And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. – Matthew 21:18-19
The Greek word for presently means “instantly; immediately; soon.” However, the disciples didn’t realize that the fig tree had died until the next day. If the tree died instantly, why didn’t they notice it until the next morning? The answer to this question is found in Mark 11:20. The tree was dead from the roots up. The tree did die instantly just as the Word declared, but what had happened to the roots wasn’t visible until the next morning.
There is a spiritual lesson here that applies to us receiving things from God. When we ask, we do receive, but it may take a period of time before we perceive it in the natural realm. God’s answer comes before we see the manifestation of what we have believed the Lord for when we prayed. Just as with this fig tree, the answer lies beneath the surface, and therefore we don’t “see” what God is doing until the answer manifests.
Not all answers to prayer are manifested instantly. Satan can hinder God’s power even after it has been released. In Daniel 10:1-13, God answered Daniel’s prayer instantly, yet it took 21 days for Daniel to see God’s answer manifest, because the prince of Persia (a demonic power) withheld the manifestation.
Prayer that meets the requirements outlined in God’s Word is always answered.
Many times we don’t perceive the answer because it always comes in the spiritual realm first then is manifested in the physical realm. If we waver from our confident faith, then we abort the manifestation of our answer to prayer. But God did answer. Everyone that asks receives.
HIS STILL SMALL VOICE …
But the anointing which ye have received of [God] abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth. – 1 John 2:27
Have you ever noticed that you are sometimes aware of certain things even before you know what the Word says about them? That’s because the Holy Spirit is inside you teaching you the truth. He speaks into your spirit. Then your spirit relays His promptings to your mind. Suddenly, you’ll have a new thought. “I need to forgive that person,” you’ll think, or “I need to stop saying those unkind things.”
As you become more aware of the Spirit of God in your everyday affairs, you’ll be quicker to hear and obey those promptings. You’ll actually get in the habit of allowing the Spirit of Truth to reveal the will of God to you. And, believe me, that’s one habit God wants you to have!
One of the first things that the Spirit said to me when I began to listen to His promptings was “spend more time in prayer.” As I obeyed, I began to be impressed to spend at least one hour a day in prayer. After I’d begun to do that, He revealed it to me in His Word (Matt. 26:40).
Since then, I have talked with people from all over the world who are hearing the same thing. Believers everywhere are hearing the Spirit of God direct them to more prayer.
God hasn’t given the Holy Spirit to just a few special Christians. He’s given Him to all of us. And if we’ll just learn to be sensitive to His voice, He’ll guide us into all truth!
Think about how different your life would be if you knew the truth of God about every situation! Doesn’t that just make you want to listen to your spirit? Doesn’t it make you want to be on the keen edge of what God is saying?
Start tuning your ear to His still small voice within you. Honor Him and welcome His guidance into your everyday affairs. Listen for His promptings and be quick to obey. He’s ready to speak to you.
“Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil (Ephesians 6:11, AMP).
The most important thing to do in spiritual warfare is to remain steadfast regarding the promises of God, and all that Jesus has done for us. When the enemy attacks, we cannot rely on our own abilities, we must rely on Jesus.
ONE AMAZING LETTER
I will not forget Your word. —Psalm 119:16
Once in a while my wife and I open the mail to find a letter with no words on it. When we take the “letter” out of the envelope, we see a piece of paper with nothing more on it than a colorful mark made with a felt pen. Those “letters” warm our hearts because they’re from our preschool granddaughter Katie, who lives in another state.
Even without words, these letters tell us that she loves us and is thinking about us.
We all cherish letters from those we love and those who love us. That’s why there is so much encouragement in the fact that our heavenly Father has given us a letter called the Bible. The value of Scripture goes beyond its words of power, challenge, and wisdom. Amid all of the stories, teaching, and guidance this Book provides, the overriding idea is that God loves us and has planned our rescue. It tells us of His love in overseeing our existence (Ps. 139), meeting our needs (Matt. 6:31-34), comforting us (2 Cor. 1:3-4), and saving us through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus (Rom. 1:16-17).
