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Without: 31 Days to Increase Your Faith

 

 

WITHOUT

 

31 Days to Increase Your Faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Chris Stephens

Faith Promise Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

Introduction

How to Use this Transforming Tool

Some Additional Thoughts on Homologia

Devotional

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the pen and heart of your Pastor,

 

2016 is going to be the greatest spiritual adventure we have ever experienced together as a church family, and it will also be the same for your personal life. We have prayed, worked, and prepared for this time for almost a year. As many of you know, each year we have a theme for the year given by our Lord. Last year’s theme came from Psalm 92:12-14: PLANTED IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD. Early in 2015, the Lord spoke to me and gave me the theme for 2016. This gave us time to really prepare for you.

 

The simple fact that you’re reading this signifies your desire to grow and honor God with your whole heart and life. For this I am very grateful, and I’m so excited to get to play a small part with the Holy Spirit in your spiritual growth. God has clearly revealed that, “Without faith, it is IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD.” So, we have created for you a faith journal for your faith journey. I am super stoked about this transformational tool to aid in your spiritual growth and the walk of your ever-increasing faith.

 

I’ve never been more excited for you and your potential to grow and experience God at a whole new level. As your Pastor, I’m asking you to dive into this tool with all your heart. Some of the things I will ask you to do will be new and possibly uncomfortable—maybe even a stretch. Other things will be normal and comfortable. There’s no way to grow without getting outside of your comfort zone. Please do each exercise. What you will do, read, and think will be my “secrets” to growth. Go into this month and year with full faith that Jesus will meet you with great power to transform you.

 

Remember, God will meet you at the point of your faith and the level of your expectations. Believe with me that this will be our best year yet with our Lord. I can’t wait to see and hear all He will do in your heart and life!

 

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

 

 

HOW TO USE THIS
TRANSFORMING TOOL

 

 

It is with great love and care that I have prepared this tool for you. I have prayed over each word and thought, that it will impact you in a supernatural eruption. We designed this book to be used as a daily devotion for January. Many of you will use this book all year. I know I will. There are several parts of the devotion for each day.

First, is the Daily Declaration. You will hear much more about this in one of the first messages of the year as we take on the subject of faith. “Faith is calling those things which are not, as though they are.” (Rom. 4:17)

 

As you will notice, each declaration is titled Homologia. This is a Greek word that is translated as confess or profess. The literal translation is, “say the same word.” Homo = same, and logos = word. Say the same word, as is in the Word. Say the same things Jesus said. What you profess, you will possess, either positive or negative. It is up to you!

 

Some of you will say that this is not reality. You will not do it. You just call it like you see it. It requires no faith at all to use your words to describe how a situation is, but real faith declares how it will be. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

 

In the book of Joel, the weak are told to say, “I am strong” or “mighty.” Your salvation was a result of your confession: Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord…” You are already a confessor—we all are. Your baptism was a confession of Jesus as your Lord.

 

This part may be difficult at first for some people, as it was for me. Please just do it. Say it out loud. I began this discipline several years ago in my journal. I called it “I Declare!” As you confess, your faith will begin to sprout and grow wings. “Be it done to you according to your faith.” As I listen to the confession that comes out of the mouths of most Christians, it is not very positive. Many, even most, confess negative futures, bad circumstances, diseases, problems, and a whole host of nasty stuff. My confessions will be faith filled with a positive view of the preferred future God has for me and for you. I believe this discipline, and declaration will change your life. No doubt it has mine!

The second part of each day, entitled, “God, Please Open My Heart and Mind,” is a devotion I have written for you. I’m so grateful to many people who have made this devotional so much better. Three people are Michele, my wife; Gloria, my assistant; and Pastor Josh Whitehead. This section is to challenge and change you, inform you, and encourage you in your daily walk and growth with Jesus.

The third section, titled “Listening to the Lord’s Voice,” is a guided devotion for each day. I have given you a list of questions, thoughts, and verses. Please don’t rush through this part or you’ll miss hearing the voice of God. “Stop striving” or “be still and know that I am God.” Listening is the most difficult of all the disciplines.

 

I am so fired up about how the Lord will speak and move in your heart! Remember that there is no such thing as a microwaved personal growth plan, deep walk with God, or ever-increasing faith. The only way to deepen your devotion and relationship with our Lord is to spend time with Him.

The fourth daily element is “Gratitude,” and in this part you will list what you’re thankful for each day. When you focus on gratitude, you’ll become more grateful. As I will say many times in this book—your focus is your choice. I choose to be positive, walk in faith, and believe God for the best. So daily, see if you can fill in the blank with something different. I talk to blessed people every day who complain about what they do not have, why they do not have more, and how they always get the short end of the stick. I look at them and see nothing but the hand of God. They see something different. We each have a choice concerning our focus. A change of focus can change your destiny.

Dive in!!!!

SOME ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS
ON HOMOLOGIA

 

I just finished up the daily devotionals. They took far more time than I thought. I am so fired up and excited at the thought of your spiritual growth this year. It WILL be your best year yet! As I read over each day, I realized that for many of you, the section titled HOMOLOGIA will not be easy for a multitude of reasons. So I felt led to write a chapter to help you dive in. Believe me, I didn’t want to write anymore. This chapter was developed out of a message given by Pastor Brian Houston at Hillsong Conference 2015.

 

Our salvation begins with a confession. Romans 10:9-10 says, “Confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord…for with the mouth you confess…resulting in salvation.” Christians are by definition confessors. But it’s not just Christians—everybody is a confessor. So, what are you confessing? What are you speaking to your kids? Do you speak worry, defeat, hate, and skepticism? Our theme for the year is WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD!

 

The first section every day is to help you grow in your confession. Are you speaking words of faith, hope, belief, life, and a fantastic future? Faith is heard. Faith is belief that changes everything about us—the way we think that changes the way we speak and live. Galatians 3:5 says, “So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?” Daily, you should hear faith coming out of your mouth.

 

God should be hearing your faith and belief. This is why your confession is so important. Please don’t let your season of life frame your confession. You may be going through a tough time right now. Learn to speak the language of faith. Daily, we want to change our tone and tenor to triumph, not defeat. Faith without a powerful confession is like a checkbook without a signature.

 

Hebrews 3:1 says, “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.” The word “confession” in Greek is homologia—the same word. Homo = same, and logos = word. We live in a society saturated with unbelief and negativity, which is the antithesis of faith. So daily, we hear the confessions of what cannot be done. Our kids are learning negativity at church, at school, and at home. If we are people of faith, there should be faith coming out of our mouths, churches, and homes.

 

Your words frame your future! In the Old Testament the High Priest represented the people to God. He brought the sacrifices of the people to God. They brought animals without blemish or spot. They brought the best they had to God. Today, we don’t offer animals, but we do offer up the sacrifice of praise. Hebrews 13:15: “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” Let us offer up an unblemished sacrifice of our confession to Him.

 

Jesus is called the High Priest of our confession. Let us give a confession of praise to Him. Fill yourself with the same words God speaks. Fill yourself with the Word, and let it flow from your mouth. Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” In Matthew, Jesus said, “You will be judged by every idle word that comes out of your mouth.” In the book of Proverbs, the writer says, “Put a guard over your mouth.”

 

Just as we confess Jesus as our Lord, we confess all the promises of God with our mouth. Jesus said in Mark 11:23, “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.” SAYS it! The Word “say” is used three times in the verse. Just as in the Book of Ezekiel when God tells the prophet to speak to the breath of God, God uses your words spoken in faith.

 

Never let your circumstances change your confession! Words are used for creation, not just communication. God spoke, and it was!

 

God spoke…

Moses decreed…

Joshua commanded the sun…

 

God changed Abram’s name to Abraham long before the birth of his promised son. Abraham means “father of multitudes”. Every time anyone called his name, they were calling him a father of multitudes. Sarah means “mother of princes.” So, how does faith talk? Speak it! Speak it to your kids, family, friends, small group, and coworkers. Don’t just use your words to describe or define a situation but to change it. Romans 4:17: “… calls into being that which does not exist.”

 

Faith doesn’t lie. Some Bible teachers take confession to a level of lunacy. They tell you if you have cancer, not to say it. Faith does not lie! If you have cancer, you can say it. Just say you believe you’ll be healed. Faith is not legalism, nor is it selfish. Prosperity is not a bad word. It is a biblical word. God loves to prosper His kids so we can bless others. Faith is hope for the journey, but not just for you. It is for everyone you come into contact with.

 

If you were honest with yourself, your life lines up today with your confession. Beware of bipolar confession—faith Sunday and defeat Monday. A critical key in confession is consistency! There is great power in your words:

 

“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.” Proverbs 10:11

“On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found…” Proverbs 10:13

“The tongue of the righteous is a choice silver…” Proverbs 10:20

“The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom…” Proverbs 10:31

“The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable…” Proverbs 10:32

“A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words…” Proverbs 12:14

“There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

“A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

 

Please lose the labels that Lucifer or others have placed on you. Many of us are tethered to the past by what others call us. Loser, overweight, dumb, lazy—the list of what we have all been called is longer than this book. You’re brand new in Christ—the old is passed away! Don’t let people put you in a prison. Christ has changed your name to Overcomer, Victor, Winner, and a whole host of positive things listed in the Word of God. So, while you’re declaring things, take time to declare the new you. You will become exactly what you believe you will become. You’re so valuable to God that He sent His Son to die for you. The highest price ever paid in all of history was paid for you. Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. You have great value!

 

Listen to the way of the world long enough and you will become critical, cynical, negative, and without faith. Most confess the future will be horrible, and that is exactly what they get. Please put your all into each day’s Homologia. If you do the disciplines daily, it will become a habit, and your outlook will change as well as your heart and life. Trust me, it made a difference in me that is too big to even try to share. My prayer for you is that you will never be the same as you look by faith to God’s preferred future for you.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1

HOMOLOGIA

 

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—This is going to be my best year yet. I will grow this year like never before. I will watch my faith soar to heights I did not know were possible. I am an overcomer!! I believe that which I cannot see and know God is moving right now. I can’t wait to see all God will do for me, in me, and through me. With God, all things are possible. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. This year, I will put a smile on the face of my heavenly Father as my personal faith explodes exponentially. This is my FAITH confession!

 

Isaiah 61:1-4

 

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

As you hit 2016, “the year of faith,” like a holy hammer, I pray you realize how important your faith is to every aspect of your daily life. You have already agreed with God in your daily declaration (homologia) that it is impossible to please Him without faith. Have you ever noticed how often Jesus measured the faith of those He encountered? He said things like: “Where is your faith?” “Why did you doubt?” “You have some faith.” “I have never seen so great a faith in all Israel.” Could it be that He constantly calculated the faith of all those He came in contact with? We don’t have to possess a huge amount of faith; we just need to have faith in our huge God. “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed you could say…” A mustard seed was the smallest unit of measurement they had, so let’s have the faith to say so!!

 

In 2014, my daughter, Faith, went to the doctor to find out why she and Frankie had not been able to get pregnant. After many tests, the doctor told them they needed to adopt, for it was impossible for them to conceive naturally. They were heartbroken, and many of you have felt that same pain. She and Frankie came for prayer during the Month of Miracles in 2014 and were anointed with oil by our Elders and prayed for. Chuck Carringer and I linked our faith and believed that she would get pregnant by end of the year. Months later, the doctor said he was clueless as to how she got pregnant. He said it was impossible that she was pregnant! Faith told the doctor her dad and her church had been praying. In September of 2015, she gave birth to Isabella Grace, a beautiful baby girl. Her name means “full of beauty and grace.” During the pregnancy we called her our “Mustard Seed.” By faith our God can!

 

The prophet Isaiah proclaimed, “the favorable year of the Lord.” You can too. To proclaim means “to call out, to speak to yourself, or to summon.” By faith, we call out our best year yet. God has anointed you. His hand is on your shoulder right now. How will it be my best year, you ask? What can you believe God to do? You will be blessed to be a blessing. As Isaiah 61:1-3 says, you will:

 

“Bring good news to the afflicted”

“Bind up the brokenhearted”

“Proclaim liberty to captives”

“Proclaim freedom to the prisoners”

“Comfort all who mourn”

“Give a garland instead of ashes”

“Give the oil of gladness instead of mourning”

“Give the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting”

 

If you can, proclaim this as the will of God for you.

 

Why does God want this? So people can be called “oaks of righteousness, and be planted by the Lord.”

 

Now, look at verse 4. They will “rebuild ruined cities and the desolations of many generations.” You are going to be used to change the destiny of a generation, just like the founders of Faith Promise Church believed over two decades ago. They met in a hotel in Oak Ridge to seek the heart of God in planting a new kind of church. Now, look at the tens of thousands of lives that will never be the same. What they saw by faith then is now a reality!

 

God will use you to do the same kind of thing. You just have to have faith to believe and obey His Word and voice.

 

 

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

If you were to grade your faith on a scale of 1 to 10 what would your grade be today?

What do you think is holding back your faith?

 

If, as the Word says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word,” then how much of the Word is in you?

 

Can you think of a time when God came through for you? If so, write it down:

 

Remembering how He moved in the past gives you faith and hope for the future.

 

Do you believe God is limitless?

 

Do you believe God can give you your best year yet?

 

Spend a few minutes in prayer asking and sharing with our Savior what the favorable year of the Lord looks like to you:

 

Now, believe it is done in heaven and will be done here on earth.

Would you take just a minute and pray for all the other Promisors who are seeking the Lord this year, just like you are?

 

 

GRATITUDE

List one thing you’re grateful to our Lord for:

 

 

 

Day 2

HOMOLOGIA

 

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—I will walk in the favor of God like never before. I will see the hand of God at work. I will see answers to prayer. Today, God will give me ideas, and I will experience an anointing of ease. Things that have been hard will become easy. People will see Jesus in my attitude and actions. Today is the day the Lord made, and it will be glorious. This is my FAITH confession.

 

Matthew 11:28-30

 

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Your attitude today is a choice. What you choose to focus on is also a choice. You can be grateful, or you can grumble. It is human nature to focus on the negative, the bad, and the worst possible thing that could happen. NOT FOR YOU!!! You will choose faith and belief in the supernatural presence and power of our Lord. Look at how far He has already brought you, and He’s not done with you yet. Philippians 1:6: “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” What a promise to claim! As a part of Faith Promise, you’re a PROMISOR. We walk in promises, for they are all yes and amen.

I’m always saddened by how many saints expect (and so they receive) that everything will be hard. Look at today’s verses above. He said that if you are weary and heavy-laden, you can receive rest. The qualifying statement is, if you come to Him and learn of Him. Take his yoke on you.

 

I have an old yoke from El Salvador hanging in my office. It was a gift from a spiritual father—one of our missionaries named Lee Hartwell. I keep it there to remind me daily that I’m yoked with Jesus. If you’ve ever seen oxen yoked, they walk side by side. The owner walks in front of them guiding every step. Jesus does not walk in front; He is yoked with us, and He walks beside us. He is the one that pulls all the heavy weight. “For My yoke is EASY and My BURDEN is light.”

