Thou Shalt Not… Worry!

Thou shalt not… worry? Is that a commandment? Well… NO, it’s not one of the Ten Commandments – but it is a command from God’s Word!

1 Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.”

Notice this is not a suggestion! It does not say, “Brethren, if you want to, why don’t you cast your care upon Him…” No! It commands us to cast our cares upon Him! What does the word “care” mean in this verse?

The Greek word used is “merimna” (mer’-im-nah) “(through the idea of distraction); solicitude: – care.” Also, it means “worry”… look at the Amplified version of this verse:

1 Peter 5:7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

We are to cast our worry upon the Lord! In other words, don’t worry about things, let the Lord handle them for you! What is worry in the spiritual sense? It is meditation on the word of the devil! It is thinking over and over on those things that he is trying to use to distract you (part of that word’s definition) from the Word of God and living by faith. Here’s something else that will shock some of you! You can’t operate in faith and worry about something at the same time!

Worry and faith just can’t function together. They can’t co-exist! Fear is at the root of worry, and fear is the opposite of faith! Fear and faith are reciprocals! We’ve looked at 1 Peter 5:7; let’s look at verse eight:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

It is not a coincidence that this scripture follows the one on worry! This scripture does not say that satan is going about devouring everyone and anyone he wants. No! It says that he is seeking whom he may – those that are open to be devoured! Satan is not a lion, he just roars as one! Who is open for satan to devour? Those that give place to him!

Ephesians 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.

The Amplified version says:

Ephesians 4:27 Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].

Now, who is the one who decides whether he has an opportunity? YOU ARE!

One way of giving place to satan in your thought life is through worry!

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

The Greek here says, “Don’t worry or have any anxiety about anything!” Some Christians would not dare swear, drink, spit or chew… especially in church! Yet, those same Christians will sit in every service that they attend and allow satan to buffet their minds with worry! They can’t get anything out of the ministry of the Word because they are distracted by their own, personal, problems. And they will remain their problems – until they make a quality decision to cast them on the Lord and live free of worry!
Mark 4:18-19 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Note here in Mark 4, in Jesus’ teaching on “The Sower Sows the Word.” The list of the cares (that Greek word merimna) of this world is one of the things satan tries to use to get the seed of God’s Word out of your heart! Worry is a destroyer! Don’t take it lightly in your thought life!

Philippians 4:7-9 goes on to say:

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

“Keep” is the Greek word phroureo (froo-reh-o) which means: “to be a watcher in advance, that is, to mount guard as a sentinel (post spies at gates); figuratively to hem in, protect: – keep (with a garrison).”

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

“think” here is the Greek word logizomai (log-id’-zom-ahee) “to take an inventory, that is, estimate (literally or figuratively): – conclude, (ac-) count (of), + despise, esteem, impute, lay, number, reason, reckon, suppose, think (on).”

Philippians 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

An unrenewed mind (which is what a “carnal mind” is) is dangerous to your faith!

Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

“Enmity” here is: echthra (ekh’-thrah) “hostility; by implication a reason for opposition: – enmity, hatred.”

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Gentiles (without a covenant) walk in the vanity of their un-renewed mind.

Ephesians 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

“Vanity” here is: mataiotēs (mat-ah-yot’-ace) “inutility; figuratively transientness; morally depravity: – vanity.”

I had to look up “inutility” in the dictionary! It means: “the quality of having no practical use!”
What kind of mind DO we have?

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

“Sound” here is: sōphronismos (so-fron-is-mos’) “discipline, that is, self control: – sound mind.”
Arm yourself with the mind of Christ!

1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

The phrase in the KJV that says: “let this mind” is the word: phroneō (fron-eh’-o) “to exercise the mind, that is, entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; by implication to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction); intensively to interest oneself in (with concern or obedience): – set the affection on, (be) care (-ful), (be like-, + be of one, + be of the same, + let this) mind (-ed, regard, savour, think.”

Note that you have to LET His mind be in you! It is YOUR choice!

