#146 (12/09/04)
Mountain Moving Faith

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

This past January, you here in California at least, will remember on one day there were 2 separate attacks by a mountain lion. One of the victim is a female, critically injured, seconds from being fatal. If it had not been for the bravery of her friend and the fellow bikers and her faith Anne Hjelle would not be here with us today. She’s a beautiful girl. She’s already had plastic surgery and will have more, but she loves Jesus Christ

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" Come, Christians, Join to Sing "
" O For a Faith That Will Not Shrink "

" O Clap Your Hands "

AUSTIN BROWN – “A Little Belief”

Acticle of The Message

These past few months I have been visiting places overseas to see our ministry at work. The Hour of Power is now being televised in over 200 countries. Our ministries in Australia and in Canada have already celebrated their 25th anniversaries. And, with the blessing of the Russian Orthodox Church, we are the only televised church service in Russia since 1991.

At the same time I was also working on my next book due in 2005. And I learned in all my travels, speaking and writing, new insights about faith that I never read ... never heard ... never understood ... never perceived before, and I want to share some of these new insights with you this morning.

I have four faith points that hopefully you will not forget.

(1) Faith is a fact, not a fantasy.
(2) Faith is a force, not a value.
(3) Faith is a decision, not a debate.
(4) Faith is a commitment, not an argument.

If you have read some of my 36 books, you know that I keep coming back to the subject of leadership again, and again, and again. I am a strong believer that we each need to use leadership to meet the challenges that life throws at us. But most of us are not educated, trained, or motivated to be leaders. Thats because the people who influenced us wanted 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.

Leaders are not what most of us are called to be; yet in the final analysis nobody else will set your dreams for you. Nobody else can kill your dream. One of my books is entitled, "If It's Going To Be, It's Up To Me." That's being a leader and we desperately need that in our private, personal lives and in all of the institutions in our countries. The quality of leadership ... but what is leadership?

Leadership is the force that sets the goals and addresses the problems.

Leadership is a force, and that force is the force of faith.

St. Paul, the author of the Hebrews, introduces the subject of faith in Chapter 11 this way:

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for ... the evidence of things not seen ..."

Then in verse 6, he writes:

"For without faith it is impossible to please God. For he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)

That text was assigned to me by my professor when I was a student in theological school. Each of us had to prepare a sermon, which had to be delivered to the entire student body and faculty for their review and critique. Those words from St. Paul still impact me today with faith power, along with the mountain moving words of Jesus Christ from Matthew 17:20,

"If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you can say to your mountain move, and nothing will be impossible to you."

Last Saturday I was supposed to be in Madrid Spain with our ambassador there, a very dear friend, George Argyros, I was invited with one of my friends, on his new plane to fly with him, free. So I said yes and I flew to Vancouver where we were to board his plane. It was a brand new Global Express plane. It was fabulous. We were to leave at 5:00 in the morning, but the call came to my hotel room that there was a little problem with the plane so we would be leaving at 8:00 AM instead.

Well, at 2:30 in the afternoon the problem still wasn't fixed, and we were told, "It's just a little computer chip." A tiny little computer chip and the plane couldn't fly! What do you make of that? It's probably a 30 to 40 million-dollar plane. Brand new, but one little computer chip stopped it. One little absence of faith, or one little presence of faith, very small, like a mustard seed can change your whole life.

Who would have thought that if you see a man dying and you would pick him up to care for him that you'd end up being declared a saint? I am speaking of Mother Teresa.  Mother Teresa and I respected and loved each other. Our spirits connected each time we visited.

As you knew, one of my most prized processions is not her autograph, but a sentence she wrote out that I have framed with her picture in my study. "To Dr. Schuller, be all and only for Jesus. Let Him use you without consulting you first." Mother Teresa left her post with the approval of the Pope, just to go out and take care of dying persons in Calcutta, India, and the end of that path was a special Mass in St. Peters Square, beatifying her as an authentic saint in the Roman Catholic Church.

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, and you listen to that idea. When you do that, you become not just a follower, but a leader.

Leaders are possibility thinkers. They say, "What's the problem? How can it be solved?" They don't say it can't be solved. No, their attitude is ... Anything is possible. They may not have the answers, but they find answers. They go for the answers and make it happen, because theyve got drive, passion, practically and positive thinking! Thats leadership!

