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MOVING MOUNTAINS

With
SUPERNATURAL

FAITH
Dominating Circumstances
With Kingdom Power

WINSTON DAVENPORT
1. Who exactly are you targeting?
Moving Mountains with Supernatural Faith is aimed at persons who consider themselves Christian. Due to the
challenging nature of the subject matter, this book is best suited for those who desire to further or
deepen their spiritual walk, specifically in the area of faith and miracles. However, this work
possesses the capability to inspire less-mature believers—even the unsaved—by fostering a hunger
for more knowledge of the Kingdom. As does God Himself, this book presents entrance to a life of
passion, creativity, and risk. No matter who you are, these pages will call you higher into your
destiny, even if that means initial acceptance of the Kingdom through Jesus Christ. From a
theological perspective, this work is aimed at Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians due to a heavy
emphasis on faith, the Holy Spirit, and the believer's authority. Though most appropriate for a
specific people group, this book could easily be mass-marketed due to the solutions it poses to many
problems commonly faced all throughout society. However, you will discover I have not compromised
its message in the name of "seeker-friendliness."

2. What age group fits your book, as in range of ages?


Moving Mountains with Supernatural Faith contains materials and theological perspectives that could
potentially offend the more conservative beliefs of those steeped in tradition. For those people, I wish
this book to provide release from the self-imposed chains of religion-as-is in order to thrust them into
true Kingdom living. This transcends any certain age group. However, many older folks might find its
contents harsh or unsettling. Because there is no age in which one doesn't face significant obstacles,
this book will be beneficial to all. This bracket encompasses young people who are full of zeal, as well
as the middle-aged, looking for a way out of the monotony of life so common to their generation. This
book offers solutions to many problems commonly faced by those in this age group.

3. What point of view do you desire?


Moving Mountains with Supernatural Faith is written from the author's perspective, speaking directly to the
reader. It contains many illustrations, pulling from the author's experiences written in first person, as
well as stories of others, told in third person. This book primarily uses the active voice so as to
effectively engage the reader.

4. How proactive/challenging a read would you like?


Moving Mountains with Supernatural Faith is written clearly and concisely, at an eighth-grade reading level.
Literarily easy to comprehend, this book employs many story-illustrations and examples. However,
this work will definitely challenge the beliefs held by most Christians. I have designed the book to
expose religious mindsets that contradict true Kingdom living as revealed in the Bible and in the
person of Jesus Christ. I want my readers to feel deeply convicted, challenged—even scandalized—while
never feeling belittled. I want this book to glow in the memory of the reader as forcefully compelling,
evoking a sense of urgency, yet nurturing and connecting. It seems to say, "Listen, we have a long
journey ahead of us and it won't always be easy, but I will be with you the whole way." I challenge
current paradigms and unapologetically hold the reader—as well as the whole Church—accountable
to the truth presented in the Bible. This book also implements a prophetic voice, addressing what
God is doing in the earth today.

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5. Are you writing a self-help, a motivational, an inspirational, or a theological styled book?
Moving Mountains with Supernatural Faith could easily fall under any of these categories. I would emphasize
its inspiring nature as well as its biblically founded, theological perspective. I have written intending
to connect with the reader, helping them understand the author, and more importantly making them
feel like the author understands them. Much of this book exposes the divergence between what the
Bible teaches and what is commonly taught in the Church. Through revealing deep, scriptural truths,
this work inspires the reader to unashamedly leave his comfort zone and pursue a life of faith—risky
and intimidating as it may be. A specific goal is to introduce the proven principles of the New
Thought and positive thinking movement into everyday Christian living, demonstrating the Biblical
origins of these methods.

6. How much editorial latitude are you willing to relinquish?


This book must arrest the reader with vivid imagery, convicting statements and connecting stories.
If the book ever seems to disconnect from the reader, I request editing. If it departs from the air of
firm resolve, that must be corrected. Quite simply, how does Moving Mountains with Supernatural Faith
present itself to another skilled author and word connoisseur? I am willing to consider every editorial
suggestion. I'm confident of the message I'm attempting to convey and won't feel threatened by
strenuous criticism. I also know where to draw the line, disallowing the editor to overshadow my
unique voice/perspectives by his/her own viewpoints or cookie-cutter expectations. If I were
searching for a suitable nanny for my precious child, I would not simply settle for the first applicant.
Likewise, this book is me—my heart, my creativity, my destiny. Though willing to let an editor properly
care for and invest in this "child," it will always be my baby. It would be a shame after so much time
and effort invested in this work, to neglect the insight of those who matter most: my readers.

© 2009 by Winston Davenport

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Published by Kingdom House Publishing
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Printed in the United States of America

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by any means—for example, electronic, photocopy, recording—without the
prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Copyright
©1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987, by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved. Used by
permission. (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright
©1979, 1980, 1982, 1984. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All
rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright
©1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All
rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright ©1993,1994, 1995,
1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Every attempt has been made to obtain permission to reproduce copyrighted material. If any
proper acknowledgment has not been made, we would invite copyright-holders to inform us of the
oversight.

Contents

Introduction

Part One: The Role of Faith

Chapter One: The Key that Unlocks the Door....................................6


Chapter Two: Learning to Walk on Water.........................................14
Chapter Three: Agreeing With the Invisible.....................................21
Chapter Four: Transforming Your Life..............................................29
Chapter Five: The Delegation of Authority......................................38

Part Two: Developing Your Faith

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Chapter Six: The Foundation of Faith.............................................47
Chapter Seven: The Four Plumb Lines............................................55
Chapter Eight: Possessing the Promises.........................................67
Chapter Nine: Learning to Talk to Yourself......................................76
Chapter Ten: Recalling Yesterday's Triumphs..................................84
Chapter Eleven: Rise Like an Edifice..............................................90
Chapter Twelve: In the Image of God.............................................97
Chapter Thirteen: Identifying and Demolishing Your Hindrances. .105

Part Three: Taking Your Stand of Faith

Chapter Fourteen: Making the Decree.........................................114


Chapter Fifteen: Ask and Receive................................................125
Chapter Sixteen: Pregnant With the Purposes of God...................135
Chapter Seventeen: Let Your Emotions Speak.............................148
Chapter Eighteen: An Attitude of Celebration..............................152
Chapter Nineteen: The Power of Focus and Determination...........161
Chapter Twenty: Erasing the Lines of Limitation...........................167

Introduction
It's funny thing about life;
if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.
—W. Somerset Maugham

T
HE LIGHTS DIMMED. The audience quieted as they settled in their seats. The
only sound was the dissonant ambience of the orchestra, meticulously
tuning their instruments—a strangely pleasant sound.
A spotlight illuminated stage-left as a tall man stepped into view. He was
dressed to perfection: an expensive tuxedo, black as night, well-fitted to his slim
figure. He marched confidently to the center of the stage and stepped onto the
podium. After bowing politely to the audience he turned to face the musicians.
There was silence as violinists and violists lifted their instruments. Cellists and bass
players touched bow to string as the conductor raised his baton.

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The unresolved silence lingered for a few moments before the conductor broke
suspense. His baton fell, slicing the air as the concert hall erupted in symphony.
When his arms rose, the orchestra crescendoed in aural richness. When he made
himself small, crouching behind his music stand, the orchestra restrained intensity.
With every movement, this man dictated the production of a hundred musicians.
He possessed authority.
The conductor wasn't making the music. Nor was the orchestra playing a song
he wrote. But each player, unique and individual, depended on the conductor's
leadership to guide them into a deliberate, unified chorus of the music he had
placed on their stands.
In the same way, you are the conductor of the grandest symphony orchestra
ever assembled.
In every moment, with every step you take, your life is responding to your
leadership. The baton is in your hand.
My question is, whose song are you conducting?
The most important thing I have ever learned, though a departure from
conventional thinking, is that the orchestra—my life—will play precisely the music I
set before it. I used to believe differently. I thought that God was the conductor of
my life—that His will dictated my every circumstance. I believed that every breath
and heartbeat was under His control. This may come as a shock to you—it certainly
was to me!—but that is simply not true. Recognizing this reality will cause you to be
more effective for the Kingdom of God than ever before. Because even though God
is always composing the most beautiful music—life fulfilled, joyful, powerful,
effective, satisfied—He has set you on the platform. It's up to you to place His
music on the stands.
And God isn't the only One writing music. Satan, the enemy of our souls, has a
few symphonies of his own. Songs of sickness, poverty, sin, depression, and
destruction.
It's up to you to decide which composition to give the musicians. Your ensemble
can either produce the music of Heaven, or a hellish ruction of weeping and
gnashing. God won't force you to choose His music. And satan can't force you
choose his. It's solely up to you. You are the conductor.
When you are playing the music that's right for you—God's song—it isn't hard to
tell. Everything seems right. There is absolute peace, regardless of what's
happening around you. You know that none of satan's symphonies can alter your
course or erode your foundation. Why? Because your life is the orchestra, and you
hold the baton.
You can change your circumstances. Life is not outside of your control. God has
furnished every tool you
could ever need to accomplish all that you desire. Jesus taught that no crisis is too
big to overcome. He
promised that in the face of trials and troubles, you will triumph. He demonstrated
how to experience results.

