FAITH IN ACTION …
No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God – Romans 4:20, AMP
Praise is powerful! Praise is putting your faith in action. And just as putting your physical body into action to make it grow strong, putting your faith in action through prayer and thanksgiving will cause it to grow strong, too! I love what this verse says about Abraham: No unbelief made him waver regarding the promise of God. What does it mean to waver? It actually means to go back and forth. It’s a very unsteady posture. Spiritual wavering is when we go back and forth in believing the promises of God. Wavering shows up in our words and actions. When you speak contrary to God’s promises, you are wavering and unsteady. Notice this verse didn’t say that Abraham never had unbelief or doubting thoughts. It basically says that he didn’t let it control him or cause him to waver in his words, actions and thinking. He took captive every thought and stood strong through His praise and worship!
Praise makes you stable. It makes you strong. Decide today to put your faith into action by thanking and praising Him all throughout the day! As you do, you’ll grow strong and live the life of victory God has in store for you!
COUNT ON GOD’S FORGIVENESS
Hebrews 10:2 – …For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.
What are you more conscious of today? Your sins or the fact that you have been forgiven? My friend, don’t be conscious of your sins. Be conscious instead of Jesus and His finished work. The Lamb of God has taken away all your sins at the cross, so count on the fact that you are a forgiven child of God!
No matter what has happened or what you have done, God wants you to know that because of His Son’s finished work, He will be merciful to your unrighteousness, and your sins and lawless deeds He will remember no more. (Hebrews8:12)
That is why you should not be conscious of your sins. In fact, when you are sin-conscious, the devil brings in condemnation, and the more you receive it and condemn yourself, the more you will find yourself unforgiving toward yourself and even others.
I was told by a pastor friend that when a lady, who had cancer on her face, asked for prayer for healing, the Lord revealed to him that it was self-hatred that was keeping her from receiving her healing. She could not forgive herself and was full of self-condemnation.
When she realized her problem, she counted on the fact that God was merciful to her unrighteousness and that she was already forgiven. She received the love of God. Then, right before the pastor’s eyes, her whole face changed—she received her healing that very moment!
Something happens when you believe that you are forgiven. That is why God says to you, “I want you to believe that all your sins I will remember no more. I want you to believe that you are My child enjoying My mercy and that you can always count on My forgiveness.”
Beloved, remember that all your sins have already been paid for by Jesus on the cross. And the more you count on the fact that you have the Father’s forgiveness and that He does not condemn you because of Jesus’ finished work, the more sin and its effects—sickness, hatred, lack and so on—will lose their grip on you. You will find yourself walking in a greater measure of God’s grace and blessings!
THE MUD PUDDLE
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart! —Psalm 119:2
My friend Ed was telling me a story about his little son. He was standing in a mud puddle, so Ed told him to get out. But instead, his son began running through the puddle. “No running through it either,” he said. So the boy began walking through the water. When Ed told him, “No walking!” the boy stood with just his toes in the water, looking defiantly at his dad. The child knew what his father wanted, but he didn’t want to do it.
Sometimes I’m like that stubborn little boy. I know that what I’m doing isn’t pleasing to the Lord, but I do it anyway. God told the children of Israel to “fully obey theLord your God” (Deut. 28:1 niv), but they failed repeatedly. The psalmist acknowledged his struggle in Psalm 119, “Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!” (v.5 niv).
Jealousy, hatred, rebellion—they occur all too often. But God provided for our redemption through the sacrifice of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit helps us when we are tempted (1 Cor. 10:13); and when we confess our wrongdoing, God promises to forgive us (1 John 1:9).
If you are like me and keep running back into the mud puddles of life, don’t give up. God will help you to resist temptation, and He will never stop loving you!
Dear Lord, help me when I’m tempted. Bring the promises of the Bible to mind and strengthen me by Your Holy Spirit to say no to temptation. Let all my words and deeds bring honor to Your name.
To master temptation, let Christ master you.
GOD IS YOUR STRENGTH
Ephesians 6:10 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
When you say, “I can manage this problem by myself, Lord,” God says, “Okay, you do it then.” But when you say, “Help me, Lord! I need You. I cannot do this on my own,” God says, “Good, I have been waiting for you to say that. You cannot, but I can. Now, watch Me!” That is how God is—He loves it when you depend on Him.
You see, when you think that you are strong and don’t need God, He cannot help you. But when you need Him and look to Him, He will not leave you weak and helpless. He comes and becomes the strength of your life. He becomes the breakthrough that you need.
A church member with a smoking habit came to me one day and said, “Pastor, please pray that God will help me. I want to stop my smoking habit.”
I told him simply, “You cannot, but God can.”
He replied, “Yes, I know that I can’t. But with God’s help, I will discipline myself and try my best to quit the habit.”
I told him, “No, you cannot, but God can.” I repeated this to him a few times until he realized that it was not his self-discipline or willpower that would help him overcome his smoking habit, but the power of God. He finally understood that true deliverance from this destructive habit would not come by his own strength, but by “[being] strong in the Lord and in the power of His might”.
When I saw him again a few weeks later, he said, “Pastor, since that day, I didn’t even try to stop myself from smoking. But each time I lit up, I told God, ‘I cannot, but You can.’ Then one day, the craving was gone! Jesus has completely delivered me from my bondage to nicotine!” This man experienced true deliverance, not just an outward form of discipline and willpower.
So when you say, “I can do something about it,” you are still relying on your human strength. But when you say to God, “I cannot, but You can,” you have just tapped into the real source of your strength—Jesus. And as you rest in His strength, you will see His power manifesting in your life!
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14, 15).
When we earnestly ask God what His will is for our lives, He will reveal it to us in no uncertain terms. When we realign ourselves to His plans for us and open up a dialogue with Him through two-way prayer, He promises to answer us.