There is a difference in knowing God has SOMETHING in store for you and WHAT He has in store for you.
There is a difference in DREAMING of things happening for you and BELIEVING in things happening for you (promises of God).
The difference is FAITH.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Faith at the Dawn of History
4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 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.
7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
The Heavenly Hope
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
The Faith of the Patriarchs
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.
The Faith of Moses
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.
24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.
By Faith They Overcame
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.
Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
Sometimes we get so comfortable with the way things are we start to become oblivious to the things that matter most. We don’t think there will be change or think that there is something much greater and better than what is before us. We just continue our lives everyday the same, day in and day out, STUCK in the same place with no care to move.
Earlier I began picking up reading where I left in “Life in Righteousness: The Word is Your Life” by Billy Miller. In Mr. Miller’s book, he mentions that “we use our experiences to determine God’s word”, but we can’t believe on our experiences alone to make the word true. We have to live it and believe it to be true. He also mentioned that “if we are not taught the Word, then it’s impossible to be in faith;” “If we never hear the Word on healing, then we won’t have faith for healing.” “We tend to hear the Word on salvation, communion, baptism, and the blood and rarely on anything else.” So we end up putting more faith in these areas and lack faith in other areas of life. Mr. Miller made a really good point about our experiences and our faith. We can’t put more faith in our experiences than in the Word of God or use only our experiences to justify the word of God as true. The word has and always will be true.
Revelation: For the past year of me living in North Louisiana, I have noticed that my physical condition (refer back to the hello world blog) has become a big concern within my life once again. When I was very young I never knew that I was “different” from everyone else until I was about 6 years old. Ever since then and throughout adolescence for me I had struggled with accepting myself for how I am. Once I finally accepted myself, which was probably in high school, I just overlooked my “difference” and looked at myself being no different than anyone else on this earth. Now to current date and after years of no BIG concerns aboutmy condition, I have found many people are showing concern about my wellbeing, hoping and praying that I will be healed. I have found that people are more concerned about me becoming healed than I am. It’s not that I don’t want to be healed or that I’m not concerned about my condition, it’s just that I’ve been this way all my life. I’ve learned to accept myself as I am and I believe God will heal me when He sees fit. (See where this is going?) I’ve become too comfortable being the way I am, more like oblivious. I never recognize that I’m different until I look in a mirror or see myself in pictures. I’ve become stuck in how I am physically. Referring back to what Mr. Miller mentioned about our experiences and our belief in the word, I need to do more than just believe that God will heal me and not just believe that He will heal me when I pass away, but that He will heal me while I’m still walking around on this earth. I need to hear more about the word of healing, understand it, and live it out. First of all and most importantly is I need to stop being oblivious and move from this spot!
(Matthew 17:20) 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
Having perfect peace is to be grounded in the Lord and His love. You have no worries and all your trust, faith, and hope is in Him. You know that God will provide for you no matter what the circumstances.
(Isaiah 26: 2-4) 2 Open the gates,
That the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in.
3 You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
4 Trust in the Lord forever,
For in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.
The problem with Christianity: religion vs spirituality. Religion is just a routine or ritual that a person feels has to be done or act out, while spirituality is having that inward belief and connection (relationship) with God. A true Christian (Born again) is spiritual not religious.
