Decree

Job 22:28

You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you; and light will shine on your ways.

What do you think of when you hear the word “decree?” You probably do not think of the Bible. This verse from Job goes along with yesterday’s Word of the Day. Click Here to go to yesterday’s devotional.

This is still about prayer. We are learning that prayer is much more than a laundry list of requests. It also does not equate to begging God to do something for us. Prayer is much more about finding what God has already said and then bringing that promise forward to the physical realm. This is right in line with Romans 4: 17 which teaches us to, “call[s] into being that which does not exist.”

The other word I like is “declare.” It means the same thing but drums up a slightly different impression. This teaching is not meant to make us arrogant. We are not trying to put forward that we demand and therefore receive, but to tell you the truth, one of the definitions of prayer is to make a demand off of a promise due. The essential piece is that Father has already made the promise. We make a demand off of the promise, not the Father. None of us would presume we can order God around. However, He is trying to get us to use His Word to phrase a demand. This idea is more comparable to a checking account than an army sergeant’s command.

Checking accounts are called demand accounts. It means that you can make a demand on the sum equal to the balance. Checks are demand instruments. The holder of the check can show up to your bank and demand funds equal to the instrument’s written draw. That is what God is teaching us. He might say, “Here is the promise, child. Now make a demand off of that promise. Declare, decree what you desire which is in accordance to the promise and you shall receive it.” Does that make sense? We are not authorized to to beg for something not promised and you won’t receive that which is in contradiction to that which is promised but, you are authorized to withdraw from the Father’s account that which He has authorized. He says, make a demand on what I have already promised you and it will be established for you. Moreover, His light will then shine on your way. Sounds like pretty good stuff to me.

What are you Saying?

Romans 4: 17        God’s Word

Abraham believed when he stood in the presence of the God who gives life to dead people and calls into existence things that don’t even exist.

This is a good time to teach about Abraham. We will visit him next week as well. Today’s verse continues the thoughts of yesterday’s Word of the Day. And so, here is the question, “What are you saying?”

I love this version of the Bible and its rendition of this verse. Abraham is called the Father of faith because he believed even when the promise of God seemed ludicrous. One of the things that made it a bit easier to believe is that he stood in the presence of God. I find that the more time I spend in God’s presence, the easier it is for me to believe too. So, now I am thinking, “I just need to spend more time in God’s presence.” It’s true. When I slow myself down and mediate in him, my ability to hear Him is improved and understanding and faith increase. The hard part, at least for me, is in quieting everything about me: my physiology as well as psychology. Mind and body can be unruly partners, but I have decided that I am lord over my body and my mind, and they will behave. Further, the more I submit them to Jesus’ lordship, the more peace I enjoy physically and mentally. That’s phase one, getting quiet in God’s presence.

The next thing I need to model about God and Abraham is “calling those things.” What is this? Abraham took his cue from our Father. We not only model Abraham, but we can see what he learned from the Father. Therefore, we have two very good role models. What we see when we observe them is that they said what they wanted before the thing even existed. They actually called those things which were not into existence. This is where it gets sticky for some people, but it needn’t.

Some people say, “Well, I can’t call myself healed when I am sick. That isn’t true.” Here’s the thing, when you shift your gaze you find it is true. I wrote a piece about shifting the frame just a little. It is amazing what you will see when you move the frame. Make a frame with your hands and then narrow your focus to only that which is inside the frame. What do you see? Now shift the frame. What do you see now? If you’ve played the game with me, you will find a totally different picture within the frame. Now, here is the question, “Which one represents truth?”

Here’s another way to play this game. Do you have something you can use as a frame and fix it in place? If not, you have to do this with your brain. Fix the frame either literally or figuratively and take a picture of what you see with your internal eye. Now remember that picture. Do not move the frame, move yourself. Move your body. Now what do you see? Again, if you played along, the picture has changed although the subject neither moved nor changed. You changed your perspective. You changed your vantage point. Now, again, which picture represents the truth? Of course, truth has not actually changed, only our perspective and perception changed. This is the greater reality. This is (T)ruth with a capital T.

