John Gray - Finishing Faith
Hey family, I got the joy of the Lord already. Welcome to today's broadcast. I'm John Gray. You know, I think it's really cool to be coming to you on TBN to send you uplifting content to bless your life while simultaneously reaching the unsaved around the world. Today we're going to be talking about one of the most important topics in scripture, faith. Now hearing about faith isn't something we should grow numb to. The Bible says the just, those born again in Christ, live by faith. In other words, faith is how we make our living.
That's why God wants to equip you to operate in faith proficiently, most expeditiously. Listen carefully because today we're going to talk about an aspect of faith called Finishing Faith. That's right, we're going to emphasize faith that goes the distance. I want to show you that getting from where you are right now to where you want to be is found in understanding this critical aspect of the faith life. So watch this message, tell everybody you know. Call, text, press the red DVR button and I'll see you right after the message is over. Don't go anywhere. This one, this one's going to change you life.
John 19:30, I'm reading from the new King James version. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "I'm almost done". He said, "I'm about 70% complete". What did he say? Boy, you guys sound really excited about that. The Savior of the world who lived 33 sinless years, he's at the end of his life, he's on the cross about to give up his spirit to pay for your sins and mine and you all said, "It is finished". Let me rewind 'cause I'm going to need you to step your faith game up, "And when Jesus had received the sour wine, he said"... That's what I'm taking about. And bowing his head, he gave up his spirit. It is finished.
Now I want you to go to 2 Timothy 4, 2 Timothy 4 starting at the seventh verse, 2 Timothy 4. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Finally, finally, uh, finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved his appearing. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.
Now this is Paul taking to his protege, son in the ministry, Timothy. This is at the end of the apostle Paul's life. He's getting ready to die a most unpleasant death for the glory of God. He is writing this letter. He's been imprisoned. He's about to give his life for the cause of Jesus Christ. I understand the context of the verse. I want to grab a principle from the context of the verse because I believe there's some universal principles here that can help us. I am not talking about the end of your life in what I'm about to speak about but I am talking about the end of the things that have been stopping you from living your life.
And so, you know, the whole idea of us coming together is rooted in a belief in a God that we have not seen with our physical eyes. A God that we have not touched with our natural hands. The concept of an eternal, ethereal being who is somewhere, malevolent, off-in-the-distance is a very non-biblical picture of who God is because the Bible makes it clear that God is very personal. He is intimately aware of the most minute details of our lives. Not only is he aware but he is interested and truly loves us and wants to see us have the very best of everything in this life. And I'm not just talking financial things. I'm talking about emotional and spiritual and peace and joy and rest and he wants you to have a fulfilled life. But it requires faith to be able to access the promises that God has declared over us.
I want to talk today from the subject heading Finishing Faith. Finishing Faith. Just say that real quick, Finishing Faith. It's one thing to come to church. It's one thing to lift your hands in worship. It's another to access the promises of God and walk this thing out when you leave this place. For those who have logged in online or who are listening somewhere else, I need you to understand that it's not enough for us to just engage for an hour and a half and then assume that they enemy's like, "Oh, man. I can't mess with them. They went to church. Come on, demons, let's go". That's not how spiritual forces of wickedness work. They're like, "Oh, for real. Oh, they went to church? Okay, let's go ahead and ramp up the attack on their marriage. Oh, they went to church? Let's mess with them kids. They went to church? Let's go ahead and throw a monkey wrench in those finances".
And what we need to do is stop starting and stopping, starting and stopping and our faith kind of depending on circumstances, our faith is either up or down. And it's time for us to have a foundation and a finished faith that says no matter what comes, I'm going to be right here, in this position, worshiping God, blessing his name and I'm not moving from what I know about God. The enemy's trying to get you to forget who God is. And he is a liar. Somebody say, finishing faith. See we are called to walk by faith and not by sight. And so the currency of faith is the confession of your mouth. The currency of faith is the confession of your mouth.
Let me help you to understand what I mean. A lot of us believe for certain things. Maybe you're believing for a particular goal or a dream. Let's say your dream is here. Your dream, your goal, the thing you're believing for is here. Everybody say here. All right, so this is your situation. This is what you been praying for. It's on your prayer wall. It's in your war room. It's in a post-it note on the refrigerator. It's right there. You got it. It's in your book that you have on your counter and this is your prayer. This is what you're believing for.
