Tag: believing

Can I trust God and worry at the same time?

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How can a person know if they’re trusting God or they’re relying upon wishful thinking? 

Is it possible to trust God and worry at the same time?

Am I hoping and praying, or am I believing?

I’ve had people tell me, “Just trust God.” I would love to; all the time. And while I know I trust Him completely in some areas of my life, I have to be honest and say I struggle believing Him in others.

Is that a sin?

There are some who will say, “Yes, it’s a sin.” Then they’ll quote the verse, “…For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23 ESV)

Excuse me, but that isn’t the whole verse, or its context. If I could pick and choose parts of verses, I could argue that “Faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23)

But I won’t.

Faith isn’t a switch we flip on and off. Faith IS “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith knows, it doesn’t ask questions, it never doubts. 

Faith pleases God.

But there’s something else which pleases God.

Believing His word. Acting on His word.

“But I thought faith and believing were the same thing?” Not necessarily.

The man said to Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief.” It seems like the man was struggling a bit, but was still pointed the right direction.

Notice this passage regarding the father of faith, faithful Abraham:

“And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. And he said to him, ‘I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.’ But he said, ‘O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?'” (Genesis 15:6 – 15:8 ESV)
Several times in the New Testament you’ll find the words, “And he believed the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness.”

He believed, but notice, while he believed he still asked the question, “…how am I to know…?”.

Faith would have said, “Terrific! It’s as good as done. I’ve got all the substance and evidence I need. I have God’s Word.”

The difference? Faith is something you have. Believing is something you do.

That’s why we struggle at times with believing.

Here’s another verse people like to quote, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5 – 1:8 ESV)

There isn’t one of us who hasn’t struggled with this passage at some point in our life.

But what’s James really saying?

Do you lack wisdom? Are you uncertain what move to make, or step to take? Ask God, in faith, without doubting.

Doubting what? Don’t doubt God will give you wisdom, because He will.

The struggle (I seem to be using that word a lot) lies in recognizing God’s answer. Sometimes it isn’t too clear and we start thinking we are double-minded because we just aren’t understanding our next step.

There have been times when I asked for wisdom, knowing God would give it. But I somehow allowed myself to be confused with the fine print. I know He gave it, I just wasn’t seeing it.

It is possible to believe and worry at the same time.

Back to father Abraham. Do you honestly think he wasn’t the least bit concerned as he raised the knife to slay his only son? He believed, but he didn’t leave his emotions or fears at the bottom of the mountain.

But in spite of them, because he believed, he obeyed.

I’m saying all of this for one primary reason: faith and believing pose huge problems for our adversary, the devil (1 Peter 5:8-9). And if he can make us think we’re a failure because we doubt and struggle (there it is again) in believing without worrying, many times he can get us to give up, throw in the towel, walk away from the Word, and say, “I’m such a loser; I’ll never please God.”

The devil is a liar!

Even if you don’t have the substance and evidence of faith, and there’s a bit of worry and doubt hanging around, don’t give in to the devil’s lies. If you’ve started believing, don’t stop.

Keep on believing! Keep doing what you know to do, what His Word said you can and should do, and let the feelings come and go.

You can believe and cry at the same time. John 11:35

You can believe and feel as though your heart has been ripped out of your chest. Mark 5:35,36

It is possible to trust and worry at the same time. 

But when you recognize the presence of worry, do what the scripture says in Philippians 4:6-7.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6 – 4:7 NLT)

Believe.

Worship: The Freedom Connection


Break Every Chain
words/music by Will Reagan
unitedpursuitband

Worship is probably the most effective way to connect with the Lord God. The act of worship gives voice to your faith, a guard for your heart, and an opportunity for God Almighty to speak to your heart and touch your soul and body. It is a special time that allows Him the freedom to have His way in our life.

The Freedom Connection!

There’s a story in the Bible about a madman, a demon-possessed man, who could not be chained, shackled, suppressed, controlled, or tamed by anyone. My how they tried! They might get the shackles on for a moment, but before long, SNAP! The chains would fly off, and the man would be on the prowl again.

IF, I repeat, IF, you wanted to find him (though I’m not sure why you would want to), he usually hung out at the local cemetery. No chains, no clothes, no hassles. Unless, of course, someone came along to pester him.

While it’s true no one could shackle him, it is just as true he was not a free man. He was bound by a much stronger force than anything man could create or concoct. He was bound by evil spirits whose sole desire was to steal, kill, and destroy.

He was bound, shackled and tortured by demonic chains! 

Though he lived “free” among the tombs, and though no one could control him or even communicate with him, he was not a free man.