Real Faith Comes From Relationship!

As you know, I teach on faith quite a bit! I have for well over 30 years! In order to understand what faith is, let’s go to the Bible definition. Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The Strong’s concordance definition of “faith” is: “Persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction of religious truth or the truthfulness of God, or a religious teacher, especially reliance upon Christ for salvation. Abstractly, constancy in such profession, by extension the system of religious gospel truth itself.” In other reference materials you will find that the base definition of faith is simply “trust.” Easton’s Bible Dictionary says, “Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true (Phil. 1:27; 2 Thess. 2:13). Its primary idea is trust. A thing is true, and therefore worthy of trust. It admits of many degrees up to full assurance of faith, in accordance with the evidence on which it rests.” (Emphasis mine.)

Consider with me… What is “trust?” The dictionary definition of trust is “firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character, of a person or thing.” What is it that inspires trust? It is knowing the one that you are trusting. You have to have that reliance on their integrity and knowledge of their character. Without that trust in their character you can’t have faith in them. That’s why you can’t have faith, true Bible faith, without knowing the God behind that faith! To say that you have faith without knowing God proves that you don’t understand what Bible faith really is! Unfortunately, there are a lot of people today that say they have faith, but don’t really know God. They only have a concept of faith; they don’t really know what faith is.

So, let’s get back to this idea of trust. In order to trust you have to know the true character of the person that you’re trusting. Now, of course, we know that God has deep, perfect character. He’s the very essence of true character! After all, He is God! So looking at who God is and what we know of Him from the Word of God, we can deeply trust His character. But, there are a lot of people today who, because they don’t know God, and they don’t understand His character, have no concept of this trust! In fact, they actually don’t trust God. This is because they’ve been taught, incorrectly, that God is the root of their problem. That He is, in effect, “out to get them.” Of course, this is not true! God only wants what’s best for us! Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” I like what the Amplified Version of the Bible says for this verse: “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” Does this sound like a God who is “out to get us?” Not at all, in fact, this is indicative of a loving Heavenly Father who wants the very best for His children. In order to best understand God, and His character, perhaps the best example we can grasp is of a loving earthly father and his “only child.”

Many people say that children who are an “only child” are “spoiled.” Why do they say this? Because from the outside looking in, a person sees that a parent is fully committed to that child, perhaps to the point of indulgence. They are accused of giving that child anything and everything that they want! And, don’t get me wrong, that kind of situation, in the natural, can be taken to extremes! But, the fact is, that child is well cared for, and well provided for, because the parent in question is concerned only for that child, and wants to provide what is best for them. This kind of “indulgent love” may seem foreign to many people. But the doting care of a parent for a child is a good (albeit, simplified) example of how our Father God loves and cares for us as His children. This kind of God is a God we can trust and that we can rely on… and not fear evil from Him. That is the essence of this verse. Let’s consider it again, paraphasing: “I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, and they are thoughts and plans for your own good and personal welfare; for your peace, and never to do you evil… In fact my thoughts are to give you hope for your final outcome.” Consider this… this verse is talking about God’s thoughts. Thoughts are the root of actions. You don’t do something until you think about it, or consider it. Thoughts imply motives. You consider doing something… you take thought about doing something, long before you do it. At least you should!

