Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
"Your own understanding" is your own reasoning, your own thinking, or your own head or mind. In other words, you could say, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own head." I think most Christians try to practice that in reverse. They trust in the Lord with all their head and lean not to their own heart. That's not what God said to do.
Hebrews 4:3 says, "For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world."
How can you tell if people are believing in their heart or just saying it from their head? The Scripture says that those who have believed "do enter into rest."
Regarding healing, laying on of hands is a point of contact. That's the point where you start believing that you receive your healing. That's the point where you "enter into rest" about the situation. This means you're no longer frustrated. You're no longer fretting. You're not trying to get something. You believe that you have received it, and there is a rest on the inside of you. There is a rest in your spirit. Then you just sort of laugh to yourself, smile, and say, "I've got it; it's mine."
Confession: I am not TRYING to get something. I believe that I have received. There is a rest on the inside of me. There is a rest in my spirit. I have healing; it's mine!
This week, in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It is a legal national holiday set aside for feasting, getting together with family and friends, and giving thanks to God.
For believers, however, Thanksgiving should be a daily event, not just a yearly proclamation. Most everyone likes turkey, dressing, and all the trimmings, but we seem to reserve that meal only for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Unfortunately, sometimes we do the same when it comes to giving thanks to God. As Thanksgiving comes around, everyone begins to think about thanking God and praising Him for what He's done. Yet the act of Thanksgiving should be part of our lives 365 days a year.
We should greet Him every day with thanksgiving on our lips. I thank God every day for what I have. I don't thank Him just for spiritual things, although those are vitally important, and we should thank Him for them. But I am also thankful for natural things. I thank God that I have clothes to wear—that I have more suits and two pairs of shoes that I can wear when I minister. There was a time when I did not have those things.
Many of us have much to be thankful for. Yet we sometimes sit around griping about what we don't have. The best way to stay locked into a bad situation is to gripe and complain about it. The best way to be released from it is to thank God for who He is and what He's done for us.
Be Thankful & Glad At All Times
Psalm 126:3 says, "The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad." When we're glad, it's easy to give thanks. When we're sad, we don't feel like doing it. But we need to learn how to give thanks at all times.
Psalm 100:4 says, "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name." How often do we enter into God's presence with thanksgiving and praise? Most of the time we enter in saying, "Lord, I need this. Lord, give me that. Lord, do this. Lord, bless me!"
Yes, we need things. But sometimes we need to enter into God's presence just to worship Him, to thank Him for what He has already done for us, and not to ask Him for anything.
We need to praise God for who He is. He is the great Creator. He is our Heavenly Father. And we need to praise Him for what He has done. We need to thank Him for sending His Son Jesus Christ to die on Calvary that we might have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
Stop for a moment and remember what God has done for you. Where are you now compared to where you were five years ago? Do you have anything to be thankful for? You must--you are still here!
There are people whom doctors said would be dead in just months or days. But they are alive today because God touched them and healed them! I'm not against medical science in the least. But medical science runs up against impossibilities, and nothing is impossible with God! I guarantee you that people whom God has healed of terminal illness know how to thank Him! They thank God every day when they see the dawn, and the moon, and stars at night. You can't have a tragedy averted in your life without being thankful to God.
A Daily Privilege
I know how to give thanks! I'm thankful to God for what He has done, what He is doing, and what He's going to do! God told us in His Word what He's going to do. The Bible, especially the New Testament, is His will for believers. And I thank God that His will is coming to pass in my life.
Giving thanks is a daily privilege. We need to make sure that we take time to thank God for His many blessings—not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day! First of all I am thankful for my salvation. How about you? That's a good place to start
Romans 6:14 "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace."
Another translation of today's text reads, "For sin shall not lord it over you."
Sin and Satan are synonymous terms. Therefore, we could read this verse, "For Satan shall not have dominion over you," or "Satan shall not lord it over you."
The reason why Satan cannot lord it over you is found in Colossians 1:13: the Father has delivered you out from under Satan's control and dominion. The moment you were born again and became a new creature in Christ Jesus, Jesus became your Lord. Now He is the One who dominates you; Satan is no longer your lord.
Satan can no longer lord it over you. When you were born again, Satan's dominion over you ended--and Jesus' dominion over you began! And anything that is of Satan--sickness, disease, bad habits, or whatever--can no longer lord it over you!
Confession: Jesus is my Lord. Thank You, Father. Thank You for delivering me from the power of Satan. Thank You because Satan can no longer lord it over me. Thank You because sickness, disease, and bad habits can no longer lord it over me. Thank You because Satan has no dominion over me!
Philippians 4:4-9 "Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-- rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you."
It is time to take inventory on things that you can be thankful for. I thank God for my church, I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for my salvation.
Don't let so many things steal your joy. I know it is easy to do. When you lose your joy, you lose your faith, you lose your authority. You start losing your health and on and on and on.
And I am thankful for all my friends and church family. How about you?
Eph 5:21-25 "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it..."
Does your relationship with your spouse reflect the Love you have for Jesus? Do you respect your spouse like you would Jesus, if He was standing in front of you?
Do you criticize your spouse and talk down to them?
The way you talk to your spouse--is that the way you would talk to Jesus or God? Does your relationship with others demonstrate your love for Christ?
I like to think that the way I should treat others is how I would treat them if Jesus was standing right next to me.
Do I walk by people without saying, "Good morning," or "Hey! How are you doing?"
