Wow... I cannot believe it has been so many months since I last wrote on this series. And yet I remember it clearly and never will forget - it was September 19th 2011, when I received my 2010 Ford Escape. And now here it is 2012...
Since September God has continued to work on my faith and I have indeed received many, many things by pure, unadulterated faith - miraculous faith!
But I still struggled as to how to write this last portion on "receiving" that I hadn't already written in believing. I don't know why, but it dawned on me today.
Today I realized that "receive" is to "take and make something your own." You can actually believe something and not receive it.
If I told you I'd bought you a car and it was at the lot waiting for you - paid in full - and all you had to do was go down to the car lot get the key and drive off. With excitement you wouldn't question whether or not you believed me. You would head to the car lot in FAITH that what I said was true. If the car was there, it would seal your belief in my words and you would take those keys - receiving that vehicle as your own.
But imagine a prophet says to you, "God has provided for your prosperity and by the end of the year you will no longer have to borrow on your house." If you've got no job, are 2 months behind in your mortgage payment and it happens to be the month of December, it's very difficult for you to believe.
You may hope it's true, but because there is no belief that it IS true, then it's nearly impossible for you to receive its truth and take it and make it your own. You see too many of the improbabilities in such a statement to be able to see that God is a God of impossibilities.
But God's ways are not our ways. And God's thoughts are not our thoughts - especially when we think that God's word doesn't or cannot apply to us. Even waiting for what we think is too long or when we cannot see how the prophetic word can come to pass are factors in our thoughts that keep us from receiving God's rhema word.
Matthew 10:41 says, "He that receives a prophet in the name of a prophet receives a prophet's reward. And he that receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man, receives a righteous man's reward."
Often times many of us receive a "word from the Lord" not from some world renowned and proven prophet, but from a church member, friend or spouse and we automatically meet the word with skepticism. It's easy to feel like the person is just saying something because they know you or care about you and want the best for you. But what we first fail to realize is that many times our church members, friends or spouses don't even realize that they've tapped into the Spirit to receive a prophet word from the Lord Himself. They may actually feel as though they just had a "feeling" or that's what their "gut" is telling them.
The second thing we fail to realize is that our own spirit bears witness to what the word is saying. The skepticism we feel about whether or not the person delivering the word has heard from God, is not our spirit bearing witness to the actual word itself.
But when your spirit bears witness to the actual word being spoken over you - that's when you have a sense of whether or not the word sounds right or not. If that word coming true is a comforting thought to you, or if its possibilities bring you edification or exhort you in any way, then that determines whether or not you can receive that person as a prophet.
Did you catch that? Notice I did not say that aspects of edification, exhortation and comfort determine whether or not a prophesy is true. I Corinthians 14:3 says, "But he that prophesies, speaks unto men edification, exhortation and comfort." but when you match this scripture with the one previously mentioned in Matthew 10:41 you see that you first have to receive a prophet as a prophet in order to receive the prophet's reward.
That means before a prophecy can be determined as valid or not, part of the validating process must include believing that the church member, your friend or your spouse actually is speaking prophetically to you. Receive that person as a prophet by taking them at their word and making that word your own.
When you take that word and you receive it as yours - just like the promise of a new car at a car lot - your belief in that word fuels your faith and your faith makes manifest your hope that that word is true.
II Chronicles 20:20 - "And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper."
Believing in the prophet brings us prosperity - plain and simple. Believe in the word. Then receive the word.
But remember, I said it is possible to believe in something, but not receive it.
You can believe with hope.
Or you can believe with faith.
If you believe with hope then your hope always remains unrealized. Belief and hope do not manifest what you're hoping for because hope contains an inherent amount of doubt.
My Bishop teaches that if you walk into a room and hope your friend has a mint, there's is always a hint of doubt as to whether or not that friend actually does have a mint. You can believe that they probably do... just like you can believe that a prophetic word will probably come true or that that word of God probably applies to you.
But Hebrews 11:1 says, "NOW faith is the substance of things hoped, the evidence of things unseen."
Faith is the power that makes what you're hoping for substantial, tangible and seen.
Doubt is the counter-productive power that keeps what you're hoping for unsubstantial, elusive and invisible.
Say you have a cart - and inside the cart is what you're hoping for: your debts paid; a husband; a new house; or salvation for your loved ones. You hope what you're hoping for is in that cart, but you can't see it at all.
Well, you've got two horses to hitch up to that cart: one's named Faith and the other horse's name is Doubt. Now mind you, you have faith, and your faith is big and strong - you know you have faith and so you call for faith to bring you that cart... kind of.
Think about the things you're hoping for... do your words actually call to your Faith so that it pulls what you're hoping for towards you? Or are you actually calling to the cart hoping for it to be filled with what you're hoping for?
You are keeping hope alive, but your faith ain't moving!
Or worse, you may actually be calling to your horse of Faith in one sentence: "I know God sent me to this job as an answer to my prayers for my debt." But then you call to your horse of Doubt in the very next sentence: "But I can't stand this place. I don't think I can last long enough to pay one bill!"
Well, Faith heard you and starts to take a step towards you with that cart filled with paid bills. But Doubt hears you and starts to take a step away from you with that same cart of paid bills. See - what you're hoping for IS in that cart. But with Faith pulling towards you, and Doubt pulling away from you - neither horse goes anywhere. They are equally matched with equal horse power. And the bills don't get paid.
In the natural world there is a law that says, "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction." And when we live in the natural, when we live by our flesh, our very words are subject to this law of nature. But the spirit realm defies all natural law.
But you have to perceive the spirit realm - perceive that it exists and that God's word is real.
Then you have to believe in the spirit realm - believe that God's word is real for YOU.
And finally you have to receive what the spirit realm has for you - receive God's promises and make them your own!
God is a Spirit. He created heaven and earth and made us stewards over this earth with a connection to the heaven through His Spirit and ours. He tells us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven."
His will for us is that our lives on earth match what is in heaven - but we must bring heaven to earth the same way God did. Through our words. God created all things with the Word of His Power and then He created us in His image and in His likeness. That means that like Him, we too have the Word of His Power and we must speak His word in order to speak the unseen into the seen.
Doubt your doubt and SPEAK YOUR FAITH!
Through faith we perceive God's word.
Through faith we believe God's word.
Through faith we receive all the promises of God's word.
Only speaking will activate your faith into receiving.
Power, Love and Peace, ya'll -