they went, "Yes, and so please help us, Christine". No joke. I just went down on my knees right there. I went, "You know, I don't really think I've got anything to say to any of you. I don't feel like I've got anything that I could add to your faith. I feel like everyone of you needs to lay hands on me right now, and I need an impartation of your faith so that I could take it back to America and I could take it back to all the preaching and teaching around the world".
I said, "Because you all have something that I don't have. You all have an amazing faith. You have a faith that amazes Jesus. You have a faith that goes, 'I am gonna witness to the person that's taking me to my execution cuz that's how much of a revelation I have of Jesus Christ'". I said, "10 leadership points on how to lead a large youth ministry. I think you'll be okay without that".
How about we have a faith that says "God, I expect you to move. God, I expect miracles, and signs and wonders, and I expect you to do something awesome". I wonder, do you have a faith that would amaze Jesus? I wonder. I wonder where your faith is today? Do you have a faith that would cause Jesus to marvel? Because I think that we are spending so much time trying to be amazing! Especially on social media, that we are no longer amazing God. Because when you're trying to be amazing, you're too self-absorbed with yourself to actually amaze God with being amazed by what he could do in and through your life. And I think we are spending so much time trying to impress people that we're no longer amazing God.
This is a word of life. This is a word of hope, and this is good news to be declared to a lost and a broken world, so I'm looking for the one. What kind of prayers would you pray if you really believed God is who he says he is? What would you believe God for if you truly believed that God is who he says he is? Where have you become familiar? Where have you just settled in your life? Where have you just lowered down your life and brought your life down to your level of experience rather than elevated your faith to your expectation based on the Word of God?
I don't want to live a life that is just built and predicated on the disappointments I've had, the disillusionment I've experienced, the discouragement that's come my way, the pain, or the offense or the hurt. How sad if that becomes what we measure our life by. If that's all I'm gonna believe for. I'm not gonna allow offense or bitterness, or hurt, or lust, or greed, or envy, or anger, or disappointment, or discouragement, or disillusionment, I'm not gonna allow that to be the final voice in my life. I'm gonna allow the Word of God to be the final voice in my life.
Yes, the darts of the enemy come. Yes, there are trials. Yes, there are tribulations. Yes, there are challenges in our life. But I am not gonna allow my life to be defined by the worst thing that's happened to me, the worst thing that I've done, or the worst thing that's been said about me, or the worst thing that I've said. I'm gonna allow my life to be defined by who God says I am, what God says I can do, and what my future is in Christ, and that's how I'm gonna allow my life to be defined and to be done.
Scripture says, in 2 Corinthians 5:7, that we are to "Live by faith and not by sight". So you've gotta understand. Faith is the currency of heaven. You and I are citizens of heaven, residents of earth, so we operate and orbit on a whole different plane, here. We walk by faith and not by sight. People go, "That's weird, Chris". I'm like, I know! I know! But I'm weird! The Bible says that we're a peculiar people, that we are pilgrims on a journey, that we are sojourners. I'm just passing through. I don't live here so I have a different navigation system. I'm operating on a different navigation system. I don't walk by what I could see in the natural. What I see in the natural is cray cray!
I don't know, maybe where you're from in the world it's all normal. It's all full of peace and joy and love, and it's all wonderful. But where I live, it's cray cray on steroids, and so, there is chaos. There is division. There is pain. There is suffering. There is heartache. There is natural disasters. There is loss. There is grief. There's this thing called life. Now, if I'm gonna navigate life and not be under it all the time, then I have to walk by faith and not by sight. Then I have to learn to operate very differently if I'm gonna walk into the future not full of fear. I have to operate by faith and not by sight.
I'm raising two teenage daughters. If I'm not to be overwhelmed by what I read in the media, what I see in their schools, when I look at the tools that they have with the internet and the social media, and the potential dangers of what they confront, it is easy to be overwhelmed if you don't learn to walk by faith and not by sight. I've gotta build my life on the truth of the promises of God. I'm not here trying to preach a message to you that I'm not living. I live it in a real world. I'm married for 23 years. I'm bringing up two teenage daughters. I've gotta navigate this life just like everybody else, and the reason that there is any sense of love, and joy, and peace, and kindness, and gentleness, and longsuffering, and patience, and self-control, and goodness in my life, is because I am a citizen of heaven and my job is to bring heaven right here to earth.
