What are you doing?
What are you praying and hoping will happen to you and for you in your life?
What you are doing and what you are praying for are directly related and connected. If you are NOT getting what you are praying for, what is it you are NOT doing?
Luke 6:47-49 says: "Whosoever comes to me and hears my sayings, and does them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which builds a house, and digs deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that hears and does not is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great."
Are you doing or not doing?
And if you are doing, what are you doing?
Do you feel like you are standing on a firm foundation, but then when "it" gets too hard, do you falter and shake, whither or fall - going right back to your old thinking, old decisions or old ways in which to run away from or "escape" the storm? A firm foundation doesn't even shake the house - it goes through the beating of the stream!
See, I'm writing this message today because lately I have heard so many people (at church, friends and Christian associates), saying that they feel like they are doing what "they're supposed to," or doing "what God wants them to," or are "trying to do what's right," but they just are not getting the results they know God has for them.
And you know what? I wasn't getting the results in my life that I knew God had for me either.
But I did know that I wasn't doing everything I could do, or all that I was supposed to do or all that God wanted me to do or all that God considered to be right.
Don't get me wrong, it's not like I was sinning or doing anything unrighteously - nothing like that at all.
But I knew something was missing. I knew that if something wasn't working the way God said it should, then I wasn't doing something that God said I should. I didn't say, "I feel like I'm doing that already." Instead, I dug back into the word to figure out what I should or shouldn't be doing according to God's word.
See, Jesus is the Rock of our Foundation. John 1:1 & 14 says, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory as in the glory of the only begotten of the Father). Jesus is the Word, and reading the Word of God (the Bible) is how we build our foundation firmly upon The Rock.
Let's think about dirt a moment. Dirt (or earth) surrounds rocks. It is made up of fine particles of soil, pebbles, gravel, sand and small rocks. But it is not a rock. If we equate the rock as the Word/word, then the dirt may be made up of small portions of the word, mixed in with other stuff, and therefore not as solid or firm as a rock.
Are you hearing and reading and believing the word of God for yourself, or are you basing the foundation of your belief with a shaky and shifty, second-hand, hearsay mix of a little bit of God's truth and a whole lot of worldly, natural facts?
Is your strong, unshakable faith in God mixed with (weakened by) what the world says, what your senses says, what your education says, what your intellect says, what your feelings say, what your eyes say, and what the people, doctors and news reports around you say?
What does God say? You have to find out for yourself before you can actually do what God says.
Remember, the scripture in Luke says that there are those who hear the word and do it, and those who hear the word and do not do it.
If indeed you are getting your healthy dose of "daily bread", then are you eating that bread? Are you chewing and swallowing the Bread of Life everyday?
So often people get overwhelmed by God's "commandments." They think, or even assume that it's all too much to do. And preachers and teachers can inadvertently add to those feelings when we constantly say, "God wants you to..." or "You need to..." or "Scripture says you should..."
And you know, that may be true. But I say, life is FAR more overwhelming than any list a preacher/teacher will give you to do from the word of God!
Yeah, there may be "a lot" to "do"such as: read, study, give, believe, love, forgive, meditate, pray, say, tithe, praise, worship and repent. (Breathe!) But, all those things are encompassed in one overall commandment: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your soul, and love your neighbor as yourself."
Do you love yourself? Do you love your neighbor? Do you really love God with ALL your heart, mind and soul? Do you really even know what that means or is it now just an empty phrase the same as saying you love your dog or your favorite food?
I know I may not be making many friends or keeping any friends when I say this, but if the itemized (and condensed) list of things to "do" is overwhelming to you, then you are essentially breaking the cardinal rule; the first and greatest commandment given by Jesus Himself.
Think about it this way: What if you developed a relationship with your spouse or significant other in the same exact manner as your relationship with Jesus?
- What if you learned about your spouse or potential spouse's background, life and interests with the same interest and dedication as you have in reading the bible? Same difference...
- What if you listened to (and followed) what your spouse wants from the relationship and how much they care about you the same way you listen to God when you pray? Same difference...
- What if you only asked, took, demanded or even spoke to your spouse when you needed something or where in trouble the same way you pray to the Lord? Same difference...
- What if you spent time with and enjoyed your spouse's company in the same way you attend church or even with the same frequency? Same difference...
- What if you spent only one hour a week (maybe) in the company of your spouse and while you were there you were distracted, bored and in a hurry to be done the way you are in church? Same difference...
