Today’s Scripture:  “ 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” – Romans 4:18-21

Introduction:

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend, and again for all the Mother’s out there who follow Christlike Ministries Arkansas I hope your Mother’s Day was relaxing and full of blessings.  As we resume our study here I remind you that this is just a small two-week sample of what’s written in Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind Devotional.  All of the quotations you see are from her and her book, but the commentary in between quotes is from Christlike Ministries Arkansas.

Occasionally, it’s necessary to step back from writing to take a break, and with the work week I had last week I knew that I was going to have to step back, refresh, and allow the Lord to recharge my batteries so-to-speak.  So, we have five days left of this series, and then we’ll have to see where the Lord leads us from there.

So, let’s get back into this series…and it’s a good topic to start with…Positive Belief.

Today’s Message:

The story of Abraham amazes me no matter how many times I read it. It’s not just the birth of a son when he was a hundred years old. That’s a miracle. But just as amazing is the information that he waited twenty-five years for the fulfillment of the promise. He was seventy-five when God promised Him a son.

I wonder how many of us would believe God and live in expectation for twenty-five years. Most of us probably would have said, “I didn’t really hear from God.” “Oh, I guess maybe God didn’t really mean that.” Or “I need to go somewhere else to get a fresh word from the Lord.”

I admit that I love the story of Abraham myself.  I am one of those who would have wondered if I had really heard that from God or if it was my imagination.  Yet, since I’ve been serving the Lord I realize that I was saved as a little boy, and that was over 30 years ago.  It wasn’t until 2001 that I learned that I was called to serve the Lord, and that is more than 10 years ago.  I don’t remember the exact year that Pastor Stephen Robbins of No Greater Love Family Church told me by a word of knowledge that I would one day use my ability to write for the Lord, but I’m relatively certain that was more than 5 years ago.

What’s my point?  What’s Joyce’s point?  In one message we talked about God’s Timing and God’s Perfect Plan, and one of the things I remember saying is something that Pastor Robbins used to say all the time.  God doesn’t grade on a curve.  In other words, you won’t go on to the next step or level until you complete the level the Lord gives you.

When you read the bible you see how there was always years before people walked in their calling, and one of the encouraging things to me when I read Abraham’s story is that for me…this is just the beginning of what God’s called me to do.  Writing these messages is just the beginning.  I can’t even begin to imagine what would’ve happened if Abraham didn’t believe God.  It’s also encouraging to know that between the time God spoke to Abraham about a son, and the birth of Isaac was the birth of Ishmael.  He tried to speed up the process, but it wasn’t until he had Isaac that the promise of a son…with Sarah was fulfilled.

For twenty-five years the man once known as Abram began to introduce himself as Abraham the father of many nations.  I can imagine how many people probably laughed and scoffed at him.  He didn’t even have one son, and he was running around calling himself “the father of many nations”…but that is exactly what faith is.  Faith as calling things that be not as though they are.  Today, all of us who have confessed Christ as Lord and Savior are children of who…father Abraham.  We are all blessed and are heirs to the promise of the what…Abrahamic covenant.

That’s what the point is.  God’s timing is always reliable.  His plan is always perfect.  No matter if it takes 25 days or 25 years to fulfill.  That’s where we have to get to ask far as our faith goes.  We have to believe that when God speaks something to us that He is going to fulfill whatever it is.  Whether it’s having a child or having a ministry we all have to accept that there are things that God’s promised us that simply will not happen over night, but it will happen according to His perfect timing and plan.

In our impatience, we often take matters into our own hands. I say we get “bright ideas”–plans of our own, which we hope God will bless. These plans open the door for confusion and chaos. Then their results must be dealt with, which often delays our miracle.

This is impatience or a desire to “help God out” is how Ishmael came to be, and instead of being a blessing Ishmael became such a problem that he’s still a problem for Christians today…because from Ishmael’s lineage came the Muslim religion.  We know how that’s turned out.  Christians and Muslims and Jews have been at war with each other ever since.  I know there have been many a time in my life that I thought I would “help God out” or speed up the process of what He was wanting me to do only to find out that God doesn’t need us to help Him to bring anything to pass in our lives…He needs us to trust Him to complete the work on His time.  Remember  Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV) that reads:  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”, how about  2 Timothy 1:9 which says:  “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” and Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)that reminds us:  “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”

It’s God who begins and completes the work in us.  We just get to take part in the process.  He’s the Author and Finisher, He is the Beginning and the End, and the Alpha and Omega, and there’s no point in us trying to “help God out” because the simple truth is…He doesn’t want our help He wants us to be obedient.

