The Scales of Faith

Pastor Anthony LoCascio and Christina Li
2/13/18

391

Prov 11:1 “The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights.”

 

Just being falsely balanced gives abomination to the Lord. He is happier when the scale is right.

 

Prov 16:11 “The Lord demands accurate scales and balances; he sets the standards for fairness.”

 

A scale in Bible times was used to dictate how much was owed. A false balance cheated people, they paid more than they were supposed to. An accurate scale delights the Lord. When you are properly balanced, God is delighted. He is a God of order.

 

It’s important at times to take Spiritual inventory. At the doctor’s office, he checks you out physically. He evaluates your health based on various indicators. The scale will give a reflection or indication of your health. There is a scale in the Spirit that will also dictate to you what your walk with God is. This is like a dipstick to measure the oil content in your car. You might find some adjustments are necessary. You might need to do something to get into shape. This will show you whether or not you’re in balance.

 

What aspects of your life are out of balance, physically, work-related, relationships, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually?

 

When God created the universe, it was perfect. The digital clocks aren’t as accurate as the stars. All of the stars, the planets, the universe itself is spinning in perfect order.

 

Isa 40:12-15 “Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? 13 Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord? Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him? 14 Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice? 15 No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales. He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand.”

 

You have a relationship with God and the Spirit world and each other that needs to be checked every once in a while. Are you in balance with God?

 

If you have offense in your heart, you need to balance that with forgiveness. You’ve got to let it go. There must be balance in your walk with God.

 

Do you have offense in your heart? Are you willing to forgive? What else might be out of balance in your walk with God?

 

Skinner’s box was a science experiment using rats, studying instinct. Animals seek comfort and avoid pain simultaneously. Human nature is seeking comfort and avoiding pain.

 

The underside of the box (part of it) had electrodes on it and hurt when the rat touched it. So, the rat went to the other side of the box, but hunger caused the rat to go the side with the electrodes.

 

When there is pain in your life, you will try to run from the pain. When the pain is gone, the natural tendency is to seek comfort. This is an absolute contradiction to being Christian!

 

Jesus didn’t need to learn these experimental things, He already knew what man was all about, avoiding pain and seeking comfort.

 

His very first lesson was to: Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me (do what I do). Learn how to deal with discomfort and pain.

 

Balance is necessary in your walk with God. Faith is the substance of things not seen. Faith is the evidence of what you can’t see. The promises of God can’t be seen, but we trust God to make them happen. Your faith dictates what happens in the Spirit realm. We don’t walk by sight, we walk by faith.

 

There were more experiments. Those rats tried to seek comfort and avoid pain. All of a sudden the whole box was electrified. When the rats couldn’t find comfort and relief from the pain, they turned on each other and attacked.

 

People do the same thing, when we’re all in pain, we seek to hurt each other. Something is off balance.

 

When you have a bad day at work, there’s a tendency to want to kick the dog. You’re looking for comfort and yell at your husband or wife. You’ll attack and claw because that’s all you have on the inside. The balance needed is dealing with seeking comfort and avoiding pain.

 

Off balance people attack people.

 

Have you attacked the people who love you because of something else wrong in your life?    Did you repent and apologize? Have you ever been attacked by people because of something wrong in their lives? How did you handle this? Did you act with patience and in a godly way or did you react to their attack with anger?

 

James 5:5-11 “You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you. 7 Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. 8 You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9 Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door! 10 For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.”

 

There is a need to learn the virtue of patience. James said, ‘I know stuff hurts, but I serve a God of order and balance. Endure, your day is coming and He will straighten things out for you. Don’t eat the other rats in the box!’

 

Endure, seek to bring balance.

 

People make the silliest promises when their finances are off balance, ‘Lord, let me win the lottery and after my bills are paid, I’ll give You all the rest!’

 

James 5:12-15 “But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned. 13 Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.”