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He called it faith—a familiar word, but misunderstood concept. The notion of faith is
intimidating because
the human mind always wants a tangible reason to believe that something is real.
Our intellects demand to see, feel, and hear evidence before they believe. Our brains
think like Doubting Thomas: "I won't believe it unless I see..." (John 20:25 NLT). But faith
is just the opposite. Faith believes without any aid from the five senses. Faith always
believes before it sees. In today's society, this can be a challenging concept.
Mountains of fear, sickness, poverty, and tragedy frequently undermine our ability
to believe that the impossible could become reality. Sometimes it seems as though
there are no solutions to life's countless problems. Nevertheless, the reality of the
Christian life is that every solution you will ever need is already yours. It simply
requires faith to possess it.
God created you to prevail. To increase. To reign. When He filled you
with His Spirit, His mountain-moving power became available in full. He never
intended you to cower or shrink back in defeat, but to stand tall in His power—to
take your place in life. He made the mountains to tremble because of His power in
you.
Take a moment and search your heart. Do you feel empowered to overcome
mountains? Do you believe that you have authority over the enemy's power? Even
if you can't detect a resonance with these words, God wants to reveal something
powerful to you today. Still, inside every person there is a voice that rebels against
the victim mentality. That voice was placed there to remind you that you were
never meant to be subject to your circumstances. Perhaps it's buried under
disappointment or obscured by the funhouse mirrors of incorrect teaching, but I
believe that seed of faith will blossom once again. Perhaps it is dormant, but it will
never die.
If life seems out of your control, it isn't. You're simply conducting the wrong
symphony. A quandary easily corrected. What about those bills piled on your desk?
The sickness plaguing your body? The estranged friendship? God has written the
solution into His music. And it's up to you to conduct it. When you set Heaven's
composition on the stand, you've employed your faith. You've chosen to believe in
the unseen. Now all you have to do is lift your baton and see your mountains move.
It's simple and yes, it's biblical. I've experienced it for myself.
Throughout many years of ministry I've witnessed a significant number of men
and women acquiesce to a state of spiritual defeat. Burnt out on disappointments,
weary of bearing no fruit, thoroughly inundated in sermons and theology, their
lives reek of poverty, sickness, and sorrow. These men and women have prayed for
their loved ones to be healed, their financial needs met, and their lost children to
come home. But few of them have experienced results.
Unexplained tragedies like these usually lead to a flurry of rationalization within
the Church. Many theories and explanations are produced. There must be hidden sin in
my life. It must not have been God's will. Sometimes God says `No." People sincerely
desire to find a reason for their unfortunate losses and tragedies. Well-meaning
Christians frequently rehearse analogous explanations, believing them wise
and profound. They have exchanged Beethoven's Ninth for a hapless funeral

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dirge.
At one time, I could certainly relate. Where is the power? I wondered. There
must be more!
As I studied, I noticed that Jesus never experienced "unanswered prayers." In
fact, His theology didn't leave room for such a concept. Unlike many of today's
Christians, He never made religious excuses that compromised God's agenda. He
didn't need to—He stood tall in God's power! So what was the difference? Was it
because He only asked for the right things? Did God love Him more than he loved
me? No, none of the above. The reason Jesus always saw His prayers answered was
because of His faith—the missing ingredient in many people's lives.
This book is a compilation of spiritual insight, stunning testimonies, eternal
truths, and candid musings. I have instructed many people in these faith principles,
receiving tremendous response from churches, families, and young and old alike.
Why? These principles are God's principles. Of course they work!
I may sound overly optimistic, but there is a reason. I have observed firsthand
that it isn't difficult to see one hundred percent of your prayers fulfilled. It simply
takes a clear understanding of supernatural faith.

My Journey to Faith

I haven't always been as strong in faith as I am today. Many years ago, I felt as if
Heaven had turned a deaf ear toward me. I questioned my beliefs, my salvation,
and even God. A string of hurtful events left me feeling utterly alone in the
world. I felt as though God had abandoned me.

But my difficulty wasn't absence of God, it was absence of faith.

However, that God-given seed of faith within my heart wouldn't allow me to


concede. Instead, I'd lie awake night after night, tossing and turning in utter
frustration, lost in the tension between God's awesome promises and my
spiritually anemic experiences. I was not satisfied living in compromise of the
fullness that God had in store for me. I was desperate to grasp what was
missing, to know what I was doing wrong. Why was I seeing little-to-no
breakthrough in prayer and miracles? I was in vital need of something more
substantial than just another doctrine. I clutched my pillow and cried out to God
for a revolution in my life. God, give me what the Apostle Paul had! Give me what
Elijah possessed! Cause me to live as Jesus lived!

I surrendered everything I had, everything I was, everything I had been taught. I


set my life on an entirely new and refreshing pilgrimage and there was no
turning back. I was determined to lay hold of everything God had for me: the
very authority that was in Jesus to impede storms with a word, to heal the sick,
and to raise the dead.

Have you ever longed to see this power in your life? Have you prayed a prayer
like mine?
God answered my prayer and now I experience supernatural power in my

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everyday life. He didn't allow me to settle for the status quo. He gave me a
revelation of faith. The willingness and ability to see past the present. To embrace
the future. That faith seed is still growing in my heart, and it will grow in you too
as you come to realize the truth about the Kingdom of God—truth the enemy has
attempted to conceal for ages.
I am fully convinced that "all things are possible to him who believes" (Mark
9:23 NKJV). Furthermore, I'm certain that anyone who carefully studies the
principles in this book will experience the same. Prayers answered. Desires
fulfilled. Mountains moved. Even if you are a mature Christian, already strong in
faith, I pray these words will uplift you in an unprecedented and invigorating
way. I hope you are inspired to dream bigger and fly higher.
I have been honored to accompany many people on the journey of faith,
guided by the Holy Spirit—a journey that will never be over until we are once
again face to face with God. Because of faith, we are witnessing the sick
recover, the lame walk, and the blind see. We have laid down our lives in
commitment to the agenda of Heaven: to see the kingdoms of this world
become the Kingdom of our Lord (see Revelation 11:15). We are fulfilling the
Great Commission, living as the New Testament Church lived.
Let me invite you to join us on our pilgrimage. At times it might require
leaving your nets behind, taking a leap of faith, and visiting out-of-the-way
places. But only in this adventuresome lifestyle of true discipleship can we really
claim to be followers of Christ.
You will discover that these concepts are not difficult to grasp. No matter who
you are or where you come from, no matter what you've been taught or
experienced in the past, the Spirit-filled life is readily available to "...him who
believes" (Mark 9:23).
Acts 10:34 says, "God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons." He
will not hold anything back from you. The Apostle Paul said, "He Who did not
withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also
with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?" (Romans 8:32).
You were born to face the impossible with confidence in your walk and a smile
on your face. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have been divinely
empowered to overcome every obstacle, scatter the darkness, and speak peace
to every storm.

Why Faith?

Faith is a lifestyle. The Bible makes that clear, saying, "The just shall live by
faith....Without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to
[God]....Whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin" (Hebrews 10:38;
11:6; Romans 14:23, emphasis added).

Faith is not only important to God, it's essential to a successful Christian life. As
you turn these pages, proceed in an attitude of prayer. Rather than filling your
mind with intellectual knowledge, allow the Holy Spirit to give life to these principles
deep in your heart. Concept that doesn't lead to experience is simply abject religion

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—man's attempts at spirituality outside of relationship with God. We need revelation:
an unveiling of eternal truth. Something deep. Something real. Something lasting.
True revelation will lead you into experience and those experiences will attest to the
Truth, so that others will see and want what you have.

In order for God's people to triumph in these final hours of history, we must
become skilled in the miraculous. We must be ready to confront mountains with
the strength and authority that has been made available through Jesus Christ.

Through months of prayer and study, the Lord has helped me compile this work
to include powerful techniques. I have tested and proven the spiritual principles
presented in the proceeding chapters. Here you will discover unique angles and
non-religious perspectives. Carefully applied, each chapter will thrust you further
into the life your Heavenly Father wants for you.

No matter what mountain you're facing, the Apostle Paul said it best: "Faith is
the key" (Romans 4:16 NLT). Lift your baton and let the symphony begin!

