How You See Things Makes The Difference.

Faith rose in Peter as he heard the word from the Master. “Come”. With hopeful excitement Peter hoisted himself up on the edge of the boat and began to let himself down onto the water. I can only imaging how he felt as he placed his foot on the water. It held! This is fantastic! As he put his other foot down and it held too, Peter began to look around for Jesus. As he set his eyes on Jesus, Peter began to put one foot in front of the other, walking on the water toward Jesus.  Wait…here comes a wave. Oh No! It went over the top of my foot. I can’t walk on the water when the waves are going over my feet! All this wind. I’m having to lean into the wind and it seems to be pushing me further in to the water! Oh No! I’m sinking. Jesus! Help!

Peter started out well, didn’t he?  In Matt 14:28 Peter sees Jesus walking on the water and calls out “Lord, if it’s you, bid me to come to you on the water”. I find it interesting that Jesus didn’t say “It’s me but you need to stay in the boat”. What did Jesus say? One word. “Come”.

While Peter kept his eyes on Jesus and his mind on the command “Come”, he was able to walk on the water. He had a promise that was actively strengthening the surface of that water to hold him up. It was Peter’s faith in the Word of Jesus that made that water strong enough. We know this because it was when Peter began to look at the circumstances and let them fill up his vision, that he began to sink. His faith in the promise allowed him to walk on water. His unbelief allowed him to sink.

We know this by what Jesus said once they were in the boat. “Oh you or little faith, why did you doubt?”

Photo: Jonas Svidras @ STEP.CAMERA

On December 9th of 2017, I took my wife’s car into a local oil change shop to get the oil changed. It seemed like a typical visit and took about 30 – 45 minutes. As always, I had to withstand the “meeting” where they tried to up-sell me on everything from cabin air filters to wiper blades.

Forty five minutes later, they are all done. I pay the bill. I get my key. I walk out and get into my car. I start it. It runs for about ten seconds then dies.  I try in vain to get it started again but it will not run. The oil change guys come out and swarm around my car like a bees trying to get it running but to no avail. My car is dead and for at least an hour, my car is right in front of this shop with the hood up, advertising for them.

I had it towed to a shop I know and trust for help. After more than a day they give me a call. They’ve found the problem and we move forward with a plan of action. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end. It’s taken more than a month and the vehicle has been back into the shop three times.

As time went by, I found myself worrying. It was a slow, creeping anxiety. This incident had sort of up-ended my life, forcing both me and my wife to alter our schedules so that we could car-pool back & forth to work, I found myself becoming anxious.

Worry is a form of fear. It’s actually faith in the ability for circumstances to hurt you. Jesus said over and over to the people He ministered to “FEAR NOT!” Why? Because fear will undermine your ability to receive from God. We receive by our level of faith, not by God’s ability to give.

While getting this vehicle fixed wasn’t cheap, we had the money to cover it, but I had lost sight of the promises and allowed the problem to fill my windshield so to speak. It was all I was looking at. I know better than that.

Once I realized what I was doing, I arrested my thinking. I began to wonder why I tend to lean toward fear first? I asked the question – Can we grow to the point where our first thought is a faith thought? I believe we can!

Jesus said in John 8:32 “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free”. The implication of that verse is that its the truth you KNOW that makes you free. Here is something I want you to think about.

In Christ.

One thing I would recommend for all Christians is that they go through the New Testament in their Bible with a highlighter and mark all of the occurrences of “In Him”, “In whom” and “In Christ”. The verses where these are used are speaking about who YOU are if you are Saved. You are In Christ.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that we (who have believed) have been made the righteousness of God in Him. What does that mean? Righteous means right standing with God. We are in right standing with God because God the Father sees us “In Him”. His right standing has been attributed to us.

The word “Circumstance” means the circle that one stands in. Our circumstance includes all the things that surround us. Our circumstance may be good, or it may be terrible, but consider this…If we have been given right standing with God in Him, that means that His circumstances become our circumstances. His circumstance is righteousness. He IS victorious over death, hell and the grave, which means that we are too – in Him.

Consider what Paul wrote in Romans 8:31 – 39.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When we really look at God’s love for us and how complete a redemption He has provided, it becomes easy to believe that everything is going to be okay. Many don’t trust God because they don’t know that they CAN trust God. Once we get into His promises, it becomes clear that He is for us and He wants to help us.

In what way has God come through for you? Join the conversation by leaving a comment.

Move Forward With Confidence! Here’s How.

We know that Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Rom 10:17).  When Jesus said we would know the Truth, and the Truth would make us free, the implication of the verse is that it’s the TRUTH YOU KNOW that makes you free.

