I’m going to give you four points. I will repeat them, hopefully, so you will not forget them. The four sentences are, faith is a fact, not a fantasy. The second point: Faith is a force, not a value. The third point: Faith is a decision, not a debate. The fourth point: Faith is a commitment, not an argument.
If you’ve been reading some of my 36 books you know that one of the things I keep coming back to again, and again, and again is the subject of leadership. And I am a strong believer that what we need in life is leadership, and most of us are not educated, trained, or motivated to be leaders. And that’s because the people who influence us want us to be their followers. So our peers are tempted more often than not to see us as their followers more than as their leader.
Leadership is not the thing we’re called to be in. Yet in the final analysis nobody else will set your dreams for you. And nobody else can kill your dream. And in the final analysis as one of my books is entitled, “If It’s Going To Be, It’s Up To Me.” And what we desperately need in our private personal life and in all of the institutions that we belong to is the quality of leadership. And what is leadership?
Leadership, Schuller defined in one of his earlier books, leadership is the force that sets the goals and addresses the problems. Leadership is a force and the force is, we will see, the force of faith. Wow.
The text I want to leave with you is Hebrews 11:6. For with... Now faith is the substance of things hoped for is the introduction of the faith chapter. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Now 11:6 here it is: That’s interesting because when I was a student in theological school and had to prepare a sermon, which had to be delivered to the entire student body and the entire faculty, the text I was given by my professor of Homiletics was Hebrews 11:6. And I don’t think I’ve preached on it since, until today. Here it is.
“For without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Wow. And Jesus said it, “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you can say to your mountain move, and nothing will be impossible to you.”
Just a little bit of faith, but where does it lead? An idea goes through your head, and you grab hold of it carefully, prayerfully, but you listen to the ideas. When you do that you have become a leader, not just a follower. And I hear again and again in life that leaders are those who have the right degrees, the right credentials, the right resume, the right experience. And let me tell you, I have been teaching what I’m about to tell you for over 34 years, to over 50,000 pastors in our institute.
Often those who are trapped in professionalism are followers not leaders. Leaders haven’t been brainwashed – this will work, that won’t work. Followers are basically impossibility thinkers. Leaders are possibility thinkers.
They say what’s the problem? How can it be solved? They don’t say it can’t be solved. Anything’s possible. They may not have the answers, but they can find the answers and they go for the answers and they make it happen, because they’ve got drive, passion, practicality and positive thinking! That’s leadership. You can be a leader and that’s what we need. Think, think, think. But it has to start with faith. Faith makes leaders.
Four points: Faith is a fact not a fantasy. Now early in my life in ministry when I dealt with important people who didn’t believe in God or in religion, they would always put me down very swiftly. Now I was not an honor student, but I was a national honored debate, and became an elected member of Phi Kappa Delta, National Honoree Forensic Society. Good at debate. And when these unbelievers would come to me and hit me with an argument, I backed away from it. I didn’t have an answer. I’d lose the debate if I got into it. I wouldn’t go there.
Here’s their argument against me. All my life, Schuller, you say you believe in God and all that stuff. It’s all based on assumption, Schuller. All based on assumptions. And I backed away, because I didn’t want to say yes, and I kind of thought maybe it was. Finally I agree with them. My faith is all based on assumptions. But I look at the unbeliever and say your unbelief is all based on assumptions.
Atheism is a negative assumption in an impossibility thinker’s brain. Theism is a positive assumption in a believer’s mind. That’s it. I don’t think any of us make a single decision without basing it on assumptions that we don’t even understand are a part of the process. You sat down there. You assumed the chair would hold. If you’re a scientist and many of my friends are, you assume that the research is accurate. Maybe it is, but you assume that the sources were reliable. And you’re assuming that the newest discoveries haven’t invalidated what was published to be fact. The truth is the human being is an assumption-managed person, positive or negative.
Now that’s a reality. That means assumptions is nothing more than faith. Faith is accepting as truth something that you cannot prove. And you’ve got to make a decision one way or another. And that means all human beings assumption managed are really living in the realm of faith all the time. So faith becomes a scientific reality in the mental processing. So faith is not fantasy, it’s a fact of managing human living. Faith is a fact.
Now, second point: faith is a force not a value. Faith in itself has no value. The value comes in what you choose to place your faith in.
If you place your faith in goodness and God, Jesus Christ, power to change the world and become a saint. That’s why since we’re all naturally faith creatures and God planned it that way, left it that way, because we are to relate to Him and the only way you could possibility relate to a God is if God remains invisible.
The invisible God. So faith is a force, not a value.
Then number 3: Faith then becomes a decision. It’s not a debate. Don’t debate me about what I believe, God, Jesus Christ, the Bible, goodness, holiness, courage, leadership principles. Don’t debate me. I won’t debate you. Because I can’t prove to you that I’m absolutely right and that you’re wrong if you don’t go along with me. Can’t prove that. I won’t go there. I won’t debate it. I made a decision. That’s it. I have studied the Bible. I’ve studied the Ten Commandments and I know they’re given to us to keep us from getting in trouble so they’re a blessing. I’ve studied the prophets. I’ve studied Jesus Christ. I’ve studied that. You imagine, there is no institution on planet earth that specializes in encouraging people to be emotionally healthy and hopeful and optimistic and courageous and brave and cheerful and generous and kind! There is no other institution. Christianity will never go out of style. The people who don’t accept it and its values they’ll never be in high style. Wow.
I’ve chosen to believe in God, and I’ve said to somebody, if moments before I pass away, someone say there’s strong new evidence that there is no God. What do you say Schuller? I would say, boy I’d believe in Him even if you could almost prove to me that He didn’t exist. I need Him. I want Him. I look at the life I’ve lived. The goodness I have. Wow. I wouldn’t never not believe. It’s a decision, and I’ll live and die on that. So finally, finally faith is not an argument. It’s a commitment. And so I made my commitment to Jesus Christ. A little bit of faith, one idea, faith, it’s not a debate, it’s a decision. It’s not an argument; it’s a commitment. It’s a force not a value, a fact, not a fantasy. Where are you at? God has a plan for your life, absolutely. Have the faith, for without faith, life is impossible. Amen.
Let’s pray. Oh God thank You, thank You for this Bible, this book filled with wisdom. Thank You for coming to this earth in Jesus Christ, to show us that You are a loving God. Thank You that You’ve given us the capacity to be faith creatures, assumption managing human beings. And that You have promised that You will guide us and direct us and lead us. Amen