Tag Archives: trust

Trusting in God and Not His Blessing

It has been a while since wrote a blog post, and there have been a few reasons for that. None of which are really valid, so here I am back with another.

One of the reasons for not writing is that I have a newborn baby. If you have read the last few posts, you will know more about the blessing that he is. So why am I writing about trusting God and not His blessing? Even when we receive from God, there is always something else we are trusting Him for. In my case, one blessing has illustrated the need for another. Let me explain.

As many of you know, having a baby means a major life change. My wife and I were both working and I had started my own business, which was growing, but not as fast as I would have liked it to. Now all of a sudden, my wife is on maternity leave and we are about to be on one salary. That of a business which is up one month and down the next. So what would you do? I am a very logical person, which you would assume by the business that I have, but faith and logic often don’t mix very well. My logic said to close the business, and go and get a job. Then I could have a constant salary, and would be able to provide for my family. Sound good? God then told me to keep the business, and continue with what I was doing. Was I sure this was God? Can this be right? I then had a complete stranger come to me after church, and tell me that God gave them a prophetic word for me. She said, “The work that you are doing now, God wants you to continue with that, do not give it up.” OK, I guess it was God. So what now?

I was now in a time where I had to make a decision. Trust God, or listen to my flesh. Let’s take a look at a situation in the Bible which relates to this.

Matthew 8:23-26

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
There are a few interesting things here. Firstly, these were fishermen. They knew the sea. If they were scared, it was not because they were over-reacting. If they were scared, there was a good reason for it. We often have a good reason to be scared, but Jesus tells us not to be afraid, as we can trust in Him. The second thing is that they went to Jesus, and woke Him. Isn’t that what we are taught to do? When you have a problem, go to Jesus in prayer. Why did He then get upset with the disciples when they went to Him? In my opinion, it is because Jesus told them they were going to the other side (in other accounts of this story), but they didn’t believe Him that they would make it to the other side. This is unbelief. This is why Jesus was getting upset with them. Thirdly, Jesus rebukes them for being afraid, before He calms the storm. Now I know it says it the other way around in some accounts, but Jesus telling us to have faith before He does the miracle, is a common theme throughout scripture. Why does He do this? Simple. This is the title of this post. So that we won’t have faith in the miracle, but have faith in Him. If He had calmed the seas, the disciples would have had faith in the calm seas, Jesus wanted them to have faith in Him, despite the raging seas. Do you see the difference?

So how does this relate to me? My prayers have been along the lines of, “God please provide for us so that I don’t need to be afraid.” What does God’s Word say? It says that He will provide. In fact that He will provide abundantly. Also, I need the money, so that I can trust in the money, where Jesus wants me to trust in Him. This is harder to do when you don’t have the money, but no one said this would be easy. I ‘know’ our financial state, just like the disciples ‘knew’ the seas. I run to Jesus and ask Him to help me, even though His scripture says He will, just like His followers in the story. I want Jesus to fix the problem so that I will no longer have to be afraid, just like the disciples. Jesus wants me to trust in His Word, despite the situation. Just like He expected from the disciples.

God is faithful. He will come through. He always has, and He always will.

What are you afraid about? What are you waiting for God to provide? Do you have faith in God for the miracle, or do you have to see the miracle to not be afraid? I’ll leave that for you to think about. I hope that this has been as much of a blessing to you as it has to me.

Until next time.