 

Today is your day to give Him all your heavy burdens. “Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” If you yoke with Jesus, “you will find rest for your souls.”

 

For all of the year 2015, I claimed and confessed I was walking in an anointing of ease. It was my best year ever. He began to pull me forward in the areas where I was struggling. He is a good God.

 

Maybe you’ve tried to lose weight, get out of debt, find a job, get promoted, or a million other burdens. Let Him carry you and open doors. It is our job to walk by faith. Without it, you can’t please Him. He wants you to believe Him for great miracles, dreams, and visions. Are you ready for an anointing of ease?

 

As the “Promisors” of Faith Promise began this journey over twenty years ago, they could have said, “It is too hard! There is no hope! Let’s just settle for an existing church.” How many people would still be hell-bound? They believed by faith that the Lord was in it, and He would bring it to pass. Faith is believing the things that are not as though they are.

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

What are your greatest burdens right now?

 

Now, by faith, give your burdens to Him. You may want to write them in a journal. List the date, and watch how He moves in to help. All year, keep up with your journal, and remember how He carries the burden.

 

What one thing would change your reality if God were to do it?

 

For me, if Faith Promise was debt free, it would change our reality. I am writing this in the third quarter of 2015, and if God moves in a powerful way, we may be debt free by the end of the year. Would you agree with me for this financial miracle?

 

Is there a burden you seemingly can’t lay down? Some are so close to our hearts that we can’t let them go. This is where faith comes to life. If you have something on your heart, release it to Him right now.

 

Thank Him for carrying this burden. Know by faith He is moving in the heavenlies.

Would you please pray for Faith Promise—for God to move in power at every campus and show Himself mighty in our worship?

 

GRATITUDE

List at least one thing you’re grateful to our Lord for:

 

 

Day 3

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today will be the day God breaks through in a supernatural way. Today, I believe my Lord will make a way where there seems to be no way. Today, He will open doors that have been shut to me. This will be the day I overcome like never before. Today, I will win and defeat the enemy. “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.” This is my FAITH confession.

 

I Samuel 5:20

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Sometimes it is easy to look at the circumstances around you and just give up. That is when we confess: we can’t, no hope, “I’ll never make it.” That is what King David could have done when the Philistines had spread themselves out to kill him. David could have looked at the natural and said, “No way! Let’s pack it up, boys, and head home. We’ll just be slaves of the Philistines like we’ve been before.”

 

How many people just give in to temptation or confess that they can’t overcome their addiction, their weight, or their debt?

 

That is not what David did. He went to God and inquired as to what he should do. He knew God was more than able. He asked, “Will You give them into my hand?” God responded, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.”

 

I love me some verse 20: “So David came to Baal-perazim and defeated them there; and he said, ‘The LORD has broken through my enemies before me like the breakthrough of waters.’” God can do the same for you, if you have the faith to believe. If you’ve ever seen a raging river or water burst through a dam, it is powerful—even scary. God can burst forth to your defense, in your victory, and on your behalf. He has limitless power. You have total and complete access to His storehouse, by faith.

 

Many of us never even ask God to do great things in our lives. Some feel so unworthy of His favor or miracles. On our own, all of us are unworthy. It is because of His great love, mercy, and grace that we have access.

 

I challenge you to believe God can, and is, coming through for you. If you’re single, He can bring a godly spouse into your life. He can get you out of debt, into a new job, heal your body, help you get healthier, and move in a million ways. The key to His door is faith. We are going to camp out in Hebrews chapter eleven and see how the great men and women of old accessed His promises and power by faith.

 

When the founders (Promisors) of Faith Promise launched, everyone said their plan was impossible. They wanted 12.2 acres at the doorway of Oak Ridge. There were several mountains in the way:

 

1. Oak Ridge City Council said, “No.”

2. The property in question required a charter change in the DOE—another impossibility.

3. This brand new church had no pull, clout, or influence with the power players.

 

These Promisors had one big thing in their favor. They had faith that God could and would be the breakthrough.

 

When the city council voted, they went from one in favor and six against, to six in favor and one against. No one could believe it! The leaders of this small church were in the parking lot praying, and God moved. Next, DOE changed its charter so Faith Promise could indeed buy the property. Before anyone knew it, God had broken through and opened every door! Our God can, and we can trust Him! “Be it done according to your faith.” (Matt. 9:29)

 

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

What does being a Promisor mean to you?

 

Have you ever seen God break through for you in your past?

 

What would it look like for God to do this for you right now?

 

This answer could remind you of something you need to write in your journal. List the date you wrote it down and the date He breaks through.

Do you think David felt any fear as he went into battle?

 

Can we face our enemies by faith and still have some fear within us?

What do you need to face right now?

 

Ask our Lord to give you the faith to believe Him for a breakthrough.

 

Would you intercede for every Promisor to see their faith grow exponentially this year?

 

Remember, thousands of other Promisors are praying the same thing for you!

 

GRATITUDE

List one area where God has broken through in your life that causes you to be grateful.

 

Day 4

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today is a great day! Today, God will help me, and it is a day when I will be strengthened by His Spirit. I will use my words to encourage others and myself. I won’t use my words to describe the circumstances or situations, but I will use my words to change the situation. I will speak life and faith to everyone I come into contact with, and my self-talk will be positive and affirming as a Promisor standing on the promises of God. This is my FAITH confession.

 

I Samuel 30:6

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

You could be in a place right now where no one is for you. You could be in a spot like King David where his men were actually talking about killing him. At this point in the story, David and his men had returned from a raid only to find they had themselves been raided. Not only had all of their possessions been stolen, but also their wives and children had been kidnapped as slaves. Can you imagine the thoughts rolling through their heads? What was being done to their wives? Were their children alive? Had they been tortured? Would they ever see them again? We usually don’t wonder well when the outcome has not been defined. Most don’t wonder by faith but by fear.

 

While the men wept themselves sick, to the point of exhaustion, David was taking an alternate course of action. This is an amazing action for us to take today. When you feel like a failure, when the future looks horrible or there seems to be no way out, don’t do what David’s men did. Do what David did: “But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” We know He is called “a man after God’s own heart.” This is at least part of the reason. Most of us just focus on the circumstances and not on the power or plan of Christ in our circumstances.

 

We Promisors have the power, by faith, to strengthen ourselves in His Word and promises. By faith, we know Romans 8:28 is true. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” He is not shocked by your circumstances or worried about what might happen. He is in control. It is time to stop, slow down, take a deep breath, and strengthen yourself in Him.

 

David did what he usually did—he asked the Lord what to do. God sent him after their families and property. They caught up with the raiders, defeated them, and took back every person and animal. They even took more than was stolen. David went from soon to be stoned by his own men to being the hero. How? He strengthened himself in the Lord while everyone else was caught in their circumstances.

 

When the Promisors bought the thirty acres where our Pellissippi Campus is located now, it was a big sacrifice and a huge step of faith. They had dreamed of the 12.2 acres in Oak Ridge for thirty years. Now, we were moving off the “promised property” and out of the promised land of Oak Ridge. We sold bonds and borrowed money to build our first building. Our CFO at the time, Harriett Westmoreland, told me we could go under if God did not come through! We strengthened ourselves in the Lord and took the step of faith. God did indeed show up and show out. Today, it is a great story, but back then it was scary!

 

You may be in Scaryville today. Things may look very bad! Faith is seeing the unseen. It is knowing that God will come through. Don’t get caught in negative confession like David’s men, but be like David. Strengthen yourself in the Word and Spirit. Know He is opening the door to your preferred future. What looks like a setback will be a setup for a move of God.

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Look around you today. How do your circumstances look?

 

What is happening to your thoughts? Are you filled with faith or fear?

Take a moment and write your prayer, strengthening yourself in the Lord:

 

Can you remember a time when things looked really bad and God turned the situation around? Give a brief description of His action on your behalf:

 

What is the greatest hindrance to your walk of faith?

 

Ask the Lord to help you overcome this obstacle to your opportunity.

Please pray for every Promisor who picks up this book. Pray that each will be transformed by the power of God.

 

GRATITUDE

Write one area where the Lord has given you victory:

 

 

 

Day 5

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today I will walk by faith and not by sight. I will believe God, no matter what I see, with full revelation and realization that it is impossible to please God without faith! My chief aim this day is to please and honor God. So, I will walk by faith. I will believe Him to do miracles and move mountains. I will not insult God by asking for only small and minor things, but I will ask for large and major moves of God. I can’t wait to see what prayer He will answer today or what miracle He will perform. Today, I look for His hand and His heart and line up with what He is doing in my life and ministry. This is my FAITH confession.

 

Hebrews 11:1,6

 

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

You can read the thoughts on our theme for 2016 (go here) for a deeper look at faith. You can also listen to the series for January entitled “Without.” For today, let’s revisit our key verses on faith: Hebrews 11:1,6.

 

“Faith is the assurance….” Assurance means “a setting or placing under a firm foundation, that which has actual existence.” If you build your life on faith, it has a firm foundation. The world will say you’re crazy, but how crazy has the world gotten? You have to make a choice: the world or the Word!!! “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” We can’t serve two masters; a choice has to be made. Faith is intellectual, emotional, and volitional. Your will is involved.

 

Walking by faith is not a choice we make in the by and by, but it is a daily deal. Sometimes we must make the decision several times a day. We live in the physical realm, and there is a tractor beam that draws us into it. If we are not careful, our focus will be on the here and now, and we will ignore the spiritual realm. As far as I’m concerned, the spiritual realm is the REAL WORLD. It takes all that is in me to continue to walk by faith here. This world is not our home. Once saved, your home is in heaven. Our passport is signed and sealed—HEAVEN.

 

Now, we are to operate with heaven’s rules and regulations. Heaven here on earth is all about faith. Assurance! “The conviction of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1) Conviction is “a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested.” I have all the proof I need. How about you?

 

In Hebrews 11:6 it says, “He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” I have sought Him for thirty-three years, and I can testify that He rewards both here and there. I am living Ephesians 3:20 right here and now. He has blessed me so far beyond my wildest dreams, and I know He will for you. The pivotal issue is faith!!! It is the key. I’m blown away daily by the negative attitude and negative confessions from Christ followers. In reality, they curse themselves, their families, kids, health, and future.

 

When I imagine the future, I see the glory of God. I see great things. I see victory, peace, and the power of God. I see Him moving in your life and on your behalf. Do you have the faith to believe with me? Please, at least for this month, try to declare the goodness of God. Confess His favor, presence, promises, and provision for you. Commit to putting one additional dollar in the offering every time you declare defeat in your life. That might help remind you to declare His goodness instead of defeat. I know you want to please God, and without faith it is impossible!

 

In Hebrews chapter eleven, a multitude of illustrations are given of those who made the right choice. We will look at them in coming days, but for now look at Hebrews 12:2: “…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith….” If we want to grow in faith, this is our focus—JESUS!

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

By faith, Jesus:

 

Jesus did tons of ministry and miracles by faith. He said you would do greater ministry than even He did. What would a miraculous ministry look like to you?

 

What do you think keeps you focused on that which is seen over that which is not?

 

If God could do one thing in your life that would bolster your faith, what would it be?

 

Ask Him to do this thing so your faith will increase, for we know that increasing faith is His will for you:

 

Please pray that God will open each of our eyes like never before.

 

 

GRATITUDE

What one thing has Jesus already done in your life to grow your faith?

 

 

Day 6

HOMOLOGIA

 

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will plant seeds of faith and obedience that will sprout for generations. I will see God bless my family and those I love. Today, I will pour out my life like a drink offering and be acceptable to my heavenly Father. He will give me everything I need this day to walk in victory as an overcomer. I will walk under an open heaven this day. This is my FAITH confession!!!

 

Hebrews 11:1-4

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

We all want to gain approval for our Heavenly Father. Look at how great men of old gained approval: “by faith”. By faith, we know how the worlds were made. Our world focuses on what is seen, and we have chosen not to ignore what is seen, but we hone in on what is unseen.

 

In Hebrews chapter eleven, we have the “Hall of Fame of Faith.” Our first illustration is found in verse four, regarding Abel. “By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain…” If you know the story, you know Cain murdered his brother for this action. It was not Abel’s fault that God rejected Cain’s offering. Cain gave God the leftovers, while Abel gave God the first part of his flocks. This is the first record of someone giving God the first part—a tithe, if you will.

 

Where does God rate in your order of priority? Is He prime time or pastime? Is He your focus or only a passing thought? Do you love Him supremely, or is He way down the list? We all want to be first on His list, no matter where we put Him on our list! Abel put Him first, and now thousands of years later we are still talking about his righteousness and approval by God.

 

Don’t be a Cain this year; put Jesus as Lord over your whole life. You’ll never regret it. I know Cain regretted his action. It goes on in verse 4: “God testifying about his gifts and through faith, though [Abel] is dead, he still speaks.” You can live a life of faith like Abel that will speak to the next generations. I believe God will pour out so much favor on my life that my great-great-grandchildren will hear how God blessed me. We all want our lives to reflect the Glory of God, like a full moon reflecting the light of the sun.

 

Do you believe God can bless, favor, and use your life in such a way? Early on, not many people believed God would use Faith Promise in any significant way. Few gave it a chance of even surviving. There were only a small number of people in an old building they bought from the Church of God. This small group of people thought differently. They believed God could use them to build a church that would reach many generations. Look at us Promisors today: six campuses, over 5,000 baptisms, an international campus, and ministries touching almost every nation on the planet. We are still growing, and there are many more locations to come!

 

Thank you, Terry DuPont, for having vision of what God could do. Terry stepped out and led this group of saints to make a world-changing difference. He and his wife stood with a few leaders, and by faith, would not be defeated. He boldly proclaimed that Faith Promise was birthed by God to reach those far from God. With limited resources, no staff, no facility, no mass media, no budget, and no long-term plan, they set out with nothing but faith. Thank you, founding Promisors who believed. You have truly impacted multiple generations. This group truly gave God their best and the first place in their lives. Like Abel, they will be remembered for generations.

 

Today, Terry and his wife, Arlene, are missionaries in Central America, making a difference in a different location for another generation. They are still walking by faith and call Faith Promise their home church and sending church.

 

God wants to use you to play a part and make a difference by faith. Time to get into the game!

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

If you were to honestly look at your heart, where would God rate in order of priority to you?

 

Can you honestly say that He has first place in your life?

 

Do you give God the first part of everything in your life?

Time

Money

Love

What, if anything, is keeping Him from being number one?

Is there is anything that is over God in your life? Would you ask Him to forgive you, and would you install Jesus as King over your heart?

 

What role do you play in this move of God?

 

Is there anything in your life that is hindering God from moving?

 

What does Jesus say we are to seek first in Matthew 6:33?

 

If we put Him first, what did Jesus say He would do?

 

God takes care of His children. Do you believe He will take care of your every need?

Can you find a verse that proves that?

 

Please pray for me and the leadership of FP, that we will listen to the voice of God and, by faith, follow His plan for our church:

 

GRATITUDE

Can you remember a gift your heavenly Father gave you?

