This morning we heard a word about an enemy who has a plan to engage us in a battle. It’s a battle of entanglement to dishearten us from our weapons and the authority that is ours. However, we heard a word about God as our maintainer and our provider. He does not deal in confusion, but in the position of truth. His provision comes as the living word of truth which he watches over to perform wonders. We heard a word that says God is all sufficient and he works at the place of our surrender. We heard a word that says our God in Christ left us a pattern that we should follow, so that at the pattern of the cross we posture ourselves for success not failure. It is a posture of humility by which he will perform wonders before our very eyes. Today he would say, do not be afraid, and do not listen to the voice of the adversary who would discourage your Faith in Christ alone! When you speak those words “In Christ Alone” you make a bold declaration of surrender about who you’re going to trust. By assuming this posture, you will be speaking forth a prayer of great release. Today, let him release you from the fear, let him release you from the things that keep you from realizing what only He is able to produce! I was impressed this week with something someone had given me to read. It revealed a long forgotten story of a man in New York City, who in 1857 called a meeting to gather people with him to pray. In that prayer meeting only six people showed up. Rather than be discouraged by what may have seemed to some as a failed attempt, they would continue to meet weekly for the purpose of prayer. It would be that within the next year, the Spirit of God would move on upwards of 10,000 people to meet daily in churches all over the city to pray. As a result of a little prayer meeting, it is estimated that 1 million people came to faith in Christ during the course of the next year. There are greater things to be had when we pray in agreement with the Spirit of God. Today, find the authority that belongs to you in Christ and never underestimate the power when His saints pray in faith.
“Are you saved?” I can remember as child a Baptist preacher saying every week without fail the words; ‘Are You saved?’ I believe those 3 words are possibly Baptist’s greatest contribution to the faith. You may know a lot about Him, but do you know Him? If there is no grieving or sorrow over your sinful condition…no witness of the Spirit, then you don’t know Him. For Jesus to truly save you, you must believe you are drowning and in need of saving—otherwise the broken cry for a savior is not heard and He cannot save. It is a matter of need…do you need Him? Do you see your very real need of His love and forgiveness? Or, do you see yourself ‘pretty good’– never considering that one sin…it’s rebellion like witchcraft that has you under a spell of deception never considering yourself that bad; it is your only weak link, but it is powerful enough to destroy your whole life with that one unredeemed failure. I see God is not mocked and sin must be atoned for. What are you doing and where are you taking your sin for atonement? Because what He takes, He covers–what He covers, He redeems, what He redeems He changes, and what He changes He keeps for Himself with a movement of the Spirit that directs my steps to increase as His disciple and witness. So, I ask you again, “Are You Saved…Are You Really Saved?”
Lk 8:49..; (amp) ‘Your daughter is dead!’ came the word to Jairus, ‘Don’t bother and weary the teacher anymore’, they said. Jesus addresses that situation and those words by saying to him, ‘don’t let your heart be seized with alarm and struck by fear, simply believe that I am able and she shall be made well’. There’s just something about His name, His presence and believing that He can make a way when everyone else gives up hope! They said, ‘don’t bother Jesus’, that sounds just like the ‘spirit’ of the the enemy who want you to ‘stay away from Jesus’. I mean really, consider the alternative as staying away from Jesus so the devil can have the power over your life to keep you bound and alarmed by fear–really? I don’t see Jesus settling for that alternative. Jesus instead urges Jairus to a simple faith and nothing else. He is not interested in mere casual relationship that only wants an encounter with Him because of an urgent or pressing need. He wants to prove Himself to you by arresting your fears resolving them to simple trust by faith in His ability to call back the spirit and say, ‘My Child live!’ He’s interested in the relationship that changes your life and revolutionizes your world changing your belief system, so that in the face of what people say is dead and gone, you see and experience His power over ‘life as we know it’! The little girl in the story had died, her body lifeless, yet Jesus knows how to call her spirit back to life. When Jesus says in Luke 8 (nlt), ‘she’s only asleep’, He meant it. It wasn’t that He didn’t recognize death, but He was ‘The Life’ and her condition was not fatal in His hands. The enemy is likely saying to you right now ‘don’t bother Jesus..don’t bother with Him anymore.’ Jesus, on the other hand would say differently; He would say, ‘seek Me now, I Am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believes in me will live though he dies.’ Look it up, (Luke 8:50) Jesus is saying, ‘do not be afraid any longer only believe’ which is to say, put away your fears of failure, loss, or your lack of ability to change anything and walk with Me and watch and see!
