Quote for Today
“If lips and life do not agree,
the testimony will not amount to much”
“If lips and life do not agree,
the testimony will not amount to much”
“If it is in the Bible, it is so. It’s not even to be prayed about. It’s to be received and acted upon. Inactivity is a robber which steals blessings. Increase comes by action, by using what we have and know. Your life must be one of going on from faith to faith”
– Smith Wigglesworth
“And when they were come into the ship,
the wind ceased.”
For the disciple of Christ there is purpose in the storms of life. God’s design for His Own is never random and without intent. Nothing is haphazard or arbitrary. The storm in which the disciples found themselves was intended to enlarge their comprehension of the majesty of Christ. It was also an opportunity to experience this wonder in their own lives. The main beneficiary of this “lesson” was Peter. Peter had a desire to identify with the living Christ; his heart was not content in seeing Jesus walk upon the water! There was an inherent need within him to walk as Christ walked; to step into the storming seas of life because faith propelled him. True Faith can never find contentment in seeing Jesus only. It will inevitably compel the one in whom it resides to invest in the experiential life of identification with Christ.
The wind will cease, and the storm will become calm once the vital lesson is learned! How glorious is the inspired Word of God: “and when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased”! Let the “they” impact our hearts and stir our souls to greater faith and larger living. When Jesus and Peter step back into the boat, Peter is not the same man he was moments before. His understanding has been transformed by stepping out of his current knowledge of Christ into a larger revelation of the power of Christ.
The storms of life are designed of Him to not simply be endured, but to be the very instruments of our enlargement and growth. While many cling to the “safety” of the boat there are those who see Christ upon the waters and have the passion to walk as He walks, to overcome as He overcomes; to know within that a greater life is available. May the Lord work within us that faith that sees beyond the confines of our experience and propels us to walk outside the scope of human possibility.
“If it be thou, bid me to come”
Jesus has one response to such faith:
“…Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss”
Our faith determines the nature of our requests. If we walk in the Spirit our requests, desires and needs will be consistent with the nature and sphere of our walk. If we walk in the flesh our request will be congruous with the lusts and appetites of the flesh. It is here we are given insight into the heart of our heavenly Father. In His love he may not answer or at the least delay prayers that are offered amiss.
Asking amiss can include anything from our own selfish desires to praying on behalf of others without understanding the purpose of God within the situation. It requires a seeking on our part as to what the will of God is in order to pray in faith. As we come before Him we discover the “secret of the Lord” in the need presented to us. There are many things hidden from our eyes; secret things known only to the Lord. Yet as we seek His face it is His joy to reveal the hidden things that our petitions may be accurate and aligned with His purposes. Such prayers readily find their way to the “Throne of Grace” where He is waiting to meet the need of the moment.
“And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, now, the site of the city is good, as my lord sees, but the waters are bad; and the ground causes barrenness. And he said, “bring a new dish to me, and put salt there.” And they took it to him. And he went out to the source of the waters and threw salt there, and said, so says Jehovah, I have given healing to these waters; there shall not be death and sterility there anymore. And the waters were healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha that he spoke.”
2 Kings 2:19-22
One of Elisha’s first miracles was healing the waters of Jericho. Rather than praying for the waters at the city, Elisha understands in the Spirit that the waters needed to be traced to the spring from which they flowed. Many times we pray and offer counsel concerning a situation at hand but if we seek the Lord He will lead us to the “source” or cause; therein we discover a true and lasting solution. Left to ourselves we tend to deal with the symptom rather than the cause. Prayers asked amiss will hinder the power of God being released.
“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss”
Another cause of unanswered prayer is that often our prayers require obedience to be combined with insight. Elisha took the “new” dish of salt, cast it into the spring of the waters and then spoke the Word of the Lord over it. We must see that prayers without obedience can remain unanswered. Sometimes we ask amiss because we walk amiss!
Obedience and Prayer cannot be separated.
Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer
“By Faith Moses… choosing and
Esteeming the reproach of the Christ
greater riches than the treasures in Egypt,
for he had respect unto the
recompense of the reward”
Our estimation of Christ is revealed in the life we live. The previous verses describe what Moses did, this verse tells us why he did what he did. What people do (not what they say) reveals their true life and the motivations of their heart.
Moses forsook Egypt though he found himself a part of the Egyptian Royal Family to a life of luxury and comfort. The scripture tells us he “choose” to suffer with God’s people rather than to enjoy the “pleasures of sin”. How little emphasis is put upon the choices we make daily in terms of our walk with God.
“…choose you this day whom ye will serve”
Joshua put forward his admonition to the people of God in his day; “Choose you this day”. The life of a true Christian is revealed in the everyday walk. It is expressed in the choices and the decisions we make. God Himself is the witness to our everyday conduct. He sees the hidden thoughts, the agendas and the intentions behind all of our actions and words. They who know and walk in the abiding sense of His presence are ever aware of His eyes being upon them. They who are insensitive to these things walk in the foolishness of this world.
The ever present word of God to us all…
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you,
that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:
therefore, choose life…”
“As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
the children of Judah could not drive them out:
but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah
at Jerusalem unto this day”
Though the Land of Promise had been given, it was the responsibility of His people to take the land and possess it. Within every promise given to us by God there remains a warfare and a battle of faith to make it our own.
“This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child,
in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you,
that by them you may wage the good warfare”
1 Timothy 1:18
It is in the receiving of God’s promises and embracing His call upon our lives that we contend in faith to see them come to pass. There is no victory without the battle, no crown without the fight and no overcoming without the exercising of our faith.
