Monthly Archives: June 2014

Lessons From Titus (Part 2)

This is a passage from the second (of three) chapters of Titus. I have selected one passage of scripture from each of the three chapters of Titus, and this is the second post. Today I have chosen the whole of Titus chapter 2:

Promote Right Teaching
As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.
Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honours God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.
Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back or steal, but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive in every way.
For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.

This time I am not going to repeat all of the good advice that it gives us for living our lives. We can all read what is there, and apply it to our lives. There are a four things that I want to draw to your attention from this passage. One. The part about slaves usually gets a skim over as we think that it doesn’t apply to us, but what if I changed the word slave to employees, and master to employer? Does that make it more relevant? How do you respond to your boss? I have had some pretty awful employers in the past, but I have still tried to do what was right. I’m telling you now that it is not easy, but God has called us to be the salt of the earth. Two. We are to teach (and live out) the truth, so that those who oppose us will be shamed and have nothing bad to say about us. Do the people who oppose us have bad things to say about us, and what is more concerning, are those bad things true? We live in a world where we hear things like, “I don’t care what others think, I’ll do what I want”. Although we shouldn’t let others distract us from doing what God has called us to do (which they will try to do), we shouldn’t do anything wrong that they can legitimately hold against us. Three. We must teach and correct each other. We love this as Christians, we love to be corrected. See the sarcasm here? We should love to be corrected as it helps us be more like Jesus, but often we don’t. Make sure that you are not above correction (in love). Remember to also correct in love, not in anger.

My last point is an interesting one. This is talking about Jesus when t says, “He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” The passage has just finished talking about us doing (or not doing) certain things, then it says that Jesus death has set us free from every kind of sin. Now here is a question. If we have been set free from sin, why do we still struggle with it? I believe this is because Jesus died so that we have the authority to chose not to sin, however we can still chose to ignore what Jesus did. His power, our actions. Sound familiar (I have used that phrase before). I hope that this has given you something to aim for.

We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength!

Richard

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Lessons From Titus (Part 1)

The Gospels, Romans, Acts and Corinthians are usually used in sermons and talks, in order to teach believers. Titus is not quoted as often as it should be, so I have decided to do a 3 part post from Titus, taking one passage from each chapter and using it to teach us some valuable lessons. I’ll start off with Titus 1:5-11 which says the following:

Titus’s Work in Crete
I left you on the island of Crete so you could complete our work there and appoint elders in each town as I instructed you. An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife, and his children must be believers who don’t have a reputation for being wild or rebellious. An elder is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or dishonest with money.
Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life. He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.
For there are many rebellious people who engage in useless talk and deceive others. This is especially true of those who insist on circumcision for salvation. They must be silenced, because they are turning whole families away from the truth by their false teaching. And they do it only for money.

The first two paragraphs of this passage are laying out the requirements for those who wish to be elders. If you are thinking that you have no intention of becoming an elder so this doesn’t apply to you, think again. This is a good indication of what we should all be striving for. Even if we are not an elder, should we not be striving to be the best that we can? Did Paul not instruct us to run the race well? Let’s have a look at some things that we are told that elders should not be, here is a list of what we should avoid. Don’t be arrogant or quick tempered. Don’t be a heavy drinker, violent or dishonest with money. If that is what we shouldn’t be, here are some of the characteristics we should have. We should live a blameless life and we should be faithful to our spouse. We should have well behaved children. We must love what is good, live wisely and be just. We must be disciplined, have a strong belief in the trustworthy message, so that we can encourage and correct others. Should I stop there? Has this given you enough to ponder? Let me just make it clear that this is not a list of rules, this is not here to ruin our fun. This is here to make us better people. This is here for our benefit. Look through these lists and see what makes you feel a little uncomfortable, what is God revealing about your behaviour that needs to change? What do you need to address in order to be a better person? Don’t see this as a rebuke, see it as an opportunity for growth.

