Have you ever tried to convince someone of something, only to be swayed by their reasoning? I've known some people who have received a certain report from their doctor, and made a declaration from their total belief in the Word of God, "By His stripes I am healed." They believed it and when trying to share that revelation with a family member, were talked right out of believing and receiving. All because 'family member' made a case based on their knowledge of family history rather than the Word of God. Confrontation with sickness, financial distress, family strife, or devastating circumstances gives us the opportunity to believe or not believe God's Word. Part of the key to victory is knowing what is the promise of God for your situation. Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge....." Knowledge is a powerful thing. Knowing my house key fits my front door, gains me access to my house. Knowing my bank account number allows me to deposit and withdraw money into my account. Knowing what God's Word promises me permits me to walk/live IN that covenant. In order to be persuaded that the Word is the ultimate truth over any circumstance, you must be convinced yourself. YOU must KNOW His Word is truth. It's not enough your Pastor knows or your spouse knows, YOU need to know!
However, knowing is not enough. Just knowing my house key will unlock my front door will not gain me entrance. I must USE the key! Thus, just knowing the Word will not get us what we need. We need to be a Doer of the Word! (Jas. 1:22) Doing means we must be involved - and the way we are involved is not only believing but in the 'saying'. Mark 11:23 Jesus said, "..I say to you, whoever SAYS to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he SAYS, will be done, he will have whatever he SAYS." Saying is extremely important in the receiving process. We must begin to SAY what we believe. Saying confirms our faith in believing, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Matthew 12:34,35 says, "....for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure bring forth evil things." Jesus is saying that what is stored in the heart, good or evil, is shown from what a man says.
Recently Pastor Michael preached a message on the 'Power of the Tongue: Overcoming Involves Saying.' (You can listen to it in our Audio Section of Livejoy.org) He stated that Death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Prov. 18:21) So we see that power is not only in the knowing, but also in the saying! Jeremiah 29:11NIV, "For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome." God's plans for you are awesome!
Tests and trials are going to come every day, that's just a fact of life. You can be an overcomer by responding to them with the Word of God (what you know). Respond by SAYING what He says, because it's not about what others SAY, it's about what YOU SAY! And when the devil comes and starts harassing you, remember the only thing that's going to get him to stop, is what YOU SAY! Answer him with the Word, just like Jesus did! Don't relinquish your promise, stand up and claim what's rightfully yours by declaring and proclaiming it! Your life will reflect what you know and what you're saying! I'm just saying.....
We've had people ask, why is it necessary to attend church? Can't we just watch a television evangelist, watch an internet minister or listen to a cd and get the same results? However good or educational these may be, there's just something about attending a corporate church service. Heb. 10:24 amp. "Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together (as believers) as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging and encouraging) one another and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching."
The church is a place where we learn and receive faith. (Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The Word here is preached Word) Being built up in faith ensures that when challenges arise, faith meets them rather than fear. Being separated and alone gives place to fearful thoughts and discouraging attitudes. Seeing other believers that are confronted with the same kinds of situations as yourself, and learning of their triumphs and victories builds faith! You can't get that from t.v., the internet or a c.d.
There are some who say: 'I'm not ready to go to church, I need to get myself together first before I go.' The local church will accept you just the way you are. But, if it's a faith filled, spirit filled, bible teaching church it will not leave you the same way you came. Your faithful attendance to listen to the message of the Word and apply it to you life daily, will cause you to change. (Rom. 10:14 "How can they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?") You must come to hear and hear to believe.
One might say: 'I used to be in a church and worked so much I got burned out.' Let me say first, people who feel overworked are generally unorganized. Pressure comes because of the lack of organization, not because one has a role in serving in the local church. We can get 'burnt out' doing sports, hobbies, and the like, and quit as a result. Secondly, burn out comes because an ember is too far away from a flame. Our flame gets extinguished because we're doing 'works' without a relationship with Christ. The lack of organization gets us to working so much we neglect to spend quality time praising and praying. Plus when we're not scheduled to work, we stay away from service rather than come and get energized from the preached Word and fellowship, using the excuse 'I'm burned out.'
I've heard some say: 'There are just hypocrites in the church. They come to church but don't really act like they should.' My question to you would be, are you going to allow a 'hypocrite' come between you and your relationship with God? Because if you refrain from attending church, worshipping the Lord, or serving Him, then he just got between you and Christ and he's closer to Christ than you are. Besides what better place for a hypocrite than church? Just perhaps he'll hear the Word at one point and get his life changed. We should pray for them, not allow them to control what we do.
People have even said: 'I've gone but I just don't get it. I don't understand what's being taught.' If you're not 'getting it'. Then you need to put into operation Mark 4:14-20. Work on your (dirt) heart. What determines what your dirt is like is you. Cast your cares over on the Lord, walk in forgiveness, or put your sight on things above not on the earth. Become a spiritual man, because a 'natural man' can't receive spiritual things. (1 Cor 2:14-15) A change of heart will help you better comprehend the Word of God.
The case in point with not attending church, regardless of the reason you're being robbed of a blessing Christ intended for you to have. Eph. 4:11 Christ gave the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to the church for the equipping of the saints, for the work of ministry and for the edifying of the body of Christ. He purposes that our minds be renewed by the Word. He desires that we may better understand and know what promises are already ours so we can live victoriously. And the only way to do that is in the local church. Pray to make sure you attend the church of God's choice for you. Be certain the church you attend preaches/teaches and believes the uncompromised Word of God, not just what you want to hear. (Truth sometimes is uncomfortable.) Then be faithful, because faithful attenders understand and learn more swiftly than the non attenders. If you don't believe that, then only send your child to school one day a month.