How did all this happen? When did this change “come over” the man? What was he like before he became bound by the devil? Scripture doesn’t give the answer for those specific questions. The best we can do is surmise a guess based on principles revealed in the Word.

For instance, Proverbs reveals, “Pride goes before destruction…” (16:18). We know that was one of the issues the prince of darkness, The Rebellion’s Leader, had problems with. Pride opens the “door” for thoughts, actions, and even manifestations of the evil one.

Isaiah 14 reveals another aspect of Lucifer’s problem. It wasn’t just pride, but a discontented heart. He wasn’t content with the ministry the Most High gave him. No, he wanted elevated to THE Highest place. He felt he could do better than the One Who created him. Discontented and Anointed with Power, Authority, Beauty, and a following of others spelled trouble, division, and ultimately a change in Heavenly leadership. A new worship leader had to be found.

This could be the reason the madman was like he was. It’s possible. He could have been an associate rabbi at a local synagogue. He could have felt his messages were far better than those of the senior rabbi. The more he thought about it, the more others reinforced those ideas with words like, “brother, you really are a great teacher/preacher. You ought to have your own church. We get much more out of your messages than our rabbi,” then the more he was convinced. Things like that can turn many a head. And, turn the head far enough, it just might fall off.

Something else might have happened. Someone could have really upset him. Maybe made him the laughingstock of all their jokes. Maybe they lied about him and ruined his reputation. Maybe…maybe he felt like others were putting him down, ridiculing him and not appreciating him enough.

How do you handle the words of others, aimed as arrows at your heart, words you know are untrue? Do the actions of others draw you into feelings of retaliation, or extreme depression?

What did Jesus do when people attacked Him like that? He did just what James said to do. “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (4:7)

There are other things that might have been the reason the man was being controlled by demons. Maybe raised in a home that worshiped everything EXCEPT the One True God. I’m not saying his parents were evil personified, but just “living for the almighty dollar”, or “living and working for the weekend, for recreation, for football, for a party, etc” is a form of worship many in this day and age ascribe to. Worshiping anything or anyone other than God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ will only leave a void in one’s life. That void CAN be filled with habits or spirits that bind a person with unbreakable bonds.

But this blog isn’t just about how chains can be applied, or how a man can lose control of his life. This is about FREEDOM. It’s about Jesus, and His ability, desire, anointing to break EVERY chain!

The Kingdom of God isn’t just about words. It’s about Heaven’s Authority AND Power changing things on earth. Jesus said, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.” And He meant it.

When the “madman” first laid eyes on Jesus, he ran to worship Him. “When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him.” Mark 5:6 

The demons controlling him fought to keep him bound. But it was too late! Worship had drawn the two together.

The madman was changed by the Kingdom of God. The woman at the well was changed by the same power. The Widow of Nain’s son was raised from the dead by the Word of Heaven!

And, regardless of the reasons for your chains, you can be free as well.

Will you worship, will you bow down before your Lord and King?

Will you be free today?

Free! Jesus breaks every chain. There’s IS power in the Name of Jesus!

Spiritual Worship

20131203-233040.jpgI think the song went something like, “I’m eighteen and I like it!” That was me. That was my “worship song”, though I didn’t call it that at the time. Married and 18, with visions of becoming a rock and roll star dancing in my head. Christian? Nah, didn’t have the slightest interest in God, Jesus, Church, or anything associated with that sort of stuff. Little did I realize…

“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”(Romans 11:29 NKJV)

I didn’t believe in God but He believed in me. I wasn’t seeking Him, but He was in hot pursuit of me. He didn’t fit in my plans, yet somehow I fit into His. Simply amazing.

Anyone who has ever graced this planet has somehow fit into God’s plan. He has given everyone gifts and callings. Abilities that make the Kingdom of God shine even brighter, when used for the Glory and purposes of God.

Think about your life. Did you know that God has given you gifts and callings? He has something just for you. No one else can take your place. Whether you believe in Him or not, He believes in you.

He believes in YOU! He knows YOU inside and out!

The gifts and callings HE’S graced you with, will be those things you’ll use to worship Him.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1 ESV)

“You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things,
and they exist because you created what you pleased.” (Revelation 4:11 NLT)

I was about 21 when He finally broke through my walls of resistance. The gifts and callings? They became less important to ME, but the Lord started His training program with me and began to reveal in me how my gifts were meant to serve the calling He gave me. All I have, in fact, all I am, is to be yielded to Him in true, spiritual worship.

You see, He plans to use my gifts and calling for all eternity, not just until I’m dead and gone.

Imagine what He’s placed in you. What could He do with someone like you submitted to someone like Him? Try and envision what that level of worship would be like.

Only eternity has the answer.

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