Joni Erickson Tada – “Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.”
Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Got to thinking about this verse today, and found this Steve Curtis Chapman song running around my head, thinking about the complexity of walking with Jesus!
It is a walk of faith:
Rex Rouis – “Faith is hearing Jesus say, “Come.” Believing is actually throwing your leg over the edge of the boat.”
What have you heard Jesus say to you as you seek Him?
There is no telling how great He is able to make us, as we grow in grace, love, wisdom, and knowledge..
Martin Luther King, Jr – “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
We walk in faith, trust, obedience to Holy Spirit, learning when to speak, boldly against injustice, and when to be silent before people – yet fervently to pray.
If you need personal prayer for anything, we would be honored to pray for you and your situation – there is a prayer request form on the side of this article, that comes to us personally.
Rex Rouis – “If our Christian walk was a business, faith would be our profits. It is the currency of God. Prayer is a transaction supported by faith.”
Right now, lets release our faith in God: let’s pray:
‘Father, help me to continue to grow in grace, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit, as I walk with You. Cause me to hear Your voice, and walk it out, in perfect faith today, In Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen!’
Why Jerusalem? Why Israel?
Mic 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
Mic 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
This is the last days. This is a prophetic word, given by God to the prophet Micah, for these times.
We are the nations, and we are to go, to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, to the city of the great King, Jerusalem, capital of the whole earth, city of our God.
Our Christian conviction is that Christ is also the messiah of Israel. Certainly it is in the hands of God how and when the unification of Jews and Christians into the people of God will take place.
Pope Benedict XVI
The Word of the Lord shall be decreed from Jerusalem, and we will walk in His paths, Jesus the way and the waymaker, and Holy Spirit will teach, instruct, guide, and write the law of God on the fleshly tables of our hearts.
God has given eternal covenant to the Jewish people. Jesus, Yeshua, Son of God, is divine in that God, Creator of the Universe has given all people, all nations, the privilege of knowing Him.
Therefore He is the Father of all who would believe, yet Mary, the one God chose to give birth to Messiah, is of the lineage of the House of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, from the house of David, making Yeshua, fulfillment of the covenant to the house of Israel, Messiah, Saviour to all who would believe…
Do you have it in your heart to return to Israel?
This is heaven tugging at your heartstrings, for these words, written thousands of years ago, must come to pass, for God is Holy. He cannot lie. When He has spoken, it must come to pass!
‘Father, next year in Jerusalem! Jesus, make a way for me, my family, my church to celebrate You in praise, adoration, and thanksgiving, in the land you call home. Amen!’
The Breaker has come!
Micah 2:13 The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them.
Is 45:2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:
3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.
These are wonderful verses!
Jesus has risen from the dead!
All the power of man and hell could not stop Him, and cannot today!
He is Lord, God, and all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Him, and He is your Shepherd, Lord and God.
Got an impossible obstacle?
I have good news: The Breaker has come!
Jesus loves you, and delights to deliver you, just because He can!
Psalm 18:19 (AKJV)
19 He brought me forth also into a large place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
“Father, I have received Jesus as my Lord, and I believe He is making a way for me, where there appears to be no way. Jesus, break the chains I cannot see, the wicked agendas of men, demons, structures, that have limited me, and sought to crush my faith, my dreams, my heart. Open ways for me, and do what only you can do, bring me into a large place, by Your mighty hand, by Your power and grace, for YOUR glory Lord Jesus, Amen!’
Jesus came to reveal our heavenly Father…
All of us, have been fatherless to some degree. No matter how good or bad your earthly father is or was, God your heavenly father is perfect!
We are looking tonight at the Father Heart of God, God as our nurturer.
The way I was brought up, I saw Jesus as our tender Shepherd, the one to whom we could run. The one who sits at the right hand of God, ever praying and interceding for us. Yet, God, I was told, is holy, and sits as judge of the entire universe. God is the Father of all Creation, but the picture I was painted of Him was of a harsh judge, sitting upon His throne, ready to hurl lightening bolts from heaven upon any who would dare to cross Him. Like this huge austere man sitting upon His throne with a giant fly-swatter ready to punish us when we blew it.
Yet, the view I held of God, was not according to knowledge. Religion and tradition had blinded me from the truth of Daddy God. Again and again, He has come to me and ruined my tough-guy image with waves of Holy Ghost hugs and tender compassion. I couldn’t understand how the loving God I was experiencing could actually be the Father I had learned about in Sunday school. So I was afraid, never fully trusting His loving care for me.
