(Adapted from Matthew 7:7; Galatians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 13:5)
"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.
Keep on seeking, and you will find.
Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you."
This scripture exemplifies faith. Faith is the opposite of fret. Fret means to worry and be anxious over something and it actually wears away faith. To fret is to constantly think, speak and believe all the reasons why you cannot do something and eventually will extinguish your faith. On the other hand, to have faith in God's promises is to constantly think, speak and believe all the reasons why you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. To exercise faith is to pray and keep praying without fainting.
"And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if wefaint not."
Every promise God gives us in His Word or through a personal prophetic word, will be tested. We will be recipients of those promises if we are not moved by our five senses that attempt to move us into the fret zone, wear away our faith and cause us to give up on believing God for the fulfillment of His promises.
Father, thank you for Your Word that promises us that the one who asks and keeps on asking and does not faint, will receive. I hold tightly to this promise that You will answer me in Your perfect will and in your perfect timing.
(Adapted from John 5:19; Mark 4:35-41; 1 Corinthians 13:5)
After traveling with an evangelist for seven years, I held one of my first revivals at a church in a little town called Bono, SC. I set my keyboard up right next to the pulpit. Every night the pastor introduced me with these words, “This is Your Service Lord. We are Your servants.” One night after she introduced me with these words, I went to the keyboard and replied, “Let’s just sing that.” And I began to sing a chorus and bridge perfectly as if I had been working on it all day. We sang it for a good while and the Spirit moved. “This Is Your Service Lord” became the sub-title to our first “Songs of the Sanctuary” praise and worship CD. These words have been my anthem ever since and this is why. I have come to realize that God is God and I am not. He is in charge and I am not. All I have to do is wait on my instructions from my Commander in Chief and do what he tells me to do. Jesus exampled this principle perfectly. He said,
“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you,
the Son is able to do nothing of His own accord;
but He is able to do only what He sees the Father doing,
for whatever the Father does is what the Son does in the same way.”
Jesus had no worries, His Father was in charge. Even when the disciples were on a ship, frantic with panic, concerned that they would perish on the sea from the storm, Jesus was asleep. Jesus demonstrated that he had no worries. He was at peace in the storm. He responded to the panic of the disciples by asking, “Where is your faith?” This response fully proves that He expects us to have the same kind of peace in the time of storm. He fully expects us to have the same authority over the storm that He had. He fully expects us to rest assured in the Fathers love and care for us. He fully expects us to have the same inner knowing that the Father is in control of the situation. No worries; God is in Charge!
I will not fret or have any anxiety about anything. Worry is believing that bad things are going to happen. I refuse to open the door of anxiety for the enemy to walk through.
Lord, I close all the doors that give access to the enemy this morning. I close the doors of anxiety and worry. I close them by repenting of entertaining ideas and thoughts that the enemy offers. I keep the doors closed by confessing Your words over my life today. Holy Spirit, remind me to be thankful about everything. When circumstances arise that pull me again to the door of anxiety and worry, remind me to speak words of thanksgiving and words that are positive and full of life.
“Child, keep talking to Me.Bring your requests and petitions and concerns to Me all through your day.Add an expression of gratitude and contentment of where I have you right now.I will give you peace that will slam the door on fear.My peace transcends and surpasses all understanding and My peace will guard your heart and mind constantly.I search the hidden person of your heart.I look for your desire to please Me.When I see that heartfelt desire, I give you peace and peace gives you a gentle and charming spirit.And this is precious in my sight.”
"Love Is Not Touchy" / “Love Is Not Easily Offended”
(1 John 5:1; 1 Corinthians 13:5)
When I was 11 years of age, I went through a trial in which I could not feel the presence of God for six months.The enemy had tried to convince me that I had spoken against the Spirit and somehow sinned against the Spirit and could never be saved.After six months of the heavens seeming as brass to me, I remember going to my room and praying, “Lord, I love You, I love Your Word, I love Your people and I love lost humanity.If I never feel Your presence again, I am still going to serve You all the days of my life.”As soon as I said this, the presence of God flooded my room and the Lord spoke to me for the first time in my life. He said,
“I love you My servant, My son. This has been a trial of your faith.
You will never go through this trial again.”
He has been so very faithful with His presence and anointing upon my life since that day.
At 11 years of age, when my faith had been tried, I made, what I now call,
“My Love Allegiance”
I love You,
I love Your Word,
I love Your people,
I love lost humanity,
Father, I realign myself today with these four love priorities.I love You.I love Your Word.I love Your people.And I love lost humanity.I am so thankful that I have been born of You and born of love.Love through me.
Father, You are love and love is not touchy or easily offended and I am not touchy of easily offended. I confess today that I do not react to the actions of people in like manner to their actions. I act on love not returning evil for evil. I will say to my mind, this is one for whom Christ died taking no offense at their inactions. I will never be offended in you nor in others as I dwell and continue in love and dwell and continue in You.