Abraham was able to call himself the father of a multitude because he had a new perspective. It was one of faith and belief. He could close his eyes and see this truth. It is the most natural thing in the world to say what you see. We do that all day long. We assume that which we perceive with the natural eye is “true” although we know it’s not always so. Why, then, is it so challenging for us to believe that what we see with the eyes of our spirit is truth? In this, we have identified the real work of faith that Jesus spoke of. This is the “work” that he wants us to do. Once we see his truth, it becomes an easy thing to speak that reality.

One last thing before I let you go, and it is another question. Speaking both literally and figuratively, who is in control of the placement of the frame and the perspective of viewing? Who is the director of this film? If you answered Jesus, you are half right. Hopefully you also recognize that ultimately you are the director of the film. You have to set up the camera and shout “action.” Then you sit back while Jesus rolls out a movie for you. If you will keep your camera focused on him, he will show you are version of reality that you can sink your heart into and speak with confidence.

This leads back to the beginning. What are you saying? We must listen to what comes out of our mouths and police it, if need be. That isn’t all though. Phase two might be tuning our eyes and spirits to Jesus’ version of truth but ultimately we must transition to phase three which is intentionally calling those things into existence which do not currently exist in the natural realm. That is the point we want to get to. That is the meaning of this verse, but sometimes you have to fix your believer first. This is exactly, how your Father created the earth. He called things which didn’t exist into existence. Was he not speaking truth? He was speaking the truth He saw in His spirit and it had to come into existence. That is your charge. See what Jesus wants to show you and then speak it out in confidence. See your protective shield, see your healing. Say what Jesus says about you. Amen?

Going Viral?

Psalm 91: 3

For it is He who delivers you from the . . . deadly pestilence.

Here is what I have to say about and to the coronavirus, “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you,’” (Isaiah 41: 13). God has faced this problem before, and He has already spoken to the problem. He tells us to put our trust in Him because He is our shield and refuge. He delivers us from the pestilence. He guards our homes and health. When the plagues tormented the Egyptians, our Father held His people within the shelter of His wing.

Now, if you believe this, if you are with me here, then it is time to pull out what we learned last week from Romans 4: 17 (See the Word of the Day for Tuesday, February 25, 2020). It’s time to speak what you believe. The blessings of God do not rain on you from the sky. They are already yours, yes, but you have to move them from the spiritual realm to your life by the exercise of your faith and your words. This is the critical bit. Of course, you must believe that what God has said is true and that He is well able and willing to back up His Word with His faith and with action, but you must remember that we are in a partnership with God AND that He will not violate your freewill. You can be sick if you choose. You can go to hell if you want. It isn’t God’s will. It isn’t what He wants, but He will respect your choices. So, that means that you must be an active member of the partnership. The blessings are yours, but you must accept them. You must requisition them from the provision warehouse that Yahweh has already stocked for you. How do you know what the inventory is within that warehouse? There is an inventory list. It’s called the Bible and the way you get your order filled is by speaking words which are in accordance with the inventory.  If your words match the inventory list then the order is filled and shipped to your house.

If you fear the coronavirus guess what – you will attract it to you. I am not saying that you will contract the disease, but you certainly will not repel it. Do you remember what poor old Job said, “For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me,” (Job 3: 25). That which you focus upon is attracted to you. Then, God forbid that you say something like, “I catch everything that comes around so I will probably get the flu.” Dear One, please don’t confess anything remotely similar to that! Say, “By his stripes I am healed!” Say, “My Father delivers me from every deadly pestilence including coronavirus.” Get a stiff backbone and refuse to receive the curse. Stand in the blessing. Go read the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy and claim the blessing for you and your household.

Be healed, be whole. Reject the pestilence and remember the Word!

Sand and Stars

Romans 4: 17                Tree of Life Version

He is our father in the sight of God in whom he trusted, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence that which does not exist.

This verse speaks about Abraham and says that he is our Father in faith. He is our faith example. We learn from him as he learned from God. God had to teach Abraham how to stand in faith. It wasn’t an intrinsic trait, but God was the example to Abraham teaching him that he must speak the end from the beginning. He had to learn to emulate God in calling those things which aren’t as though they were, speaking the end result instead of the appearance of things.

