Friday, January 25, 2013

Speaking Faith

"...even God, 
who quickeneth the dead, 
and calleth those things which be not as though they were."
Romans 4:17

I love the depths of this verse!
Even God!
The God in Whom Abraham believed...
the God in Whom we also believe.
In Whom we put our complete trust.
It is He Who is able to do all things.
No matter how impossible they seem.
Regardless of the foregone conclusions of others.

I especially love the last line of this verse...
"and calleth those things which be not as though they were."

God can make something out of nothing.
He is the only Creator.
He is the only One Who can start with only a word
and bring an entire universe into existence.
He calls those things which be not as though they were.
He defies the wisdom of man.
He proves us wrong time after time.
He shatters impossibilities...
and makes them over...
into answers to prayer.

Tonight, I was under a particular heaviness of heart.
A burden was pressing me...severely.
Crushing my spirit.
To the point that I dropped to my knees...
right there...
in the midst of the battle...
and I began to call hard upon the God
Who calls things which be not as though they are.

I knew the situation...
from the inside out.
I felt the panic...
the gripping fear...
the implications of what was happening.

I felt overwhelmed.

As I knelt weeping,
pouring out my heart,
telling God all about it,
right there...
on my knees....
He gave me a gentle nudge and reminder...
of something I have really gotten a hold of
over the past several months.

He whispered this verse in my ear.
In His still, small voice.
I would recognize it anywhere.
"And Jesus said unto them...
 If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, 
ye shall say unto this mountain, 
Remove hence to yonder place; 
and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
(Matthew 17:20, emphasis mine)

Oh, the wonders of His love!
The glory that falls...
when He speaks!
Things change.
Walls come down.
Mountains move.

It was like God was telling me,
"The ball is in YOUR court.
Stop asking Me to do this.
You do it.
Through no merit or power of your own.
But, through the Power that works within you.
Resist the devil, and he will flee.
He has no choice.
Believe in Me, child.
Speak to the mountain!"

All it takes is the amount of faith equivalent to 
a grain of mustard seed.
Do you know how small that is??
I'll show you.

A dear, thoughtful friend and encourager
made this for me.

As you can see,
the mustard seeds she glued on this slate
are tiny, little seeds.
I cherish this because of who made it for me,
and I cherish it because of the powerful message in these words...
spoken by the mouth of the Word...
who became flesh and dwelt among men.

I have it hanging on our refrigerator door.

It reminds me every time I open and close the refrigerator
that the amount of faith that would fit into just one
of these tiny, little seeds....
is all the faith I need....
to move mountains.
To change situations.
To acquire the undivided attention of Almighty God.
This is it.

As God spoke to me tonight while I was praying,
He made me see that I have this much faith.
Buried deep within the fabric of "me",
I have at least this amount of faith...
in Him.

But, to leave it there...
deep inside...
six-feet under...all of my doubts and fears...
does no good...
at all.

It is one thing to have mustard-seed-sized faith.
It is quite another to act upon it.

He said that if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed,
we need to speak it.
"Say to this mountain,
be thou removed."
Open our mouths and say it out loud.
Tell the mountain to go.
Tell it what to do.
And it would do just that.
It has no choice...
when it hears faith's voice.

Isn't it funny how you can read a Bible verse for 40 years,
memorize it in Sunday School,
hear it preached multiple times,
preach it yourself,
and never get it?
Never grasp what it really means?
Never have enough gumption to put it into practical practice....
in your everyday life?

It is so simple,
I stumbled over it...
for many years.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not hard to understand.
You don't have to possess rocket-scientist mentality
to assimilate its depths.
Jesus brought it down to us...
broken down into terms...
that even the most simple-minded of us can fathom.

I must be at the end of the line in that department. :~)
To complicate it like I do.
To over-analyze it to shreds.
To put so much effort into perplexing it.

Jesus said if we have this tiny shred of faith
that we
"shall say unto this mountain, 
Remove hence to yonder place; 
and it shall remove;
and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
(emphasis mine)

One of the many dividends we are paid
for hiding His Word in our hearts
is that He will bring it back to us...
at just the right moment...
in the heat of battle.

