How To Be Rich in Faith
There is a change happening. Up until now the emphasis has been on reading and speaking the word of God. Now I have felt a subtle shift towards spending time in God’s presence.
Recently I lifted my hands in worship at church. I normally don’t do that. But I felt an unlocking in my heart. My wife is a presence person and I am a word person.
It can appear that women can sense God’s presence easier than men because they are intuitive.
Speaking in tongues has come back in a big way. Now when I read the Bible, I quietly and slowly pray in tongues. It is two for the price of one.
I am reading and praying at the same time.
Jackie Pullinger’s book Chasing the Dragon tells how Jackie would pray in tongues before going out onto the street to witness and pray for people in Hong Kong.
She said, “Using the gift of tongues opened a new door. Because I was praying in the Holy Spirit, God was able to lead me, to people he had prepared.’’
I have been praying in tongues a lot over the past month. Two weeks ago, I got the urge to go into the city centre on Sunday morning to pray and witness to people.
I also got the idea to do a new website called prayerforfree.com. When I pray for people or meet them for the first time, I tell them to put a prayer request on the website so I can pray for them and it gives us an opportunity to continue to connect.
The people I pray for can let me know how they are going and if God is answering their prayers.
I have gone into Brisbane city for the last three Sundays. I go in at 8am and walk around talking to people for 1-2 hours.
I have filled myself up with the word and prayer; it was about time I gave something back out into the community.
Some of the people I have met are young men who are from overseas. They are a long way from home. It is a good idea to pray for their needs and circumstances.
Hopefully God will bless what I am doing.
There are a lot of people who haven’t heard the gospel. I would enjoy sharing the good news of salvation with them.
In 1979 my parents asked me to leave home, later on they asked me to leave the state.
I left Adelaide and went to Melbourne to share a unit with a school friend called Jack. I was able to get a job with a fabric supplier in the city centre of Melbourne.
At my new job there was a salesman called Monty who invited me to have dinner with his wife Heather and their young sons. Heather and Monty told me they were born again Christians. I had heard that expression only once before that night.
They told me I could be saved right there in their house. I said, “No thanks.”
On the train as I went home that night, I was alone in the carriage. A deep brooding and foreboding came over me; I felt God was trying to speak to me.
It was scary. The impression I received was that if I rejected Him and went my own way I would suffer the consequences.
I knew what the result of going my own way would be. Myself and everyone around me had suffered because of my behaviour and the future looked bleak and since being in Melbourne the bad cycle had started all over again but it was worse than before.
When I got off the train and walked home I looked up at the moon and said, “Okay God I’m yours.”
That’s all I said. I went to work for the rest of the week basically forgetting about what had happened and what I had said.
On Saturday night, Jack went out to a party while I stayed home. Later that night, I was sitting on a bean bag on the floor of our lounge room listening to a tape Monty had given me.
Suddenly I sensed someone come into the room and stand at my side. I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. No-one had told me about these things.
A person and a presence came into that room. I immediately knew it was Jesus. I could feel this incredible love flow from Him to me. I was in tears and happy at the same time. My mind was stable and sober. However, around me in that room there was a brightness and a peace.
I stayed in that atmosphere for about three hours, and then Jack came home from the party. I told Jack what had happened to me, he was a bit under the influence and couldn’t understand what I was saying.
The next morning, I had arranged to go to Heather and Monty’s house and then visit their church.
When I arrived at their house, I told them my story, they just stood there smiling.
“Do you think I’ve been born again?” I said. They definitely believed I had been born again. I had become a Christian. They happily took me to church that Sunday.
I enjoyed the service so next week I was baptised in water and baptised in the Holy Spirit. While I was still in the baptismal water the Pastor prayed for me to be baptised in the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know what that was; it was another term I had never heard before.
Next minute I was shouting out some strange language and everyone around me starts rejoicing.
They all thought this was wonderful. I felt wonderful and stayed on a high which lasted for months. It really was true what they said about Jesus. He is the truth. He is real.
What would have happened to me if Monty and Heather had not invited me over for dinner and witnessed to me? Would someone else have done it if they had not?
My old friends didn’t like me getting saved and we all drifted apart. One of those friends was called Russell. I didn’t hear from him for about 14 years. I rang him after all that time had passed. He was doing well. I asked him if Christians had witnessed to him in those 14 years. He said they had not.
