Monthly Archives: September 2016

Great Examples of Faith

I have recently been thinking about faith, and the affect that it has on our lives, and I have come to realise that it is much bigger than I thought. I used to read scripture like where Jesus tells the disciples that they can use faith to move a mountain, and I used to think, “Yes, in theory it can”. No, it does. This is what I am trying to get my head around, because we know faith is important, but if we don’t ACTUALLY believe, then we don’t have faith. I need to build my faith and eliminate any unbelief, so I can see my faith move some mountains. This passage is just as much for me as it is for you.

Read Hebrews 11. Don’t just continue reading this post, actually go and read Hebrews 11. The Bible mentions 18 different people or people groups, who use faith. This excludes the very first, God, when He created the world. This whole chapter is showing us how important faith is, but do we really get it? I don’t think so, because if we did, we would see more mountains move. Let’s take a look at some key points.

Verse 3. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. What does this mean? Simply, you couldn’t see the universe, God commanded it to be formed through faith, and it was formed. Wow. Now obviously evolutionists will counter this, but I believe the Bible, and I believe that God spoke the universe into being. God spoke it, He believed it, and it happened. Where have I heard that before? Oh yes, Jesus told us to speak to the mountain, believe that it will move, and it will move. Simple. Speak it, believe it, see it.

The chapter them goes on to list story after story of people in the Bible who had faith, and what they managed to achieve by putting it into practice. I am not going to list them here, because you have just read about them. How many times does the Bible use so many examples to make a point? I can’t think of any like this, so it must be important. So what is faith? Verse 1. Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. I need to get my head around this. I need to start seeing what I believe for as a reality. This is the hard part. We all believe that miracles happen, and we all believe that God CAN do things. We don’t always believe that something WILL happen, or even HAS happened and just needs to manifest in the physical. What I mean by that is that it has already happened in the spiritual, it just needs to happen in the physical. We are lead to believe that what we hope for is a possibility, but do we believe that it is a reality? Can you believe that before you see it as a reality? Can you see something in your mind and believe it to be real, before you see it with your eyes? That is faith. That is what I need to get my head around. That is what I need to start doing. How about you?

After reading about all of the people who had faith, you may be thinking that this is something of the past and no longer applies today. This is not the case, in fact, I think it applies even more today. Take a look at verses 39 and 40. All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. We have the Holy Spirit helping us, we have a new, pure, righteous, born-again, spirit. We should be doing even more than the people mentioned. If we can get our heads around this passage of scripture, and actually start doing it, the sky is no limit. We need to use our faith, eliminate unbelief, and start to see what we believe as reality. Is this easy? No. If it were I would be doing it. I need to do it. I need to make what I believe, what scripture teaches me, a reality. If you are not seeing what scripture teaches in your life, then maybe you don’t believe it as a reality? Maybe you need to join me in getting serious about this.

Let’s move some mountains.

Richard

Turn Unbelief into Faith by Switching Your Sentence Around

What goes before and after your but? That is the question for today. Does it make sense? Once you have read this blog post, I hope that it not only makes sense, but makes a difference.

I have often taught on healing, I have quite an extreme view on it, and I take quite a lot of verbal abuse from Christians. People are constantly trying to convince me that God doesn’t always heal, and that it is sometimes His will that people are ill. As far as I am concerned, this is complete rubbish, and I will not let their views change me. Having said this, I do get some constructive questions, and one of them is the following. How do you balance the physical ‘reality’ of your situation and the spiritual ‘reality’ of what the Bible says? Both are a ‘reality’ but both are also not. Let me explain. The physical reality is that I wear glasses, as I am short sighted. The spiritual reality is that Jesus died for my healing, and it is God’s will that I see properly. There is no reason why I shouldn’t receive my healing and throw the glasses away.

When I teach about healing, it always goes hand in hand with faith. We know that it is faith that facilitates our healing, and we also know that unbelief will oppose or even prevent our healing. We also know that the power of life and death is in the tongue. We know the importance of speaking healing into our lives, and we know the importance of speaking the right words. Positive words. Having said this, I can’t go around saying that I don’t need glasses and that I can see perfectly. That would be a lie in the physical, and would confuse people. I also won’t walk around saying how bad my eyes are and that I can’t see without glasses. That is not faith. So how do we balance the two? We say both, but we need to be careful what comes before and after our but. Make sense?