 

 

Day 7

HOMOLOGIA

 

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will live and not taste death! I will speak life and experience the abundant life purchased for me by Jesus on the cross. Today, I will live in victory over the flesh, the world, and the Devil. Today, the world has no sway over me for I’m sold out to Jesus. I’m a radical Jesus follower and Word warrior. Today, I will experience what the world can’t even dream of. I will feel the touch and favor of God. This is my FAITH declaration.

 

Hebrews 11:5-6

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Have you ever had a bad taste in your mouth that you couldn’t get out? There are many things in this world that will leave a foul taste in your mouth, but none worse than death. This is the reason I love the biblical character, Enoch, who is seated as #2 in the Hall of Fame of Faith! He never tasted death. There is a very short list of people who can claim that. Even Jesus tasted death for us.

 

I have walked with many through the valley of the shadow of death. I have sat with the dying and been with the family as they choked on the taste of death.

 

None was worse than losing one of my best friends, Larry Petrowski. I called him P-roy. He was married to my faithful Assistant of nineteen years, Gloria. Larry and Gloria were married for almost forty-three years. After a short bout with brain cancer, the Lord took Larry home. We all miss Larry and his huge servant’s heart. As our Executive Pastor Josh said, “They are a ‘power couple.’” Larry’s taste of death was short, and today he is experiencing heaven. What we believe by faith, he sees by sight.

 

But Enoch never tasted death. Because of his walk of faith, God “took him.” He was so pleasing to God, that God took him home. Imagine walking with the Lord and you are so enjoying your time with Him, and God says: “Why don’t you just come home with me today?” That’s what He did for Enoch. Why? Because he was so pleasing to God because of his faith. The very next sentence is: “And without faith it is impossible to please God.” We all want to be more like Enoch. That is why I wrote this, and it’s why you are reading it. It’s why you are making bold declarations of faith daily and why you are being stretched and are growing so that you too will be hyper-pleasing to Him.

 

Faith is like a muscle; it must be used. It must be worked. Right now, by faith, I am writing this book and believing several things by faith about you:

1. That you’ll read it, do it, and believe it.

2. That your faith will grow more this year than in any previous year.

3. That Faith Promise will see revival, and 2016 will be our best year yet.

4. That you will experience the abundant life you may not have known existed or was even possible.

5. That we will be a part of building one of the greatest churches since Pentecost.

6. That this book will be a transformative tool in your hands like none you’ve used before.

In Psalm 23 it says, “We walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” For those who love and follow Jesus, death is only a shadow. A shadow is not the real thing. It is only the rough image of what is real. For us, by faith, death is a doorway to heaven. I believe there is a generation (maybe even alive today) that will not taste death. Jesus, the One who tasted death for us on the cross, will come and take them to heaven just like Enoch.

 

So today, maybe you have some loved ones who are already in heaven or some who are close to departing. We know the truth by faith. We get to walk in victory, and by faith we know that whether here on earth or there in heaven, we are with the Lord. “To be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8) Praise His holy Name!!!

 

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

In what area of your life are you standing in faith right now—so much so that if God doesn’t move, you’ll be in trouble?

 

Is there an area of your life where faith is difficult?

 

Ask the Lord to increase your faith:

 

Can you find a verse to memorize that will help you to grow in faith?

 

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

Romans 10:17

 

In what ways do you “hear” His Word?

 

Is there a new way for you to hear His Word and grow?

 

Would you pray for our student ministry at every campus? Please pray for our student pastors and all those who serve in this vital ministry.

 

GRATITUDE

What thing are you grateful for that God has done in your life because of your faith?

 

 

 

Day 8

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today will be a glorious day. God the Creator is in charge, and He loves to bless me, His child. Today, I will believe God for abundance and not lack. I will not just “get by” because I am blessed and highly favored. I will walk in victory with the hand of God on my shoulder. This is my FAITH declaration.

 

Deuteronomy 1:11

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

A mindset and mentality are a choice, just like our attitude and outlook. So few saints have an abundance attitude. Most of us have a survival mentality. We serve the God who owns it all, has it all, and has all authority and ability to bless His kids. The Word says in Romans 4:17, “By faith we call into being that which does not exist.” Come on, guys! Choose to walk in His favor and blessing. Many miss it because we don’t believe it. “Be it done to you according to your faith.” (Matt. 9:29)

 

We live in the poorest region of America. One of our Elders, Keith Gray, told me this, and it came as a shock to me. I argued with him, “No, the poorest region has to be southwest Louisiana.” Nope. The facts are the facts, and the Appalachian region is the poorest in America. Remember the movie, Deliverance?

 

Since I heard this about our area, I have discerned and learned that many people here have a “spirit of poverty.” Many feel trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty and see no way out. Some even believe that is what they deserve. The fact is, our God can. He can not only provide, but He can also cause you to thrive in supernatural abundance. John 10:10: “I came to give you life and to give it to you in abundance.”

 

“Wait, Pastor, this sounds like a prosperity gospel!” No, I don’t believe in the prosperity gospel. I don’t believe that God always wants us to be healthy and wealthy, but we must learn to trust God in every area of our lives.

 

A few years ago, our theme for the year was “hundredfold harvest.” Genesis 26:12: “Now Isaac sowed in that land and reaped the same year a hundredfold. And the Lord blessed him.” In context, that was a year of drought in the land. God can bless us no matter what’s happening around us. Even in a down economy we can still see increase. Our God does not bow down to the economy or worry about the stock market!

 

How many people have been saved and then increased? How many nations began honoring God and saw increase? I believe America has been blessed because of our missionary efforts and so many people who love God. It is an indisputable fact that God blesses His children. From Genesis to Revelation, Scripture makes this evident.

 

“Not me, Pastor, I have always been poor and so has my family. I have no college education and no hope for a better future.” If you believe that, then you’re right. Even if God blessed you, you’d sabotage yourself to bring things down to the level of your belief. Right now, I’m praying Ephesians 3:20 all over you!

 

I believe in heaven the Lord will show us all He had planned for us and how short some fell, measured against His potential placed in us. Your faith matters more than you know. Remember, it’s not about what you deserve but what God wants to do in you. God’s blessing is not just for you—we are blessed to be a blessing. He said it to Israel, He said it to the Church, and He says it to you. His blessings are not to pile up, hide, and hoard. We are blessed to share, give, and fund the Kingdom of God. He wants to pour out His blessings to you so you can pour it out to others. Can He trust you enough to bless you?

 

When you have a lack of faith and a “just-enough” mentality, you tie the hands of God. When you miss all He wants to do in you, others miss all He planned to do through you! Open your eyes, for you are a conduit for the Father to bless a generation. The Devil laughs at the “just-enough” mentality of saints. He knows how the Father loves to bless. “If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your kids, how much more will the Father give….” (Matt. 7:11)

 

“That’s true for you, Pastor, and maybe for others, but not for me!” I felt that way when I was young and very poor. I spent much time in the projects, and when I was twelve years old, we moved in with my grandmother. Five of us moved into her two-bedroom, one-bath house. My mom and stepdad were in one bedroom while my grandmother, myself, and my two little brothers were in the other. I slept in the bed with her, and my brothers slept on the floor. I remember the electricity and water being cut off many times due to lack of payment. I remember that we had no groceries in the fridge. My mother worked double shifts as a private duty nurse just to feed and clothe us.

 

I know what poverty feels like—a death grip around your throat that will never let go. BUT GOD! Can you begin to believe God can, and will, bring you into abundance? Please don’t limit our Lord by a lack of faith. Allow His favor to fall, believe Him for abundance, and trust Him to bless your socks off. We have to believe to receive.

 

Today, I believe I’m His favorite. I live in a beautiful home. I have a great family, and I get to pastor an amazing church. I have awesome friends. I’ve been able to see parts of the world I never dreamed I would. I am blessed and highly favored.

 

I hope you see yourself as His favorite. I’m pretty sure He can have more than one.

 

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Did you grow up poor, middle class, or rich?

Do you believe God desires to bless you?

 

What would abundance look like in your life?

 

What is your current level of giving?

Beginner (You’ve given a few times in the last year)

Learner (You’ve put God in your budget at a %)

Core (You give God 10% of your gross income)

Lavish (You exceed 10% in your giving to the Lord)

Your giving is a test of your faith; that is why I ask the question.

Do you have the faith to believe and be obedient in the area of giving your tithe to the Lord through His Church?

 

Jesus said in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

Can you remember a time God came through in abundance?

Stop and reflect on the goodness of God and imagine some of the ways He might want to bless you:

 

If God blessed you in a supernatural way, whom might you want to help?

Would you pray for every Promisor, that they would walk by faith in the area of giving tithes and offerings?

 

GRATITUDE

When was the last time God came through for you?

 

Remember, faith is a muscle, and it is a journey. Growth comes as we take a step of faith daily. It grows as we constantly step out of our comfort zones. I have been taking steps of faith for thirty-three years, and God keeps growing my faith. My first faith battle was in regard to giving $20. Today, as we consider strategic decisions for the church, the decisions are in the millions. It does not get easier. A track record of the move of God will give you the impetus to keep growing and stepping out. I see the faith journey as an adventure. I can’t wait to see how He will work in yours.

 

Today’s devotion is a little longer due to the way some of you might react to it. As your Pastor, I am praying for you. I believe God’s desire is to care for you and bless you. I have the faith and see His hand on your life. I believe He wants to take you to heights you never dreamed of. Agree with me for His supernatural abundant supply.

 

Day 9

HOMOLOGIA

 

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today I will walk by faith, filled with the Spirit of God. No matter what I see or what my current circumstances are, I know God is in control. I will win today and not lose, for my God is for me! Great things will happen for me and in me this day. I’m fired up and filled up with His love in great anticipation of all He’ll do today. This is my FAITH declaration.

 

Hebrews 11:8-19

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Today we move to #4 in the list of the Hall of Fame of Faith. But don’t think because this guy is further down the list that he is somehow secondary—he is probably #1. His name is Abraham, and he’s called the “father of faith.”

 

There is so much we can learn from Abraham’s life and his faith. He left his homeland for a country God would someday show him! This is huge: “…he was looking for a city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Heb. 11:10) Talk about a guy who was not going to settle for a sad second best!

 

Have you settled? I watch so many saints settle for second best. “Well, I’ll never find a good spouse, so I’ll just marry this person.” “I’ll never find a good job with benefits, so I’ll quit looking and settle.” “I’ll never lose weight, so I’ll just settle for out of shape, no energy, and an early death.” “I’ll never have any money, so I’ll just be deep in debt all my life.” Do these statements sound strangely familiar? Saints—sons and daughters of the Most High God—why are you settling for a sad second place when God has the best for you?

 

Abraham left all he knew for a single promise of a better life, directed by God. That’s faith. You may have to leave something or say no to some things to wait for God’s best for you.

 

Will you believe the report of the doctor as final? Will you stand on a bad economy or the promises of God? Faith is trusting and believing God in spite of what we see.

 

Abraham’s huge step of faith was his willingness to offer his son Isaac up as a sacrifice. Hebrews 11:17-19: “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, ‘IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.’ He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.”

 

The last word is type, or figure. It means “a placing of one thing beside another, juxtaposition.” No question, Abraham loved his son. He was the son of promise. As the son of his old age, Isaac was a miracle. This command must have created quite a commotion in the heart of the father of faith. Do you think he was desperate? Think he prayed hard? Abraham saw the will of God and it could not be avoided, but he had to see something else. Isaac was a type or figure, but of what?

 

You can see what’s coming, can’t you?

 

Jesus said: “Abraham saw my day and he rejoiced in it.” A thousand years before I [Jesus] got here he saw me here and rejoiced about it.” Where did Abraham get such faith? Hebrews 11:2 says, “For by it the men of old gained approval.” He wasn’t worried about the ram, because he’d seen the Lamb!!! When you’ve seen Jesus, you will have the faith to believe. Like Saul on the Damascus Road, he saw Jesus; the rest was just a walk of faith.

 

Have you seen the Lamb? Is Jesus the Lord over every area of your life? Are you willing to fully trust Him by faith? Abraham’s life was an adventure of the supernatural kind. That is the plan of God for you, if you will follow by faith. “My sheep know my voice and they follow me.”

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

As we move well into the second week of our devotional, how’s your faith?

 

Do you feel a stirring deep in your soul as you make the daily declarations?

 

What do you think is your greatest challenge in walking by faith?

 

What would it look like for you to overcome?

 

Take a moment to close your eyes and visualize you are already living in this manner, for it is the will of God for you.

This faith walk is a journey. He will never let you settle, stop, or stand still for long. His expressed will for us is to continue until we see Jesus face to face. Is there a nagging area where God will not let you settle or stay?

 

Abraham began to tithe long before the Law was given. Would you agree with me for all of FP to have the faith to put God first in the area of finances?

 

 

GRATITUDE

Is there a struggle or difficult area in your life that the Lord has allowed to test your faith? What is it?

 

Take a moment and thank Him for the opportunity to grow and see your faith take flight.

 

Day 10

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, God will move miraculously for me and in me. The same God that parted the Red Sea will make a way for me. He will supernaturally open doors, and He will grant me favor with the people I come into contact with. He will open every door the Devil has tried to close. What I cannot make happen on my own, God will make happen. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

Hebrews 11:23-29

 

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Each of us, at least one time, if not several times, has been in circumstances we thought were impossible. If you look back today, you may still not know how you got out.

 

One evening, when I still lived in Louisiana, my family and I were in the front yard. It was dark, and I was talking to the neighbor across the street. His name was Keith Wall. We saw a car barreling down the road. Out of nowhere, my young daughter, Faith, bolted across the street, right in front of the car. The car did not even slow down, and we all screamed at the same time.

 

When the car passed, we looked, expecting Faith to be dead. Fear gripped our hearts as we waited for what seemed like an hour. Actually, it was just a second, but in the midst of great trouble, time can stand still. After the car passed, Faith was standing on the other side of the road, smiling and waving for us to join her.

 

Should I kill her or kiss her? All four adults were befuddled at the miracle we had just witnessed.

 

This was what Moses experienced, not just once, but many times. You may have noticed that Moses, like Abraham, was not relegated to just one verse in the Hall of Fame of Faith. We could spend a day contemplating the faith of his parents who disobeyed the law and hid him instead of killing him. We could camp out on how he rejected the riches of Egypt, “…choosing the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.” (Heb. 11:24)

 

“By faith he left Egypt”: These two words, “by faith,” are used quite a few times in this one chapter.“ Think God wants us to get it? Without faith it is impossible to please Him. So my goal is to help your faith grow.

 

By faith, Moses left Egypt and saw many miracles from the hand of God. We could list them, and it would take a full page. The greatest miracle in Moses’ life was the parting of the Red Sea. It is mentioned so many times through the Bible, and it is possibly the greatest illustration in the Word.

 

You probably know this story, even if you didn’t grow up in church. The multitude had left Egypt, and Pharaoh’s army was in hot pursuit. God led them to the Red Sea Club, with mountains to the left and right, the sea ahead, no boats, and the army bearing down on them from behind. In the natural, it was impossible; they were dead meat!

 

As the multitude waited for the mass murders and executions, God stood between them in a pillar of fire. You’d think that would have been enough for the army and for the Israelites, but no! Don’t miss the fact that this was a sovereign setup by God to teach them about faith.

 

Have you ever been here? Impossible situation; no way out! Of course you have. Few have the faith to believe God will come through. Most of us act just like the Israelites. They wanted to kill their leader. They wanted to give up! They confessed that they were doomed! They believed they had no hope. Can you relate to how they felt? It is easy to look back with our knowledge and condemn them, but what about us? Do we believe God will come through, or do we confess with the Israelites, “I’m doomed?”

 

So God, as usual, made a way. Moses held up the staff of God, and God sent the wind. As the people of God sat cowering and waiting for death, Moses called them to cross the Red Sea on dry ground. They gladly marched out, looking at a wall of water on either side.

 

When the Israelites got to the beach on the other side, God removed the wall of fire, and Pharaoh followed them on the seabed road. The only problem: the road was for His followers, not His enemies. The wind stopped, the walls of water fell, and the Egyptians that had enslaved the Israelites for 400 years all drowned.

 

The same God that parted the Red Sea can open any door for you. He can get any deal done that He wants done. He can provide bread, water, and meat in the desert for over two million Jewish refugees for forty years. He can, and will, come through for you.

 

Remember why the Israelites wandered for forty years? They had no faith! The same ones who saw the Red Sea part didn’t believe God would get them to the Promised Land. The Promised Land is entered into strictly by faith. So is His rest.

 

By faith you can enter into His rest today. Come on in, the water is always fine at the Red Sea Club.

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

When was the last time you were in a situation that looked impossible? Please describe it:

 

How did God come through?

 

Do you believe that God “is the same yesterday, today, and forever?” (Heb. 3:8)

If He is the same, does He still have the same power?

Do you have a problem that is too large for Him?

 

Are you facing an impossible situation right now?

 

What would it look like if God parted the Red Sea for you?

 

There are many in our church family right now who are at the Red Sea. Please pray that God parts the sea of circumstances for them.

 

This is so cool, because thousands of Promisors are praying the same thing for you!

 

GRATITUDE

Will you thank the LORD for parting the problem for you, even before it is parted? Can you do it with the same gratitude as you would on the winners’ side of the Red Sea?

 

Remember, faith is calling that which is not, as though it is.

 

Day 11

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will pray with full faith that you hear every petition I ask for. I will pray according to Your Word and walk in full assurance of Your answer and Your provision. You said that all we had to do was ask and You would answer. I ask without wavering or wondering, as I walk in your strength. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

James 5:15-17

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Almost everyone prays! Every religion prays, and in a foxhole even the atheist prays. If you have ever been to church, you have heard people pray, teach on prayer, and preach on prayer. Please do not misunderstand what I am about to say, but praying alone is not enough. If there is no faith in what you’re praying for, you might as well not pray! OUCH! Give me a little time to unpack this thought. I am a believer in prayer and a practitioner of prayer! I have large chunks of my calendar set aside for prayer.

 

Let me allow an old voice from the past century to speak. Manley Beasley was an old-timey Baptist evangelist for whom I have great respect. This is what he said: “Let us consider how to go from poverty to riches, from defeat to victory, from failure to success.” There is only one key revealed in the Word of God. Some people get the idea that it is by the amount of praying that a person might have success. But when you read the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews, you will find out it is not by praying, it is simply by faith. Some people think that it is because of their lack of prayer that they fail. You can pray until you’re blue in the face, but if you do not believe, you are still going to fail.

 

Some people have the idea that it is the amount of labor or work you do–that “doing” is going to bring success. You can labor all you like, but if faith is not present, you will ultimately fail. Without faith, man’s operation is in vain.

 

If you do not read this very closely, it could mess you up. In our verse for today from James 5:15-17, we read about the prayer life of the Prophet Elijah. He said it would not rain, and it did not. He said it would rain, and it did at his command. Note in verse fifteen: “…and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick…”

 

Prayer is essential, but our prayer must be in faith.

 

Earlier in James, we are encouraged to ask for wisdom if we need it, and God will give all we need. Then he clarifies his position in verses 6-7 of chapter one: “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord.” Here we are again, back to faith as the key! We ask with full belief that He will move. He promised He would.

 

Six years ago, we started the building of our Blount County Campus. I was warned by many in ministry that it would not work, but they had no faith. We spent 1.1 million dollars getting ready to launch the campus. This left us broke! I told Pastor Josh we were going to take up an offering in six weeks and it would be a million dollars. He laughed, as did most of the other staff. I believed. I preached, prayed, and believed. In our Heart For The Harvest Offering, the Promisors gave a million dollars. Did I pray? You bet, but I prayed by faith with full assurance that God would come through. This was the genesis of the annual offering we give to God.

 

Praise His holy Name!

 

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

When was the last time you prayed for something in total faith?

 

Have you ever asked God to do something, and the answer was no? What was it?

 

How did you feel when it was over?

 

Did your faith increase, decrease, or remain the same?

 

Those of us who choose to walk by faith will hit this wall. I have hit it and had some of my greatest spiritual battles with the Lord.

 

I had questions, and I wondered if I could pray in faith in the future. I chose to trust His promises, believe His Word, and pray in faith. If He chose to do another thing, then He is sovereign and that is His will. But I will pray and believe. If I don’t have faith to believe that God cares about my request, there’s no reason to ask.

Is there something you desperately need God to do right now? Then by faith, ask Him and believe you have it in the Name of Jesus.

 

Some of our church family need your fervent prayer. Let it go:

 

GRATITUDE

Would you thank God right now for giving you an increased amount of faith to believe Him for all you’ve asked?

Day 12

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today I will walk so full of the Spirit of God that I will spill onto everyone with whom I come into contact. My cup will run over, and I will shout the praises of my God. Today, the Spirit will have total control, and I will speak life and love to everyone I see. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

Ephesians 5:18

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Today, let’s combine the two most important issues in your walk with our Lord. The first is obviously faith, and the second is being filled with the Holy Spirit. These are our two pieces of essential equipment. Consequently, both are required in order for each to have the other. I would say it is impossible to have one without the other! Each day, you make a faith declaration that is rooted in the Word. That is what homologia means: “saying the same word.” When you make the declaration, it is the will of God, because it comes from His Word.

 

Ephesians 5:18 is a command. It is not a suggestion or just good advice. It is a command, as it is in the imperative mood. The command is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Early in my Christianity, this was oddly omitted. Many Christians, in fear of being called Charismatic, excluded the third part of the Trinity.

But this is a command from our Commander and Chief.

 

I have spent untold hours meditating and musing on this power message.

 

First, let me give you a little more grammar. (Funny–me using grammar. I barely made it out of high school English, and now we’re in Greek grammar.) The command is in the passive voice. That means we do not do the action, God does. Here is where faith is required big time! Since God does the action, we must ask and wait on Him in faith. This is a daily deal for me! The verb “filled” is a continuous command. Keep being filled. This is not a one-and-done deal. The sentence starts with a command not to get drunk. I believe this was Spirit breathed, as is all of Scripture. Just as a drunk is controlled by alcohol, if we are filled with the Spirit, the Spirit also controls us. The alcoholic spirits, not the Holy One, control the drunk.

 

To be filled and controlled requires submission and surrender on the part of the saint. This too is a daily deal. Know as a Promisor that I pray this for you daily as well.

 

When my son, Zac, was just out of high school, all his friends hung out at an apartment. This was not a great place for him to be, and I told him this. He was not happy, as all his friends were there around the clock. “What am I supposed to do, Dad?” I told him to make Jesus his best friend. He took my advice and stayed home with his mom and me. Not cool for a nineteen-year-old. This gave him some serious time to pray and reflect. One night in his bedroom, God gave him a revelation on this subject.

 

The movie 300 had just come out, and he loved it. It was about the Spartan warriors. For the Spartans, the “glorious death” was to die on the battlefield for King and country. Through this, the Lord showed Zac that we saints need to die the glorious death. Not a physical death, but a spiritual death to our old nature. Galatians 2:20 says that as we die to ourselves, we are filled and controlled by Him. Our selfish desires are given a glorious death, and we rise to walk in victory!

 

My son is not perfect—not by a long shot—but he is a Spiritual Spartan! He is now our Global Student Pastor, and across our campuses we have over a thousand students on Wednesday nights. He is walking in victory!

 

Surrender is the key to victory in the Christian life!

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

How full of the Spirit of God is your life? Mark where you are right now:

0 – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - 50 – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - 100

 

What would it look like if you were completely controlled by the Holy Spirit?

 

The flesh does not want to be crucified. (Gal. 2:20) What part of your flesh gives you the most trouble?

 

What would it take for you to completely surrender and submit to the Holy Spirit?

 

Is there anything or anyone in your life that you need to remove, like Zac did? Is something or someone pulling you down?

 

Would you pray that God would supernaturally fill every Promisor with His Holy Spirit like never before? I ask daily for us a double dose of the Holy Ghost. INJECTION!

 

GRATITUDE

Would you take a few minutes and ask the Lord to breathe on you? Will you ask Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit and take control?

 

Now, thank Him for answering your prayers by faith and for filling you:

 

Day 13

HOMOLOGIA

 

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today is a glorious day. God has me right where He wants me. He is controlling my circumstances to make the greatest difference for Him. What may look bad right now will turn around and be victorious. Everyone who sees me will see the hand of God on me. I have read the end of the Book, and God has seen the end of the movie. We win! This is my FAITH declaration!

 

Esther 4:13-14

 

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

It is so easy to get caught up in the circumstances surrounding us. Without faith it is easy to give up. Without faith it is easy to blame God or others for your current situation. Those who do that have lost their spiritual sight, their faith, or their belief in the Word. You can read the Psalms and see that in 75% of the chapters, the author is lamenting about his current caustic circumstances.

 

In the midst of the storm, don’t give up. Help is on the way! Don’t confess that you’re done. Don’t agree with the enemy of God. Stand by faith, and know your Redeemer lives. “Weeping lasts for the night but joy comes in the morning.” (Ps. 30:5) We are Promisors, and we believe His Word!

 

This is why I love faith, and I love the story of Esther. If you’ve read it, you know how bad it looked for our friends, the Israelites. There was no way out in the natural. Haman was the mortal enemy of the Jews. He had risen to the #2 spot in the government. He hated Mordecai the Jew, so Haman hatched a plot to have not only Mordecai killed, but also every Jew alive. His plot was in place, and there seemed to be no stopping it.

 

Haman did not know that Queen Esther was a Jew herself. While the enemy thought he was winning, God was at work. Mordecai sent a message to Esther telling her to help. He said, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” These are famous wise words, and they were true. Notice the faith of Mordecai. He was the only Jew that we know of at that time who had faith to believe God would come though.

 

While this was happening, the enemy was at work. Haman had a plan to have Mordecai hanged. The very night before he was to ask the king to kill Mordecai, God was at work. The king could not sleep so he sent for the book of records for his kingdom, “the chronicles.” As the servant was reading to the king, he mentioned that there had been a plot to kill him, and it was recorded that Mordecai was the one who reported the plan and saved the king’s life. Just then, Haman came to the king to ask to kill Mordecai, but before he could speak, the king ordered Haman to honor Mordecai, not kill him. God has a sense of humor!

 

Esther made a plea to the king to help the Jews, and as a result, another plan was proposed to save the Jews. What was impossible was now done. Mordecai was promoted to Haman’s job, and the Jews were saved. Everyone was happy, except for the enemies of the Jews!

 

You may be in a hard place or have a terrible job. You may have a boss who hates you, a teacher giving you trouble, or a neighbor that makes your life hard. You may be in a rough spot in your marriage. You might be broke and close to losing your house. We all experience trials and tribulations; Jesus promised we would. He also promised He “would work out all things for good.” God has you right where He wants you. He can turn your circumstances around so fast it will blow your mind.

 

In 2012, we had our worst financial year in the history of the church. We missed the budget by over $600,000. This was a first, and I had no idea what to do. In 2012, we expanded our Pellissippi Campus and launched our North Knox Campus, but finances were struggling. We planned to lay off some of our staff at the end of the first quarter of 2014 if we did not see a turnaround.

 

By faith, we believed God would move. 2013 was the year of the hundredfold harvest out of Genesis 26:12. God blessed us with our best year yet. Oh, yeah!

 

The North Knox Campus is thriving today. We sent 225 people to that campus, and at the point I’m writing this, we had 850 last weekend. God is in control!

 

By faith, begin to confess and believe. He can and will change your circumstances or He’ll change your heart in the midst of them. You must believe to receive! It is really all about your faith, because our God is more than able!

 

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Are you in a difficult situation right now?

 

What would it look like if God moved in?

 

How would your life be different?

 

Has there ever been a time in your past where God moved in? Please describe it:

 

What were your emotions after God came through?

 

Is there a verse you can memorize to help you through the current storm?

 

Do you believe God has the power to change your situation?

 

Tell Him in your own words how powerful you think He is:

 

Right now, God has placed thousands of Promisors in a place to make a difference. Ask the Lord to show them and to use them:

 

 

GRATITUDE

Would you, by faith, thank God for what He is about to do in your life by changing your circumstances or your desires?

 

Day 14

HOMOLOGIA

 

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will walk in the joy of the Lord. I am an overcomer and will not let this world or my circumstances rob me of my joy. I have the power to walk in victory. This world does not control my joy, and it doesn’t control me. God has big plans for me today, and I will walk in His presence with an atmosphere of praise. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

Nehemiah 8:10

 

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Have you noticed that joy seems to be in short supply in our society? As we listen to the people around us, follow social media, and hear the screaming voices clamoring for our attention, all I hear is sadness, sorrow, anger, and very little hope for the future. Sometimes, I want to cover my ears as I hear saints, the children of God, confess, proclaim, and even profess how sad the world is. They even bring on curses and negative circumstances because that is all they believe will happen. We will all move in the direction toward our most powerful thoughts. Come on, saints! Our God is not struggling or worrying about the future. He holds it in His hand! He also holds you in His hand. “Be it done unto you according to your faith.” What are you prophesying will happen?

 

Are you walking in joy in the midst of joy killers and stealers? There are always plenty of those to take us down Depression Drive. “But Pastor, you don’t realize all that I’m facing right now.” You’re right. I don’t! What I do know is that joy is a choice. That’s right, a choice. Today, you can choose joy regardless of the situation or circumstance.

 

Nehemiah was a leader during a very turbulent time in Israel. The Israelites had been severely defeated in war, and most of them had been taken as slaves. God warned them this would happen if they turned their backs on Him. Still, Daniel prophesied that God would bring them home after seventy years. So, in Nehemiah’s day God began to bring the Israelites back to their homeland. He sent Nehemiah to rebuild the fallen wall and the broken spirits. After the wall was rebuilt—a monumental miracle in itself—Nehemiah called for a celebration and dedication of the wall.

 

Nehemiah could see that the Israelites were still broken by their past defeats and present problems. Nehemiah 8:9-10: “Then Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, ‘This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.’ For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, ‘Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’”

 

The word strength here means “a place or means of safety, protection, refuge, stronghold.” For us who love God, joy is our refuge—a stronghold. Joy is our strength in all present problems. Those in the world are limited to circumstantial joy. Happiness = “happenstance.” Not for believers. For Christians, the key is not what’s going on around us, but what’s going on in us. You have the right, the power, and the ability to walk in supernatural joy while all hell is breaking loose around you. The psalmist said, “He would prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies.” So while the winds of adversity blow, you can sit and eat a feast. You can walk in the victory of abundant joy.

 

I believe that if more of us lived like this, more people would want to become Christ followers. All I usually see in saints is defeat and a “sourpuss” outlook. You can let the flood of joy burst through like a raging river. Your circumstances may not change, but your attitude and outlook will.

 

“But Pastor, that is not my personality. It’s not how I was brought up!” Don’t forget that Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:17, that if you belong to Christ, you’re a new creature; old things have passed away and the new has come. It is your choice, your call. I choose JOY! It is my strength, my refuge, and the stronghold I run to when the attack begins, and I want to give up.

 

Emotions are great as a caboose, but not as the engine that drives the train of your life! Choose joy, and your emotions will follow.

 

 

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Right now, what is damming up joy from flowing in your heart?

 

How much control do your emotions have in your life?

Would your family or friends describe you as a joyous person?

 

If not, why not?

 

What would it look like for joy to be your strength?

 

Can you find at least one more verse to back up this teaching on joy?

Please pray for many of the Promisors who are struggling with depression and discouragement:

 

GRATITUDE

Would you thank the Lord for the joy He is welling up in you right now?

 

Day 15

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, God will bless me in ways I can’t even imagine. I am prospering in every level of my life. My health is getting better daily. I am gaining strength and stamina for the path He has called me to. God is thinking up new ways to bless me because of His great love, mercy, and grace. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

3 John 2-4

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

As we set sail for the third week of the month, let’s get a big dose of faith and an abundance mindset. I’m believing for your personal growth in the Lord, in the Word, and in faith. Only heaven sees your potential and all you can do for the Kingdom of God.

 

“Well, Chris, are you a prosperity gospel preacher?” Let’s just go ahead and say it; I don’t believe in the prosperity gospel, but I do believe God loves to prosper His kids. How many gospels are there? Some preach a:

 

Reformed gospel

Prosperity gospel

Whole gospel, which is a code word for Pentecostal or Charismatic

 

I believe all these, and others, have their favorite verses. We humans are predisposed to the extreme. We love labels and feel more comfortable when everything fits into a certain school of thought. I have heard these called “dumb dichotomies.” The fact is, no group, church, or denomination has a corner on truth. Paul warns us in 2 Tim. 2:15: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” Dive into the doctrines and disciplines for yourself. It is so much fun to learn and grow! The goal is not to identify with a group, but to be biblically balanced with the whole Word of God. Don’t be afraid.

 

Let’s look at the Apostle John’s prayer for his friend: “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” What? He prays for his friend to do what? Yep, that’s right—prosper in ALL respects. God wants to bless EVERY part of your life. He wants us to prosper and be in good health. For many saints, we’ve missed this because we’re afraid someone will accuse us of preaching a prosperity gospel. I have to tell you after thirty-three years of ministry, all of the people I’ve seen saved were blessed! Would you not agree? I don’t just mean financially. He prayed this for ALL aspects of his life. Many saints miss much of what God desires to do because they are afraid. It kills our faith and hinders the hand of God in our life.

 

John goes on and says, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” Walking in it means living it, breathing it, and experiencing it. And so, by faith, we believe. For some of you, the daily declaration is still hard for you. Keep it up. Allow the Holy Spirit to increase your faith as you agree with God’s Word.

 

Every weekend, I get to look at thousands of mega-blessed people. I’m sitting here right now, running through the stories of so many Promisors. There is a godly young woman named Jenna Vanosdale. She is married to a great guy named Joe. They have two beautiful kids, live in an awesome house, and are blessed in all aspects. That has not always been her story. Her first husband was killed in Iraq, and her life was messed up big time. When she visited Faith Promise, she was not, shall we say, living for Jesus. She was discouraged and depressed and the future looked like just more of the past. But Jesus got ahold of her heart. As she sold out to Him, He started blessing. She got involved and started serving and growing. She met and married Joe, and today she is blessed to the max. That is the sort of thing the Lord does for each of us, if we let Him.

 

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Think, imagine, and contemplate with God for a few minutes. What would it look like for John’s prayer to be answered in your life now?

 

Whose report will you believe?

John calls the people in 3 John his children. Do you have biological or spiritual kids? If you do, list them:

 

Are they walking in truth? Ask God to move if they are not:

 

If John were praying for you today, what would he ask our Lord?

 

John said ALL aspects of your life. Is there an area of your life where you’ve excluded God for any reason? If so then list it:

Would you pray that every Promisor would walk in the truth?

 

GRATITUDE

Are you thankful for your spiritual father or mother? If so, thank the Lord here, and then, if possible, let them know of your gratitude:

Day 16

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will make supernatural advances toward my dreams and visions. God is for me, so who can be against me! Nothing can stand in the way of me becoming all God wants me to be and doing what He wants me to do. No matter what I see in the natural, I am heading in the direction of my destiny. This is my FAITH declaration.

 

Genesis 50:18-20

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Each of us have dreams and visions. Some you have shared, and some no one knows about. Some are so big you’re afraid to verbalize them. Go ahead right now; say them out loud for the entire world to hear. It will get easier as you shout them into the spiritual realm.

 

Let me ask you a question: are there some people or things standing in your way? Of course there are! We all have adversaries hindering our progress and mountains standing in our way.

I love another hero we find in the Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame of Faith. His name is Joseph. His story is found in the book of Genesis, and there is a huge chunk of Scripture that shares his story.

 

As a teen, Joseph grew up in a very dysfunctional family. He was the grandson of Abraham—not a bad linage. He had dreams and visions as a young man. He shared those with his family, and NOBODY was excited. As a matter of fact, his brothers hated him. They called him the dreamer. It didn’t help that he was a daddy’s boy and the favorite son of eleven boys.

 

One day, his dad sent him to spy on his brothers. They saw him coming and said, “Let’s kill the dreamer. We will see what happens to his dreams!” There is always someone there to kill your dreams and to throw cold water on your vision. Let’s you and me be the ones who throw gas on someone’s dreams and visions. Joseph’s brothers beat him up and threw him in a pit. It’s hard to see your dreams come true in a pit. They decided not to kill him but to sell him into slavery, and they did just that. He was taken to Egypt and sold at the slave market. There, a man named Potiphar purchased him. There in Egypt, Joseph was accused of a crime he did not commit and thrown into a dungeon. It’s hard to see your dreams come true in a dungeon.

 

For twenty-two years he languished as a slave and in prison, but Joseph never gave up on his dreams!!!

 

Some of you may feel like you’re in a pit or dungeon. God knows right where you are! As a matter of fact, God was sovereign and in control of all the circumstances that led to this moment.

 

Through a bizarre series of events, Joseph was taken to Pharaoh and put in charge of all of Egypt. One day he was a prisoner and the next he was Vice President of the world! Only God! He not only saved Egypt from starvation, but he also saved the small band of Israelites, including his brothers, who had nothing to eat.

 

After Joseph’s dad died, his brothers feared retaliation. So, they said: “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph, by faith, said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”

 

You may have a horrible boss, or you may be in a situation with many adversaries. God can use these situations to make your dreams come true! Trust God today, right where you are. He can turn things around so fast and move you into a place of power and prominence! He puts us in power to advance His Kingdom, not our own empire! Have faith! Without it, it’s impossible to please God!

 

Michele and I have some new friends, Logan and Hailey Stout. Logan grew up in the home of a very poor single mother. In the natural realm, Logan should have settled for a life of just getting by. As a young teen he gave his life to Jesus and believed His promises. Logan started a lawn service to help with the household bills. Before long, he was making more than his mom. God’s favor was on him. He stepped out in faith and started a business.

 

Today, he is a multimillionaire. He still supports his mom and is a faithful giver to his church and the Kingdom of God. Just like Faith Promise, he came out of nowhere and is making a difference, by faith, for Jesus. Why not you???

 

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Can you list some of your dreams and visions (I hope these are already in your Faith Journal)?

 

What mountains are standing in your way?

 

Like Joseph, your mountains can be a setup for your next step!

Jesus said: “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you could say to the mountain, .”

Do you have adversaries like Joseph did? If so, list them here:

 

Did I not give you enough lines? Our fight “is not against flesh and blood, but principalities and powers…” (Eph. 6:12) Your fight is not with your ex, your boss, or any other person. Joseph saved the lives of his brothers and cared for them the rest of their lives. He saw with spiritual eyes. What wisdom! Would you take a moment and pray for the people on the list above? Even the ones you wrote down in the margins:

 

Jesus said to pray for your enemies and bless those who persecute you!

Please pray for God to move big time at every campus this weekend. Pray for our fpKids ministry as we raise up spirit-filled kids:

 

GRATITUDE

Take a moment and thank the Lord for setting you free from bitterness and for opening your eyes to what He is doing in your life:

 

Day 17

HOMOLOGIA

 

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will walk with a supernatural anointing on my life, business, family, ministry, and church. God’s hand is on my heart, soul, spirit, and mind. His Word is washing, renewing, and transforming my mind. I will make good decisions and have His favor flood me like a river. Today, His love will erupt in me like a volcano. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

2 Kings 2:9-10

 

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

In the book of 1 John we are told, “anointing breaks the yoke of bondage.” For some reason, many saints believe that anointing is for those in vocational ministry. This could not be further from the truth. God has an anointing for each of us. We who are born again are all called to full-time ministry. No matter what you do for a living, you’re a minister for our Lord. As a servant of God, you need the anointing just as much as I do.

 

It may be hard to define it or describe it, but we all know it when we see it! Is the anointing something you regularly seek the Lord for? YOU NEED IT! If you are a stay-at-home mom, you need it. If you are in business, you need it. If you’re a student, you need it. If you’re a dad, you need it. We need His power coursing through these vessels we call bodies. Holy Spirit, please open our eyes to your power and our potential, anointed by you. Give us spiritual eyes to see what you’re doing today!

 

There was a prophet in the Older Testament that was hungry for God’s power. His name was Elisha. Not to be confused with Elijah. They were friends. Elisha served Elijah for much of his ministry. Elisha watched as the prophet walked in power and anointing. The day came when God was going to take Elijah home. He would be one of the few not to taste death. Elisha realized what was going on. Many times that day Elijah told Elisha to wait for him. He said he was going somewhere else and that Elisha should just stay there and wait. “No way!” was Elisha’s response. He was not letting go of Elijah! How badly do you want the anointing? Elisha hung on like a bulldog.

 

Finally Elijah said: “Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.

 

Elisha responded and said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.”

 

Elijah then responded, “Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you…”

 

Elisha’s request: “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”

 

Elijah said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.”

 

For years, that answer gave me cause to contemplate and question. Then, one day I saw it. “If you see me taken.” In other words, if you have eyes to see, then you’ll receive what you ask. You and I live in a physical world. We are trained, socialized, educated, and taught the natural ways of the world. Because of this, many don’t try to have spiritual eyes. Yet, if we are to be anointed and have the anointing to a greater degree, we need spiritual eyes.

 

The chariot of fire appeared and separated both men, and then Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind. WOW!!! Because Elisha had spiritual eyes and saw, he received the anointing he asked for. He became a great prophet and stood for God!

 

So can you!

 

Pastor Josh is one of my best friends. He has been a Promisor now for over a decade. When he came to Faith Promise, he had a total cessationist education, background, and experience. He believed and had been taught that the supernatural works of the Holy Sprit were no longer active. But over time, I watched him grow and become hungry for the anointing and the power and presence of God in his life and ministry. The transformation has been nothing less than miraculous. He is one of those who will not let go. He won’t stop or wait, but he wants all God has for Faith Promise.

 

How about you?

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

What would your life look like if it had a greater degree of God’s anointing on it?

 

If I were to ask if you have spiritual eyes, what would your response be?

 

In what area of your life do you need more anointing?

If you sensed God’s anointing being poured out on you, what might you attempt for God?

 

Are you willing to seek the heart of God like never before to experience a new level of anointing?

Can you find more verses to support the anointing of God on His people?

Please pray for many to be saved this weekend at Faith Promise:

 

GRATITUDE

Would you thank the Lord for the outpouring you are about to experience by faith?

 

Day 18

HOMOLOGIA

 

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will have spiritual eyes to see the war raging all around me. I am protected by the supernatural power of God. God is for me, therefore who can be against me? No weapon formed against me will prosper. I will walk in victory as God hinders hell and releases heaven. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

2 Kings 6:17

 

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Remember where we started in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not SEEN.” Yesterday we spoke of the spiritual eyes Elisha had. Walking by faith is NOT focusing on what you see in the natural, but the spiritual. I believe the spiritual world is the REAL WORLD. It is happening all around us. Mom and Dad, are you preparing your kids for the spiritual or just the natural? This is just another reason to get them planted in Faith Promise groups and ministry. Remember our theme for last year: PLANTED IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.

 

Again, let’s look at yesterday’s hero, Elisha. The Arameans were at war with Israel. God has a way of protecting His own. Every time the enemy planned an attack, God would tell Elisha of the plot, and he would warn the king of Israel. Finally the king of Aram was furious and wanted to know who had betrayed him and was giving up classified information to Israel. One of his advisors told him it was not a spy, but was instead the prophet of God, Elisha. That should have opened his eyes, but he was blinded to the spiritual lives of those who loved God. Maybe you can relate; maybe you’re the only one in your family with spiritual sight.

 

The king sent his army to capture the prophet. Sort of a dumb plan! Elisha’s servant got up at daybreak and freaked out: “We’re surrounded! What can we do? We’re dead meat!” Kind of how we respond. “Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” The man of faith never feared because he saw the victory! Our flawed focus on the natural will cause us to walk in fear, never knowing the victory that is all around us.

 

I love what happened next. Elisha asked the Lord to strike them with blindness, and He did. He led the enemy army right to the king of Israel! Don’t mess with God or with His people. We win!

 

Today, you’re a winner. Today, you will overcome, for “greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.”

 

With spiritual sight, you will see the real deal. You can walk in godly confidence, or as fpStudents call it, Godfidence!

 

Many years ago, God sent a friend to me who had a greater insight into the spiritual than I had. His name is Robert Bruce. I call him “Robert the Bruce.” He and I have walked into many spiritual tussles. We have faced many that were demon possessed. Usually, he takes the lead due to his 20/20 vision. We have seen many set free, and today they are walking in victory. I am grateful for a prayer partner like Robert the Bruce.

 

Do you have anybody in your life to help you see into the spiritual? Lord, please open our eyes to see your power and the warriors who fight for us. Show us the steps to take and how to win every skirmish we face.

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Is there an area in your life where you desperately need spiritual sight?

