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Activating your faith

By Dr Cecil Stewart OBE

Based on:  Mark 5 v 21-24, 35-42

 

Many people don't realise it but within each one of us there is a mighty force. It's called faith!

Faith moves mountains! 

We don't need to be afraid of the mountains because it's not by might nor by power but by the Spirit of the Lord Zechariah 4 v 6

As our faith is activated and no longer dormant it comes alive and Miracles happen!

A while ago I was ministering in Italy and suddenly there was a commotion at the back of the building where I was speaking. I asked my interrupter 'what's happening? Is someone trying to interrupt the meeting?' and he said he didn't know but that we should carry on regardless. So we continued to minister by the power of the Holy Spirit. Faith was building and we could feel the power of God getting stronger. We later discovered that a young girl who had been unable to walk, put aside her crutches and began to run. Healing went into her legs and she was instantly healed. We didn't even lay hands on her.

We will see miracles like this happen when Faith comes alive!

When faith is activated; healing happen, needs are met and people are lifted above the burdens and storms of their lives!

Mark 5 v 21-24, 35-42 tells the story of a 12 year old girl who had become critically ill. She was the daughter of the Synagogue leader; Jairus. His daughter was growing worse by the day so when he saw Jesus he fell at His feet and cried out 'My daughter is at the at the point of death. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.' Jesus immediately responded and said 'I will come with you.’

As they started to walk to the house of Jairus, the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus as He passed and she was healed. Jesus stopped and asked the crowed 'Who touched me?' The people with him responded saying 'Lord, many people are touching you.' But Jesus felt the healing virtue going out of Him because this woman touched him with the touch of FAITH. The lady who had been healed had been suffering this issue of blood for twelve years came and said 'it was me!’ and Jesus said ‘your faith has made you well!’ 

During this time Jairus was still standing there thinking of his daughter who is at the point of death. He urgently wanted to get Jesus to his daughter and as he was struggling with this delay. One Jesus had finished with the lady he then proceeded with Jairus to his house. As they approached the house a messenger came running out to Jairus and said 'Don't trouble the master your daughter's already dead.' As soon as Jesus heard those words he said to Jairus 'Do not be afraid! Only believe! Do not be seized with fear nor alarmed by what has been said.'

In other words; 'Do not act on what you have just heard. Listen to Me, I am still in charge! My word will still prevail.' 

As they got to the house all the mourners were there weeping and making a great noise. Jesus went in and said 'Why do you do this? This girl is not dead she is sleeping.' 

We know she was dead but as far as He was concerned she was just sleeping. 

The people mocked Him and laughed saying 'What do you mean she's not dead?' 

Jesus then put everybody out of the house except the parents of the girl and His three disciples; Peter, James and John, who came with Him. They entered into the room where the little girl was laying and Jesus spoke these words 'Arise, I say unto to you arise!' Immediately, life came back into the girl and she began to rise and stand to her feet. And then Jesus turned and said 'Give her something to eat.' 

 

Faith was activated because Jesus said 'Fear not! 

Only believe!'

When you have Jesus with you all things are possible!

 

We don't have to live with our impossibilities, with our mountains of fear, anxiety, depression or even with the offence and divisions that we all face in life. Instead we can experience reconciliation with the Lord and with each other because Jesus paid the price on the cross to restore us to a place of fellowship. Through the precious blood we have been reconciled.

We don't need to be separated through sin. 

We don't need to be separated through offence. 

We don't need to be overwhelmed by sickness or disease because Jesus took our sicknesses.

Matthew 8 v 17 He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.

1 Peter 2 v 24 By His stripes we are healed.

There is a lot of hurting, broken people in this land so healing is a very necessary message today!

Not just healing physically but healing emotionally, healing of relationships, healing of hurts in families, all kinds of healings. 

There needs to be a healing explosion and it is possible when we act on the Word! 

But in order to have a healing explosion we must 'Activate Our Faith!'

 

FAITH WITHOUT WORK IS DEAD

 

Jairus had tried everything for his daughter but when she was at the point of death, he acted and came to Jesus.

James 2 v 17 says Faith without works is dead. 

So faith alone is not enough! 

Unless you activate your faith by acting on what you believe it doesn't bring any answers. 

In fact the Bible says; even the demons believe and tremble 

James 2 v 19

They believe the Word but they don't act upon it. 

What brings about a release of healing power is when we act upon our Faith and start to say 'Yes Lord, by Your stripes I am healed' and act like it’s true because it is. 

My wife proved the healing power of acting on faith when she had cancer. Doctors had told her, her days were numbered. She was surviving on blood transfusions and her situation looked hopeless.