You are loved beyond imagination. God says so in His inspired and inspiring message to you. No wonder the psalmist wrote, “I will not forget Your word” (Ps. 119:16). It is one amazing letter!
Lord, help me to examine the Bible’s pages, understand its truths, and apply its teachings to my life. May I be as excited about Your letter to me as I am about a letter, email, or Facebook posting by a friend.
The love of God for us is revealed in His letter to us—the Bible.
‘LORD, WHERE ARE YOU?’ (1)
‘I cry out to You, O God, but You do not answer.’ Job 30:20 NIV
Do you feel like God isn’t answering your prayers? Job the patriarch felt the same way: ‘I cry out to You, O God, but You do not answer; I stand up, but You merely look at me… When I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness.’ (Job 30:20; 26 NIV) All of us go through times when it feels like God has moved and left no forwarding address. What’s He up to? Why doesn’t He respond?
There are some lessons you only learn when God is silent:
(1) Silence isn’t absence. An old proverb says, ‘Speech is silver, silence is gold!’ Sometimes God says to you, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ (Psalm 46:10 NIV) You have to be really secure with somebody to just sit quietly with them. Silence takes the emphasis off words and builds a level of intimacy where they’re no longer necessary. If you want to be comfortable with God, learn to enter into meditation and silence with Him.
(2)Silence tests your faith. How much faith is actually involved when somebody’s coaching your every step? It’s like a parent running alongside a child who’s learning to ride a bike. Right now the child lacks confidence, but they’re going to look strange at age twenty if that parent is still trotting along beside them! At some point God takes His hands off the wheel to see how far you’ve progressed. And for a while it can be a wobbly ride. That’s when you demonstrate how far you’ve come, and where you’re placing your trust.
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE :
Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
What a statement! If we just believed this, how different our lives would be!
From birth we are trained to know our limitations. You can’t have this. Don’t touch that. Don’t put things in your mouth. You can’t touch the fire. On and on the list goes.
As we grow up, it’s actually a sign of maturity to recognize our limitations and learn to live within them. There are limits to everything. It’s a fact of life.
But God has no limits. When we enter into the realm of the supernatural, we have to take off all the limits. We have to renew our minds with the truth that God is not like us. He can do anything.
We have an awesome God whose power is so great that we can’t even comprehend it. He created the universe and it didn’t even tax His ability. Yet many times we find ourselves wondering if our situation is too hard for the Lord. We can’t see how even God can pull us through.
The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” (Jer. 32:27) The answer is a resounding NO! The only thing that limits God is our unbelief (Dt. 7:17). Today, let’s honor God by believing that nothing is too difficult for Him.
THE GOSPEL SAVES IN EVERY SITUATION :
Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…
Each time you hear the gospel of Christ, you are hearing God’s good news for you. And the Bible tells us that the gospel of Christ — the good news that God wants all men to hear — is the very power of God for your salvation, not just from hell, but also from illnesses, financial lack, harm, a failing marriage — every aspect of your life that needs saving!
You may say, “Pastor, I’ve heard the gospel of Christ, but it seems like I am one of those whom the power of God has missed.” My friend, when you hear the gospel of Christ, do you really believe it? You cannot just understand it in your mind. You must know and believe the good news in your heart, and then you will see that it is the power of God for your salvation.
But what is the good news that God wants you to know in your heart, which will release the power and salvation of God into your situation?
“For in it [the good news] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith…” (Romans 1:17) The good news is that you are the righteousness of God in Christ, which you receive from faith to faith.
This means that this righteousness comes because you have faith in His blood, not your good behavior, to make you righteous. It is from faith to faith, not faith to works, or works to works.
The good news is not preached to show you what is wrong with you. It is preached to show you what is right with you because of Jesus’ work at Calvary, in spite of what is wrong with you!
There is nothing left for you to do to earn God’s blessings for your life. You only need to hear and believe the all-encompassing saving power of the gospel of Christ to heal you of diseases, preserve you from danger, bless your finances and bring well-being to your family.
The world may say that the good news is too good to be true. But for those of us who are the righteousness of God in Christ, the good news is so good because it is indeed true!
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