Why? I figured that I was like some play-toy to Him. He didn’t need me; he loved me when it was convenient for Him, but I’d better watch out, because He might squash me like a bug.
Well, many of you are in the same place. You’ve seen men act like I’ve described, perhaps your earthly father acted this way, and perhaps the way you see God is tainted by the media and religion. Well, God is not that way. He is holy, and He cannot lie. The way He describes Himself is the way He really is. We must see Him as the Word describes Him, not the way the world would seek to portray Him.
Let’s look at these verses.
(Isa 66:11 NIV) For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance.”
(Isa 66:12 NIV) For this is what the LORD says: “I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.
(Isa 66:13 NIV) As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
Is this the picture of a God that throws lightening bolts at His children when they disobey? No! These verses describe an intimacy with God similar to the degree of intimacy a nursing infant experiences at the breast of its mother.
One of the covenant name of God is El Shaddai, the God who is more than enough. When we look up the definition of this Hebrew word, we discover it to literally mean, “the multi-breasted one”. The sense being of God desiring a level of intimacy with every human being similar to that of a new-born babe suckling at its mothers breast.
Look at verse 12 with me, we see God desiring to literally carry us as a mother carries her infant babe, he wants to play with us like a parent bounces a child upon their knee.
Let’s look at a few other verses of Scripture that document this wonderful side of our loving heavenly Father.
(Hosea 11:1 NIV) “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
(Hosea 11:2 NIV) But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.
(Hosea 11:3 NIV) It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them.
See this beautiful word picture. The picture of a parent teaching a child to walk, holding them by the arms, and leading them in the way they should go. How many times have you gone through a hard time, or entered into a new situation, and it seemed that the comfort of the Holy Spirit was so tangible you could literal touch Him. The clarity of the direction you received from God so concise you could not fail to make it through.
See it in this verse? A child, being held by the arms, doesn’t really care where they are going, only that Daddy is holding their arms. When He’s there everything is sure to turn out right.
Having difficulty receiving your healing? Get intimate with Pappa God, and let him take you by the arms and lead you, and teach you to walk by faith. The fellowship with Him will become so rich, the journey so wonderful, that it will only be in hindsight you recognize that as He walked with you, you were healed.
Some would argue, well that’s nice pastor Chris, but both of your illustrations are old covenant examples; show me this in the New Testament. Rather than argue the truth of
(1 Cor 10:6 NIV) Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.
Let’s look at
(Rom 8:15 NIV) For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
We know God’s perfect love destroys our deepest fears. We are His children by adoption, sealed by the earnest of the Holy Spirit.
The Hebrew word “Abba” is a term of intimate fellowship, our English word “Daddy”.
He is a God to call Daddy. Pappa God, our loving heavenly Father.
This truth came alive to me as a minister friend of mine was relating his experiences on his trip to Israel. As we know, we have been adopted into the covenants of God made originally to the Jewish people. When you accept Jesus, you will find yourself loving the Jews, because He does, hey Jesus is Jewish!
Well, anyway, this pastor was arriving in Tel Aviv I believe, and was waiting for his luggage at the luggage claim area. While he waited, he noticed a three-year old boy with his mother, eagerly awaiting the return of hi father. He was stretching and straining through the crowd, trying to spot his Dad. When his dad appeared, this child broke free of his mother’s grasp, and ran, arms outstretched towards his dad, crying in Hebrew, “Abba, Abba.”.
That’s the way God wants us to come to Him. Arms upraised, heart open, in childlike trust crying “Daddy, daddy!”. He will never turn us away, He loves us.
(2 Cor 6:18 NIV) “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
To finish this segment, let me tell you a story.
During an extremely difficult time in my life, I rented a basement apartment in a Christian home, as I took night courses in a bible school, and drove a school bus to support myself. Many wonderful things happened during this seven-year period of my life, but one particular encounter comes to mind.
I was taking a discipleship training course at church, and we were doing a section on pride and humility. We read “Improving your serve” by Chuck Swindoll, and “Humility” by Andrew Murray. During this season in my life, my pastor asked me to do something around the church, and I said, in belligerence, “Why should I?”. This tender man of God in great gentleness said to me, knowing I had sat under the teachings on pride and humility, “Chris, could it be that you are struggling with pride?”. It cut me like a knife, and I was so ticked off, I left the church, and went home in a rage. Now, I know none of you have ever been there, but I was ticked off.
(Prov 19:3 NIV) A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the LORD.
So here was I. I’d made a bad choice, and then was so proud and self-deceived that I was mad at God over it.