- What if you hated your spouses family and friends and didn't want to ever hang out with them - or even get to know them the same way you feel about fellowshipping with the body of Christ? Same difference...
- And what if you were truly intimate with the Lord the same way you were intimate with your spouse!? What!? Same difference...
Do you even know what gifts God has for you and what promises he's made to you? Do you know what you have inherited as a child of God? Do you know that your inheritance is for this life and not just for the afterlife - eternal life?
Do you even know if what you want for your life is what God wants for your life?
We want, want, want so much from God; but give, give, give Him so little in comparison.
What are you doing (or not doing) to get the life you want?
God wants to give you what you want. God says He will give you the desires of your heart. He places the desire upon your heart and then He desires to fulfil that desire. God wants to give you what He's promised to you, and in fact, He already has.
Your blessings have already been given to you!
But God has also already established a way for you to get everything you need and the desires of your heart also. The problem is, we either don't perceive; don't believe or don't receive them.
To "perceive" means to understand. But how can you understand if you don't know? And how can you know if you don't learn? And how can you learn if you don't study? And how can you study if you aren't taught? Scripture says it this way: faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. But how can they hear without a preacher and how can they preach unless they are sent? It all boils down to hearing and doing - just like Luke 6:28 says. There is a missing link however. Believing must be mixed with the hearing and doing, hence: perceive, believe and receive.
1. If you want to perceive, or understand God's calling, purpose, promises, blessings, prosperity, abundance and health for your life then you have to read, study and be taught by a pastor and other believers. It truly seems like such a small sacrifice to me, with the guaranteed promise of huge benefits! Psalm 103:2 "Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, and forget not all of His benefits."
2. If you truly believe God's word for your life, you must speak it and never doubt it. Faith mixed with unbelief only negates your faith and renders it powerless! Doubt is the counter-weight to the power of your faith. They are oil and water and will never mix! Mark 11:23 "For verily I (Jesus) say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be removed and be cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that which he says shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he says." Don't doubt; and do believe!
3. If you want to receive God's blessings for your life you have to accept them with praise and thanksgiving! Any time someone blesses you with a gift that you really want, don't you say "thank you!?" Once you believe what God has for you then receive it like you would someone handing you a gift - say that you receive God's promises out loud! When you speak God's word from your own mouth, your own ears hear and your heart believes and your thoughts act upon those beliefs. Scripture says, "Out of the heart a man speaks." You must speak the word of God that your heart believes. Mark 11:24 "There for I (Jesus) say unto you, what things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them and you shall have them."
Now, you could choose to be like King Naaman (II Kings 5:1-14) who had leprosy and didn't want to do what the prophet told him to do to get healed. Naaman thought he'd change the prophet's directions to make it more acceptable to him. He figured the Jordan river was too nasty and it would be the same difference - or better even - to go either to the Abana or Pharpar rivers in Demascus.
I suppose you could modify what I've suggested you do, just as King Naaman attempted to do. Or I suppose you could decide not to do all the steps above, just as Naaman could have decided to dip 5 times in the river instead of 7 like the prophet said. But you know, I am not accountable for what you decide to do. As a maidservant of the Most High God; ordained; consecrated and taught by Him, I am only held accountable for what I tell you according to the word of God. And let me tell you, I wouldn't tell you anything if I didn't know it was of God Himself.
And I'll tell you this also, like I said before - I was guilty of thinking God's word wasn't working in my life the way the word said it should. But instead of saying I was doing all that I thought I was supposed to do, I dug in, studied for myself, learned more, believed more, did more and doubted less. And I stayed in it, prayed in it and praised my way through it.
And now I am receiving in the natural that which I perceived and believed in the spirit.
If you are continually confessing, "I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me," and "The joy of the Lord is my strength," then, get happy in Christ and get busy actually doing ALL those things Jesus says to do!
And don't tell me "it's all too much to do!" What if Jesus, said to you (regarding answering your long list of wants, desires and prayers), "it's all too much to do!"
But the truth of the matter is, it's not up to Jesus anymore. He's done all He's needed to do... He did it ALL on the cross over 2000 years ago! That's why He announced, "it is finished" BEFORE He hung His head and gave up the ghost!
ALL the "doing" is now entirely up to us!
Personally, I don't care how long the list is. I'm doing all that Jesus says to do, and I'm going to receive all that my heavenly Father has for me in this life and in the next.
So, what about you? What are you doing?
Power, love & peace, ya'll -