Stories of a God Who Responds

—God’s character revealed through stories

  • Andrew Fountain – July 8, 2018

 
 
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Why does God sometimes seem to respond to us, and sometimes not?

Recent book

“God doesn’t respond to need, he responds to faith”

  • Things are bad and I demand that you help me!
  • as opposed to: Things are bad and I trust that you love me, and trust my problems to you.

Why does God sometimes seem to respond to us, and sometimes not?

  1. God does not respond according to our rules

What God responds to:

  1. God does not respond according to our rules
  2. God loves faith

Abraham: Genesis 15

  1. And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
  2. And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
  • God said
  • Abraham believed

Hebrews 11 —Abraham

  1. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
  1. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
  2. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.
  3. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

Hebrews 11 —Moses

  1. By faith, when he grew up, Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
  2. choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy sin’s fleeting pleasure.
  3. He regarded abuse suffered for Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for his eyes were fixed on the reward.
  4. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he persevered as though he could see the one who is invisible.

What God responds to:

  1. God does not respond according to our rules
  2. God loves faith
  3. God wants us to understand his heart

1 Samuel 17

  1. But David replied to the Philistine, “You are coming against me with sword and spear and javelin. But I am coming against you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel’s armies, whom you have defied!
  2. This very day the LORD will deliver you into my hand! …Then all the land will realize that Israel has a God
  3. and all this assembly will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves! For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will deliver you into our hand.”

What God responds to

  1. God does not respond according to our rules
  2. God loves his words to be trusted (faith)
  3. God wants us to understand his heart
  4. God responds to a humble heart, willing to change (repentance)

Joel 2

  1. “Yet even now,” the LORD says,
    “return to me with all your heart—
    with fasting, weeping, and mourning.
    Tear your hearts, not just your garments!”
  2. Return to the LORD your God,
    for he is merciful and compassionate,
    slow to anger and boundless in loyal love—often relenting from sending calamity.

Luke 18:10–14

Psalm 51

  1. O LORD, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
  2. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
  3. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

What God responds to

  1. God does not respond according to our rules
  2. God loves his words to be trusted (faith)
  3. God wants us to understand his heart
  4. God responds to a humble heart, willing to change (repentance)
  5. God responds to praise

2 Chronicles 20

  1. Early the next morning they marched out to the Desert of Tekoa. When they were ready to march, Jehoshaphat stood up and said: “Listen to me, you people of Judah and residents of Jerusalem! Trust in the LORD your God and you will be safe! Trust in the message of his prophets and you will win.”
  2. He met with the people and appointed musicians to play before the LORD and praise his majestic splendor. As they marched ahead of the warriors they said: “Give thanks to the LORD, for his loyal love endures.”
  3. When they began to shout and praise, the LORD suddenly attacked the Ammonites, Moabites, and men from Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.

What God responds to

  1. God does not respond according to our rules
  2. God loves his words to be trusted (faith)
  3. God wants us to understand his heart
  4. God responds to a humble heart, willing to change (repentance)
  5. God responds to praise
  6. God responds to our love for one another

Hebrews 11

  1. And without faith it is impossible to please him,
    for whoever would draw near to God must believe
    that he exists
    and that he rewards those who seek him.
  • Mark 4:24: And he said to them, “Take care about what you hear. The measure you use will be the measure you receive, and more will be added to you.”

Steps of Faith

  1. God is able to heal did heal the sick (the New Testament)
  2. God still heals today (James 5)
  3. God loves to heal
  4. God loves this person and cares about them
  5. As you pray, ask God for more specific revelation

What God responds to

  1. God does not respond according to our rules
  2. God loves his words to be trusted
  3. God wants us to understand his heart
  4. God responds to repentance
  5. God responds to praise
  6. God responds to our love for one another
  7. Grow in these and God will give you more