So this gives us insight into this God in whom we trust. We can have full trust and assurance in God because His thoughts and motives toward us are only good. God is not out to hurt you! God is not out to “get” you! He’s not “the mean old man with a big stick” waiting to hit you over the head! In fact, He’s just the opposite! Tradition, and the teachings of the church, by and large, have led us to believe that God is mean to His children. In fact, some teach that God makes people sick. They teach that God puts people in car accidents. That God breaks people’s legs. Does this sound like a loving Heavenly Father? Does this sound like One whose motives are only good toward us? No! God has been lied about… He is not out to get you. He is, in fact, out to help you! Again, in order to trust you have to understand character. If you don’t know God’s character you can’t really trust Him. You can’t really know Him, and therefore, you can’t really have faith in Him. In order to have the kind of faith that we’re talking about, you have to have an intimate relationship with God. Otherwise, you are just giving Him “lip service.” Otherwise, you just have a concept. A mental image. Not a full, well developed picture of who God is at His core. Of what His character is like. To understand God you have to know Him. In the same way to understand me, Dr. Bill Bailey, you have to know me! You have to know me personally. It is not enough to just read something about me. You have to have a relationship with me in order to fully understand me, and understand my character. That’s why my closest friends, or my wife, Belinda, will know me and how I will react, and what I will say in a given situation, much better than a stranger. To know me well is to better understand me. In the same way, to know God intimately is to better understand His character… His desires, and His motives.

Diving In!Trust is derived from knowledge at a deep, personal level. Trust is the essence of faith. We talk about “the faith of a little child.” My son, Benjamin, when he was very young, loved to jump off of the diving board into the deep end of the pool, even though he couldn’t swim at the time… because he knew that I, as his father, would always catch him. He would jump off that diving board with wild abandon! Sometimes he would even do it when my head was turned, or I wasn’t watching. He didn’t care. Because he knew daddy would always catch him! And, praise God, I did! I had to watch him closely! I caught him, and I protected him, because I loved him… and still do! But to see that open, simple, childlike trust, was an amazing lesson for me as an adult, and as a parent. That’s the kind of childlike trust and “wild abandon,” that we need to have as believers! We need to wholly trust in God! We need to have “wild abandon” in our faith! There’s a song by Steven Curtis Chapman in which he talks about stepping off into the deep water. That song is an excellent illustration of faith! The kind of faith that “takes a leap of faith!” That’s the kind of faith we need to have in our Father God.

But as I say, this kind of faith only comes from personal, intimate knowledge from a personal, close relationship. This is not a “Sunday morning” kind of faith. What do I mean by that? There are a lot of Christians that do show up in church on Sunday morning once a week to do their “religious duty” and then “get on with their lives” day in, and day out. That does not provide the kind of relationship that we’re talking about here. That’s merely a passing acquaintance. You don’t get to know someone by just being with them one hour, once a week! You can’t get to know God by only giving Him one hour, once a week. You live with your spouse every day and every night, all day and all night. You do everything with them. You talk to them all the time. You share your innermost thoughts and feelings. You know they care for you and you care for them. That’s relationship. That’s intimacy. And that’s what we’re talking about… that’s what you need to have with God! Once you get to know Him that well, and want to start sharing things with Him that often… that is what is called “prayer!” Not the formal “thee and thou” kind of prayer. I’m talking about the kind of prayer that says, “Hey, God I’ve got a question.” You may say, “Well, Dr. Bill, that’s awfully abrupt… That’s awfully informal!” That’s the point! We’re not talking about a formal, stilted relationship. We’re talking about a close, friendly, intimate relationship. The kind in which you “let your hair down,” and just be yourself! That’s what God’s looking for! He’s looking for fellowship with you. Now, that word “fellowship,” I know, is a “religious word” in some circles. Let’s put it this way; He’s looking for a friendship with you! Look at all the places that God called “mere humans” His friend… He said Abraham was His friend; Jesus said to the disciples, “I have called you friends.” (James 2:23; John 15:15) God is looking for a close relationship with His people and that’s what engenders this kind of trust; this kind of faith. It’s knowing God’s motives and knowing His care for us; knowing that He wants to bless you… knowing that He’s a Friend. That’s what brings faith deeply into your life and allows you to fully trust Him.