(James 1: 26-27) 26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
So this summer has been pretty interesting and God has been making a lot of moves in my life. Each move that is being made is really getting to me. God is teaching me patience. Patience requires a person to wait, but there is something more to patience than just waiting it how you react while you are waiting. I’m going to be vulnerable right now and explain some personal things that have been teaching me patience. Two major things this summer have had an emotional toll on me, 1) for the past several months I have had an older gentleman teasing me and complimenting basically just flirting with me all together. I didn’t pay him any mind just figure take the compliments and keep moving. Well at the beginning of June his interaction with me changed. He became overly friendly with me and his flirtation increased. I slowly started to getting uncomfortable with his interaction with me to the point that I was practically living in fear. I didn’t want to be around him, the sight of someone who resembled him freaked me out, I’d jump if I heard his name, I had nightmare about the man, and I was constantly complaining about him to my friends. Then it finally took one day when someone gave me a nickname in regards to him. That was it! I reached my breaking point. I made a complaint for sexual harassment. 2) I have a male friend who is dear to me and truly care about. Over the short time of getting to know him I grew to love him and saw a lot of similarities between us. As the short time past I kept seeing little signs pointing at marriage towards him. Then one day it hit me that God was telling that this is my future husband. I was truly amazed to find this out especially being a person that was never big on wanting marriage, but I was thrilled to know this and accepted it in my heart and soul. A few years past and we continued on our friendship from a distance since we couldn’t physically be together and then eventually he started dating someone, which was hard for me to accept, but I knew as long I kept trust, faith, and hope in God and His timing and if my friend and I are truly meant to be then God will make it so. Well, couple of weeks ago in conversation with my friend he tells me that he is going to marry his girlfriend in about 2 years. When I heard that I became devastated, I abruptly left and had a flesh vs the spirit moment. I took a long walk out in the dark cursing, wanting to cry and couldn’t, asking God why?, having horrible thoughts about what I could or should do, thinking to myself did I make all this up myself and think it was God showing it to me, I prayed, asked God for forgiveness for my behavior, calmed myself down and reminded myself to continue to trust, have faith and hope in God that He is in control and if its meant to be He will make it so. That next day I told my friend why I became upset and left our conversation the way I did. After a very long time of keeping it to myself and asking God to show my friend that I am his wife, I told my friend that I want to be his wife. There have been other things working on my patience such as dorm life: making arrangements for moving, waking up and entering the restroom to find half of the stalls nasty and unflushed, talking to people and they are not listening to what you say, but going on and on about what it is they are talking about, I want to get my jaw fixed, but don’t have the means to right now, I want to be in my career already and working, campus dining: spending so much money for a meal plan just to be limited to 3 places to eat and by the time the quarter ends half of the money I didn’t get to spend on my meal plan will go to waste rather to be used for my other educational purposes, and finding that I may have another older gentleman interested in me. Everyday there is something different and new and with each experience God is molding me and teaching me to be the woman he has created me to be.
What I’m learning about having patience:
1) handle yourself in a calm manner don’t lose your head
2) don’t make quick decisions on a temporary emotion
3) forgiveness: don’t hold ill feelings in your heart, you’ll never heal and you will react against people with resentment
4) people are going to do or say things you don’t like, just accept it
5) having patience doesn’t mean something is not going to bother you
6) though we don’t like it, we have to open up and be vulnerable to people about how we feel
7) take careful precaution about resolving a problem
8) things happen in God’s timing not our’s
9) don’t lean on your own understanding or take matters into your own hands, pray about it and trust God
10) if you ask God to show you something or do something for you He will do it
11) things happen for a reason
12) sometimes people just need to talk and I just need to listen
13) God is preparing us and if we get what we want now, we won’t be ready for it
14) without patience you’ll never know true Holy love
15) makes you selfless and focus on what others need
16) gives you the opportunity to take care of other things in your life or gives you new opportunities
17) builds up maturity
18) don’t give up so easily
19) helps you to recognize your own potential
20) trust that what you are waiting for will be available to you
21) don’t dwell on things, know the difference of what is important and whats not
22) reminds you to focus on whats in front you now and not worry about what has not come to pass
23) to value not settling for less than God’s best
24) not to make a fool out of yourself, lol
25) gives you confidence that you can handle any situation
26) “Good things come to those who wait.”
27) makes you wiser
28) drives out fear, doubt, and worry
29) makes you stronger
30) it’s a test of faith
Ok, I could continue adding more of what patience has taught me, but I don’t want to over stress it so I’m going to end this with a scripture. (James 1: 2-8) 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.