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PART ONE

• T h e R ol e o f F a i t h

CHAPTER ONE

The Key that Unlocks the Door

Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead.
Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously....
You don't need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment.
—Matthew 10:8-10 MSG

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H
OW FAR ARE YOU WILLING TO GO to experience the fullness of God's plan for
your life? How much are you willing to risk on behalf of your God-
given destiny? There is no doubt about it; this world is in dire need of
God, longing for a touch from Heaven. People everywhere want to know what He
is saying and doing. And God has appointed you to be His voice, His hands.
Many of God’s people are praying for revival. They sense that God is stirring the
heavens, eager to demonstrate His power in a new way. Some Christians believe that
revival will come if they bombard Heaven's gates with desperate prayer. They
presume that if they shout loud enough, weep passionately, or fast long enough, God
will take them seriously and generate this mass revival for which they hunger. What
they don't understand is, as authentic as their desperation may be, it won't bring God on
the scene. Desperation is just an emotion. Faith is substance.
A study of revival history reveals that past spiritual movements weren’t a result of
prayer alone, but prayer mixed with faith and expectation. Wanting revival bad enough
doesn’t cut it. Even though believers are searching for breakthrough, the question is,
are we willing to be that breakthrough?
The works of darkness are escalating. There is no shortage of wickedness, filth, and
perversion in our land. Unfortunately, in many areas of life, this ever-increasing
darkness has remained unopposed by the light. That light is us—men and women
commissioned by Jesus Himself. Sadly, a majority of Christians on Earth today, though
conscious of this emergent evil, don’t know how to respond. They hope that they will
remain impervious to the violence, perversity, and sickness raging through the land.
They believe that if they can just elect the right politicians or present the most
innovative outreaches, that they've fulfilled their obligations. For centuries, satan has
successfully kept the Body of Christ ignorant of who they really are. He sings the
lullaby of religious-sounding deception, inundating his greatest threat—the Church—
with feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. This lullaby has allowed him to wreak
havoc in our families, division in our churches, disease in our bodies, and rebellion in
our children.
To make matters worse, the devil has persuaded some believers that their heavenly
Father is allowing such trials for a purpose, permitting disaster in order to develop our
character and make us better Christians. Satan has caused a lot of trouble, and we’ve sat
idly by, thinking that our adversity was God-ordained.

Be Up and Awake to What God is Doing!

The Apostle Paul recognized and repeatedly warned first-century churches in the first
century to guard against satan’s master plan. He could hear the drone of the
imminent demonic lullaby growing closer. He issued this alert:

The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting
the finishing touches on the salvation work He began when we first believed. We cannot afford to waste a
minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and
dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don't loiter and linger,
waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about! (Romans 13:1 1 b-14
MSG)

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The Bible tells us to walk by faith and not by sight (see 2 Corinthians 5:7). The
reason many people are victimized by circumstances is because their focus is
in the wrong place. They are up one day and down the next. This can be
expected from those who subscribe to the world’s system. But it's
unfortunate that even Christians sometimes base their beliefs on the visible
realm—evidence gathered from the five senses—rather than the superior
reality presented in the Bible: that all our problems are already solved.
Scripture says, "We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things
which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things
which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NKJV). These words hold the
key to living the victorious life of faith. The ability to look at things which are not
seen with natural eyes is a requirement for all mountain movers. God has made
tremendous power available to you today—power to heal the sick, cleanse the
lepers, give sight to the blind, freedom to captives, cast out demons, and prosper
in every endeavor. The key to unlocking this power is faith: the ability to perceive
and believe the unseen.
You may not feel qualified to walk in the miraculous. Perhaps you have
reservations about your ability to walk by faith rather than sight. You might have
been told that only certain people can perform miracles or that God has chosen
select members of His Body on whom to pour out His Spirit. It's possible that,
like many others, you doubt that you are one of these "chosen."
If this is how you feel, you are not alone. Most of the heroes of faith whose
stories are relayed in the Bible were highly unqualified to be used of God. In fact,
if you study the lives of these great men and women of old, you will find that
according to human standards they were entirely disqualified from being anything
special or extraordinary. But God chose them anyway.
He choose Paul—his forte was arresting and murdering Christians, zealously
opposing Christ—to be one of the greatest authors and revivalists of all time.
Paul was a man of faith—the very same man who said that “…faith is the key”
(Romans 4:16, NLT).
God choose Abraham, of whom it is said, "...though he was physically as good
as dead, there have sprung descendants whose number is as the stars of
heaven and as countless as the innumerable sands on the seashore"? (Hebrews
11:2). Scripture says that Abraham was “…controlled and sustained by [his] faith”
(Hebrews 11:13).
God choose Moses, a murdering coward, haunted by a humiliating speech
impediment. “Moses left the land of Egypt. He was not afraid of the king. Moses
kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible”
(Hebrews 11:27 NLT, emphasis added). Moses parted the Red Sea and led the
Israelites across on dry land. He wasn't qualified because of his leadership skills
or stunning good looks. He was able to accomplish these great feats by faith.
Remember, God is no respecter of persons. He shows no partiality (see Acts
10:34). It doesn't matter who you are, what you've done, or what schools
you've attended. If you are a follower of Christ Jesus, you have been enlisted in
a heavenly army. You absolutely cannot live a successful Christian life without
exchanging your earthly efforts for God’s supernatural strategies. Just like these

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men from the bible, if you will embrace faith, you will see similar results.
Because your destiny was authored by God Himself, nothing about your life
should be “normal”. The high calling of faith isn't just for some Christians—
relegated to "qualified" pastors and other ministers. Faith doesn't require
ordination or a seminary degree. Jesus said, "These attesting signs will accompany
those who believe: in My Name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new
languages; they will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it
will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well"
(Mark 16:17-18, emphasis added).
As a believer, the supernatural should be an integral part of your life. In this
age, however—the age of reason—embracing a supernatural lifestyle can require
boldness. If you haven’t already, make the decision to step out of the boat and
walk on water. Decide once and for all that no matter what the cost, you will live
the life of faith. It’s time to quit looking at temporal things—sensory evidence—
and set your heart on spiritual realities. It's time to "rouse to reality." God is on
your side and He will not abandon you.

Moving Your Mountains

We all face mountains that threaten our hopes and dreams, areas we're eager
to improve. Hurdles. Obstacles. Habits. Some of these problems can be solved with
natural solutions. Using determination and effort, we can resolve many of life's
problems on our own. But there are some mountains that will require nothing
less than a miracle to overcome.
I knew a girl who suffered for many years from migraine headaches. The
headaches were swift and painful. In school, they struck without preamble—
agonizing and humiliating. As a child, she was told that God purposely
afflicted her as part of His "mysterious purposes." She mistakenly believed
that God glorified Himself through this sickness.
But let's think about this: Can you imagine God—"a Father to the fatherless
and a Judge and Protector of the widows... [Who] rejoices over [us] to do [us]
good" (Psalm 68:5; Jeremiah 32:41)—afflicting His daughter with paralyzing
headaches? If you are a parent, I'm sure you would do anything to prevent
your child’s suffering. You would take her to the doctor, doing everything
possible to remove the burden! But this girl's church believed that healing was
strictly for Bible times—that since "God is in control," it must be His will for her to
suffer.
One day I offered to command healing to come to her body. Even though she
understood that I was only trying to help, she was offended at the notion. She
took two steps away from me—to avoid possible lightning strikes, I think—and
explained that God was using her headaches to keep her humble and help her be
a better Christian. It wasn't her fault for believing this tragic lie; it was how she had
been taught. Sad to say, this girl held a misconception that is all too common.
Satan has always made it a priority to keep us ignorant concerning God’s will for
our well-being. He does this by shadowing biblical promises and benefits with lofty
religious doctrines, man-made traditions, and subtle distortion of Scripture.

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Because of incorrect teaching—usually theology based on experience or
borrowed from other religions and philosophies—the children of God suffer in
ignorance. That girl still affectionately cherishes her headaches even though
God takes no pleasure in them. God warns us in no uncertain terms, "My
people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6).
This generation is being assaulted by sicknesses for which there is no natural
cure. Even when a remedy is discovered, it is quickly dwarfed by the presence of
new and more advanced diseases. The appalling truth is, many believers fall prey
to the same ailments that ravage the rest of the world. This has caused significant
disappointment and frustration, both in and outside of the Church. But why are
Christians suffering in the same manner as unbelievers? Because most Christians
don't know what it means to live by faith. Instead of developing their spirituality,
becoming skilled in the principles of faith, they’ve been immobilized by religious
tradition and wrong doctrines. When satan attacks with cancer, poverty,
disaster, and depression, believers often stand by vulnerably as they are
destroyed. They don't know what else to do.
You may be able to identify with one of these mountains. Perhaps it's disease or
illness. It could be that your marriage is struggling. Maybe someone has accused
you wrongfully, attempting to discredit you. Perhaps a rebellious son or daughter
disrupts the peace of your household. These fires are all fueled by the devil. He's
determined to steal your joy, kill your family, and destroy your dreams. If you
permit, he will rob you of everything that's rightfully yours. He is the source of all the
destruction, demise, and evil in the world today. He is the origin of your mountains.
He doesn't want you to reach your destiny.
But God hasn't left you helpless. He has already won your victory, and He wants
you to possess it in this life! You don’t have to wait for Him to rescue you. No, the
work is already done—completely accomplished. It is here. It is now. Jesus said it
like this:

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they might have and enjoy life, and have
it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). [John 10:10)

Even though this verse is great news, you might not feel as though it applies to
you. You could be wondering where this abundant life is. If unwelcome
circumstances surround you, recognize that it's not God's fault. He is not the source
of such trouble. Believe it or not, the problems are there because you opened the
door to them. All you have to do to turn things around is close that door. Then,
open a new door to the blessings of God. How do I do this? you ask. You might be
surprised to discover that the joyful, overflowing life of which Jesus spoke is with
you right now, in the spirit realm. Beyond where your physical eyes cannot see,
God's promises are totally fulfilled.
The obvious question then is, "How can I get what's there to come here? How can I
open the door from that realm to this one?"
The answer is, by faith. Faith is the key that unlocks the door to these
blessings. You have surefire access to massive transformation in your life. What
was stolen, restored. What was destroyed, rebuilt and reinforced. What was dead,

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brought to life. You will reclaim territory from the adversary and take back the land
that God has promised you.
With His power, you will move your own mountains! As a child of God, you have
a right to see your desires fulfilled. You have a right to peace and unity in your
home. God wants you to have a strong, happy, and lasting marriage. A long and
satisfied life (see Psalm 91:16). He even derives pleasure when you prosper! (see
Psalm 35:27). He will "… make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be
above only, and you shall not be beneath" (Deuteronomy 28:13).
In order to gain access to what God has given—your inheritance—you must
learn how:
• to grow in faith,
• how to overcome hindrances to faith, and
• to release the power of God through faith.
Many times, people fail to observe the significance of faith in the Scriptures. I
have had several people inform me that I am wrong in associating faith with the
release of God’s power. However, a person cannot read far in the New Testament
without noting the direct correlation between the two. For instance, it was by faith
that the bleeding woman was restored to health. A mountain of sickness
dominated her existence for twelve long years. Constant pain and impending death
haunted her relentlessly. She spent all her money attempting to obtain relief
through earthly physicians to no avail. They desiccated her pocketbook but were
unable to dry her blood flow. (see Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:22).
But then Jesus came.
When this woman touched the robe of the Great Physician, she was instantly,
completely healed. Jesus turned to her and explained, "Your faith has made you
well" (Matthew 9:22, emphasis added).
He didn't say He made her well. He did not attribute her miracle to prayer or
fasting. No, of all the things He could have credited for her miracle, Jesus
acknowledged that her faith was the key that unlocked the door. The power itself
proceeded from Jesus Himself (see Mark 5:30), but it was appropriated through the
conduit of her faith. Faith threw the door wide open. She was able to enjoy the
reality of God's promise: a long, satisfying life and healing from every disease (see
Psalm 103:3). Faith accomplished in a moment what no amount of money could
produce.
The Faith Generation

Living the faith life is not optional. It is impossible to fulfill your calling without faith.
Apart from faith the Body of Christ will never accomplish the Great Commission.
Without faith, the difference between your life and the life of an unbeliever will be
indistinct. Those who reject the faith life are held hostage to the lies of the enemy.
They permit the devil to freely ravage their homes, churches, finances, and
destinies. That's a high price to pay for lassitude.
God urging our generation to take our rightful place on the throne—to reign as
kings in life through Christ Jesus (see Romans 5:17). Like the great men and women

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in the Bible, we will use faith to topple mountains, calm storms, walk on water, and
part oceans. We will be transformed from defeated, despondent victims to
overcoming, soaring victors! Rather than just holding on for the ride, scorning the
so-called roller coaster of life, we will be purposeful and determined, dominating
circumstances with Kingdom power.
Our lives will mirror the victorious heroes of old who, by faith, "...overthrew
kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They
shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the
edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in
battle and put whole armies to flight" (Hebrews 11:33-34 NLT).
I don't know about you, but that passage of Scripture excites me! I know that
these same miracles are available to the Church today! From all around the world
we hear testimonies of God's power working mightily among His people.
If you've been taught that God isn't performing miracles today, you have been
misinformed. God is performing miracles and He's doing it at the hands of His
people—people like you and me! He wants us to administer supernatural solutions
to the problems facing the world. He planned for us to take authority over our
mountains—as insurmountable as they may seem—and enforce their removal. This
is the same level of power that Jesus proposed:

Truly Jam saying unto you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and be thrown into the sea, and does not
doubt in his heart but believes that that which he says comes to pass, it shall be his. On this account lam saying
to you, all things whatsoever you are praying and asking for, be believing that you received them and they shall
be yours (Mark 11:23-24 WUEST)

This power, accessed through faith, was not meant for the disciples alone. This
promise was written down for our benefit—those of us living right now! Because
these words were spoken by Jesus Himself, it would be prudent for all who claim to
be His followers to believe them. In fact, if you are maturing in your walk with God,
chances are you've already experienced the desire to perform miracles.
Have you ever been talking to a person with a visible sickness or handicap
when something on the inside said, “This is not right! There must be a solution for
this person”? You may have lacked the courage to lay hands on them at the time.
Perhaps you doubted God’s willingness to use you to heal them. It's possible you
responded to that inward voice with self-doubt. No, not me. Maybe someone else,
but not me.
That desire to help the hurting is the Holy Spirit’s inward voice, calling you into
your God-given destiny. You hold the solution to man's problems through the power
of the Spirit who indwells you. It is time to say yes to His call! Quit bombarding
Heaven with prayer, begging God to help. Rather, open your heart to the
resounding truth of the Bible. The power you desire—the revival for which you are
desperately thirsting—is not dwelling behind closed doors in Heaven. It’s dwelling
in you! It is time to unlock the door.

God's Power is at Work Today

A few months ago I received a telephone call from Harris, a close friend of mine.

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Harris described his dilemma, voice peppered with discouragement, and asked for
advice.
He was struggling to make ends meet—to overcome financial insufficiency. He
had searched emphatically, unable to find a decent job. He was tired of relying on
others to pick up the lunch tab. Harris spent hours every day at church, praying and
fellowshipping with God, seeking direction for his life and finances. He knew it wasn't
God's will for him to live in constant lack. He explained that though he had asked God
for financial increase for many months, there appeared to be no indication of
change.
"What am I doing wrong?" he asked. "Why doesn't it seem like God is answering
my prayers?"
Harris knew that God could solve his dilemma and wanted him to prosper in his
finances. Yet here he was, frustrated in a place of spiritual tension: God's promises
contrasting physical evidence. He needed a breakthrough. I didn't want to respond
presumptuously, so after we ended the call I went before the Lord to seek insight,
which He immediately provided
During the next few days, I shared with Harris what God had been speaking to me
—the same principles outlined in this book. "Your problem is this, Harris. Christ's work
was a finished work. That's why He said, 'It is finished.' That's why He sat down in
Heaven. All this time you've been asking God to give you something you already
possess. By asking God to give you financial blessings, which He has already
provided, you’re really implying that the Cross wasn’t enough—that something was
overlooked. But you don’t believe that, right?”
"No, I don’t."
"Then it's time to quit praying and start praising! An attitude of faith will allow what
exists in the heavenly realm to manifest in your life. The reason you're still poor is
because you've been waiting on God to do something when He's waiting on you to
receive what He already did!"
Harris realized that this wasn't an outward problem but an inward problem. He
admitted that, for many years, he had seen himself as a poor college student,
always struggling to pay the bills. In his mind's eye, he was poor. This negative
vision spilled over into his experience. He was the one blocking wealth from
coming to him because he was placing faith in lack rather than prosperity.
Harris made a decision to transform the way he believed. He decided that,
whenever possible, he would be the one to buy lunch for his friends, even if it
seemed as though he couldn't afford it. He shifted his inner identity from being the
one in need to being the one providing for others' needs. In this way, he took a giant
step of faith, out of his comfort zone and into the faith tone. This is what God
requires from each of us.
We will study these principles, as well as others, in depth. Faith is actually very
simple and by practicing certain steps spelled out in the Bible, allowing the formation of
godly thought patterns, you will see your mountains move. By choosing to live
according to the principles that God set in place, you will not only reap the rewards in
your own life, but you’ll be able to teach others how to dominate their circumstances
as well.
God wants you—like Harris—to prosper, so that “you may always and under all

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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]" (2 Corinthians 9:8).
You have what it takes to live the faith life because God has made it possible
through Jesus Christ. But living by faith is not something you try out, as if it were an
experiment or passing phase. It’s not like test driving a new car. Faith is life. Faith is
how God lives, faith is how Jesus lived, and you can live the same way if you take
Him at His Word and apply His wisdom to your life.

Stick With It

Certain changes require time and practice before results are evident. As with
learning to play a sport or musical instrument, success lies on the path of
consistency. Other times, your faith will manifest your beliefs almost instantly. I
have experienced long delays as well as no delays. There's no easy answer as to
why some manifestations are slow in coming, but there are a few clues in Scripture
that we will discuss in this book. In most cases that I've seen, a delay is the result
of an individual wavering in his or her belief. I am convinced that God is never the
source of a delay. As Jesus said, “Will He defer them and delay help on their
behalf?” (Luke 18:7 AMP). The answer is no—He helps us immediately. All we
must do is receive what He has already initiated.
Less than a month after Harris shared his predicament, he called again. This
time his voice was jovial, even elated. I was not surprised to hear the good
news. He told me that he applied the principles of faith we discussed. He
changed his beliefs about the world around him one thought at a time, allowing
God's promise to redesign his financial situation. He spent days meditating on
the Bible’s promises for prosperity and discovered what was already his in Christ
Jesus. When he realized that God had already answered all of his prayers, that the
"all sufficiency" mentioned in Second Corinthians 9:8 was rightfully his, he
shifted from praying to praising. Harris began to view his circumstances in the
light of God’s Word. Instead of seeing himself in need, he saw himself prosperous.
Like King David, he was able to say, “God is my Shepherd. I have no needs!” (See
Psalm 23:1).
Before the change, Harris’s mind was inundated with memories of having to
ask his dad for cash, being forced to work unstable odd jobs here and there, and
always being limited by his unreliable car. But after he allowed new thoughts to
fill his mind, he saw himself as the son of the Living God—"El Shaddai,"
the God of more-than-enough. He saw himself as a generous giver to others. He
saw himself paying the bill when he went out to eat with friends. He saw himself
as the head and not the tail.
Harris told how he had received a call from a friend of a friend who worked
at the local airport. Seemingly out of nowhere, this person offered Harris a
great job! He asked Harris to be a luggage runner for the state of Montana
and surrounding areas. Harris would drive around, all expenses paid, delivering
delayed and misdirected luggage to its rightful location. His salary would far
surpass his expectations. In addition, he would still be able to spend his days in

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prayer and worship as he drove around the beautiful northwest!
You see, all that time spent in prayer asking God for a financial miracle was
unnecessary. God wasn't withholding financial blessings. Harris was simply on
the wrong frequency. He was tuned into the sense station rather than the faith
station. His miracle was already present, surrounding him in the unseen realm. It
wasn't until he recognized that fact and took ownership of it by faith that the
manifestation occurred in the physical realm. As a result of God's power,
accessed through faith, Harris moved his mountain and now has a great job!
This is yet another testimony to God, "who is able to do exceedingly abundantly
above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" (Ephesians
3:20 NKJV).
You have the same ability to access your heavenly heritage through faith.
God’s “exceeding abundance” is always available. But it isn’t accessed
according to how much you want or need it, not how much He wants you to have
it. Appropriation of God’s promises is not dependent on how hard you pray or how
loud you shout. His exceeding abundance comes “…according to the power that
works in us.”
It would be tragic to continue living at the mercy of your mountains,
restrained by ignorance. We must begin to believe that the life Jesus obtained
through the Cross is a supernatural life. Sad to say, it can be difficult to
distinguish Christians from non-Christians by observing their lives. Shouldn't we
be the ones with the answers? Shouldn't we be able to offer solutions? Isn’t that
what Jesus demonstrated? It is not enough to merely follow rules in the Bible,
do nice things for others, attend church regularly, but never walk in the fullness
of God on this side of Heaven.
There is work to be done. God has called us to live at the next level—to
overcome life's impossibilities, not surrender to them. It's time to quit surviving
and start thriving! This is our Father God we're talking about, and life in His
Kingdom is truly rewarding. Scripture says, “For every child of God defeats this evil
world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. (1 John 5:4 NLT, emphasis added).
The Message Bible says it this way: "The conquering power that brings the world to
its knees is our faith." "And who can win this battle against the world? Only those
who believe that Jesus is the Son of God" (1 John 5:5 NLT).
If you have not yet said Yes to Jesus Christ, now is the time. There is no other
path to God and no other way to be victorious over this world. Jesus is God's own
Son, and He gave His life as a mortal man in order to give you access to His
Kingdom. If you have not been spiritually reborn into the wonderful family of God,
take the first and most instrumental step of faith you will ever take. Say Yes to
Jesus. Accept Him as the ultimate direction for your life.
In the coming chapters, we will see that God’s promises can be either limited or
liberated, depending on your faith. I will show you that even though He is all-
powerful and all-knowing, He has chosen to work only within the boundaries set by
your beliefs. We’ll discover that this was just as true in the Bible as it is today. And
like Harris, you will grow in faith, learning how to take ownership of what God has
given you: well-being in every aspect of your life. This is the abundance that Jesus
came to restore!

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Endnotes

1. Kenneth Wuest, Wuest's Expanded Translation of the Greek New Testament (WM. B. Eerdman's
Publishing Co., 1961)

CHAPTER TWO

Learning to Walk on Water

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Peter, suddenly bold, said, `Master, if it's really you, call me to come to you on the water."
Jesus] said, "Come ahead."
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus.
—Matthew 14:28-29 MSG

P
OWER SHOULD BE PRIMARY TO A CHRISTIAN. To heal the sick. To cast out
demons. To raise the dead. To finance the Kingdom. To make Jesus enemies a
footstool beneath His feet (see Psalm 110:1). But many believers
are under the impression that such power is optional—something they
will embrace at their convenience. Take it or leave it.

Others believe God has withdrawn His power from the earth. Some teach that Paul
and the New Testament apostles were the last of God's people to utilize the gifts
that Jesus Himself bestowed. However, such beliefs are merely the product of fear,
and are always biblically unfounded. Fear has been a formidable foe to the Christ-
demonstrated, supernatural lifestyle of faith. Many people are afraid to leave their
comfort zones—to step out of the boat like Peter—and walk on water. Sometimes
religious-sounding doctrines and theological explanations have convinced
Christians to believe fallacies. But as you open your Bible, you will see in no time
that such doctrines are unjustifiable.

You Shall Receive Power

When Jesus said we would receive power, it wasn’t a temporary fix. He didn't intend
to remove the power after His disciples passed away. On the contrary, we should
expect this power to increase until the day of His return. The reason for this is
simple: His power is inseparable from His person. If you've removed the power,
you've removed the Person. And we know that His Person—the Holy Spirit—is still
here. The reason the Holy Spirit has remained on Earth is because we still need His
power. Without it, we would have no ministry—no way to advance the Kingdom.
The proof of this lies in the Book of Acts, right before Jesus departed:

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the
Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; For John truly baptized with water, but
you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now…But you shall receive power when the
Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria and
to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:4-5, 8 NKJV)

For the duration of Jesus' absence, He instructed the disciples to wait. He knew
that as long as He was gone, power was not available. But soon after, He dispatched
the Holy Spirit as He promised He would do. For this reason He said, "It is to your
advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (the Holy Spirit) will
not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you" (John 16:7 NKJV).
Additionally, He promised that the Spirit would be upon them as witnesses even to
the end (the remotest parts) of the earth. Obviously the disciples didn’t reach the

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remotest parts of the earth—they didn’t even come to America! Clearly the
promise extends beyond them.
To claim that the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit has been withdrawn is to
say that the Spirit Himself has been withdrawn. This cannot be. Jesus assured us, "I
am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20b NKJV). The
presence of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit is inseparable from His power. If the
Holy Spirit dwells in you today, so does His power.
This divine empowerment is not to be taken lightly. God has entrusted us with
His Spirit in order to accomplish great things for His Kingdom. God has given us a
destiny that is impossible for us to perform without drawing from the impossibility-
transcending power of Heaven. As I stated earlier, walking in this power is not an
option. Regardless of who you are, how long you've been a Christian, or what
denomination you're affiliated with, you won't be able to fulfill your God-given
destiny without drawing on His ability through your faith.
Without a doubt, people like pastors and Bible teachers need God's power to
succeed in their callings. But don't think they're the only ones. Even if you don't
work a seemingly "spiritual" job, God still wants you to work supernaturally. He
wants you to be more effective than others. He wants you to have a better attitude
than others. He wants to promote you faster than your coworkers. You may feel like
you're at the bottom of the food chain at your workplace, but God wants you to
own the company! If you continue to expect greater things, and refuse to be limited
by obstacles, you will achieve success in everything you set your hand to.
Because God is on your side, you don't have to cheat, lie, and flirt your way to
the top. You don't have to be a manipulator. On the outside, you might be working
at a dead-end diner or a car wash, but on the inside, you are working for God. If you
maintain the positive attitude you would have if you worked the job of your dreams,
promotion will chase you down. But if you are living your life, operating and
prospering with the same methods on which the world's system relies, you need
to question the extent to which you are applying yourself to heavenly agendas.
Jesus made it clear that His followers must stand out from the crowd, walking in a
supernatural level of integrity and uprightness, able to help the needy with
miraculous power.
For instance, anyone can give an aspirin to someone in pain, but that's not Jesus'
solution. I'm not saying that medicine is wrong or irrelevant, but my point is this: If
all you have to offer to the world's impossible problems are natural solutions, you
are not embracing the fullness of the Master's commission. Remember, Jesus called
the disciples to forsake their earthly careers and follow Him. Why? Fishing was a
great skill, but it simply wasn't up to par with the supernatural latitude of living He
wanted for them. Jesus didn't send out His followers, instructing them to pass out
painkillers. He told them to "Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive
out demons" (Matthew 10:8a).
Even though you may not feel like it, this power has been granted to you as well

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by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps you have never known this. Or maybe
you have, but like me, had no idea how to appropriate this knowledge in your
everyday life. One thing is for certain: Allowing fear to keep you handicapped in
the area of miracles is not permissible in God's Kingdom. We as His body have been
entrusted with His very presence, given seemingly impossible tasks to fulfill. We
must not allow fear of failure and disappointment to rob us of the joy we will
receive when we're physically standing before the Father one day and hearing
those deeply anticipated words, 'Well done, good and faithful servant" (see
Matthew 25:21).
Jesus illustrated this point vividly to His disciples:

'It's also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities.
To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their
abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master's investment. The second
did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master's money. After a
long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five
thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: 'rood work!
You did your job well. From now on be my partner." The servant with the two thousand showed how he had
also doubled his master's investment. His master commended him: 'rood work! You did your job well.
From now on be my partner” The servant given one thousand said, 'Master, I know you have high standards
and hate careless way, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might
disappoint you, so 'found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to
the last cent." The master was furious. 'That's a terrible way to live! It's criminal to live cautiously like
that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done
would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest. Take
the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this play-it-safe' who won't go out
on a limb. Throw him into utter darkness“(Matthew 25:14-30 MSG)

In this parable, the "master" represents Jesus Christ. Jesus ascended to Heaven
two thousand years ago, leaving us an assignment. He also entrusted us with the
power necessary to complete it.
There are those who have stepped into their destiny throughout the years,
refusing to comply with intimidating circumstances the devil has set against them.
They endured and overcame trials and hardship because they did not look at
temporal circumstances but fixed their eyes on the unseen realm—on God's
strength rather than their own. They embraced divine solutions with the power of
faith. These men and women remained faithful with the assignments God
gave them. Men like Hudson Taylor, Smith Wigglesworth, John G. Lake, and
Loren Cunningham accomplished the impossible, ignoring ridicule from naysayers,
even when that ridicule attempted to pass for "wisdom." Men and women such as
Billy Graham, Kenneth E. Hagin, Kathryn Kuhlman, and Aimee Semple McPherson,
for the joy that was set before them, endured the cross, scorning its shame (see
Hebrews 12:2). They learned to scoff at the scoffers. They didn't let anyone
discourage them from fulfilling their calls. They remained true to their convictions,

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even when it led to unpopularity and slander. Millions of God's faithful have endured
persecution and shed their tears. They were faithful with the wealth of the Master.

No Fear Here

The "play-it-safe" servant in Jesus' parable reveals his erroneous perspective in two
ways. First, his outlook on the master's high standards was distorted. The master
was "demanding" and "made no allowances for error." The servant was paralyzed by
fear. There are many people today who share this view of their Heavenly Father. They
believe that no matter how hard they try, or how much effort they exude, they will
never be good enough to gain God's approval. They strive and strive, hoping that
one day they will deserve His acceptance. However, this unhealthy attitude
will only produce failure. God would much rather have a "Peter," willing to risk his
life by stepping out of the boat, than a multitude of disciples who insist on staying
where it's safe. God would rather have you try and fail than never try at all. Jesus is
always there to lift you up if you begin to sink (see Matthew 14:31).
The servant's other wayward statement exposes the root of his unproductive
actions. He said, "I was afraid I might disappoint you." Fear was the driving force
behind this man's ungodly caution. He attempted to pass off his laziness as wisdom,
assuming the master would be pleased. After all, he was simply preserving what he
had been given.
But the master was not pleased with the play-it-safe attitude, and neither is Jesus.
Do not take God's can on your life lightly. Forsake worldly logic (which often includes
religious-sounding "wisdom") and step out of the boat of your comfort zone, into the
miraculous. Miracles are a necessary part of ministry today. Don't allow your
mountains to stop you from fulfilling your destiny. "Mountains" will not be an
acceptable excuse for failing to complete your destiny.
Many Christians will stand before the throne of God one day, blaming their
ineffectiveness on the obstacles that stood in their way. God, I really wanted to build
that orphanage in Africa, but you know how cancer kept me from fulfilling my call. God, I
know you instructed me to quit my job and go into full time ministry, but you saw all the
bills piling up on my desk. I just couldn't afford to obey You. God, you know how hard I
tried to stop sinning—to quit drugs and lying and stealing—but I just couldn't kick
those habits. The mountain was too big! Surely you understand!
Now I'm not saying that failing to complete your life's call will inhibit your
access to Heaven. You don't have to perform even a single miracle to merit God's
love. He loves you with an everlasting love, not because of what you do, but because
you are His precious child. But wouldn't it be better to settle for nothing less than
the best? Wouldn't it be better to refuse to allow a mountain to stand between you
and God's perfect plan?
God's response to these excuses will be straightforward: "Yes, I saw that cancer,
I saw those bills, and I saw those bad habits. In fact, I knew you would face those
mountains even before you were born. That's why I gave you My very own power—

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deposited inside you—fully available through faith. That's why I gave you promise
after promise in My Word, instructing you rightly and teaching you how to
overcome every obstacle—to jump over every hurdle that you could possibly
encounter. Son, daughter, I defeated that cancer at the Cross. I paid those bills with
the stripes on My back. I took those bad habits to the grave with me two thousand
years ago. You were destroyed for lack of knowledge" (see Hosea 4:6).
It's time for the Church to dig up the Master's wealth. It is time for us to live the
life we should be living: the over comer's life. The mountain-mover's life. The
miracle life. There is no greater way to demonstrate the Father's love to the world
than by meeting its needs with supernatural strength—to solve impossible problems
with Heaven's possibility.
This is how Jesus operated. This is how He instructed His followers to operate,
too. And they did. These miracles were written in the Bible, not to foster our
accolade many years later, but so we would take the vision and run with it. So we
would live the same way they lived.

The Supernatural Does Not Stop With Jesus

It is staggering that all the wonderful demonstrations of God's power through the
Man Jesus Christ—the love, the compassion, the miracles—have been so awe-
inspiring that the Church has come to view this magnitude of power as personally
unattainable. Jesus taught that His wonders were a sign of the Kingdom of Heaven
living among us (see Matthew 12:28). If that is true, we should still be witnessing
these signs today. He set a high standard in order to call the Church higher.
Unfortunately, some have mistaken the call to supernatural increase as pride. A
counterfeit form of humility has risen to the occasion in an attempt to keep the
Church occupied with an unbiblical vendetta. We've believed that performing
miracles would detract from God's sovereignty. We've assigned false explanations
of Jesus' ability to stop storms and raise the dead. Ignorant Christians often make
statements such as these:
"The reason Jesus could perform those miracles was because He was God."
"The reason Jesus performed miracles was to show sinners that they didn't
deserve to have the Son of God walking among them—to show how much holier He
was."
Church leaders and teachers who could find no other way to account for their
lack of supernatural power have passed down similar disempowering assumptions
through the centuries. Theology was twisted in order to justify their powerless
lifestyles. Rather than confronting their deficiency, they formulated strange new
doctrines which, hundreds of years later, still pervade the minds of Christians
everywhere.
But the truth is, no believer is powerless! We have the very nature of God inside
us (see 1 John 3:9). The truth is being revealed once again, bringing a restoration
to the biblical model of healing, evangelism, and mountain moving. Many people
are realizing that the indwelling presence of the Spirit is making the power that

26
Jesus demonstrated relevant to this generation and culture.
Pastor and author Eugene Peterson urges believers to allow the lifestyle of the
New Testament to become the lifestyle of today's Church.

Because the story of Jesus is so impressing--God among us! God


speaking a language we can understand! God acting in ways that heal
and help and save us!—there is a danger that we will be impressed, but only
be impressed. As the spectacular dimensions of [the Book of Acts] slowly (or
suddenly) dawn upon us, we could easily become enthusiastic spectators, and
then let it go at that—become admirers of Jesus, generous with our oohs and
ahs, and in our better moments inspired to imitate him. It is [Acts author]
Luke's task to prevent that, to prevent us from becoming mere spectators to
Jesus, fans of the Message....The story of Jesus doesn't end with Jesus. It
continues in the lives of those who believe in Him. The supernatural does not
stop with Jesus. Luke makes it clear that these Christians he wrote about were
no more spectators of Jesus than Jesus was a spectator of God—they are in on
the action of God, God acting in them, God living in them. Which also
means, of course, in us.'

Power to perform the same works as Jesus is appropriate for this day and age.
Society buckles under the pressures of debt and sickness, war and terrorism,
anger and depression. The world continues to search for hope and solutions
through money, medicine, and government. The Church must rise up with a
greater solution—something genuine and lasting.
In the world, cancer, AIDS, and other terminal illnesses have the upper hand and
run unchecked, robbing families and friendships. Even though temporary relief has
been developed, society lives in paralyzing fear of diseases such as these. As if
this is not sufficiently devastating, most believers in Jesus Christ entertain these
same fears! New cures are produced just in time for maverick strains to surface. In
the absence of spiritual knowledge, Christians feel just as threatened and
powerless as the world when confronted with these ominous mountains.
But the eternal and everlasting cure was prescribed centuries ago as an
innocent Man hung on a wooden cross, suspended by nails and driven by joy.
Blood cascaded down His broken flesh—every drop representing power to move
our mountains. He bled for sins. Cancer. Depression. Poverty.
This beautiful and perfect cure is still available to those who are willing to step
out of the boat and believe in the goodness of God—those willing to recognize a
living Jesus at work in the earth right now, making His power available through
faith. His power in me. His power in you.
The Church has not only failed to administer the gift they've been given in
Christ, they've failed to receive it themselves. Many folks say it is not their job to
impart healing. Instead, they simply pray and "allow God to heal in His own
way, in His own time, if it is His will." As we proceed in our exploration of faith,
you will discover why this attitude in prayer is neither pleasing nor acceptable to
God.
When Jesus was approached by a blind man near the city of Jericho, He

27
inquired, "What do you want me to do for you?"
The man responded, "Master, let me receive my sight."
Jesus said, "Go your way; your faith has healed you."
Scripture says, "At once the man received his sight" (see Mark 10:46-52).
Just like the woman with the issue of blood, this man's healing was credited to
his own faith. Almost every time Jesus' administered healing to the sick, He
attributed the miracle to the individual's faith . 2 I suggest reading the Gospels
and the Book of Acts, highlighting every instance of healing. This will help you
see that faith is an integral part of every miracle.

Seeing Yourself as Jesus

One of the greatest reasons the Church has been ineffective in


supernatural ministry is due to a misunderstanding of identity. Who are we
supposed to represent? While most Christians have no qualms about seeing
themselves as disciples of Jesus, very few are willing to see themselves as Jesus.
For many, this concept, though biblical and central, is labeled heresy.
When Jesus walked on Earth, He had disciples—men and women who went
with Him, alongside Him. During His three years of ministry, Jesus taught His
disciples to act the way He acted and do the works He did. But Jesus intended us
to move from being alongside Him to being in Him! This is God's plan. If you
believe, it will revolutionize every aspect of your life.
Most people assume that since Jesus was God Himself, He possessed
supernatural power that we don't have. Consequently, the lifestyle He
demonstrated has always seemed unattainable. On the contrary, Jesus
surrendered His innate abilities when He came to Earth. He came, not as God,
but as man. The Bible says that He "...stripped Himself [of all privileges and
rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He
became like men and was born a human being" (Philippians 2:7, emphasis added).
In fact, Jesus wasn't even authorized to perform miracles until He was bestowed
with the Holy Spirit as evidenced in Luke 3:22. Only then was the power of God
available to Him. This point is made repeatedly in the Gospel of John in order to
make the matter plain. Jesus did not possess benefits that we are without. He was
empowered by the very same Holy Spirit who possesses every child of God.

Then Jesus said to them, 'When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will
know that I am He, and that I do nothing of myself.' (John 8:28a NKJV)

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the Son is able to do nothing of own
accord).'(John 5:19)
Therefore it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his
brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High
Priest before God. (Hebrews 2:17a NLT)

What Jesus did—the manner in which He walked, the miracles He performed—is

28
what His body should be doing. For this reason, He said, "...if anyone steadfastly
believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do
even greater things than these, because I go to the Father" (John 14:12).
God has presented the opportunity to live the way Jesus lived—to help the
hurting and needy, to administer sight to the blind, freedom to the captives, and
healing to the sick. This is exciting news! You can't do it in your own strength. But
by the presence of Jesus Christ living in you at this very moment, empowering you
mightily, you can! It all becomes available through faith.
You are no longer powerless and helpless. Because Jesus ascended to the Father
and sent the Holy Spirit to take His place, you are a new creation! When Jesus was
on Earth, the disciples could only walk with Him. But now that the Holy Spirit is here,
you are in Him and He is in you! (See John 14:20).
One of my favorite teachers, Bill Johnson, urges believers to take this critical
step:

If Jesus] performed miracles as God, I am still impressed, but not compelled


to follow. His example would be admirable, but unattainable. Yet it is obvious
that He intended His disciples to do all that He did, and more. Realizing that
He did all the miracles as a man, I am responsible to follow the example He
established, and pursue the spiritual realms He said were available to me. By
doing it this way He became a model for all who would become His disciples,
thus embracing the invitation to invade the impossible in His name. He
performed miracles, signs and wonders, as a man in right relationship to
God... not as God. Recapturing this simple truth changes everything... and
makes possible a full restoration of the ministry of Jesus Christ in His church.'

You see, Jesus always intended His life to create an example for His people to
follow. It's time to stop being merely impressed by His power and to start
impressing people with His power once again. Rather than being the one who
comes to Jesus for healing, be the one to whom others come for healing. Rather than
running to Jesus, begging Him to stop your storms, rise up in His power, by faith, and
declare, "Peace! Be still!" (see Mark 4:39).
The Bible says, "...clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 13:14a).
You may feel as though you don't belong in Jesus' shoes. The truth is, you were
unworthy. But by the blood of Jesus, His righteousness is conferred on you. There is
no better place to be than in His shoes. Jesus told the Father, "Just as You sent Me
into the world, I also have sent them into the world" (John 17:18). Again, He turned
to His disciples and said, "[Just] as the Father has sent Me forth, so I am sending
you" (John 20:21).

Speaking to Your Storms

My mother, a woman of great faith, always encouraged me to be a modern day


storm-stopper. She taught me that if Jesus was able to take authority over the
weather by the power of the Holy. Spirit, then I can do the same

29
as one indwelt by the same Spirit. It wasn't uncommon to see my mom exert
supernatural authority over the weather. She stopped rain during picnics, dispelled
fog so our plane could land, and quieted harsh gales at the lake. Because I was
constantly exposed to this miracle growing up, I have inherited great faith to
command the weather. It has become second nature to call forth rain when I need
it, and command the clouds to dissipate when I need sunshine. Jesus said you
would do this too!
When I was just out of school, some friends and I went to spend the day at a
water park. But the exciting day we had planned was threatened by dark clouds
that blew in overhead. In wet swimwear, we got cold quickly. The forecast predicted
heavy showers. I suggested to my friends that we speak to the clouds and tell them
to leave, as Jesus did. They thought I was nuts! But while they were laughing at me,
I took dominion. I wasn't just conducting an experiment. I knew if the storm obeyed
Jesus, it had to obey me too.
Sure enough, just a few minutes later, the exclusively gray sky surrendered to
sunshiny blue, bringing along a water-park-appropriate temperature.
On a separate occasion, we traveled to a theme park for the day. We were
having a blast riding roller coasters and playing games. But about noon, a massive
thunderstorm materialized. As policy, the authorities were forced to shut down the
park—no refunds. We had driven over four hours only to be told we had to go
home! As we evacuated the premises, we gathered together and spoke to the
weather. We told the clouds to go and the sun to come.
There was no immediate change. As we waited in the car, we saw hundreds of
other vehicles leave the parking lot. Rain pelted the windshield. However, we knew
that the weather had to respond to the power of God in us. So we waited and we
praised. About a half-hour later, we were the only car in the parking lot! Just when it
seemed as though no change was coming, one of my friends said, "Winston, look!"
Sure enough, there was a patch of blue sky on the horizon. Not much, but it was
enough. We began to praise God as the clouds dissipated as quickly as they had
come. Twenty minutes later, there wasn't a cloud in the sky! We got out of the car
and went back to the front gate of the park.
After a quick phone call, the ticketing agent admitted us back into the facility.
The best part is, since everyone else had departed on account of the rain, we
virtually had the entire theme park to ourselves for the next five hours! What a
miracle; what a day!
Sound unnatural? It is! It's supernatural! By the power of the Spirit, Elijah did the
same thing (see 1 Kings 17:1). So did Jesus (see Mark 4:39). Why would it be
different for those He sent out, "...able to do the things [He did]; and...even greater
things than these" (John 14:12)?
In the next chapter we will talk about the meaning of the word "faith"—what it is
and what it isn't and how we can further understand this divine mystery.