The point of this article is that you have to have this close daily relationship with God in order to operate in the life-changing, mountain-moving, kind of faith that we teach about here at Word of Faith Ministries! You can’t just have a passing knowledge of God and a passing knowledge of His Word… a one hour a week relationship, and operate in the kind of faith that we’ve been teaching about. If you try to operate in this kind of faith with this shallow relationship, you’ll only be frustrated, and you’ll say “that faith stuff” doesn’t work! No, “the faith stuff” does work… It’s your relationship that doesn’t work! Faith is trust and trust is earned. Earned trust comes from the intimate knowledge of a person’s character. And that’s how you’re going to develop in this life of faith! That is how you’re going to become successful in “walking out” all the great things that you have heard about a life of faith. You can live out all that you have heard that is available in faith teaching… but none of it will come about until you have this close personal relationship with God!

So my advice to you, if I were to take you aside, and take you “under my wing,” so to speak, and “mentor you” personally (which, between you and me, is exactly what I’m trying to do here on this website, and in these articles) is encourage you to seek for, and have, this kind of close, personal relationship with the Creator of the universe! A relationship with God Himself… because until you do, you’re not going to understand God… you’re not going to understand His Word, and you’re going to have misconceptions about Him. You’re going to be frustrated. But, once you have this kind of intimate, close relationship… once you know God the way you should, you will commit to Him and spend time with Him as a friend! Day in, and day out, you’ll find that the life of faith is really simple, childlike trust in our Father God who truly loves you and wants only the best for you!

Living in THE BLESSING!

First, let’s find out how the words used in the scriptures for “blessing” are translated as in the Greek and Hebrew languages.  I always like to start with defining our terms!

Greek:
eulogia
(yoo-log-ee’-ah)

From the same as G2127; fine speaking, that is, elegance of language; commendation (“eulogy,”) that is, (reverentially) adoration; religiously, benediction; by implication consecration; by extension benefit or largess: – blessing (a matter of) bounty (X –tifully), fair speech.  (Strong’s Concordance)

Literally “eu” = “good” and “logia” “words,” so speaking “good words” over something or someone.  Remember, words are containers of creative power!

Hebrew:
berakah
(ber-aw-kaw’)

From H1288; benediction; by implication prosperity: – blessing, liberal, pool, present. (Strong’s Concordance)

The implication of the Hebrew word for “blessing” is “prosperity!”  We should not be surprised that financial prosperity is included in The Blessing!

Now, let’s look into the Word of God, and see what we can find out about “the blessing” and the “Bless-er,” that is, God Himself!

God is the “Bless-er”

Genesis 22:17 “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;”

God is, by His own nature, a bless-er… He desires to multiply and bless His children, just as an earhly, human father wants to bless his children and see his children grow and prosper!  No good father wants evil for his children!  And, God is not only a Good Father, He is the BEST Father!

Your Employer is Blessed for Your Sake – The Blessing is Tangible!

Genesis 39:5 “And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.”

You need to make a faith “stand” for this truth!  Simply being an employee in your particular business, makes that business blessed!  You need to actively believe for the blessing to overtake your company!  Everyone, and everything, there is blessed because you are “the Blessed!”  Allow The Blessing to increase and prosper your company, and all will begin to recognize that “something” has changed, the company is finding favor, and it will be because of your position in the company!

You MUST Choose The Blessing!

Deut. 11:26 “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
Deut. 11:27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:
Deut. 11:28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.”

Deut. 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Deut. 30:20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

Notice that choosing to live in, and recognize The Blessing is entirely up to YOU! You are the deciding factor!  YOU have to actually stand and believe for what God has promised!  If you aren’t living in the blessing, it is not The Bless-er’s (God’s) fault, it is entirely YOUR fault!  God has said (with His Mouth, which contains creative power) that you are The Blessed!  So, apply that Blessing to yourself by faith!

God Will Turn the Curses of Others to Blessing!

Deut. 23:4 “Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.
Deut. 23:5 Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.
Deut. 23:6 Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever.”

So, you say that people at work, or maybe even at church, are against you?  Your family, or friends, seem to have turned against you?  Well, “shall their unbelief make the faith of God of none effect?” (Romans 3:3)  NO! People may actually be actively against you, they may even be “cursing” you by speaking against you and what you are purposefully believing for… BUT! Glory to God!  God will “turn their curses into a blessing!”  Whatever they may be saying that is evil against you will NOT deter your faith!

