believe

Believe Again

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believe: accept something as true; to accept the evidence of; to have confidence in the truth; to be persuaded; to trust; to expect with confidence

Have you ever wondered why certain things hadn’t happened in your life yet?  While I was praying one afternoon, I got my answer.  ‘You stopped believing.  You gave up’. 

It is hard to receive anything from the Lord when you don’t believe.  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 think that he will receive anything from the Lord  (James 1:6-7).

I didn’t have a problem believing that God heard me when I prayed for others, but I started feeling like God didn’t hear me when I prayed for myself.  That doesn’t make sense, does it?  Aren’t Christians called ‘believers’?  What happened to me along the way?  Was I upset because I asked God for something and He didn’t give it to me?  Did I think God was punishing me for something I did in the past?  Have I been disappointed so many times that I stopped expecting anything good to happen to me?  Or was I just impatient?

Jairus only had one child.  She was 12 years old and she was dying.  He went to Jesus, fell at his feet (worship) and made his prayer request known.  My little daughter lies at the point of death: I pray you, come and lay your hands on her, that she may be healed and she shall live  (Mark 5:23).

Jesus heard him and began walking towards his home.  Jairus believed that Jesus was going to answer his prayer, but then Jairus had to do something that we all don’t like to do.  He had to wait.  As they were walking, a woman, who was diseased with an issue of blood for 12 years, touched the hem of Jesus’ garment (Matthew 9:20).

That’s right.  Jairus had to stand there and watch someone else get what he prayed for.  And according to the scriptures, Jesus doesn’t keep walking after the woman touches him.  He stops and begins talking to this woman.  I can only imagine how Jairus felt.  It is during times like these that we feel God is taking too long and that He has forgotten about us.  You feel like you’re running out of time and you wish Jesus would hurry up.

We are never told that Jairus celebrated this woman’s healing or that he rejoiced with her.  You would have thought that witnessing someone else’s healing would have built his faith, but then he gets some bad news.  There came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Your daughter is dead: why trouble the Master any further?  (Mark 5:35).   He was basically telling Jairus that it was too late and that he ought to give up.  Jesus must have known that he was discouraged because He immediately said to him, Be not afraid. Only believe  (Mark 5:36)Do you know what Jesus was really saying to him?  Despite what has happened, believe Me again.  Trust Me again and I shall do what I said.  And guess what? Jairus did just that.  When Jesus resumed walking to his home, Jairus followed him.

Jairus and this woman were very different.  Jairus asked Jesus to touch his daughter.   The woman, on the other hand, didn’t wait for Jesus to touch her.  She touched him.  She mixed faith with works.  For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole  (Matthew 9:21).  What you tell yourself is important.  If there’s anybody who should have had low self-esteem or felt rejected, it should have been this woman.  She should have been somewhere alone, isolated from everyone, embarrassed about her condition, feeling unloved and unwanted.  It had already been twelve years now and that’s a long time, but she didn’t give up.

It is also very important that you’re careful about what you think on.  Not every thought is from God.  What the woman said to herself started as a thought.  Some of you right now are thinking that you will never get married or have children or be who God has called you to be.  It seems like things are happening for everyone else except you and the moment you get discouraged, you say things like, ‘I guess I’ll be single for the rest of my life’ or ‘Maybe it wasn’t meant for me to have children’ or ‘Nothing will ever change’. I loved the fact that when Jairus got the news his daughter died, Jesus never allowed him to open his mouth and speak against the very thing he was praying and believing.  One of the reasons why the enemy attacks the area of your belief is because he knows that ALL things are possible to him that believes (Mark 9:23) and he doesn’t want you to get everything God has promised you.

Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole  (Luke 8:50).  Jairus only wanted his daughter to be healed from one thing, but Jesus wanted her to be whole (healed in every area of her life).  This is another problem we have.  A lot of times, we become angry or bitter because we didn’t get the one thing we prayed for, but God wants to do exceeding abundantly above that which you are asking.  I’ll give you a good example.  A friend of mine had a sick grandmother.  For months, she prayed for her grandmother to be healed, but her grandmother died shortly thereafter.  The good news is that before she died, she received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.  Please understand that there was nothing wrong with my friend praying for her healing, but God wanted to give her grandmother something better.  God didn’t want her healed physically, but sick spiritually.  He didn’t want her grandmother to live apart from Him – not here on earth and not for an eternity.  Although we don’t always understand why certain things happen, we must always remember that His plan for us is good.