Let me just end with this, it' easy to be thrilled with something, it's just difficult to stay thrilled. It takes diligence to remain excited about church. It's an attitude we must choose. Choose to be inspired at your local church!
Have you ever wondered how others get their prayers answered or how it seems like God always comes through for them? Perhaps you're thought, 'when is He coming through for me'?
Basic bible faith is first believing, then seeing! Additionally it's important that we speak what we're believing, not what we're seeing. Technically that's difficult for most people, because we all want to talk about what's going on.
God tells us in His Word He has clearly provided for us salvation, peace, joy, healing and finances plus much more. The problem is, most people don't KNOW what's available for their taking or how to take it. When we were born again, we "believed" in our heart and "confessed" with our mouth, Jesus was our Savior. (Rom. 10:9) Although we didn't physically SEE Him, we believed by faith and confessed our belief. This is how we have salvation! Every promise works the same way! Believe, Receive by faith (not because you see) and confess! (Heb. 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.")
For instance, knowing God already gave us peace, accepting it by faith, and confessing His peace, brings it into being. (Col. 3:15 Amp. "And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].) Just knowing He is peace, doesn't make it prominent in our life. We must first BELIEVE then SAY He is PEACE in OUR life! "Jesus is MY peace." Faith makes it up front and personal!
Now, just let me say the devil won't stop the turmoil just because you SAY Jesus is your peace. He'll come to harass you and tell you that your faith isn't working. And because you don't 'feel' or 'see' peace yet, it could be easy to believe that. But we must continue to call into being what He IS to us! "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." Rom. 10:17 Don't allow the devil to tell you, you don't deserve or you'll never have that promise. Remember the promise isn't based on OUR works, we receive them based on Jesus' works! (Col. 2:15) A minister I recently heard said, "Never let your performance qualify or disqualify you from receiving God's promise."
Luke 10:19 says we've been given authority over all the works of the devil and nothing shall by any means hurt us. The authority you operate in, still works even if you don't "FEEL" like you've got authority. A great example would be a policeman who puts on his uniform and goes to work, but say's I just don't feel like a policeman today. His authority is till working even if he doesn't feel like it. Use your authority, say to the 'mountain' (your situation) to be removed, don't doubt, but believe in your heart and you will have whatever you SAY! (Mark 11:23)
God has already authored the answer to any problem - all we must do is learn the answer from His Word. Then believe what He said and receive it by Faith. After that, start confessing it's yours. Don't speak anything but what God's promise is. You'll not only be convinced that you have it, but you'll resist the devil and he will flee. This will work with ANY promise of God! Know that whoever you're persuaded by is who you're going to quote. What are you quoting: the Word or the problem? Be persuaded by God's Word. (Rom. 4:17-21)
Prayer: Father - I thank You that You have already given me the answer in Your Word. What I don't know, I know You will show me. And what I don't understand, I know You will teach me. I receive by faith, faith in You and Your Word the answer to my situation. I have it by faith Now, In Jesus Name. Amen.
Philippians 4:19 says, "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Are you faced with a specific 'need' in your life? Maybe you're need some extra money, or a particular healing in your body. You might be dealing with stress along with turmoil and just want some peace. Perhaps you're needing some direction with answers to solve a situation.
The thing is, there will never be a time in our life, where we don't have a 'need'. Needs are what arise in life's journey. However, needs can be positive if we face them with the Word of God. Not so positive when faced with emotions. We must confront our needs with the Word of God to get resolution.
One thing about having a need is that it forces us to be in faith, and faith pleases God. There are Spirit created needs, God inspired needs and of course, poor judgement needs. I'm sure a lot of us have more poor judgement needs than any other. A poor judgement need is where we've made a decision based on our emotions or opinions, instead of prayer. But I have good news, what ever the need, there IS an answer! And that answer is in the Word of God.
I've come to realize that when we encounter a need we are not suppose to stay in the need. If we approach it carnally, complaining, whining, or in fear, we will remain there. A great example of that, would be the children of Israel in the wilderness. God lead them into the wilderness, but never intended for them to remain there. God may have lead you to a place where you are now faced with a specific need, but with your faith you can pull it in and move past it. I heard a minister say, "No matter what's in your pocket, you've got ALL the promises of God." It's where we place our belief. "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:" (2 Cor. 9:8) Don't allow need or opposition to redefine what you believe! When you were feeling good in your body - you believed you were healed by Jesus stripes. When your bank account had money you believed He supplied your need. Be convinced the Word is the ultimate truth in the midst of circumstance.
Listen, consistency is not faith. Faith shows up when things are inconsistent - that's where we must exercise faith remaining consistent in faith. So, I encourage you today to #1) Know what God's Word says about your need - find your scripture. 2 Tim. 3:16. #2) Tell satan to remove himself from your need - Luke 10:19. You are authorized to stand and walk in the power of God! #3) Send your angels to go bring it in - Heb. 1:14. and #4) Start thanking God and praising Him till it shows up. Eph. 5:20 Be sure to stay in peace and don't chase the need. When we leave peace we leave the flow of God. "All things work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose." (Rom. 8:28)
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."