And so that means we can walk by faith even in a faithless world. We can walk by faith even in a world that just seems chaotic and out of control. We don't have to be overwhelmed by this world. We don't have to be pulled back by this world. We can walk by faith. If this book is our compass. If this book is our foundation. If this book is what sets our course, we can walk by faith and not by sight, and not be taken out with what's going on.
Scripture says that "The righteous", in Romans 1:17, will "live by faith". I wanna be a righteous person in a very unrighteous world, and I wanna live by faith. That's the only way that we are going to survive. We cannot be friends with this world. We cannot be conformed to the pattern of this world. We have to live by faith in this world. And we don't have to freak out and go, "Oh no! Did God have any idea it was gonna be so bad"? I'm like, "He's not in heaven going, 'oh, I had no idea! I had no idea! Why didn't someone tell me the 21st century was going to be so cray cray? Why did nobody'", it's not that he's freaking out.
God picks the times and seasons in which we live, and he said this is gonna be the perfect time for you to be on the planet. This is gonna be the perfect time for you to be in that country. You're gonna be in that city. You're gonna be in that place. I know what's happening politically. I know what's happening socially. I know what's happening economically. I know what's happening morally. I know what's happening environmentally. I know what is happening, and I set you in that place at that time to bring heaven to earth so that my spirit could flow through you, and you could change the atmosphere of where you are.
If you walk by faith you could bring peace into a chaotic world. You could bring love in a hate-filled world. You could bring joy in a very very depressed world. You could bring comfort and peace. You can bring the elements of heaven down to earth, change the atmosphere, and people will know that Jesus Christ is alive because you are alive to meet them where they are. We can change what's going on in the world around us if we do that, so we're looking to do that because let me just say, it's countercultural in the day in which we live, to have amazing faith.
A lot of people think we're cray cray for being Christians. I'm just gonna say it and I hope you're watching, because some of you are thinking it would be easier if everyone would love me. Well, everyone didn't love Jesus. Now please, don't do things that deliberately make people not like you, okay? Some christians, I'm like, "Really, could you just become nicer? Could you remind your face you're a christian? Could you like, just be kinder"? Could you do some things, like, some of us, we don't need to give God a bad name because we're in a bad mood, okay, so let's not confuse the two.
And so the interesting thing is we should be exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit. If the Spirit of God lives on the inside of you, Christians should be the most peaceful people, the most joy-filled people. We must be the most loving people, the most kind people. We ought not to gossip or slander, or murmur, or grumble. We oughta be really careful about what we're putting out there on social media. Don't act like Jesus doesn't read your social media post. I mean like, seriously. I'm like, seriously, you guys.
And so as we go through, we should have the Fruit of the Spirit, but I also need to tell you that in the day and the age in which we live, there are forces that have a true anti-Christ spirit. And so they just think, you Christians are just narrow. You Christians are just bigoted. What do mean, Jesus is the only way to God? That's a bit exclusive, isn't it? I'm like, "Yes". Yes. 'Cause Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life. "No one comes to the Father but by Me", Jesus said.
Now that's a countercultural message. A message that has a particular sexual ethic in this age, that's countercultural in the day in which we live. A message that's full of love and joy, but, you know, says that if you are a Christian, then we don't act the way the world acts. We act in a different way. We have different priorities. We have different values. We have different pursuits. We have an eternal perspective, not a temporal perspective, which means we don't make the same choices as everyone else. We spend our money in different ways. We have a different attitude when it comes to things like work and our priorities, and serving humanity, and love, and justice, and peace, and goodness. We are a very countercultural people. We serve a king who rules a kingdom and therefore we oughta act like we do.
