Walking by faith is deliberate, focused, and takes effort. That is why James 2:17 says "faith not accompanied by action is dead". If faith was all we had to contend with that wouldn't be so hard; however, we have an adversary to contend with - and he's just as deliberate, focused, and effort driven! That sounds like bad news, but depending on how you look at it, it can be good news! God has placed weapons at our disposal that the enemy will never have! That is why He hates us so much. First of all, we have the Word of God available to us 24/7 that teaches us how to defeat this adversary (you do have to read it though). Secondly, we have the Spirit of the Living God living on the inside of us! 1 John 4:4 says "greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world ". So, if the Spirit of God is living on the inside of us, He's always speaking, directing, and showing us things pertaining to how to win our battle. The problem lies in us first of all listening, and then obeying. Thirdly, God has given us dominion, authority, and power over the enemy (Luke 10:19). Ephesians 2:6 says "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus." That means when we use the Name of Jesus, satan must bow to us just as he does to Jesus - because we're not commanding him in our authority, we're commanding using the Name above every Name (Philippians 2:9)! He's also given us His armor to fight this battle with. See Ephesians 6:10-17. WOW! Our Daddy loves us so much! He's given us everything we need to be more than conquerors, which is who He says we are in Romans 8:37. So, if we look at things from God's perspective - and we can because 1 Corinthians 2:16 says "we have the mind of Christ" - we are well equipped with everything we need to finish our race well! The question is will we use what we have or continue to wait on God to do it for us? I pray you'll roll up your sleeves, jump in, and work collaboratively with Holy Spirit for Him to bring you to your expected end (Jeremiah 29:11). He loves to show up and show out in our lives, but just as at some point you put the spoon down and expect your child to pick it up and feed themselves, our Father expects the same from us! We can do it my brothers and sisters! LET'S GO!!!
Have you ever been at a place in your life where you've been waiting on the Lord, waiting on the Lord, and waiting on the Lord...firmly sure and confident that He's going to come through but it's been a while and you also know without a shadow of a doubt that He is your only option? Well that is exactly where I am in my life today, but I want to share the good news with you that the Lord spoke to me this morning and I believe is applicable to you too. He said, "You're in the home stretch!" That was a sweet melody to my ears and it gave me that spiritual boost I needed to keep standing and keep pressing! Waiting on the Lord is not easy! And it's really not easy when you have done all that He instructed you to do and now He says all you have to do is "stand still and see the salvation of the Lord" (2 Chronicles 20:17)! He just told me this morning that there is nothing else required of me. My job now is to just believe His promise, continue to speak His Word over my life regarding that promise and be in agreement with what it says, and watch Him bring it to pass. Oh my goodness! I know I'm not the only one who knows how extremely difficult that is! But either I trust Him or I don't. I'm so far out here on faith now that there is no turning back! All I can see is water all around me. There is no land in my line of vision that I can attempt to swim to. My only option is to trust Him to hold me up or sink. The wise choice is to take option A and that's the one I've decided on. So my brothers and sisters, if you're out there up to your neck in the Sea of Faith, just continue to hold your position and hang onto Jesus. He said you're in the home stretch!!!
Sadly I must confess that this is an area in which a great majority of the Body of Christ receives a failing grade. But don't turn me off and stop reading...I want to encourage you that this statement does not have to apply to you. You can rise above this label! According to dictionary.com to be faithful is to be:
Oxford Dictionaries defines this word as "a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future". This should be the place where the mind of every born again child of God resides! God said He would supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)...expect it! He said He would restore health to you (Jeremiah 30:17)...expect it! He said no weapon formed again you shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17)...expect it! He said all things are working together for your good (Romans 8:28)...expect it! These are promises that belong to each and every child of God, but there is that individual, specialized dream and promise that He has spoken into your heart...expect it! Expecting is not a passive thing; it is very much alive and active just like whatever it is He spoke to you. Speak it back to Him and thank Him for it often and do whatever you need to do on your end to receive it.
