love Paul’s humility in 1 Cor 2:1-5. He gets to the very crux of the source and
power of Christianity. He says I came preaching the Gospel with fear and
trembling; speaking only God’s word, not man’s wisdom and not with elegance of
speech. Paul dared not insert himself but focused on Jesus; allowing the Spirit
to give him the words to share. He gave pre-eminence to the power of the word
of God to affect and change men’s hearts and lives. His preaching was
accompanied by clear demonstrations of the power of the Holy Spirit; signs
wonders and miracles.
preach, as the word is defined, is simply to proclaim, publish or herald. As
the word is preached, the Holy Spirit takes it, reveals it to the sensitive and
receptive heart and provides the power for the word to impact, bless and change
the receptive listener (1 Cor 2:10). Paul was bold enough to say that as we
preach in obedience to God and as directed by the Holy Spirit, then the father
will demonstrate his power among us.
word, his power, humility, fear of God and obedience, as exemplified in Paul’s life
and ministry, are a recipe for change. We really need to meditate on this and
get it down in our spirits.
Jeremiah chapter 23 we see that Israel listened to the false prophets because
those prophets tickled their ears. To have your ears tickled is to hear things
that please and appeal to our carnal or fleshly nature. Jeremiah warned of God’s
anger with sinful Israel but they would not listen. Do we take heed of God’s word,
his whole word or are we selective, hearing only our favorite words? If we want
to move on with God and be all he wants us to be he will need to change us and chasten
(to discipline or instruct) us with his word (Rom 12:2; Heb 12:5-11).
we pray but the results don’t come or we make decisions and they prove to be
the wrong ones. We must hear from God with our spiritual ears not just our
physical ears and minds and be changed (Matt 13:14-16; 1 Cor 2:14). We need to
humble ourselves and repent (1 Peter 5:6), plough up the fallow ground of our
hearts (soften our hearts toward God; Jer 4:3). God’s word can break and change
us if we let it (Jer 23:29), but we have to allow this to happen. To fail to
submit to God in this way assigns us to the status quo, mediocrity and
frustration. To allow God to change us maybe painful, but it leads us on to his
highest and best: “above all that we ask or think” (Eph 3: 20-21; KJV). Wow, I
want that, what about you? Let’s press into God’s word and let him change us;
nothing held back.
in the Old Testament can mean waiting hopefully and expectantly. “I waited
patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me and heard my cry” (Ps. 40:1;
KJV). As you all know we often don’t get answers to our prayers immediately.
Many times, there is a period of waiting between the amen and the receiving. It
is during this time that we must maintain and develop our faith. That is why we
need to wait expectantly and hopefully.
are many verses in the Old Testament concerning waiting on the Lord. “But they
that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with
wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not
faint” (Isa. 40:31). The prophet Jeremiah wrote in the book of Lamentations chapter
3 and verse 25 that Lord is good to those who wait for him. “Rest in the Lord,
and wait patiently for him” (Ps 37:7a); “My soul waits for the Lord More than
those who watch for the morning- Yes, more than those who watch for the Morning”
(Ps 130: 6).
we wait for the manifestation of answered prayer, we must be patient (Heb 6:12)
and focused on God’s promises in his word. Staying in the word as we wait on
the Lord helps you to focus on God and your answer rather than the problem that
needs fixing. Waiting on the Lord will create calm in place of turmoil. Take a
few minutes each day to wait on the Lord, praise and thank him for the answer
to prayer and experience his peace (Isa 26:3).
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think the only place in the New Testament where we are told to work is in John
6:29, where we read: “our work is to believe”. To believe is to have faith or
trust in God. Faith is described in Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 1 (KJV) as:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
Mark’s gospel he quoted Jesus as saying: "Have faith in God. For verily I
say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and
be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe
that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever
he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things
soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have
them” (Mark 11:22-24).
is knowing that you know, that you know”. It’s believing in our hearts not just
head knowledge. Jesus said that when we pray, we should believe that we have
what we asked for. Paul said that our faith gives substance to our hopes and
evidence to things not seen in the physical realm (Heb 11:1). In other words,
when we pray in faith, we have what we ask for, we see it in the spiritual
realm, in our hearts and if we stand in faith and patience (Heb 6:12), not
doubting, no matter how the devil tries to convince us otherwise, we will see
the manifestation of our faith in the physical realm.
Sunday school Teacher told a group of youngsters that something they had all
prayed for some time ago had come to pass. She expected jubilation in the class
but the kids just stayed focused on their lessons with little or no reaction.
She asked why they were not as excited as she was and they replied, well
teacher, God answered our prayer when we first asked him and we have been
thanking him, so we knew we would see the manifestation in the natural in due
faith as a little child (Luke 18:17) eh?
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