So, in my basement room, I blurted out at God. “Yea, God, I’ve got an attitude, but what do you expect. This pastor of yours tells me that you will protect us, that you love us. Yea, right. If you are so loving and so kind, why did you allow the garbage that happened to me as a little child occur? What kind of God are you anyway? Letting little children get raped. You know how it is on the street, you let down your guard for a second, and you get your teeth taken out.”
Suddenly, I was not alone. My little bedroom filled up with the glory of God. I thought “Great, I told God off, and now He’s going to kill me.”
Then He spoke to me.
“Child, you don’t understand everything right now. I take full responsibility for what happened to you as a child, can you forgive me?”
Something snapped deep inside of me. My reality was shattered by His love. What? “Me forgive you? You’re God. You can’t do anything wrong. I’m not going to get a lightening bolt? I don’t understand.”
Then, I saw it. A simple understanding came to me that still speaks to me today.
God is humble. As Creator of all things, He could sit upon His throne and dictate to Creation how it is going to be. He’s Almighty, who could stop Him? Yet, He’s not that way.
Jesus washed His disciple’s feet. The character of the Master must be the character of the disciple. Jesus said, “If you’ve seen me, you have seen the Father.” See it? Father God is humble.
As time went on, I learned of Satan and his activity in the earth. He does wicked things to us, and then accuses God for it. Poisoning our minds against the One who loves us more than we love ourselves.
God is never your problem; He’s always your answer.
Why do bad things happen to “good” people? Simple. Faith moves the hand of God. The word of God is the will of God. Where people are ignorant of God’s word, Satan is free to do what he always does: kill, steal, and destroy.
My parents knew about God, but didn’t know God. They didn’t know how to apply the Word of God to their day to day affairs to see Jesus victory manifest in our life.
Probably, your parents didn’t know either. As you study and apply what you know, you are being changed. As you change, you affect those around you, like the ripples that go out from a pebble thrown in a still pond. Your children will have a better life than you did, because of your knowledge of spiritual things.
Here’s your homework. Get alone with God. Open your arms to Him and ask Him to show you His love for you. When He shows up, ask Him for courage to not run away, and let the tears all of us need to shed be cried on His shoulder. We all have secret pains in our soul, so deep, only God knows. He knows, He cares, and He will heal you if you let Him.
‘Lord Jesus, please reveal to me, my heavenly Father. Father, you know, you understand me, and I believe You love me. Please grant me a savage breakthrough of your love, Your DNA (Demonstrated Natural Affection) instilled into my very spirit. Restore to me the years of love I did not receive, and do a miracle in my soul. All the words of affirmation, acceptance, and approval that I should have received growing up, that would make me the person of boldness and confidence that this generation needs, please pour into my soul. Recreate, in the depths of my being, all that has been damaged by the trauma, abuse, neglect, and atrocities I have seen. Your perfect love, destroys our deepest fears, so I am asking for the depth of Your love revealed to the deepest part of me. I need you Daddy God, Pappa, I hurt. Please do for me, what only You can do, restore trust, peace, confidence…I choose to receive this now, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”
The Blessing of Abraham is still working!
Ge 32:12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
Deut 1:11 (The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!)
Hosea1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.
In these verses, we see the promise God made to Abraham, manifesting down the corridor of time…Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Hosea echos the same promise, being fulfilled through the seed of Abraham, Israel, and the Jewish people.
Yet Jesus came, born of a Jewish lineage, fulfillment of the seed of Abraham, the promised Messiah.
He fulfilled the prophecies, and He died upon the cross, as Isaiah said he would suffer.
3 He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.
4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows[a] that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.
Yet, He rose from the dead! He’s alive! He ascended into heaven, where He sits at the right hand of Elohim, God our Father.
And so we are commanded to believe, to become adopted into the family of God, sons of the living God…
Ga 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
Ga 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
Ga 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
No longer is the covenant only to the Jew, but God, in His infinite mercy, has opened it to us Gentiles too!
We can now worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, only through the shed blood of Yeshua!
Jesus has made a way, for He is the way, the truth and the life!
Ga 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Ga 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Ga 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
Ga 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
It is by faith that we are saved, not by works. If you believe in Jesus as your Lord, Savior, and redeemer, you shall be saved, and the blessing of Abraham is working in your life, as you believe!
Today, as I was reading through my yearly Bible reading, I read this verse: Psalm 105:5 Remember the wonders he has performed,
his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
6 you children of his servant Abraham,
‘Father, I believe in Jesus! I have received Him as my Lord, and I am Your child. I believe that this blessing you promised Abraham, is working powerfully in my life, multiplying and prospering me in all that I do! Thank you Father, Thank Your Jesus! Amen!