It seemed I was the only person on the planet who had told him about getting saved and becoming a Christian. No-one in all that time had approached him about his eternal destiny.
I have always believed that if I didn’t witness to a person then someone else would.
Who wants to wear that responsibility?
I am glad to have the opportunity to go into the city centre on Sunday mornings to speak to people about God.
We have just arrived home from the city centre. Lorna went over to a man who was limping and in pain. She prayed and the pain went immediately. What a great result. The man was very surprised and very grateful.
My wife Lorna and I are sitting on a seat in the shopping mall. We have just prayed and asked God who we should pray for before we go home. A minute later a window cleaner walks past us carrying his equipment. He is limping and looks like he is in pain. Lorna goes over to him and asks if she can pray for his leg. As soon as she starts to pray, he says, “The pain is gone, the pain is gone!”
Sunday morning a few weeks later.
We are again in the city centre and we meet up with the window cleaner, his name is Neil. We asked him how he was going.
This is his reply, “I have a fused hip and have been in pain for 14 years. I have been taking pain tablets for 14 years. Since you prayed for me, I have had no pain and no pain tablets. Because I have no pain my business has grown as I can do more work.”
How did Lorna and I end up praying for the sick and seeing them healed?
Today, you can change everything by activating your faith. The Bible will work if you mix it with faith. Things work if you believe. I am proving right now that the Bible has the power to turn a person into a success.
God will do it. Just believe that reading the Bible changes you and your situation. If you believe it works; then it works.
This is a story that is happening right now.
I am using my own life as an example. Simply believe that reading the Bible will create faith. The decision is yours.
Cross over today into a new realm of faith. Turn your believing switch on now! Say yes to God’s complete and full plan for your life.
What you are about to read can change your believing.
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
This is how to unlock your faith. You must eliminate all doubt! And we eliminate doubt by choosing long term results over short term results.
Abraham doubted that he would have a son by Sarah; so he slept with Hagar. The short term result was not a happy one.
But God had something better in mind. Abraham had to choose to believe in God’s plan even though it would take 25 years.
We have to involve ourselves in spiritual activities that last. Then we don’t doubt. Doubt wants it now; faith has a long term view.
We have to find something that we can believe in 100 per cent. As Christians we have already found someone, we can believe in. Now all we have to do is find some spiritual activity that works. We don’t doubt that it works, even when it appears not to work.
For everyone this activity will take a different form.
Abraham and Sarah had to learn how to believe for a child and not doubt. This took them years to achieve.
The activity I have chosen; is to read the Word of God and speak it as I read.
Faith comes by hearing the Word.
A long time ago God told me, “Do not let this Word depart from your mouth.”
You would have noticed that I have been quite double-minded about this matter up till now.
Not anymore. I am going to do this without wavering.
Week after week, not being diverted, not allowing a new idea to cause me to doubt. I will prove that this works. You must believe that it works; for it to succeed.
Yes, this is the secret of faith – to believe in something 100 per cent without any doubt. No wavering. This is what I have discovered over the last 18 months.
I have finally come to the place where this is settled in my head and in my heart. Different people will choose a different activity, but the attitude has to be all believing and no doubt!
What has God asked you to do? Settle it in your mind and heart. Choose the long term over the short term.
Do not be double-minded. Produce an Isaac.
He who laughs last laughs loudest.
Abraham and Sarah are still laughing every time someone becomes a Christian because they also become a son or daughter of Abraham. That is an excellent long term result. Abraham is still being rewarded for his victory over doubt.
Jesus said, “Stop doubting and believe!”
I have finally heard him.
You are joining me for the second half of my three year journey. Today is the first Sunday in December 2012.
Hello to everyone; I hope that God is building up your faith.
I recently read an article about Richard Branson and his struggle to start his new airline. He was opposed by the other more established airlines. They organised an attack against him and his airline. His enemies had organised a dirty tricks unit that was illegal. He had to stand up to his opposition.
The decision to let Virgin Atlantic operate at Heathrow in competition with British Airways became the trigger for BA’s so-called dirty tricks campaign against Virgin. Branson sued British Airways for libel.
BA settled out of court when its lawyers discovered the lengths to which the company had gone in trying to kill off Virgin.