About a week ago, while I was having stuff done to my house, there was something that I wanted done, and I was pretty sure it was supposed to be done, but it kept getting passed over by the contractors.  I watched day after day as they worked around the area I was looking at, but day after day, they didn’t do anything.  I started getting anxious.  I even went and found the quote, just to look and see if it had been overlooked in the pricing.  Nope!  It was there!  So why do they keep working around it?  I began to create a  picture in my head of a big confrontation with the contractor in my front yard – out there in front of God and everybody.

It suddenly hit me.  This is not faith.  This is fear!  Fear is perverted faith, and I know better than this.  God gives me favor with people.  Then I thought….wait a minute, where is that in the Bible?  I couldn’t think of a specific scripture that promised that God has given me favor with everybody.  But what does the Bible say?

I remembered Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Then right on the heels of that,  Rom 8:31 & 32  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

To me, knowing where that truth was located was very important.  Many times we get ideas about what God is like or how He will act, but without actually having a scripture to back that up, you can’t really have faith.

Why?  Because as soon as your good thoughts about God get challenged, and they will be challenged, you will realize that what you believe about God is not based on a firm foundation.  Faith must be based on a firm foundation.  In order for something to be scriptural, we have to actually have scripture.

I began to think about it.  He will cause this to work out for my good.  He loves me.  He’s working in this situation on my behalf.  I made the shift on the inside.  I prayed about it, basing my prayer and my faith on the scriptures that the Holy Spirit brought to my memory.  I was now in a place of confidence.  I had faith that God was involved, and that it was going to be alright.  The next day, I had a passing conversation with the contractor, who all on his own, pointed out the part I had been wondering about and indicated that he wasn’t finished, and that it would all be done. Thank God!

Faith calls for the manifestation of itself.  It’s where we learn from God’s own example that we are to call those things that be not, as though they were (Rom 4:17).  We see from Job’s example that Fear also has a voice (Job 3:25).   It calls for the manifestation of itself too, because it’s perverted faith. Fear is having confidence in the circumstance and it’s ability to hurt you.

How do you move forward in your life?  When you navigate through your day, how do you know that the choices you make are the right ones?  Do you often see potential issues before they happen and successfully avoid them, or do you often find yourself knee deep in drama and wonder how you got there?

Recently I was having a conversation with someone at work.  They pointed out that they thought I was well suited for my work.  They commented that I am so confident in what I and my team do, that I am not easily pushed around.

The truth is that I do my job like I live my life.  I live by standards. A standard is defined as “an idea or thing used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations”.  One way to look at standards is that they are the rule by which everything else is measured.  They are the ideal.  It’s helpful if these are also unchanging.

In Metrology (The Science of Measurement), Primary standards are the highest order of standard.  They were at one time based on artifacts.  Items that were assigned final authority concerning a set measurement.  The problem with this is that artifacts are objects that are subject to change.  In recent years, science has been working to move the standards from artifact basis to a basis of fundamental physical constants.  That way, if anything happened to the standard bar for a meter, we could still measure a true meter.

A Standard is true.  It’s always the right answer.  When I’m at work, I operate according to the standards set forth by our executives regarding production speeds, processes and costs.  To me, these standards are like the company constitution.  When I operate in accordance with them, I am always in a defensible position.  I can have confidence that I operated according to the will of the executives.

The same is true with my life.  I can live in confidence to the extent that I am living according to the standard of God’s Word.  It is my final authority above all else.

In recent years, the world has become more vocal in its resistance to all things Christian.  It seems to have become popular to make fun of Christians for believing that the Bible is the truth.  There are even people who grew up in church that now take verbal “cheap shots” at Christians for believing what the Bible says. The Bible is the truth though, and it is the standard by which all things will be measured in the end.

It’s important not only to know about the standard but to actually know it.  Jesus said in John 8:31 & 32  If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. It’s important to know God loves you, but it’s more important to know specifically where the promise is that tells you that God loves you.

When it comes to knowing what to do, it’s so important to know what the standards are, and to submit yourself to them.  Only then can you stand firm when the world is telling you something different.

Today, you can move forward with confidence.  The very next step you take can be the first step toward the things you so desperately need.  What it takes…what it always takes, is a commitment.  Without a solid decision on your part, you will still be pushed around.  You must be as committed to the truth as the truth is to you.

I want to remind you of the choice Joshua required Israel to make in Joshua 24:15.  “Choose you this day whom you will serve”, and then he adds “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

The choice is yours.

Your buddy Art.

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