However, one night as we met with a small prayer team, the scripture 

1 Peter 2 v 24 came to her as a revelation. 

She had often read it before but the Holy Spirit caused it to come alive and she saw the promise in that scripture afresh 

'by His stripes you WERE healed!

It doesn't say you are going to be healed but you WERE healed. 

As she shared the revelation with the small prayer group we began to praise at the realisation that Jesus had taken this cancer at the cross. Suddenly there was a flow of healing power like electricity that just went right through her body. She had a growth in her throat and had not been able to swallow for three weeks. That night she still had the growth but she felt the power and she felt the assurance that she was healed despite having no evidence in the natural. But the next morning she woke up and the growth was gone completely.

 

When we honour the Word we see results!

 

We're always waiting on God to do it but God says 'no I'm waiting for you take what I have already given to you.' 

He doesn't need to die on the Cross again to provide salvation. He's already provided salvation! 

He already took the price for our guilt and our shame at the cross. We don't need to pay the price again! 

He has already done it!

We can never be saved through out own works nor through paying penance. 

He already paid the price. He shed His blood! All we have to do is accept it by Faith!

The Bible says in Ephesians 2 v 8 By grace you are saved through faith. It is the gift of God not of works should any man boost.

So Jesus has already done it! Healing has already been provided. 

Sickness has already been dealt with at the cross! 

Every anxiety, every burden, He took it took it all on the cross! 

When His back was striped for our healing He paid the price for every sickness, every disease, every oppression, every pain, everything that the enemy put upon us, Jesus paid it all and He said 'It is finished' at the cross. 

So today we can know complete victory!

We see this Activating of Faith in many places throughout the bible. 

Here are just a few;

Acts 14 v 9 There was a man who was lame on his feet in a meeting where Paul was speaking. 

As Paul spoke about the cross and the provision of God he suddenly became aware of a man who's faith had come alive. He was ready! He had just Activated his faith! 

Paul said to the man 'Stand upright on your feet!' 

His feet were totally crippled and he had never walked but as he began to stand up healing power went right through his feet and he was totally healed. He had activated his Faith!

Jesus did the same in Matthew 12 v 14 A man with a withered hand was in a meeting where Jesus was speaking. As Jesus spoke He felt the level of faith rising and He said to the man 'Stretch forth your hand.' 

The man stretched out his withered hand and the Bible says it was made whole like the other.

 

In these scriptures we see that when faith is activated healing power is released!

 

We need to realise that Jesus already provided total healing from every type of sickness and disease. 

Sickness is not our friend it is our enemy!

Sickness destroys peoples lives!

Sickness limits people!

It destroys people and causes people to die prematurely!

That's why Jesus, when He was on this earth, He went about doing good and healing all.

Acts 10 v 38 God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

We read in Hebrews 11 v 6 that; He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. 

When we come to God we are not coming to a stature or some religious powerless god. But we are coming to a God that is powerful, able and ready to confirm His Word!

When we come to God we must believe not only that He exists, but that He is a rewarder. 

That means there will be results!

He will be a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him! Not half heartedly, but DILIGENTLY seek Him.

In Hebrews 11 v 3 The Bible says that; the Worlds were framed by the Word of God.

If you want your Faith to be encouraged then read Hebrews Chapter 11

It speaks of miracle after miracle after miracle. It tells of people who used Faith. People just like you and I. 

The Bible says that God has given to everybody a measure of Faith Romans 12 v 3.

So you have Faith but you have to develop it. There are all different levels of Faith.

There's small Faith, growing Faith, great faith. It's up to you how much Faith you have. The more you exercise it the more it grows.

We were in Italy on another occasion. It was a Sunday morning service in a 1000 seater Church. The Church was quite reserved and they don't normally talk much about healing. Evelyn was giving her testimony of her healing and telling of how the Lord had raised her up. We didn't know what was happening at the time but up in the balcony where the choir were seated suddenly this young girl just fell down. The power of the Holy Spirit that had come upon her because Faith had come alive in her heart. She had had a growth on her breast and she was going to the hospital the next day to have surgery but as the power of God came on her she was healed and when she later checked herself the lump had gone. 

 

EXPECT MIRACLES

 

If we expect miracles they will happen!

The problem is we don't expect them, we don't look for them. 

Our Faith has not been developed for it. That's why we don't see enough miracles.

A lot of people think the days for miracles have passed!

I was born in on a farm in Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. I was 1 of 9 children, 7 boys and 2 girls. Growing up I remember my mother being critically ill with ulcers. 

At that time we did not know about miracles. We were brought up in a very ritualistic Church; there was no life, no preaching the Gospel, just ritual.

My mother started asking 'is it not possible to have a miracle?' as she desperately needed own in her own life. She had failed to skin and bone and Doctors had told her they could do nothing for her. 

My mother heard of this meeting of a small group of people who believed in praying for the sick. Today it's known all over the world but back then it was not. Anyone who believed in praying for the sick was looked upon as rather strange.

My mother insisted with my older brother that he would take her to the meeting.

So he took her to this small meeting and she had read Mark 16 v 17 These signs should follow them that believe. In my name you shall cast out devils, lay hands on the sick and they shall be healed...

She acted on her faith and went forward for prayer. People laid hands on her and she felt absolutely nothing. However she believed she was healed. She did not depend on feelings! 

She was taken back home and after all those years of being sick she took it for granted that the Word in the Bible was true 'lay hands on the sick and they shall be healed.' Mark 16 v 18

Her Faith caused her not to doubt and she went home, put on the pan and made a fry and she never had any further trouble with ulcers. She had been completely healed.

Someone had try tell her that the age for miracles was over but as she discovered; there's no such thing as an age of miracles, there's a God of miracles who fills every age.

 

KEYS

 

Upon reflection on the story of Jairus daughter in Mark chapter 5 I would like to highlight a few points that will help you 'Activate Your Faith.'

Understanding what kind of atmosphere there was in this story will help us prepare for miracles. 

Well before Jesus came there was atmosphere of total despair, fear and  hopelessness. 

But when Jesus came on the scene and began to speak words of life the atmosphere changed and hope arose. 

So the first key point I want to raise is;

 

1. There was an atmosphere of expectation and enthusiasm.

 

Expectation and enthusiasm that's what was there! 

The people gathered together to hear Jesus and then he was asked to go with the leader of the Synagogue to pray. I believe there should always be an expectation when we come together to worship because the Holy Spirit is here and He is moving.

 

BIG TROUBLE BUT GREAT EXPECTATION

 

The Bible talks about expectation in Philippians 1 v 19 - 20 The Apostle Paul spoke about it; 'I know that this will turn to good through our earnest expectation and our hope.'

Paul was in prison when he wrote these words to the Church. 

Prison is not a place where you expect good things to happen but Paul encouraged the Church; 'I want you to know that what’s happened to me, the false accusations, the putting me in prison, it's going to turn out for the furtherance of the Gospel. He said 'I am full of hope and expectation.' 

This shows we need our Faith to come alive in order to have miracles!

If want an explosion of miracles and healing, we've got to start expecting healing.

Hebrews 4 v12 encourages us that His word is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword.

In Acts 3 v 5  we read about the lame man at the beautiful gate. He had been sitting there all his life begging. Then Peter and John spoke to him and said 'silver and gold have a none but such as I have I give to you, rise in the name of Jesus.' And the Bible says his feet and ankles received strength and he leapt up and walked into the Temple with them.

 

 2. There was an atmosphere of Hunger and humility v 22

 

Jairus was so hungry to receive help from the Lord. 

He was hungry to hear the Word of the Lord. 

He had humility, he said 'I fall at your feet. I humble myself.'

We need to come to the Lord in humility because when can not come before God by our own merits but only by the grace of God. Then we will receive everything He has promised. 

This is promised to us in Matthew 5 v 6 Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled.

So there was an atmosphere of hunger, a desire for change. 

You see if you are willing to tolerate sickness, depression, fear and all the things the enemy tries to put on you; you live with it for as long as you tolerate it. 

But if you have to decide that you are not going to tolerate this any more you will be free from it. When you 'Activate Your Faith.'

Jairus had made a decision! 

He watched his daughter suffer for too long and was no longer willing to tolerate it!

So he went to Jesus and said 'come and heal her so that she shall live.'

We need to have a mindset for change!

A mindset for miracles and say 'change for the better can happen right now!'                

Scriptures that were used in the sermon notes that may be incorporated:

James 4 v 6 Resist pride but gives grace to humble.

Philippians 2 v 8 Humble himself and obedient.

Ephesians 2 v 8 By grace through faith.

Acts 4 v 12 Neither is there salvation in any other.

Open heart brings an open heaven!

 

3. What kind of prayer pleases God? v23

 

Jairus came with an attitude of prayer. He said to the Lord 'come and lay hands on her and she shall be healed.' He prayed a prayer of faith. It was full of expectation.

We need to pray prayers of Faith with a specific desired result. 

Jairus said 'I want my daughter completely healed.' 

His prayer was wholehearted and specific. He prayed it with the confidence that his daughter would be healed.

 

He prayed the promise not the problem!

 

He could have taken all his time to tell Jesus about how ill his daughter was. He could of told Jesus all about her symptoms and about all the things she suffered but no, he focused on the promise and simply said 'my daughter is at the point of death, come and heal her.' 