Richard

Hebrews & Us – Part 11

Hebrews 11 is one of my favourite chapters of the Bible, I usually copy and paste a few verses to focus on, but this time I would have had to copy and paste the whole chapter. Please read it. What is it all about? What was the catalyst to see all of the great things that these people of God have achieved? FAITH. Yes, faith. I have heard people say that faith merely a fruit of following God, but it is more that that. We have a choice, and we need to choose to have faith. What is faith? Here is what it says in verse 1. Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

God used this to create the earth, Noah used this to build the arc, Abraham and Sarah used this to be able to have a child. The list goes on, even the Bible says that there are too many accounts to list. Faith. Having confidence what what we hope for will actually happen, assurance about things we can’t see. What do you need to have faith for? I have required faith over the last few year, immigrating from South Africa to the UK, starting a business, a few health issues. There have been times when my faith has been swaying in the wind, but I am always learning, and I am become more determined to have faith by the day. It is a choice. If you know what the Word of God says, but you also have expectations of what ‘could happen’ based on previous experiences, which one do you believe? Faith, is stubbornly believing what the Bible says, over what everything else may be telling you. It is a choice, and it is as simple as that. Simple to understand, not necessarily to do.

The other thing about faith, is that it doesn’t always produce fruit immediately. We often associate faith with healing, if you believe, someone will get healed there and then. What about Abraham? How long did he and Sarah have to have faith before they had a child? What if that happened to you today? We now have scans and technology to tell us ‘what is wrong’, but do we then believe that over the Word of God? I personally refuse to believe what Doctors tell me when it comes to my health. Yes if they say that I have an illness, I don’t ignore them, but when they say that my blood pressure will ‘never come down’ because it is hereditary. This I ignore. They told me this, and it did come down. It took months, but I refused to stop believing in the Word of God, even when it went against the conclusion of doctors. Now we need to be responsible, I continued to take my medication, but each day I spoke healing over myself. I continued to believe that my blood pressure would come down. I only came off the medication when the nurse said that I should. I’m not talking about being irresponsible, I am merely saying that I will continue to believe God’s Word over what people say.

As for my business, I have been advised not to do what I do as some say that there is ‘no money in it’. When I started it, it appeared that they were right, but what does God say? The Bible says that we need to give (tithes and offerings) and then we will see an overflow returned to us. We need to be generous. It is not easy when you have a very limited income, I can tell you. My wife and I decided to press on in faith. We chose to believe what God was saying, and not what our bank balance and ‘logic’ would suggest. We are only now seeing a breakthrough on this front, after almost 3 years! And let me tell you, this is only the beginning, it is going to get SO much better. Why? It it because of my superior business skills? Despite what I may often suggest, no it isn’t. It is because I continue to believe God’s Word over my circumstances.

I’ll leave you with this. The disciples on the boat when the storm picked up, forgot that Jesus said that they would go to the other side. They focussed on the storm instead, they combined their ‘logic’ with their surroundings and made the choice to panic. Would any of us have been any different? Jesus rebuked them for this lack of faith. We need to make an effort to know, believe, and then expect to see the Word of God fulfilled in our lives.

Make the choice, one step at a time.

Richard

When in Rome (a Look at Romans) – Part 5

Today I take a look at Romans 5, and I am glad that I am doing so. Since I wrote about faith last week, I have been under some fairly heavy attack from the enemy. The words of the people who said that faith does not matter, and that God will do what He has planned to do, regardless of our response, have been ringing through my head. Not in an encouraging way, but to try and bring me down, to try and make me give up. Romans 5 once again states the importance of faith, and what Jesus has already done for us. Let’s take a look.

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. Now please don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that it is all up to us, we would have nothing to have faith in if Jesus hadn’t first died for us. Also, this faith is talking about accepting Jesus as our Saviour, but it doesn’t end there. It says that we are now in a place of undeserved privilege. Is that privilege only the fact that we will go to heaven, or is there more to it than that? We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. This is talking about more than just being saved, it talks about life. This piece of scripture says that we can rejoice when we run into problems and trials, but I need to clarify here, as this is widely misunderstood. We are not accepting the problems, we are rejoicing because God will use the problems to make us stronger. I don’t believe that God sends the problems, He merely uses them to our advantage. Please don’t think that you’re in a mess because ‘God wants you there’. I don’t believe that He does. When we go through trials and problems, we develop endurance, which develops strength of character, which builds faith. This faith does not lead to disappointment, because God is faithful to complete what He has started in us. The big question is, do we believe this, do we act like we believe it? This is why I believe that faith is so important.