You can be a leader and thats what our world needs. Think ... think ... think. But start with faith. Faith makes leaders.

(1) Faith is a fact, not a fantasy.

I learned that this summer very strongly when I was writing a chapter in my book called, "Managing Your Assumptions." By the time I finished writing that chapter I became convinced that we are all assumption-driven human beings, more than we know.

Early in my life in ministry when I met with important people who didn't believe in God or religion, they would always put me down very swiftly. Now I was not an honor student, but I was a national debate student, an elected member of the Phi Kappa Delta, the National Honoree Forensic Society. I thought I was good at debate, but when unbelievers would debate me with an argument on faith, I backed away. I thought Id lose the debate so I wouldnt go there.

I'd hear their argument against faith, "Schuller, you say you believe in God and all that stuff. It's all based on assumptions." And I remained quiet because I didn't want to say 'yes' and I was thinking, "Maybe my faith is based on assumptions."

Finally, in my new book, I agree with them. My faith is all based on assumptions ... but I say to the unbeliever, "Your unbelief is all based on assumptions also!"

Here are two great lines in that book.

"Atheism is a negative assumption in an impossibility thinker's brain."

"Theism is a positive assumption in a believer's mind."

I don't think any of us ever make a single decision without basing it on assumptions that we dont even understand are a part of the process. You assume the chair will hold you. If you are 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! That's reality.

That means assumption is nothing more than faith. Faith is accepting as truth something that you cannot prove and youve got to make a decision one way or another. And that means all human beings are assumption managed so we are really living in the realm of faith all the time, believers and unbelievers alike. So faith becomes a scientific reality in the mental processing. (1) Faith is not fantasy ... it's a fact of managing human living.

(2) Faith is a force, not a value.

Faith in itself has no value. It's neither good nor evil, but it is powerful for good or evil! The terrorists who flew those planes at the twin towers had faith. They believed in terror. They were driven by assumptions of the power of evil to serve their cause. 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, God, Jesus Christ, you have the power to change the world and become a saint. Then since we're all naturally faith creatures (and God planned it that way) we are to relate to God and the only way you could possibility relate to God if God remains invisible. My friend, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is a celebrity. He can't go anywhere without everybody around him grabbing at him, surrounding him and he is only Arnold Schwarzenegger. But can you imagine what would happen if God Almighty or Jesus Christ, were here in flesh and bones? The ultimate reality is that God in Jesus Christ has to remain invisible so we can each relate to Him in our own way.

(3) Faith is a decision, not a debate.

Don't debate me about what I believe about God, Jesus Christ, the Bible, holiness, courage and leadership principles. I won't debate my belief because I cant prove to you that Im absolutely right. I simply made a decision.

I have studied the Bible. I have studied the Ten Commandments and I believe they are given to us to keep us from getting into trouble so theyre a blessing. Ive studied Jesus Christ. I've studied what I believe about the Christian church. There is no other institution on planet earth in the year 2003 that specializes and invests more in encouraging people to be emotionally healthy, hopeful, optimistic, courageous, brave, cheerful, generous and kind! So Christianity will never go out of style!

I've chosen to believe in God and I've often said, "If moments before I pass away, someone would say to me, 'there's strong new evidence that there is no God. What do you say to that, Schuller?'" I would reply, "I'd believe in Him even if you could almost prove to me that He didn't exist. I want God. I need God. I look at the good life God has given me. I wouldn't never not believe. Its a decision! I'll live and die on that."

(4) Faith is a commitment ... not an argument.

So finally, faith is a commitment ... not an argument. I made my commitment to Jesus Christ.

What about you?

(1) Faith is a fact, not a fantasy! Faith is driving you, for good or ill.

(2) Faith is a force ... not a value ... not a debate.

(3) Faith is a decision, you need to make.

(4) Faith is a commitment ... not an argument.

You need to make a decision. Make a commitment. Forget the argument. Focus on your natural instincts to live on assumptions and focus your assumptions on Jesus Christ. Where are you at? God has a plan for your life, absolutely. Have faith ... for without faith, life is impossible.

Prayer: O God, thank You for the Bible, this book filled with wisdom. Thank You for coming to this earth in Jesus Christ, to show us that You are a Living God. Thank You, that Youve given us the capacity to be faith creatures ... assumption managing human beings. You have promised that You will guide, direct, and lead us. Amen.

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