Do You Believe God Long Enough to Receive His Promises?

waitingNo unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. – Romans 4:20-21

Abraham waited 25 years for God to carry out His promise to give Abraham and Sarah a son. Yet, Abraham didn’t waver in unbelief during those long years of waiting.

How about you?

Are you wavering in unbelief concerning the promises God has spoken over your life?

As a prophetic intercessor, Father has me spend hundreds of hours praying His promises over the lives of His people. Sadly, I am astonished and amazed again and again by how quickly Father’s children let go of promises He has spoken over their lives because it’s taking too long, in their mind, for Him to fulfill the promise He spoke over their lives.

How does Father speak promises over our lives?

Through . . .

  • Bible verses — He highlights in our reading of the Word and speaks specifically to our hearts as a promise He has for our lives
  • Other believers — promises they sense Father is speaking over our lives and then Father confirms it to our spirit and mind as we pray about it (For more: When Father Speaks – see Receiving and Testing a Word of Prophecy section and Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge by Adrian Warnock)
  • Prayer — a verse of Scripture He brings to mind that He wants us to pray and believe over a situation or circumstance we are praying about

In His hometown, Jesus did very few miracles.

Why?

And He did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. – Matthew 13:58

May that not be the truth concerning our walk of faith . . . that Jesus did not do many mighty works in our lives . . . He didn’t carry out His promises spoken over our lives because we didn’t believe Him long enough to receive them.

The question is not whether God can carry through on His promises (Isaiah 46:9-11, Job 42:1-3).

The question is are we willing like Abraham to not waver through unbelief while we wait for God to carry out the promises He has spoken over our lives.

For More:

5 Pitfalls While Waiting on His Promises Series

Prophecy Isn’t a Formula

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Does Your Calling Consume You? [Called Series]

flight

And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ . . . – Ephesians 4:11-12 (ESV)

Does your calling consume you?

In your every waking moment, do you know what He has created you for?

Are you daily and hourly walking in your calling?

The weight of your calling can be likened to an airplane — it is indeed weighty in regard to its responsibility.

Luke 12:48 speaks to this tension:

Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

Yet the enabling power Father has so richly bestowed on you is much like how an aircraft is able to take off and fly tens of thousands of feet in the sky.

2 Corinthians 9:8 describes this promise:

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (NIV)

The prophet Jeremiah’s calling consumed him:

“If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.'” – Jeremiah 20:9

The combination of the pressures of our lives, the demands of ministry, and the inevitable discouragement from those who don’t understand, believe in or appreciate our calling, at times can feel like an unbearable weight.

As a prophetic intercessor, the weight of my calling often weighs heavy on my heart and mind. During a particular heavy season of spiritual and personal attack, the weight of my calling seemed unbearable.

I was sitting on the stairs in my deserted place of work. I held out my hands and prayed, “Father this calling is too heavy, please take it back.”

As I prayed, I sensed a weight was lifted from out of my outstretched hands and yet in its place a feeling of a vacuum. After a half hour passed Father spoke, “You have no idea what stood in the balance of eternity with your request.”

And as the weight returned to the palms of my hands Father continued, “Never give your gift back to Me again.”

In the here and now, it often seems easier to lay our calling aside than to continue on in it.

And yet only by daily embracing our calling, only moment by moment letting Father’s calling on our lives consume our waking moments will we be able to say with confidence and passion along with the apostle Paul:

 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:7

Standing in the balance of eternity – does your calling consume you?

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Let Your Strength Come from Jesus [Called Series]

mountain peaksThe Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!
Habakkuk 3:19 AMP

When you are low on strength, what a promise to remember!

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God,the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV

At your weakest point, this is His promise to you.

For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me. – Colossians 1:29 ESV

When you have nothing left, His energy is powerfully infusing your very being.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Cor 12:9-10

Life is full of countless points of weakness in our lives, and yet those can also be our greatest moments of strength.

A great book that illustrates these truths within this struggle is Hannah Hurnard’s Hinds’ Feet on High Places:

Adult version

Kindle

Audible

Youth version

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Let Your Treasure Be Immaterial [Called Series]

sunlight streamingIs your treasure immaterial?

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. – 2 Cor. 4:16-18 NLT

The things we can’t see will last forever . . .

