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The Way We LIVE

When you receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior...things change. In fact, you change! You are made into a totally new creature in Christ and everything old (your nature, your eternal destiny, etc.) is replaced by the new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Being born again means you no longer belong to the same family or the same kingdom, spiritually speaking. You are translated from the kingdom of darkness (Satan's kingdom) into the kingdom of God's dear Son, and with that move comes a whole new way of life and existence.

As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are justified (or made righteous) by His blood. Therefore, when God looks at you, He sees you through the blood of Jesus-- and as if you had never sinned. A new lifestyle or way of living should accompany your new identity, so let's dig into the Word of God and discover how we are to live. 

Faith, Faith and More Faith

So exactly how do you live this new life in God?  Well in several places the Word tells us: the just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38).   Faith in its simplest form is believing and acting on the Word of God.  To have faith in God is to believe God's Word, and this is essential because without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).  We don't decide to walk by faith because it's hard or it's easy, but instead we do it because it pleases God!  God has given to every man the measure of faith.  Your faith begins in seed form and from there it grows and develops. Romans 10:17 tells us how this happens: 

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"

In order to develop your faith to the point where it will produce results in your life, you must constantly feed it with the Word of God. No Word of God = no faith. Little Word = little faith. Much Word = strong faith. So when you need faith for healing you go to the Word of God that promises you healing.  When you need faith for finances, go to the Word that promises financial blessing.  God has given to us everything that pertains to life and godliness-through His Word. Make living by faith, or living by believing and acting on the promises of God, your way of life.  Remember, God commanded it, and after all, man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. 

The Two Essentials

The perfect picture of one who walks by faith and actively releases his faith is given to us in 2 Corinthians 4:13:

"Yet we have the same  spirit of faith as he had who  wrote, I have believed, and  therefore have I spoken. We too believe, and therefore we speak."

There we are given the two essentials of our faith: believing and speaking. Faith resides in two places-your heart and your mouth. It grows and develops in your heart, but it can only benefit you as it is released in power from your mouth.  The psalmist wrote:  we believe, therefore we speak! Your faith is activated through your words! The apostle James teaches us that faith without works is dead. Now I began by defining faith as believing and acting on the Word of God. The action that most releases and brings alive your faith is speaking the Word of God. How powerful that is!  Get this: It's not enough for you to read the promise, memorize the promise, meditate the promise and have happy thoughts about the promise--you must also speak and declare the promise!

For those who have not been accustomed to speaking and confessing the Word of  God up until now, you must renew your mind. Why the  greatest miracle that ever  took place in your life came  as you believed in your heart  that God raised Jesus from  the dead and confessed (or spoke aloud) with your  mouth the Lord Jesus. The result of that simple belief and confession was your salvation! (Romans 10:9. 10)  And it works the same way with every other promise of God. Jesus, Himself;  outlined this as the "God kind of faith" that He expects us to walk in and fulfill. 

"For verily I say unto you,  That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou  removed, and be thou cast  into the sea; and shall not  doubt in his heart, but shall  believe that those things  which he saith shall come to  pass; he shall have  whatsoever he saith.  Therefore I say unto you,  What things so ever ye desire,  when ye pray, believe that ye  receive them, and ye shall  have them" (Mark 11: 23,  24). 

Notice the emphasis that Jesus puts on what you say in this passage of Scripture. In verse 23, He puts three times more emphasis on 'saying' than He does on 'believing'.  Does that tell you something?  God wants you to say something! Once you get it in your heart, the next step is to speak, and speak, and speak--until it's manifested in your life. You know I'm convinced that there are going to be a lot of surprised people in heaven. I see many  who lived low-level, pitiful,  barely getting along lives  here on the earth going  before God's throne saying:  "Lord, I wanted a big,  beautiful house when I was  on the earth...and Lord I  wanted to live a long life in  health and strength…and Lord I wanted my children to  love You and serve  You...and on, and on and  on." And you know what God is going to say to their little sob stories: Well, why didn't you say something?!! 

You see God has given the authority in the earth to you and me. We are the establishing witnesses. We are the ones who make it so--not God and certainly not the devil. Romans 4:17 says that even God calls those things that be not as though they were. And we know He did  because we see Him in action  in Genesis 1 'saying' and at  the end of that chapter He  'sees' or 'receives' everything  He's said as an act of faith.  Obey Ephesians 5:1 by imitating God and walking and living by faith. You can do it because it's in your heart and in your mouth. 

