BUT = Believing Unfounded "Truths". What you believe is your truth, but that doesn't mean it's THE truth that lines up with God. Have you ever stopped to look at what you truly believe in your heart and determined if it agrees with God? Sometimes we find ourselves having faith in something that appears "right" or "good" but it isn't founded on God's principles. For example, after going to the chiropractor I stopped at the store. After wandering around with my purse on my shoulder, I started to get another headache. I then started to inwardly condemn myself because "I knew better." I should have gone home after the doctor and let the adjustment settle. In essence, I was disqualifying myself from receiving the healing that God provided through my chiropractor because I had DONE something wrong. RED FLAG! If my doing or not doing something affects whether I can receive my healing, then I'm expecting healing based on my performance. That's the old covenant. Healing was provided under the new covenant. We receive it by believing what Grace (Jesus) provided. I can't receive a benefit that is only found in the new covenant by following the principles of the old covenant. These are the little "BUT" beliefs that are deep seated in our hearts that can block us from receiving all that God has for us. I encourage you to see if you have any "BUT" beliefs that are standing in your way!
After suffering many months of extreme pain with no clear diagnosis, the root cause was finally determined. Cancer. My Mom had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. While in some regards it literally took my breath away, I also recall a very tunnel vision focus. All those years of listening to teachings began to rise up in me. I knew what we needed to do. We need to keep our eyes on what the Word says. The doctor's report doesn't have to be the final report.
This occurred in April/May of 2010. At that time, she had a cancerous mass in her abdomen which appeared to have spread to her liver and spine. She also had blood clots in her leg and lungs. I believe we were given 11 to 13 prescriptions to fill when she left the hospital and she began taking morphine about every 8 hours to make the pain bearable. It was so overwhelming that we had to create a spreadsheet to keep track of the dosages and times.
As the hospital doctors sent us on our way leaving very little hope, this was a pivotal moment in the battle. Are we going to let the fear and grief triggered by the diagnosis dictate the outcome or will we believe God’s Word which says He has provided healing and long life?
We went to U of M thinking they would be the experts, but found they could do nothing special. Instead through a series of divine connections, God led us to a wonderful oncologist near my parents’ house with a small, friendly practice. There my Mom was a name and not a number as may have happened at U of M. When my Mom asked “how long do I have to live” during our first meeting, the doctor said something like “Let’s not worry about that right now. I have several things we can try to get you some immediate relief and let’s focus on that.” Although she didn’t say it, it seemed that she felt this was so severe that they could only try to slow down the progression and ease the immediate discomfort. I don’t think she held much hope for actually getting rid of the cancer.
During that first year, my Mom underwent radiation on her spine and six months of chemo. When she had a serious reaction to the chemo meds, the doctor wanted to switch her to a drug that had not been FDA approved for this type of diagnosis. If the insurance company did not agree to cover it, the estimated cost of one treatment was around $8000. As the days passed God’s favor prevailed and the cost of treatment for this special drug gradually declined to only a few hundred dollars in the end. In addition, the insurance company agreed to approve the medicine so the entire cost was paid in full.
The last chemo treatment was in November 2010 and a follow up PET scan was scheduled for December. The results were good, but when asked if this meant remission the doctor said there was still a ways to go.
The PET scan results from April 2011 show that the bone cancer and pelvic mass are completely gone and there is only one, almost undetectable, spot on her liver that remains. When asked about remission this time, the doctor said it is really close. Even more exciting about the change between December and April is that my mom was not going through chemo treatments. This means that the reduction in cancer cells can only be attributed to God!
Although this journey has been more difficult than we could have ever imagined, it was so exciting to see God at work along the way. We have a fresh understanding of what our role is in the process. We are to draw near to God. We are to read and speak the Word to ensure a heart that is fully grounded in His promises. We then rest in the fact that it is through God’s grace and what Jesus did on the cross that brings forth the results. The Bible says He will never leave us or forsake us and that He is faithful to His Word.
In just under a year she went from stage 4 cancer with a diagnosis of 6 months to 2 years to live to almost in remission. Recently, my Mom asked the doctor if any other patients on the same anti-cancer meds were encountering similar side effects. The doctor said she doesn’t have any other patients that have been on the medicine that long. We take that to mean she has never had anyone on those meds survive this long. God’s grace is still carrying her through! It’s now been almost 8 years and she is still praising God with us!
Recently, I asked God for direction on something and the phrase “the one thing” from the Martha and Mary story came to mind. As I asked God what He was trying to show me, I began to wonder if “the one thing” is choosing a lifestyle where we position ourselves to receive from Him.
Today, I was listening to a teaching by Creflo Dollar and he brought up that same story. Through Matthew 20:28 we learn that Jesus did not come to be ministered to, but to minister to us. Jesus came to serve, not to be served. We must first sit, rest and RECEIVE from Jesus before we can give to others. When we draw from Him, we become better givers. In fact, Jesus enjoys it when we draw from Him.
It’s always exciting to get confirmation on something that you feel God has been showing you. I wanted to share this with you in case it can be a blessing. I’ve included the links below to the full teaching and study notes which include several supporting verses. I’ll also be placing the "mini" study I did on this story in the Bible study section.
I’ve always loved Hebrews 6:17-20, particularly in the Amplified, where it says “This hope [confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]…” When there is a storm above the water, the anchor goes deep below the water where it is still. The anchor holds the boat in place even though it might get tossed around a bit. But, why is the Bible so specific in saying our hope in God is the anchor for our soul? I was excited to see what God showed me about this today.
