A Lifestyle of Faith
There are times when you walk in faith that you are carried into places that seem like madness. There are times when you hear the voice of God, and when you step out, the next thing you know you are in a place that looks like the worst place you have ever been - and yet it was God’s voice who directed you there. Just give it a little time, things will turn around. I have written many times about Isaiah 54:2-3. I believe that this is the season we are in now. Perhaps, it is the season we are supposed to live in - at all times. “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. (Isaiah 54: 2-3) There are seasons that I have been in where I mastered the faith that I needed for that season. In those moments it would be a temptation to stay in that place, but God calls us to greater faith. I remember hearing Kenneth Copeland teach about faith. I remember him saying that at one time it was faith for him to believe for a little and now it was faith for him to believe for a lot. This is truth. Before you can believe God for tens of thousands, you have to believe him for hundreds. When I first started learning faith, I lived about 30 minutes from my church. In those days I didn’t have much money at all. I remember the Lord said to me “You will never have to worry about gas money.” It is one thing to hear such a word, but another thing entirely to live in the realm of that word. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” When we pursue God by faith, we will often make decisions based on a mere word that he has spoken to us. People will judge you, and you will judge yourself, because the word will not match the reality of the situation that you are currently in. When God said to me that I would not have to worry about gas I believed him, but my bank account gave a hearty laugh. I began to live as if this word were truth. I went to church twice a week which was about 2 hours of driving. There were times when I got to church that someone would come up to me and give me $30.00 for gas. This happened over and over again. I learned to trust God when he spoke and he never spoke anything that he wouldn’t do. I remember one time I was driving home after church. I stopped at the gas station to pump gas into my vehicle. There was a man at the next pump who came to our church on Friday nights. He said, “I want to pay for your gas tonight. Is that ok?” Luke 1:37 (NIV) says, “For no word from God will ever fail.” The key is to hear from God and to live according to what he says. When Abraham left his homeland (to enter into the land that would become Israel), he did so merely on a word from the Lord. He never saw the fulfillment of that word. His sons didn’t see the fulfillment of that word. In fact it was hundreds of years later that this word came to pass and yet Abraham did not waiver in unbelief, but pursued that word his entire life. I want that kind of faith. I want to believe in the face of all the obstacles. I want to be known as a man of faith who inspires others to live by faith. For the last two years I have practiced living by faith. This is only partly true. I have been living by faith since I have become a Christian. Sometimes, God has led me to take a job to take care of my family. Now he has me on the road preaching the gospel all over the world. In the last two years, I have not had a regular paycheque. The Lord spoke to me clearly and told me to do what I am doing. My family and I have lived well. I feel healthier than I have ever been in my life. We have prospered and we have seen God's creation in many nations. Moreover, God has provided vehicles and houses for us to live in. Today, we need a bigger house and he is providing that. I am writing this because even now, I am facing some challenges. God has stretched me to a place that I never thought I would be. Last year this time I crossed a mountain peak. Last year I spoke to my mountain, and it went crashing into the sea. However this year, I have crossed into a new land, and the mountains are twice as high. I have no evidence that these mountains will be crossed. I have no evidence that they too will come crashing into the sea. In this new realm, I simply remind myself of all the times that mountains came crashing down before, and I continue to believe in the face of the obstacles that God will do it again. When Joshua and Caleb entered into the Promised Land, they only had a word from the Lord. He told them, “You will possess the land.” They believed him, and so crossed the Jordan into a land that they had never known. There were giants in that land and walled cities. They not only conquered that land but their offspring possessed that land after them. I am very aware that the things that I inherit in Christ are for me, my children and their children. I want to possess all that is possible to possess in Christ. I want to have a wide open field as my inheritance. I decree and declare this over my life daily. I am always aware that God has more for me, and I have chosen to enter into it no matter how hard it is. I know my God is faithful. I know that the battle is the Lord’s. He was with me when I needed thirty dollars for gas, and he is with me now when I need much more. I pray for you today, and I ask the Lord to strengthen you. I pray that he speaks a strong word into your heart, and convinces you that he is going to bless you and increase you. I pray that you will step out into his voice even when the risks seem impossible. I pray that you will be remembered as a person of great strength - who will inspire many others into a lifestyle of giving and faith.