The most dangerous times for a business project is in the first couple of years.
In the book of Ezra, the Jews had returned to Jerusalem and were trying to rebuild the temple, but their enemies were opposing them.
Then the people around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.
They hired counsellors to work against them and frustrate their plans.
Because we have been reading the Bible, our spirits have become quite strong. We are normally very peaceful and easy going people. Recently we have changed. We have been spending a lot of time resisting the devil in prayer. I think our authority has increased.
We submit ourselves to God and then we resist the devil. We expect the devil’s influence to decrease and we expect God’s influence to increase in our lives and over our family.
We have seen some evidence of this. Some of our families work situations have changed for the better.
Lorna and I have experienced a lot of opposition from people and circumstances over the years.
It seems that we have been in a constant battle. We don’t find it easy to take authority in prayer. There comes a time in your life when you can’t ignore the schemes of your opponents any longer and you have to rise up and address the problem.
We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.
This decision to fight or not to fight can be confusing.
What we have noticed lately is the desire to stand up for our legal rights in prayer is coming from our spirit within us rather than our mind.
Here is some good news. I have been praying for you the reader. I use Psalm 23 as a pattern for prayer. So once you have read my story you are getting prayed for. I pray for all the readers. Will I do this forever? I don’t know, it is just one of those things that I find myself doing. It has become a natural thing for me.
Here is an example of the way I use Psalm 23 as a pattern of prayer.
I pray that you will bless every person that is reading my story. I ask that you Lord Jesus would be their shepherd.
That you would shepherd them out of doubt and into a new level of faith. Please supply all their needs.
Give them grace, strength and wisdom. Cause the people reading my story to lie down in green pastures of success. Deliver them from every spiritual and emotional storm. Restore their relationships, health and finances.
Guide them in a path of right decisions under the authority of the name of Jesus. Let the law of the spirit of life set them free. May (resurrection) life be their experience. I command every evil spirit that has been harassing and opposing them to be removed.
Strengthen them in their spirit, so they will feel your strong support.
Enable them to sit down at the table you have prepared. Let it be a meal of the word of God. I ask Father that you anoint the reader so they would know the truth and the truth would set them free! Fill them up with faith so that something good will happen to them. And bless them in their church life.
Are you glad that you read this chapter?
Remember Psalm 23. Believe for this to come to pass in your life. Why don’t you join me in praying the words of this Psalm out over your life and the lives of your friends and family? It sounds like a plan!
For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.
It is Tuesday, the first day of 2013. I am nearly into my third year. I have found the word of God is building up Lorna and myself. We are in a much better place than we were two years ago. This year I am going to add more prayer into my routine.
When we pray, we are inviting the Holy Spirit into our lives to open our eyes. I often use a lighthouse as an example. It is built on rock as the foundation. As it is built; it rises higher and higher. The reason for all this effort is to put a very bright light on the top of the lighthouse.
The purpose of this light is to help the ships avoid danger and find their way through a storm in safety.
When we are baptised in the Holy Spirit and given the gift of prayer in tongues, we are given the ability to shine brightly like a lamp so that we can see our way out of danger and trouble into a better place.
So this year I am going to include praying in the Holy Spirit [praying in tongues] in my routine so I can become aware of the benefits of this gift.
Last year around September and October I spent a lot of time praying in tongues as I read my Bible.
I noticed that after a short period of time Lorna and I felt moved to go into the city centre to pray and witness to people. We saw some very good results. I also noticed around that time that the response to my website increased and people sent in some very encouraging messages about how God had blessed them as they read my story.
That is one of the things I like about praying in tongues; you are allowing the Holy Spirit to pray through you for anyone, anywhere in the world. You may not know the person or their circumstances or the answer to their problem but the Holy Spirit does.
He knows how to guide us out of danger into a place of peace and protection. He knows how to change us into people of wisdom and authority. He knows how to deliver us out of failure into success. And He knows how to make a barren person into a fruitful person.
Many years ago, we spent a lot of time praying in the Holy Spirit; by the end of that year nearly every circumstance in our lives had changed for the better.
We crossed over into a wonderful time of harvest. Great doors of opportunity opened for us. We had one of our best holidays ever.
Our finances were greatly blessed; we just entered into a time of real happiness. When the lights go on you can easily find your way into a place of blessing. When it is dark we don’t know where to go or what to do. I am hoping for this year to be a year when the lights go on.