The last paragraph of this passage is interesting. It is a warning about people who deceive others. This passage is talking mainly about people who insist on circumcision in order to be saved. I would like to throw this open to cover a few more options. Circumcision was a religious act, which was fulfilled by the gospel, which is no longer required. Circumcision is not the only act that falls under this description. This is a warning to us about people who add to the salvation message, people who add to scripture and add conditions that God did not intend. Now most people may do this for money, but don’t let that fool you, it often isn’t. This could include ‘new age’ messages where everything revolves around wealth and ‘all religions lead to God’ or it could be religious practises which are no longer required, yet we are told that we have to do them. I believe that we need to know what the scriptures say, we need to meditate on them, and we need to put them into practise. Don’t only rely on your pastor to teach you (however good he may be), take responsibility for your own walk with Jesus. Learn what the scriptures say, make up your mind, and then send everything that you learn through the ‘filter’ of the Word. If it makes it through, then fine, but if it doesn’t, rebuke it. This passage of scripture has given us guidelines of what do do, what not to do and what to look out for. Use it. Make the changes necessary to see an improvement in your life, and be aware of those who are trying to tell you things that don’t line up with scripture. The only way that you will know when there advice is un-scriptural, is if you know the scriptures.

Strive for your best.

Richard

Your Attitude to Healing

I would like to start this post off by saying that I did not write this to pass judgement on anyone. If you read this post, and it upsets you, ask yourself why that is so. Is it because I have stepped out of line, or is it that this is a little close to something that you don’t really want to deal with? Remember, there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, so it is not my intention to condemn, but rather to help everyone set themselves free. Having said that, let’s have a look at what I am so concerned about sharing.

I have written various posts about healing, physical healing, like Jesus and the disciples demonstrated in the gospels. Now days that seems to have been watered down in most Christian circles, to merely praying for healing. Now this is not a post about how we should command healing using our authority in Christ, rather than asking God to do it, I have covered that. This is a post about the attitude of the person receiving the healing. I know that when you are in a situation where you are staring down the business end of a serious illness, you may be rattled and may not be filled with faith, but I feel that some ‘natural’ responses could prevent you from being healed. Let me explain. When I was younger, I used to have the theory that if you didn’t expect anything good, you wouldn’t be disappointed if you didn’t receive it, yet it would be a bonus if you did. This was designed to protect me from disappointment, and make good things more exciting. I now know that this is wrong. Let’s have a look at some Bible stories to see how I know this.

Pick a Bible story about healing, any one, and answer one question. Did the person (or a representative) come to Jesus, or did Jesus go and find them to heal them? I think that you’ll find the first option far more prevalent. Why is this important? I believe that the faith of the person being healed plays a huge role. Now I know that some Christians disagree with me, but as of yet they haven’t been able to show me any scripture to change my mind. All of the healings described in the Bible required some level of faith from the person receiving the healing, or a representative. Now answer this question, if what I have said is true .What are your chances of being healed if you don’t believe you will be, and you don’t ask? If anyone knows of a Bible story where Jesus goes to someone’s home when they had accepted that they would be ill and nothing could be done, and convinced them otherwise or healed them anyway, please let me know. I don’t think there is one.

Now I am not saying that having faith is easy, and I am not saying that there is no risk involved. I know the risk. The risk of being disappointed if you are not healed, the risk of getting your hopes up and then possibly getting let down. The risk of believing. If the crippled guy on the rug and his friends didn’t believe, they wouldn’t have made such an effort to get him to Jesus, and he wouldn’t have been healed. If the woman in the crowd had been too afraid to believe, she wouldn’t have desperately grabbed for Jesus robe, and she would not have been healed. Do I need to go on? Do you think faith came easy to them? It may have been easier then because they could see Jesus, maybe we need to have more faith to believe, Jesus mentioned that when talking to ‘doubting’ Thomas. I have been on the ‘healing’ side more often that the ‘been healed’ side of healing, and I can tell you that both sides require faith. Do you think that it is easy to command someone to be healed? To get their hopes up, when there is a possibility that they won’t be healed? The devil uses this fear on both sides, to stop us from demonstrating God’s power.

So what do we do now? Read the scripture, read the healing stories and see first of all how Jesus and the disciples did it, and how the healed person approached them. If you need healing, read the scriptures to build your faith, same for the people doing the healing. Dare to believe that you can be healed. If you’re still unsure of this, may I recommend a book called, God Wants You Well (Despite what you may have heard) by Alexander Roarke (search for it on your local Amazon website).

Read Scripture. Believe Scripture. Act on Scripture.