If you’re getting a bit big-headed by now, thinking that it is all up to us and that God is merely a ‘puppet’ in our story, let me set the record straight. God loved us first, without Jesus, we wouldn’t have a choice. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. God is the one that makes this all possible, our response to Him is not showing how wonderful we are, but how wonderful He is. Us accepting His gift is the least that we can do in response to what He has already done for us.

The chapter then goes on to show us how Jesus fixed the issue that Adam (humans) caused. This is a rather interesting passage as, once again, it shows us that the law was only there to show us what sin was, and to show us what Jesus has offered us salvation from. Why then do we go on trying to obey the law? Yes, we want to root sin out of our lives, but what is your motive? If you’re rooting it out because you don’t want to give the devil a foothold, then great. If you’re doing it to try and earn salvation, then you’re wasting your time. God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We’ll look at this some more next week, I just want to encourage everyone to keep on having faith. Keep stepping out in faith and trusting in God. I know that it is not easy, especially when you don’t see the results that you are believing for as quickly as you would like, but we serve a faithful God.

Until next week.

Richard

When in Rome (a Look at Romans) – Part 4

Today’s passage is quite a timely passage for me. I really needed to read this today. People have prophesied over me and called me a ‘man of faith’. Although this is interesting, and gives me focus, it is not always particularly evident in my life. Having faith is not easy, we see that in Abraham’s life. He was told that he would have children, yet he still grew impatient and slept with his servant, so did he really have faith? The main way to grow your faith, is to have faith and see what you are believing for. Yet the longer you wait, the more your faith is tested, and then strengthened. What about all of the time that you are waiting to see your prayers answered? Do you feel like a ‘man of faith’ then? This is the time when you ‘earn your stripes’, but this is also the time when the devil throws everything at you. Anyone can believe when everything is going as planned, but if you want to be a ‘man of faith’, you need to believe when everything appears to be going wrong. You need to believe that you can walk on the water when the waves are crashing around you. “Lord, I believe, help me with my unbelief.”

There are a few things in my life that I am believing for. Promises from God that I have not seen come to fruition… yet. I don’t feel like a ‘man of faith’, as I have not seen my prayers answered. I have not given up believing though, so maybe I am, but the unbelief lurks. This is the time when the devil tries to stop you. This time, the ‘attack’ was ‘friendly fire’. I have been told twice in the last week that having faith has no effect on what God does in our lives. I was told this by two Christians. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that they are doing the work of the devil or anything, I am merely saying that their theological stance is different to mine. The problem is that the devil (or his little helpers) will use this to try and get into my head. I’m not having it.

Romans 4:20-25. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

Without going into heavy theology here, this passage implies that having faith brings glory to God. It says that when we fully believe that God is able to do what He has promised, it is not just for our benefit, but to reassure others that God will do the same for them. Whether you believe in Calvinism, Armenianism or anything inbetween, without believing that Jesus died for our sins, we wouldn’t accept Him as Lord. Even our salvation comes down to faith. Faith + Action = Result. Do your actions show what you believe, or do they counteract your faith? For example, saying that you believe that God will supply your needs, and then not tithing because you ‘won’t have enough money if you give’. It is not only down to money though. I am working to get my actions in line with my faith, and my faith is based on what God says in His Word. The passage shown above is a huge encouragement for me, especially after being told that my faith doesn’t matter.

What do you believe? What promises are you believing and waiting for? Do your actions support what you say that you believe? Be encouraged. Abraham was chosen because of his faith, but he still had to wait to see his prayers answered. He still struggled with unbelief. Jesus told us to tell the mountain to move, and then believe and not doubt, then the mountain will move (Mark 11:23). He doesn’t say how long you have to believe for.

Be encouraged. Believe in the promises of God. That brings glory to God! Remember, you are not a person of faith because you see what you are believing for, you are a person of faith because you keep believing for that which you have not yet seen.