How friendly are you to others? How warm are you to others? Do you put a smile on your spouse's face instead of a frown?
Are people glad to see you or sad?
When you get home at night, is your spouse the first or last thing you look for? I can't wait to see my wife in the evening, My home is a place of peace. My home is warm, inviting and a safe place to be. How is yours?
Make a difference in someone's life.
Romans 8:37 "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."
If God's Word had just told us we were conquerors, it would have been enough, but it tells us that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ.
Rather than saying, "I'm defeated," rise up and say what the Bible says about you. Say, "I am a conqueror!"
It may not seem to you that you are a conqueror, but your confession of it, because of what you see in God's Word, will create the reality of it in your life. Sooner or later you will become what you confess!
You will not be afraid of any circumstances--if you make the right confession.
You will not be afraid of any disease--if you make the right confession.
You will not be afraid of any conditions--if you make the right confession.
You will face life fearlessly--as a conqueror!
Confession: In all things I am more than a conqueror through Him that loves me. I am not afraid of any circumstances. I am not afraid of any disease. I am not afraid of any condition. I face life fearlessly, a conqueror! I am a conqueror! In fact, I am more than a conqueror!
Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
"What things soever ye desire..." No, not what things soever your grandpa desires. Not what things soever your aunt desires. Not what things soever your husband desires. Not what things soever your wife desires.
You can get your desires. However, if what you desire is not what someone else desires, you won't be able to push your desires off on them. Why? Because when someone else is involved, their will comes into play on the situation.
Your faith will always work for you in your own life. And sometimes you can make your faith work for someone else.
But you have to preach, teach and signs and wonders follow. Don't try to lay hands on people until you have done what the word says. You can pray and pray but that is not the way it works. Do what the words says and you will get good results
Confession: My faith always works for me in my own life. By divine wisdom I will know when I can make my faith work for others.
Malachi 3:10 "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of Heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
Are you ready to take the limits off your income? I am. And the Lord has been showing me how we can do it. I'm excited about it because this is the day when we as believers need to prosper. We need to have enough not just to meet our own needs, but to see to it that the gospel is preached around the world.
Jesus is coming back soon! We don't have time to sit around wishing we had enough money to go through doors God is opening before us. We don't have time to say, "Well, one day when finances aren't so tight..." We need to increase so we can give—and we need to do it now!
How do we get on that road to increase? Through tithing. Tithing is the covenant transaction that opens the door for God to be directly involved in our increase. It is a two-way exchange in which we honor God by giving Him ten percent of our income and He, in return, provides us with a "surplus of prosperity" (Deuteronomy 28:11).
But Larry you may say, "I know Christians who have been tithing for years and they are not wealthy!"
Actually, you don't. You just know people who have put ten percent of their income into the offering bucket. They went through the motions, but they weren't doing all Bible tithing requires.
You see, tithing isn't just a matter of the pocketbook. It is a matter of the heart. That's the way it is with everything as far as God is concerned. He always looks on the heart. So when we tithe as a religious routine, not in faith, just because we're supposed to, and not as a genuine expression of our love for God, we miss out on the blessings of it.
That's what happened to the people in Malachi's day. They were bringing sacrifices to the Lord. They were going through the motions of tithing. But they were not being blessed. In fact, they were living under a financial curse because the attitude of their heart was not right. (You can read about it in Malachi 1:6-8.)
What they were missing was honor! They weren't giving God their best. Because they didn't love and reverence God in their hearts, they were offering Him their leftovers. They were fulfilling religious requirements by keeping a formula with no worship.
So are you ready? Ready to take the limits off? Then tithe. But when you tithe, do it the right way. Remember to honor God with your tithe…honor Him from your heart. Soon, you'll enjoy the supernatural increase God has promised you!
Confession: I bring my tithes into the storehouse. The Lord opens the windows of heaven and pours me out a blessing so great that there is not room enough to receive it.
Hebrews 10:23 "Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised."
When I've needed things in my own life, I've always stood on the scripture Mark 11:23:
"Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown in to the sea,' and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you."
In addition, I said (or confessed) what I was believing God for. I've always just said it, and not prayed it.
When another person is involved, however, what they believe can affect your prayers, especially if they are not in agreement with you.
So let's believe together for a new church--our own building--in 2015. Let's confess that our church is filled with people and kids. I believe that we can have what we say, in Jesus' Name. I had a dream last night that our church was full of people. Can you believe that with me?
Confession: I hold fast to my confession of faith without wavering. For He is faithful who promises. And I have what I say.
Mark 11:23 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.
Let's examine what Jesus said in today's text: "...and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe (that is, believe in his heart) that those things which he saith shall come to pass..." Those things that you say are your words--your confessions--and those words give you power over demons, disease, and circumstances.
What is it Jesus says you shall have? What you believe for? No. Many people think, If I believe strongly enough, it will come to pass. But at the same time, they are "talking" unbelief, so what they are asking for cannot come to pass! Jesus did not say, "He shall have whatsoever he BELIEVETH;" He said, "...he shall have whatsoever he SAITH."
For you do receive what you say. If you're not satisfied with what you have in life, then check up on what you are saying--what you are confessing. All you have and all you are today is a result of what you believed and said yesterday!
Confession: I believe in my heart. I believe in my words.
The Daily Bread
A devotional to equip, exhort, motivate and feed your spirit.
Pastor Larry Smoot is Senior Pastor of Church on the Rock in Stafford County, Virginia.