There's something different about us, but we serve an absolute King, and there is no other God. There is only one God. His name is Jesus Christ. He is the King of kings. He is the Lord of lords. Can I just say, not everyone is excited about that message, but just because other people are not excited, doesn't mean that I'm gonna pull back. Doesn't mean I'm gonna dilute it. Doesn't mean that I'm gonna water it down. Doesn't mean that I'm gonna tiptoe around people. I'm gonna have a faith that amazes God. I'm gonna have a faith that believes God. I'm gonna have a faith that declares to the world that Jesus Christ is our King, is our Lord, and he's our Savior. I'm gonna have an amazing faith with an amazing God, in Jesus' name. In Jesus' name. Amen, amen, amen.
Hey everybody. I am so fired up. Thanks so much for joining us today. I know that you have tuned in at just the right time and God's got a word for you. I am so enjoying our series on having amazing faith. I've got myself fired up so you know that that's a good sign when I'm fired up about a faith that amazes God. You know, the Bible tells us in the Book of Proverbs 3:5-6, that we oughta "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all of your ways and he will direct your path".
And that used to be a nice Sunday school scripture that you thought, we're gonna sing our little song, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart". But I have learned to rely on that scripture like nothing else, because the truth is to have an amazing faith, faith is actually predicated on trust, not understanding. And so a lot of us we think, "If I just understood more, then I would have more faith". And I'm saying no, if you just trusted more, then you would have more faith. But the problem is most of us are control freaks.
Now, you're not, but people like me, we are control freaks, and we want everything to fit into a really nice formula and we want it all to fit in a really nice time slot. And if God would just do things the way we suggest to him that he would do it, everything would be a whole lot better. And if God would just show up on my time-frame, it would be awesome. I know none of you try to control God but I'm just saying. A lot of us, the reason we haven't exhibited amazing faith is because we're trying to understand where we should be trusting. Now, you will not obey a God that you don't trust. You will not follow a God that you don't trust.
I think a lot of people, and maybe you've just tuned in right now, we struggle so much because we think, "If only I could just believe God more, if I could just obey God more". But the issue isn't even an obedience issue as much as it's a trust issue. You know, with my background, I come from a background of sexual abuse when I was a young girl for many, many years. Well, that messes with your trust, Jane, let me just say. When people that should have been protecting you are abusing you, you end up just not trusting anybody.
And so for me, it's been a big journey in my life, and it's an ongoing journey, to really, really trust people. And what I did find in one season of my life was that I realized that in many ways I didn't trust God 'cause I had felt, I think, if I was to put language around it, I felt like God, if I could've trusted you, why didn't you protect me when you could've protected me? And I think for anyone that, maybe you're watching this and you've been abused, that so many of us have been through that kind of journey where you just go, "God, where were you? You could've stopped that. I was a little kid, I couldn't have stopped that". And sometimes the way that we look at God is through the lens of the people that abused us rather than understanding that scripture says in 1 John 1:5 that "God is light, and in him there is no darkness".
Can I tell you, it took me a lot of years and some help from some Christian counselors to get to a place where I could really believe that, and really I think that's become one of the strengths of my ministry, is that I truly believe that God has no dark side. People have hurt me, people have betrayed me, people have violated me, and there've been times where in different ways through friendships, unintentionally, I've obviously hurt people, I've said things that have hurt people. And so the fact is that we all do that, but I want you to know that Jesus has no dark side, that it is impossible for God to hurt you or to betray you. It's not in his nature, it's not in his character.
And sometimes, if we've been hurt by people or betrayed by people, we can think that God is like people are, and so then we end up not really trusting him. We think, "I wanna believe you, God, but"... We've got something that triggers some doubt from something in our past and so then we don't end up trusting God. And so I'm here to say to you, I get what that's like. I've walked that journey. But I've come through the other side and I'm here to say there's an amazing faith on the other side of that. So you're gonna have to take a risk somewhere along the line, and that risk is trusting God.
And sometimes things don't go the way we thought that they would go. I'm not saying that a faith-filled life is a pain-free life, because it's not. I've had great pain in my life, in my 30 years of walking with Jesus, but I will tell you this. That I've always grown. Sometimes you grow more through pain than you do through anything else in your life.