 

There was a time in my marriage when something was not right. Michele and I were at each other’s throats, which was not normal. After a few months, God showed me it was an attack of the enemy.

Is there an area where you may be experiencing a spiritual attack?

 

Ask the Lord to reveal to you the next step for you to take to gain supernatural victory:

 

Can you find other verses for spiritual insight or wisdom?

 

Do you believe Dr. Jesus can do eye surgery on you and increase your vision into the spiritual?

Ask Him to open your eyes. It is never too late to learn and grow:

 

Ask the Lord to open blind eyes at every campus of Faith Promise, even in Costa Rica:

 

 

GRATITUDE

Take some time and thank God for the sight He is giving you right now:

 

Day 19

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today is an amazing and awesome day. Today, God will resurrect my life and use me in big ways. Today, I will speak life and victory. Death has no hold on me! Just like my Lord overcame the grave, He will also give me victory over the power of death. I will experience a breakthrough from death, hell, and the grave, just as Jesus desires. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

Luke 24:3-5

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

For most of us, we have grown up in a culture where the resurrection of Jesus is an assumed fact. We learned it as kids. We have a national holiday called Easter in which we celebrate this event. For the first century saints, this was not the case. When Jesus was arrested and then crucified, it was beyond horrific to the disciples. I know He told them He was going to rise in three days, but they still did not believe. Could we fall into the same category? We blast those guys for no faith, but let’s check out the mirror. We have a plethora of promises, yet how many do we believe daily?

 

Early Sunday morning after the crucifixion, the women went to weep at Jesus’ tomb. None of them expected Him to be alive! After all they had seen and heard, they still did not believe. We haven’t changed much, have we? These were the most faithful and devout.

 

“…but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living One among the dead?’”

 

Those ladies should have bought biscuits and gravy for breakfast, not anointing oil for a dead body!

 

We could ask the same question today: “Why do you seek the living One among the dead?” When we look to this world for all our needs, we are actually looking among the dead! Anyone not saved is spiritually dead and blind. How can they help us? They can’t! We look to the Living One—Jesus!!!

 

If Jesus rose from the dead, and He did, what problems do you face that He can’t overcome? NONE!!! When the first disciples realized Jesus had come out of the grave, they took the world by storm. Believing in faith that He could do miracles was easy; He had overcome hell and the grave! Blind eyes were no trouble.

 

Let’s believe every promise of God is for us and for today. By faith, let’s live like the Apostles of the first century. Let’s walk in power and victory. We are not looking among the dead; we look to the Living Lord. I know almost every person reading this believes He rose from the grave. Everything else should be easy.

 

Don’t walk in defeat like the disciples did for three long days. All their hopes were gone; their future destroyed on a cross. Now, there was no hope! Today, we Christ followers act the same. I hear it daily: “What can we do? There is no hope.” “I’ll never get married.” “I’ll never lose weight or get healthy.” “I’ll be broke all my life.” “I’ll never graduate.” “The economy is so bad that I’ll never get a job.” On and on, we claim and proclaim no hope! With our negative confessions, we bring onto ourselves things that are far short of all God has planned.

 

Why do you seek the living among the dead? Our God is alive! If you’re saved, you’re his son or daughter. You have His DNA flowing through your veins. We live in a post-resurrection Kingdom. He has won. When He was raised, we were raised with Him. Every one of His promises are yes and amen! Walk today in His resurrection power. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is alive in you! (Rom. 8:11)

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

What is the greatest problem you’re facing today?

 

Do you have the faith to believe God can overcome it?

 

Ask the Lord to increase your faith:

 

Can you list some verses on walking by faith?

 

What would have to happen for you to believe every one of God’s promises? Tell the Lord:

 

What is the greatest thing you have ever seen the Lord do?

 

How do you think the disciples felt the first time they saw the resurrected Lord?

 

If you had been there with them, would you have been more like Thomas, who doubted, or John, who believed?

 

Is faith a hard concept for you?

What does the Bible say about increasing your faith? I’m looking for a specific verse:

Many of our family members—Promisors—are walking through death. Please intercede for them:

GRATITUDE

Thank the Lord for how He is growing your faith. It does not matter how you feel. Thank Him by faith:

 

 

Day 20

HOMOLOGIA

 

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will walk in a supernatural abundance. God will provide everything I need and more. I believe Ephesians 3:20, that God will do exceedingly and abundantly more than I can think or imagine. Jehovah Jireh is my Provider, and His power is not limited. Nothing I face is too hard for Him. Today, I am well able and amply supplied. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

Numbers 11:23

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Let me ask you a question. Think before you answer. No hurry, you have all day. Do you focus more on your problems or God’s provision and promises? Think about it. This is a huge question. It should be like driving a car; you focus out the front windshield and you glance at the rearview mirror. We should focus on His promises and provision for the bulk of the time and take a glance at the problems we all face. Let me ask you another, easier question. Do you think other people focus more on problems or His promises? Yep, now that was easier. Everyone else must focus on problems because that is what they talk about all the time. Few people of faith sit around and focus on God’s ability to provide.

 

In a shocking falter of faith, Moses asked God if what God said was even possible. In the wilderness, the Israelites were tired of manna. They began to complain about the provision God gave. This is not a great spot to be in. This angers God quickly! The Scripture says the men stood at the entrance to their tents and wept loudly. They said, “We had it better in Egypt. At least we had fish.”

 

When God told Moses He was going to give them enough meat for a month, Moses was shocked and said, “If we butchered all the livestock we have, would it be enough?” I love the response of our Father: “Is the LORD’S power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.” OUCH! This is not what we expect from Moses, the Hero of the Hall of Fame of Faith. But we all have moments when our faith falters.

 

Let me ask you the same question: Is the Lord’s power limited? We all know the answer: NO! The creator of the universe has no limitations. The One who spoke the stars into space has more than enough power. When you spend time meditating on His power, promises, and provision, your problems seem to shrink in His glory.

 

When we Promisors started a Saturday night service, everyone said it would fail. “You can’t compete with UT football. No one will come to church on Saturday night. You’re crazy!” Now years later, we have a thriving Saturday night service. Every Saturday night, the Super Bowl is played out on the field of eternity.

 

The world always thinks people of faith are crazy. We don’t care. We know the Promise Keeper. So, let the world stay glued to problems. Let the media spin 24/7 on how horrible everything is. Let most of the talk radio people prophesy doom and gloom—I’m sticking my mind on God’s power, promises, and ability!

 

No matter what you’re facing, it is not too big for God!

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Do you believe God’s power is unlimited? Tell Him so:

 

Is there a problem you’re facing that seems impossible to overcome? What is it?

 

Have you ever felt out of control? Most people like the feeling of control, but it is an illusion. Would you give God the steering wheel of your life?

 

The Scripture says we “have bold access to the throne room of heaven to gain help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16) Would you, by faith, enter His throne room right now and praise Him for being God and being in total control?

 

Please pray for our students as they meet this week at every campus. I’m asking the Lord for revival.

 

 

GRATITUDE

Will you thank God for the multitude of times He has cared for you and you never even knew it?

 

Day 21

HOMOLOGIA

 

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will receive wonderful gifts from my heavenly Father. He loves to give gifts to His children, and I am one of them. Today, God will find new ways to bless me. I can’t wait to see all He’ll do for me, in me, and through me this day. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

Matthew 7:7-11

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Some Christ followers are limited in what they ask God for. We wonder if He cares about our lives. “Is He too busy? Is my request too small or flippant?” He cares about every aspect of your life. He numbered the hairs on your head. He knows every sparrow that falls. He is limitless in His knowledge and ability. Some of us have asked God for things, and we did not receive. Why bother asking for anything else?

 

Can you feel the faith deflating in people as you read this? I hurt for them at a level so deep I can’t describe it! Any parent hurts when his or her child does not live up to their potential. I believe God feels the same way. As your Pastor, I see gifts and abilities in you. I know our Lord has big plans for you, and I hurt when I see Promisors not walking in faith and victory.

 

No matter what you’re going through right now, whether it’s divorce, death, bankruptcy, a loss of your job, or cancer, God is there for you, and He will see you through. Though you don’t feel like it now, in Christ you’re an overcomer and you’re a winner. Learn what God says about you, for that is the truth. You’re His masterpiece, and you can ask God for anything.

 

Jesus cleared up this prayer quagmire in the Sermon on the Mount. This was His most famous message. Listen to the heart of our Savior: “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”

 

Take a second and reread that. That passage sets my heart on fire, and it sets me free to ask whatever I need. He knows what’s best, and sometimes He will say, “No.” Other times He will say, “Wait.” The fact is that our heavenly Father is good, and He can be trusted! I believe He loves to bless His kids. I believe He loves for us to ask. I have worn a path in the carpet in heaven on the way to the throne room. I can tell you he has given me so much more than I could have ever dreamed or imagined. He is so true to His word.

 

More than one time, a child has come to me during a worship service and asked me to pray for their pet. I do, and I ask them to keep me posted. I can remember a little girl running up to me the next Sunday with a smile as wide as the sun on her face. “Pastor my cat is okay! Did God heal it?” What would you have said? “Of course He did. He cares.” Other kids have asked me to pray that their dad or mom would come home. For that, I pray a little harder. God cares! The Apostle Peter said, “Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Pet. 5:7)

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Is there something you have wanted but felt you couldn’t ask God for? What is it? He already knows:

 

Daily, I use the acrostic A. S. K. to guide my prayer time.

Ask

Seek

Knock

 

Go back to the passage, and see what He will do for you:

 

Ask

Seek

Knock

What in your life holds you back from asking the Lord for certain things?

 

Let’s get way out of your comfort zone: sit back, close your eyes, and in your mind, walk into the throne room of God. Our Father loves for you to access Him. He paid a great price for you to do so. Climb up into His lap, and let Him love on you. Just bask in that for a few minutes.

Now with a deepening relationship, love, and closeness, you can ask Him for anything, because He cares.

Pray for many Promisors who are hurting right now:

 

 

GRATITUDE

Spend a few minutes thanking Him for His love, mercy, grace, and answered prayer:

 

 

Day 22

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will experience unprecedented growth! Today, by faith I will take off that which grieves the Holy Spirit in my life. I will get dressed for supernatural success in the Spirit. I can’t wait to dive into today’s devotion! This is my FAITH declaration!

 

Colossians 3:1-17

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Put on your spiritual seatbelts, and get ready for some serious Word. We are going to take a little bigger bite today, but I’m sure you’re ready for it. Get ready to get dressed for success, but not as the world views it. We are not concerned with power colors or power ties; today we are going to get dressed in the spiritual sense.

 

Some of what we are already wearing must be removed to put on the right things. First, let’s make sure we are addressing the right people.

 

Colossians 3:1-3: “Therefore, if (“if” is the biggest word in the Bible) you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

 

Wow, that is what has happened to anybody born again! And you thought all you did was pray a prayer!

Now, let’s mix it up today. I don’t want you to get into a rut. List all the things in verses 5-9 we need to take off. I like to call it getting undressed of the filthy clothes of this world, or the “old you.”

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

That is quite a list! Those represent the old life. We are to take off each one of them.

 

Now that we have taken off the old clothes of the world, let’s not give in to the ways of the world. Instead, let us “…put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him….” See if you can find all the things we are instructed to “put on” in verses 12-16:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

This is going to take some serious faith. You can know that this is the will of God for you. This is also the Work of the Holy Spirit in your heart and life. I have to tell you that after thirty-three years in ministry, it is amazing to watch how God works these things into saints’ hearts. He gives us the desire to dress properly.

 

Look at the last verse for today—verse 17: “Whatever you do (today) in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” As a saint, you represent Jesus in everything you do. In action and in attitude, let’s get dressed in a way to bring Him the greatest honor and glory.

 

We have a saying at Faith Promise: “Come as you are.” For many, this means you can dress casually, but it carries a far greater weight. It means everyone is welcome just like they are. But, there is a second part to that saying: “But don’t stay as you are.” Yes, you can stay casual in your physical clothes. But as people meet Jesus, it is His will that they learn how to dress spiritually!

 

This approach to ministry was tested to the max at our Campbell County Campus. It was our smallest and newest campus, and one day, a man dressed as a woman came to a service. Several of the attendees asked the Campus Pastor, Chad Funk, to kick him out! Chad said, “No way! Everyone is welcome here. Come as you are.” Several families left the church over it. A few weeks later, the man gave his heart to Jesus! Now it’s time to change clothes, literally!

 

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Review the list of clothes to remove. Which ones are you still wearing?

 

Ask the Lord to help you take them off, like dirty, smelly gym clothes:

Are there some of the new clothes that seem harder for you to wear than others? List the ones you need the Lord to help you with:

 

Please pray for other Promisors who are struggling with removing clothes that seem to be attached with superglue:

 

Please pray every Promisor will be clothed in fine linen like it says in Revelation 19:8: “It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”

 

 

GRATITUDE

It is easy to get bummed out when you see how far you have to go, but look back, and see how far the Lord has already brought you. Thank Him for the progress you’ve made:

 

Day 23

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will see with eyes of faith, not fear. I will see victory and look at my problems as God sees them. I choose faith and victory. God is bringing me into the Promised Land. It is flowing with milk and honey. God has set me up to experience His deliverance. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

Numbers 13:33

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

We all have more choices and options than we usually see. As I have already said several times, we focus on problems much more than on God’s power. Yesterday’s passage told us to set our minds above and not below. You’re the head, not the tail. You’re a winner with the DNA of the Creator flowing through your veins.

 

God’s A-Team, Moses and Aaron, had rescued the Israelites. They had seen the greatest miracles since creation. They saw them in Egypt and in the march toward freedom and the Promised Land. God miraculously provided water from a rock and bread from heaven. They saw Him part the Red Sea and destroy their enemy captors. Then God brought them to the edge of the Promised Land, and they refused to enter! Please get this!

 

So many saints get right up to the point of their miracle and give up. Why? Because they focus on their problems and not the Provider and Protector!

 

Many of you already know this story. Moses sent the spies into the Promised Land to see if it was as God had said. Numbers 13:27-28: “We went into the land where you sent us; and it certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; and moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak there.”

 

The people freaked out at the report of the ten spies. At that point they cried in fear and started planning to kill Moses and go back to Egypt. I guess they forgot Egypt was decimated by the plagues! The two faith-filled spies tried to tell the people that God was well able, but the people already had their minds made up. They believed the negative report of those faithless spies. Whose report will you believe? Most of the spies could only see the giants and fortified cities. Only a handful saw the power of God. You can be one of the FAITH-FILLED people!!!

 

Look at verse 33: “There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became GRASSHOPPERS in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” This is a critical verse for victory. They heard there were giants, and so they saw themselves as tiny, with no power or ability. How do you see yourself? Because they saw themselves as powerless, that is also how their enemies saw them.

 

We are the ones who give the enemy power over us. “My addiction is too powerful.” “I’ll never lose weight.” “I’ll always be single and alone.” “I’ll never have any money, and I’ll always be in debt.” And so you will. You give the enemies power by how you view them.

