I'll be the first to admit that Friday's article was hardly light reading. But some of you may be in a very real fight for your life, or for the life of someone you love. And you need to know that God is big enough and powerful enough to make any… any… any problem disintegrate under the weight of His promises.
Whenever you say “Yes!” to what God has said “Yes!” then the world around you materially changes: Brain chemistry changes under the power of forgiveness and peace. Disease, pain, inflammation, infection, and other disorders disappear under the power of healing. Broken relationships are made whole under the power of love and forgiveness. Creativity is unleashed under the power of the mind of Christ.
But there is a very fine line between a “Yes” that works and “Yes” that doesn't. So if you've tried saying “Yes” to a promise of God and failed, please don't throw out the promise; throw out your approach instead, and try something different.
If you've said “Yes” to a hundred promises of God and had a hundred successes, then it's not going to be hard for you to say an uncompromising “Yes!” to the next promise you need to manifest in your life. But if you've said “Yes” to a hundred promises of God and most of them never materialized, then it's going to be pretty tough to say “Yes!” to the next promise with any conviction. Are you with me so far?
Since most of us have a background of unfulfilled promises, how do we move forward? How do we keep out of that crazy cycle of confusion where we say: “It must not be God's will… I must not have enough faith… it must not be God's will… I must not have enough faith.” Sound familiar…? How do we stand on a promise of God and expect it to hold up when we've crashed to the ground so many times before?
Who did Jesus make whole when He walked this earth? He certainly didn't fix everybody that needed to be fixed. No…. He didn't fix anybody that didn't come to Him (or didn't come to Him on behalf of someone else). He didn't fix those who thought they were fine. He only fixed those who came to Him to be fixed. He associated with those who had a need. He healed those who had the will to respond to His offer of help. (See Matthew 9:11‐13.)
But without faith [it is] impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)
I am convinced we are deceived when we think God responds to our need. If that were the case, why would the world be so full of unmet needs? No… God does not respond to our need. He responds to our faith.
Let me paraphrase Hebrews 11:6 to explain what I'm saying:
Without a faith that is willing to take a risk (willing to walk a tight rope without a net, so‐to‐speak), it is impossible to please God in a way that lets Him know He is completely trusted—above anyone or anything else. For anyone who draws near to God to seek His grace and His favor must believe that He is (that He exists and is fully willing and capable of delivering on any promise He makes). And that He is ready and waiting to pour out His blessings on those who want Him (not just His stuff) more than anything or anyone else.
Does this make sense? If you desperately need a promise of God to come to pass in your life, then seek Him—go after God with everything you've got.
Don't get hung up on having the right “feelings” that you think should accompany faith. Just do what faith says to do. Any other kind of faith is dead anyway. (See James 2:20–26.)
Ask yourself the question: “What would I do in this situation if I had great faith?” And then do it. The “doing” has the power to release the promise. To take a risk in trusting God is the way to say “Yes” to what God has said “Yes.”
Assuming you are with me so far, let's get back to our illustration from Friday. (As I reminder, I am standing on the promise of peace as a remedy to depression.)
Once I am fully convinced that God's peace is there for the taking, I then have to figure out how to take it (receive it):
- First, I must change the way I pray. I must stop acting like a pitiful beggar—hoping God might throw me some crumbs. Instead, I must talk with Him about everything—every detail of my life—because He is completely interested in me. But I must talk with Him from a position of being thankful, rather than from a position of being pitiful. I must stop telling Him about how big my problems are, and I must begin to tell the problems just how big my God is. (See Philippians 4:4–8.)
- Secondly, I must shift my focus from where I am to where I am going. So, I refuse to identify myself with depression. I stop using the word “my” with depression, as if it is somehow an integral part of who I am. I choose to think of myself as a healthy person who has depression attached, rather than to think of myself as a depressed person who needs to get healthy. Simply stated, I am seeing myself as the person Jesus has made whole rather than the person who is broken.
- I then ask myself the question: “What would I do if I were free from mental distress?” And I make my decisions from that position, rather than the position of a depressed person.
- I stop living in fear of making mistakes. In this case, I stop living in fear of being depressed. Because my focus is so totally on who I am without mental distress, I don't freak out when I have something come against me. Rather, I say to any mental distress: “What are you going to do? You can't cook me and eat me. So good bye.” Because I am so totally focused on being whole, I just take any relapses in stride (when and if they happen).
This outline has been very general, meant to give you only a starting point. The important thing to remember is that God has done His part and is waiting for you to do yours. And your part is to say “Yes!” to whatever promise you need—by acting on it as if it will actually happen!
As I mentioned earlier, there is a very fine line between a “Yes” that works and “Yes” that doesn't. At one point in my life, based on the results I was having, my “Yes” must have meant nothing—nothing at all. But I'm learning to make my "Yes" mean something, and so can you.
The shift for me occurred when I realized God had already done His part. And if I wasn't getting results from something He had already done, then it was me who was the variable—not Him.
That understanding will transform your life. You can then say “Yes!” to whatever God says “Yes!” and know that He has already completed His part of the promise—a promise ready and waiting just for you.
When you know that you know that you know that His promises are yours for the taking, you will never quit pushing through whatever resistance comes between you and Him.
Have a good day,