 

Notice that James isn’t saying to pray for healing. Pray for patience and endurance. Can you imagine how Mrs. James (not the author of the book of James) felt, whose husband got his head cut off, and yet Mrs. Peter’s husband is still alive? Is God a deliverer or not?

 

How do you take your faith and believe when God doesn’t do what you want Him to? Will you believe in spite of things going against you?

 

Job was willing to bless the Lord even on the Dark Side of Faith.

 

The Scales of Faith need to speak to us.

 

Heb 11 is the Faith chapter, yet these are stories of people who died, some horrible deaths.

 

Heb 11:1 “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. 2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. 3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. 4 It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith. 5 It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—‘he disappeared, because God took him.’ For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. 13 All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. 21 It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff. 22 It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left. 23 It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command. 24 It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. 32 How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. 33 By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. 35 Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. 39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.”

 

God will show you how to deal with situations and circumstances that are contrary to His promises. Praise Him. Speak out the promises even though you can’t see them. Have faith on both sides of the scale. Of course, you want comfort and no pain, but learn to be Christian and have joy in spite of pain and lack of comfort.

 

‘But others’ can teach us more about faith. They wandered in desserts and obtained a good report through faith. They didn’t even receive the promise. That was faith on the other side of the scale.

 

We’ve got to learn to lay aside weights that cause us to be off balance. Right before a fall, you get off balance. If you’re hearing warning signs, it’s something inside of you that if you don’t get rid of it, you will end up in sin.

 

Unforgiveness is like saying, ‘I’m going to get back at you by me drinking poison.’ This is self-destruction and off balance. You have got to look at the scales of your life and see if your situation is because of lack of balance.

 

There’s a story of a man who owed so much money, he couldn’t pay it. He begged for mercy and forgiveness and the king forgave him everything. The man went home rejoicing. Then, he saw a guy who owed him a little bit. He didn’t forgive the other man the way he had been forgiven.

 

You have received mercy, why can’t you give it out? God has forgiven you. Look at the scales of your life.

 

I owe God so much. I have a debt that I can never repay to Jesus. This is off balance. What do you want me to do, God? The Lord smiles because He wants His nature in me. You don’t earn your salvation or love. If things are off balance in your life, maybe there are some things that you need to remove from one side to the other. Decrease yourself and let Him increase.

 

God will send an anti-comfort and painful issues and situations, not delivered. You’re afflicted, learn to pray.

 

Are you willing to walk by faith like Job did, enduring physical pain, the loss of his children, rejection and derision of his friends, and the ungodly advice of his wife? Will you praise and bless God even from the Dark Side of Faith?

 

Judges 3. People who didn’t know the wars of Canaan or the walls falling down. They had all the blessings and comfort and saw they were off balance. They needed courage and faith. They took their comfort and blessing for granted. Find a way to learn how to pray desperate prayers without being in a desperate situation.

 

If you remain flexible you’ll never get bent out of shape.

 

If you can see with the eyes of Jesus, you will see there’s something off balance in your life. You can catch things before they get off balance and keep things in balance.

 

We need more than converts. Jesus wants disciples. God isn’t trying to destroy you. He’s trying to build you.

 

Don’t bow to the things of this world. The three Hebrews refused to bow to an idol. They chose to trust God whether He delivered them from the fire or not. ‘O King, we’re not going to bow. Our God can deliver us from the fire, but if He doesn’t we will still trust Him.’

 

People first started calling Jesus Messiah when He first calmed the storm. If you have faith on both sides, that’s real faith. Will you praise Him no matter what? God is still good in the desert or the mountaintop, in the valley or the meadow.

 

Do you believe God is still good even from the view of the valley or the hospital bed or the sick loved one or messed up finances and/or families? Do you trust Him with your life? Are you willing to be balanced on both sides of the scale, the Light Side and the Dark Side of Faith? Will you trust God when He says, ‘yes’ AND when He says, ‘No’ or ‘Wait’?

 

This Bible Study excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

 

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!