Faith and Righteousness, a matter of heart by Pastor Don Moore

Friday, August 17, 2007

Faith and Righteousness, a matter of heart by Pastor Don

You can find Part 1 Here.

Where exactly is our heart, not our physical heart, but our spiritual heart?

Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

So what does the Bible say about the heart?

Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the inner depths of his heart.(King James speaks of the belly, and the Amplified says innermost parts).

Our spiritual heart is in our bellies. When God wants to know what is going on in our lives, he does not seek out what we are thinking in our head, but looks to our heart to see the true condition of where we are at.

It is embarrassing for people to admit they do not have faith for a particular thing. Some church settings that place a big store on faith can make a person feel condemned for admitting the truth about their level of faith for that particular thing. That is a tradition of man though, for they think they have to have faith in all areas to be spirit-filled. When a person says they do not have faith for something, those kinds of churches send out the SIN PATROL, because the lack of faith MUST, in their eyes, be because you have done something wrong or that you have HIDDEN SIN somewhere. Well, if the truth be told, we ALL have hidden sin. To protect themselves, the person pretends to have faith that they don’t have.

God needs us to be honest about our position in faith. (Heather’s note, there are times when I pray to God, “God, I can’t believe in faith for this, help me to have faith.”)

God, searches the inward parts of our heart and knows the state of our faith. When we are honest with Him, He can help us. Remember Mark 9:14-29 when Jesus healed a boy who had a mute spirit. The disciples could not heal this child, so the father of the child came to Jesus and asked him if He could heal the boy. Mark 9:23-24 “Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe: help my unbelief!”

Because the disciples could not cast out the mute spirit, the father’s faith was weakened. Because the father was truthful, he trusted Jesus and had faith by righteousness. You are in good position with God for telling the truth, by confessing the truth if you have a problem with yieldedness or a problem with faith. Jesus would ask people, what do you want? What do you want down in your gut where you have heart faith, not in your head?

Proverbs 23:6-7 Do not eat the bread of a miser nor desire his delicacies; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.

What we say with our mouths may not be mirrored in our heart.

Proverbs 23:10-12 Do not remove the ancient landmark, nor enter the fields of the fatherless; for their Redeemer is mighty; He will plead their cause against you. Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge.

You can get out of position with God, but if you apply your mouth, ears, and hearing the right Word from God, then it will affect your heart. Some people never pay attention in church, they don’t come to Bible study, they don’t listen to the sermon, they come for praise and worship and then skip out. You can’t grow unless you apply with your heart to what you hear in your teachings at church. Even if you don’t like what you hear, or it isn’t applicable to you at the present time, the Word is still in you ready to be brought forth upon need.

We all have a roller coaster faith development in the Lord. Some days we are strong, other days we are weak. What do you do when you get into those dry places? If you have God’s word in you, you have something to sustain you during the dry times, and can apply that to your heart. If you don’t apply yourself to the Word before the dry spell hits, you don’t have anything to call up. But if you have the Word in you, the Holy Spirit stirs up something and it bubbles to the surface.

Remember, Jesus said, “My words are Spirit and Life.” That is the Zoe kind of life. We need to eat this manna from Heaven. We need to open our hearts to instruction.

Proverbs 23:12 Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge. 

When I open up from the inside, the Words of truth get into my spirit. Pastor Don said women tend to grow spiritually more quickly than men. Men have to know the answer to everything, women are more teachable.

Proverbs 23:15 My son, if your heart is wise, My heart will rejoice–indeed, I myself:

Who is the I, myself? That is God, and God will rejoice when our hearts are wise.

Proverbs 23:17-21 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day; for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off. Hear, my son, and be wise; and guide your heart in the way. Do not mix with winebibbers, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

The Lord has mercy and this is a powerful message. We are to guide our hearts towards God, not towards the flesh.

Proverbs 23:33 Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things. 

Those who do not lean toward God, will lean toward the flesh.

Proverbs 24:2 For their heart devises violence, and their lips talk troublemaking.

Proverbs 24:12 If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?

Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. God knows our hearts. We can speak from the flesh, but God knows our hearts. He will render to us according to the deeds He sees in our hearts.

What does the word “heart” mean?

In the Greek it is “Kardia” 2588 which means the thoughts or feelings (mind) also the middle, heart. In Hebrew it is 3820 “leb” which is used for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the center of anything, which comes from 3824 “lebab” heart, bethink themselves, breast, comfortably, courage, tender heart, midst, mind, unawares, understanding.

The heart is the innermost organ, the inner, and sometimes we are unaware of our understanding.

Pastor Don talked about someone who came for counseling who wanted to divorce her husband. He thought it surprising that, after someone decided to get a divorce, they would then come to him to ask about divorce. He knew he needed to hear from the Spirit. He brought the person to the altar, anointed them, and they prayed. The woman started crying, and after a while Pastor Don realized she had gotten in touch with her spirit. He then asked her to pray for her situation. She did not pray about divorce, she prayed about her husband gaining understanding and responsibility, that their marriage would begin to work, and that they could work out their differences. She prayed that God would change her heart, and change her husband’s heart. The faith locked up inside was expressed and she left Pastor Don with a new hope for her relationship. When she came to Pastor Don she had a head idea that she wanted a divorce, but her heart and spirit had a different plan.

Sometimes, in our head, the idea of divorce seems good, a quick solution to a problem, but we don’t realize the other problems that arise from divorce – kids, finances, and other challenges of being a single parent. God does not like divorce. Sometimes there are special circumstances, but God doesn’t like divorce because He knows divorce hurts so bad, not only the couple but children and others are also hurt by divorce.

