I missed you guys last week and I’m glad to be back here on the blog! You all are greatly loved.
Well, we have two more weeks to go before we’re done with our challenge. How have you been during? I pray that you’ve been allowing the Holy Spirit to work in your life. As I’ve mentioned before, the choice is ours whether to yield to leading of the Holy Spirit or to continue in our own efforts. Fruits are produced by the vine but the branch has to give way for the fruit to come forth. So let’s continue to yield to the Spirit of God within us.
Okay, let’s talk about this week challenge. This week we are going to challenge ourselves in the fruit of Faith. The first thing that catches my eye is that faith is a fruit, which means faith is not something that we earn but it’s what’s produced in us by the Holy Spirit. All of the fruits of the Spirit represent the life of Christ in us. So faith is Christ is us. Romans 1:17 says, “For there in is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” In other words we live by Christ in us. Not by our efforts, but by totally relying on His life in us. Just hanging on the vine and allowing the fruit of faith to come forth.
Now, I know some of you might be thinking, “I thought I had to get faith.” No, as long as you think you have to get faith you’ll never use the faith that’s been given to you. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Notice the word cometh, that means it’s given not earned. When Paul was writing this he was talking about salvation. Paul was saying that when we hear the gospel faith enters in and all we have to do is use the faith that’s been given. It’s not faith that we need it’s an understanding or revelation of what faith can do. Jesus told His disciples in Mark 11:22, “…Have faith in God” or have the faith of God; i.e. the faith which God gives. The faith that God gives is Jesus Christ. It’s with His faith that we can speak to mountains and command them to be cast into the sea (Mk 11:23). And let’s not forget what Paul says in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” We live by the faith of Christ, His faith in us.
Therefore, all you need to do is use His faith, allow His faith to come forth in you. Here’s a little something I like to do to help me when it comes to faith. Whenever I’m reading a scripture where it says faith I say Christ. This helps me to remember that faith is Christ in me and not something I have to obtain outside of Him.
Throughout this week let’s ask the Holy Spirit to give us a deeper revelation of what faith or Christ can do and let’s rest in Him to do it in our lives. Faith is easy because faith is Christ in us.
“The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.”
During the winter of your dreams when it’s cold, and the ground is hard, when it seems like nothing is happening and you’re never going to see the fulfillment of your desires don’t give up keep plowing!
Very few things bloom in the winter but if we don’t plow in the winter there be no harvest in the spring. It’s during those winter days that we need to take the word of God and begin to speak it over our dreams and desires. Do what God told the prophet Ezekiel to do, speak (Ezk. 37:4).
God is a God of words, He is The Word. He spoke in the beginning and He’s speaking now. He never stops speaking and when He speaks He sees what He says. We are made in the image and likeness of God and when we speak we can see what we say. Just as God took nothing and created all that we see and feel with His Word, you can take His Word and speak it over your dreams and desires and watch them come to life before your eyes, just as Ezekiel saw the army of dry bones.
However, the key is in the plowing. One of Webster’s definitions for plowing is to proceed steadily and laboriously. In other words don’t give up in the winter of your dreams, when you can’t see anything happening, keep turning the ground over and planting the word of God because harvest is just around the corner.
“Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations; spare not, lengthen thy cords and strengthen they states; For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left and they seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.”
I’ve often heard people pray for God to enlarge them in some way or other I’ve even prayed this prayer but as I read these scriptures it clearly tells us to enlarge the place of our tents which means enlargement is up to us. How far you want to go and how big you want to get is totally up to you. If you enlarge your place God will fill it up. The enlargement is your part the breaking forth is God’s part.
2 Kings 3:10-20 tells the account of Jehoshaphat, Jehroam and the king of Edom. When they went out to battle against the king of Moab they found themselves in the wilderness with no water. They went to Elisha for the word of the Lord and Elisha said to them “…Thus saith the Lord, make this valley full of ditches. For thus saith the Lord, ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water that ye may drink, both ye and your cattle, and your beasts” (2 Kings 3:16-17). They had to dig the ditches but God was the one who would fill them with water. Peter had to launch out and let down his nets but God gave the draught (Luke 5:4). It was totally up to Peter how many nets he wanted to use but the draught was already given. The nets determined his capacity to receive.
You might be thinking “but if I do it won’t work.” God will never let you be ashamed. Isaiah 54:4 says, “Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame…” God is a good God and He will never, I said never let you be put to shame. The devil wants you to believe that God is not good and that God will leave you hanging out on a limb but the devil is a liar. God will never let you be ashamed. God has already done His part now it’s up to you to do your part. Enlarge and stretch out! Make room to receive!
“And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”
If it were possible for us to do one good thing to have eternal life we would never have it. That is the point that Jesus was making to the rich young ruler. All of our doing will never give us life because we could never do it all. We would miss it in some point or other and if we offend in one point we are guilty of breaking the whole law.
If you’re trying to do good to get eternal life you’ll never obtain it but if you receive it as a gift you’ll have it. Galatians 3:9 says, “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” It is to those that believe that they have been justified by the works of Christ that receive the blessings of Abraham. Notice verse 10 “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” In other words, as long as you are trying to obtain the blessings of God through your works or through your efforts of attempting to do some good thing you are still under the curse. It it to those that believe that they have been made righteous by the works of Christ that receive the blessings.
The only good thing you can do is receive what Jesus Christ has done for you. When you do He comes in unto you and then and only then will all of the blessings of God be made manifest in your life.
If you are not seeing the blessings of God manifested in your life ask yourself am I receiving what Jesus has done or am I still trying to do some good thing? Galatians 3:11 says “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident; for, The just shall live by faith.”
Matthew 25:6″And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.”
I remember when Michael Jackson came to Washington, DC people ran to the box offices to be among the few to get a ticket. The radio stations had contest for tickets and people were glued to their radios to see if they could win. It was the show of the century. One of the greatest artist of our time was coming to our city and we were on the edge of our seats.
Well, I got good news! Any day now someone greater is about to come to where you are. You can feel it in the atmosphere, we’ve been anticipating His arrival for sometime now, and the excitement is building. Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God is coming soon!
In the parable of the ten virgins the five wise virgins were wise because they were prepared. They were prepared because they believed that the bridegroom was coming for them and they were excited and anticipating his arrival. I believe that even while they slept they had dreams of the bridegroom coming for them (Matt. 25:5). Likewise the foolish virgins were not prepared because they didn’t believe.
Whether you believe it or not Jesus is coming! And as believers we are on the edge of our seats, with our ears open, awaiting the sound of the trump. Paul said in I Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
However, the only way to be ready for the most exciting event of our times is to believe. Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” If want to be ready say this prayer: Dear Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of the Living God, I believe that you came to this earth, you died on the cross for my sins and rose on the third day. I repent of my sins and invite you to come into my life and be my Lord. Thank you Jesus for your life. Now you are saved and ready to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. I’ll see you there!