Stepping Out In Faith

Posted: February 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

I know that it is well after January 1st, when people typically make New Years resolutions to make some change they think they need in their life. This is usually done out of a tradition or a habit, and may or may not be successful.

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Sometimes, the Lord just seems to put something in my heart to do, and I know it would be  good thing – but sometimes I want to drag my feet. I recall a pastor preaching that when we feel that God has spoken and given direction, it is OK to put it on the shelf and question it  a few times. Can I be honest and say that I took that and multiplied it like loaves and fish (Matthew 14:13-21)!

So, I decided to look at scripture and those that stepped out in faith. The first that came to mind was Abraham, when God tested Abraham to step out in faith ( Genesis 22)- he told Abraham to take is only and beloved son and sacrifice him unto the Lord. Yikes! But Abraham took his son, journeyed with him and they came to the place where faith was stepping out:

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Genesis 22:9-14

When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood, and bound Isaac his son and placed him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to [g]kill his son. 11 But the [h]Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” He answered, “Here I am.” 12 The Lord said, “Do not reach out [with the knife in] your hand against the boy, and do nothing to [harm] him; for now I know that you fear God [with reverence and profound respect], since you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son [of promise].” 13 Then Abraham looked up and glanced around, and behold, behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering (ascending sacrifice) instead of his son. 14 So Abraham named that place [i]The Lord Will Provide. And it is said to this day, “On the mountain of the Lord it [j]will be seen and provided.”

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The next person in the bible that really stepped out in faith to me was the woman with the issue of blood. The unnamed woman in this scripture had a condition that caused her to bleed for 12 years. In the Old Testament, this condition made her ceremoniously unclean, and anyone she touched or was around her would be made unclean.

Leviticus 15:25-27

25 And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean.26 Every bed whereon she lieth all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her separation: and whatsoever she sitteth upon shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her separation.27 And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.

Based on her condition she could not go to a temple.She had spent all of the money on doctors and treatments. She had only one hope, a singular purpose of faith, to step out in faith and receive her healing. Pushing through the crowd, trying to make her way, she did not relent:

Mark 5:28-34

28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

Victory!

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And then there was the Syrophoenician woman, who was not Jewish and therefore not in the immediate plan for the Salvation as the Jewish people were to be first in line. The Syrophoenician woman knew this but still stepped out in faith to save her daughter who was possessed:

Mark 7:24-30

24 And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into a house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.

This woman of great faith not only got healing for her daughter, she also provided a glimpse of the plan of Salvation for all of man.

3 stories of great faith. 3 people who had different histories, cultures, family and background – their common denominator was faith.

I started out with Abraham because he was in that situation that many of us find ourselves in. Hearing the will of God to do something in our lives, and having the faith to step into it. I picked the woman with the issue of blood because it was something she had been dealing with for years, just like many of us have been struggling with something for weeks, months, or years. I chose the Syrophenician because some of us feel we may not deserve or can achieve it because of our circumstances – Jesus changes all of that!

 

My prayer for us all is that Lord we are ready to step out in faith! We are ready to receive healing, hope, and peace from the one who heals by faith! We are ready to receive the plans You have for us! We will trust in Your direction and faithfully step into Your will. Amen!

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

 

I think we all have felt defeated at some point in our lives based on bad or unwise decisions. I know that I have. Your defeat and my defeat may be different, but the feeling is the same. And then we get into a situation that is similar to when we lost ( INSERT failed, hurt, unworthy, betrayed, etc.) and fear wells up in our heart.

We remember how we handled it last time and may think, here we go again.

I think about the world we live in that is not as God had hoped from the beginning (Genesis), but I also think about the paths that He has put before us and the paths to victory (Jesus).

I am not talking about the horrible things that happen in life. The things that are evil, undeserved, unthinkable. Those things are not from God, because He is the Great Comforter, He is the Healer, He is who He says He is! If it is not God, how can it come from God?

Some of the pain in our life comes from…wait for it….ourselves. But Jesus is also a chain breaker. And He does this by positioning us from a position of victory. One of the most misinterpreted parts of the bible is that God never gives us more than we can handle. I do not see that in this scripture:

There hath no temptation taken hold of you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful; He will not suffer you to be tempted beyond that which ye are able to bear, but with the temptation will also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
THIS is our position of victory. In the past where we have failed, He has made a way. No matter how much we are tempted to fail, trusting in Him — we can be victorious! God is good, all the time – because He is God. Jesus healed EVERYONE that he came into contact with, and then, if He didn’t – He Raised them from the dead. Victory!
In a life that is filled with joy, sadness, disappointment, hope, fear, and every emotion you can think of, remember that you are fighting from a position of victory. Jesus conquered the grave, he conquered hell, he made a way to heaven and access to the Father. He did not do all that for us to fail – he did that so we could win. Such a price He paid for us to be on the winning side of life.
So why am I focusing on this? Because I am in a situation that in the past where I have failed….until today. I embrace my victory won by my Savior. I embrace that He has made me new. I embrace that I am resurrected with Him in this life, and I look forward to continue achieving more to glorify Him and in the process be a better person for my family, church, and friends.
My prayer for you is that you be reminded that you fight from a position of victory, not failure. That greater is He that is within you than he that is in this world.
There is a song called “Enemy’s Camp” and the line is “He’s under my feet, he’s under my feet, he’s under my feet, he’s under my feet, Satan is under my feet”. My question is are you looking up or at the bottom of your foot? Are you embracing the victory, or worried about what’s under “your feet”?
Today, let’s look up!

Momentum, not memorials

Posted: February 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

You and I have seen it. People leaving flowers or lighting a candle in memory of a loved one. I have done it, I get it. But God is tugging on my spirit, why are we waiting?

Waiting on what I asked God? He said: Why are you waiting to go to a memorial? Why are you lighting candle?

So I said, that’s what we do. When something bad happens, when a child is lost, when people die, when people are murdered, when disease takes someone, that’s what we do.

Silence.

And then:

I sent my Son not just to fulfill His and your destiny. My plan of salvation isn’t just for you….

My plan of salvation isn’t just for you….

The Bible says that His will is that none will perish. 2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Silence….

Then….He said that there has always been an opportunity for me to intervene. A prayer to restore, authority to cast out evil, love to mend, hands to heal, an army of angels  to defend and attack. I am God, who can give the most, and still loves the least of you. I am God, who hurts when His children hurt.

But, know that I am God who can come and intervene, protect, restore, before people call on me, not just after. I am not an after thought, even that is how people tend to try and use me.

I am your Protector. I am your Defender. I am your Deliverer. I am. I am. And I can do all things. Call upon me in prayer. Call upon me to intercede in the worldly things, because I am above worldly things.

You can do all things… Through Me. All can be healed…Through Me. Through Me, lives can be changed and souls will be saved. Through me…..

But not after the fact.

Start thinking through Me, and your world will change, and you will change the world through me.

Have you ever been waiting for God to do something, to solve some problem, or to fulfill a need? I can tell you there have been many times I have been waiting for God to do something – a healing, a blessing, wisdom, etc. In my faith journey, I am finding out that I may have been mistaken because while I am waiting for Jesus to do something, He is waiting for me to do something! Why do I think this? Because I think Jesus responds to faith more than need.

If we look at some of the healings in the Bible, those that were healed had 2 common denominators – faith and action.

Mark 5:25-34 King James Version (KJV)

25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,

26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.

33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

12 years she had suffered! The physicians of her time had failed time and time again. I imagine her pain and shame, how her hopes must have been crushed after every attempt to heal her in the natural failed. But then she heard about Jesus – and responded with faith that she could be healed and action by going to Jesus.

I believe that our Lord knows what’s going on everywhere at all times as He declares:

Jeremiah 23:24

24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.

So Jesus would have known that this woman had the issue of blood, that she was anguishing for a cure and to be rid of the shame and pain. Why did He not heal her? Faith and action! She had faith that even if she just touched His garment, she would be healed. She had to physically get up and go to where He was, and Jesus responded with healing.

Time and time, individuals in the bible went TO Jesus with faith and were healed. So how do I go in faith to Jesus?

His Word!

What I have to realize is that our plan of Salvation completed by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was the most compassionate, brilliant, miraculous, loving act of all time – it was perfect. I need to remember Jesus is not coming back every time I have a need in my life, His spirit is alive in me. I have salvation, His Word, and the gift of the Holy Ghost so that according to His word, I can can do what He did and more:

John 14:12 King James Version (KJV)

12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Jesus, thank you for Your sacrifice! Thank You that when we reach out in faith, you respond in Grace and Mercy.

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Holy Water Well

Posted: March 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

I have not posted as of late so it is time for me to get back to writing.

In my church, one of my pastor’s say’s sometimes we do “stupid” – “stupid” is another word for sin. I guess I need to call it what it is – sin. Ugly before God, and painful for all those involved. Sin is insideous, it is crafty, it kills, it destroys, it condemns. I am not trying to give power to sin, but to not acknowledge it’s impact on our and others lives is foolishness.

Recently, I did something very terrible – I confessed, I asked for forgiveness from God, I had hands laid upon me, I have prayed, and I have read – but sometimes I feel I need a well of holy water so when I take a shower, drink water, wash my hands I can get it washed off all over again. Guess I have some work to do.