God Will Command The Blessing!

Deut. 28:8 “The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”

Everything that you put your hand to, everything that you “attempt” in faith, will be Blessed!  You will be blessed in your storehouses (bank accounts) and you will be blessed in your surroundings and circumstances!  Hold fast to The Blessing!

This Blessing is NOW on Us (as Gentiles)

Gal. 3:14 “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

Gal. 3:9 “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”

Hebrews 6:13 “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,
Hebrews 6:14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
Hebrews 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.”

Aren’t you glad that The Blessing is not JUST reserved for the Jews?  (Thank God that it is for them as well, but, it is also for us as Gentiles!)  Don’t let anyone tell you, “Well, that is just for the Jews!”  No, these scriptures tell us that The Blessing is for all of us that have been grafted in as well!  (Romans 11:17-24)  Say this, “I am of faith, therefore, I am blessed with faithful Abraham!”)

Note also that The Blessing is a multiplication… not just an addition.  It is like the old, familiar story of taking a penny, doubling it every day… that is multiplication… not just addition!  It is called an “exponential growth!”  In short order you would have started with only a penny, but you would soon have millions of dollars in pennies!  God’s Blessing is EXPONENTIAL!

God’s Blessing is ONLY Good… The Blessing Has NO Downside!

Proverbs 10:22 “The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.”

There are a lot of people today that are rich in the natural, but in their family life, and personal life, they are destitute!  God’s Blessings, and His Riches are ONLY GOOD… He adds NO sorrow with the Blessing!  YOU CAN REST IN HIM and fully trust that He has only good and peace in store for you!

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Jeremiah 29:12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.”

Tithers are Blessed!

Malachi 3:10  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Malachi 3:11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
Malachi 3:12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.”

God Himself will rebuke satan for OUR sakes!  We are The Blessed!  In fact, ALL nations shall call us “The Blessed!”  We are blessed by the Tither’s Blessing!

Maintain an Attitude of Blessing!

1 Peter 3:8 “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
1 Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
1 Peter 3:11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”

Note the attitude that we, who inherit The Blessing, should have: compassionate, loving, full of pity (active concern,) courteous, not rendering evil for evil, or railing (griping and whining) but rather, we should be speaking words of Blessing toward others!  We need to be lovers of life, and refrain from speaking contrary to the Word of God, we need to be rejecting evil, and doing good, we should be seeking peace with others!  As Blessed people, we are those that can, and should, be helping others, not rejecting them and running them down!

We Are Blessed Spiritually!

Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”

We are Blessed in the spiritual realm, in our spiritual life, in our communion and times with the Lord!  We should be experiencing the best in our spiritual life with God!

We Are Blessed Materially!

Romans 8:32 “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

God will “freely give us ALL things!”  That covers material blessings!  If it is not covered specifically, then, all still means “All!”

The Blessing Covers Life Here on Earth and in Heavenly Realms!

2 Peter 1:3 “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:”

Notice that this pertains to life here on earth, as well as our spiritual state!  Also, notice that this Blessing comes through the “knowledge” (Greek: “epignosis” – “full discernment” “revelation knowledge” “epi” = “above, or beyond” and “gnosis” = “body of knowledge.”)  Therefore, “epignosis” is the knowledge above and beyond our natural body of knowledge, it is revealed knowledge!  We receive these things by revealed knowledge of the Word of God, of His Plan for us individually as believers, and by receiving supernatural direction from Him!

Matthew 16:17 “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

We need to receive revealed knowledge from God, and live in the Blessing He has bestowed upon us!  The Blessing comes by revealed knowledge!

God is Love! We Need to Have Faith in His Love!

1 John 4:16 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.  God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”  In fact, God loved us before we had accepted Jesus as our Savior; that is what is so amazing about the Love that God had for us, even when we were sinners… He loved us!

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Note that God so loved THE WORLD that He sent Jesus. And, Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Now, if God can love us THAT much, even while we were yet sinners… then we have to learn to love ourselves enough to forgive ourselves and let go of the past. In fact, we can’t adequately love others until we learn to love ourselves. This means letting go of what we were.

Paul said that he had to forget his past and look only forward. Philippians 3:13, 14 tells us, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

He said, “…this one thing I do, FORGETTING those things which are behind,” and then he pressed “toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” We are to be “heaven minded” and not “past minded.” There is an old Christian saying, “He’s so heavenly minded that he’s no earthly good.” I understand the sentiment, but I prefer to see it as “SO heavenly minded that they ARE some earthly good!” Once we look at the mark (goal) that God has set for us, and strive toward that, we become less US centered, and get more GOD centered! Then, what we have done in the past is not what is constantly before us, but rather, what God has for us in the now and the future. THAT is what we dwell on, and think about, NOT the past.

Another key point is that we HAVE BEEN MADE the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We are NEW creatures. 2 Corinth. 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Everything has passed away, ALL THINGS are become new. A “new creature” here in the Greek literally means, “a new species of being.” That is, a new type of creature that never existed before. We are not the old type of man, we are a NEW type of man, one that is alive unto God. In fact, we ARE a spirit, we POSSESS a soul (mind, will and emotions) and we live IN a physical body. We are what is referred to as a “tripartite man” in Theological terms. Paul speaks of this in 1Thess. 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Note that he prayed that God sanctify us WHOLLY (completely) spirit, and soul, and body. Before being born again, our spirit man was dead unto God, but now, we ARE living SPIRITS (Greek, “pneuma“) that possess a SOUL (Greek: “psuche“) (mind, will, and emotions) and live in a BODY (Greek: “soma”). By recognizing that we aren’t as we were, that all the old has passed away, and that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus… we know that our “right standing” (which is what “righteousness” means) with God is of Jesus, not of us. This is very “freeing,” because my “right standing” (my position) before God is not dependent at all on my past, or even my current, actions. It is WHOLLY dependent on God’s work in me, which was done when I received Jesus… thus becoming a new creation man. 2 Corinth. 5:21 says, “For He (God) hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we (believers) might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Since HE made me the righteousness of God in Him, I don’t have to worry about any actions on my part being necessary to be that righteousness! In fact, He says plainly that that is NOT the case.

Gal 2:16: “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

Eph 2:8-10: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk.”

So, we are saved by faith (and even that is not of us, but a gift from Him!) And, we are justified by faith, we are HIS workmanship… meaning He has “re-made” us as new creatures… so the old has, indeed, passed away. That old man is gone. Since we were saved by faith, we also have to live by faith, and not look at what our lives look like, or feel like. I may not “feel too saved” on a given day… but I still am… because it isn’t dependent on me… it is only defendant on HIM! That is such a freeing thing to trust in… and that is what faith is… simple trust in God!

2 Corinth. 4:18 says, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

The things that we see in the natural are temporal (the Greek meaning here is “subject to change, temporary”) but the things of God, the things of heaven, spiritual things… THEY are eternal. They are not subject to change, time, or circumstance. THEY are solid and dependable! As are we, IN HIM!

Fight the Good Fight!

1Ti 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

The only fight we are to fight as believers is the fight of faith. We don’t fight against men, we don’t fight against society… though it is incumbent upon us to speak the truth of the Word to society and live as an and example before society. BUT, we don’t fight society, we don’t attack, we extol God’s love, His virtue, His demonstration of Love in sending Jesus as sacrifice and substitute for THE WORLD. We aren’t against the world, we are to, as God did, and does, LOVE the world!

Indeed, we are here to reach the world with the Love of God! Other religions and belief systems attack, destroy, and try to “take over” the world, and set up their rule and law, but as believers we are to preach the Word of God, in season and out of season.

