Matthew 17:10-23

Matthew 17:10-23

Are we fostering faith in our hearts so that when the challenge comes to us we can step into it and overcome it?And this is the problem with mountain-top experiences. You have this great time, but you still have to come down, and guess what? When you get to the bottom of the mountain, life is still there waiting and generally, is just as hard as when you went up. You know, we go to the top of the mountain to get away from that life. We want to get away from the pressure, we want to get away from the hard times, and we think, by going up to the top of the mountain, somehow this is going to change. But guess what? It doesn’t change. It continues on. Like a river, it just keeps flowing. We just happen to be walking across the damn at the top of the mountain to get out of the flow of the river for a while, and we get the rest, and we get the refreshment. But then you come back down to…a need.

One of the things I find at the bottom of the mountain, the few times I’ve actually had the great time with the mountain top experience is, when you get back, there’s always need waiting. Someone has need in their life. Someone expects something of you. Someone wants something…

I find myself forgetting often, after God does amazing things in my life, I get to the next hard situation and I forget that God took care of that last one, so why am I burning holes in my stomach worrying about this one? Why am I screaming and yelling at my friends because I’m uptight over a decision that needs to be made or a circumstance I find myself in when Jesus took care of the last one? He gave me the power to stand through it. He brought me through it the last time. Isn’t He going to bring me through it this time?…

God has given us His Spirit. God has given us authority. God has given us power. And the other amazing thing is, God has given us faith, but it takes knowing His Word. It takes knowing the direction He would have us to go through His Word because “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Your faith is never going to grow, you’re never going to be strong in that faith, unless you understand God’s Word and the direction that Word would take you in ministry… And you know that by going through His Word, by having your relationship right through His Word, by learning to hear Him, by being right with Him and studying and preparing your heart on a daily basis…

How many of us believe that tomorrow we’re going to be alive again? You know, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to make it through today. There’s no guarantee that you know what’s going to happen as soon as you leave this building. Does God have a call on your life? Does God have a direction for your life? We come back to that question: what plans do you have for your life? What’s on that list of things that you would like to accomplish in life? Now I have to ask, has God approved that list? Are you sure that the things that you want to accomplish are the things that God wants you to accomplish? And when you’ve accomplished everything on your list, is there life at the end of it? Real life? True life? Life that comes by the will and desire and command of God Himself? I know a lot of people, I’ve seen their list, and God rarely makes it on the list. “I’m going to accomplish all these things for my life, and oh yeah, I’ve got this other list here, by the way, once I’ve accomplished all these things, then I’ll give God some attention.” You know what? You’re heading into dangerous waters when you leave God off the list, and you better know the direction that God wants you to go…

Sometimes you’ve got to go through death to find life. You’ve got to go through the hard times to find the victory. You’ve got to go through the battle. We so often run from the battle. We run from death. We run from those things that are hard. We hide from them. But if you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can overcome! You can walk headlong into your future regardless of how bleak it may look. You may have a bright, shiny future waiting for you, but I can guarantee you, for every one of us, in our future death is waiting. In one form or another, death is waiting. We will face it, just as Jesus faced it. Are we preparing our hearts now? Are we getting our lives right now? Are we fostering faith in our hearts so that when the challenge comes to us we can step into it and overcome it? The greatest mountain I can see for any of us to move is that mountain called death. It’s a big mountain. There’s uncertainty on the other side. Well, of course, unless you have faith of what life is going to be once you get there…

We can know God’s will. God’s will is that we love Him and that we love one another. First and foremost, if we are fulfilling those two great commands, it doesn’t matter what happens outside that front door. If we’ve loved Him and we’ve loved one another, then we will have obeyed His command, we will have received Jesus, and once we step out that door, no matter what we meet, we step into life. But the real life, the life we truly desire, the life that we’re told about in God’s Word, stands on the other side of the door. You’ve always got to step through that door of death to see the life that you want to have…

We need to know the truth about the future. The future, even though it has hardship in it, if you receive Jesus into your life, also has life in it, no matter what is in that future. If Jesus is in you, there is life in your future.

Pastor Dave Elkins