God Almighty Sermon – Names of God – Part 2
Moses: Parting the Sea
Suppose Moses didn’t exercise faith… Sorry folks, I thought we had a good chance to be free, but it looks like we’ve hit a “dead end” here and we’re obviously no match for Pharaoh’s army. We just need to surrender to them and return to Egypt.
But Moses exercised faith… “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. Exodus 14:13
Noah: Surviving the flood
Suppose Noah didn’t exercise faith… Instead of acting on the knowledge of the coming flood, he might have reasoned to himself, it has never yet rained on the earth and it just doesn’t look to me like it’s going to. Besides, I like to play mahjong withmy buddies. I think I’ll just wait and see what happens.
But Noah exercised faith… He spent approximately the next hundred years constructing the ark so that mankind as well as the animals would survive.
Joshua: Walls of Jericho
Suppose Joshua didn’t exercise faith… He would look at Jericho’s massive walls and say, we can never breach those walls and I‘m not so sure of this plan to march around the city many times and then shout. What can that possibly accomplish except to make us look silly! We need to move on and find a city that’s easier to take.
But Joshua exercised faith… “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” Then he said to the people, “Go forward, and march around the city, … Joshua 6:6b-7a
Elijah: Slaying 400 prophets of Baal
Suppose Elijah didn’t exercise faith… I’m hopelessly outnumbered. All the rest of God’s prophets have been eliminated and things don’t look too good for me either. I hope I can just safely slip away from here and hideout where I won’t be found.
But Elijah exercised faith… “ O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.”
(God answered by consuming Elijah’s sacrifice with fire from heaven.)
“Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape.” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. 1 Kings 18:36b-37, 40b
Peter: ~3000 Souls Saved at Pentecost
Suppose Peter didn’t exercise faith… If these people even turned on Jesus and crucified Him, what hope do I have of reaching them? I should just go back to fishing, but it doesn’t seem like I can even do that very well anymore.
But Peter exercised faith… 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “ Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We appropriate God’s omnipotence through faith. Apart from faith, His almighty power is inaccessible and irrelevant to our daily living!
Even though God required the children of Israel to have faith, in one very real sense, they could walk by sight. They had walked through the sea when it parted. When they were thirsty, God supplied them water from the rock. Daily, God provided manna that sustained them in the wilderness. In many ways, they were firsthand witnesses of God’s mighty hand working on their behalf.
Though God Almighty is still in the miracle business today, His deeds are often in the spiritual realm, not so easily seen with our physical eyes.
For instance, in one conversation with the disciples, Jesus refers to the “impossibility” of salvation for the rich.
23 And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heardthis, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, “ With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:23-26
God is miraculously working in people’s hearts opening their eyes to the truth, convicting of sin, and granting repentance. His miracles are evidenced in changed lives.
Though He still miraculously heals people today, it is not in the spectacular public ways that He did in Jesus’ day.
Some people, today, long to see God use His infinite power in similar physically spectacular ways that He did in Moses’ day and in Jesus’ day. They might think, or even say, that if they could just witness firsthand God sending fire down from heaven or raising the dead, then they would put their faith in Him. They wouldn’t! Jesus clearly teaches this fact.
But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:31
Think about it. An entire generation of Israelites (except Joshua and Caleb) died in the wilderness for their unbelief in spite of the fact that they all witnessed God’s many miracles in Egypt and in the desert! Similarly, many of the people in Jesus’ day who witnessed His miracles and even wanted to make Him King quickly showed their unbelieving hearts by shouting for His crucifixion just a few days later!
No, mere miracles didn’t produce faith then nor could they produce faith now. The truth is, we have two things today that are far superior to the signs and wonders that they had then.
1. We have the completed Scriptures.
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
God didn’t leave us lacking. He has already equipped us with His Word to do His work!
As we all know, we are to walk by faith, not by sight and it’s by the Scriptures that our faith is increased.
2 Corinthians 5:7?for we walk by faith, not by sight—
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
2. The second advantage that we have over them is that the Holy Spirit resides in every believer. He is our constant companion guiding us, reminding us of truths, convicting us of sin, emboldening us, motivating us, and empowering us. We don’t have to see God’s mighty power in miracles, we have that very power and more in our lives since the Holy Spirit lives within us!
Can we get real practical for a minute and look at what difference El Shaddai makes in your life? We all experience trials and encounter serious obstaclesin life. What is your response in these life situations when the sea is in front of you and Pharaoh’s army is behind you? How powerful is your God? Is He a puny little God who can accomplish little against the overwhelming circumstances of life or is He God Almighty who parts seas, collapses walls, sends fire from heaven, saves souls and raises the dead?
Brothers and Sisters, God is the same God now as He was then! He declares emphatically in Malachi 3:6 “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
God has the same infinite power today that He had when He sent down fire from heaven to consume Elijah’s sacrifice. As His child, you already have that power in your life through His indwelling Spirit, but maybe you’re not experiencing it in your daily living.
Paul reveals in his own life the secret to experiencing God’s power!
2 Corinthians 12:7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Did you catch that? It was when He was weak that Paul experienced the power of God. Christian, when we are strong (at least we think we are), we don’t think we need Christ. Maybe we might think, “I struggle in a lot of areas, but I’ve got this one scoped out.” Too often, we depend on our training, our abilities, our resources, our contacts, etc. when we are confronted with life’s struggles and opportunities. When we have that attitude, pride goes before the fall and we fail again.
We must be like Paul and recognize our weakness and insufficiency. Though we can do all things through Christ, apart from Him we can do nothing. The key to this is prayer. Prayerlessness says, “I don’t need you. I can do this on my own.” By depending on Him in prayer, we are acknowledging our weakness and our need for Him.
El Shaddai has all power. If you are a true believer in Jesus Christ, then you have that power within you. How foolish we are, when we deny that power and rely on our own feeble efforts through prayerlessness. Like Paul, it is through our own weakness that we can experience the power of God!