My whole prayer changed....
as I listened to the voice of God.
I took that grain-of-mustard-seed-faith,
I raised its mighty shield....
right in satan's face....
and I began to speak.....
out loud...
commanding, in Jesus' name,
the mountain to move.

I believed with all my heart.
I knew God heard me...
that Heaven backed me...
the moment I felt His glory fall around me.
The mountain moved....
within minutes.
I received news that the cause for my distress
was over.

I have no doubt that the victory was won during that prayer.
Before praying, the mountain was HUGE in front of me.
It seemed immovable...

"Impossible is one of God's favorite words."
Max Lucado

God absolutely answered prayer.
He did what I could not do....
through my act of faith.
He took that tiny mustard-seed-sized morsel of faith,
and He gave me courage...
to use it.
To speak the desire of my heart into existence.

Did you know that...
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue"?
This profound truth is straight from God's Word
in Proverbs 18:21.

We can literally speak death...
or speak life...
into our situations.

We can have the faith...
hidden, obscured,
buried deep....
inside of us...
and never use it.
Never speak it.
Never put it into action.

Tell me, what good does it do...
stowed away...
out of sight?

If the mustard seed is never planted,
a tree it will never become.
It will remain a seed.
It will never accomplish its purpose.

Faith unused is faith unfulfilled.
It never accomplishes its purpose.

Can you imagine what could happen in your life....
in my life....
if we began to exercise and use our faith?
If instead of burying our faith,
we buried our doubts...
our negativity...
our words of death...
If we spoke only faith when we opened our mouths?
If we believed God with all our hearts....
then lived it out in our lives?

Is there an intimidating, overwhelming, looming-larger-than-life mountain...
in your path?

What is your mountain?
Think of it.
Your biggest obstacle.
The most pressing burden upon your heart.

Do you believe in God?
Listen to this verse in Hebrews 11:6,
"But without faith it is impossible to please him:
for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

First of all, we must believe that God exists...
that He is.
Then, we must believe that He actually does answer prayer.
That if we consistently seek His face,
He will reward our diligence.

It is imperative that we have faith...
in order to please God.
It is imperative that we speak that faith...
in order for the mountain to move.

Out of all of the armor of God pieces we are to put on,
did you know that faith is the most important?
Ephesians 6:16 says,
"Above all,
taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
(emphasis mine)

Above all.
Most importantly.
In order for the shield of faith to quench satan's fiery darts,
we have to pick it up,
take it,
raise it,
use it.

I know I cannot express all that is in my heart tonight!
I wish I could.
I wish everyone in the world could grasp this.
We are held under bondage too many times.
We are completely immobilized by the ploys and schemes
of our archenemy, satan.
We serve a mighty God.
He has all power.
He can do anything.
There is nothing impossible with Him.
Jesus said nothing would be impossible to us, either.
If we will just speak to the mountain.
If we will just speak faith...
directly to our situation....
straight to our problem...
into the face of our mountain.

Why do we feel reluctant...
to speak faith?
Why is it so much easier to look on the dark side?
To cower before satan and his tactics?
To cave under the pressure?
Is it because we are weak from the pounding?
Weary from the battle?
Too exhausted to fight?
Doesn't he always pounce the hardest
when we are at our worst...our weakest?
Sure, it will take effort on our part.
We will have to fight...
go on the offense...
take an aggressive stand....
and never back down.

Speak faith, my friend!
Faith in the God Who calls things that be not as though they are.
Faith in the God...
Who can - look at a sick body and call it completely well...
because He has the power to heal anything.
Who can - look at an empty bank account and call it wealth...
because He has the means to fill it to overflowing.
Who can - look at a lonely, single woman and call her married....
because He has created just the man to fulfill her dreams.
Who can - look at an infertile, childless couple and call them parents...
because He still opens barren wombs.
Who can - look at an unrealized, unfulfilled, long-buried dream
and call it reality...
because He has the key to open all doors.
Who can - look at the over-indebted and call them debt-free...
because His blessings make rich, with no sorrow added.
Who can - look at the jobless and call them employed...
because He is rearranging lives and orchestrating events to provide them a job.

Our God can do anything.
There is nothing beyond His capability.
All He asks is that you and I believe in Him.
He doesn't require an enormous amount of faith....
just enough to fill the inside
of a tiny mustard seed.

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