Sunday, July 22, 2012

Standing on His Promises, Part 3

We're continuing to look at God's promises and how they relate to us as believers. Philippians 4:19 is a promise that is quoted frequently: "My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Does that mean that God's going to supply all of your needs? It's not a promise that He's going to take care of all of your wants or desires, and when you get down to brass tacks, you'll find out there's a big difference between needs and wants. God has promised to cover every area of need: physical, spiritual, and emotional. But if we're not aware of the promise, then we don't have anything to stand on.

So, the solution to that is to become aware of His promises. You gotta find what the Word has to say concerning various situations. And when you find the promise, you have the right and the authority to stand on it! So no matter what comes, we stand. It doesn't matter what the devil has to say or what the world thinks. I'm standing on the promises of God, as I have need of endurance, so that after I've done the will of God, I may receive the promise. We just have to find the promise in order to have a foundation to stand upon. The promise is our platform. It's what's going to hold us up. It's what we stand on having done all to stand. If we are aware and knowledgeable of the promise, then we can stand long and strong knowing that God is faithful! God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Has He spoken and will He not make it good? He will! In fact, in the list of attributes of God, faithfulness ranks right there at the top.

By the way, someone might say, "Love is the number one attribute of God." Love is not the number one attribute of God! Love is not just one of His characteristics. Love is something that He is. He IS love. It's not just something about Him. It's what He is. God is love; He is life. God is light. Those are some of the things that "I AM" is.  

Many times what we lack (or where the discrepancy comes in) is in our point of view. We don't see as God sees, so our outlook must change. God freely gives vision and provision. This is going to sound very simplistic to some of you, but all we need is faith in God! You've heard it said, "Where God gives vision, He gives provision." But you see, you gotta first have the vision in order to receive and experience the provision! In other words, the vision is the way that God sees things; that's His perspective. And when we come into the Kingdom through a relationship with Jesus Christ, we have a human perspective, and perspective, by definition, is a periscope. It is THE periscope through which we are looking at life. In other words, it is the periscope through which we are viewing each area of our life. It could be in regard to our health, finances, family, or marriage.

I used to have a totally different perspective many years ago. I used to think that it was okay for a man and a woman to live together without being married: co-habitation. My wife would tell you today why so many people live together. Her definition is very clear, and she means no offense by this, but why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free? Some of you will get that later.

But my perspective has radically changed in many areas of life, like abortion. I used to think as the world thinks: "That it's a woman's right to choose and that a woman should have the right to do whatever she wants with her own body." She has the right to do what she wants with her own body; she just doesn't have the right to take an innocent life! Different perspectives!

Perspective is the periscope through which we view life, and it's the first thing that needs to begin to change in our lives: the way we see. We must receive revelation of God's Word in the Bible. Not just what we think He said, and not just what we feel like the Holy Ghost is speaking to us. Because if we feel like the Holy Ghost is speaking something to us, and it's not lining up with the Word, then it might be a ghost, but it ain't the Holy Ghost!

Perspective changes as a result of revelation. Revelation by definition is an uncovering. It is a revealing of something. It is enlightenment. So suddenly, through the work of the Holy Spirit within us, the Word of God takes on life. Now the Word of God is being revealed to us in a way that it never was before. I read the Bible as a sinner and it didn't make a whole lot of sense, but now it's like, suddenly every time I open the Bible, WOW! God is speaking to me! YES, He is! And He's speaking to you, too, for a purpose! He wants to give you revelation. Revelation is always intended for one purpose: to bring conviction. By conviction, I do not mean guilt. Conviction literally speaks of persuasion. It speaks of changing the way you think which is what the Apostle Paul wrote about in Romans 12:2, "Be not conformed to the world, rather be transformed . . ." How are you going to be transformed? By the renewing of your mind. You get your mind renewed when revelation of God's Word comes. Your perspective begins to change.

Vickie and I are looking forward to our soon return to Cliffdale Christian Center after being on an extended mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

~ pg 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Standing on God's Promises, Part 2

As I've been meditating on the promises of God, I can't help but think about the children of Israel coming out of Egypt and crossing the Red Sea. They get to the other side, and Pharaoh's armies have been overcome by the waters and destroyed. Does anyone recall the very first place that God brought them? Marah. And what was significant about Marah? Bitter water. Marah means "bitterness."  

God gives them the promise, leads them out of bondage, and the very first place He takes them is the place of bitter water. And unlike us, those old stiff-necked, rebellious Israelites, they immediately begin to murmur and complain. Something we would never do. "Why have you done this to us? We might as well have stayed in Egypt. Would to God that we had never left." And then they start going on and on about how bad it is. "Moses, what have you done to us? You have ruined our lives!"

The reason that they felt, spoke, and acted the way they did is because they were looking at life through a human perspective and not through God's. And perspective has everything to do with the promises! We must first DO the will of God before we can EXPERIENCE the fullness of His promises. In order to accomplish that, our perspective has to change.

You see, those Israelites didn't realize the reason the water was bitter. The reason the water was bitter was because of what was in the water. There was calcium and magnesium in that water, which made for a bitter-tasting combination. Those are also the elements found in dolomite, and athletes and some heart patients use dolomite to this day. Dolomite can strengthen muscles and also the heart.

Could it be that God knew that there was dolomite in that water? Could it be that God was going to use that to help flush them out . . . a little detox? Could it be that He was trying to help cleanse them after years of eating unhealthy food? I won't go on about diet; that's a whole other lesson in and of itself. Could it be that God was purging and strengthening in preparation for what should have originally only been about a two-week journey? It turned into forty years! Why? Because God's a mean old God? No! He's not out to get you! Sometimes He'll lead you to the bitter water because He's trying to purge, strengthen, and get you ready for what lies ahead! But many times we're so busy murmuring and complaining that we miss the process. The writer of Hebrews says that we have need of endurance and patience, so that AFTER we have done the will of God, we will have received the promise.

Most of you are aware that there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of promises in the Word of God. I don't know how many. It would depend on which commentator to whom you are listening. Some will tell you there are three thousand; some might even say thirty thousand. Frankly, I don't know how many promises are in the Bible, and neither do you or the commentators, because it's all a matter of what is interpreted as a promise. I can promise you this: there are a whole lot of promises in Scripture! God's promises are particularly pertinent to those who are willingly seeking to obey Him. There are all kinds of promises attributed to those folks, and there are very specific promises that God has made in regard to certain areas of our lives.

I think of such promises such as, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you and your whole household shall be saved." Do you know that's a promise you can hang onto? It's not only for you, but also for your entire household! Somebody needs to hear that today. Not only you, but your entire household will be saved! Stand on the promise! Stand on the promise! Stand on the promise! How long do I stand? Having done all to stand! Stand on the promise. Having conquered, be prepared to conquer again. Stand on the promise!  

"Lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the age." "Well, Jesus, where are You?" He said, "I'm with you always!" "Well, I don't feel ya." "I'm with you always!" "Well, I can't hear ya." "I'm with you always!" Now if Jesus says that He's with us always, is there ever a time that He's not with us? There might be sometimes you may wish He was not, but He's with you always!

We'll continue to look at some of God's awesome promises in the next blog that He has given to those who hearken, hear, and heed His voice!

 ~ pg