Thursday 16 July
Karl Martin from Edinburgh called for courage and faith during Thursday evening's celebration at Sligo15. Here VOX editor Ruth Garvey-Williams brings you a summary of what he had to say:
Tonight I want to talk about emboldening your bold and encouraging your courage. Most of us know what do to but most of us don’t have the courage to do it. We belong to the Bride of Christ.
We are supposed to be as good as it gets and many people think we are hypocritical, judgemental and anti-gay. We are the Bride of Christ. The world is waiting for us to start living… so they can start believing…
Reading from Hebrews 11 and Hebrews 12: 1 -2. There is a prevalent voice in the world which says be fearful and be careful. We are protecting ourselves from everything and yet we have more allergies and infections! The word of God says, “Be more faithful and be more bold.” God offers a different quality of life, which shows us a new normal.
Noah spent 120 years building a boat in the desert because God said so. God asks us to trust Him first and take a step!
Take Joshua. Jericho was a really big city and it is in the way! And Joshua was not Moses. He stood in front of the people of Israel and said, “We are going to take this city but God says no swords.” This was crazy but they did it because God said so.
God is asking us to grow some faith muscles. He wants to display His glory through us. Faith is taking God at His word, speculating on His power and standing the whole weight of your life on the belief in your heart.
I’m hoping that He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion. I’m hoping that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. I’m banking my life upon the fact that He is a good, good Father who is also Lord of the angel armies.
I have four daughters. They are incredible (and expensive). The thing they want me for more than anything else is safety. Every time they are in trouble, I am the first person they ring. If they have run out of money or have problems at school or their boyfriend has dumped them. They are still under the ridiculous belief that I know all things and can fix all things. The truth is we have a Father who is completely dependable who will do what He has said He will do.
Faith is an all-in thing. It is an I’m-up-to-my-neck thing. If I could drown in faith, I would. The world says be more careful, the Word says be bold! The trouble is faith leaks. We get distracted and discouraged.
Hebrews chapter 11 can be the inspirational and it can be demoralising. Hebrews 12 is the tutorial. You have to run! God didn’t call you to limp or to coast.
Fix your eyes
You need a single focus. Something incredible happens when you fix your eyes on Jesus. When you fix your eyes on Jesus, you get transformed into His image. When people look at you, they are seeing Jesus. Stop running FOR Jesus. It will kill you. Start running WITH Jesus.
Free your life
There are things in your life that are hindering you. They are stopping you running with perseverance the race marked out for you. He’s going to do the fruitfulness, you are going to do the faithfulness. If you are going to run and leave a legacy for your kids so they will run their race, then jettison the sin in your life. Any ambition, approval or appetite that is not of Jesus.
Focus on your lane
Stop trying to run somebody else’s race! Jesus went to the cross for YOU. He thinks you are wonderful enough to die for. It brings Him joy that sets his face towards the cross and when you run, He thinks you are magnificent. But when you try and run somebody else’s race, you are pathetic because you are not able to run the race God marked out for you and everybody pays, and everybody gets hurt by the shrapnel of your competitive life.
Running is hard! I run three times a week because I have a pre-disposition to eat bad things. Running the race is about discipline. Get up in the morning and read your Bible. Love the people in front of you. Get a habit and rhythm of prayer and when you begin to do all this with others, you begin to change the world.
Finish the race
Jesus sat down because He had finished His work! God is looking for a generation that will finish a race, not just start well.
If not you then, who? If not now, then when?