This is actually a prayer model. God made Abraham a huge promise, but it took years to bring it to pass. So, God had to teach Abraham how to stand in faith. Part of that involved teaching him how to pray and how to speak. Let’s see how this unfolds.

First, you get a promise from God. That is one of the important uses of the Bible. It could also be a dream God has given you which is anchored in the Word. Then, get a picture of it. God took Abram out to look at the stars and told him his children would number as many as the stars. He also gave him the imagery of sand telling him his children would be as numerous as the grains of sand. Every time Abram thought about sand or looked at a night sky he was reminded of God’s promise. The most important bit was yet to come though.

God changed Abram’s name to Abraham. Abram means, “exalted father.” Abraham means, “father of many or father of a multitude.” Abram didn’t even have one child at the time, and both he and Sarah, his wife were well advanced in years. Besides that, she was barren. How was he to be the father of a multitude?

What Abraham did have, though, was a promise from God and to Abraham, that made all the difference. So, he had the promise, two images (the sand and the stars) which represented the fulfillment of that promise and now, he had a new name. Every time anyone called him, he heard, “Father of many.”

However, there was one thing remaining. His confession. First, we pray to receive God’s vision for us. That’s where the real asking takes place. Once we have the promise then we don’t have to ask and wonder anymore. We certainly don’t need to beg and plead. He has already said, “Yes.” Abraham had to learn to call those things into existence which didn’t exist. This is called standing in faith and it is the final component of prayer. This is where most of us miss our answer.

The message I wish to convey today is that this is part of the prayer model. We don’t need to keep on asking the father to do something for us once he has said okay. That part is done and it is time for us to stand like Father Abraham. This last part is crucial and as I said, I believe this is where most of us are losing our prayer answers. After you have an answer from God, it still takes faith to bring it in. He has already said, “Yes,” to healing you but what are you saying? He has already said, “Yes,” to prosperity but what are you saying? If you are still begging God to do something for you, you might be missing your answer to prayer. Pray to get His answer but then stand on that promise like Abraham did. Believe with all your might that what God has said is truth and is yours. Become stubborn and resolute. By his stripes, were you healed? Did God promise to prosper the work of your hand, or not?

This is the hard stuff but right here is where we can make a difference in our lives and the lives of our families. Find your promise. If you are having trouble finding a scripture to stand on, contact me. I will help you. Then, you’ve got to speak the end result. Forget the circumstances. Speak the result. Quit begging God and start thanking Him. Praise Him that He who promised is well able, and willing, to deliver. Call those things which are not until they are.

Be Filled

Psalm 81: 10

“I, the Lord, am your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide and I will fill it.”

This is a declaration of a God who wants to serve. What an amazing epiphany that is. have you thought of Yahweh as one to serve you? Wow! He brought each of us from our own Egypt. It is easy and not insignificant to think of the Israelites held in bondage to Egypt and its Pharaoh but that is not the complete Biblical picture. All of the stories in the Bible of past real events are included in the Bible for each of us. The Bible may well be the best storybook of all time, but that is not its ultimate purpose. Those stories are included for our edification.  Egypt, therefore, represents our own personal bondage. We’ve all been captured by destructive habits and/or relationships. God wants us to know that He is the one who led us into freedom and is available today to bring us out of Egyptian oppression.  That is not the end of the story, though. God doesn’t lead us out of our personal Egypt only to leave us starving in the desert. Just the opposite, He says, “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” Now that you are free, be blessed, be filled.

I found an interesting twist on this. The first half of verse ten from the Passion Translation reads, “I am your only God, the living God. Wasn’t I the one who broke the strongholds over you and raised you up out of bondage?” First God must free us from bondage. The second half contains the provision but only in the Passion Translation do we see the nuance that is suggested in the other versions but only spelled out in this one. “Open your mouth with a mighty decree; I will fulfill it now, you’ll see! The words that you speak, so shall it be!” Did you see it, the little secret in the verse? When God invites us to open our mouths, He means for us to say something. The Jews would have known this. They knew their blessing is in their God given language. That is why they greet each other with a blessing. Most Christians expect to pray and God will provide but that is not what God is saying. Most of our praying ends up more like begging than decreeing. God wants us to say something declaratory. When Jews greet one another the substance of their greeting is, “Be blessed!” They don’t beg God to bless you, they declare the blessing upon you that God has already given. You see, they know what God did in the Old Testament, so they have a better sense of their rights and authority. A Messianic Jew can decree in the name of Jesus with absolute confidence. That is what the Father would have us do. Decree something and Dad will fill your life with it.