2Ti 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

We exhort (which means “to call near, or invite”) with all patience (longsuffering) and teaching of God’s Word (doctrine.) So, we are here on earth on a mission. Our mission is to share God’s Love, His Goodness, and His Lovingkindness in sending His Son, Jesus on behalf of the world.

We are to “profess a good profession.” The Greek word translated “profess” here is to “speak the same thing.” It is the Greek word, “homelogeo.” “homo” means the same, “logeo” is derived from “logos,” the Word. To “speak the same word of God!” Notice we are to do this before many witnesses. We speak what God has given us to speak. In doing so, we are fighting the good fight of faith!

Just What Do We Mean by “HyperFaith?”

HYPER,” meaning “excessive, above, or beyond,” or, “more than”, and it is “used as a prefix to technical concepts to convey a more advanced capability.”

FAITH” is defined Biblically as, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Hyperfaith” is a term coined by critics of the Word of Faith message that is supposed to be derogatory… however we embrace it! After all, having “excessive, above or beyond,” or advanced capability in the area of Biblical faith sounds excellent to us! In upcoming articles we will be talking about what faith is, what it is not, and providing excellent IPTV (Internet Protocol TeleVision) video shows, as well as more audio podcasts about how YOU can use the God kind of faith!

Why Speak Your Faith?

There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about the “Word of Faith Message”, or “The Power of Confession”, or maybe you’ve heard the term, “Name it and Claim it!” The question at hand is as to whether it is Biblical to teach that “profession brings possession” is a simple matter of checking the Bible, the Word of God, to see if the scriptures lend credence to this teaching.

An often quoted scripture is Romans 4:17, “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” Note that God, it says, “makes alive the dead, and calls those things that be not, (are not in existence yet,) as though they were already in existence. This is the essence of what God did in Genesis when He said (in the Hebrew) “Light be!” and, light came into being! Before He said it, light “was not yet”, but once He said it, light sprang into being. “Well, yes,” you might say, “but, Dr. Bill, that was God!” True! I will give you no argument there! The question becomes then, does God want US to “call those things that be not as though they are?” Let’s look at what Jesus taught the disciples in Mark Chapter 11.

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 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. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:22-24) Now this is the King James Version, and I know that it can be a little “blind” to us sometimes, so let’s look at the same scripture in the Bible in Basic English translation, “And Jesus, answering, said to them, Have God’s faith.” Truly I say to you, Whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and be put into the sea; and has no doubt in his heart, but has faith that what he says will come about, he will have his desire. For this reason I say to you, Whatever you make a request for in prayer, have faith that it has been given to you, and you will have it.” Notice it says, “Have God’s faith…” The Greek meaning here can be expressed, “have the God kind of faith,” or “use God’s kind of faith.” Now if Jesus is teaching us that we should actually use God’s Faith… which make no mistake, He is saying to do that… then, we should use God’s faith in the same way that God uses it…. by speaking! Let’s look at the rest of the verse… notice He says, “whoever will say.” The promise here is not to EVERYONE, no indeed! It IS to anyone that will “say!” The qualifier is that you be willing to speak God’s Word over the situation! And, note, He is not saying talk ABOUT the situation, He is saying rather to talk TO the situation, or thing! You must be willing to “say to the mountain” what you want it to do! A lot of people are simply not willing to “say!” They won’t speak their faith! But, notice, as Dr. Kenneth E. Hagin has pointed out so many times in teaching about these verses, there are three “sayings,” to one “believing!” Once you believe, you have to speak! 2 Corinthians 4:13 makes this clear as well, “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.” We believe, therefore we speak!

Over and over again, the Bible makes it clear that once you believe, you must confess, or speak, the thing that you believe. Even in being saved, we follow the process of believing in our heart, and confessing with our mouth. Notice Romans 10:8-10, “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The Word is near you, it is in your heart, and in your mouth! You must, it says, “confess with the mouth!” Notice, it is not enough to “think with the mind,” you MUST “confess WITH THE MOUTH!” This follows the method that God used, He spoke, and it came to pass! We speak His Word, and it comes to pass! Whether it is in salvation, or, as the Greek makes clear in the translation of this word “salvation” used in this verse, “saved, healed, and made whole spirit, soul, body, financially and socially!” The word used here means all these things! It is literally “wholeness,” or “complete restoration.” This Biblical principle of confessing God’s Word to bring to pass what is true in the spiritual realm into manifestation in the natural realm is a key Biblical principle!

Speaking the Word brings God’s power and authority to bear on a physical problem! Consider the fact that the centurion that Jesus marveled at (because of his faith) understood this principle. Matthew 8:8 says, “The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.” Note, that he “was not worthy” because he understood that he had no covenant with God at that time, as he was not of Jewish heritage in the natural, but he understood that Jesus was walking in covenant, and in authority, with God. He said, “Speak the word only… and my servant shall be healed!” Then notice what Jesus said about him in verse 10, “When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Not even the Israelites of that day, though they DID have a covenant with God, had the faith of this centurion! Why? The centurion understood the principle of speaking the Word of God in faith! He understood that there is authority in God’s Word! Beyond that, God’s Word has the power within itself, to cause the Word to come to pass! This is a direct translation of the scripture in the Greek translated as, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37) Mary had asked the angel in effect, “How shall I conceive a child since I am a virgin?” The angel responded with the phrase above. Now, “with God all things shall be possible,” is certainly true, but reading the King James translation, we don’t get the full meaning! In the Greek, the angel was explaining to Mary the “how” of the situation, which is what she originally asked! “God’s Word contains the power within itself to cause what it says to come to pass.” Because God has spoken that she, as a virgin, would conceive a child, that Word spoken by God, alone, had the power within it, to cause it to become a material reality!

Jesus went on to explain the importance of words on another occasion. In Matthew 12:34-37, He said, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” He said this to the Scribes and Pharisees, who were supposed to be experts in the Word of God, yet He says they were evil. How can they, being evil, speak good things? Notice, He says that one speaks, “out of the treasure of one’s heart.” The word “treasure” used here, means “deposit.” So, out of what you have “deposited” in your heart, or spirit, you will speak out of your mouth! Notice that Jesus says that we will be judged for EVERY “idle word,” again, the Greek rendering helps us understand, “every idle, inoperative, non-productive word that we shall speak” is what we will be judged for! We should use words carefully, as we would power tools! You don’t haphazardly use a power tool, or you could get seriously hurt! In the same way, you shouldn’t misuse, or take for granted, the power of your words!

You might ask, “If words are so powerful, then why aren’t they coming to pass instantly all the time?” You might say, “That scared me to death!” But, you don’t drop over literally dead! True! Thank God! If so, we would have a lot of dead Christians to bury! No, the Bible teaches that the mouth, or the tongue, “sets in motion the cycle of natural events.” It is, therefore, a process! What the Bible says in James 3:6 is, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” The phrase “setteth on fire the course of nature” in the original Greek, translates, “sets in motion the cycle of natural events.” Satan therefore, tries to get you to speak contrary to God’s Word, and set in motion a chain of natural events, or a cycle, that will lead to destruction. No, you may not die immediately by saying, “That scared me to death!” But, you ARE setting in motion a cycle of events that enforces fear (“scared me”) and death in your life! In this way, satan can attempt to shorten your life! He uses the very power of your own words against you! The thoughts and temptations to speak those words of death and fear are the methods satan attempts to use to “set our tongue on fire of hell. Ephesians 6:16 says, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” The “fiery darts” are designed to set your mouth against you!

What should we do, then? Whatever we want to come out of our mouth, we should deposit in our heart! Psalms 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Hide the Word of God in your heart! Store it up there! Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” If you want to be “prosperous,” and “have good success,” then you should meditate on God’s Word! Then, what you have stored in your heart will come out of your mouth… and that word, God’s Word, will have the power within itself to cause itself to come to pass!

Speak faith!