I remember once I went on a ski trip with my husband to Colorado and we were with five families, and it was kind of during the Vancouver Olympics. I had never skied. I was really into surfing in Australia, I thought skiing and surfing were the same, but obviously no, I've learned that they're not. And I would watch the Olympics at night and then I would get up in the morning and go, "I am representing Australia! I am representing Australia"! I couldn't even get on the chairlift without falling off, but I went on this ski ride on a very flat green slope.
You know there's all the different levels, there's green, there's blue, there's black for the most advanced. Well, I was on the one that all the little two-year-old children go on, you know, just the flat one. And I made my husband come with me. And all the boys were going on the black diamond runs and Nick sort of, under much duress, goes, "Okay, I'll go with my wife". And so he came with me. And at one point during the afternoon I went, "Babe! Come on, this is so much fun. If you were with the guys now, you wouldn't be having any more fun, would you"?
Now, anybody that's married and wants to remain married knows that if your spouse asks you if you wanna be anywhere but with them in that moment, the correct answer is always to go, "No, honey, I don't wanna be with anybody else. I wanna be here on this flat green slope with you". But my husband, being a man of integrity, not Nick. Nick goes, "You know what, babe? If I was with the guys right now, I'd be having more fun". I couldn't even believe what my ears were hearing. And then you wonder how we've stayed married for 23 years. So famous last words, I looked over my shoulder, and I said to my husband, "Well, baby, eat my snow". And I put skis down, I start going downhill.
I knew that I was in trouble about 20 seconds later on my second somersault that was not intended in the sky when I heard the loudest pop, pop, pop, that you've ever heard. And I snapped my ACL, tore my MCL, tore my meniscus, and fractured my knee, so I did everything. I was lying there, I couldn't move. Nick had to call the ski patrol. They put you in that little coffin and you go down the ski in death posture down to the bottom.
Well, you know, I took a risk that day because I'd grown up in a household with a Greek mother, and Greeks are fatalists. It doesn't matter how bad anything is, it can always be worse. And so I grew up in a place where my mom was very risk-averse and so she never let me go skiing 'cause she would always say, "Christina, if you go skiing, you're gonna fall and die and have an accident". And I'm like, "Okay, mom, that's awesome, thank you, that we went from skiing to death". In fact, when I fell, she called me afterwards, and this is it, I mean, I love my mom, she's so awesome, but this is what my mom said. "Christina, I'm so glad that you fell, because I told you, if you go skiing, you will fall". That is my mother's logic, okay?
So go figure, all right. And so I grew up in that kind of risk, a lot of us do, in risk-averse environments. We don't even realize it that how many times like, don't do that, you might have an accident. Don't do that, because this. And you just suddenly accept this. You're looking for safety, you're looking for complacency. And for a lot of us Christians, it's almost like the goal of the Christian life has become safety, and it's become comfort and it's become ease, and it's like, "Oh, I know that God's blessed me when everything's nice and safe". And I'm like, "Do you think Jesus came from heaven to earth, died on the cross, rose again from the dead, just to make us safe here on earth"? I mean, "No, he came to make us dangerous to the kingdom of darkness, he came to make us effective in his kingdom so that we could do something that would require faith".
Some of us, we haven't had amazing faith because we haven't even needed to have it for anything. Our life is boring, it's predictable, it's safe, and it's comfortable. And then we're gonna die. I know, believe it or not, it's gonna happen to everyone. Honestly, just live long enough. There's nobody that I know that's got out of life alive. And so there is no wonder that George Bernard Shaw said, "Death is the ultimate statistic". One out of one will die. I bet you're glad you tuned in today.
And so the fact is a lot of Christians are freaking out, going, "What if I die one day"? I'm like, you will, just live long enough, it happens to everyone, it really does. That's the thing that is inevitable. Dying is inevitable for all of us. The issue isn't if we're gonna die, that's a given. The issue is, are you living the life that God's called you to live? The book of James says that life is but a vapor. We are here today and we are gone tomorrow. I mean, all that stuff that you're stressing out about, vapor. Am I gonna get a 4.0? Vapor.