Patience for Hire 

"For you have need of  steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus  receive and carry away (and enjoy to the full) what is  promised. But the just shall live by faith...and if he draws back and shrinks in fear, My soul has no delight or pleasure in him. But our way is not that of those who draw back to eternal misery and are utterly destroyed, but we are of those who believe and by faith preserve the soul"  (Hebrews 10: 36, 38, 39--The  Amplified Bible).

In a test and a trial, we must see to it that we do the will of God--which is to walk by faith and not by sight (or by what our circumstances tell us). We must have tunnel vision on the Word of God, and we can't give up. We follow Jesus' instruction in Mark 11, and we receive instantly. From there, we walk it out by faith and patience. Patience is a powerful force of the Spirit given to undergird and support your faith. Scripture instructs us to be followers of those who through faith and patience inherited the promises. As Brother Kenneth Copeland says, faith and patience are power twins.  You see verse 36 says we need patience after we begin walking by faith. That's because patience is what holds us steady from the time we pray and believe we receive until the time we have it manifested in our lives. Being patient isn't just putting up with something, instead it's bearing up under and holding steady under any pressure or trouble you face until the answer is manifested. In fact, patience is so powerful that it allows us to receive and carry away and enjoy to the full what is promised. James 1 says it will leave us entire and complete--wanting nothing!  Hallelujah!  So we must be mindful to put our patience to work as we live the life of faith.  Neglecting to do so will cause us to draw back and rob God of having pleasure in us.  Psalm 35:27 says that God takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servants. However, if you draw back and let go of your faith, God won't be able to prosper you and thus He'll have no pleasure in you.  So, if for no other reason, determine to hold on to your faith so that the Father will have great pleasure in you and have the thrill of prospering you.

In the Now

In order for our faith to truly be active and alive, it must be in the now.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). 

True faith, as the Scripture points out, is always now, and it's always today. Faith receives now.  Faith doesn't put things off until the future. If you don't see yourself with it now, then you're not in faith. Faith is totally contrary to what your natural senses may be telling you based on your circumstances. Faith counts the thing done before God has acted--and this is what compels God into action on your behalf. Faith says "I'm healed" even as you're swallowing the Tylenol or reaching for the Kleenex.  Faith says "I'm prosperous" even as the past due notice is showing up in your mailbox.  Faith lives in the promise; it shouts above the turmoil and says "it is"! 

The Acid Test

Once you've received the promise by faith, you must maintain the proper attitude.  And that's the attitude of gratitude. When you're in the midst of a trial, you should remain grateful and continually give God thanks.  I Thessalonians 5:17 says in everything give thanks. That means in the good times, we thank God, and in the not so good times we thank God.  Our praise and thanksgiving to God should not diminish when we're facing trouble, but on the contrary, should increase. That's because there's something very powerful about praise and thanksgiving. Praise literally causes your enemy, Satan, to be still in his tracks, according to Psalm 8:2. That means he can't continue in his maneuvers and strategies against you as you turn on the praise. At the same time, your praise invites God in on the scene because God inhabits the praises of His people. So as you praise God, He will come in, and of course, the devil will flee.

Thanksgiving is equally as powerful as its sister praise.  Thanksgiving releases the grace or anointing of God into your life and circumstances.  Thanksgiving and grace are synonymous and when you release them, you release a power so great that it can remove any burden and destroy every yoke in your life. 

Therefore, to say you're living by faith, but yet you don't exhibit an attitude of gratitude, means you've missed it. Go back to the times where things didn't seem to be working and recall what your attitude was like. Did it remain thankful and grateful to God or did it sink along with your circumstances? Making this adjustment in your walk of faith will bring tremendous results. We see this with faithful Abraham in Romans 4:

"No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God" (verse 20). 

Abraham's faith was strengthened as he gave praise and glory to God.  That's because the joy of the Lord is your strength. A spirit of praise and joy will build up your faith. So give your faith a boost by living a life of praise, thanksgiving, and worship before the Lord.  I've renewed my commitment to do just that as I live this life of faith.  God has a good life that He's made ready for you to live-as you live it His way by faith. 

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