This is the eternal question asked by humanity all over the earth and especially in Westernized societies! Satan to this day is utilizing the only tool he has available…deception. He attempts to pervert the word that God has given us. Ephesians 6:11 tells us to be aware of the devil’s schemes. In fact, we are mistaken if we think we must fear the power of the devil! He has no power but that which we give him when we distrust God’s Word.
We are encouraged to take a stand against Satan’s schemes, strategies, deceits, wiles, and tricks. We are not encouraged to take our stand against his power. Satan has only one tool, and that is to pervert God’s truth and convince us not to believe what God has told us in His Word. Essentially the plan of evil has not changed from the first day until now!
God has given us who are created in His image the ability to transform others. How? By the creative power of the words we speak. We have seen multitudes of people change from sad to glad, from depressed to joyful, from sick to healthy, from lost to saved, from fearful to faithful, from worried to peaceful, and from every other negative state to a positive one. These changes occurred after they heard and believed the words and thoughts of God.
On the border of Romania in the Carpathian Mountains, we were holding tent meetings that were transforming every strata of society. The associate major was so touched that He gave the unused sports center to the church for their new building so youth could find Christ.
A gang of boys came in one day to break up our benches and disrupt the meetings. The leader was going to give the signal when to start the disruption, so they all sat, waiting in anticipation. Sitting there in the presence of the Word, they felt a strong pull to give their lives to Jesus. When the gang leader stood up to give the signal to start trouble, he instead came forward to be born again. The gang all came forward and three weeks later at the baptism service on the river, they all jumped into the river together to be baptized, then began sharing amazing stories of transformation with us!
God has given us all that pertains to life, and we have the answers (2 Peter 1:3). We have a source that cannot be controlled by other humans, economics, armies, or any powers.
People are excited when they hear the voice of God’s scriptures declaring that all things are theirs to enjoy. It is God telling them to enter the supermarket and fill up their basket as often as they like. They go into the store with joy, but they are dismayed when everything they want is packaged as bags of seeds. It’s not in the form they were looking for! God promises us apples, but He rarely, if ever, gives us orchards or even a single apple tree. He gives us apple seeds.
People want instant gratification. The seeds God gives will produce everything they want in life, but they must plant them. The seeds will produce the image they project. They will grow. They will multiply just like any other seeds. God’s words are self-fulfilling. Jesus’ words are pre-programmed to produce the images of you and your life that He bought and paid for. His words are self-fulfilling in your life.
A tomato seed is pre-programmed to produce tomatoes. It does not matter how much the tomato seed would like to produce potatoes or how long it tries to grow them. It can only produce what it was programmed for.
Whatever seeds from God’s storehouse we plant, we will have the same harvest as God Himself would receive if He planted them!
What is Jesus looking for? When He returns will He find faith? (Luke 8:18)
Faith is what Jesus is looking for!
If we take scripture at face value, it is clear that faith is God’s expectation of humanity. An active trust in God’s Word is based on the finished work that Jesus Himself accomplished. When a man with an epileptic son came to Jesus for a miracle, the man asked if Jesus could do anything. Jesus immediately responded, “Everything is possible for one who believes”(Mark 9:23).
The problem is not with Jesus! He is able. He is willing, and He is ready, but He wants to know if you believe He will do it.
“For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love” (Galatians 5:6, Message).
This faith works within the framework of love. Love is the foundation. GOD’S LOVE provides the motive for our confident belief. We trust God because we know He is a loving God.
Love was here long before contracts and covenants. Love is a selfless willingness to do good and right for all. The impossible can spring from this foundation!
Healing is as basic a promise as salvation, yet many have not come to grasps with the reality of our redemption.
The book of Psalms, the Prophet Isaiah, the Gospels and the Apostle James all point us toward a comprehensive salvation that includes forgiveness of sin and healing of sickness. How can we ignore such precious promises that are available to each one of us?
I think for most, it is more of an issue of not living in the light of God’s Word than it is ever a question of “Does God heal?” Yet, when physical difficulties arise the blame is placed on God. How can this be? He is not the author of sickness and disease! In fact, the scripture tells us in Isaiah that it was the will of the Lord to bruise Him and to put Him to grief and to make Him sick (Isa 53:10 AMP). God provided the solution for our sin and sickness by sending Christ to the Cross. How can we deny such marvelous news?