Genesis 37 tells the story of Joseph. As a young man who is falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife, Joseph ends up in prison. Two of his fellow inmates have dreams and no understanding of what their dreams mean. Joseph has the ability to interpret dreams. He tells the men the meaning of their dreams.
What Joseph says comes to pass. When Pharaoh has two dreams that he cannot understand, he calls Joseph out of prison to interpret his dreams. Joseph interprets the dreams and is promoted by Pharaoh and put in charge of Egypt. All these men were in the dark, they could not understand their dreams.
Joseph came along and shone a very bright light into their situation. Joseph gave them understanding.
When understanding comes it is the same as bringing a bright light into a dark place. Joseph was promoted because of his ability to shine the light of understanding into a dark situation and make everything clear. At the start no-one knows what to do and how to do it.
The next moment Joseph has shown them what is going to happen and how to deal with the problem. He had a plan from heaven.
Many years later Joseph told his brothers.
“Don’t be afraid. You intended to harm me but God intended it for good! To accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
I pray that God will open our minds so that we can understand the scripture below and recognise our harvest when it arrives.
Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.
I have now officially completed two years of my journey through the New Testament. I have become very aware that the Bible is food for my spirit. My body needs three meals a day to stay strong because I do physical work. My mind loves to read a good book or watch a great movie.
I also enjoy reading the newspaper. Information is food for my mind. It is my spirit that is getting the most benefit from reading the Bible.
May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless.
Paul talks about the need for our spirit, soul and body to be kept blameless. But I want to talk about the benefits of our spirit being well fed. We feed our mind and our body in a very regular way. When we feed our mind it grows strong, when we feed our body it gains energy.
When we feed our spirit it also grows strong and gains energy.
I read a book recently about a man who had never seen a healing. He decided to fast 10 days a month and he did this for five months. One day he sensed he should pray for a lady’s healing. Something in him rose up!
I believe that was his spirit rising up to do what he couldn’t do before.
Fasting weakens the soul and body, it then enables your spirit to dominate and do what you could not normally do if your mind or body had their way. Jesus told the disciples to pray because the spirit is willing but the body is weak. The disciples were exhausted; they fell into a deep sleep.
But Jesus knew that there was a huge challenge in front of them. They needed to be ready and alert. They needed to keep their lamps burning. When we light a lamp, we don’t put it under a bowl. When our spirit lights up, we shouldn’t put it under the influence of our soul.
Our spirit with the help of the Holy Spirit is in charge of our lives. We should always be spirit led people. And the Holy Spirit leads us by our spirit not by our mind. Some people have fed their minds all their lives, but have not fed their spirit. Their spirit needs spiritual food. The Bible is food for our spirit.
I can sense my spirit getting stronger. I am learning to make decisions based on what my spirit senses is right rather than on what my mind thinks.
I have seen television documentaries of people who are trying to raise old boats or aircraft or other heavyweight objects off the ocean floor so they can recover them.
The way they do this is to get an underwater balloon and attach it to the heavy object that is stuck on the ocean floor. The power that is needed is huge because the ocean floor won’t let go easily; and also, the object they want to lift weighs many tons.
After they get everything in place, they then begin to inflate the balloon with bubbles of air. Slowly the air fills up the balloon. The air-filled balloon is now more powerful than the ocean floor. The balloon wins as the ocean floor lets go and this very heavy piece of equipment starts to rise to the surface.
This is what is happening to your spirit when you read the Bible. Imagine every word from the Bible is full of the breath of God. Slowly your spirit is being filled with the life of God. This world tries to hold us down by appealing to our soul’s desires or fears.
The lust of the eyes and the pride of what we own and possess. Our physical body demands our attention all day long. Our soul and our body belong to this world; but our spirit belongs on a higher level in Gods kingdom.
As we fill our spirit with the life of God, we find our spirit rising up to a new level. We can experience a new increase of energy. Now our spirit is powerful enough to drag our soul and body up to a better level of behaviour. We are no longer stuck in the soul’s mud of normal existence.
Our spirit always reaches out to God. Now we are free from what has bound us in the past. The law of the spirit of life has set us free. Jesus said, “The spirit is willing but the body is weak.”