It has taken me years to appreciate that every obstacle in my life is for my own good and learning. It is in these things we discover the true value of Grace and Mercy. If the victory in these things were easy and within the realm of our own strength, then we would be a poor example of what HE has intended for us. If we do not engage in the warfare, our walk will never be able to show forth His victory in our lives and we will live a life of compromise with our enemies…
“By little and little I will drive them out from before thee,
until thou be increased, and inherit the land”
God has a purpose in the obstacles which stand between us and His promises… it is to the “increase’ of our faith and our strength. He has purposed us to become strong, He has intended us to be persistent and determined in the apprehending of the promises given to us. It is in these things we grow strong in our God for we have learned that our God is strong!
“Walk in the Spirit,
and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh”
The depth of our walk in the Spirit of God is revealed in the freedom we have from fulfilling the lusts and desires of the flesh. This scripture is not a teaching it is really a simple statement of truth. The natural man hates the truth for the truth leaves no room for compromise. The natural man, that carnal self with all of its deception and lies, cannot be saved. Its nature is corrupt to the core and God’s answer is not to be found in anything but crucifixion.
“For the mind of the flesh is death,
but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace;
because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards God;
for it is not subject to the law of God,
for neither can it be”
When Jesus spoke of an individual becoming a disciple He conditioned it with an “if” which speaks of a voluntary choice made by His own. It is not an arbitrary statement; it is the essential and indispensable requirement to come to the place of thinking rightly towards God. Salvation is not a teaching or a formula whereby someone says the right things; it is the very transformation of an individual’s thinking. Without this ongoing process men and women are mere adherents to a teaching rather than living branches partaking of His Life.
“And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,
and perfect, will of God”
Why does the mind need to be renewed by the process of His transforming life within our hearts? To the end we may “prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God”! Those who bypass this process will go through life never fully being able to know God’s will for their lives. The cross is the essential instrument in this work of transformation. Those who circumvent the way of discipleship have no ability to discern between good and evil. They may be able to understand things on a doctrinal level but when it comes to the deceptive works of spiritual darkness they will be ill equipped to know that which is of God from that which is borne of the flesh and the dark work of fallen spirits.
God has not left us without the knowledge of the depth and surety of our walk in Him.
“Walk in the Spirit,
and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh”
Paul goes on in this same chapter to explain unto the Church at Galatia what the works of the flesh look like:
“Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed,
which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, fightings, jealousies,
angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders,
drunkennesses, wild parties, and things like these;
of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before,
that the ones practicing such things
will not inherit the kingdom of God”
Do we have jealously? Envy? Uncleanness? Divisions? Lust? These are the works of the flesh. If we are walking in the Spirit of God we are freed from such things. The workings of the cross and the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus are making us free. Let us not deceive ourselves with the horror of the modern day “gospel” for His word tells us if we do these things we will “not inherit the Kingdom of God”. Let us not assume that because we know something we possess it, or because we started out well we are no longer under obligation to carry the cross and remain lifelong disciples of our Lord and Saviour. It is to this end we live to follow Him alone who can make us free from the plague of the self-life. It is in the crucifixion of self that we are made free. We must realize that truth is not a teaching or a scripture on the page of a book; truth is His Life living and ruling in me.
“And ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free”
What is the measure of truth at work within an individual? It is the degree to which we are made free to walk and live in His Spirit. The journey into truth begins with the revelation of our desperate need for Him. Truth reveals man’s inherent need for change and it is in the discovery of this that men and women turn their hearts to the One alone who is able to do this. Those who cling to teachings and doctrines will perish in the powerlessness of religion. Truth is a person and His Name is Jesus. In Him we are made free, in Him we become new creations of His Glory and Majesty and in Him we enter into the Kingdom of God.
“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous,
even as He is righteous”
1 John 3:7
“For a great door
and effectual is opened unto me,
and there are many adversaries“
1 Corinthians 16:9
Difficult and adversarial situations have no bearing upon the child of God. The Open Door into the things of our Father must be filled with opposition for this door can only be entered on the grounds of Faith; a Faith that is living, pressing and teeming with the life of God. Men who wait for all the conditions to be right will never know the hidden glories of God’s provisions.
“Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies”
The rich provision of God’s table is served in the midst of our enemies. It is there we find the nourishment and faithfulness of our God to provide all that we need to accomplish His works in and through our lives. John on the Isle of Patmos was banished to a forlorn and desolate place for his testimony of God. It is there that he sees a great door opened and the heavens drawn back to unveil the deep and dramatic unfolding of the Revelation of Christ! We must not draw back from the doors presented to us. We must not consider the opposition and the obstacles that stand in our way; for faith never walks by sight. Many men and women of God sit in faithless inactivity waiting for the opposition to be removed before venturing into the things they have been called to.
“He that observeth the wind shall not sow;
and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap”
The reaping in a man’s life is always in proportion to his sowing. Great testing is about to unfold in our day and it is incumbent upon us to be in the now of His Will; to step out of the confines of our world and into the open doors of His world. The way of truth is not an intellectual commodity; it is the Life of Jesus being lived out in my life today. When Jesus said “I am the Truth” He proclaimed truth to be His Life in me; not some doctrinal understanding of a teaching, but the very breath and power of His life in my own heart. Men who accomplish the works of faith are blind to the obstacles that stand in their way. They see through the barriers, they see through the weaknesses in their own lives and the limitations of their own resources for faith sees His Will and nothing else. It is a day to “lift up our eyes”, in order to see past the circumstances and be found “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”.