Now this is where you actually are. Your situation is way over there. Hello, hello, hello, the distance between where you are and the thing you're believing for is called your faith walk. I'm getting ready to go somewhere tonight. Somebody say, walk it out. "Now south side walk it out". I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm back, I'm back. How many people are believing God for something specific? Let me see your hands. Keep your hands up, keep 'em up.
Stop putting your hands down so fast. I'm just checking 'cause if, I'm looking for people who don't have their hands up 'cause I want them to have their hands up because that's the people who may have lost hope and I don't want you to be in a faith atmosphere and not get yours. That's why keep your hands up. Maybe you don't have your hand up yet but somebody next to you has their hand up and I need you to know, they don't have their hand up because they have it all together. They have their hand up because they know the God who does have it all and whatever's not together, he can get it together.
Am I talking to anybody in here? I need somebody to step your passion up a little bit. Keep your hands up. I know you're like, "My arm is sore. I didn't come here for exercise, Jesus". What if I told you tonight, there are a couple steps that the Lord is going to have you take that are going to literally leap you from where you were to where you want to be? How would you praise if you were a couple of steps away? Please watch your step. How would you praise if the distance between where you are and where you want to be is a couple of hallelujahs? Thank you, Jesus.
Sit down. You're scaring our visitors. Jay, I need people to keep they faith up, bro. I didn't come here to live an average life. I didn't wake up this morning like, "Lord, I'm so excited to be mediocre. Come on, Lord, gimme a quarter tank of gas. Can I borrow $5, Jesus". I'm so tired of that, "Whoa is me. If you want to bless me, you can, Lord. I's don't mind. If you don't want to, that's fine, too. I's going to go on back to my room. Thank you, I's so glad. Never mind".
Get that mindset out of your spirit and begin coming boldly. "Hey, dad. It's me. You know me, I'm a mess but I'm your mess. You love me. You made me. You know exactly who I am, in and out. I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. I'm just going to repeat what you said about me and since you think I'm amazing, I'm going to go ahead and say, 'I'm amazing'. Ooh-wee, ain't never been a me in the history of the world so you know you did it when you made me. By the way, I need to come to you for some daily bread". I love this, my buddy, ken Jones, who lives in Atlanta. He's a pastor. He said something when my wife and I were at an event. He said something and I love it. He said, "Why didn't the Bible say weekly bread"? He said, "Because if we had weekly bread, we wouldn't talk to him the other six days".
Daily bread is designed to keep you in relationship with your Heavenly Father. Oh, I feel God. Does anybody else feel your faith rising? It's not like, you remember in class, they used to have them gerbils? They had gerbils in the thing, running on the wheel. Just in there, just, "This is crazy". I'm just trying to get to the little water thing. They play too much. God doesn't have you on the gerbil wheel. Just like, "You want a blessing or two? Uh-oh. Ah, there you go. You almost had it". Like he's just throwing blessings, "Ah, no you can't. Nope, ha, ha. Ah, nope don't give it to 'em, Holy Ghost". He doesn't give you everything you need. He gives you what you need for today, so that it can step you up, so it can encourage your faith to come back tomorrow and you start off with thank you for taking care of me yesterday.
I know you're going to take care of me today and I'm going to keep walking and then I'm going to trust you for tomorrow. Because he's the same yesterday, today. Somebody give him a four and a half second praise break. I think I'm in a wild crowd tonight. I'm in a crazy, sate still place tonight. Somebody say, walk it out. Here's what's important, every step you take on a faith walk is taking you somewhere. Finishing faith, I want you to leave in a few moments with a faith to finish. I don't know about you but my challenge is not starting a faith. My challenge is finishing.
There's a lot of people who have dreams, hopes, aspirations, we speak it, we declare it. Write that, "I'm going to write my business plan. That's what I'm going to do. I'm going to write my plan". "You got to go get a business license". "No. I'm just going to write the plan. I'm going to put it on the altar". "You going to go to the tax office and get that license"? "No, I don't need that. I just need Jesus". "He not going to go to the tax office for ya, you got to. You're going to get incorporated"? "I don't need incorporation papers. I've got the Jesus of Nazareth".
First principle you need to write down for the nine million of you all that are going to take these notes, I'm speaking it on faith. A faith walk should include a faith plan. Got quiet in this nice church. It's like, "Oh, Jesus ain't going to do everything"? Well I just need you to know John 19 was the first scripture I quoted. It is finished but what did he finish? He finished your salvation. He finished your healing and your deliverance. He also finished any obstacle that would try to finish you off. But you still have to walk that thing out. Help me, Jesus.
