During the week I was praying at the beach. I saw this seagull hovering in the air.
I immediately had a thought “is he (or she?) dropping things to crack them open?” and sure enough he dropped a black mussell shell and it plopped onto the wet sand below.
I watched him go down and fetch it, bring it back up and do it again: plop onto the wet sand. I worried that he would drop it into the water, but it never did. I saw concrete nearby and thought it would be easier if he dropped it onto that?! Plop. Plop. He just kept on doing it. Plop. Plop.
Wow, he is tenacious! He reminded me of me! 🙂
Suddenly I remembered what I think the Holy Spirit had been saying to me: “It is written”. And just as I thought those exact words the gull dropped the mussell and I heard a very loud crack. He flew down to it and ate what was inside the mussell shell. Yum.
“It is written”. Do you know what is so special about those words? When Jesus Christ was being tempted, He quoted scripture by saying “it is written”. Every temptation was met with a “it is written” reply.
I keep thinking how hard it must have been to be TAKEN to the top of the temple, exposed to the wind, exposed to the heights and in this place of danger and probably feeling quite out of control… in that place where the enemy seems to have all the power… then to stick to your guns and say “it is written”.
It reminds me of when Jesus “ignored them” and said for us not to be afraid…
Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” – Mark 5:36
Imagine that. The enemy seems to be holding all the cards. He has just shown you that he has the ability to physically move you to some other place. And your response – in spite of what you see around you – is… “it is written”. Wow. Now THAT is walking by faith and not by sight.
“By sight” He was being held high up above the earth. “By faith”: it is written. You can read more about His temptation and His boldness to stand on specific scriptures… It is written – stand firm and overcome the evil in this world!
Would you like some scriptures to stand firm on, scriptures that you can speak and which will change the world around you?
Key prayer scriptures 1 pager (25BK)
You might struggle to pray these scriptures, because they are all past tense. It’s as if they have already been done. Yes. Paul is saying they have happened.
But if they have happened, why don’t we see them? That is the key right there. They are done. “Ignore them”, we walk by faith, not by sight. We call things that are not, AS THOUGH THEY WERE…
“He is the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.” – Rom 4:17
We are to have faith like that. While we live in the here-and-now and we need to put food on the table, we take tablets and pills, we meet the needs of children and loved ones, we calm fears and we love the unlovely… phew, that’s a lot of every day work!… and at the same time we are to use our prayers to speak into being that which is not.
But… guard against presumption
BUT. And this is a big but. I am completely opposed to people “stepping out in faith”. I absolutely do not believe we should “step out and trust God to catch us”. Real faith is more measured, it is a known thing. Yes it is a substance. We are not to be presumptuous…
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then shall I be blameless, and I shall be innocent and clear of great transgression. – Ps 19:13
What does it mean to be presumptuous?
The Reader’s Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary defines presumptuous as “unduly bold, audacious, and arrogant.” Strong’s Concordance also defines the corresponding Hebrew word as “arrogant.” Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines the root word, presume, as “to undertake without leave or clear justification.” – Bible Tools, Forerunner
We still live in the here and now. We are IN this world. When our prayers change the world, THEN the world will be changed. But until it changes, we are IN this world. No, we are not OF it, but yes, we are IN it. Real life nappies need changing. We need sober judgement of our abilities that we can do with our faith.
What is the measure of faith that God has given you?
This recent story brings me sadness…
A central Wisconsin man charged with killing his daughter by praying instead of taking her to a doctor read from the Bible while testifying Thursday that he couldn’t seek medical help without disobeying God. “I can’t do that because Biblically, I cannot find that is the way people are healed,” Dale Neumann told the jury. “If I go to the doctor, I am putting the doctor before God. I am not believing what he said he would do.” God promises in the Bible to heal, Neumann said: “For that to take place in our lives, we have to live on God’s instruction.”
… Instead, Madeline died on the floor of the family’s rural Weston home as people surrounded her and prayed. – Wis. man testifies he expected God to heal child
A Wisconsin man accused of killing his daughter by praying instead of seeking lifesaving medical help considered her illness “a test of his faith,” a prosecutor told jurors Saturday. – Wis. father saw sickness as ‘test of his faith’
This girl’s death is the result of nonsense religious teaching. Somoene taught this man this religious filth and now his daughter is dead.
The church struggles with lots of nonsense teaching, for example all the propsperity gibberish, has surely been shown to be nonsense by the financial collapse.
How I teach faith
I taught a mom how to believe the completed work of Jesus Christ for her family. She personally had several illness problems and her kids had severe disorders.
I absolutely did not tell her to stop anyone’s medication. No way. Until they are healed, they need that stuff!
I simply asked her to believe that Jesus Christ has done what the bible says He has done.
And the results followed. And as they followed, her faith grew. As her faith grew, more results followed.
And even more exciting, real qualified doctors saw the improvements and reduced their medication further and further. One child went down from 9 tablets to 1 table in 6 months. Reading scores went up. Emotions became manageable. Darkness fled. Night times became normal and manageable.
You see, until things change, you have to deal with how they are now. We are not of this world, but YES we are IN this world. Things can change, and as your faith grows they will… but until then, you get medical help, you take the tablets, be patient.
A baby’s nappy will not miraculously change “by faith”. That is not what the concept of faith is.
I like how Billy Graham untwists things so that we can see the cause and the solution: Billy Graham | With Christ there is always hope but let’s take note that Billy reminds us that the change takes time.
We all have a measure of faith
I wish that father had grown his faith, step by step, with manageable increments, before experimenting on his daughter. I am so sorry for him. He stepped into something he didn’t have the measure of faith for.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. – Rom 12:3
That man didn’t have sober judgement, he thought he had a higher measure of faith than he did. I am so sorry for him.
I wish someone had explained how faith works, how it grows and helped him understand his measure of faith. Get to know yours. Use it and it will be increased – that is the message of the parable of the talents. You can read more about that here: The parable of the talents – use what you have got (but not more)