When we make a statement with two parts, separated with a ‘but’, the second part is ‘more true’. Think about it. I went to the park expecting sunshine, but it rained. Both halves of the statement are true, but the latter half trumps the first and therefore is seen as the greater truth. So let’s look at my situation in this light. I can say it one of two ways. I am healed by Jesus and I believe that I will receive full sight, but I am short sighted and I need to wear glasses. How are you left feeling after this statement? I am left feeling negative, yes there is a positive statement, but it is overshadowed by the ending negative one. I think that statement speaks more unbelief than belief. Having said that, this is how I hear many Christians responding. I also hear most non-Christian people talking like this (although they may not mention Jesus). Let’s take the same sentence, and just switch it around. I am short sighted and I need to wear glasses, but I am healed by Jesus and I believe that I will receive full sight. How does that leave you feeling? Much more positive I trust, it makes me more positive. The two comments are both true in a sense. I am short sighted at the moment, in the physical. I am also healed in the spiritual, and I do believe that my healing will manifest in the physical. The statements do seem to contradict each other, but they can both be put in a sentence together. The only question is which one goes before the ‘but’, and which one goes after? Which one is more true to you? Which one do you think will prevail? That is the question. The one that you believe to be ‘more true’ will be after the but. Will your belief be ‘more true’ or your unbelief? Will your negative physical ‘reality’ be ‘more true’ or will your positive spiritual ‘reality’ be the greater truth? Which one will come after your ‘but’?

I will leave you to think about that. I will leave you to think about what you actually believe, and how you will structure your sentences to show that belief. It sounds like such a simple thing, but if the power of life and death is actually in the tongue, it will make a massive difference. The other thing is how it leaves you feeling. The negative way of saying the statement will leave you negative and add unbelief. The positive way will leave you feeling positive, and speak belief.

What goes before and after your ‘but’?

Richard

Being Supportive Doesn’t Always Mean Agreeing

Let me paint you a picture, to illustrate today’s topic. You have a good friend who is completely tone deaf, they can’t hold a tune, but they really love to sing. Yes, we all know such a person, and if you don’t, then you may actually be that person. Let’s say that person comes to you and tells you that they’re going to go on X-Factor, or American Idol, or whatever other show you know of. What do you say? You see we are taught that if you agree with someone, you are being supportive. If you disagree, then you ‘don’t believe in the person’. This is complete nonsense, but we have somewhat come to believe this. How many times do we see people with massive dreams of becoming a singer, who have complete ‘support’ from their friends and family, get humiliated by some ruthless judge in front of the entire nation on TV? My question is simple, “Why hasn’t anyone stopped them before this?”.

Now let me be clear here, I am not talking about speaking negatively into someone’s life. I know that the Bible says that we are more than conquerors in Jesus, and we should have faith. I am not talking about people who try and scare you into not taking a chance. I am merely saying that just because someone disagrees with you, doesn’t mean that they don’t support you. So what am I talking about? I am talking about the times when we live our lives in a way that goes against scripture. Let me use an extreme example. If I were cheating on my wife, and one of my friends found out, what would they do? I would hope that they would call me out in no uncertain terms and tell me to stop. In fact, if one of them actually punched me in the face, I wouldn’t see it as an over-reaction. Now I am not condoning violence, but my point is simple, in supporting people sometimes we may have to disagree with them. People are sometimes going to do the wrong things, and a true friend will stop them. If you really love someone, sometimes you need to stand against their actions. Sometimes, supporting someone means stopping them from doing something stupid. As per the singing example, you stop them from the humiliation of being told the truth on live TV. With other more serious actions, sometimes the consequences could be 100 times worse, so we need to step in and tell people when they are making a bad choice.

I grew up in South Africa, but live in the UK, and I think that it is safe to say that English people often disagree with someone but very seldom tell them. The general ‘socially acceptable’ way here is to have a good moan about the fact that someone is doing something wrong, but don’t actually tell them because you don’t want to upset them. Now before you get upset, this is a gross generalisation, but the generalisation for South Africans is different. We are very quick to go and tell the person that they are wrong and that they should sort themselves out. This is also not the best way, as it is often not done in love, but more from a point of condemnation. I don’t know what the general trend is in the US, as I have never been there, but the bulk of people that read this blog are from the US so maybe you can comment and let me know.

Here is the bottom line. If we truly love and support our friends, we will tell them when they are doing something wrong and encourage them to do it right. We will not condemn, but we will not ignore their actions (or worse, encourage the wrong actions). We are called to hold each other accountable, that is not condemning. We hold each other accountable in order to build them up, the devil condemns in order to tear us down, there is a massive difference between the two. Encouraging people to stop doing what is wrong, is part of encouraging people to do what is right. We are called to do both of those things. So next time your friend opposes you in love, next time they challenge you on something that you are doing, don’t jump down their throat. Ask yourself, is there something that you need to change? Are they right? If they are, then maybe you need to listen to them. If they are not, they are still only trying to help, so go easy on them. Don’t accept negativity over your life, but don’t just disregard anyone who disagrees with you, there may be an important lesson lost.

Until next week.

Richard