First, when we were saved, our spirits were immediately brought back into perfect relationship with God. However, our soul (mind, will and emotions) goes through a process of transforming to God’s way of thinking and acting. When we go through a storm in life, it is easy for us to fall back into our old mindsets and be moved emotionally by what we see. We need an anchor to keep our soul (mind, will and emotions) grounded in the correct way of thinking and acting in those circumstances. That anchor pulls us back to the Word, our sure foundation (2 Timothy 2:19), when the storm tries to pull us away.
Second, we learn in James 1 and Hebrews 10 that it is critical to be consistent in our hope (faith) and it is that consistency that positions us to receive what grace provided. When we are anchored in something, we are locked in and immovable. Anchoring our soul in the same place…the right place, which is God’s Word is where we will find the victory.
For many years we’ve been taught that patience is a result, or the fruit, of being tried. It’s been taught as something that we should strive for in our quest to “become” holy. This never sat well in my spirit but I didn’t know why. I recently heard a teaching that finally addressed that check that I was feeling.
First, the idea of “becoming” holy ("noun") is rooted in the Law where it is something that we attain through our own efforts (behavior). “Becoming” implies something that occurs over the course of time. However, the Bible tells us that we were immediately sanctified or, in other words, “made” holy. We are holy. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. This isn’t something we become over time. It’s who we are right now. It was in knowing this that caused those teachings about striving to become holy that did not sit well.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s take a fresh look at James 1:3. The KJV says “…the trying of your faith WORKETH patience.” Did you catch that? We employ, use, put to work patience during a trial. Patience is not the goal, end result or outcome of the trial…it is what we use during the trial.
Patience is being consistent, unwavering, and steadfast…regardless of what comes our way. Patience is also a behavior which is led by our soul (mind, will and emotions). Although our spirit (our "who") was immediately made right before God when we were born again, our soul is transformed through a process of renewing our mind to God's way of thinking and acting. The more we immerse ourselves in the Word, the more our soul is transformed which then means our behavior will also change. In this case, our behavior is that we will choose to employ patience. The Word gives us the substance or confidence to be patient. And, when we patiently hold on to and use our faith during a trial, it is that consistency and unwavering confidence that will bring the reward (Hebrews 10:35). What is that reward? The reward is all of the promises of God that we find in the Bible. It is everything that God already provided for us because of His grace.
Now look at James 1:4 “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” How can patience make us perfect, entire, and wanting nothing? When we employ or use patience to stay confident, unwavering and steadfast, it is that consistent faith that allows us to receive the promises. And receiving the promises is God’s perfect will for us. Faith is how we receive what grace provides. The purpose of patience is to help us obtain those promises.
One last point…If patience during a trial was the goal (as religion has taught us), how would that work with James 1:4? Patience would then be something we do to achieve that state of being perfect, entire and wanting nothing. But, that doesn’t line up with other parts of God’s Word that tells us that if we achieve it by our own works it wouldn’t be grace. Therefore, we wouldn’t be able to receive the blessings that grace provided. Do you see why that doesn't make sense? It's not my opinion. This is using the Bible to verify and confirm the Bible. It's so important that we verify that what is being taught lines up with the rest of the Bible and make sure that verses are not being taken out of context. Well meaning teachers have misinformed us and we've blindly followed their lead. We need to stay active participants and thoughtfully approach the Word.
Faith stems from, or grows based on, revelation knowledge which is the “I know that I know down deep in my heart” that a certain promise in God’s Word is for me. While it is important to receive communicated knowledge (information obtained from other sources such as a Bible teacher or a Christian book), it’s also important to recognize that communicated knowledge on its own is not faith.
We receive God’s promises because of grace by our faith. If we act based on communicated knowledge that has not become revelation to our own spirit, we are stepping out without having faith as a foundation. Faith is the connector between us and grace. Many times people will take a “step of faith” based on someone else’s revelation knowledge and then don’t see the promise come to pass. Instead of realizing faith was the missing element, they conclude that the “faith stuff doesn’t work.”
For example, I’ve heard a few different people say that they threw away their glasses once they heard about making confessions or heard about God’s plan for healing. It's possible that this action was not based on personal revelation knowledge, but rather communicated knowledge, and as a result they didn’t see any change in their vision. I also even wonder if some were trying to earn the blessing, without even realizing it, by taking that action. In that case, their faith would be in their efforts and not in grace which is where the answer lies.
I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the areas where you are standing in faith. Are you standing based on revelation or communicated knowledge? Communicated knowledge is still important and a major way that we learn about God's promises. However, the real power comes when that communicated knowledge becomes revelation to us and it's at that point that our faith is positioned to receive what grace has provided.
Wave after wave of grace washing over us. What a great visual! What a great post by Joseph Prince!
I just came across a poem I found many years ago in Joyce Meyer's book "If Not for the Grace of God." So many good points to soak in. I believe this is God's heart for us.
Only I can move mountains,
only I can push it away,
only I can conquer the problems,
that you face.
Your only job is to believe,
to listen to My voice,
and when you hear what I command,
obedience is your choice.
But I will not make it too difficult,
for the victory is already Mine,
and I will fill you with My Spirit,
and through you My grace will shine.
Not when you are perfect,
like you think you need to be,
but when your heart is willing,
to become more and more like Me.
"Grace is letting Me do what I want to do in this earth through you."
How many times do we try to make it our job to be perfect and conquer the problems with our own strength, wisdom and energy? Unfortunately, God can't go to work in our lives until we let go and rest in Him. Our job is to just believe. While that may seem simple, it can be the greatest battle sometimes. Our "battle" is to fight to keep God's Word first place in our heart and mind. Our battle is to fight off the negative, fearful thoughts from the enemy. Our battle is to speak what God has promised and not to talk about the issues we see. I don't know about you, but this is such a great reminder for me.
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