We must place the light of God’s Word in higher reverence than the reality of our experience in order to see the promises of God fulfilled in our lives. I must tell you that you were not born again when you felt like it. No, you were born again when you confessed with your mouth and believed in your heart. Healing works in the same manner. Just as a new Christian learns to live the life of a born again, saved person, so does a young Christian learn to live the life of healing and health that is promised to us by God through the prophets, the Gospels and the letters written to the early church.
Don’t allow your experience to determine what you believe, but allow God’s Word to transform your heart. Find a bible experience that confirms Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. It works! I have experienced it myself and I have seen this healing grace among the multitudes for nearly 30 years.
Go for it! Dare to believe! What do you have to lose? It’s available and it’s free because of what Christ has already done!
We find people today are looking more than for a job. They are looking for a life of meaning and a work they can commit themselves to. At a young age with a certain degree of success and friendship, I had a question in my mind: Is this all there is? What I found was beyond my wildest dreams! A life without limits was being offered to me! This same life is offered to every person. Today people are scrambling for a job and glad to have one, but security is not satisfaction.
The good news is that every job is a joy if you see it tied to something bigger and more significant for your quest of life. Jesus came into this earth from the Father and Creator of all things. He said you can have life like My Father and I have life. You can let go of your limitations and enter a place where the source of all things is not limited by economy or government or education or country.
Jesus opened the door when He said: “Have faith in God. I assure you that you can say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,’ and your command will be obeyed. All that’s required is that you really believe and do not doubt in your heart.
Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it.” Mark 11:22
The possibility stands before you. Go for it!
When I was in Moscow one winter, record setting freezing temperatures froze the pipes of the heater units and caused a real flood, as well as a dangerous freeze inside. Our director had the great idea of placing an old iron gas heater in the center of the main room to warm up the house until we could replace the whole system. The heater had to be turned off at night though, and the first thought in the morning was how to get that heater going again! A little spark was all it took, and everyone would gather round until the warmth began to spread.
Friends, don’t start your day without a spark. Yesterday’s spark will not do. The fire has to be rekindled every morning. What is that spark to you? You probably know how to find that java stimulant for your body, but it might take a little more time to spark the divine impulse within you that will lift you to a place of expectation and peace as you deal with the day’s issues. When you are warm then everybody around you gets to enjoy the warmth!
2 Tim 1:6 “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
2 Peter 3:11 “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior…”
It isn’t the loudness or length of speaking that produces change, it is the words that are spoken. For example, we were in the capital of Costa Rica with a marvelous group of leaders and believers as well as thousands of other people.
We conducted over 21 meetings. We met with the president of the country. The national Christian television station broadcast all the meetings across Latin America. Our time there was building to a climax, when my interpreter decided he was tired and wasn’t coming to my final meeting. Tired?? One doesn’t get tired in the middle of a campaign! I found myself at the meeting with the music playing, 40,000 people waiting to hear the Word of God and be healed, and no interpreter! What would you do? What you believe really comes out in moments like this!
I told the choir to keep singing, then stepped down from the platform and walked among the people, looking for someone who could speak English. I finally found an old schoolteacher. He had just a whisper of a voice, but he could speak accurately. I told him not to worry. “I will preach with heart,” I said, “just say the words, and Jesus will back us up. Only be accurate with the words.”
My faith was in Jesus alone, and it was very lonely up there with the multitude waiting to see Jesus. My dear new friend whispered the message, and I prayed with great vigor for the manifestation of the healing power of God to make the people whole. My friend whispered the prayer, and it brought a great thunder of faith from their hearts and miracles began to flow. Many canes and wheelchairs were thrust into the air. Arms were lifted, and a parade of hurting humanity gave witness to the living God.
The next day in the town where I was staying, I was negotiating with an art store owner for a particular painting. He greeted me with a big smile and called me Pastor. I had never mentioned that I was a preacher, how did he know?