 

We need to pray the promises not the problems!

 

We talk about our problems so much.

Don't magnify your problems, magnify the promises!

His promises are full of life!

His promised are abundant!

His promises cover every kind of need in your life!

 

Scriptures that were used in the sermon notes that may be incorporated:

1 John 5 v 14-15 This is the confidence.

Jude 20 Pray in the Holy Ghost.

James 5 v 16 Availeth much.

John 16 v 24 Ask and receive.

Hebrews 11 v 6 God a rewarder.

 

4. Jesus went with him. v24

 

Isn't that good to know; when you seek the Lord, He travels with you?

His presence is with you, you are not on your own. 

I've often heard if you want God to really bless your life and your ministry, find out what God is doing and work with Him.

So it is important to ask what is God doing every day?

He is still healing broken lives!

He is still restoring broken families!

He is still lifting people that are down and discouraged. 

He is still healing sick bodies.

He is moving through His body of believers all over the world; bringing life and bringing salvation.

Find out what God is doing and work with Him! 

Get your faith inline with Him!

Get your confession of your words inline with Him and you will receive the blessings of God.

Matthew 12 v 30 Says he that is not with me is against me. And he that does not gather with me scatters abroad

So we need to make sure we are with God in our thought life, in the words we speak and in the attitude we show.

 

ACTIVATE YOUR FAITH

 

A while back I was in a lift with a group of friends and we were just standing talking in the lift. 

After a while I discovered we were going nowhere, we were not moving because we had forgotten to press the button. We had to activate the lift to go to the floor we required. 

Faith must be activated through your words!

You must say 'this is my time for healing!

This is my time to surrender to Jesus! 

This is my time to receive salvation! 

This is my moment to receive what has already been provided!

You don't have to persuade Jesus to bless you. He is more willing to give than you are to receive. 

He has already provided everything you could already need. 

All that is needed is for us to be willing to receive by Faith and there is a release.

When we push that button of Faith we activate our healing.

 

5. Delay not denial. v23 - 24

 

There was a delay when Jesus was on the way to Jairus' house. He was healing another lady who had suffered for many years. 

Jesus had intended to heal Jairus' daughter all along but when He arrived at the house it looked like it was too late and that she had died. But Jesus still rose her from the dead!

Jairus allowed Jesus  to be in control and didn't start to speak his own words of fear at the realisation of the situation. 

Jesus told Jairus to 'fear not! Only believe!' In other words don't say a word, don't let fear be expressed, don't speak fear. Only believe. And then Jesus was able to go in and take authority because He was given His place or authority because Jairus stayed with Him in faith even when the situation looked hopeless.

 

It's never hopeless when Jesus is with you!

 

Scriptures that were used in the sermon notes that may be incorporated:

1 Peter 1 v 7 Trial of our faith more precious.

Hebrews 12 v 11 No trial for present, joyous, but afterwards yields.

James 1 v 2 Count it all joy.

John 15 v 16 Fruit that remains.

Detours, but stay focused.

John 11 v 22 Even now.

 

6. In the face of death, He spoke words of life. v35 - 36

 

We live in world that's full of death, fear, negativity, hopelessness, selfishness but we as God's people can speak words of life.  

We are life givers. 

The words we speak are life. 

We speak mercy, 

We speak forgiveness, 

We speak hope because we are turned into the life givers. 

Jesus is the way and He is the truth and He is the life.

In the very midst of death Jesus said 'arise, arise' and those words overruled every other word that had been spoken over the young girl. 

Even the words that said she's dead!

Jesus' words prevailed over all other words. 

They are greater than any other words. 

They are more powerful than any other words. 

The name is Jesus is above every other name. 

Nothing can stand before the name of Jesus! 

Even when it looks hopeless, do not give up! 

He is Lord! 

His will must be accomplished and His will for your health, His will is for your salvation. 

His will is for harmony and blessing. 

His will is that you might be an ambassador for Jesus and a channel of His love. 

 

Scriptures that were used in the sermon notes that may be incorporated:

Proverbs 18 v 21 Death and life in the power of the tongue.

Colossians 3 v 16 Let of the Word of Christ dwell richly.

Acts 4 v 14 Saw boldness at Peter and John.

Roman 10 v 6 Say not who shall I send.

2 Timothy 1 v 7 Power love and a sound mind.

 

Activation your faith conclusion;

 

1. He refused to live in the future as he had in the past!

2. He met and walked with Jesus!

Picture of what Jesus would do if we let Him take charge.

3. He stayed steadfast through toughest times. 

Luke 8 v 13 For a while we believe.

4. He controlled his tongue!

Jesus said ‘Don’t be seized with alarm or stuck with fear.’

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