Proverbs says, “A man’s spirit sustains him.”
Holds him up!
Here is a story about a woman who felt in her spirit to obey God but was held back by her mind (soul). She was worried about what people would think!
Edward Millar was involved in the Argentinean revival. In 1973 he was speaking at a conference, he told how the revival began. He was a missionary from America to Argentina.
The mission’s board stopped his support when they heard he was no longer distributing tracts but rather spending whole days in prayer.
He felt he should convene a prayer meeting. Only a handful of people arrived. Even then he was the only one prepared to pray.
One young woman came every night. However, she prayed not one word. Ed attempted to find out why God asked him to call the meeting.
He asked if anyone felt to do anything. The young woman replied she felt like striking the table. She wouldn’t do it, however. She said she felt foolish doing something that carried such little significance.
After three nights (and nothing happening) she was finally persuaded to hit the table. Millar suggested they all walk around the table and strike it, one after another.
When the particular woman finally hit it, the room filled with the glory of God.
They all spent hours in the presence of the Lord. From that point, a great revival broke out in Argentina with literally hundreds of thousands turning to Christ.
During the revival, an enormous number of miracles happened through evangelist Tommy Hicks.
Although a woman hitting a table obviously is not the only element triggering a revival of these proportions, Edward Millar felt her obedience played a part in releasing a move of the Holy Spirit.
My friend has changed his job. He has gone from a company that earned its money from government contracts, to another company that earns its money in a similar way. But there is a difference. The company he has just left earned its money after it performed its duties.
His new job is with a company that is paid by the government before it does the work. One is paid before it does the work the other is paid after it does the work.
Can you imagine that the atmosphere is different?
It is much more relaxed, everyone is happier, the pressure is not as intense. The motivation is different. The staff are motivated because they are happy. At the old job the staff were motivated by threats.
Today is our 30th wedding anniversary. We are both very happy. Some people are not happy in their marriage. Things have not gone well for them.
One advantage Lorna and I have is the way our relationship was built; it has enabled us not to doubt.
We have always believed that God organised our relationship.
The thought or idea that God was involved means that we can believe we were meant to be together. When you believe you are meant to be together you can stand against doubt.
And we all know that doubts do come. Some people doubt that they are meant to be together and this causes problems to grow. If you or someone you know has suffered a relationship breakdown, it is very important to get them motivated again and keep them motivated.
Here is a good place to start.
Blessed is she (he) who has believed that what the Lord has said to her (him) will be accomplished!
Every relationship is built on people keeping their word. When they don’t keep their word or promises something breaks. So, we have to repair what is broken and we do that by peeling away all the lies, doubts, and broken promises until we have to look away from people and look at what God has said.
If God has said it, then it will happen, but we have to believe that what He says will happen. God’s part is to keep His word: our part is to believe He will keep His word.
We must restore our faith in Gods ability to mean what He says. And do what He says.
When Jesus called his disciples he said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” When Jesus first met his disciples they seemed to be moderately successful in life.
But they were going on a journey that would lead them through the valley of failure and rejection and fear. They had to leave their business and or employment. Their family life was interrupted. Their living arrangements became very insecure. They had to remember that Jesus said he would make them fishers of men – implying that they would ultimately be very successful.
On the day of Pentecost when Peter stood up and preached his sermon, he entered into a realm or zone of success that he could never have imagined. All because he believed that what Jesus had said would happen.
One of our pastor’s favourite true stories is about a man in North Queensland who went to the wrong funeral service. There weren’t many people there and everyone had to sign a visitor’s book. By the time he realized he was at the wrong funeral it was too late to move. He had to sit there until an opportunity came to leave politely.
A month later he received a letter in the mail with a cheque in it. The lady who had died had asked in her will for her estate to be divided up equally among the people who had turned out for her funeral. Everyone knew that this man didn’t deserve any money. But the lawyer who was in charge of her estate had to do exactly what she had requested. What she said would happen. What she said was fulfilled.
These days it is easy to get motivated. You listen to someone’s story about conquering under great stress and we are encouraged. You listen to a motivational speaker and you get excited. It is easier to get motivated than it is to stay motivated. A speech can get you motivated. A thought can keep you motivated. Here is a thought that should be sown into the deepest part of our heart.
What God says will happen. Believe it!
