Hebrews 12 Introduction by Pastor Don.
We had an intense prayer time before Bible study with many requests for salvations of people we know. Pastor Don pointed out that we must keep praying and sowing seed. Then he used this illustration, Apples are good? we answered yes, but not all people will eat apples. Bananas are good, but not all people will eat bananas. Apples and Bananas are for everyone, but not everyone will consume them.
It is the same with faith. Faith is for everyone, but not everyone will apply faith in their lives or in every part of their lives. The same goes for healing. Pastor Don then pointed out that what most people see as natural healing is also supernatural, for God set that healing process in motion. Some get healed quickly, others may take what seems to be natural time, but it is still God’s doing.
We need to love people at the level they are at, and seek to aid them to go as far as they can go.
Pastor Don pointed out that Jesus dealt with people where they were at. He treated John, James and Peter at their level, did not tell them to sell all they had and follow Him. But He told the rich young ruler to sell what he had, give to the poor and follow Jesus. Jesus knew where the stronghold was in the rich young ruler’s life. The rich young ruler needed to separate himself from materialism.
Jesus corrects us where we are in error, and it is individual. Jesus did not separate Himself from the rich young ruler, but the ruler left Jesus’s presence. Even though we may not condemn people for their beliefs or actions, people will separate themselves from us because of their perceived sense that we are condemning them.
With a pentecostal mindset, people will see that all that is in the Bible is possible. We accept that things happened just as the Word says and we can have what the Word says. What keeps us from manifesting all the Word says about our situation is our limitations. We can limit the supernatural act of God because of our behavior, our mindset, our emotions, our beliefs. our thinking. So often we want to see something supernatural manifest – have it experiential, but that may not be God’s plan for us. He wants us to operate on the realm of faith.
We may not be able to activate our faith for what we perceive as tough issues such as cancer. But God is bigger than our problems. We know some can activate their faith, others cannot believe for a cure. Sometimes we cling to a “realistic” view of our situation, and we apply the belief system of what we perceive, even though we are professing to have faith in God. If people could believe the power of God applied 100% of the time we would see more miracles than we do. But sometimes we do not believe 100% and the window of opportunity can pass us by.
At times the miracles we desire are bigger than our faith levels, and we may not have faith adequate for the particular miracle. We are not complete failures because this happens, the only one who has perfect faith on earth is Jesus. Our mind, will, emotions, circumstances are at times beyond our ability to believe and our application of faith.
There were many people around the pool of Siloam, and yet Jesus only healed one there. He asked the man what he wanted, and the man answered that he was seeking a healing, had done so for many years. You could imagine the man’s thoughts about waiting for the angel to stir the water and being the first one in, but incapable of doing that. The man had faith for waiting for the angel to stir the water as a point of contact for his faith. Jesus switched the man’s point of contact to believe for his healing from God, not the angel stirring the water, then his healing came.
We can perpetually preach that God can heal us, by his stripes we are healed, but it is more than just agreeing with this in our minds, we also have to believe it in our hearts. For the man at the pool of Siloam, lack of knowledge that it is God who provides healing, not the angel stirring the water, caused him not to be healed for many years. God would declare, my people perish for lack of knowledge.
Pastor Don pointed out that there are different kinds of miracles, miracles that occur in the natural, miracles that heal what is broken or hurting or sick, and then there are miracles that he called creative miracles. That is where something is created that wasn’t there at all. Sid Roth one time talked about two parents who were both doctors who gave birth to a child who was born without a full brain, and the amount of brain was so tiny that the child was diagnosed as probably dying within a few days. The parents, who were doctors, started praying for a creative miracle, and when they next visited the doctor the brain was fully formed. A creative miracle is above and beyond anything we can do, beyond what our normal faith can conjure.
We have to repeatedly elevate our thinking to the possibility of faith in a creative miracle, and speak to cause those things to be even though our senses do not perceive them.
The problem with creative miracles for us is that they do not happen every day. Circumstances and situations go beyond our normal situations, and test us. We need to understand that it is spiritual warfare. When someone dies at a time when we think it shouldn’t happen, we have to realize God has his reasons. God may choose to remove us from this planet at the height of our game, rather than allowing us to fail in a situation that is tough for us and ruining our testimony or compromising our faith.
Someone mentioned that life on earth is an opportunity to get right with God and help other people. When our faith is tested, it may not be because we are out of order with God, but that God wants us to know where our level of faith is located, it is a way for us to measure how strong our faith is in the midst of difficulty.
He pointed out that, whether a person is born with a golden spoon in their mouth (rich) or a wooden spoon (poor), is not the issue for God. God looks at how we deal with the resources we are given. Pastor Don mentioned the founder of Wendy’s was an orphan and he had a choice, to self-pity or to make something of his life, he chose the latter. We are all children of God and can all apply His Word to our situations. It is our choice how we choose to live. How well we handle the cards dealt to us. We want to run the race, and run it efficiently!
Pastor Don pointed out that he can tell those in church who will grow spiritually mature. Those are the ones who are paying attention, not just sitting in the pews for the time of the service. They are the ones who are learning how to apply God’s word in their lives, and when the inevitable times of testing happens, they have knowledge to handle the cards dealt to them. Those who are not actively seeking God’s knowledge, will not be operating with a full deck.
Pastor Don then asked us which armor we would put on.
He talked about David. (Heather’s note, this excited me because I hadn’t seen this application before). David sees the Philistine giant, Goliath, blaspheming God and gets very angry about it, wondering why people don’t just take him out. He ends up being ridiculed by his brothers for this desire, and ends up in front of King Saul. King Saul also doesn’t believe that the ruddy, little David, would have much impact on Goliath, but figured he could use this for military strategy. He offers David his (Saul’s) armor, but Saul was a big, tall man, and the armor on David would not fit properly. David made the choice to go with the armor God gave him – a slingshot and five smooth stones. We can’t use someone else’s armor. We need to build the armor that God wants us to build in our lives.
We have to prepare ourselves for the inevitable, that at times we will be dealt hands we do not want to play, hands we don’t even want to hold, don’t even want that deck. We will be faced with unexpected circumstances and challenges. We will have to fight these giants with everything we have, in our own armor. If we go into the battle unmotivated, unprepared, we may not succeed in the battle. God wants us to build up our faith, to learn His Word, to know Him BEFORE we face these circumstances in our lives.
I mentioned the Beth Moore, Daniel study where she tells us that we will either influence our Babylons or be influenced by them. Pastor Don pointed out that with supposedly 84% of our country being Christian, there is not much influence of our Babylons. If 1 can put 1,000 to flight and 2 – 10,000, if there were 84% Christians actively exercising their faith, our Babylons should be gone, but they are not. Not everyone exercises their faith.
We also need to be careful who we allow to teach us. Do they teach the whole counsel of the Bible? Or do they pick and choose what they want to accept from the Bible? It comes down to making sure we are studying where our armor can be built.
We then looked at Hebrews 12, which I will share tomorrow.
Hoping you have a blessed day.
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