  • that relationship you’ve been building with a young believer
  • the friendship you’ve been investing in with your neighbor who is seeking Jesus
  • those prayers you’ve been praying for your community
  • that time you’ve given in serving the least of these (Mt 25:40)
  • the money you’ve invested in furthering the Gospel
  • those steps of obedience you’ve taken that you have yet to see any visible fruit from
  • that step of faith you boldly take when the crowd around you asks you “Why? and “What are you thinking?!”

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Mt 6:19-21 ESV

For More:
John Piper on Don’t Be Anxious, Lay Up Treasure in Heaven, Part 1

Enough: Finding More by Living with Less by Will Davis Jr.

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Let Your Vision Be Eternal [Called Series]

FreedomTherefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV

During His 33 years on earth, Jesus clearly lived with a vision that was eternal. He endured the horrific torture of the cross and the unimaginable weight of crushing sorrow of bearing the punishment of our sins “for the joy that was set before Him.”

Do you and I live for the joy that is set before us?

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – 2 Cor. 4:16-18 NIV

  • The joy set before you in cruel betrayal . . . redemption, healing, wholeness.
  • The joy set before you in crushing blows of failure . . . seeing how the hand of Almighty God recreated the shattered pieces and redeemed them into a mosaic of beauty.
  • The joy set before you in heartache and loss . . . your tears will be wiped away and there will be no more crying, sorrow, or pain (Rev 21:4).
  • The joy set before you when you’ve been overlooked, abused and tossed aside  . . . heaven has no nobodies or second-class citizens.
  • The joy set before you when you’ve been harshly discriminated against . . . in heaven there is only acceptance and love.
  • The joy set before you when your investment in others all seems for naught because words that have been said and rumors that have been spread . . . in eternity all redeemed for nothing you do on this earth for Almighty God is a waste of time or effort (1 Cor 15:58)
  • The joy set before you when you yourself have squandered what you have been so generously been given . . . the joy of seeing your Father’s face who has forgiven you and the outstretched hand of your Savior who loves you and whose nail scars and stripes paid for every one of our sinful, selfish, and short-sighted mistakes.

Today my brother, my sister, are you living for the joy set before you?

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When You Don’t Know Why [Called Series]

Comfort and GriefOne of the greatest ways believers lose heart and stop moving forward in their walk of faith is when they don’t know why.

Why did they have to die so young?

Why do I lived with constant pain and fatigue?

Why didn’t I get chosen?

Why didn’t God give me that job, that spouse, that house, that promotion. . .?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Why was I abused?

Why was I raped?

Why didn’t my parents want me?

Why me?

Each is a valid question of the heart. The experience of each contains deep sorrow and pain.

Yet the choice each person asking the question is faced with: to heal and go on or to be stuck, lose heart, and stop moving forward in their walk of faith.

We live in a world full of sin and thus sorrow and pain.

Revelation 21:3-4 gives us an anchor of hope and a beacon of faith when we choose to move forward in our walk of faith:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

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For More:

When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty by Joni Eareckson Tada

A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty by Joni Eareckson Tada

Rest Ministries, Inc.: Joyfully Serving the Chronically Ill

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Embrace Your Calling, Resist Mediocrity [Called Series]

Running UnhinderedAnd He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ . . . Ephesians 4:11-12 (ESV)

Has God given you a calling to equip the saints for the work of the ministry?

Are you embracing your calling?

Or can the living out of your calling be likened to the definition of mediocre?

mediocre: of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate

In 2 Timothy 1:6 Paul exhorts Timothy, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands . . .”

Are you fanning into flame the gift God has given you in your calling?

I vividly remember a conversation I had with a ministry leader in which he shared, “I just want to live a normal Christian life.”

The statement in itself was completely understandable when you took into account the weight of ministry, the day-to-day pressures and responsibilities, and the energy invested in shepherding, counseling, exhorting, and teaching.

Yet if God has given you an equipping calling; it will be weighty in responsibility and challenging to carry out . . . a “normal Christian life” isn’t an option.

You have the high privilege of equipping believers for the work of the ministry.

Along with that high privilege comes the truth of Lk. 12:48:

When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. (NLT)

Seeking to live a “normal Christian life” with less responsibility and challenge will only lead you to a life of mediocrity.

Has God given you much? Has He entrusted you with much?

Then embrace your calling with passion and equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. – 1 Cor 9:24

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For more on Ephesians 4:11-12: What Is Your Gift? by Ray Stedman

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