 

The fact is, the enemies were already afraid of the Israelites. Read the story of Rahab. The people already in the Promised Land had heard about the miracles that God had performed, and they knew the Israelites would wipe them out as well. Two very sad words in that verse are “and so.” When you see yourself as weak, “and so” will your enemies. You are not weak! God said, “Let the weak say I am strong.” What SAY you? What SEE you? We all face problems, trials, and struggles. It is not what happens to you that matters but what happens in you.

 

Like the red-headed teenager who ran straight to the giant, Goliath, you can run to your problems with the power of God. He will make a way.

 

There is a family of Promisors at the Pellissippi Campus. The father is a friend of mine named Ken Garner. A few years ago he retired after a great career. Within the first month of his retirement, he was informed that his company had been the victim of a Ponzi scheme. His entire retirement had been stolen. In one phone call, his future, which had been secure and fixed, was wiped out.

 

When I talked to him, he was upbeat and positive. He said God was in control, and that God had provided for him his entire life, and He would not stop now. His faith was an encouragement to me. Now, two years later, he is back to work. He is one of our best ushers, and I watch him sing and dance down the aisles during worship. He is on top of his circumstances. Faith-filled saints can surf on caustic circumstances, not under them. I can tell you this—Ken does not suffer from GRASSHOPPERITIS. Do you?

 

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

When you stand in a difficult situation, what do you focus on—the problem or the ability of God?

 

When you hear bad news, which report do you believe—God’s or the world’s?

For most of us, our knee-jerk reaction is just like the faithless Israelites.

What are you facing right now that is bringing fear, not faith, in your heart?

 

We enter the Promised Land by faith. Right now, ask the Lord to let faith rise up in you. Claim victory over every area of your life. This will be your best year yet.

 

Would you pray for some of our church family who still suffer from grasshopperitis?

 

GRATITUDE

Take a minute, and thank God for your faith and being able to rise above your current circumstances. You’re a victor, and you will not be defeated:

 

Day 24

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I am seated in a position of honor and favor. I will operate out of the hyper-blessings the Lord has showered me with. I will walk this day in great victory, for the victory has already been bought and paid for by Jesus. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

Ephesians 2:6

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Each of us will rise to the level of his or her expectations. This is determined by how much faith we have. So many saints have such a low view of themselves that it robs their future. It is easy to end up there, considering our past lives and the issues we struggle with. That’s fair, but there are other ways to view your position.

 

Ephesians 2:6: “…and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” The word seated means “to give or take a seat in company with.” Right now, you are in Christ and seated with Him in His Company. You are in a position of power and favor! What will be your focus? Seated with Christ and blessed, or worthless sinner sneaking into heaven so unworthy?

 

As a blessed son of the most high, I am highly favored and blessed with all spiritual blessings! The same thing was said in Colossians 3:1: “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above…” All our blessings come from above “where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” “Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father.…”

 

You have been raised up, and ALL your sin was washed away. God has cleansed you and opened up all of heaven to you. Salvation is far more than most Christ followers realize. You have become a son or daughter of God. He is now your Father, and He loves to bless His kids. How you see yourself matters more than you realize. So many saints say, “I’m so unworthy of His favor, blessings, miracles, and provision. I’ll just sit here in poverty and depression until I die. Then He will bless me in heaven.” If that were the case, He would have taken you to heaven the day you were saved.

 

As God blesses you, and you honor Him, you’re a walking billboard of His grace and mercy. He blesses you to be a blessing and a testimony—a trophy of His love and faithfulness!

 

There was a young man who came to Faith Promise. He had a horrible past and family life. His parents punted him to the street, and his grandmother raised him. Since he grew up on the street, he saw himself as trash. He came to FP and was saved, and then he saw God move in unbelievable ways in his life. Yet, still today he sees himself as trash because his parents threw him away. God sees him as a son and desires to bless him. Sadly, he misses most of it due to his view of himself. When you have a bad self-image, you will sabotage the blessings of God, bringing yourself down to the level you see yourself.

 

Your past does not have to become your future. It can be a prison or a launching pad to a fabulous future.

 

You are seated with Christ in heavenly places! He is interceding for you right now. Please don’t limit what He wants to do in and through you because of of your poor self-image. No matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, the blood of Jesus has covered it. God has forgotten it. He threw it behind His back, and has chosen not to hold it against you. Today, you can bask in His presence and in His glory. The only thing stopping you is a lack of faith in all that He has already done for you.

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Please be honest with yourself today. How do you see yourself: blessed by God or unworthy?

Could it be that you’re missing some of what God wants to do in your life due to poor self-image?

Can you believe the Word for today and where you are seated with Christ?

Since you’re in the company of Christ, what might He desire to do in and through you?

 

If our Lord were to show up right now with you, what would He say to you?

 

Many of us see our Heavenly Father as we see our earthly father. They are not the same. Would you let your Heavenly Father love you right now? Open your heart, and receive all the love He has for you:

 

Please pray for FP global, that many will be saved. Pray this will be our best year yet as the faith of every Promisor increases as if on spiritual steroids:

 

 

GRATITUDE

Would you, by faith, thank God for His incredible love for you?

Day 25

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—This is already an extraordinary day. God loves me and desires to bless me in ways I never dreamed. Today, I will surround myself with positive people. I will not let people into my inner circle who are negative and have no faith. My future and destiny are too important to allow naysayers to limit my future or ministry. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

Luke 8:49-56

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

There is so much involved with achieving our potential placed in us by God! Faith is critical and non-negotiable. There are some things that can easily limit our faith and potential. One is the people we spend our time with. So let me ask you, is your inner circle positive and faith-filled? Do they believe in you? If not, then it’s time to find a new inner circle. “Wow, Pastor, don’t you think that is a bit harsh?” Not at all; it is exactly what Jesus did when He was here on earth.

 

He spent time in prayer before He chose the twelve. He had His favorite three, and inside the three He had the one. There is a great illustration of this in Luke 8:49-56. In context, Jesus is heading to heal a little girl and is stopped by a woman with the issue of blood. A group comes to tell the dad, “Your daughter is dead.” Jesus says not to worry—very hard not to!!

 

At the house, there is loud wailing and weeping, but when Jesus arrives to heal the little girl, the crowd laughs at Him. Jesus limits who got to go in—only the three and the parents! They watch Jesus literally raise the girl from the dead. Did Jesus keep out those without the faith to believe? Who is around you that believes in you? Does your inner circle speak faith and belief into you? If not, it’s time to make new friends. If your life is to be a miracle like the Lord desires, then you’ll have to be surrounded by faith!

 

The Scripture is clear: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” You will become like the people with whom you spend the most time. Where are you investing your time? With whom are you investing your precious time? It is a limited commodity. Time spent can’t be recovered. You can get more money, but you can’t get more time.

 

Your inner circle needs to have faith in you and your potential. They need to encourage you and pour gas on your fire and vision. I am surrounded by people who help me. They pray for me and believe more in me than I do myself. I’m hyper-grateful.

 

“But Pastor, I’ll be alone!” A small price to pay to achieve your potential. God will bring better friends. We rarely sacrifice for the Lord that He doesn’t give us back better that we gave Him. By the way, if you want to have good friends, you need to be a good friend. So, who are you helping with their potential? Are you an encourager? That bucket you’re carrying—does it have water or gas in it?

 

When I graduated seminary, I didn’t have much faith, and I was looking for a small church to pastor. I had, and still have, a friend named Chet Carney. He believed in me and said, “God has big plans for you.” He spoke faith into me when I most needed it. He was there for me like a rock.

 

We all need friends like Chet. They truly are gifts from God. Today, 26 years later, he is still there for me. God is good!

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Who’s in your inner circle?

 

Do you have a friend with a can of gas ready to stoke your vision and faith?

If so, you should thank them.

Who are you being that good friend for?

Are you active in a small group now?

If not, what is your first step in that direction?

 

Would you pray for all Promisors, that they would be surrounded by faith-filled friends? Pray that our groups will provide that for thousands of Promisors:

 

GRATITUDE

By faith, thank the Lord for the inner circle He is bringing you:

Day 26

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will overwhelmingly conquer in everything I experience. The Spirit of God is rising up in me, and I will walk in the Word today. God said I was a conqueror, and by faith, I will walk in it this day. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

2 Corinthians 2:14

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Most of us compare ourselves with others instead of comparing ourselves with the Word. The Word is our mirror, not other people. Comparing yourself with others is not very wise. It never works out right. I call it the “cult of comparison.” Paul said it was useless. Today, let’s hold up the mirror of God and see how we look.

 

Paul said, “But thanks be to God, Who always leads us in triumph in Christ and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” Are you triumphant today in every place and in every aspect of your life? All of us just said in unison, “NO!!!” So, we have a faith problem. Again, let’s measure ourselves by the Bible, not other Christ followers.

 

In Romans 8:37 it says, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” Are you conquering sin and every stronghold in your life? “Well Pastor, that’s not possible.” Is the Bible wrong? NOPE! So we need to stand on His promises, as a Promisor. This is why we are tempted to compare ourselves to others and not the Word; it is easier, and we look better.

 

2 Corinthians 9:8 (Amplified): “And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need, be self-sufficient possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation.” Faith is taking steps in the direction of obedience and the will of God for you. He will supply you with everything you need, even money! Not just enough to get by, but enough to give and support the Kingdom of God.

 

“Pastor, I don’t have enough, I’ll never have enough. You do not understand my situation, my problems, the economy, or all the mistakes I’ve made.” Nope, you don’t believe the Scriptures. So many saints give up, confess they can’t, and accept less than God has for them. If you accept excuses, you’ll never excel.

 

I received a call from a student in seminary. I had just graduated, and he wanted to quit. He said that God had not provided and he was going home and back to his good-paying job. I asked him what the problem was, and he said he needed new tires for his car, and the cost was $400. I asked him how much money he had, and he said, “More than $400.” What’s the problem? God has already provided for you. “No, if I buy the tires, I’ll be broke.” Buy the tires, and He will continue to provide. “No, I’m going home.” He did not have any faith past what he saw. If you see it, then it’s not faith.

 

I have always been amazed by how the people of faith have a problem with faith! Without faith it is impossible to please Him! I told my friend that I never had $400 in my account the whole three years of seminary. God provided, and we never went hungry. “Faith is the evidence of things not seen, the assurance of things hoped for.” Evidence and assurance are two strong words, wouldn’t you say? You believe Jesus will come and get you after you die—six feet under the ground in a coffin that’s inside a concrete vault—and He can’t provide for your needs?

 

By faith you are an overcomer. Just walk it out. Trust Him today for all the power and grace you need. He promised He’d come through.

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

What would it look like for you to triumph today?

 

Do you believe the supreme King of heaven has the power to do this?

Can you remember a time when He gave you the power to overcome?

Can you find another verse that says you’re an overcomer?

What area are you trusting, by faith, for God to help you be an overcomer?

 

Would you intercede for the rest of the Promisors who desire to walk with Jesus in victory?

 

GRATITUDE

Would you, by faith, thank our Lord for giving you new power to triumph and be an overcomer with all the grace and power you need?

Day 27

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will walk full of the Spirit of God. I will walk in boldness and in humility. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. God is stirring my soul, mind, and spirit. I will speak the gospel and the words of life this day. I will use my words to change the situation and not just describe it. I will look for every opportunity to share Jesus with anyone I can. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

Acts 4:31

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

Many saints continue to try harder to please God and serve Him. They do it out of love and gratitude, but we are not called to try harder. Romans 8:8: “Those who are in the flesh can’t please God.” It is ONLY by faith that we will we please God. Christianity is a game of opposites. Our training and socialization in this world do not prepare us for the spiritual world. When the early church experienced severe persecution and problems, look what God did: “And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.”

 

If you want victory, then you have to submit and surrender to the power and control of the Holy Spirit. The group that was filled in Acts 4:31 was the same group that Jesus breathed on. It was the same group in Acts 1 AND 2 on Pentecost and the same group that continued to be filled. As an old song says, we are often “running on empty.” You cannot please or serve God on empty. We all need a daily refilling, refueling, refreshing, and reviving. The Greek word refreshing means “to recover your breath, or be revived.” The word breath is substituted for the Holy Spirit. God meant for us to live this life out of the overflow of His Spirit, or Breath.

 

I’m praying right now for the place where you’re seated to be shaken and for you to be filled like you never have before.

 

I love the story in Ezekiel where God takes him to a Valley of Dry Bones. The valley floor was covered with dry bones. God asks him if the bones can live? “Only You know, Lord” was Ezekiel’s reply.

 

God responded and told Ezekiel to, “Speak to the bones.” That is what you’re doing daily in the HOMOLOGIA. You are speaking life and giving glory to God. He obeyed, and the bones all came together, but even though they were now bodies, they were still dead. “Speak to the Ruach.” Speak to the breath of God, His Spirit. Ezekiel did, and the army came alive. God wants to raise you up in the same manner. Dead men and women cannot serve God, but live ones can. The Spirit gives life and power. Time to quit trying and surrender to the Spirit of God.

 

D.L. Moody was a great preacher and church builder in past ages. He was very successful in ministry. Two ladies sat weekly on the front row. He could tell they were praying. He asked what they were praying for. “We are praying for you to be filled with the Holy Spirit and power.” Mr. Moody was taken aback by their answer. He thought he had power. Their prayer haunted him. One day while walking down Wall Street in New York, He felt the Spirit fall on him. He found a place to pray, and the Spirit filled him until he finally cried out to God to stop lest He kill him. Mr. Moody said, “I was never the same. Now, when I preach, not five are saved, but fifty.” He shook America and England for Jesus. He said, “The world has yet to see what one man sold out to Jesus can do.” Will that person be you?

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Will you take time right now and surrender all you know to God’s Holy Spirit?

What would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail?

 

Is there any area of your life you are holding back from total surrender?

Close your eyes and ask the Lord if there is any unconfessed sin in your life hindering His hand. If He reveals something, write it down, and do what 1 John 1:9 says.

Feel free to use the margins; this may take some time. Do not cut this time short. You must get empty to be filled. (Gal. 2:20)

Please intercede for thousands of other Promisors looking to be filled. Pray Acts 4:31 on them. Just imagine thousands of us filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit!

 

 

GRATITUDE

Would you, by faith, thank the Lord for your new supernatural power in your life, family, business, witness, and heart?

 

Remember, this is all by faith. You will have experiences with the Holy Spirit; however, it is not the experience we seek, but all of Him!

Day 28

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will walk in all the promises of God. I will see God’s good hand on my life. Today, my faith will grow and increase by the Word of God. My focus will be on what is not seen, not on what I see. Today, I will be used in any way my Lord sees fit. His hand of favor is on me. This is my faith declaration!

