An Isaac Inspired Generation of Faith.
Bible readings: Genesis 26: 1 and 12-22 and 2 Corinthians 5: 7
Sisters and brothers it is an open secret that the last 20 years have been tough for the Zimbabwe populace. We have season of false hope, we have continued to regress as a nation and things have just been conspiring against us as a people. Our enemies from within and from without seem to be having their way every time.
As a Church we are no spared either, the challenges are being felt through and through and it need a people rooted in Jesus Christ to soldier on without faltering.Families, individuals continue to fight their own battles in their corners and without faith for the people of God, there is no hope and where there is no hope there is progress or future.
In my sermon titled an Isaac inspired generation of faith we need to understand that such a generation is mindful of three critical things:
- Where it is coming from?
- Where it is?
- Where it wants to be?
Before we get delve into the flesh of the sermon, allow me to define the term inspired and faith. I want for the purposes of this message to define inspiration as being motivated by an event or by and individual or experience. It thus means to view such and individual or event as an example to watch along the journey and gain strengths or lessons from them.
Faith as is defined by (Hebrews 11: 1), is the substance of things unseen, it is the belief in that which if not yet there but trusting in the power of God’s providence that it will and it is in the now regardless of it being physically not available in the moment.
Sisters and brothers, it must have been a tradition for Abraham and Sarah as is the case with most parents and guardians to sit down with Isaac telling him of how their family came into being. And I can imagine the parents going back to where it All began on (Genesis 1: 1). He is told of how ‘their’ God created everything out of nothing and in Latin it is called creatio ex-nihilo. Where everything that is and that will be was created out of nothing but through the instruction of the power of this almighty God.
It is important to note therefore my sister or brother, that the God you believe in created everything when there was chaos upon the seas, when there was darkness God prospered, you may be in darkness, you may be lost, u may be facing deprivation in some areas of your life but as Abraham would tell Isaac I also tell you trust in this God he will create new health in you, new opportunities new love and new victories. You need faith to access this creation power of God.
Abraham would tell Isaac, that his ancestor Noah was saved through faith. And that the miracle of it all was that in the ark, all the animals that went there were 7 per each species, a male and a female for the purposes of pro creation after the rains, (Genesis 7: 2). Yet, when we read scripture on, (Genesis 8: 20) we are told Noah offered a sacrifice after the rains. Assuming he did so using sheep, and if he only had 14 sheep in the ark, where did he expect the species to grow from since they were the only ones left? Noah did sacrifice out of faith knowing the same creator will create for his power ceases not.
My friend, (Umngane wami/shamwari yangu), the God of providence will take care of our needs. He will provide when we feel we have nowhere to look to. The church is struggling to meet its financial obligations. I am calling on the people called Methodist to come together in faith and say the same God who did it for Isaac’s ancestors must do it in our time and provide for our needs and requirements.
The Methodist Church in Zimbabwe need also to know where it is coming from, we are a brand plucked out of the fire. Our spiritual ancestors in John and Charles Wesley did not have it easy in their ministry. Their lives were threatened for the Gospel, they rose to the occasion when it was impossible to do so. They continued to bear witness even if pulpits were removed or sanctioned against them. The likes of Owen Watkins, Isaac Shimmin and Mdumedi Moleli will tell us it was not easy crossing the Limpopo, forests and mountains for the mission under the banner of Methodism. We need to be conscious of where we are coming from as a people called Methodist.
This historical perspective as a people inspired of Isaac’s journey helps us to know (hatinakuchipa/asitshiphanga), we are not cheap it tells us that when the odds were against our ancestors in the faith, they prospered through faith. They looked the bull in the eye and blinked not. We will not wait for the so called favorable conditions to obtain so that we shine, no we shine when the economy is sinking, we shine when others manipulate the Gospel for selfish purposes, we remain a brand that says we march against the tide in faith knowing that when the enemy comes like a flood our God will raise up a standard,(Isaiah 59: 19).
Isaac was conscious of where he was, he knew that he was born in bareness, his mother was so old when she bore him that he would easily have called her gogo instead of mama, he knew that his wife Rebecca was barren and yet out her womb can not one but two boys, (Genesis 25: 21-22). Ama Methodist amahle, Christians of all denominations, hear the word of God, be conscious of where you are but don’t let the circumstances determine your future. The awareness of His God’s ability to thrive His people and all generations that trust in him made Isaac an exceptional being.
This is why when the meteorological department of that time had advised against farming Isaac did the opposite. In the eyes and sight of the many he was a total fool. Faith is foolishness to the non-believer. When you tell them I am going to make it, they may judge you through the circumstances and say you will not, yet, Isaac I want to warn you remember you don’t walk by sight but by faith. Go to your field and plant. Harvest is not determined by their count but by Gods power.
Where are you as an individual? What is it that you want to do in this difficult season? Go for it Isaac, don’t mind the Philistines, take your focus and faith to the fields and stop minding the opposition of your progress.
I am not going to pretend and say it is going to easy, no, the odds are surely against you and me. Yet the apostle Paul will ask, (Romans 8: 31), if God be on our side who and what can be against us? I urge you to walk by faith not by sight. Sight will tell you the plants will wilt, but faith tells you with God all things are possible.
Your enemies will come and destroy the well you have dug for yourself but as they quarrel with you, don’t waste your energy on them. I want Isaac to inspire you today. He ignores them and moves on to the next site to continue with digging another well for himself.
As they pour sand in your progress be determined to do what your dream has asked you to do. Some may stall your progress, others may sabotage your business or contract or tender, go on and dig another well you are a child of Faith and not of fist fight.
Let it be known my sisters brothers that you can sabotage a project that someone is doing, but you can never kill a good man or woman down. A brilliant idea will find their way out of the storms. Thinkers have never been suppressed successfully, the Church of England tried it with John Wesley and failed dismally, the racist and those of white supremacy ideology of America tried it with Martin Luther King and failed dismally, the Pharisees tried it with Jesus, boy oh boy they failed dismally.
In the MCZ and other denominations other ministers feel suppressed by the powers that be, some by their superintendent who instead of being colleagues have tried to become bosses and bullies, yet, they too will fail dismally in taking a blessed and anointed ministers down. You may be in the peripherals of ministry, you may feel stationing does not do justice to you but Isaac, where ever you are dig your own wells and don’t stop because you are unstoppable.
MCZ at large it is time we dug our own wells, SAMU is struggling to be up on its feet and we cannot depend on the donors to sustain us any longer 42 years after getting autonomy. Let’s dig our own wells. We cannot envy and sustain our circuits by being copy cats of other denominations traditions when our own wells are rich and vast in power and spirituality, lets dig our own wells.
In conclusion sisters and brothers, Isaac was surrounded by lack and barrenness yet that does not stop him to do what he is born to do. Likewise we as a people of faith must not stop at anything to spread scriptural holiness and transform lives. Isaac is aware that his current situation demands spiritual eyes and faith. He does not copy what those around him are dong but dares to be different because he trusted God. We are called to be conscious of where we are as a church, and begin to identify how we can survive the drought and barrenness around us in faith. We need to know where we want to be as a Church and begin to dig our own wells to water the vision we have. Regardless of the opposition we need to dig the more till the enemy leaves us alone. I leave us with a quote from Roberts Liardon in his work Gods generals the revivalist of 2008, page 19, he says, “…the Holy Spirit has fought to reveal the power of God’s saving grace through faith-not of any work or intervention of man, not of external force of will or institutional decree, but of the simple, personal acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross”.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
By Rev Tapfumanei Dhiriza.
email : email@example.com