Not a very spiritual opening you might say, but it sure worked to teach a spiritual truth to a five year old. Hannah had come home from Kindergarten crying because a couple of kids called her names. I said to her in the voice of the famous insurance duck, “Aflac, water off a duck’s back!” It became our game to play whenever she felt belittled or slighted in any way during those early elementary years.
We did a study on ducks to find out more about this phrase that we had adopted as our motto to help us forgive and forget offenses and such. We found out that ducks can float because they have a coating of oil on their feathers that makes the water roll right off similar to a newly waxed car. We learned that our shield of faith was like that oil on the duck’s back. We hold it up as a part of our armor and the enemy’s darts roll right off. Even though Hannah grew out of playing the AFLAC game, it is rooted in her spirit to allow offensive words to roll off as she holds up her shield of faith and quenches the darts of the enemy.
Why don’t you try it the next time an insulting or belittling word is hurled at you? You don’t have to be in Kindergarten to experience verbal abuse. Don’t receive the offensive words and answer in a spirit of love. When the Pharisees spoke accusing words to Jesus, “You testify on your own behalf but your testimony is not valid.” Jesus answered, “ Even though I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is true, reliable and valid. You do not know where I came from or where I am going but I know where I came from and where I am going.” Your response could be similar, “You are not an authority on me. I am what my Father says I am and I can do what my Father says I can do! I am not an authority on you either but God, your Creator is and He so loved you that he gave his son so that you could have life.”
Father, thank you for this simple truth. Even a child can understand your nature and your ways of doing things. The next time I am challenged by words of offense and abuse, I believe that I receive the right response as I walk in the steps of the Messiah. My heart is to please you with my choices and responses to others.
The Messiah had walked on the water. He walked right through the wind and waves, right up to the boat, got in and immediately transported the disciples to the other side of the sea. Later that night around the camp fire, Peter may have gotten up and walked to the beach by himself. He may have stood at the edge of the water looking into the darkness. His thoughts could have been . . .
“The Lord left. We didn’t know where He was or if He was coming back. All we knew to do was get in the boat and cross the sea. It was getting so late! And then He comes walking on the water! What a sight that was! He walked on the water! And as if my friends had not seen enough to convince them that this is truly the Messiah!”
His mind retraced the events of the day. He thought about the crowd of people that were fed from such a little lunch. He thought about the followers that had been offended at His words of late. It was a critical time and there was indecision in the hearts of so many. He thought about the many words and the teaching of the Master.
“I am the Bread of Life.He who comes to Me will never be hungry.He who believes in and trusts in Me will never thirst.Anyone who eats this bread from heaven will never die.I am the Living Bread that came down from heaven.And this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”
“So many people are angry with Him. He actually claims to be the Son of God! He broke the bread and fed it to thousands and now He is saying that He is the bread from heaven. And if we eat this Living Bread from heaven, we will have eternal life. I can understand how so many are offended at these words. It is a strange message. It is hard and difficult for people to understand. So many are drawing back.”
Perhaps the rest of the evening went something like this . . .
Peter turned from the darkness and walked back toward the fire where Jesus and the other eleven disciples were sitting. As he approached the campfire, Jesus was saying, “Will you also go away? Do you all desire to leave also?” Perhaps Peter walked right over to the Messiah and said,
“Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe and we know that You are the Holy One of God.”
Lord, there are many things that I may not understand but may I never be offended in you. For where else can I go. Only you have the words of eternal life. I desire to be your disciple. I choose to put You first, the whole world second and my life third. Though I may not understand, I chose to believe in you as I walk it out in love.
"Love Is Not Touchy" / “Love Is Not Easily Offended”
(Adapted from Job 2; John 6; 1 Corinthians 13:5)
Have you ever seen anyone take offense with God because of a misfortune or hardship? I have heard statements like this, “How could God allow this to happen?” or “Where was God when all of this happened?!” Job’s wife said to her suffering husband, “Why don’t you curse God and die?” Job told his wife that she was foolish to speak offensive words against God. It is foolish for anyone to take offense at the Almighty and blame Him for anything that is the act of the evil one. Job was blameless before God because he refused to be offended with the trouble that he was experiencing. He refused offense and God turned things around for him.
God is love and there is no offense in Him. To be offended with the One who created you for His pleasure is to accuse Him of doing it all wrong. The Holy One only walks through the door of love. He searched Job’s heart and found a door to enter and He will search our hearts for a door that welcomes him.
Father, when I do not understand a trial or a test, I still choose to not take offense but to keep the door of love open in my heart. I realize that those are the very times I need You the most. I cast my unanswered questions and all of my cares on You and I know that You care for me. Help me to recognize the door of offense and wisdom to keep it closed.