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 theirknowledge 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 knowingthe 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.....
I recall a time in the early 80's of attending a conference with my husband in Palm Desert, California. They had some fun events for the wives of the men who attended. At one such event they had a give away of three designer hand bags. Everyone in attendance put their name in a container, to be drawn out for winning. My favorite was a beautiful brown leather bag. I purposely asked God for that purse. He in turn instructed me on how to fold the paper with my name on it before I put it in the bucket. And yes, my name was drawn for that bag! Needless to say, I was ecstatic and left Praising God! Some would say I was in the right place at the right time.
Being in the right place insures the blessings of the Lord. Eccl. 9:11 (NLT) "I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn't always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don't always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time." However, when this scripture was written, they had not yet received the Holy Spirit. I believe that we can be in the right place by being led by the Holy Spirit. John 16:13 "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come."
Being in the right church is very important. Some people think church is optional. It is Not! The local church is where we connect to God along with believers of the same spirit. It's the place where we feed our faith! "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." Rom. 10:17 One can't feed their faith at their job, at the lake, at the movies or the mall. You might say, well I watch church on television. Exactly - you WATCH. I would even say, you don't pray when they pray, praise when they praise or fellowship with those believers. You just Watch. There's no connection with God in watching! There's something to be experienced when you enter the church, where the anointing is present. When the song service begins and your heart stirs with passion to worship the Almighty God. When the Pastor steps up to the podium and begins to speak the Word of the Lord, your spirit comes alive. And the Holy Spirit begins to enlighten, through the Word of God spoken, instruction, correction and admonishment! (2 Tim. 3:16) That's where our faith begins to get stronger and we're challenged to live right.
Oh I would even venture to say, probably the reason most people don't want to go to church is because they get challenged to live right! Well, you do if you're in the right church! If you're not being provoked to live a righteous life, or adjust your lifestyle to conform to God's will, you're in the wrong place! After the service we should be being transformed - never leaving the same way we came in. 2 Cor. 3:18 (NLT) "So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord, who is the Spirit, makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."
God puts things in our Spiritual leader, our Pastor, for our life! It's to bring us into maturity! And if we don't go, we won't get them. Every service we miss is where God wanted to impart something great into our life. It's like that beautiful brown leather bag. If I wouldn't have shown up, I would have missed it and someone else would have gained the gift God intended for me! Don't miss another church service - He has a gift for you! Be in the right place at the right time!
A lot of people, my self included, have specific prayer requests we have thrust into heaven, believing we have the ear of God and that His answer is forth coming. The ongoing question is what are we suppose to do while we wait for the manifestation of our entreaty? Many people just continue to ask and ask, thinking it's the squeaky wheel that gets oiled. However, God's not a can of oil that responds to the squeaking. 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 that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." Others just ask and never expect to receive, thinking God's too busy to hear their prayer. And still others never ask, believing 'what's the use'. They have no hope or belief of any sort.
The time between releasing our faith and the manifestation of God's answer, is a time where we must exercise 'standing our ground'. Many a thing will try to influence us to relinquishing our stance, to give up, question our faith, or doubt Gods willingness and ability. 1 Cor. 13:16 says, "Remain alert. Keep standing firm in your faith. Keep on being courageous and strong." Faith in God, empowers us to to stand. Many people that KNOW God is their source and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him, (Heb. 11:6) will begin to Praise Him for the answer to their requests long before they actually see it. So yes, rejoicing is part of standing our ground! Faith is believing one has already received before it sees.
'Standing our ground' means speaking to the doubts, the fears, the devil, the pressure, and even the circumstance. Come on now, you believe in speaking to things. Lots of you have spoken to your car that wouldn't start, to your wallet or bank account, and even to an appliance that's not working right. So speaking to these other things is alright! Let's face it, pressure is talking to us. Fear is talking to us. And we all know that the devil is talking to us! It's time we talk back, telling it to leave us alone - that God IS supplying all our need. Telling it that Jesus bore our griefs and carried our sickness and by His stripes we were healed! Mark 11:23 "Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him."
The temptation to be cranky or moody because our answer isn't visible yet, comes easily. Realize that the pressure to wavier is trying to get you to forfeit your faith! This is the time to become more skillful in faith during this stand! Our response reveals who or what we're believing in! Its time to give it all we've got! Let the devil know and remind yourself that you serve a BIG God who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think... (Eph 3:20) Stand your ground, believe you have the petitions you have asked, don't give up!
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."