In the gospel of John chapter 6, we see Jesus feeding the people by a miracle. After the people had enough to eat, Jesus told the disciples to gather the pieces left over. “Let nothing be wasted,” said Jesus.
Sometimes we believe that things have been a waste of time; that we have wasted our opportunities. Our God is able to pick up the pieces and get us ready for another day, another opportunity.
Doors can open miraculously in front of us. Don’t believe it’s been a waste of time and effort. If Jesus cares about bits of food left on the ground how much more does he care about us? If he said let nothing be wasted in that situation, how much more does he say it in our situation.
“Let nothing be wasted.”
Believe that what God says will happen.
I have just had a melt-down; it’s all taking too long.
I have been doing this for two years and the results are disappointing. That’s what happens when you have high expectations. Does this happen to people doing a three year university course?
Do they hit the wall after two years? I am still not transformed and my circumstances are only slightly changed.
How can I encourage other people to spend time reading the Bible if the results are so small? When Cain brought his offering to God, he didn’t get the result he wanted. But when Abel brought his offering, he received God’s favour. So, Cain was very angry and his face downcast.
Most people say that Cain was relying on his own self-effort, while Abel was relying on an offering that involved shedding the blood of an animal. Even if you are meditating on the word day and night; you have to make sure you’re not trusting in your own efforts.
The whole basis of the new agreement is what Jesus did, not what we do.
When God rescued the Israelites out of Egypt, he told them to sacrifice a Passover lamb and put the blood over the doors of their houses.
He would see the blood and not permit the destroyer to enter their houses and strike them down.
When Satan told God, that Job was only obeying Him because there was a hedge of protection around Job, his family and his property, God allowed Satan to attack Job’s children and his possessions and finally his health.
Job had been relying on animal sacrifice because he was worried that his children had sinned and cursed God in their hearts. The great news is we don’t rely on animal blood for our deliverance and our protection.
We rely on the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Because we are bought back from sin and death by his blood we have become God’s possession. We are under the protection of the blood of God’s son. The enemy has no permission to enter our lives to kill, steal or destroy.
Satan has to pass over us. We overcome the devil by the blood of the lamb. This is all about what Jesus has done on the cross. It is not about how much time I have spent reading the Bible.
There is a huge shift of faith going on. If you trust in your own efforts you have to trust in them completely. If you trust in the blood of the new agreement you have to trust in it completely.
I am writing this on Sunday the 21st of April. I have been to the 7.30am communion service at the Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane city. I have not been to a church service in a cathedral since I was a young boy. The service was one hour, there were not many people.
I enjoyed being somewhere different.
They take communion with a big silver cup, not little plastic cups. It’s real wine not grape juice. The bread is broken from one large round wafer.
There is a pipe organ filling the building with sound.
There were no jokes, no laughing, everyone was sincere and serious.
I went to the Cathedral to go to a communion service because I had been following up on the theme of the blood of Christ. It was a different perspective and a very different atmosphere.
I enjoyed the service and might do it again.
I’m doing a lot better in May than I was in April. It’s not easy realizing that all your self- effort can amount to nothing. We want to get to heaven but heaven wants to manifest down here, in our daily lives. Hence the prayer, “Let it be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
When Jesus died on the cross the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Did you hear that? From top to bottom! Not the other way round. If you get it the wrong way round, you will drown in your own good deeds.
Heaven has come to us, God manifests in our lives. If there is now no longer any blockage between heaven and you, will not provision from heaven flow into your situation?
We receive the blessing of God because we are his sons and daughters. Everything we receive is by inheritance; because of who you are and whose you are. Not what you do, except to believe and not doubt. Believe you are God’s son or daughter; believe that everything that was separating you from the help of heaven has been removed because of the cross of Christ and the shedding of His blood.
If there is no barrier between you and God in heaven, then we can believe for help and provision to arrive in our lives and the lives of our families. Jesus said we would see heaven open and angels ascending and descending.
When the women visited the tomb, they found the stone was rolled away. Who did that? It was the angels. Heaven was already helping out.
Then the women had a conversation with the angels at the tomb. These women received assistance and instruction.
When the disciples realized that Jesus had been raised from the dead, they went out into all the world and preached the gospel. The Bible tells us that God worked with them and confirmed the Word. When God works with you everything you do succeeds.
That is the message I am getting from reading the New Testament.
All blockages between heaven and me have been removed. I don’t have to go to heaven to get what I need; heaven will come to me with provision and assistance. Is there distance between us and God? Is there sin slowing things down? Are our mistakes stopping things from working?
No, the cross and the blood of Jesus took care of all these problems. The help of heaven is here right now. Expect assistance, expect help, if heaven is helping; everything you do will start working.
Your health will start improving, your finances will succeed, and your relationships will prosper. The Lord will surround you with favour as with a shield.
When our family give each other birthday cards we sometimes put some money in the card. When the card is opened the money falls out and the person receiving the card gets very happy. At other times the card contains only words.
Words provide encouragement but actions are even more encouraging. The Bible tells us not to say “be warm and well fed” unless we are going to provide food and clothing.
About a year ago my daughter showed me how to send an email and include an attachment. This was very helpful because I run my own business. Before I knew how to do this I would have to put my invoices in a letter and post them to my customers. Now I can also send photos with my emails to family members.
Before this my emails were just words; now they often contain an attachment.
This makes me a man of action not just words. God tells us not to love in words only but also in deeds. Last week I was talking to a pastor and his wife about their ministry in northern India. They work among the poor and homeless.
The very next day the pastor was hit by a truck while he was riding on his motorbike. He had serious head and leg injuries. The hospital would not operate on him until a financial deposit was made.
Up to this time the pastor and his wife were always requesting prayer, now they needed an action. There comes a time in everyone’s life where words and prayer and even prophecy are not meeting the need of the person. Now it is time for words to have something attached to them.
If someone tells you that the Lord is going to meet your needs, let there be enough faith to see something happen in the now, not in the future.
When Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you,” He said the words, but they were not just words because there was an action contained in them. His blood was going to be poured out.
This was a real pouring out. Jesus was subjected to all sorts of actions that caused his blood to flow.
Finally, he was hung on a cross, and then one of the soldiers pierced Jesus side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.
Here is an important scripture.
1 Peter 1:18-19
You were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
This is a scripture with an attachment. Normally we might read this and think it is a wonderful thought.
But now we have to read it and have faith to expect it to come to pass in our circumstances. If we are set free from an empty way of life then our lives should immediately reflect that. Fullness should appear that is supernatural.
If God is sending you emails in the form of words of encouragement; will he not send an attachment with the encouragement [email]?
If Gods says he will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing so that you will not be able to contain it; we have to believe for that to happen as soon as God says it. Not three months later or three years later.
Now, today, immediately. When did Jesus tell people to come back tomorrow? He did not say, I will go to the cross next year or next week. After he said, “this is the new agreement in my blood,” he went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.
He entered into the process of bringing his words to pass. He backed up his words with actions. Jesus emptied himself out on the cross so that we might have his fullness in every area of our lives.
Fullness in our health, finances, relationships, and our purpose in life. “The fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”
This man expected a healing to be attached to the words of Jesus. He did not hope for some comforting words that contained good intentions. He wanted a healing and he knew the words of Jesus were not empty words. By Jesus shedding his blood on the cross; he set an example of words and action.
The centurion believed this and had faith for his email from Jesus to contain an attachment. In that attachment was his servants healing miracle.
We also can expect that we have been set free from a Christian life of empty words into a Christian experience of not just believing but also receiving.
That would make us people of great faith. God will be pleased!
Last September and October we spent a lot of time praying in the Holy Spirit. From then until January everything we did worked well. At the end of January our websites slowed down, the business phone stopped ringing and some ministry opportunities dried up.
Lorna and I realized that we had stopped praying and maybe we should start praying again and this time not stop.
We read a scripture in James 5:18 that we liked a lot.
Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
We started praying again in May and continued in June. By July we noticed everything began to work. The business phone began to ring, our websites came to life; and ministry doors opened.
The strange thing is; that all through this period I was reading the Bible consistently, day after day, week after week. Why didn’t my Bible reading do the job? Is prayer really that important? Does it provide a stairway to Heaven?
Do angels get released to ascend and descend from the throne of God? Here are a couple of scriptures that seem to indicate how prayer works.
He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Your prayers have come up before God.”
The angel said, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. On the first day your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.”
The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.
What interesting scriptures. Are our prayers really that powerful?