I understand that Christ forgave me and He has forgotten what has happened, and I know that He will help me get where I need to be if I let Him. My faith in these things is strong.

However, life is less easy to get moving forward. For me, it is forgiveness from those affected – that they have to go through some of the repercussions of my action, and that they memories of it. What do I do about that? Not so easy. If we have hurt someone, their feelings are their feelings – raw, real, and present. Any little thing might remind them of the hurt and they relive the whole thing over and over again.

As I prayed to God about this, He reminded me that He made me and He made them. He is the one that can heal their hearts and remind them of who they are to Him, just like He does for me. What I can do is pray for blessings, strength, courage, healing, freedom, love, hope, and peace for their lives.  As far a memories in these situations, what I can do is create new ones that will bless their lives and hearts.

He also reminded me that He has the answer for my life – He always had, if only I would follow and listen to Him. I am reading a book called “Roll Away Your Stone” by Dutch Sheets. He talks about the Yoke:

Matthew 11:30

New International Version (NIV)

30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Sheets discusses the yoke a little more differently and honestly than I have heard before. I mean, a yoke is a yoke –

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A yoke is a wooden beam, normally used between a pair of oxen or other animals to enable them to pull together on a load when working in pairs, as oxen usually do; some yokes are fitted to individual animals. There are several types of yoke, used in different cultures, and for different types of oxen. A pair of oxen may be called a yoke of oxen, and yoke is also a verb, as in “to yoke a pair of oxen”. Other animals that may be yoked include horses, mules, donkeys and water buffalo.

Sheets reminded me that if I am yoked to Christ, I will be led by Him and he will help me get to where I need to go – but it is still work, it will be uncomfortable at times, and I may not want to go where He goes – but if I choose to be yoked with Him, He can see me through it and I can achieve my destiny and avert the ramifications of being yoked to my flesh. Praise God that He is ever willing to lead us if we would just follow!

Today I stand on His promises and His Word!

Blessings,

Bob

Fwd: Faith

Posted: February 16, 2013 in Faith, Healing, Speaking Faith, Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Have you ever gotten one of these:

If you love God…then you will send this email to ten people and God will bless you.

or

Forward this to ten people or God will smite you!email

Well, I want to be honest about this and admit in the past I have gotten them and forwarded them. When I did, I did not really think about it much. Did I actually believe what the email said? Not really. Did I think about how someone who did not know God might respond? Nope. Did I even have a feeling or quiet prayer for those whose inboxes I just help fill a little more? Nope.

I truly believe people need a kind word, or a good thought at certain times during the day which is why I might have forwarded someone else’s words and thoughts, and perhaps it did accomplish the task – but I cannot be certain it did. What I am re-evaluating is what was in those emails.

The whole “if you” and “then” part is the most troubling. The formula for our Salvation was planned by God with a great Sacrifice. Who am I to send an email to someone and say because they do not forward something they will be judged or they do not love God – simple, I can’t.

If I think about someone who does not have a relationship with God, and they get these emails, I am pretty sure they will not be a step closer to Him – and it may make them take a step back.

The last thought I had about was the impersonality of clicking forward and just clicking names with little or no thought – spreading the Gospel? Probably not. Sharing the love? Not Really. Spamming? Ummmm.

Jesus died for all us, and I am pretty sure that He does not have to do it again because I did not forward an email to 10 people in 30 seconds.

Scripture says:

2 Corinthians 5:10

New International Version (NIV)

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

When I have read this verse in the past I said ” Oh boy” – I am in trouble! Luckily with the help of many spiritual partners in my life they reminded me not to take a verse out of context and look at the whole Word of God (++see commentary below).

So I have decided to do something different. If I get that email, I will pray for that person. If I read a comment on a blog or website and they are criticising God, I will pray for them. If someone is on my heart, I will hold them up in prayer or maybe even call them. To me, that will have more impact than a Fwd:Fwd:Fwd:Fwd:Fwd God loves you email.

Thank you Lord for the many avenues of opportunity to share our faith in this modern world, and help us use it as you might to reach those that are lost and those hurting in need.

Blessings,

Bob

DISCLAIMER: I hold no judgement on anyone that has done, is doing, or will do this.

++5:10 Degrees of reward in heaven are taught in this verse. Though Christians have their sins forgiven and will never suffer the punishments of hell  Rom. (6:23; 8:1), they will all nonetheless stand before Christ at the Day of Judgment, to receive various degrees of reward for what they have done in this life (Matt. 6:20; Luke 19:11-27; 1 Cor. 3:12-15) This judgment will include a disclosure and evaluation of the motives of our hearts (1 Cor:4-5)

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