 

Hebrews 11

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

“Pastor, I know that faith is important, but is it that important?” YES! Without it, it is impossible to please God. Look at this list I read that Manley Beasley prepared in his workbook on faith:

IT WAS BY FAITH THAT:

 

Abel worshipped God

Enoch walked with God

Noah worked with God

Abraham became the father of many Nations

Isaac blessed Jacob

Jacob blessed both of the sons of Joseph

Joseph likened unto his father and blessed the nations

Moses turned his back on money and power and delivered Israel

The just shall live by faith (Heb. 10:38)

Your heart can be made pure (Acts 15:9)

We are sanctified (Acts 26:18)

We are comforted (Rom. 1:12)

We are justified (Gal. 2:16, 3:24)

We stand (Rom 11:20, 2 Cor. 1:24)

We walk (Rom. 5:7)

We live by faith of the Son of God (Gal. 2:20)

Through the Spirit we wait for the hope of righteousness (Gal. 5:5)

We have access with confidence (Eph. 3:12)

We are children of God (Gal. 3:26)

We have the promise of eternal life (Gal. 3:22)

Christ dwells in our hearts (Eph. 3:17)

IT WAS BY FAITH THAT:

Kingdoms were subdued

Righteousness was wrought, promises obtained

Lions’ mouths stopped

Violence quenched

The sword’s edge escaped

Weakness was made strong

Armies of aliens turned to flight

Dead were raised to life again

Men of weakness waxed valiant

It is by faith that you overcome. There is no other way. Faith is the currency in God’s economy. How much do you have? I pray as we near the end of this month, that you can feel your faith increasing as if on spiritual steroids.

 

It was by faith that the first Promisors believed God wanted to build a great church in East Tennessee. You and I are beneficiaries of their faith. Today, Faith Promise is seen by sight, not by faith as they saw it. Our next moves will be by faith to the preferred future God has designed for us. Just like the faith of the first Promisors, we can look back to the faith-filled saints of the Bible. He has moved in the past, and He will move today.

 

Speaking of the heroes of Hebrews 11, in Hebrews 12:1 it says, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” You have a cheering section of great saints of the past cheering you on. All of the heroes of chapter eleven want you to win as well. You’re not alone in your leg of the race. They passed the baton to you. Now, it is time for you to run your leg of the race by faith. You may feel like you’ve been beaten down or that you just can’t run. YOU CAN! By faith, not how you feel, or what you see, or what you’ve experienced in the past, but by faith. Get up! They’re cheering for you! Keep running for Jesus! He did not give up on the way to the cross.

 

I pray Acts 26:18 on many of us: “…to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”

 

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Can you put into words how important faith is in your life?

If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, what difference would it make in your life?

If you had only one thing you really wanted the Lord to do for you, what would it be?

 

What would happen at Faith Promise if God doubled the faith in each Promisor? Describe it:

 

What are you facing right now that if God doesn’t move, you’ll be in trouble?

 

Would you pray for thousands of other Promisors who are praying for you today, that God would increase the faith in each of us?

 

Would you agree in prayer with me that not only will 2016 be the best year you’ve ever had, but that it also will be the best year yet for Faith Promise?

 

GRATITUDE

Would you thank the Lord for how He is increasing your faith? “But Pastor, I don’t feel different.” Faith is not about how you feel. Faith is about what you can’t even see, much less feel. Now, thank Him by faith for your ever-increasing faith.

 

You’re thanking Him with assurance and evidence of what you cannot see today, but you know He is bringing it to pass. You’re praying His will, and He is answering.

Day 29

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will walk in supernatural abundance. I will experience all the Lord has planned for me this day. My Father gives good gifts to His kids, and I am one of them. I can’t wait to see what He has created for me this day. I will expect great things, good news, and answers to prayer. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

John 10:10

 

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

We almost always get exactly what we are looking for. Anyone who has ever taught a child to ride a bike realizes they will go wherever they are focused. One light pole in a huge parking lot, and that will be what they hit. Why? Because that is what they are looking at. We will all go in the direction of our most powerful thoughts. Are your most powerful thoughts ones of faith and positivity or lack of faith and negativity?

 

You will get what you expect. The Lord meets us at the level of our expectations. As I’ve said before, it’s called faith. I memorized a verse early in my Christian walk—John 10:10. In it Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” This has been one of my favorite verses for thirty-three years. In a nutshell, it lays out the plans of God compared to those of our enemy.

 

We have an enemy, and he longs for our destruction. We have an ally, a Savior, who died for us to give us abundant life. I’m not sure about you, but I’m in for the abundant life. I’m a satisfied customer. My life was transformed thirty-three years ago from drugs and death to life and hope. Let me tell you what is so cool—it just keeps getting better. I believe the Trinity meets in session to create new ways to bless my life, family, and ministry. Do you feel the same?

 

I sometimes imagine what other ways the Lord could heap blessing and favor on me. 2015 has been my best year yet. How was yours? Jesus did not just pay for our sins on the cross, but He bought abundant life for you and me. When you first got saved, you probably did not know this; I sure didn’t. After salvation, my life took off like a rocket. God moved in ways I did not know were possible. Abundant Life!

 

I did not realize the blessing train was going to keep going. I grew up poor, and now I’m not. Today, I live on the lake and am blessed and highly favored. I look to the preferred future He bought and marvel at what He might have planned for my future. Abundant Life!

 

As we look to 2016 and beyond, do you see great things? Are you looking, expecting, believing, and confessing a positive future for you, your family, and Faith Promise? I am for you, and so are thousands of other Promisors this day. Abundant Life!

 

At the cross, He purchased you and your future—lock, stock, and barrel; tax, title, and license.

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Are you experiencing abundant life?

 

How does your life today stack up to how it was before you were saved?

 

Many experience all hell breaking loose after salvation and are blindsided. Before you were born again, you were the property of the enemy. There was no need for the enemy to bother you then. When you gave your heart and life to Jesus, you became Satan’s #1 enemy. He then unleashed the forces of hell against you.

 

“Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” You have the forces of heaven fighting in your corner. The Abundant Life came with more fullness than we realize, even today. Daily, we receive more revelation from His Word as to all He did and does for us.

What does the abundant life look like to you?

 

What, if anything, is hindering the abundant life from flowing in you?

Right now at Faith Promise there are many saints not experiencing the abundant life purchased by Jesus on the cross. Would you pray for them that they would walk in all He provided?

 

GRATITUDE

By faith, thank Him for the abundant life exploding in your life:

Day 30

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will learn more about my marvelous heavenly Father. I believe He will reveal more of the amazing facets of His love. He will guard my mouth so that I will speak that which is true, life-giving, encouraging, and will build up the hearer. Today, the Lord will use my lips to bless those who hear His words falling from my mouth. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

Job 42:1-3

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

You have probably done more confessing and declaring this month than in your whole life. That’s good. We must learn to confess that which is true and positive and that which honors the Lord. You may have read the story of Job. It is a difficult book, yet it is full of wisdom for each of us. After a long battle with his friends, Job claims himself innocent, whereas they blame him as guilty of heinous sins. Chapter after chapter, the verbal onslaught continues until the friends give up. Many times Job asks for a referee to mediate between him and God. He claims he has been treated unfairly. He makes some bold declarations and confessions.

 

Finally, God shows up and asks Job a series of questions. God unleashes the full force of His wisdom and glory on Job. It is not a pretty sight. Job confesses in chapter 42: “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted…. Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” Job is hyper-humbled. Yet God turns around and blesses him with double what he lost.

 

I have asked you to confess many things this month. I have tried to get you on a path of positivity and faith. I am ever amazed at the negativity in the Church and how the people of faith confess doubt, defeat, depression, discouragement, and a horrible outlook on the future. Then, they wonder why they don’t have more joy or victory. They are not looking for it, believing for it, or declaring it. They are doing the opposite.

 

It is my sincere prayer for you that you walk in great victory, that your faith grows like it never has before, and that these days will be the best days of your life. I pray you experience the abundant life Jesus bought for you. I pray you live Ephesians 3:20 and God blesses you to the point you can’t contain it all. I pray He lets His favor rush over your life like a flood or a raging river—that His glory erupts in you like a volcano and His Spirit fills you like a hurricane. I pray He uses you to a level you never knew was possible. I pray your faith soars to new heights and you walk under an open heaven. I pray for your health to be great and for you to prosper in every area of your life and ministry. I pray your family sees Jesus in you in a fresh new way. I pray Jesus breathes on you and baptizes you with the Holy Spirit and fire. I pray you achieve your full potential in Him, and we achieve our full redemptive potential as a church. I pray every Promisor can be seen as different and makes a difference forever. This is just part of my prayer for you. Yep, 2016 will be great indeed because we have a great God.

 

I have said before in this book that years ago I began a section of daily declarations in my journal and prayer time. It changed my life! My outlook changed and my faith soared to new heights. I began to look for the days to be better, and they were. I looked for God to move in more ways, and He did. I looked for the ministry of Faith Promise to take off to a new level, and it did. The bottom line is, we usually get what we look for. As Jesus said in Matthew 9, “Be it done to you according to your faith.”

 

It is easy to believe the worst. A bad report can dampen your faith. As I am writing this for you, our second granddaughter, Bella, was recently born. As I shared earlier, we called her our Mustard Seed because the doctor said it was impossible for my daughter, Faith, to give birth.

 

The happy day came, and we were thrilled. After the delivery, the nurses rushed little Bella out of the room. An hour later, they came in and told Faith that Bella was having problems breathing and that a team from Children’s Hospital was on the way. Not good news for Faith, especially as a new mom. An hour later, the team from Children’s brought Bella into Faith’s room. Now, Bella was in a glass box with a multitude of wires in her. She had a tube down her throat to help her breathe.

 

The room was whirring with activity and action. All Faith wanted to do was hold her mustard-seed miracle. Not happening! I watched the fear in my daughter’s eyes. With too much information, too many people in her face, and Bella gagging on the tube, what would Faith do? Finally, she stopped all activity with a scream, “Daddy, please come and pray over Bella!” That was all I needed to hear. I prayed, believing our miracle would be all right.

 

I told Faith to reach her hand inside the box and touch Bella. As she did, Bella calmed down from the soft touch of her mom.

 

They took Bella, and for the next day, miles and two different hospitals separated baby and mom. Faith was released the next day, and she was reunited with her miracle. Five days later, Baby Bella was released and able to come home.

 

No matter what you see, feel, hear, or whatever swirls around you, have faith. Believe in what you can’t see. Believe in the unseen God that has all power. You get what you’re looking for.

 

So, what are you looking for? What are you expecting? What are you believing for? I’m believing this is your best year yet. Can you agree with me in prayer?

 

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S VOICE

Can you describe what abundant life would look like for you?

 

What, if anything, is hindering this in your life?

 

Would you ask the Lord to remove any and every hindrance to His abundant life being poured out in you?

 

Does the enemy have any access to your life that you may not have noticed?

 

Remember, the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. His will is diametrically opposed to the will of the Father.

Please pray for every Promisor this weekend as God moves and speaks in worship:

 

Would you pray for every Promisor, that the abundant life purchased by Jesus would be poured out on each of us?

 

GRATITUDE

Would you, by faith, thank Him for the abundant life that is rising up in and around you? Thank God for His fountain of favor that is springing up in you and your family:

 

Day 31

HOMOLOGIA

I BELIEVE BY FAITH—Today, I will live in such a way to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I know that one day I will stand at the Bema Seat of Judgment in heaven. This affects how I live this day. I will live to love, honor, and bless my Father in heaven. I will feel the smile of His favor this day. This is my FAITH declaration!

 

2 Corinthians 5:9-11

GOD, PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MIND

So many saints ignore the teaching about the Judgment Seat. Multitudes will be so sorry for it when they get to heaven. Many believers think they just “get saved” and no worries—“It’s all good!” It can be all good, but we need to live our lives here with our eye on the judgment seat of Christ.

 

We are saved by grace!!! PERIOD. We can do nothing to add to grace. Your entryway to heaven was bought and paid for by Jesus. But, once you’re saved, you will be held accountable for how you live and what you do with all the Lord gives you. Romans 14:12 says, “So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” This, my friend, is a big deal. I’m not talking about judging your sin; it was paid for at the cross. The question will be, “What did you do with what He gave you?”

 

Your entry to heaven is paid for, but your standing in heaven and your rewards are based on your works! Miss this to your own peril. Listen to the Heart of God: “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:9-10)

 

This thought of displeasing the Lord terrified the great Apostle. He did not want to be disqualified in his service to the Lord. He lived to hear, “Well done!”

 

Most saints just live with their total focus on the here and now. We live in this natural world, and we have to do things like work, live, eat, and many other things that consume our attention and affection.

 

Today, live like it could be your last. Live in anticipation to hear, “Well done!” Live like a steward or manager of all God has given you. He expects a return on His investment. Paul said, “His death would not be in vain,” as far as he was concerned. If you owned a business and you hired a manager to run it for you, would you expect him or her to take good care of your investment? Of course you would, and so does God. You’re His investment. He sacrificed His Son for you to have life.

 

As you read the parables of Jesus, keep this teaching in mind. It will open up so much of the Word to you. In heaven, you won’t get a trophy for participating! It is only because of faithful service to the King of heaven that will you receive a reward.

 

Can you imagine in heaven if God allowed Faith Promise to stand together? We would give Him an offering of souls we have won. As a church, could we hear, “WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL BODY”?

 

The second book I wrote was titled, The Plan of Your Life. This book was written to help people develop a plan to grow spiritually and achieve their full potential. This is a huge passion of mine. My passion is to see you achieve your full potential placed in you by the Lord Jesus. He will judge you against what He knows He put in you. You have more than you think! More gifts, more abilities, and a higher ceiling than you’ve achieved to date.

 

Please don’t discount what He put in you. So many saints gripe and complain of what they did not receive or why others seem more gifted. Just max out what He has given you. He who is faithful will become the ruler over much.

 

This is the reason why comparing yourself to someone else is futile. God gives each of us gifts and talents that are different than anyone else’s. And that is what He will use to measure you. It is my prayer that you climb to the top of the mountain He planned for you to climb.

 

I have a great son in the ministry. His name is Tony Wilson. He and his wife, Leslie, have two sons. The older son is intellectually gifted, and the younger son has Down’s syndrome. When his older son brought home straight A’s on his report card, Tony was proud. That same day, his younger son learned to tie his shoes. Tony was just as proud of the younger son—he was proud of both boys. They were judged on different standards.

 

Jesus will judge you in regard to all He has given you, which is more than you realize.

LISTENING TO THE LORD’S’ VOICE

If today were your last day on earth and you stood before the Judgment Seat, what do you think God would say to you?

 

Are you living each day with eternity and the Judgment Seat in mind?

 

How would your life need to be different to hear, “Well done”?

 

What are the things you think God rewards?

 

For what does He give out crowns?

 

“But, Pastor, I don’t serve God for rewards.” The Apostle Paul did. Is there something wrong with rewards?

If He were to reward you today, what would it be for?

 

Please pray for many to be saved this weekend at Faith Promise:

 

GRATITUDE

Thank the Lord for how your life is changing so that you can hear, “Well done!”


Without: 31 Days to Increase Your Faith

  • Author: Chris Stephens
  • Published: 2015-12-09 22:05:37
  • Words: 29927
Without: 31 Days to Increase Your Faith Without: 31 Days to Increase Your Faith