From a Prayer Line Message to Agape Ministry on 4/6/19
PASTOR TECHIA STARTED WITH A DEFINITION OF BELIEVE: A FIRM BELIEF, TOTAL TRUST, ABSOLUTE RELIANCE ON WHAT IS OR HAS BEEN SAID. SHE SAID THAT THINGS MAY NOT LOOK GOOD OR FEEL GOOD.
We live in a world full of conflicting reports. Our enemy uses both our flesh and the world to lie to us daily regarding truth, happiness, and security. This is especially the case when God is calling us to do something that is bigger than ourselves.
This is the situation the Israelites found themselves in when they received the report from the spies who had scouted out the Promised Land. God had called them to take the land. Caleb assured them they could by God’s strength. The others assured them that the assignment was too great.
Pastor Techia talked about how Moses had sent out 12 spies. Moses had given a WORD from the LORD: God had told them that they would live in houses that they didn’t build, and drink from vineyards that they didn’t plant.
After that, Sis. Allison gave us the meaning of a report: A spoken or written account that someone, observed, heard, done, or investigated. She said that a report may be positive or negative. As children of God, we should believe the report of the LORD. God will provide for us; He will supply all of our needs according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus.
Then, Sis. T told us that to believe is the “acceptance” that something is true or real. In other words, we have trust, confidence, or faith in something or someone.
What do you do when you receive conflicting reports? We discover that the people were persuaded by the negative report. Pastor T said that the majority is not always right.
First, you must honestly assess the facts. You look at the situation in front of you and define reality. Minimizing or ignoring the obstacles in life solves nothing. negative attitude of the ten spies and see what negative traits composed their character. (Doubt, low self-esteem, fear, critical spirit, rebellion, ungrateful attitude 7) Unbelief. All of these negative traits can be summed up in one word – unbelief. The writer of Hebrews 3:18-19 says that unbelief kept them from entering Canaan.
(1) Faith. They said, “We are well able to overcome” (13:30). They believed in themselves, in their fellow Israelites and most importantly in their God.
(2) Confidence. Concerning the Canaanites Joshua said, “The people are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us” (14:9). They had the confidence in the outcome of this undertaking, because they knew they were doing the will of God.
(3) Courage. Joshua said, “fear them not” (14:9). He was not afraid of the giants, the walled cities or the strength of the people.
(4) Action. Caleb said, “Let us go up at once, and possess it” (13:30). Positive people say, “Let’s go and do it now!”
(5) Thankfulness. They understood the land was a gift from God, a blessing due to his delight in them (14:7-8). True appreciation for one’s blessings will lead to action and obedience.
First, life is about making choices. From childhood to adulthood, we are always faced with choices. We have to bear in mind that the one thing that influences our choices and affects our decisions is our belief system. Our belief system is shaped over time. Our belief system has been formed by our parents, education, social influence, life experiences, and especially our exposure to the Word of God, and our response to the Holy Spirit Who has been given to convict the sinner and guides the saint.
There are two things that I have learned as a student of the Bible: (1) God is the same yesterday, today, and forever; (2) The devil is up to the same old tricks, and tell the same old lies over and over again.
So far, I have been talking about what the other speakers said. Now let me just tell you what’s on my heart:
Today, I want to call your attention to Isaiah 53:1-9 The Message (MSG)
53 Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?
Who would have thought GOD’s saving power would look like this?
2-6 The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And GOD has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
on him, on him.
7-9 He was beaten, he was tortured,
but he didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
and like a sheep being sheared,
he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he’d never hurt a soul
or said one word that wasn’t true.
From the Scripture for today, The Prophet is asking “Who shall believe our report? The report that he is talking about is the report of the LORD, how He was despised, rejected, oppressed, and afflicted. Jesus would become the sacrificial lamb Who would take away our sin, sickness, and pain while securing our salvation from sin and bondage. So, when Isaiah asks this question, there are three things that are implied:
First, you have to be listening in order to hear. Second, you have a choice in what you believe, and third, it is faith that moves the Arm of God.
- You’ve got to be listening in order to hear. That sounds like something that we could take for granted. But in our day, it is often hard to hear God. In order to hear God, there is so much noise that we have turn off. First, there is the noise of just trying to get through the day. There is noise in the family, the children, the daily news, radio, television, economics, and politics. How can I hear what God is saying when I am so busy listening to the world? There is so many distractions going on around us. Unless we purpose in our heart to hear God, then we will miss what God is saying to us.
- You have a choice in what you believe. As humans, we have a free will and we and exercise it. We can either believe some of the Word, or some of the Word, or none of the Word of God. Do you believe that the Word of God is full of power? Do you believe that the Word is God-breathed! God inspired, quicker and sharper than any two-edged sword? Do you believe that God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever? At the end of the day, whose report will you believe?
- Faith, moves the Arm of the Lord! Isaiah is telling us that the Arm of the Lord is revealed to the one who believe this report. So, you may be wondering just what is the Arm of the Lord. The Arm of the Lord is the manifested Presence and Power of God. When we decide to go with God and believe His report, which is actually the exercise of faith, then His Arm or Power is released to us. Through the Bible, we see where God’s Power was manifested when someone decided to believe the report of the Lord.
So, my take away from the topic this month is that we see a pattern in all of these biblical accounts:
- a)Whether we are talking about Noah believing the report of the Lord;
- b)Or, whether we are talking about Moses, Joshua, and Caleb;
- c)Or, God telling Joshua to march around the walls of Jericho seven times
- d)Or, Naaman being told by the prophet to go and dip seven times in the Jordan river’
- e)Or, Elijah being told to go to the brook or to the widow’s house,
- f)Or, Jesus telling Peter to go fishing and look in the mouth of the 1st fish for money to pay their taxes; or the 10 lepers being told to go show themselves to the priest
Second, you must be bold and courageous to see beyond the obstacles. Rather than declare to God how big your problems are, it is better to declare to your problems how big your God is. God is greater than every obstacle you face. This does not minimize the size of the obstacle; it clarifies the source of victory.
Third, you must realize that there will always be doubters. When God calls you to an assignment bigger than yourself, there will always be those who complain, “It cannot be done.” Fulfilling the kingdom purposes God has for your life requires you to live outside the realm of, “Yeah, but…”
Finally, you must resist the temptation of allowing your self-image to be shaped by comparing yourself to others. We must find our identity in our position in Christ, having a right estimation of ourselves in Him.
So, whose report will you believe today? Allow God’s word to dwell richly in your heart. Trust God’s report about who He is, who you are, and where truth is found. Stand strong against the lies of your flesh and this world. Stand confidently upon the word of the Lord.