Richard

Be The Rock – Part 5

1 Peter chapter 5 is packed with useful lessons, so let’s start straight away and see what it has to say.

The chapter starts off by instructing church elders to look after those who are less experienced. Now I don’t know about you, but I have been in some churches where this is not the case, I have seen church leaders lord it over others. Just like scripture tells them not to. Having said that, it also tells the rest of the church to submit to the leaders. It is easier to lead someone who wants to follow, and it is easier to follow someone who wants to lead as Christ would have us lead. Both of these are important. So if you are a new Christian, find a church with leaders that you respect, and then follow them. If you are an experienced Christian, maybe it is time to step up and lead others? Even if you are not an elder, if you show how you can serve fellow believers, you may become one.

1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honour. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” Now, before I get myself into trouble, let me say that I am not disagreeing with this scripture, I am merely putting it into context. We are told to humble ourselves under the mighty power of God, not humble ourselves under our circumstances. Let me explain. Going around saying how useless you are and that you can’t do anything unless God does it for you, is not what this is talking about. You see so many Christians use ‘humility’ as an excuse not to do anything. We are made new when we accept Jesus as our saviour, we are a new creation, and God will use us for amazing things if we let Him. Humble yourself to God, but stand against anything else in the name of Jesus. With authority and power. We now have the Holy Spirit, we are anything but weak! As for verse 7. Do you give all of your worries to God? I don’t. This is something that I have to make a decision to do every single day, it does not come naturally. It is such a freeing feeling when you do though, try and join me in doing more of this.

Take a look at verse 8 and 9. This is what I was talking about. The devil and his helpers are out and about trying to ‘devour’ us. We are told to stand firmly against him. No humility here. You see we often get it wrong, I have heard people humble themselves to the point of not wanting to stand against the demonic. The Bible tells us the opposite. We need to stand up to evil, with confidence, faith and power. The problem is that we don’t know how to do this, because we don’t spend enough time studying the Word. This scripture says be strong in your faith. Faith comes from hearing the Word. You want faith? Study scripture. Don’t just read it, study it. I know that it is hard, I struggle to get down to it too. This blog helps me to be disciplined, because if I don’t study it, I can’t teach it. I don’t find it easy, but I know how important it is.

This is the final post from 1 Peter, I’ll move onto 2 Peter next. Once that is done, I’ll see what God wants me to tackle next. If you have any suggestions on what you would like to hear about, or if I have said anything that you want me to discuss in more details, let me know via Google +.

I’ll leave you with part of Peter’s final greeting:

My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.

Peace be with all of you who are in Christ.

Richard

Time to Acts – Part 11

This post is about Acts chapter 11. As you may know, I am doing a series on the book of Acts, so take a look back at the other posts relating to this. This chapter is one that I have read before, but it didn’t really speak to me then, today it did. Read Acts chapter 11 and then take a look at what I got out of it.

The first part is Peter explaining what happened when he was accused of eating with unclean people. Peter explains what had happened, and the people listened. They then accepted what Peter had said, and embraced it. This is the first lesson today, when you hear Biblical teaching, embrace it. Note what I said there, Biblical teaching, not necessarily just teaching that you agree with. This is so important, I had a religious upbringing, all about church and God, rules and regulations, how to live life. Very little about the Holy Spirit. Now I am not saying that everything that I learned was wrong, but I am saying that when I started to listen to other teaching and weigh it up against scripture, I changed my mind. I often get people telling me that what I post on this blog is wrong, so I ask them for Bible verses to back up their statement. I either get given a verse out of context, or I have actually had people say, “I don’t have scripture but I believe that you’re wrong”. How is that going to help you? I listen to many people, both people in my church, TV evangelists and I read other blogs. Once I have listened, I go to scripture. Does what they say line up with the Word? Does it fit with scripture? Have they misinterpreted anything? I allow what people say to influence what I believe IF it lines up with scripture (after I have prayed about it and asked God to guide me). You see there is a danger in believing everything that you’re told that has a Bible verse attached, but there is also a danger in not accepting anything that doesn’t fall within what you already believe. You need to find the middle ground, and allow God to teach you through others, without falling victim to heresy.