Do you remember the father who had a demon-possessed son?  When Jesus told him that all things are possible to him that believe, the father said, Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief  (Mark 9:24).  I love how honest and humble this man was.  This is what he was really saying:  Lord, I believe in this area, but I’m having trouble believing in that area.  Please help me in the areas that I don’t believe.  Help me to trust You.  I want us to be like the men and women described in Hebrews 11:13.  Some of them didn’t receive the things God promised, but they still  believed God.  In fact, they died believing God.

I’ve heard stories of people who went through a painful divorce and swore they would never get married again, but one day they gave love another chance.  They trusted again.  They didn’t allow a bad relationship to keep them from a good relationship.  So, I’m going to give Love another chance.  I’m going to pray the above prayer as many times as needed.  I’m not going to let bad experiences separate me from Christ.  When I first got saved, I was like a little child. Trust wasn’t an issue.  I believed everything God said…and I want that again – for me as well as for you.

Believe again.

 

[Scripture references: Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:41-56]

Don’t Miss It!

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One day, Jesus told a parable of a certain man who had two sons (Matthew 21:28).  The man went to his first son and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard’.

  1. Go (move, take a different course).
  2. Work (assignment).
  3. Today (now).

I’m not sure what these men were doing when their father called them, but he apparently had a different plan for them – to work in HIS vineyard.  It reminded me of when Simon Peter and Andrew were casting their nets to catch fish and Jesus told them, Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.   Prior to the invitation, they had been working for themselves and for their families, but this day Jesus called them to work for his Father.

The man didn’t ask his sons if they wanted to go.  He told them to go.  This wasn’t about what they wanted to do.  This was about what he needed them to do.  He sent both of them to his vineyard to plant and to water so that it would bring forth fruit.  The first son’s response was, I will not.  Initially, he didn’t want to change. He was stubborn and disobedient, but afterward he repented and went.  The man went to his second son and said the exact same words.  The son said, I go, sir, but he never went.  

The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few (Matthew 9:37).

God just doesn’t want us to attend church every week.  There is work to do.  Just like Joseph, God has sent  us ahead of the famine (Psalm 105:16-17).  There are people who have a need and God needs us to be in our place to meet their need.  God doesn’t want us to be like the second son who hears the word, but refuses to do the word.

The first son almost missed a great opportunity, but he believed  and went to his father’s vineyard. The second son saw his brother go to work.  He saw the change and the ‘fruit’ of his labor, but still refused to change.  To be honest, I don’t think he wanted to work.  I think he is like some of us who just expects our Father to do  everything.

If faith does not have works [deeds and actions of obedience to back it up], it is by itself dead [inoperative and ineffective] (James 2:17).

God told Abraham that a great nation would come out of him.  He was going to make his name great.  And not only was He was going to bless him, but He was going to make him a blessing.  How do we know that Abraham believed God?  Because He obeyed God.  He moved toward the promise God made.  He went to get what God had given him.  Some of us have missed out on things that God has promised us because we refuse to do the first thing He told us to do.

Your blessing is in the obedience. 

Maybe God is not telling you to leave a certain location or to walk away from some people, but maybe you need to leave the lies that the enemy has told you – what you can’t do and what you will never be.  Sometimes there are things such as hurt and unforgiveness that are keeping us from moving forward.  Joseph could have blamed a lot of people for what he was going through – his brothers, Potiphar’s wife and the butler who forgot about him.  It seemed like the people who he was sent to help, only hurt him.  My point is this: The longer he stayed angry and bitter, the longer he would have stayed in prison (mentally).  And in Joseph’s case, he didn’t have a lot of time to waste.  A famine was coming and his family as well as many others needed him to be free from prison.

In John 5:4, an angel would go into the pool at a certain season so it was important that one be ready at all times.  Whoever stepped in the water first after the angel troubled the water would be made whole of any disease he had.  I don’t know how long the impotent man had been lying at the pool, but he had an infirmity for 38 years.  According to this man, he kept missing  his healing because someone would always step down before him.  One day, Jesus saw the man lying at the pool.  He knew how long he had been in that condition and He gave him another opportunity to be healed, but the man had to want it.  Do you want to be whole?