Richard

Sodzo

Here is a topic that I have spoken about before, but I’m going to talk about it again, as I keep seeing posts and articles in contrast to scripture. Please don’t get me wrong, I used to oppose this too, but I have now heard the truth and there is no going back. The word Sodzo (pronounced sozo) is the Greek word where salvation comes from. This means that Romans 10:9 could be read as “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be sodzo” We, as Christians, have no problem believing this – we can’t wait for someone to confess this, so that we can welcome them into the family, and rightly so. It doesn’t end there. Sodzo also means healed. I am talking about physical healing from illness, disease or handicap. Actually, the word Sodzo covers healing, salvation, deliverance and protection. Jesus died so that we could have them all, not just salvation.

Now, all of a sudden, the belief drops drastically. A whole lot of excuses start to make their way into our minds. “Jesus died for our sins so that we could be saved, He didn’t die for our health”. Rubbish. 1 Peter 2:24 says ”He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.” Also, Galatians 3:13 says “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” There is no doubt about it, Jesus died so that we can be healed. So why aren’t we? Doesn’t God always have His way? No. People misunderstand what sovereignty means. It doesn’t mean that you always get your way. If it did, Jesus wouldn’t have told us to pray “.. Your will on earth, as it is in heaven..”. God would always have His will, but He doesn’t. Now some of you are thinking that it is God who heals and not us, that is not entirely true. Before you start calling for my head, it is by God’s power, but we are called to use His power to heal, so the responsibility lies with us. Mark 16:17-18 says ”These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.” God’s power, our actions.

So then, why are people sometimes not healed? There are a few reasons but, for now, I would like to focus on the one which I believe to be the largest ‘culprit’. Faith. Look at the first line of Mark 16:17, These miraculous signs will accompany those who.. Believe. Not just in Jesus, but believe that the person will be healed. “Lord if it is your will please heal so-and-so, but if it isn’t, don’t worry” does not show faith at all. Besides, the example Jesus set for healing was that of telling the healing to happen, not praying. I don’t know where the idea for praying for healing came from, except maybe James 5:14. Really, the elders should know better. If you’re not quite convinced of this, Mark 11:22-24 says ”Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” Note also, the praying part came afterwards, the mountain was told to move. He didn’t say that we should ask God to move the mountain. Just saying.

Just in case you are using the scripture where Jesus declares that God’s will happen instead of His own, to try and justify that maybe God doesn’t want someone healed, here is another verse. Romans 8:11 says “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” I believe that scripture is clear. God wants us healed (maybe not right this minute, but not necessarily only when we are in heaven, otherwise he wouldn’t have used the word ‘mortal’). Sometimes we are not healed. Instead of pinning this on God because ‘it isn’t His will’, maybe we are actually to blame. Us in the wrong? I know it is hard to believe, but I can’t see God being wrong. When I say us, I mean mankind, not just individuals. Sin, demons, unbelief, curses, lack of authority, lack of faith, and timing can all play a part in someone not being healed. Assuming that God doesn’t want someone healed, just because we pray and we don’t see healing, is wrong. People tell me that I am full of myself because I believe that I have authority over illness, but if you believe that it is God’s will that someone be ill because your prayers don’t work, who is actually full of themselves?

I have only touched on this topic here, if you are interested in knowing more, purchase this book and read it: God Wants You Well (despite what you may have heard…) (It is available on Amazon, search for it on your local Amazon website. Author: Alexander Roarke). It was written by a friend of mine and it covers this in much more detail. Next time someone comes up for healing, instead of praying, talk to the issue and tell it to go. Follow Jesus’ lead. Believe that it will happen. Talk to the ill person first, find out where their faith level is. Give them scripture to help them believe what God wants for them. I am still learning every day and this is a constant learning curve, but the more I learn, the more people I see healed.

You have the authority, use it.

Richard

The Importance of Spiritual Gifts

When I was younger, I was at a church which didn’t stress the importance of spiritual gifts. The church was fairly conservative, very conservative compared to what I am used to now. It was all about theology and making sure that we were ‘doing the right thing’, although in hindsight, I don’t think that we were doing the right thing at all. I knew about spiritual gifts, but I thought that they started off more extreme than they do. For example, I expected to walk outside and see people healed as I walked past, then I would know that I had the gift of healing. I thought that it was clear what your gift was, and you were able to use it straight away. No one ever told me that you need to develop it. I was never encouraged to use mine.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming others for my lack of knowledge, I should have investigated this for myself and not rely on others for my spiritual growth. Now that I know better, I would like to give you a few reasons as to why I think that spiritual gifts are so important. I think that they are grossly under-estimated in most churches, which is sad and rather concerning. Some churches don’t even believe that they exist. This is astonishing as there is so much in the Bible about spiritual gifts and the Holy Spirit.