Take a look at Acts 11 v 22 – 24. Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. 23 When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. 24 For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. What can we get from this? Firstly, have an attitude of being sent. I once saw a book entitled, ‘If God hasn’t called you to stay, then go”. Maybe a bit harsh, but we really need to have the attitude of being sent. You have been sent to your workplace, you have been sent to the grocery store or the coffee shop. To your church. You are not just a bystander, God has called you to these places specifically, do something about it. Be the kingdom of God wherever you go. You are not where to you are by accident, and even if you are, God still wants to use you while you’re there. Purpose of heart. That means to do things intelligently, sincerely, deliberately, and persistently. Is that how you continue with the Lord, or are you just drifting? Ask God what He wants you to do and then do it purposefully. Get excited for what God is doing and get active!

You also need to be full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. Trust me, I have tried to do this Christian life without the Holy Spirit, it doesn’t work. I think that the Holy Spirit and faith are two of the most important elements in the Christian faith, yet they are probably two of the most neglected in the ‘church’ today. If you have not been baptised in the Spirit, do it. If you lack faith, ask God for more (but then be aware that he will call you into a place to grow that faith). Remove unbelief from your life, this will increase the ‘effectiveness’ of the faith that you do have, after all, you only need as much as a mustard seed. Another thing that I like about this chapter is that just after it gets you thinking about all of these ‘spiritual’ issues, it says that the disciples (now referred to as Christians for the first time) gave money where it was needed. God is a practical God too, and we also need to be.

Learning how to be purposeful in your Holy Spirit filled journey with God in faith.
Richard

Our Authority in Christ

The last post was about the times when you’re spiritually in the desert. God will lead you out of that desert, and if we follow Jesus’ example, this should lead us into our ministry. This is when we need the authority that we have in Jesus. This is one of my favourite topics, although I don’t fully understand (or appreciate) the authority that I have, I think this is a common area of misunderstanding in the church today. I’m going to bring two passages of scripture to your attention today. I want to show you the authority that Jesus had, and then show you how we have it now.

The Faith of a Roman Officer
When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralysed and in terrible pain.” Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour. – Matthew 8:5-13.

There is so much to take from this passage, but I just want to highlight a few things. Jesus was amazed at the man’s faith. Jesus had the authority, He didn’t even have to be in the same place. He just said the word and the person was healed. Jesus also commented that the man’s belief played a part in the healing. So what does this mean for us? Well, if we have the authority that Jesus had (which I am about to argue that we do), then we need to follow His example. What are the ‘ingredients’ in the story. Words and faith. Faith to believe that what scripture says is true and that we really do have the authority. Words to call it into being. Even God used words to create the earth, remember, let there be light. Words are important. If we could only get our words and faith to line up with scripture, we will have no limits! Jesus didn’t form a prayer committee, he didn’t wait for a Wednesday prayer meeting or a Sunday service. He said the words and the man believed. Job done. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking Sunday services or prayer meetings, I’m just making a statement as to what we should be doing.

Just in case any of you are saying that we don’t have this authority, this is for you. I know that Jesus was (and is) God, but it was the Holy Spirit that was leading Christ. The Holy Spirit is also God, and He dwells in us as He dwelled in Christ. If you’re still not convinced, and you think that maybe there is a difference between what the Son of God did, and what we as children of God can do, take a look at Matthew 28:18 which says, “Jesus came and told his disciples,“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.” Then Luke 9:1-2 says, “One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”

We (as Christians) have the authority. We have been given the authority and responsibility. Keep believing, have faith in what God has promised, and speak it into being. Using this authority against the powers of darkness to help other people to see the glory of God, is what ministry is all about. Whether we use it to help our fellow Christians overcome strongholds in their life, or whether we use it to enable others to enter the Kingdom, it is all ministry. Don’t underestimate the Holy Spirit living inside of you. You are no longer yourself but a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), and this new creation has the Holy Spirit. This new creation has the authority in Christ Jesus!