What is a faith plan? A faith plan is a measurable course of action that maximizes your contribution and quote unquote puts pressure on God. Let me say it again. A faith plan is a measurable course of action, that means you can see incremental steps taking you from where you are to where you're believing God is calling you to go, okay. Maximizing the skills, the gifts, your ability, you know what James said, "Faith without works is dead". Okay, so there is an element of faith. There's also an element of work. And a lot of times where the church gets stuck is on the work side. We don't mind faith. We'll shout for five hours and won't fill out an application. Woo, it got quiet. It's tight but it's right.
So a measurable course of action that puts pressure on God. What I mean by that is clearly you can't put pressure on God. The idea is that you're doing everything that you know to do. So now you're like, "Okay, it's on you, dad". I got one applause, one amen. Maybe I didn't, I'm not sure if I'm in the right place. No, it's too late. Don't give me the sympathy applause. My point is: stop making me laugh, too. I'm trying to focus. We need to do everything that we can do as believers. Stop this idea that God is going to do everything for us simply because we're his children. He has given the earth to us. We need to move. We need to act.
Let me give you a real-world example from my own life. It's been about eight weeks since I got a doctor's report that was very unsettling. Think I shared a little bit about it. Maybe I didn't. Probably didn't, 'cause it's not your business. But, five years ago, the doctors told me I was diabetic and I was like, "I bind diabetes in the name of Jesus. Diabetes, you are a liar. I bind you. Me and my wife, we touch and agree. Any two touching and agreeing on anything and it is done for us in the earth". The doctor was like, "You still got it".
And if you ever grew up in church, you know, "I don't receive that. I don't receive that. I don't receive that report because pastor Lisa told me I don't have to receive that. Mama Dodie, see". And you start throwing out things that don't correlate to your situation. Cause here's what happened. I'm binding diabetes but I'm still eating pork chops. I'm binding diabetes but I'm trying to find ice cream. And if I can find a frosty I'm getting French fries too because when you dip the fries in, oh. Yo, Giles, am I lying? It's so... This has to be Jesus. This has to be Jesus. Wendy's got that frozen lemonade. I ain't fooling with lemonade, right now. Beyonce done messed lemonade up. I ain't fooling.
I don't want lemonade. I don't want lemon heads. I don't want lemon-lime. I'm binding diabetes with my mouth but my actions say, "Stay here". Faith without works is dead. Watch this, so five years later, I get a report. Five. What's five the number of? Grace, my grace period had run out. The doctor said, "Mr. Gray, there are a number of things happening in your body right now that if you do not change, your life is in danger". Amen? Thanks. Good night, just never mind, man. I'm leaving. I don't have to stay here. Yes, kill him, Jesus. Thank you. I'm playing.
So, I went to the doctor, left the doctor I was discouraged. I didn't get mad at God, you know, the first thing I did. I said Lord, I'm sorry, that I didn't move when you first gave me an opportunity. Some of us are one act of repentance away from a new beginning. Pride will keep you stuck. Do you understand what I'm saying? Said Lord I'm sorry, gathered, some of my closest friends and family, told them what was going on, said it's time for you all to start keeping me accountable.
I changed everything. I stopped eating all that stuff. All of that craziness. I stopped drinking all of the sweet teas and the sodas and all the things that I was drinking, literally by the half gallon per day. The first day that I had to try it to start taking my own blood sugar. The first day, my wife is my witness, this is after they brought it down. But the first day it was 479. What I was supposed to be was between 100 and 120. I started at 479.
Now I started with a blood test, knowing that my blood was now going to have to be fixed. That's why I'm glad John 19 and 30 has applied to me, because there's another blood. Oh, I wish I had some worshipers. So instead of binding diabetes, I started binding my mouth. What God told me was diabetes, was an invitation to discipline. Sometimes God will send you the thing you can't stand to make you the person you always wanted to be. I need somebody to give God a praise, I need somebody to give God a praise. I need to get to 120, I'm at 479. I drank water all day. Put some vinegar in there, 'cause my mama said put some vinegar with mother in there, I didn't, I was like mother? Whose mother? I don't what is... Put some vinegar in there, apple cider vinegar drink that. Eat you some kale.
I was like can I put some fat back in there, never mind. Still up in the 400's. A week later, I got about 390, I was so excited, I thought I was doing something, I'm at 390. I was in the 300's for a while. My wife's encouraging me every day, baby you got to live. You got to live 'cause, you got me and you got these kids. We need you, we need, we need daddy, we need husband.