It’s not too late for you.  God has not counted you out.  A missed opportunity doesn’t have to be a lost opportunity.  Another opportunity is coming to you.  I believe God is going to do something even greater in this next season.  And just like the impotent man, He doesn’t want any of us to miss it.  He wants you to be a part of what He is doing.  In fact, He wants to do it through you.  He wants to use you greatly in this next season.  He wants to make you whole.  He wants to restore years to you.

If you believe it, then do the thing that you’ve said in your heart, I’m not going to do it  or I’m afraid to do it  or I don’t want to do it.  Maybe some of you are thinking, I’ve done what the Lord told me to do and nothing has happened yet.  The key word is yet.  It may not have happened the last time, but it will happen – if you don’t faint.  Try it again.  Believe Him again.  God wants you to see His goodness.

Don’t miss it!

You Will Have What You Say

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If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall SAY unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you (Matthew 17:20).

If you have faith and doubt not, you shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if you shall SAY unto this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, it shall be done (Matthew 21:21).

Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he SAY shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he said (Mark 11:23).

If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you might SAY unto this sycamine tree, Be plucked up by the root and be planted in the sea, and it should obey you (Luke 17:6).

In order for the word to work in your life, it must be mixed with faith. The people of the Old Testament didn’t just obtain promises through faith, but they stopped the mouths of lions through faith. They were made strong and became mighty through faith. They won battles through faith (Hebrews 11:33-34). When you fail to believe what you heard, the message will not do you any good. You must accept it. You must receive it. You must believe that you will receive. Otherwise, it will not profit you. The enemy will tell you lies, but God has given us His word, which is true. It is our job to read and meditate on the truth every day. It is our job to say what is written – with confidence.

And the devil said unto him, If you be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread  (Luke 4:3).

And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God  (Luke 4:4).

God has given us power over all the power of the enemy. We’ve prayed long enough about our problems. Now it’s time to SAY something to the spirit that is causing the problem. In Mark 9, there was a father who took his son to Jesus’ disciples because he was tormented. The son would convulsed and have seizures, but there was a spirit operating behind this. This spirit would cast him into the fire and into the waters. Its purpose was to destroy this young man (vs 22). The disciples couldn’t cast out what was in the boy so the father brought him to Jesus. Jesus rebuked the foul spirit and He SAID to the dumb and deaf spirit, “I charge you, come out of him, and enter no more into him”. Jesus didn’t talk to the young man (physical). He spoke to the spirit. The words He spoke are spirit and spirit understands spirit. Our fight is not against what we can see. It is against what we cannot see.

We’ve been talking about our health problems when we should be rebuking infirmity and disease. You have been given power to do what Jesus did to the fig tree (Matthew 21:21). We’ve been talking about our money problems when we should be rebuking the thief, mammon and the devourer. And let me just add – If you want God to forgive your debts, first forgive your debtors. Forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against. Then, the above scriptures will work in your life.

Because you will have whatever you say, make sure that you only say what you want to come to pass. I wish I could tell you that it will be easy, but attacks will come. I was attacked in my sleep just a few nights ago. A hand was covering my mouth. That only proved to me how powerful the tongue is (Proverbs 18:21). Jericho was securely shut up because the people were afraid of the Israelites. None went out and none came in. This is what the enemy is trying to do to us. He wants to bring fear (as well as other things) in our lives so that we will shut up, but if nothing comes out of your mouth, then nothing can come into your life. The devil wants us to be weary in doing well. He wants us to stop praying (or pray less). He wants us to stop asking because he knows that when we ask and keep asking, it shall be given. He wants us to quit, but don’t do what he wants you to do. Do what God is telling you to do. If we do what God tells us to do and tell that ‘mountain’ what to do and where to go –

It shall move (Matthew 17:20).

It shall be done (Matthew 21:21).

It shall come to pass (Mark 11:23).

You will have whatever you said (Mark 11:23).

It will obey you (Luke 17:6).

This year, nothing will be impossible to us.