When a situation comes up we need to ascertain not what the head thinks, but what is being believed in the heart. The Holy Spirit does His most holy work being the candle of the LORD, illuminating what is inside of us.

You may be unaware of your heart understanding if you are operating solely from your head. Ask the Spirit of God to illuminate your heart and you will begin to see your heart understanding. Learn to be honest and dig deep enough down in a meditative state to see what is faith in your heart. So often we stay in our mind and gloss over things. We wonder what will happen if I say out loud in church something about lack of faith, so we push down those doubts and concerns, which blocks our healing, deliverance, understanding, and power that resides in us. Far better to be honest and say, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.”

Even if you are having trouble believing in your heart it is better to say what the Word of God says. If we say God’s truth long enough, it will get down into our hearts. It is best to believe God, than to listen to those who want to quench our faith.

Mark 22: 22-24 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

In the flesh your mind is working all the time. Pastor Don said the other night he could not sleep. His mind would not shut down. He prayed for what he needed to do the next day. In the past he would pray for every problem on the planet, plan for every possibility that might come his way in a counseling session, planning out scenarios. He now spent time seeking the mind of the spirit which comes from the heart, spoke the truth of God’s word, and then went to sleep saying over and over in his mind, “By his stripes I am healed.” He kept repeating that until sleep overtook him. 

If we don’t tune into the voice of the heart, if we don’t latch onto it in faith, we cannot believe in faith.Pastor Don told us we have to identify the voice coming from our belly (heart), and confess what our heart is telling us with our mouth.

Teaching the truth about faith in this way tends to cross our traditions and our ways of thinking and relating to problems. When we start trying to reach our faith, we often do it by rote, like a habit because we believe it works. If the Holy Spirit responded to you once when you opened up your Bible, ran your finger down the page and stopped at a passage, people tend to think that every time they want to hear from the Holy Spirit they need to open their Bibles and run their fingers down the page. Or they pray in a certain way, in a certain position, or feel something one way, and then think that the Holy Spirit will always respond that way. This can open one up to danger, for satan can also imitate the occurrence and then that same feeling or action may not be the Holy Spirit, but a lie. That is why we have to know the voice of the Spirit within us, in our heart and know God’s Word so well, for the Spirit and the Word MUST agree.

We need righteousness by faith. Pastor Don gave an example about something that is done to honor God, and that is okay, as long as it doesn’t turn into legalism. For example, Pastor Don enters the pulpit in a clean suit or a clean outfit. He doesn’t come in cut offs and dirty clothes. He does this to honor God, for he wants to represent God to the people and show his respect for God. But if this became a ritual, and Pastor Don ascribed power to the clothes he wears in the pulpit, if it changes from honoring God to becoming a ritual than it is not pleasing to God.

We have to have faith in God, not faith in faith. Notice that Verse 23 says that we “SAY”, that we will have what we say. But saying it alone will not get it, if we have doubt in our heart. We need to pray to believe God. We need to examine ourselves to see if we really believe it in our heart, or is it a head belief.

God is not looking at our past, at what sins we committed before we were saved, at our medical condition, our finances, our current conditions, all God does is examine IF YOU BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART. When you believe in your heart, you make the way for God to act.

How fast the miracle occurs depends on if you believe it now, or are you in the process of believing. We cannot figure out when and how God is going to operate in us. So we need to ask Him to help in our unbelief. With God all things are possible if you believe.

When you are believing can you see or visualize it? Even if your circumstances to not confirm your visualization, keep believing God for what He has shown you is possible. God can work with what you believe. If you can believe that, after you see Dr. Moskovitz in Idaho, you will get your healing, that is when you will get it. He will work where you can attach your heart faith. The woman with the issue of blood believed that, when she touched the hem of Jesus’ robe, she would be healed.

Have you located where your faith is? Get your heart to confess it. If you believe what you say in your heart, God will meet you at your point of faith.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

We need to approach God in honesty and truth. If we don’t have faith for this, be honest with God. God will say, “fine.” Then go to His Word and speak the truth from the Word of God, for faith comes by hearing. Listen to the Word of God. Pastor Don has given people CD’s of healing Scriptures, when they needed healing. They listen to it once, and then give the CD back to him. Pastor Don used to listen to Scriptures over and over and over and over. For faith comes by hearing.

We are always creating our environment. If we are not in faith, pour God’s Word into our lives. The first possible place to hear is in your heart, by your own mouth. Pray out loud, condition yourself out loud.

When Jesus came into town, he did not just say, “Hey, I’m the Messiah,” follow me. He sat them down and taught Isaiah 61, and after teaching God’s word the people were ready to receive Him.

Peter pushed out from the shore, and after the massive catch, came to Jesus and said get away from me for I am unclean, but if you insist I will follow you. The disciples had their faith fed by seeing what Jesus did and hearing His teachings. Those who are considered Faith Giants keep hearing and applying the word of God.

Yet there were those who chose not to believe in faith, they heard the Word and rejected it. John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Form the time that he told them that He was the Bread of Life sent in the flesh. The people who heard and had a spirit of offense left Jesus. Jesus asked the disciples, John 6:67 “…Do you also want to go away?” Simon Peter answered, John 6:68 “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life?”

Where can we go? We go to the Word of Truth, and believe in faith in righteousness.

Hoping this teaching blesses you. It is challenging, even for me, because it is so easy to try and justify lack of faith in certain areas. Yet, God’s Word is true, and He wants us believing in Faith.

Have a blessed night!

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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