Some young person's like, "Awesome. See, mom, I told you, I told you". But a whole lot of the things that we worry about, the extra square footage, is my Instagram profile perfectly curated? Does my brand look awesome? I'm like, wow, that's really gonna matter. Vapor. Vapor. And then the very thing that we've been put on the earth to do, we don't end up doing. And then we've never had to lean into our faith for anything 'cause we're living like we have a temporal life and like, you know what, that the only thing that's important is what's here. And God's saying, "No no no, you're my workmanship". Ephesians 2:10. "I created you for good works that I prepared for you before you ever got to earth, that you should walk in it here on earth".
I wonder if we're doing the good works that God has called us to do. Our world is in such a mess because so many Christians are off mission. Jesus said, "I must be about the father's business, that my food is to do the will of him who sent me". And the fact is I wonder if we're about the Father's business. Now, I know we're really nosy and we're in everybody else's business, but I wonder whether we are about the father's business. Some of us have wondered, do I even need faith? Because I'm living such a faithless life. I'm living a life that's focused on the temporal, that's focused on what's ahead of me. And we need to change that. We don't have a faith that amazes Jesus 'cause we're not believing for anything. And I'm not talking about stuff. I'm talking about purpose.
All of us have to come to that point in our life where we say, you know what? Am I willing, basically, to look foolish for the glory of God? To have an amazing faith, this is what it all comes down to. You've gotta be willing to look foolish, 'cause we're going to look a little bit cray-cray to the world around us. I'm not like all the other 52-year-old mothers. People are like, "Whoa, you're not normal". I'm like, "I know". I know. But I think some of us, when we care more about our reputation, and especially the way we curate these public profiles and try to build these brands, we think we just have to stick in this little box and we just have to look really good out there, and we're so worried about protecting some kind of image, we don't want anyone to really know that we haven't got a clue what we're doing.
But I don't care if people know that. I'm on international television telling everyone, I don't know, I don't know. But I know the one who does. I'm not able but I know the one that's able. I'm not necessarily faithful, but I know the one that's faithful. I'm not amazing, but I know the one that's amazing. You don't have to, you just have to know the one that is awesome. You don't have to be amazing, but he is. And so, are you willing to look foolish? And as we wrap up this series, I'm wondering, on the other side of the screen, are you willing to look like a fool for the cause of Christ?
If we're gonna do what God has called us to do in our generation, if we're gonna take this glorious good news to a lost and a broken world, if we're gonna declare and decree the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, a Gospel full of hope, a Gospel full of life, a Gospel full of promise, if we're gonna see God do amazing things on our earth in and through our lives, then we have to be willing to look countercultural and foolish. But I just wanna tell you that we're in really good company. Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, is full of amazing people that had amazing faith because they were willing to look foolish for the glory of God.
And so I'm believing God that as a result of this series we're gonna activate multitudes around the earth that are watching this program right now that go, "You know what? Let's look foolish for the sake of Jesus". I'm not saying say foolish things. Don't give God a bad name. I'm just saying be willing to go, "I'm not gonna be sleek and cool because a lot of what I'm gonna believe God for, it's not gonna make sense. I'm gonna trust in the Lord with all my heart and I'm gonna lean not on my own understanding. I'm going to acknowledge him in all of my ways and I believe he's going to direct my path".
But let me tell you from scripture how many people looked foolish. You know, Noah would've looked so foolish building an ark in the desert. Can you imagine when everyone would say, "Noah, what are you building"? "An ark"! What's an ark? "I don't know". And why are you building it, Noah? "Because rain's coming"? What's rain? "Haven't got a clue". So Noah, you're trying to tell me you're building I don't know for I haven't got a clue? "Yeah". That's how I feel most of life. I feel like that with all of my team. "What are you doing"? I don't know. "What for", haven't got a clue. And I feel that, but somewhere, somewhere I know God is asking this. So you're gonna have to look like that.
Can you imagine how foolish Moses looked as he's there and God said, "I'm gonna deliver all the Israelite slaves at your hand", and in front of him is the Red Sea and behind him is the Egyptian army? And he's looking at the Red Sea and everyone, all those million slaves, are like, "What are we gonna do, Moses"? "I don't know. I've got a stick". And sometimes we have this dream and this purpose in this planet, we're like, I've got a rod. It's not much, I don't know. I remember when I started A21, that's how I felt. I don't know, I've got a stick. I don't know, there's a Red Sea. I don't know how it's gonna part.