The first reason why spiritual gifts are important is for our individual growth. A spiritual gift (or gifts) is a passion, it is a road map of sorts for our life. If you have the gift of healing, I’m sure that you’ll spend a large portion of your ministry time healing. This gives you a purpose and a direction within the church body. Without knowing your gift(s) could result in you drifting from ministry to ministry without finding your passion. This can also result in burnout, as you end up doing things that you weren’t called to do. Let me also just say here that just because you have certain gifts, doesn’t mean that you can’t use the others. Refusing to heal someone because you don’t have that gift, is not acceptable. You have the ability to use all of the gifts in situations where they are needed, the spiritual gift that I am speaking about is the one (or more) that is given especially to you to edify the body. I have used all of the gifts at one point or another, but I know which gifts have been given to me specifically to edify the body of believers.

The second reason is because there is a void out there, and it is being filled with counterfeit ‘gifts’. I have the gift of prophesy, and I am always keen to use it. I have come across people that are much better at it than me, but I am continually trying to develop my gift. I see fortune tellers out and about, doing their thing, and it makes me angry and disappointed. There is a need for people to know the future, and the part that they play in it. God knew this, so He gave some people the gift of prophesy, so that we could use it to help others. All Christians should be able to hear God’s voice, so we should all be able to get prophetic words and words of knowledge. The problem is that we don’t hear God’s voice for others. This is why the fortune tellers are so popular. People need to hear from a force greater than themselves, we’re too bust arguing about theology, so they go to the fortune tellers instead. How sad is that? God is people’s last resort when it comes to healing, when He should be our first. Why? Because those with the gift are not using it, and the rest of us don’t even try most of the time. There is such a need out there, we have the answer, get out there and use your gift!

Lastly, using your gifts will bless you! This is one of the things that I find so amazing about the Kingdom of God. He gives us gifts and the more we use them, the more we are blessed. The more you give away, the more you get. As I said, I have used all the gifts at some point or another, and I have seen (and will see) some dramatic miracles in my time. I have also had people pray for me, heal me and prophesy over me, and I can honestly say that I have been more blessed by using my gifts to help others than the other way around. If you think that Christianity is boring, monotonous, frustrating or uneventful, then you are probably not using your gifts (or any for that matter).

If you’re not sure what your gift is, have a look at my last post entitled, Spiritual Gifts.

Richard

Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual Gifts

Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshipping speechless idols. So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

First of all, let me just make it clear that I believe that this is still the case today. I know there are some people out there, even people that consider themselves mainstream Christians, who believe that we don’t have spiritual gifts any more. That is not true. I have seen way too many signs and wonders to doubt this. So if there are still spiritual gifts today, and it says that all Christians have theirs, what is yours? If you don’t know, I seriously suggest that you find out. I have created a spiritual gifts test (based on an existing one) which you can download here, please feel free to download it and take the test so that you can find out what your gift is.

I would also like to make another point about spiritual gifts. The passage above is talking about the gift which you have to edify the church body, it is not the only gift you will ever practice. Scripture tells us to desire the gifts, there is an example in 1 Corinthians 14:5, which says, “I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you could all prophesy. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened.” I have done the test and I know which is my primary gift which I bring to edify the body, but I have used many of the gifts. I have used many of them in church, and also out in the ‘real world’, and I want even more. I have heard people use the fact that they don’t have a gift in order not to minister to someone. I have heard things like, “I don’t have the gift of healing, however my friend does, so ask him to pray for healing for you.” Yes, bring the person along to a healing service lead my the person with the gift, but don’t use that as an excuse not to try yourself. Firstly, how do you know you haven’t got the gift until you try? Secondly, what if God wants to use you to heal that person? Thirdly, you should be praying for healing, you should be commanding it (like Jesus did).

If you look at a football (soccer) team, you have free kick specialists, defenders, strikers. They all have special abilities that they bring to the team, but they can all do the basics. If you pass the ball to a defender and he has the chance to score, he takes it (hopefully). He doesn’t stand still and say, “I’m not gifted to score, I’ll call the striker”. If you are out and about doing ministry, and you get the chance to use another gift, do it! When you have a ‘specialist’ around, learn from them, then when you are on you own you can give it a go.