By the way, when you on a faith walk, make sure you got the right crew. Make sure you got somebody speaking in your ear. Not talking about what you, you see if you had listened to me, you would have never been in this situation, if you had just listened to me. No, no I didn't need that, what I needed is babe, I'm proud of you. It was 479 last week now it's 389 this week, let's keep going drink some more water. No, you can't go to McDonald's. No, you can't go to your favorite restaurant. Got to eat this right here.
A few weeks later it got down about 320, I thought I was moving. Was feeling good. But then of course you need to understand, if on any walk you're going to catch a pothole. You're going to catch a roadblock, a stop sign, because that's what the enemy does. He tries to steal, kill and that's his job. So how do you handle the pit stops that come? What do you do when your life is interrupted? The thing that you know God is calling you to and the place where you are and the enemy comes in the middle, he messes up your plan, your relationship was great all of a sudden, boom, you end up now you're in a situation, you didn't know what's happening. You had a financial plan, you were saving all of a sudden something happened, now your savings and resources are gone. What do you do?
This is the part where you understand the scripture, in Isaiah and what does it say, they that wait upon the Lord shall... Freeze right there. Because a lot of people don't work, and then wait, most people just wait. If the Bible says he's going to renew your strength, that means you exerted strength. I'm tryna help you. It's okay to wait on God. But you need to be waiting on him after you worked. Work, and when you can't do it anymore, when you don't have anything else, then you wait. And then he comes, and he makes up the difference between, your natural ability and his super ability. And now the natural and the super make supernatural. I dare you to give him a praise right there. When you get stuck in your faith walk, ask yourself this question, have I done everything I know to do?
Somebody say finishing faith. This walk for me was the hardest in my life because, this area of discipline was an area where I'd never gotten victory. So I continued that walk. I didn't walk by myself, I had the right crew, I had the right people, speaking into my life. They overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony. I needed people around me to speak life to me and tell me that God could do it for them. He did it for me, he can do it for you. I needed to hear that, I need to get my faith up. But I also needed, my wife and my kids, celebrating me every time I'd be like, "Bae, I didn't eat no French fries today". Like to some people that's like, oh good, you know, but whatever. Don't judge me, you know.
See I see some of you all, coming here with your little gym clothes on 'cause you've been walking around in the gym and you got your look, you know, you look dang on. Whatever that's not my thing. I went to the gym I was in there, I was like, Lord I this is not for me, this I'm not called to the gym, Jesus. Can I just pray, can you pray the fat away? He was like, "No, get on that machine".
All of a sudden muscles that hadn't been firing, in years started firing. I was like, "Bae, my jacket, look". This jacket, used to not be able to button, now I need to get it tailored. See, 'cause of my situation, see, you understand what I'm saying, see. You like that don't you girl? You like daddy, don't you? Aah. Aaaahh. Let me help you to understand something, if you're going to have a faith walk, you're going to need to do three things. When you want to have a finishing faith, write this done, you ready? A finishing faith, number one it fights ferociously. A finishing faith fights ferociously.
I thank you that my family is covered. My children are covered. My finances are covered, my job is covered. My health is covered. I thank you for the blood and I bind that devil, he can't have my house. He can't have my marriage. He can't have my kids. He can't have my future. And Lord, even though I'm weak when I'm weak, then I am strong. Because my, your strength is made perfect in weakness. Anybody's willing to fight in the spirit. I need a couple of people to just stand up real quick. Just stand up real quick. Stand up real quick. And I need you to just start fighting in the spirit. Go ahead and just start clapping or shadowboxing, high five somebody near you.
What do you believe in God for? I dare you to start declaring it right here. Ferocious. You can't have my house. I will live and not die. My family's going to live. My cousin going to get delivered from drug addiction. Tonight, my mama going to call me and tell me that my auntie is healed. You don't hear what I'm saying? Every now and then you need a finishing faith. I'm not going to be stopped. High five somebody on the way to your seat. I got two more points, I'ma let you all go. You'll get home in time for the tip off, holla at you boy.