Some of you are confronting things right now, you're like, "How is this Red Sea gonna part? I've got a stick". It's faith that moves God. And can you imagine Sarah? She would have been in the maternity section at target. And so all her friends are like, "Sarah, babe. What are you doing"? "Well, you know, I'm pregnant. I know I'm 90-plus, but I'm pregnant". "Okay, Sarah, your eggs have dried up". "I know"! "Sarah, Viagra hasn't been invented for Abraham yet". "I know"! So sometimes we're going to be pregnant with something and it's gonna make no sense, 'cause you're like, I'm so much older. This shouldn't be the case. I know that it shouldn't happen.
How foolish did the Israelites looked marching around those walls of Jericho? The thickest, most impenetrable walls, the most fortified walls of ancient history. And the children of Israel are marching around. No guns, no missiles. A toga and sandals. What are you doing? "Taking another lap. We're just doing a prayer walk. I don't know how it's gonna happen. But these impenetrable walls, yep, they're gonna come down", how? "Prayer". You look foolish. "I know, I know".
Can you imagine how foolish David looked? A little slingshot, five little rocks, nine-foot giant. Some of you have got some giants in front of you. You've got the giant of disease. The giant of family breakdown, divorce, pain, suffering. The giant of one of your children addicted to some substance. And you're like, I don't know how this giant's gonna come down. I'm trying to stir your faith up because you might not know how but you've got a slingshot and you've got five stones and you know that that same God that killed that lion and killed that bear, I don't know, but he's gotta take care of this giant. If he did it before, he might be, but you've only got five stones and a slingshot, I know, I know. I know it looks foolish.
Can you imagine how foolish Esther looked going into the court of the king when she wasn't summoned? Now you could have been executed at those times if you went into the king when you weren't summoned. Can you imagine how foolish Caleb looked? At 85, Caleb turns around and he says to Joshua, "No no no, I'm not cashing in my 401k, no. I am not going to golf my way into heaven. No no, you see, Joshua, Moses promised me Hebron. I know I've done a lot of things and I know I've stayed faithful and I know that I've taken a lot of the land, but God promised me Hebron, and I'm as young now as I was then. I'm not giving up, I'm not slowing down".
How foolish did Mary look, a pregnant teenager? A pregnant virgin. She would've looked fool, "Hey Joe! An angel visited me this morning, and guess what". Could you imagine how foolish that would've looked? I told my 17-year-old daughter, this will never happen again. Don't try this at home, it was only ever, I believe it but only this once, that's the deal. How foolish did Peter look stepping out of a boat to walk on water? How foolish did the centurion look as he said, "Just say the word and my servant will be here". That sort of faith looks foolish.
How foolish did the woman with the issue of blood look as she touched the hem of his garment in a crowd? How foolish did the little boy look with his five loaves and two fish and 20.000 people on a mountain? And let me just say, Jesus Christ, to many, certainly looked foolish, hanging half-naked on a tree, as people said, "That's him? That's your Messiah? That's the king of the Jews? That man? He is the Savior of the world"?
Well, let me just say, no one, no one is exempt from looking foolish. But just because these people were willing to look foolish for the cause of the king and his kingdom, because this generation of faithful servants was willing to risk it all, to take a step of faith, to have a faith that amazed God so that God would do amazing things through them, because they dared to look foolish, well, Noah and his family, they were saved from the flood. And Moses, he did see the Red Sea part. And Sarah, by the way, she did give birth to Isaac. The Israelites, remember, they saw the walls of Jericho fall.
David, in case you didn't know this, he did defeat Goliath. Esther, she stopped a Jewish genocide. Caleb, he did get Hebron. And Mary, she did give birth to Jesus. Peter did walk on water. The woman with the issue of blood, well, she was healed. And the little boy's lunch, it fed 5.000. And Jesus Christ, he got off that cross, he defeated hell, he defeated death, he holds the keys to hell and death. And my Bible says that the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives on the inside of you and lives on the inside of me. Therefore I wanna remind you today we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us. In Jesus' name. In Jesus' name. Amen, amen, amen.