He said his wife had insisted that he go to the mass miracle meeting the previous night, and so he had stood way in the back. When I invited people to lay hands on themselves where they would like Jesus to lay His hand, he could not think of anything wrong except the golf-ball-size bone deformity he was born with on his lower spine. As he touched it, he felt it dissolve under his hand. He was so happy that Jesus revealed Himself, and he found Christ on that field. I have the picture that we haggled over hanging in our home today!
It takes skill to lift people up. You don’t have to put people down, the devil already does a great job of that. The body of Christ is supposed to be lifting people up and giving them hope!
There are a thousand reasons to feel ashamed every day. Your thoughts can put you down, your spouse can put you down, your neighbors can put you down. Your past can put you down. Something you did can put you down, something you didn’t do can put you down!
A number of years ago I was preaching in Crimea. After a week of preaching my interpreter turned to me and said, “Kevin, when I listen to you, I begin to hope again!” I was a little worried by that…after a week of meetings my interpreter was just now beginning to believe what she was saying?
I told her that I didn’t understand what she meant, and she replied, “You don’t understand what communism did to us. It’s worse than stealing your house. It’s worse than stealing your car. It’s worse than stealing your opportunities for education or opportunities for advancement. They stole our hope. We were people without hope, but now we hear you and hope is beginning to arise. The God that you’re talking about, He will hear me, He will hear me!” “I’m going to pray,” she stated firmly, and I asked, “You mean you weren’t praying before?” “No,” she said, “I had no hope. I could not expect God to answer prayer. But now, I can expect Him to answer my prayer.”
She continued, “I’m going to pray for two things.” I thought, ok, I help. I’ll pray with her. She said, “No, I don’t want you to pray.” Curious, I asked what she was going to pray for. “I’m going to pray for a tape recorder because I want to hear this message again, and I’m going pray for a telephone because our family has been waiting 40 years to get one.” I said, “Larisa, I agree with you. You go pray.”
A week later she came to me, “Kevin! Kevin! Good news! Somebody gave me a tape recorder, and I know a telephone is coming!” Now, this might not seem important to you, but if you’d waited 40 years for something, it would be a very big deal to you.
A month later, I got a letter. “Dear Kevin, I want to share this wonderful news with you. You know what I was praying for. Last weekend a lady was born again and joined our church. I started to help her and gave her a bible study. One day this week she asked me, ‘Larisa, what can I do for you?’ I told her ‘Nothing.’ She replied, ‘I work for the telephone company, do you need a telephone?’ Kevin, the next day we got a telephone!”
The gospel has made us something. Once we were without hope, but now we have a covenant. We have God, and we have hope!
There is a difference between a person who has pride, and a person who is arrogant. We all know arrogant people who are brutish and loud, always having to put people down in order to feel lifted up. That’s arrogance. But self-pride is different.
If you have a mechanic you want a good mechanic. What makes a good mechanic? Someone who has pride in their work, right? You don’t want a mechanic who says, “I might fix it or it might break on you, I never know.” You don’t want to give your car to that person, you could get killed doing that! You don’t want to give your money to a stock broker who says, “Well, you know, I haven’t made any money yet, but give me your money because who knows? Maybe I can help you.” You don’t want to give your money to a broker with no confidence, you want a broker who believes in his decisions. You wouldn’t want to go to a doctor for help and hear him say, “Well, most people die when I operate on them, but come on, I’ll give it a try.” No! You want a doctor who says, “Yes I can help you, you’ll be fine.”
We need people who believe in themselves. Sometimes the church creates unbelievers by leading you to believe that God is important, but you’re not. God is smart, but you aren’t. God is holy, but you’re just a sinner. You walk out of that church thinking, I’m in trouble!
When Adam sinned he was filled with shame and hid from God, but Jesus came and filled us with dignity. Now you can believe in yourself because He lives in you and your sins are removed—you’re a new person! You have a new spirit, you have a new relationship, you have a new revelation, you have a new authority. That’s the gospel! I’m not talking to a bunch of losers; I’m talking to the most successful people in the world.
If you can’t leave church confident and happy, then you’d better find a church that is telling you all the Good News!