Posts Tagged With: 1 John 4:4

According to Your Faith

”The Bible says in Matthew 9:29 “According to your faith it will be done unto you.” That’s one of my favorite verses in the Bible. What are you expecting God to do in your life? This is the law that God has established. It’s called the Law of Expectation. The fact is, we tend to get what we expect out of life. We tend to see what we expect to see. We tend to hear what we expect to hear. We tend to feel the way we expect to feel. We inevitably accomplish what we expect what we’re going to accomplish. This is the law of faith. God says you get to choose. Because “According to your faith it will be done unto you.”

– Rick Warren

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Jesus talked a lot about faith in his time on Earth, and examples of its power go back to the beginning of the Old Testament. We are told that with faith the size of a mustard seed we could tell a mountain to move from here to there and it would move, and nothing shall be impossible for us (Matthew 17:20), and that if we tell a mountain to be taken up and cast into the sea, it shall happen (Matthew 21:21). Jesus healed people, and told them it was their faith that made them well (Mark 10:52), and again we are reminded of what we can accomplish, that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13). All things, not some things, but all. After all, if God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)? We can walk through life re-assured, because greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4), and no weapon formed against us shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17). He wants us to be the head, not the tail, on top, not the bottom (Deuteronomy 28:13).

I declare these verses out loud on the way to work every morning. I declare His blessings and favor over my day and thank Him for already being at the end of the day waiting for me, thanking Him for things He has done before they even play out in my life. In doing this, I notice those blessings pour out and my mood is better, I’m happier and more positive.

When I take a step back and look over my life and how far I’ve come, over the past year, the past two years, five years… I’m amazed at the growth. I’m amazed at where I am today. In many ways I’ve worked very hard to get here, but there are also many situations and blessings that I couldn’t have done anything about, that had to fall into my lap so to speak.

Maybe that’s what faith is about, maybe it means we can’t do everything on our own, but it also means we can’t just sit back and expect God to hand us everything out of thin air. Maybe God helps those who help themselves. Maybe we have to do everything we possibly can, and then when we can’t do anything more, when we are at the end of our abilities and resources, we then lift our gaze to heaven and trust God to do what only He can.

Image     The Secret was a film and best-selling self-help book from 2006 displaying the power of thought and the law of attraction. Everything we could want or ask for we can attract through our daily thoughts and focus. If we think positive, we attract positivity. If we have a negative outlook, more negativity comes our way. This can be life-changing and affect wealth, health, and happiness. What you seek you will find. This concept is based on science and brainwaves and frequencies.

The funny thing is, this scientific concept, this eye-opening phenomenon that grabbed the attention of millions, has been around for a couple thousand years.

 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” -Matthew 7:7

     It’s funny how today we see things as either science or religion, one or the other, right or left, yes or no. Maybe it’s both. In Rob Bell’s video “Everything is Spiritual” he suggests the answer is simply, “Yep.” It’s both.

“Is it science or is it religion?”

“Yep.”

       Maybe we have more control over our lives than we think. We can do more and go farther than our circumstances suggest. Maybe what it takes is faith. Faith, backed with a humility as mentioned in Matthew 18:2-4, to be child-like, humble and teachable, without pride or haughtiness. To know that we can’t do it on our own, that we need Him, and then believe that He will show up.

      So, will we climb out of the boat we are in, and step out of our comfort zone, onto the crashing waves where Jesus is holding out his hand?

     Will we stand before a giant with just a sling and a stone, surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors shaking in their armor?

     If we can ignore the world laughing at us and reminding us of all the times we’ve failed, and choose to listen to the voice of truth, maybe we’ll find the stone was just the right size to put the giant on the ground, and the waves don’t seem so high from the top of them looking down. 

Are you walking by faith today?

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Armor of God and the Jesus patronus

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the Full Armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the Full Armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,…”
(The Bible, Ephesians 6:10–18)

Spiritual warfare is real. As real as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Just like not believing in Satan won’t protect you from him, not believing you’re in the middle of a war won’t keep you from getting shot at. Satan knows our weak points and will attack us in that very spot, twisting the knife, over and over again. He will use those closest to us, our friends, family, and loved ones, to hold the knife and do the twisting, without them even being aware of it. Satan knows the wounds deep in our heart and he is bound and determined to continue the bleeding. Each wound is personal to us, delivered by our childhood, our parents or lack there-of, our experiences…  My personal and not-so-unique female wound is that I am unloveable. That no one will ever choose to be with me and to keep me, that no one will ever fight for me. Satan is relentless in attacking this deep-rooted spot in the recesses of my heart. The evil one knows that is the spot that will hurt me the most severely. And we each have one of these. And only God can provide full healing, only He can make whole and leave not even the slightest scar.

Sometimes I see the demons and evil spirits in this world as the dementors in Harry Potter. They are cloaked, dark, vile, soul-sucking creatures, that deplete the very hope and light and warmth from their surroundings. They lurk, and wait for their chance to devour another soul, to bring someone down, and leave them empty and lifeless inside. Isn’t this exactly what demons do to us? Thinking along these lines, I realized Jesus is my patronus. When the dementors swoop down, sensing weakness, leaving me surrounded and scared and weak and seemingly defenseless… Jesus is THE patronus of light that will surge forth and banish and bind my dementors, sending them running the opposite direction as fast as they can. All I have to do is call on Him. All I have to be able to do is say those words, and ask for Him. Sometimes it may seem like I can’t conjure Him right away, or I can’t quite feel His presence and break through the chill of the demons to let His strength overpower them. I have to be strong. I have to be confident. I have to have faith. I cannot give up, or give in. In this spiritual war, there is no such thing as lying on your back and playing dead, there are no white flags to hold up. They will not be honored if I tried. But with Jesus on my side, the dark ones will run and hide.

1 John 4:4………..”Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.”

Each day I will rise, and put on my God-given armor, I will take my wand in hand, and be secure in the knowledge that my patronus has more power than the world, that He will come through, I believe He will come through.

David had the faith to stand before a giant, with just a sling and a stone. Our God today is the same as David’s God. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever. Equipped with faith, all I need to stand in the midst of this fallen world is His holy name.

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