He longs to be a blessing to each one of us. He wants to serve us. The key is in our mouths. What are you saying?

Calling Things

Romans 4: 17        (KJV)

God … who calleth those things which be not as though they were.

As Christians, there are several ways we can affect the situations around us. One way is simply to pray and ask our Father to intervene. There is another means by which the Lord has meant for us to affect our lives and the entire world. That is through the power of our tongue; the power of confession. God has given us His power so that we might go into all the world doing good even as Jesus did. Our confession is the basic tool for this process. This is the means by which the Father created the earth, the universe and all creation. He spoke them into existence. There is something so primal and so basic here that if we, as the body of Christ, can get a hold of it, we will be the means of change.

God calls those things that aren’t as if they already were. In His confession is creation. Thereby it becomes reality. So, His saying it makes it real. Isn’t that awesome? He has given this same ability to us because we have now been recreated in His image.

I would love to declare a National Words of our Mouth Day. On that day everyone would speak only positive, life giving words about any and every situation. For that one day we would all say aloud those things which we want to see come to pass. I would call you healed and prosperous and you would agree with me. It would be very easy to have the second National Words of our Mouth Day because people would be filled with expectation from the great success they saw in the first one. Expectation would make the second even more momentous. Maybe we could start tomorrow.

Overcoming Faith

1 John 5: 4

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.

We are born of God. That makes us world overcomers, does it not? Well, according to the Apostle John it does. The victory which overcomes the world is our faith. Surely John knew what he was writing about. This guy walked with Jesus daily. Additionally, he received great revelations from Jesus after Jesus ascended to heaven. So, if what he says is right, why am I not experiencing this overcoming faith in my life? And as I look around I see that other Christians are struggling with their world overcoming faith too.

Recently I determined to learn more about this overcoming power. I turned to an inspired book, clearly one of the best books I have ever read on faith. The subtitle of the book reads: The key to putting your faith to work for a successful life. That is what we all want isn’t it? We hear so much about faith and living by faith but sometimes preachers might as well be speaking in a foreign tongue for all the good it is doing me. I want to live by faith. I have determined to walk by faith but what do I do when my faith isn’t working.

The title of this life-altering book is The Fourth Dimension by David Yonggi Cho. The first time I heard of it I was handed it by my pastor. I stayed up all night reading it. The very next day things began to break my way. Cho built the largest Christian church in the world and he did it in Korea where Christianity was not widely accepted. None the less, he learned that if he would apply the laws of faith that all things were possible to him. I strongly recommend this book. 

Cho explained that there is a fourth dimension and that this dimension is the realm of the spirit. This is the realm of creative power. Cho teaches how we can operate in this realm. The first chapter of the book is dedicated to teaching us the foundations of faith. There are four cornerstones. First, you must have a clear cut objective. Second, you must have a burning desire for the attainment of that objective. Third, you pray about that objective until you have the full assurance in your heart that it is God’s will for you. It may take some time to gain the full assurance so we must be persistent and patient in prayer. Last, we must learn to speak the word according to that burning desire which is within us and which we have the full assurance of. Once God has assured us that He is in agreement with us then we speak to the mountain and call those things which are not as though they are (Romans 4: 17) until they manifest in the physical realm. God has already given us everything but it is in the spiritual realm (Ephesians 1: 3). So, we only need to appropriate it and bring it into this physical sphere. To do that we use our faith. It doesn’t take a lot of faith, only as much as a mustard seed (Matthew 17: 20). The key is knowing how to apply that faith to our needs or to situations in our lives.

Have a burning desire for a clear cut objective. Pray until you have the full assurance of it in your heart, until you know that you know that it is yours, and then start talking to it. Like speaking to the rock to get water you must speak your desired end as well. Start calling forth water and the rock will have to yield. That is the way faith works.

And buy and read The Fourth Dimension by David Cho.