Thursday, August 09, 2012
Mark 14:3-9 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? “For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. “She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
According to John 12:3 the woman in this passage of Scripture that anointed Jesus with the costly oil of spikenard was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. After she had broken the flask of oil over His head, she knelt down and wiped His feet with her hair. She worshiped Him with all that she had; her savings and her very being. It is noted in John 12:3 that this was a pound of the fragrant oil that she broke over Jesus' head. It was valued at a year's wages. Mary was described in Luke 10:39 as one who sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. Jesus said she had chosen that good part which would not be taken away from her. Mary was a worshiper! She loved Him and worshiped Him without caring what others thought of her. But notice that even though she was a worshiper there were those in her midst that did not share her worship of Jesus. In fact, her worship brought out their indignation! They sharply criticized her for worshiping Jesus with that valuable a gift. And yet Jesus upheld her for what she did! He chastened them for being critical of her. In fact, He went on to say that wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she had done would be told as a memorial to her! God desires our worship! When the praises go up, the glory comes down!
How do you worship the Lord?
I love to sing praise and worship songs as I worship Him. I have found that praise and worship music helps me to quiet myself before the Lord as I listen for His voice. It draws me into His presence. There was a time when my life was in such a turmoil that I would sit in the dark in my rocking chair and listen to worship music just to calm my soul. I needed the music to still my heart in the midst of the storm.
It is recorded in 1 Samuel 16:23 that when a distressing spirit would come upon Saul he would call for David to come and play his harp and the distressing spirit would leave as David worshiped the Lord. There is something about our worship that draws us to the Lord and away from the evil that tries to distress us.
Psalm 22:3 But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
God is enthroned in the praises of His people. When the praises of believers go up to God it builds a throne for Him to sit upon! How precious are our praises to Him! It brings His presence into our midst. He inhabits, or takes up residence, in the praises of His people!
Last weekend I was honored to help with some revival services in North Carolina. As we worshiped the Lord there was a point in time when it seemed as if the air became charged with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The atmosphere was heavy with the presence of the Lord. You could sense Him right there in our midst. He came and inhabited our praises! I listened as people's hearts were broken before Him as they worshiped Him.
Jesus said in John 4:23, 24: “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The word for “truth” here is the Greek word aletheia, which according to Strong's Concordance #225, means veracity, reality, sincerity, accuracy, integrity, truthfulness, dependability, and propriety. It is the opposite of fictitious, feigned or false.
To worship in spirit and in truth is to abandon yourself to God without pretense, worshiping Him without worrying about what others think of you or how you are perceived by those around you. Isn't that what Mary did when she broke that costly flask of oil over Jesus' head? Don't you think she somehow knew that she would be criticized for her worship of Him in that manner? And yet, she worshiped with her whole heart and expressed it through her finances. She gave all to Jesus! We sing that old song, “All to Jesus, I surrender; all to Him I freely give.” And yet, do we really give Him our all?
Yesterday a dear sister in Christ brought back to my remembrance an old worship song that we used to sing back in the early 1990's.
“Welcome into this place, welcome into this broken vessel. You desire to abide in the praises of Your people. So we lift our hands, and we lift our hearts, as we offer up this praise unto Your name.”
It brought back so many memories of my worship of Him at that time. I love to simply throw my head back and raise my hands in total abandonment as I worship Him.
He is worthy of our worship!
Lord, I worship You today! You are so worthy, Lord; and I lift my hands and my heart up to You as I offer up this praise unto Your name! Thank You, for abiding in my praises, Lord! Thank You for Your presence that drives out the darkness and distress! Thank You for receiving my worship today, Father! I know that You will never turn me away. You are always ready to receive me when I come before You in adoration and worship. You are great and greatly to be praised! All glory be unto You, Lord Jesus! Worthy is the Lamb Who was sacrificed before the foundation of the world for the sin of mankind! You are glorious and worthy to be adored! I worship You, Lord, and welcome You into my life today! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
I love the Word of God! When I look into God's Word I see His character and nature, who He is and wants to be to His people. I have heard people say that they don't understand the Old Testament and they don't think it applies to us today, since we have the New Testament. But I love the stories in the Old Testament. They give us a greater understanding of how God moves on behalf of His children.
As we look at the names of God described in the Old Testament we gain a better understanding of who He was, and He continues to be that to us. God revealed Himself to His people as the provision for their need when they first needed it. It is known as the “principle of first mention”. For example in Exodus 15:26 He revealed Himself to His people as Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals, or the Lord your Healer. When the name was established and He was revealed as that provision for their need it meant that He would always be that provision, not just then but throughout the ages. He is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord our Healer forevermore!
We find in the New Testament the name of Immanuel, which means God with us! It was used to describe Jesus because He is God in the flesh, and would come to dwell with us! Isaiah first prophesied of Jesus as Immanuel in Isaiah 7:14:
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Jesus was the Messianic fulfillment of this prophesy.
Matthew 1:23 “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
John 1:1-5 IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Jesus, the Living Word was with God before the beginning of time. Everything that is was made through Him and without Him nothing was made. In Him, in Christ Jesus, is life! And that life lights the way for men so they no longer have to grope around in darkness! Praise the Lord! He is Immanuel; God with us!
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
The word “dwelt” there literally means “tabernacled”. In the Old Testament while the Israelites were in the wilderness they set up the Tabernacle so that Moses could meet with God in that temporary tent. God's presence would fill the Tabernacle when Moses went to meet with Him. God manifested His glory there and the people would see the glory cloud as it covered the Tabernacle and know that God was meeting there with them. When Jesus came to dwell among us the glory of God walked with us here on this earth. He revealed the Father to us through His fleshly being and as He went about teaching, preaching and healing. He was living out what He heard His Father say and saw His Father doing. (John 5:19; 30)
John 14:18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
Jesus told His disciples in John 14:9 “....He who has seen Me has seen the Father;....”.
When we invite Jesus into our hearts to be our own personal Lord and Savior, He comes to live within us through His Spirit.
John 14:16-18 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--”the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
There is no way a person could step inside another person so when Jesus went back to Heaven the Father sent the Holy Spirit to indwell believers so that He could be with us always! God had a plan for man and Jesus died to redeem us from the bondage of sin, and to usher us into the family of God so we could experience the fullness of all that God had planned for us. If you have never received Jesus as your Savior and Lord and would like to, please pray this prayer and He will come into your life, save you and place you in the family of God.
Father, I come before you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge that I am a sinner by birth and by choice. I have hurt You, I have hurt myself and I have hurt others. I know that I cannot save myself, but You can. I ask You to forgive me for my sin and save me. Father, I believe that Jesus died for me, that You raised Him from the dead and He lives today. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Savior and I thank You for saving me. I receive You, Lord Jesus, into my heart to be my Savior and Lord. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen
We often think that once we have been “born again” or “saved” by having our sins forgiven that there is no further experience that we can have with the Lord. But that is not true; it is just a way for the enemy to try to keep us from experiencing all that God has for us.
John 16:7 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
Jesus said when He ascended unto Heaven that His disciples should wait for the promise of the Father, or the Holy Spirit, to be given. They were to wait in Jerusalem.
Acts 1:4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me;”
The Day of Pentecost is when the Holy Spirit initially came to reside within man. And that is recorded in Acts 2:1-4. But as we move on into the book of Acts we see that people received the baptism of the Holy Spirit after He was initially given, thus teaching us that the Holy Spirit is still being poured out on all flesh as we desire to receive Him. In fact, in Acts 2:16-21 it is described as a “last days” outpouring.
Acts 2:17-18 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.'
Jesus ascended back to Heaven and the the Holy Spirit came to take His place in the lives of believers. He is now the person of the God-head that is in the world convicting people of their need for Jesus as Savior, baptizing them for ministry, and is the “gift” of God that is for all believers.
Luke 11:13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Acts 2:38, 39 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
The Holy Spirit is the indwelling Spirit of Jesus Christ! He walks and talks with us, gives us direction for life, leads us into the truth about Jesus and the life that He died to give us. He is a person, not an “it”, and He wants you to know Him and fellowship with Him.
If you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior then you are a candidate for receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. If you would like to receive Him, just pray and ask the Father to baptize you in His precious Spirit and then receive by faith the infilling of His Spirit. He will give you a heavenly prayer language that you can use to fellowship with Him spirit to Spirit. You will also have a new strength and power within that will enable you to fight the good fight of faith, standing firm and strong in Him. The Holy Spirit is my best friend! He is real and longs to make Himself known to you.
Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Father, I thank You for the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. I couldn't live without You, precious Holy Spirit, and I thank You for being real to me. Father, I pray for my friends this morning who may have received Jesus as Savior and Lord and have the Holy Spirit within them but would like a greater reality of His presence. I ask You to baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fill them to overflowing with His presence. Father, I pray that as they are baptized in the Holy Spirit that you will give them their heavenly prayer language just as you did on the Day of Pentecost so that they can fellowship with you spirit to Spirit. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Luke 5:16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
Jesus lived His life through prayer. He often withdrew to spend time with the Father in prayer. It is as He spent time in prayer that He was able to then go out and minister the healing power of God to those who needed it.
We see just a few verses down from Luke 5:16 where it told about Him often removing Himself from the masses to be alone with the Father that the power of God to heal was present as He taught. We looked at that scripture yesterday. Many times we see in scripture where He went out to pray and then when He came back into the presence of the people the power of God was present and went out from Him to provide for their needs. It was as He was spiritually re-fueled through prayer that He was able to minister to the needs of the people.
Luke 6:12-16 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.
It was as He spent all night in prayer that He received the wisdom from the Father to know which disciples to choose to be His apostles.
Luke 6:17-19 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.
This took place after He spent all night in prayer and then chose the 12 apostles. It was then that the people sought to touch Him for they recognized the power of God that was present within Him to heal. He spoke with authority; He made decisions with wisdom and He healed with the virtuous power of God that He received during the time He spent with the Father in prayer.
Do you want wisdom to know how to live your life successfully? Spend time with God in prayer. Do you want to have an impact on people's lives for eternity for the kingdom of God? You receive His power through spending time with Him in prayer!! Do you want people to be able to see God's reflection in you? Look at what prayer did in Jesus' life:
Luke 9:28 Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.
Jesus was transfigured through prayer. When He spent time in prayer it affected His appearance. His countenance changed! When you spend time in prayer your countenance will change also. People will notice a difference in the how you look. There will be a peace about you that will draw others to you. I've had people tell me that there is something different about me and they can see it and want it in their lives. I had a lady that I worked with that told me that one day while we were on our way home from a business meeting. She said she had watched me and listened to what I had to say for a year and she knew there was something different in my life and she wanted it in her life. I was then able to share with her that it was Jesus in my life that had made the difference and I led her in prayer to receive Him as her Lord and Savior. She was changed because I had been changed by my time spent with Jesus in prayer.
As I was walking tonight a little song about prayer came to my mind. You can listen to it at this web address:
Whisper a prayer in the morning; Whisper a prayer at noon. Whisper a prayer in the evening; To keep your heart in tune.
Father, I thank You for the privilege of prayer. We can come to You at any time of the night or day and You will listen to our requests and answer our prayers. Thank You for empowering us for life through the time we spend with You in prayer. May we ever be aware that it is through those times spent with You that we receive wisdom for the decisions of our lives, direction for our journey, strength for the trials and the power to minister life to those around us! Thank You, Father, for making provision for us through our relationship with Jesus and the time that we spend in Your presence. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Monday, August 06, 2012
Luke 5:17 Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
Jesus had a ministry of teaching, preaching and healing! Everywhere He went the power of God was present through His teaching and preaching to heal people. He walked and talked God; He then ministered through the power of the Spirit whatever was needed to make a person whole! The power of the Lord was present to heal them! If they needed forgiveness of sin to heal them spiritually, the power of God was present to do that! If they needed deliverance from demonic oppression, the power of God was with Him, present to deliver. If they needed physical healing, the power of God was there to flow from Him touching them in their infirmity and healing! It was the power of God working through Him that brought the healing virtue into people's lives.
Matthew 4:23-25 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.
Acts 10:38 "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
When Jesus' disciples were sitting under His ministry they saw first-hand how the power of God worked through Him. He explained it to them in this way:
John 14:7-11 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”
Jesus acknowledge that the Father who was in Him was the One who did the works through Him. He expressed to His disciples that they could know that it was the Father within doing the works by hearing Him speak and watching Him work. He went on to tell them that those who follow after Him that believe in Him would do the same works that He did and greater works.
John 14:12-14 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask anything in My name I will do it.”
Mark 16:17,18 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.
This past weekend I had the privilege of sitting under the ministry of Reverend Hazel Forrester. She is my Pastor's mother and a mighty woman of God, who at the age of 87, is still out preaching, teaching and healing; following in the footsteps of Jesus! The power of God was present to save, heal, deliver and set free through her this weekend. It was a very special weekend for me! What an honor and privilege not only to sit under her mentor-ship this weekend, but to be included as a minister beside her helping her pray for the sick and oppressed. She has touched so many through her years of ministry. It was awesome to glean from her wisdom and watch how she followed the direction of the Holy Spirit in ministry. I learned so much from spending this time with her and under her anointing received healing and wholeness from the Lord, for the power of the Lord was present to heal! There were three of us ladies who accompanied her to North Carolina for the revival where she was ministering. We were all blessed to be a part of her ministry this weekend!
God is so awesome! Whatever you have need of, His power is present to provide the healing to make you whole! We saw many miracles this weekend and all three of us came back home changed!
Father, I thank You for the privilege of sitting under Sister Forrester's ministry this weekend. I thank You that she lives what she preaches and that her love for people compels her to seek You for Your power to flow through her to heal. Thank You for the privilege of helping her pray for the sick and oppressed this weekend! I am changed because of her taking the time to teach and instruct as she ministered. Father, I pray for those who may be reading this blog who need a healing touch from You today. I pray that they will reach out and receive from You whatever it is that they have need of. You are still present to heal through Your members of the body of Christ. Thank You, Lord, for flowing Your power through your children to save, heal, deliver and set people from from the bondage of the enemy! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Friday, August 03, 2012
James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Have you ever needed wisdom to know how to handle a situation and then asked God for it, but then went about your own way trying to deal with the problem in your own understanding? I think we've all been guilty of doing that. We pray and then immediately go out and try to solve the problem through our own way of thinking and acting. Sometimes, we don't even give God time to answer the prayer. It's almost as if we have already made up our minds to do it a certain way, but we need to do our “duty” in praying for wisdom so even though we know what we're going to do we “cover” ourselves by praying. James says here that when we ask for wisdom we can know that God will give it! It's an assurance that He wants to give us the wisdom that we need to solve our problem. But there's a condition to receiving that wisdom.....we must ask in faith, without doubting! Hmmm.....that changes things, doesn't it?
Ask – Greek word aiteo – Strong's #154 – means to request, petition. The word usually describes a suppliant making request of someone in a higher position, such as an individual asking something from God, a subject from a king, a child from a parent, or a beggar from a person of substance. The word denotes insistent asking without qualms, not “commanding” God, but solidly presenting a requisition whose items He longs to distribute.
I like the last line of that definition “the word denotes insistent asking without qualms....”. We ask God because He wants us to come to Him for wisdom. We don't have to worry that we will not be received; He is waiting for us to ask; “....not “commanding” God, but solidly presenting a requisition whose items He longs to distribute.” This statement reminds me of my years in the mortgage lending business. I often distributed funds from construction loans where it was needed to pay for work that had been done. The funds were waiting to be distributed. It's like having a checking account. In the banking industry a checking account is known as a “demand deposit account”. When you write a check you are making a demand on the deposit in that account. When I paid funds out of a construction loan I made demands on the funds that were available in that loan. God's wisdom is available to us for the asking. We make “demands”, not as in demanding that God do it, but as in making a request on the deposit that we have in Christ Jesus. He is waiting for us to make a demand on His wisdom so He can fulfill the request!
We often don't give Him time to send the “funds”. But if we don't ask in faith we really don't believe that He will answer so we rush out and do it “our way”. We subconsciously doubt that He will give us what we have requested of Him.
Doubting – Greek word diakrino – Strong's #1252 Has two definitions: 1) To judge thoroughly; to decide between two or more choices; to make a distinction; to separate two components, elements, or factors; to render a decision; to evaluate carefully. 2) the word also connotes a conflict with oneself, in the sense of hesitating, having misgivings, doubting, being divided in decision making, or wavering between hope and fear.
In this verse of scripture, using the illustration of the one doubting being like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind, I would say that the 2nd definition is the one in which James is referring. Ocean waves, when tossed by the wind, move in different directions, one going this way and another a different way. The one who doubts is driven by their emotions; sometimes having hope that God will do what He has promised and other times being fearful that He will not come through for him. This causes a division in the mind, a mental conflict and a hesitation in believing God for what they have requested of Him. Faith and fear cannot co-exist. You either have one or the other.
James goes on to say that the person who doubts cannot receive anything from the Lord, because he is a double-minded man and is unstable in all his ways.
Wow, that's quite a statement! What does it mean to be double-minded? A double-minded man is a person who is drawn in two different directions. One minute he's believing God and the next minute he's wondering if God's word is really true, did he really hear God correctly and will God really do what He has promised. James says this person is not only unstable in his prayer life, but his instability portrays a lack of consistency in all areas of his life. He is unstable in all his ways; emotions rule and reign in his life, when God's word should be the deciding factor in which direction he takes.
So, how can we become “stable” in all our ways so we can be people of faith, not doubt? I am reminded of the story in John 20 where Jesus addresses Thomas' inability to believe. We get the name “doubting Thomas” from this story.
John 20:24-25 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
Notice that Thomas said he had to see to believe; not just that it was needed for him to believe, but that he would not believe until he saw and felt the scars in Jesus' hands and side. “I will not believe”, he said. He was using his choice to believe or not believe to be ruled by what he saw; the sense realm.
But Thomas had an encounter with the Lord Jesus and this is what the Lord said to him:
John 20:26-29 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Jesus said it took Thomas' seeing in order for him to believe. There can be two camps in the realm of believers: those who have to see to believe, which I refer to as “unbelieving believers” and those who, by faith believe what God has said without having to see it first. Thomas was an example of an unbelieving believer. His realm of belief only went so far. He knew the Lord, was one of His disciples so he had been around Him, had seen the miracles that Jesus had performed and yet when it came time for Jesus to be out of his sight, he couldn't draw on what he knew to be true to enable him to believe without seeing it happen in the natural.
We can be like Thomas and have to see to believe or we can be as Jesus said “more blessed” because we believe without seeing. The foundation for our belief comes from what God has said in His word. The truth and the yardstick of our measurements should be what we read in God's word, what He speaks to us through His Spirit and what we know of His character and nature. When we base our belief on Him and His word we will become “stable”, fixed and unwavering.
It was said of Abraham that he believed even when it appeared to be untrue because of what he saw in his body and the deadness of Sarah's womb.
Romans 4:18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”
He believed, even when it didn't look like it would be possible, because he put his trust in what God had said, what He had spoken to him.
Romans 4:19-21 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being full convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
Abraham's success came through his faith in God's ability to perform what He had promised. He knew that God would do what He said, even when the natural ability to bring it into existence where he and Sarah where concerned was not there. The reality of the promise did not rest on his or Sarah's age or his ability to perform sexually, but it rested on God's ability to perform. Faith believes God, not what is seen, felt or thought through the senses of man. Stability in our faith walk comes through hearing the Word of God, believing it and acting on it.
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Do you need wisdom from God to know how to live life successfully? Ask Him and then believe and act on what He says! Allow your faith to be grounded in what He says in His word, not what you see around you. Faith grows just like a muscle, through use. If you can't believe God to provide for your monthly bills, how can you believe for a new house, new car, or a multimillion dollar ministry? If you can't believe for the healing of a headache, how can you believe for supernatural healing of a terminal illness? You begin small and as you exercise your faith and hear more of the word of God, your faith grows and you are then more stable and have the ability to believe for bigger challenges. There are no limitations to a person's faith ability! God will take you to wherever you exercise the faith in believing. He will be to you everything that you can believe Him to be.
Just as Jesus said to the synagogue ruler whose daughter died before Jesus got to his house to lay His hands on her for healing:
Luke 8:50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.”
Jesus challenged the ruler to look away from the negative report that he had just received and look unto Him in faith believing that what He said He would do and his daughter would be made well, which included being raised from the dead! Jesus said she was just “sleeping”, not dead! Faith moves beyond the natural into the supernatural!
What do you need to believe about your life today? Is is for healing, financial provision, wisdom to know how to move in a certain situation? Whatever it is, God has it for you! Will you believe Him today?
Father, I thank You for the wisdom You have for us for the asking. I thank You for being a God who longs to give to His children what they have need of. Thank You for not withholding any good thing from us as Your children. Thank You for being faithful to Your word so that we can place our trust in what You say and know that You will perform what You have promised. Father, I pray that our faith will be strengthened as we read and study Your word and listen to Your voice. I pray that we will find our stability for faith in You, through hearing and practicing Your word in our lives for the little things so we can believe for the bigger things that You have promised. Thank You for not giving up on us but for being patient in helping us to grow and be rooted and established in You so we can walk by faith and not by sight! May we be blessed in believing without having to see first. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. I believe I receive when I pray in Jesus' name! Amen.
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