The Bible gives us promises, hope, and encouragement. God promises good to those of us who serve Him. Despite the adversity of our circumstances–and some people have absolutely terrible situations–God still promises good. Our sense of goodness, however, may not be the same as God’s. Getting what we want immediately may not be best for us. Sometimes waiting is the best thing because it helps develop the character of God in us.

It takes time to develop the character of God, and some times we’re just going to have to accept that we’re not going to receive certain promises over night…but over time.  You know, I thought that I’d have the abundant life promised in John 10:10 immediately, but don’t you know it’s taken 38 years for me to receive that abundant life…and I still have yet to receive it in it’s fullness?  I have had the Lord promise me that there is a “promised land”.  However, I believe it’s also worth mentioning that when He spoke to me of my own personal “promised land” He let me know that there was my own personal land of giants that I was going to have to go through to get there.  That was back in 2005.  It’s seven years later, and I can still see the promised land ahead of me…but there are still a few giants that I have to defeat to get there.  The awesome part to that was that He also told me that I wouldn’t be fighting those giants alone.

The Lord chooses to do good to us and to make us happy; the devil chooses to do wrong and to make us miserable. We can remain patient and keep believing God’s promises, or we can allow the evil one’s whisper to fill our ears and lead us astray.

There lies the reason we feel like we need to “help God”.  Don’t you know that was the lie that satan used to seduce Eve with the fruit of the tree?  He got her to believe that somehow God was holding out on them by not allowing them to eat of the fruit from that tree.  I believe that had they waited that eventually God would’ve given them the knowledge from that tree.  Do you know that Satan’s lie is still the same today?  Satan’s lies haven’t changed they still are used to get us to believe God doesn’t really love us, He’s holding out, or God’s never going to fulfill what He promised us.  That is really the arsenal of the devil…lies and deceit…and the truth of the matter is that he only has the power that we give him because Jesus stripped the devil of all his power.

That’s why this Battlefield of the Mind study is so important because the majority of his attacks come through our mind.  If he can get us distracted and thinking about anything other than God…then he’s done what he’s wanted to do.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve listened to Satan’s lies long enough.  My Jesus out satan to an open shame just like they used to do in the old days.  When a king defeated a king of another kingdom, the losing king would be stripped and often mocked in an open parade of victory for the victorious king…that’s what Jesus did to satan.

Conclusion & Prayer:

Positive belief in God’s promises yields good results because the Good One sends them to us. Refuse to give up, and you will see the results of your positive belief.

It’s about faith really.  I’m not really into this positive thinking stuff because that’s kind of what got Joel Osteen off, and if you’re wondering at all we do not support Joel Osteen at all.  He is a liar straight out of the pit of hell, and I have the video’s to prove it.  I’m not going to get on to this soap box, but I’m just going to say that what yields the results of the promises of God is faith.

Look either we believe the Bible or we don’t.  I choose to think of the Bible as God’s Word.  I don’t about you, but when I read that God is not a man that He should lie…then when I read the Bible I am going to read it knowing that this is God’s Word…and His word is truth.  PERIOD.  So, when God speaks a promise to me, and it’s confirmed in the Word of God…then I know that what God spoke to me is going to happen.

I have to admit that I really am kind of envious of Abraham because he believed God long before there ever was a Bible.  He didn’t have the Word of God like we have it today.  All he had was a word from God, and that was enough for him to walk around for 25 years that he was no longer Abram, but Abraham the father of many nations.  There’s been billions of people born since then…and I would think that would barely cover the grain of sand on any beach in the world…but God promised that his descendants would be like the grains of sand or stars in the sky…in other word…there wouldn’t ever really be a number.

Pray: Dear Father in heaven, forgive my lack of belief. Forgive me for allowing Satan to deceive me or make me think I’m worthless or unworthy of Your miracles. I am worthy because You made me worthy. You are the God of the impossible, and I ask You to help me wait on You and never give up. In the name of Jesus Christ my Lord, I pray. Amen.

  • All quotes are taken From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2005 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

  • This study series is from YouVersion, a Website and Application owned and operated by LifeChurch.tv