You have the authority. Use it!

Richard

Turning the Tide

Let’s start with Romans 8 v 27-28 which says, “And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”

Sometimes I feel like I have a banjo with only one string. I feel that I am constantly having to say the same thing over and over again and, although people may agree with me, they don’t realise the implications. They don’t realise what it actually means. Let me try and clear this up once and for all. The verse says, God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God, it does not say that God causes everything to happen, nor does it say everything that happens is according to God’s will. What is the difference? Let’s look at a few examples below. These are actual statements that I have heard from people.

“God has made me ill so that He can heal me to bring my friends to Him”. “God wanted me to have a baby out of wedlock because He knew that a child would be good for me”. “God made me have a car accident so that I can witness to so many people from a wheel-chair”. I don’t believe these to be true. Did God MAKE you ill so that He could heal you and lead His friends to you, or did He USE the fact that you were ill to do a miracle and bring your friends to Him? You see, there is a huge difference between the two. The same is true for the other two statements. The verse says that God causes everything to work for our good. He has this amazing knack for turning things in our lives around for His glory. Whether we get ourselves into a mess, or if we have a mess thrust upon us (by the devil, not God), God still seems to turn it around, if we allow Him. If God makes people ill, then we really shouldn’t pray for them, in fact they shouldn’t even go to the doctor. Why would we want to work against the will of God? Fortunately, it isn’t the will of God.

I would also like to address the last part of the passage, “ … and are called according to His purpose for them”. People love to use this verse to exclude people. They say that this is only for people who have been ‘called’, like pastors and missionaries. I’m sorry to burst your bubble but, if you consider yourself to be a Christian, then you are called. So then, what does this mean? It means that God has called us all for specific purposes, He has given us all unique jobs, and He will provide according to those jobs. Those plans that He has for us do not include sickness and sin. He would not call us to sin and then tell us not to, nor would he call us to be ill (or injured) once He died for us to be whole.

I know that this is a pet irritation of mine, and I know that there will be many views on this. I am also aware that I haven’t gone into too much detail here, as I merely want to show the difference between the two statements. I urge you to keep this in mind next time you see someone accredit God for their bad situation.

Having said this, please don’t confuse this with being called into a difficult situation. God may well call people into situations that are not easy, sometimes dangerous, even seemingly impossible. Yes, God does stretch us, as that forces us to have faith in Him. Often we start something which He has called us into and it is not easy, and we don’t see the victory straight away. This is different to what I mentioned above. This doesn’t involve sickness and sin.

I hope that this makes sense.

Richard

Put Your Actions Where Your Faith Is

My last post was about a book that I had read, and I encouraged everyone to read it, so this is one of the stories that were covered in the book. Now I won’t say as much about it here as was written in the book, but this one resonated with me, and set me some goals for my own life. Have a look at this passage (Mark 10:46-52) and then you can see my thoughts about it.

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus

Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
“Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him.
But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”
So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.
“My rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”
And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.