Matthew 10:8 says, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!”

Richard

Walking on Water

There is a reason why this blog is called walking on water ministries, and it is not because I am showing off at all, quite the opposite. This story is very relevant in my life. It has been in the past, it is right now, and I’m sure it will be in the future. I would like to show you what I get out of this story, and why I have decided to name my blog (and ministry) after this story. Let’s take a look at the scripture.

Jesus Walks on Water

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
“Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshipped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. – Matthew 14:22-33

Firstly the disciples, thought they were alone, this made them rather scared when the storm came up. They thought that because they couldn’t see Jesus, that they were not safe. How often do we ‘forget’ God’s promises to us, and ‘forget’ that we have the Holy Spirit? This causes us fear when we look up and see the storm. Secondly, They didn’t recognise Jesus. How often do we not recognise the voice of God? Probably because we don’t spend enough time listening to it. I’m speaking to myself here too, hence the name of the blog. This is just the beginning of the story, the rest is the exciting part.

Peter wants to join Jesus on the water, just like we want to join in the ministry, we want to have the faith and do the impossible to follow Jesus. So we step out of the boat, full of confidence, and we step on the water. All seems well, but then our eyes leave Jesus and we see the storm, the storm which is threatening us. The storm that shows that we really shouldn’t be out on the water. We start to sink. We panic even more, so we sink further. As desperation sinks in, we grab Jesus’ outstretched arm and He pulls us up. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” Good question, why do we doubt Him? It is because we take our eyes off of Jesus and focus on the waves instead. This is such an easy mistake to make, that is why spending time with God is so important. This is where I am in my life, doing my best to focus on Jesus and not on the storm.

The last part of the story is when they all get back in the boat and the storm stops. The storm is temporary, Jesus is forever. I am determined to trust my Saviour, and not focus on the storm. Jesus is forever, the storm (whatever it may be) is coming to an end. The best part of the story, is that even though I may fail from time to time and focus on the storm, Jesus is always there to catch me! How can you not worship Him?
Step out of the boat.

Richard

Extreme or Necessary?

I am an Andrew Wommack fan. I watch his programmes, read his literature, and I often dream of doing what he does. I find myself wanting to have the faith that he has, and be able to minister like he does. I am nowhere near the level where he is. This reminds me of a story where an audience member at an orchestra concert was talking to the pianist. The person said to the pianist that he would do anything to be able to play like him. The pianist said that that was not true. He then went on to explain that if anyone wanted to be a concert pianist, they needed to practice for hours every day. The fact that this person was not prepared to do this, showed that they wouldn’t do ‘anything’ to play like him. This is true. How many hours does Andrew spend with God a day? How much studying does he do?

I believe that some of these well known Christian writers and evangelists don’t read the paper, they don’t own (or watch) a TV, they just submerge themselves in the Word. I don’t do this. Could that be why I don’t reach the same heights that they do? Probably. Yes, I spend time with God, and I don’t watch the news or read newspapers, but I do spend time watching TV and messing around on facebook and the like. Now please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to do these things, I am merely saying that the choice of what we spend our time on is ours. Our relationship with God will only be as strong as we allow it. Just like any other relationship, if you don’t put the time in, it won’t be as successful as it can be. Fortunately God is faithful, so He will never let us go, but if we want to soar with Him we need to put in the time.

I mentioned that I don’t read the paper or watch news on the TV, this includes news websites online. I make it a point not to read them. Some people say that this is extreme, but I don’t agree. Firstly, do you believe everything that you see in the news? That is a risky game as you don’t know where it comes from and what their intentions are. Even if you do, shouldn’t we be focussing on God? Look at what happened to Peter as he was walking on the water, took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the storm. The news draws our attention to the storm. I would prefer to focus on Jesus. So how do we do this? Simple. Read the Bible.

2 Timothy 3:14-17 says, “But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” This is what I am after, this is all that I need.

Just as I don’t reach the heights of Andrew Wommack, many people don’t reach the heights that they wish to reach, because they don’t put in the required effort. I have chosen to put my faith in Jesus, and I have chosen to base my life on His word. I have chosen to ignore what the world is trying to tell me. What have you decided? What are you focused on? Jesus or the storm? Scripture or the newspapers? I know that some people think that this is extreme, it may be, but others are even more so. Just decide where your faith lies, and fix your eyes there.

Keep the faith.

Richard