When a skilful ice-skater starts to spin on the ice they spread their arms out wide. They look great; spinning and turning. Then they bring their arms in close to their body and they increase their speed and turn even faster.
Sometimes we need to focus our attention and concentrate our energy to cut through. The Bible tells us a story about four men who carried their sick friend to a healing meeting where Jesus was ministering. They had to dig through the roof and lower him into the meeting.
This concentration of effort got the attention of Jesus, who then healed this man so he could walk again. When everyone saw their faith, he received his miracle of healing.
Lorna and I live on a small property just outside of Brisbane. We have a lot of trees that drop their branches during our storm season. One particular year I gathered all these branches so they could be burnt. But it rained a lot, so the wood was very wet. I put petrol over a large area of the wood pile.
When I lit the match and threw it in; the petrol exploded but the branches would not burn. I had to get some car oil and build a little fire at one end of the pile. Then I had to get that small area of fire hot enough to be able to burn wet wood. Eventually the fire took hold.
Even though it started to rain the whole pile burnt to the ground. I had wet wood and rain to contend with and still succeeded.
Lorna and I have learnt this lesson. When you are surrounded by unbelief and doubt you have to concentrate all your efforts on a smaller target so you can get a brighter flame. It is nearly 3 years since we dedicated our energy into reading the Bible.
It was so slow at the beginning and the results were disappointing. We kept motivating ourselves by remembering what happened when we did a similar thing earlier in our Christian walk. At that time, we spoke our favourite scriptures out loud for a long period of time.
I said to Lorna that the results were a bit slow but I had been reading an interesting scripture in my daily devotions.
1 Corinthians 9:11
If we have sown spiritual seed, is it too much if we reap a material harvest?
The very next day we received a large cheque in the mail from our family lawyer that was totally unexpected. This cheque enabled us to get out of a rental property and into our own home.
Years before we did own our own home, but we sold it to go and help plant a church. We had rented ever since. The day that the cheque came in was the beginning of a season of financial blessing.
Now we read the Bible with faith in our hearts. Often your mind will say, “I did not get anything out of the word today.”
Do not listen to your mind; your spirit is getting fed whether your mind thinks so or not. You may go to a restaurant and eat a steak but not enjoy the meal because the steak was cold or tough. Your mind may complain all the way home.
Guess what? While your mind is being negative your stomach is happily digesting that steak so you will have enough physical strength to enjoy your work the next day.
When you read the Bible, it is spiritual meat for your spirit. Your spirit is happily digesting the word for spiritual strength to enable you to be strong in faith at your workplace.
This week the beginning of a financial harvest started again, with unexpected money coming in from unusual sources. It all seems too good to be true! Do we really reap a material harvest if we sow spiritual seed?
Please let me know what you think? Do you also have a testimony of Gods financial restoration?
My goal and vision for the last three years was to learn how to turn my believing switch on and keep it on.
It sounds easy to do and it is easy to do if everything around you is going well.
But it is near impossible to do when you are going through a storm. Here are the lessons I have learned.
Believe that reading the Bible creates faith.
Believe that reading and speaking the Bible releases that faith.
I have taken three years to work through all my doubts.
Now I know this is the truth.
When you believe something with all your heart, you enter a place of rest.
Then you are rich in faith.
A Year Later
I did complete my 3 years of Bible reading. I am writing these words about a year after finishing my experiment.
Yes, I am a changed man. My family will vouch for that. When I started my experiment, I was 55 years old and now I am 59.
I noticed that many Christians around my age were slowly going backwards in their faith, just like I was.
I needed to take action!
One of the interesting results was an increase in creativity. I had never written a book before. Now I have written 7 books.
I miss the vision and anticipation that my experiment brought into my life. It was hard to keep going at times, but I could feel the grace of God helping me. I miss that grace.
At the moment I am thinking of doing another three years. I have not told my family yet. I do not want to stop changing for the better.
For some people who have the time and the motivation I would recommend you consider trying something similar.
For others, I am sure that God has the right idea.
Why don’t you ask him?
Thanks for reading.
Our New Routine.
Lorna and I have a different routine now for building up our faith.
We read the following books out loud on a daily basis.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story.
If you would like to share with us; please go to our website and leave a message. God Bless from Tony and Lorna
If you have time to write a review, that would be great!