There are a few things that I notice in this passage. Firstly, the blind man was told to keep quiet but he didn’t. How many times do we start to ask God for something, or start to believe that God is going to do something, only to be shouted down by people. Now don’t get me wrong, we’re not here to fight against people. The fact that they are trying to stop you from believing in what God has said, that comes from a demonic source, and we are here to fight that. Don’t let them stop you from doing what you believe that God has called you to do. The blind guy didn’t have the benefit of scripture (at least the New Testament) but he knew that Jesus had the authority to heal him. He would not be silenced. Secondly, Jesus tells the blind man to come to Him. This shows a sign of faith. Jesus didn’t go to him and heal him, He called the man over, as if to say, “If you really want it, come and get it”. The man goes one step further, he throws his robe off. Now I believe that the robes that blind people wore, identified to others that they were blind, so that people would give them money. Now the blind man threw it off, as if to show that he wouldn’t be needing it anymore. He knew that once Jesus had dealt with him, he would be leaving there with his sight. Thirdly, Jesus asks him what he wants. Surely Jesus knew what he wanted. He wanted the man to identify the problem and bring it to Him, He wanted him to bring his problem to Jesus. Lastly, Jesus said that the man’s faith had healed him. Jesus could have said, “there you go, I did another miracle”, but He didn’t.

Here is where the rubber hits the road. Next time you’re in need of a miracle in your life, how will you react? Will you call on Jesus regardless of what you’re told to do? Will you believe that you will receive your healing, to the point of taking (possibly detrimental) action? (Make sure that any action you take is still responsible). Will you identify your problem to God and believe that He has taken care of it? Faith is where your actions meet your beliefs, join me in stepping out in faith when we believe that God is working in our lives.

For more about this, I recommend that you read God Wants You Well (despite of what you may have heard).

Keep the faith!

Richard

God Wants You Well

I have never done this before, but I would like to endorse a book that I have read. The book is called God Wants You Well (despite what you may have heard) which you can find on Amazon by clicking the link. I read this book partly because it was written by a friend of mine, and partly because I had an idea of what he would write about, and I needed to hear it. If any of you need healing, think that you may have a healing ministry, want to see people healed or want to raise your faith, I strongly recommend that you read this book. It may be about healing, but it is actually about faith, and how important it is. I have applied concepts from this book to various areas of my life and have not been disappointed.

Here is the review that I wrote for Amazon. This book is primarily about healing, although it covers so much more. It is about life, about faith and believing in what Christ has done for us. Roarke writes in a very easy to understand, conversational type of way, which is really refreshing. I do not read many books, but I am glad that I read this one. I share many of the same views as the author, so it was not a complete life-changer for me, but it was good to help get all of my thoughts and ideas in order. I think that most Christians will find this to be a major game-changer, as it does go against many ideas that have crept into Christian practices. This takes us back to scripture and explains what Jesus intended us to know. It is easy to understand, yet contains plenty of scripture references and original words used, which makes it suitable for all readers.

You probably know about some of the issues that I have been facing of late, and this book really helped me to put things into context. It helped me to put my faith in God, and not just my faith but my actions. Actions speak louder than words. You may have heard the saying, put your money where your mouth is, well what about, put your actions where your faith is? We as Christians often say things, declare things or even command things, but do our actions back them up? If we go to a prayer meeting to pray for rain during a drought, do we take an umbrella? Do we actually expect something to happen when we say that we believe that it will? These are some of the topics that the book discusses.

This book is written as if the author is having a conversation with you, it is very simple to understand, but still has original Greek words and other ‘theological’ references. Whether you are a theologian, a new Christian or even someone who wants to know about Christianity but hasn’t made any decisions as of yet, you will be able to understand this book and you will get something out of it. I do have to warn you though, it could well go against theology that you may have heard in church. I believe it to be totally biblical, and I would be hesitant to disagree with anything said, however it does go against the grain of some fairly popular ‘Christian theologies’. All I (and the author) as is that you read it with an open mind, see what he has to say, and then make up your mind. What this book has to say makes more sense to me than what I believed before. A belief that was born out of a lack of understanding, rather than an understanding of the scriptures.

As I said, I know the author, and he has agreed to answer some questions (if you have any). I have arranged to have a ‘questions and answers’ blog post in the near future. Please go ahead and purchase the book, read it, and then send me any questions or comments that you may have for the author. You can message me on Google + or send me an email with you questions, and I will select some of my favourite and send them to Roarke to get his answers. I really hope that you are as blessed by this book as I have been.

Step out in faith.

Richard