God said by way of the apostle Paul:
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
- Hebrews 11:1
A more accurate rendering of this verse according to the Biblical usage of the words would say that "Believing is the substance of things prayed for, the evidence they are yours before you see them." Some people say that believing is action; that it's all in the perspiration and preparation that achieving your goal is found. How is it then that there have been so many examples of people who had everything going for them and failed miserably, anyway? You can amass great resources and have all the knowledge and planning in place, but if it's someone else's dream, not yours, it won't happen. This is where attitude determines altitude, where vision becomes victory. You could also say there are those that have had great ideas and never done anything with them. That's because thought alone, never nurtured and incubated daily as well as acted upon, never becomes reality, either.
Successful people in spiritual matters share a common element with those successful in worldly endeavors: They have the vision, get the training and resources needed and take action to bring their vision to pass; they walk down the street like they own the side they're walking on and are gonna buy the other, because they got their perception up to the level of God's reality; they ate, drank and slept their goal until it was accomplished.
(Read Mark 9:17-23).
Did that father want deliverance for his son? Sure! He wouldn't have been pursuing the disciples and their Master had he not heard and perhaps even seen what was available by others who had been healed. What held him back was the common failing of most people leading empty, aimless lives today - his perception of God was still the puny, anemic religious variety. This view had been reinforced by centuries before him with no real man from God with the Word of God, and the religious bureaucracy that had arisen in Israel in its stead. This system did not teach or represent a God of burning pillars of fire in the wilderness and manna from heaven, but the same false gods of spiritualism taught in stained-glass (whore?)houses of idol-worship on street corners across our country, if in a different form. Essenes taught pure emotionalistic spiritualism. Pharisees blasted the people with legalistic self-righteousness and fear. Sadducees taught almost the exact same sense-knowledge fatalism and dispensationalism dead-fish, liturgical Baptistry is renouned for today, less the weak, whimsical God and "can't do nuthin'" Jesus. Disciples of these schools of non-thought might expect deliverance or wholeness from God, but only if He was in the right mood, or all your ducks were in a row, or you held your face right/jumped through all the hoops. If you didn't get it, they were taught to believe - not dissimilar from the "gospel" to the masses today - that somehow, spiritually speaking, your nose just wasn't brown enough.
What a load of crap!!!
Philippians 4:19 says "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
According to HIS riches, not ours!*Sigh*
That takes a lot of weight off right there. Ever go on a vacation? Usually, long before you ever set foot on the plane, you're eagerly anticipating the sights and sounds of your destination, especially if it's one you know well and can't get enough of. Long before you pack your suitcases you're thinking of what you will wear to this club or that beach, what hotel at which you'll lodge, the ocean scene from your balcony or terrace. During lunch at work, you might even contemplate and plan what you're going to eat. You do this because your attitude is "Already there!" You've rehearsed in your mind with joyful expectation the fulfillment your detailed planning and action will bring.
"And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God (literally Believe God, dare to take Him at His Word).
For verily I say unto you that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
- Mark 11:22-24
It's an extension of the very same process whereby you get born again of God's Spirit (Romans 10:9,10). You lift to God the things you can't control, believe to handle the things you can, and as some have aptly put it, "success is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." It's not easy, hence the warning against doubt - that is, letting anything obscure your vision and efforts toward the objective. The warning is there because such challenges are going to be there.
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it."
- 1 Corinthians 10:13
Ever notice how there are no books written on how to be a loser or a failure? That's because it's easy! Just give in and surrender to the pushing and shoving. Go with the flow, and you'll flow right down the drain. People that live this Way are not people without issues or problems, they just learn to deal with them, and they see the blessings come down as the prayers go up. That's keeping your perception of God's reality; your mind is operating the way it's supposed to, and in contrast to how the minds of most of the world fail to work. Go back to that passage in Mark I asked you to read, earlier. God loved this father and lifted him from shades of night to planes of light and victory through the Word.
"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."
- Mark 9:23&24
What do you suppose Jesus Christ did? Judging by the evidence, that the child was healed and the devil spirit cast out, He spoke the Word to a heart that was meek to receive it. The Word helps us grow in our ability to believe, by its examples (Romans 15:4) as well as instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16 & 17). In our day and time, we don't have to wait for a prophet to come and speak, seek after signs from above, nor enslave ourselves to prescribed ritual and group-think from some man-made "one true church": We have God's Word in complete written form, and God's Spirit in us by the new birth. Find the Word that covers your point of need and make it your own. The same Scripture that declares Jesus Christ took the punishment for our sins declares "by his stripes we were healed" (1 Peter 2:24). If we don't have one we don't have the other, so when the adversary sends one of his ministers (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) of denominational religious unbelief your way to tell you your sickness is "divine discipline" or "a judgement from God" or some other lie from hell, tell him to go there and take it back with him.
Somehow people have gotten this idea that God's only-begotten son was some kind of mealy-mouthed hippie milk-toast, who just went around patting everyone on the back. These folks have clearly never read places like Matthew 24 perhaps, or John 2:13-17, where he "patted" them a bit lower and a good deal harder! There are times when those who love God and His Word more than the things of this world have to take a stand. Usually, against religious snake-oil peddlers.
Man's greatest spiritual problem to this day is his chronic failure to take God at His Word, and it has led to all the others, because the Word is uncommon sense, and reason for living!
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