While we are in our place of expectation, we must keep our words in line with God's word. Proverbs 18:21 essentially tells us that our own words chart the course of our lives. God said He would supply all your needs, but if you keep saying "I'm broke", then that's exactly what you will be! We continue to vacillate back and forth between what the Word says and what the world says. Today we're saying "by the stripes of Jesus I am healed". Tomorrow we're saying "I feel so bad, I must be coming down with something". Which one do you think you're going to have? You've spoken God's word but it's obvious you didn't believe it or expect it to come to pass in your life because what was in the abundance of your heart rose up out of your mouth (Luke 6:45) and told the true story. Therefore, you will come down with something because that is what you believed! People don't realize how vitally important the words they speak are to the quality of their lives...
When you are expecting something from God, you must remain in that place of expectation no matter what. You MUST expect God's Word to work! I'll continue to use healing as an example because I see this so much in the Body. It is my prayer the Saints of God wake up to the fact that their words are their own worse enemy. Let's say you have symptoms of the flu. You can say, "Oh no you don't flu, you can't come on me, by the stripes of Jesus I was healed." (Yes, you can talk to your symptoms. Jesus talked to inanimate objects all the time. He spoke to that fig tree and EXPECTED it not to yield anymore fruit...it didn't! I've copied His example and I know firsthand it works). So, you then expect the symptoms to go and you stand on that Word of God for however long it takes. I guarantee you they will leave. Your faith is what activates the Word of God. Jesus said that many times also, "Your faith made you well". However, if you waver in your stance, you can't expect it to work. No matter how long the symptoms present themselves, you have to keep saying what God says with the expectation of His Word coming to pass in your situation. If you let go of that and say, "this is not working; I don't feel good" then don't try to blame it on God and say the Word doesn't work. No, it was you that didn't work. You did not hold your position. The Word works if you work it! Again I reiterate there is nothing easy about this faith walk. It takes stamina, discipline, and determination. But if you are in a true place of EXPECTATION, you will receive that thing from God just as sure as your name is ________! Expect it, believe it, and continually thank God for it! It's already yours!
This morning as I was grinning to myself, meditating on how good God is to us, how loving, and how kind He is to us the word that ran across my mind was "relentless". No word can accurately describe who He is or all that He does. We put our best efforts forward. Amazing and awesome are two of the words that are used quite frequently, but I have not heard Him called relentless very often. Yet and still He is. Merriam-Webster defines the word as: "showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace". When God created us He was relentless in His pursuit of a family He could love. Even after Adam and Eve's blatant disobedience, He showed no abatement of severity in His pursuit for us by sending Jesus Christ to save us from eternal separation from Him. His intensity was heightened when He turned His back on His only begotten Son while the weight of the world's past, present, and future sins were placed on His sinless body. His strength was displayed mightily when He raised that same Son from the dead - now full of glory having abolished the penalty of sin for all mankind. Because of this everyone now has opportunity to be a part of God's family again and live in fellowship with Him. And His pace has not lessened as He continues to pursue each one of us every single day. Some He's in pursuit of to believe that Jesus is His Son and died for their sins. Some He's in pursuit of to come off the milk of the word and grow up to solid food (Hebrews 5:12). Some He's in pursuit of to follow His instructions (too many scriptures to name on obedience or lack thereof). Some He's in pursuit of through encouragement and teaching and new revelation because of their desire to go higher in Him. Wherever you are at this very moment in your life, our loving and faithful God is in pursuit of you on your level. He will not stop pursuing us until the day we take our last breath. What a mighty God we serve! Therefore, I call Him relentless. This is just one of the multiplicity of reasons I love God. Because He is relentlessly working in every area of my life, it is my desire to relentlessly seek Him, yield to Him, and allow Him to lead me in the way I should go so that I may receive that predestined abundant life He ordained for me long ago!
In 2015 our then Women's Ministry President asked me to teach a series to our Monday night Sister to Sister group entitled "Confidence". I had been listening to other sisters teach on their appointed topics and I knew my time was coming, but still I was not ready and I surely did not know what to do with this topic as this was an area I was lacking in myself! Of course I went straight to the Lord to see first of all was this something He was calling me to do and secondly to help me do it because I was surely going to need His help.
This turned out to be one of the most wonderful experiences of my life! The Lord gave me many interesting ways to engage the women and what I did not realize until later was that during the process He was awakening confidence in me that was already there, but I didn't even know I had. For I believe five or six consecutive Mondays I taught the women with what God had given me. He spoke to me about and changed my wardrobe during that time and began selecting my outfit for the day. I always shared with the women how much fun the Lord and I had preparing those lessons. One of the women was amazed and shared with us that she did not know you could have fun with the Lord. To her that was unheard of! Many of the women spoke about how there was a shift during this confidence teaching taking all of us to a higher level in Him. Everyone wanted to know Him in a better way. For my final night of teaching the Lord had me write a love letter to all of us and signed it "Love God"! I cried as I read this to them and shared the love the Father had given me to put on paper and distribute to each one of them. We all sat there speechless and in awe. God had truly outdone Himself! Many of us framed our letters and hung them on our walls. Mine is framed and I can see it right now, but it is a personal thing. I will not be sharing it. I will tell you that it is titled "Faith, Confidence, Courage - from Glory to Glory: A Word for My Daughters".
My confidence level has skyrocketed during these past three years and I know teaching this series and the invaluable time spent with my Father during this process was the catalyst. Every opportunity the Lord sets before us is for our benefit and for His glory. Sometimes the things He asks us to do seem real crazy to us and we just can't figure out why, but trust me, just do it! I have been at that place many times in my life and as a matter of fact am at one right now, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that I can wait with confidence! My Daddy knows what He's doing!
Attached is one of the lessons He and I prepared and taught called "How to Build Your Confidence Arsenal". Enjoy!
Most people think patience means just putting up with or enduring something. However, patience is much more than that. Patience is a spiritual force that will keep you in perfect peace while waiting on God. Hebrews 6:12 says to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Many people miss out on what God has for them simply because they get impatient. They use their faith today, tomorrow, and maybe into next week, but most people are not willing to stand for the duration to see their promise or the thing they have prayed for come to pass. They want God to answer them and answer them quickly! Nowhere in the scriptures does it tell us that our prayers will be answered instantaneously. Mark 11:24 says whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. I see no timetable in that scripture. That means when you pray and you believe what you prayed, you already have it in the spiritual realm, but you are going to have to wait for the manifestation - and no one knows when that will be but God! Everything has a set and appointed time with God. Just imagine praying and believing for something for let's say 364 days. You stop believing on that 364th day because you've had enough and obviously in your mind God did not hear you and is not going to come through. But the thing you didn't know is that day 365 was the set time to receive your answer and you missed it because you gave up! I wonder how many people that has happened to? It certainly will not happen to me and my prayer that is it won't happen to you either. That is why patience is of the utmost importance in your faith walk. Then there's also perseverance. Merriam-Webster defines this as "continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition". These go hand in hand because in order to persevere you must have patience working for you. My definition of perseverance is to carry on in life toward completion of your mission while you wait in complete confidence that your answer to your specific prayer is on the way. One of the things I say to the Lord with each new day is: "Thank You Lord that I am one day closer to my destiny!" Everyday is not easy, and no you are not always smiling and happy about having to wait. But, just like everything else in life, being patient and the act of persevering is a choice. You can choose to walk in them or you don't have to. But don't hate on others because they are living a life of answered prayer, and don't you dare compare their life to yours. You have no idea how long they have been standing in faith or how much they've persevered to see this prayer come to pass. You have no idea of the tears they have cried. You have no idea of the difficulties, failure, and opposition they have stood through. No two walks are the same. Yes, God will sometimes answer our prayers immediately because He's a sovereign God and He's got it like that. However, be prepared to buckle down, stand still, and wait to see the salvation of the Lord! Joseph waited 13 years. Abraham waited 25 years. Moses waited 40 years. Caleb waited 45 years. How long are you willing to wait?