In today’s reading, we read the 105th Psalm. Please read it for yourself:
Ps 105:6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.
Ga 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
Ps 105:17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
I wish to focus on v19, Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
Joseph had a dream from God as a young man, and it was authentic. He would become the prime minister of Egypt. He believed that word, and then all hell broke loose against him. Instead of his brothers rejoicing and participating in his development willingly, they beat him up, threw him in a well, and sold him into slavery. Then, as God promoted him as a slave, he was falsely accused, and thrown into prison, and God was with him. Then, the chief cup bearer for Pharoah and baker ended up in prison, and Joseph’s gift of dream interpretation ‘read their mail’.
Looked like, finally Joe was headed for freedom, but nope, not yet…
There was a set time appointed by the Father for Joseph, and his life was on hold, while Egypt was being prepared for his leadership.
I love this verse. Joseph had a word from God!
Yet the very word he had received, tried him!
He had to believe he had heard God, no matter what the circumstances looked like…
Was Joseph trying the word of God?
Nope, the Word of God is already tried.
2Sa 22:31 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.
Ps 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
Ps 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
So the word of God is already tried, God is holy and cannot lie.
It is us that need refinement, and believing a personal promise from God, when every circumstance is against us, provides that refinement.
Joseph is not alone in his trial, you and I are being tried too…
Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Now, read: Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is a heavenly substance, and after we have believed we received, then what?
Then there is Bible hope.
In order to understand true Bible hope, I quote Kenneth Copeland:
“ If you look up the Greek definition of the word hope, you’ll find it means “to be intensely expectant, to be confidently looking forward to something you fully expect to happen.”
You can see this kind of hope in action in Philippians 1:19-20. There, the Apostle Paul says:
“I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and my hope…”
For emphasis, Paul used the two Greek words there that mean earnest expectation.
In other words, he was saying to them, “This thing is so inevitable I’m just burning up with expectancy!”
This sheds a brand new light on this wonderful verse brought before us pastors Terri and Steve Spanish of Victory.com, when we attended their connect group:
Zec 9:12 Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee;
When pastor Terri uttered those words, they literally leapt off of the page for me, under the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
Here is what I saw, clearly that night!
It is only after we have believed we received, that we need Bible hope. Hope is the total, passionate expectation that which we have believed, will surely come to pass.
The very word from God that we have believed, is what makes us a ‘prisoner of hope’. We see clearly by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the vision of God for our lives, and no matter what the daily circumstances scream, we are captive to the vision. We have believed we have received, and each day, we fully expect that today is going to be the day it comes to pass!
This captivity, this heavenly vision, this faith in action, is what empowers us to:
2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
It empowered the apostle Paul, when he cheerfully proclaimed the gospel in chains:
Ac 26:19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force!
We are in a war, it is the fight of faith!
To believe when it looks impossible, because faith makes the impossible, possible, in fact, inevitable!
When we have authentically heard God, that which He has spoken, tries us, refines us, forces us to grow, to discipline ourselves, to get equipped, trained, fit for service.
I believe this is what sustained Nelson Mandela through his years in prison, before becoming the first black leader in apartheid South Africa. God raised him up, through hardship, to be a vessel of great wisdom, compassion, mercy, strength, and forgiveness, in prison.
I believe he knew he would be President for many, many years before it happened, and that this inward knowing was his faith in operation, and that this word from God, tried him, just like it tried Joseph.
How about Martin Luther King? The words, ‘I Have A Dream!’ have been a battle cry against racism here in the United States since he rallied this nation to confront this great evil. He died for what he believed, yet his work is immortal, and still goes on today, for there is power in heavenly vision.
Think about President Abraham Lincoln: his repeated failures, yet, one of the greatest Presidents to ever live: http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/education/failures.htm
As Paul Harvey says, ‘now for the rest of the story!”
Isa 61:7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
Both yours and mine days of promotion and prominence will indeed come to pass, as we move forward in obedience to Holy Spirit, after we have believed we received.
Heaven is on its feet, the great cloud of heavenly witnesses, watching our course with joy, eternal testimony being written on parchment of time, we call, history.
Indeed it is HIS story, written in eternal record for all the universe to see, when we victoriously serve Jesus in this life!
Let the process have its work in you, remember, we never try the Word of God, it is trying us!
‘Father God, I ask for confirmation, strength, encouragement, and fresh revelation of the vision for my brother or sister today. May we walk out, without compromise, the heavenly vision, and come out of this trial, perfect, entire, and lacking nothing. We ask this Father, in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen’