Believing for something, a financial increase, healing for the body, a restored relationship, even peace of mind, takes faith. It just depends where you place your faith. Some people place their faith in 'the worst thing that could happen'. These are the ones who believe that if anything bad can happen, it'll happen to them. Others, because of experienced faith, put their trust and belief in God, knowing that things are subject to change. The real problem with FAITH is, it must be consistent and people give up too soon. Since we live in a fast paced society, generally people believe situations should change NOW! And if it doesn't happen today or tomorrow, or even by next Friday, then they guess it's just not going to happen. As a result they draw back and cease believing, saying in their heart, "things will be this way always. I guess this was the way it was meant to be".
Hebrews 10: 38 says, "Now the just shall live by faith. But if anyone draws back. My soul has no pleasure in him." We all know that faith pleases God.
It is my firm belief and experience that to obtain, one must remain persistent reaching past unbelief and doubts. It's that never give up attitude, believing in the Word of God no matter what. We see this type of conviction displayed in athletes and people that have defeated overwhelming disabilities. And for the most part, we applaud them, with never the thought to apply that kind of certainty to our faith for our circumstance.
Abraham, when faced with the option of drawing back from faith, continued in hope believing that what God promised He would do. He was strong in faith, and he did not meditate on his predicament. Although he knew he and Sarah, in the law of nature, could not bring forth a son, he did not waver! Abraham remained committed in faith and gave glory to God for his son, whom he didn't see at that time. Now that's what I call confidence and persistence! Of course we know the rest of the story - Isaac was born!
It came to light yesterday, that when faced with believing for a particular situation to change, that it would be easy to give up. But you know what? I chose to extend my faith. Being fully persuaded that what God has promised, He is able to perform. Nothing, not circumstance, not pain, not anyones conversation can change my belief in the Word. No matter the hardship or difficulty I will not allow it to sway my faith. I am continually giving glory to God for the answer of His Word for my situation!
The challenges for most come in the fact that past incidents seem to outweigh trust or belief in God. Perhaps you've recently experienced a tragic fatality, a great financial loss, or a dreadful doctors report. As terrible as any of these may be the one thing I've realized is, that during any extreme severe situation we need the love of our Father God to help us get past the hurt and pain. (Romans 8:35-39)
Let me encourage you today, that with any circumstance you're addressing, remain determined to receive your answer from God. Resist becoming weary of waiting. Block the cries of defeat! "Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised." Heb. 10:35-36 amp. Remember FAITH tirelessly and determinedly stands by and never lets go of the things for which we hope! Then be relentless in giving glory to God for the answer to your faith.
I was recently meditating on the blessings of the Lord and reflected on a specific situation that flooded my heart with God's love and goodness. Please allow me to share this miraculous testimony. It was right after Christmas in 2003. Our youngest son, then 21, had returned home from being involved in an intern program at Washington D.C.
We had a great Christmas holiday and New Years Day was just around the corner. Early morning of New Year’s eve, he prepared to travel 2 1/2 hours to visit his then girlfriend (now wife), and her family. Being compelled of the Holy Spirit , I sat down and encouraged him to drive slower than he normally did. He indulged me and assured me he would be safe.
As our custom, we gathered around him to pray for God’s safety speaking the Word of God. We learned a long time ago, that the Word of God is powerful, stronger than any two edged sword. (Heb. 4:12) Waving goodbye, we were assured of God’s protection.
Close to the time he was to arrive, it was tempting to call his cell phone, but I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit say, he’s alright. I dismissed it and within ten minutes, we received startling news. Our son had been involved in a single car accident. Where the freeway split at an overpass, he had hit the divider barrels, bounced his car 18 feet in the air, flipped and landing upside down, sliding across four lanes of traffic. It's during these types of times, we are subject to questioning God and doubting our prayers. Yet, we must not allow any circumstance redefine what we know and believe in God's Word!
First of all it was amazing he had not hit any other cars. Secondly, it was remarkable, He was coherent and talking to the paramedics, telling them to call his dad and that everything would be alright. The paramedic, whose ambulance was 10 cars behind and seeing the accident, phoned and said he was going to be fine. Now here's where it gets interesting. Before they could arrive on the scene, our son said a man with a ball cap, helped him out of his car and sat him beside his car. When asked how he got out of his car, he explained a man helped him. However, there was no man to be seen. After hearing this, I was assured that God sent an angel to help my son. Heb. 1:14 “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”
The hospital checked him thoroughly and found he need a total of 6 stitches in his head, where it was cut by glass. Praise the Lord!!!!
I just want to encourage you today to know what rightfully belongs to you. Whether it's health, safety, finances, peace, joy or whatever you need, God's Word has a promise for you. Paul wrote in 1 John 5:13-15 "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know we have the petitions that we have asked of Him."
Get in the Word - find out His will - healing, safety, peace, joy, abundant life now and eternal life! Then proclaim it! Declare it! Believe it! It's yours!
Our focus will determine the direction of the heading. We can't continue to look at what was or what could have been, and expect to get anywhere. If the attention is on something that's from the past - it's easy to come to a stalemate. Living in the yesteryears only keeps us IN the past. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:12-14 (NKJ)"Not that I have already attained or am already perfected; but I press on that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." One can't run a race and reach the intended goal looking behind to where he's been.
Past hurts, failures, or even past successes can keep us bogged down and unable to move forward. No matter how much we think, about what was or what could have been, it won't change anything in the now or the future. The gift of 'today' should be enjoyed today, and the mystery of tomorrow to be prayerfully anticipated.
I realize we can learn from our past. But that doesn't mean we have to keep focused on it. Log it, learn from it and move forward. Don't camp out there. I also know there are good memories from our past that touch our heart and bring smiles, maybe even tears. However, I am aware that it's easy to remain mentally locked on a memory of a situation or person that can cause us to exist in the realm of the coulda, shoulda, and woulda's. This can be a detriment to advancing. It can cause us to take the regard that the past situation or people, were more important than the ones in our life now. Because all we think or talk about is that previous event or person, therefore, other's in our life, feel less significant.
As many of you, we have encountered some very hurtful situations over the years. But the one thing we've learned is forgiveness is crucial to moving on. And with that forgiveness, comes leaving the pain and the embarrassment behind, never to reminisce. Yet understanding we must guard our hearts and continue to walk in God's love.
We've also made some wrong decisions. It's easy to look back and say, 'sure wish we would have done that, instead of this'. That's where we come to realize that the path we went down, has brought us to the place we are now. And although other choices may have been better, we must rejoice in the Lord for His 'working everything out conforming it to His will. (Eph. 1:11) & (Rom. 8:28)
There have also been some very wonderful people in our life that are now walking with the Lord. And although we remember them with great fondness, we've discovered that the memory of their life continues to bring us joy. But we decide to focus on those living around us, whose lives are impacting us and affected by us while we still can.
This is where we must decide to allow the past to be the past and put our attention on the here and now. Why? Because God has a plan, a purpose for us. There are people we must minister to and lives we must touch. Keeping the perspective of the past will allow us "to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Have you ever heard someone say, 'he's got stalwart faith'? What is stalwart, anyway? After researching it, I found that stalwart means loyal, reliable, committed, steadfast, unwavering, dependable and steady. So stalwart faith never gives up, never gives in, always relies on and believes in the Word of God, over any circumstance. It's where we choose to believe God's Word over the evidence of the senses. (Things we feel. see, hear, or think) . It's knowing that all natural circumstances, sickness, financial woes, fears, and such are to be kept subject to the Word of God. I'm not talking about denying the circumstances, but believing God's Word and living in agreement with it. That means declaring His Word over the situation and believing that it has the divine power over it to change it. You may have a broken arm, but instead of saying "I have a broken arm", you should say, "By His stripes I am healed". That's acting on the Word, being a doer of the Word.
We must be committed, steadfast, unwavering in belief of His divine power through the Word of God, remaining steadfast to 'see' by faith His results. It's almost like the time, when you were a child and saw into the imaginary realm. You really thought that it was real, no matter what anyone else told you. That's were we need to be in our faith in God's Word. No matter what anyone says. No matter what we see. Regardless of how we feel, we just KNOW that the Word of God is ultimately the real truth with power to accomplish what it's sent to do. (Is. 55:11)
1 John 5:14-15 "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, And if we know He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him."
There was a time in our life, where the powers of hell came against us. A business partner stole $60,000. As a result we were evicted from our house, our car was repossessed, our electricity was turned off, and to top it all off, we had no money to buy food. What seemed like the end, was really the beginning for God to work in our life. It took faith to forgive this person, it took faith to believe that we wouldn't be homeless, it took faith to believe that things could turn around to be better than they were. Because we held onto faith, we got a bigger and better house with no payments for 3 month and we were given a new car debt free. Within nine months we received in the mail a check for $10,396.00 and $11,670.00 a month later, from an unexpected source. All because we forgave and exercised stalwart faith in God!
You see, we need to keep our focus on the Word, rather than on the circumstance. Things can change if we stay humble and faithful to believe. Trust the Word, know that all things are possible to him who believes. (Mat. 19:26) Keep your conversation ordered aright, there's the power of life and death in the tongue. (Pro. 18:21) Choose life! Speak faith, speak the Word and Believe God!
Living in America brings forth a freedom that many nations do not experience. If we were to visit some of those places, we'd find the conveniences of super markets, shopping malls, or freedom of speech are not available. In many places people live in fear of their life with the threat of slavery or death. We're not tortured, or prisoners, nor are we forced to labor in camps for the country we abide. All in all, if we take a real good look at America we're free. Free to choose where we live, free to choose how many children we have, free to choose if we want to go to college, free to choose our profession, free to marry who we want, free to worship God Almighty. That freedom came with a price of peoples lives that fought to guarantee our liberty. There is much to be thankful!
1 Peter 2:16 says, "[Live] as free people, [yet] without employing your freedom as a pretext for wickedness; but [live at all times] as servants of God.
Just because we're free, we should not use that 'freedom' as a means of justification to live foolishly or immoral. Wrong choices bring us to a place of oppression and in bondage to the worldly views and living. Bernard M. Baruch an American financier, stock investor, philanthropist, statesman and political consultant, once stated "The greatest blessing of our democracy is freedom. But in the last analysis, our only freedom is the freedom to discipline ourselves."
Taking a look around we find that's where the 'rub' really is. People don't want to be disciplined. There's some that rebel from their youth and keep right on rebelling into adulthood. But the truth of the matter is that God gave us precepts and guidelines to live by. Why? To keep us safe and protected and to help us live in the blessings He intends for us to enjoy.
Freedom isn't just the fact that we can do what we want, when we want, where we want, to whom we want. Freedom is the benefit of having choice. And with that choice comes the responsibility of selecting RIGHT above WRONG. It's making the decision to not only live life to enjoy for yourself, but being the benefit to others. It's that place that God has called us to live as servants to Him, being the express of Him in our actions, our words and choices.
I urge you today to live in the freedom of the Word. Titus 2:14 AMP "(Jesus) Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly his own people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds" Live righteously! Be a doer of the Word!
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."