I’ve studied the scriptures for years and years and I’ve found incredible promises about the Messiah and what He is coming to DO. I also found incredible promises written by Paul of what Jesus DID. I found amazing things Jesus said (before He was crucified) that He will do and I found amazing things He said (AFTER He was crucified) about what He HAD done.
Armed with all this information I then spent years struggling to receive the fullness of these promises. I tried worshipping (zilch success), I tried “praying them in” (and had slight success), I tried fasting and begging (zilch success). I tried and tried.
Meantime God showed me an enormous number of soft teddy toys and other kinds of toys. I saw three or four rows of presents of all types. He stood in front of them and said “which one do you want?” and I stared blankly. I didn’t know what on earth He meant.
Confused, I simply continued whatever strategy I had of acquiring the promises that I so desperately needed at that time. Perhaps at that time I was “waiting on the Lord” (zilch success). Being “demanding” with Him wasn’t too successful either. If I received anything it was probably because of His mercy and grace and loving kindness.
Then I watched this video in which an evangelist said that he had a vision in which a big strong powerful bull was trying to open a present. He snorted and dug out the ground and gored the present/gift with his horns – but achieved nothing. This all powerful bull could not open the present box.
Then he saw a baby playfully tearing open the present/gift, joyfully ripping off the bow and with absolute freedom he was lifting the lid off the present and opening it, getting the goodies that are inside. The evangelist seemed to think he had sufficiently explained how to receive God’s gifts. I was completely confused.
Then I read over and over about how Smith Wigglesworth would teach that Jesus said that all who are saved WILL receive the Holy Spirit. Smith taught that on the basis that Paul said “how did you receive the Holy Spirit, how did you receive Jesus” (by faith) and Paul said to go on and continue in that way. Smith saw many many people receive the Holy Spirit in that way.
But it just never seemed to work for me. I was the bull, goring the present with my intellectual horns. I just somehow couldn’t be playful like the baby. Maybe I had too many spiritual muscles or too much learning… or something. Whatever it was, there was something stopping me from getting all these wonderful gifts that Jesus would show me. So I remember asking God to make me that baby, but still I wasn’t any closer.
More recently I asked God to please show me how to receive His promises. (As you know, I have found a way to receive them and I’ve had a really fantastic last few months… but I knew it was still too hard.)
After praying this request for Him to show me how, a new friend came into my life and this person has an UTTERLY simple style of praying. I mean… it’s so simple that it’s ridiculous. She “receives” presents from Jesus and she does “swaps” with Jesus. She takes the yucky thing and gives it to Him and receives His present of healing. She looks over at me and asks me (with a big innocent smile) if I will receive the presents that Jesus wants to give me.
Well… to say the least I was deeply concerned. Very very deeply. I mean… IS THIS BIBLICAL?!!! What kind of weirdo stuff is this? Gifts??? Presents???? Receiving??? Surely not… I mean… what on earth is going on here?!
Now we have not received the spirit [that belongs to] the world, but the [Holy] Spirit Who is from God, [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts [of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly] bestowed on us by God. – 1 Cor 2:12
I found another verse that wonderfully captures the simplicity!
So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s – Rom 4:16
Wow. Look at that. We know that the bible says that ALL the promises are “YES in Christ Jesus”. But wait… given as a free gift? But… but…
In other words, all the promises that have been made to Abraham and all the promises that are made for believers who entrust the whole of their lives to Jesus Christ – all these promises are FREE GIFTS to us.
Fine print 1: We have to be followers/believers of Jesus. Really. For real.
Fine print 2: Some promises are attached to faith and some are attached to love. It’s the faith related promises that I am taking about receiving here. It is true that some promises (in John 14-15) are attached to keeping His command to love one another and I am not saying you can receive those by faith. I will explain these two in a future post.
No wonder the Kingdom can easily be received by children and the highly learned struggle to receive it. So. That’s it. I hope you GET the simplicity of it all.
If you’re looking for some faith related gifts to receive by faith you can look in this list I made.
Here is a link to a complete list of “free gift” phrases in the AMP bible. In the NLT too.