In Matthew 14:26, the Disciples were afraid they’d seen a ghost when Jesus comes walking on the water. Outside the confines of that boat there is a very important principle to be understood. There was no ghost, no apparition, it was the Master of the sea who knows how to calm storm driven waters for those who follow Him. In times of trouble our eyes play tricks on us and make us vulnerable to attack. In God’s economy, the life that lives outside the boat represents the place of greatest safety. In financial terms it would be the place of greatest return. With Jesus, in that moment of trouble, the resources of God’s power are only fully available outside the boat. The disciples were caught up with their fear amid the storm waters, but stand as testimony to the fear that would hinder us walking with Jesus because of unbelief. Peter’s request to leave the boat was a wise and proper one, and so Jesus said come. Jesus treads on the water of our troubles and calls us out by name saying, ‘come beyond your belief to the place of real faith that refuses to see ghosts, or to find comfort in the seat of fear’. You and I daily have the choice to rise up with Jesus or be left to the counsel of our own fears. The boat is a picture of a false hope which cannot deliver and its fearful contents can never produce faith. No, faith comes only to those who see Jesus as the ‘only way out’ with their cries being met by His voice. The word I read says, ‘God makes a way where none existed and He speaks to say, do not fear, believe God, also believe and trust Me, for My words are life, they are true, clear and enlightening, and they are powerfully charged to liberate and navigate your troubled waters. Stop seeing ghosts and start looking and living for Me!’
To my children I often feel compelled to ask, ‘have you been in the word today, or even lately?’ That is a good question to ask yourself. You may say sure, I listened to the greatest radio preacher on the way to work today, or I am reading the latest, greatest Christian book, or I was in church just yesterday and the pastor was talking about the word. Anything remotely similar to those responses, really misses the point of the question. I mean, no doubt the radio preacher, the Christian author, or the pastor all base their life and message on the word. But, are you spending time in the word of God for yourself, or are you for the most part a ‘word-less Christian’? You’ve made a commitment, but have done little to build upon it. Have you become, according to the book of James, ‘a forgetful hearer, but not a doer of the word.’ Commit yourself to spending time daily in the word of God. Look for the word to move you, to speak to you, to change your thinking by hearing and doing what God says. Let the word of Christ bring forth His mind as it opens your heart and unblocks your thinking to view things as God sees them. The Bible says God’s word is ‘living and active’. It states that this word is further able to cut right to the heart to produce a testimony of Jesus. It was for this reason the Apostle Paul could say, ‘for me to live is Christ….’ The heavenly Father desires for His children to be His living witnesses. You simply cannot do that without this ‘living Word’. Or said another way, you cannot be His disciple without living in, and living out this word by your faith. Faith depends, trusts and relies on the word, and without it you will not be able to stand in these days. So activate your Christian life today by looking with expectation for the move of God through His living word. Finally, pray over this word asking God for the spirit of soberness and truth and you will receive a deeper revelation giving you eyes to see and a faith come to life!
Just what is the surpassing value of knowing God and thinking His thoughts? Jesus says in John 14:1, ‘Believe in God, believe also on Me’. The benefit of this well placed trust is a heart that receives comfort amid troubling circumstances and a mind that cannot fail to accomplish great things for His Kingdom. I had this thought and I believe it is for you….Give God your mind and His thinking will develop your actions to do exceedingly beyond anything you could think as possible! Someone said recently when speaking to a group of young believers: How valuable is your life? How valuable is your walk with God and just how will God carry forth His word and advance His message, if not with you? Son, Daughter–Your life is highly valuable in God’s hands; give Him your mind, think on His word and in faith you will believe and do what is only possible with Him!
God says, ‘You know some things, BUT you must pray!’ Prayer is awareness! The spirit of prayer will be the corrective lenses thru which God’s view of the word is opened up to you. Prayer changes our posture from haughty to humble, from sinner to saint! Prayer unlocks the Mystery of Christ to you, within you and through you! Prayer will be the defining mark of what you have come to know and what you truly believe. Recently, I heard the question asked this way, ‘How is it that you believe in a supernatural God, but don’t believe in the supernatural?’ Prayer is the key to the mystery that changes your thinking to recognize Jesus is at the spiritual place of God’s right hand of power pleading for you! Don’t tell Him He’s changed and no longer moving in supernatural power. He is there interceding for you to grasp the concept of an open heaven so you might boldly come asking to receive His grace and power (Heb 4:16). I tell you truth, it is easier to listen to other preachers, read enlightening books, listen to spiritual music, and even read the Bible, but harder still to pray. Don’t misinterpret what I am saying, those things are good and necessary, but without the spirit of prayer, your life will be rather one dimensional missing the dynamic that can transform what you know in your head to what gets ahold of your heart! Psalm 40 is a psalm of powerful awareness in which David’s ears are opened in corrective fashion to realize the resources afforded him by the King of heaven. What do you have need of today? You must in faith believe “God IS, AND HE IS A REWARDER OF THOSE WHO SEEK HIM”. What is it that you seek? You will accomplish it in the place of prayer. It will require an extraordinary measure of faith above other forms of knowing God because of its intangible nature. But it is the Supernatural way to commune with The God who moves with might and power in the unseen, when we pray! Thomas Edison once said, “If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves.” While I believe that is sure enough, I believe by the Spirit of Prayer we recognize the things God is capable of doing so He might astonish us!