Finishing faith fights, ferociously. The second thing it does is it sees supernaturally. Oh, I said it sees supernaturally, 2 Kings 6:16-17, so he answered, "do not fear for those who are with us, are more than those who are with them". Elisha prayed and said, "Lord, I pray, would you open this boy's eyes, that he can see", the Lord open the eyes of the young man and he saw and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
I know you've heard it before, but it bears repeating. It was a war, people the guy was surrounded. He was like, man, we going to die, this is crazy. You got me out here, in the middle of the desert we going to die. It's not your version. That's the niv, negro international version. You can buy it in the bookstore. Man, they about to kill us. Your life is like yo, chill. Just relax. It's cool, it's cool, it's cool, it's cool. How are you so calm? Cause I see what you don't see. The enemy wants you to think you're surrounded. But you need to tell your enemy he's surrounded. Devil, you might have me surrounded but God's got you surrounded.
Finishing faith see supernaturally, finishing faith sees what other people can't see. That's why they think you crazy. Because when you get bad news, you be like, well praise God. What you mean, praise God, that's crazy. Why is you praising God for bad news? That means good news is 'cause he made me a promise. And I'm walking this thing out. And this doesn't look like what he told me. So I'ma going to keep walking, I'm going to keep trusting, and then you start worshiping. Let me give you that. Finishing faith fights ferociously, sees supernaturally and worships wildly. Do you understand what I'm trying to say to you?
2 Samuel chapter six, starting into 12 verse, grab this principle. Now it was told king David saying, the Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him because of the ark of God. The ark of God, was being brought back into the city of David. But because David tried to bring the ark of God into the city of God, improperly, somebody lost their life. So they put the ark in the house of a levy and the ark because the ark was there, the presence of God people started getting blessed. People that didn't even know God, just started getting blessed.
Okay, so David went and he was like, "Give me my ark"! No he didn't say that. He brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the city of David with gladness. And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the Lord had gone six paces that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. Then David danced before the Lord with all his might. Let me ask you something, I know you saved in here, I know you at home, you say you love Jesus. Have you ever danced with all your might?
Now I'm not talking about saying like yes for Jesus. No, I don't, you danced. Maybe it wasn't for Jesus, but you've been you... You've danced. You ever danced and you knew you got it in? David was like, the presence of the Lord is coming back to the city. He just started going crazy. He just start, I mean he was going bananas. He didn't just dance regular. He didn't just give tender dance. He didn't just hit you all with the ballet. He went crazy. He worshiped wildly.
Now I know he like please don't ask me to worship wildly, I have on a curdle. Please don't ask me to. I don't want to anything to snap. I'm not going to ask you to do that here. But I am going to encourage you, when you get to your house to act like you have lost all of your mind. Because finishing faith acts like the promise is arrived, while you're still walking towards it. The Bible says David, is going crazy. He went so bananas that he didn't care who was around because he had been fighting for this thing. And the thing that he was believing for was within sight. How close, do you have to be before you start worshiping wildly? I started at 479. Last week, I got to 104.
You don't have to shout for me. I'll shout for myself. I'll praise for myself. I'm giving glory myself, because I know what it took for God to get me here when I was dying. Finishing faith. I need somebody to give him a ten second praise. Let's go! Praise God! From whom all blessing flow. I feel God in here. I said, I feel God in here. Every now and then you need somebody got to walk with you. Somebody that will cover you. Just in case you can't worship for yourself. You need somebody that will worship with you. Just in case you can't see it. They say, "Come on, John, we got to keep going".
Grab somebody by the hand or by the shoulder. Tell them will you walk with me? Will you believe God for me? Will you stand with me? Will you fight for me? Will you see supernaturally? And if need be, will you worship wildly? Will you worship with me? The Bible says while David was dancing, he had a hater, just happened to be a hater in his house. That's a message for next week. Every now and then you'll have a hater in your house. But it ain't going to stop God from doing what he wants to do. On your journey to the destination, the enemy's going to whisper, he's going family history every time you fail, I need you to keep worshiping, like you didn't hear a thing he said.
Do you know this kind of worship confuses the enemy, when you can still praise and walk? Even though it doesn't make sense. John you know your sugar's never going to come down, your father died of diabetes complications, your uncle did too, yeah I'ma get you too. God I thank that I'ma going to live and not die. I'ma finish my race, and I'ma finish in style. I'm grateful, even though I don't know I'ma dance while you deliver me. I'ma praise and I'm going to do my part. I'ma work and then when I can't work no more I'ma just wait. 'cause they that wait on the Lord, shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings, as eagles. They show run and not get weary. They shall walk and not faint. Finishing faith, a faith that says I trust God, above my circumstance, finishing faith.