30
Endnotes

1. Eugene H. Peterson, The Message Remix: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Colorado Springs,
CO: Navpress Publishing Group, 2003), p. 1594

2. See further instances in Matthew 8:13; 9:22; 9:29; and 15:28

3. Bill Johnson, Shying Shadows of Supernatural Power (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image,
2006), p. 185

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CHAPTER THREE

A greeing W ith the Invisible

There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow.
But the things we can't see now will last forever.
—2 Corinthians 4:18 MSG

L
ET'S PRETEND, FOR A MOMENT, THAT I RECENTLY WROTE A BESTSELLER. I am
expecting my publisher to mail me a check for my share of the proceeds. On
Saturday, I receive the anticipated check in the mail. I am thrilled when I
see the amount, realizing that it is sufficient to pay off my debts, give a generous
offering, and to buy my wife that new car she's been admiring. As far as I'm
concerned, the money belongs to me.
Am I holding the money? No, I'm only holding a written promise. How then can I be
sure that this sum of money is actually mine? Because my publisher says so. It's
written right there on the check. I cannot see the money. I cannot feel the money. I
cannot smell the money. Yet when I show the check to my wife, she smiles and feels
grateful for God's blessing. She suggests we go to a fancy restaurant to celebrate.
But has she seen, held, or smelled the money? No, she hasn't. So how can we be so
sure the money is ours? We know it because of faith. We believe we have the money,
even though we can't see it. In fact, we have so much faith in this check's validity, that
even though the bank is closed until Monday, we will still go out to that nice restaurant
and enjoy our celebratory dinner, fully assured that the expense of the meal is
covered. We know that the publisher will make good on what they have promised.
We have the assurance—in writing—that when I visit the bank on Monday morning,
they will honor my claim and apply the sum of the check to my account. In fact, my
wife and I might stop by the dealer's lot on Sunday afternoon to pick up that new car!
Our unconditional belief the money is ours is called "faith." It isn't presumption
because it's based on a written guarantee that I'm holding in my hand—namely, the
check from the publisher. Though our five senses can't register the money—only the
promise of it—we still believe.
However, let's assume for a moment that I suspect the check to be fraudulent. I
doubt that the publisher has the funds to back it up. The presence of doubt alters the
scenario entirely. Though momentarily happy as I first look at the check, my suspicions
arise. I don't actually believe the money is mine. I hope it is, but I am not convinced. My
wife rephrases her suggestion: "If this check clears on Monday, let's celebrate at a
nice restaurant." Though I still plan to buy the car for her, it will definitely be after I
see the money on my bank statement.
This attitude is counterpoised to faith. Doubt compromises and delays the miracle.
While faith says, "The money is mine," doubt says, "It could be mine."
The phrase "could be" infers that "it is not yet mine."

Defining Faith

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The author of Hebrews gives a clear definition of faith. I have included three separate
renderings of the original Greek text.

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we]
hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their
reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
(Hebrews 11:1)

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

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the
firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our
handle on what we can't see. (Hebrews 11:1 MSG)

The Greek word usually translated "faith" in the New Testament is pistis, and
means "persuasion, conviction of truth, assurance, and belief.” In the above
illustration, I was initially persuaded by the words on the check. This assurance and
belief led to corresponding action—a nice dinner with my wife as well as the
purchase of a new car. But when doubt entered in, I no longer held the conviction
that the money was actually mine, at that very moment. My hesitation to spend the
money was a clear indication that I was not assured of what I hoped for. Because of
my suspicions, the check was not solid proof of my money, only mere potential.
Faith was not present.

So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to
back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead). James 2:17)

When you truly believe something, your actions will reflect your belief. The fact
that Noah—a man of great faith—spent a hundred years building an ark, specific to
the Lord's direction concerning the coming flood, demonstrates his strong
conviction that what God said was true. Noah had unconditional belief that rain was
coming. He believed that if he built an ark, his family would be spared. Though it
was a long time before Noah saw the foretold flood, and though he suffered
relentless pressure and persecution, he continued to act on what he believed. No
wonder Noah received such strong commendation in the Bible! Most folks in our
generation would give up after a hundred days, let alone years!
I used to struggle with doubt. I used to pray and ask God, feeling confident that
my prayer would be answered. I would maintain an exuberant attitude for a few
days, but then my faith would begin to grow slack. My smile would start to fade and
my shoulders would slouch. I would usually resign by saying, "Well, that didn't
work. I guess God didn't answer my prayer."
Does that sound familiar? I've seen many well-meaning Christians go through
this process. They find themselves burnt out and disappointed. They believe that
their prayers didn't work—God didn't answer. Why? Because there was no true
faith. Faith doesn't believe that God's Word is going to be true. Faith is convinced of

33
a present reality. I let my natural circumstances convince me that God hadn't
answered my prayer. As long as I took into consideration the way things appeared to
my natural senses, I wasn't operating by faith. Faith must be based on the
knowledge of what God has already initiated by His grace. Our faith doesn't try to
get something from God. It simply receives what He has already given. Faith
cannot force a response from God. Rather, faith is a response to what He has already
initiated. One is based on me; the other is based on Him. And let's be honest: Who is
more reliable: me or Him?
I'm thankful that my Heavenly Father has shown me how to grow in and retain a
high caliber of mountain-moving, ark-building faith. Now I'm aware of useful and
effective principles that are necessary to possess unwavering belief—to receive
from God every time. This is why He has sent me out to teach people how to walk in
the faith that is required to live a successful Christian life. Over the years, I've
discovered many others who have shared my discontent, driven to the throne of
God to receive His ability. Perhaps you are one of the many who have sought and
are still seeking solutions to insurmountable problems. God is our Father and He is
so faithful. Don't hesitate to run into His arms to find help and comfort. No matter
what adversity you are facing, His power is within you, waiting to be awakened.

Faith is in the Now

A few years ago, I made an awful decision that severely hurt one of my best
friends. I disrespected him and betrayed his trust to the point that no matter how
sincerely I tried to make it up to him—to set things right—he decided to conclude
our relationship. At the time, he lived in a different state. I called him every day for
two months, leaving apologetic voicemails, begging for his forgiveness. It was one of
the darker periods of my life, less due to my friend's ostracism than to the fact that
I couldn't forgive myself.
Finally, after receiving some trustworthy advice, I stopped putting myself
through the agony of going to bed frustrated every night, having hoped that "this
will be the day he returns my call." I continued to pray and ask the Lord to restore
our friendship, yet I never saw a change. I thought perhaps I had messed up so
badly that God had taken the attitude: "Hey, I'm not helping you out of this one.
You deserve to suffer the repercussions of your sin."
Let me say: This is never God's response to His children. No matter what you've
done, the moment you agree with God that it was wrong, He sets Himself in your
favor, beginning to work toward full restoration. Little did I know He had already
done this in my situation.
Four long months passed and I eventually gave up further attempts to reconcile. I
somewhat ceremonially drove up into the mountains, stopping next to a gentle
creek. I got out of the car and discovered a large rock next to the pristine stream. I
made my way to the top and lay on my back. As I looked up at the sky and the
towering evergreens, I reflected on my current situation. The clouds rolled by and I
talked to God. "Father, I've been praying and praying, hoping every day that you
would put it in my friend's heart to give me a call, to give our friendship another

34
chance. I know it won't be the same as it once was, but I at least want us to have
open lines of communication. I've done everything I can possibly do to make things
right and I've reached the end of my rope. I give up."
As my words were absorbed in the gentle gush of the cascading creek, God
showed me a vision.
I saw His hands appear in the clouds above the treetops. They seemed far away
and yet near at the same time. In them, He held images of the messy circumstances
in my life—my estranged friend, my attempts to call him on the phone, and endless
tarrying for his answer. Then His hands slowly closed, immediately veiling the
wearisome recollections. He said, `Winston, the moment you repented for what you
did, many months ago, I went to work in your life. From the very time you prayed, I
answered you and solved your problem."
He opened His hands, allowing me to see that the chaos He had revealed
moments earlier had been reformed into perfect order: the friendship fully restored.
I inquired, "If you answered my prayer months ago, why has nothing changed?"
He responded, "Because I'm still holding the answer. My hands are open and the
solution to your dilemma has been yours for the taking. But you have not done so."
This revelation hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been assuming that God wasn't
willing or able to give me the answer, when the entire time it was He who was
waiting for me! He reinforced this with the following scripture:

And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing) to
be gracious torn; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy
(compassion) on you and show loving-kindness to you. (Isaiah 30:1 8a)

"Show me how to take the answer from your hand," I said.


His response sparked the revelation that has changed my life forever—the
revelation that defines this book. He said, "Take it by faith, Winston. Agree with the
invisible."
At that moment, the peace of God flowed through me just like the mountain
stream flowed beside the rock. Anxiety and stress were washed away. When I heard
God's voice, I realized that my relationship with my friend had been completely
repaired. It would do no good to keep asking God to give me something He had
already given. I was holding the publisher's check in my hand. Now I simply had to
take it to the bank. I spoke the words out of my mouth as evidence of my belief. I
said, "I agree! I say yes and I know that our friendship is restored at this very
moment!"
I was able to say this because I had glimpsed into a greater reality and a witnessed a
higher truth. Sure, I had no physical reason, no logical explanation for my newfound
conviction. I could not see or hear or touch my friend. Yet at that point there was
absolutely no doubt in my mind. It was done. Not would be done. It was done. This
is a crucial point in understanding how to have faith. Faith is in the now. It doesn't
say, "I'll have the money on Monday after I cash the check." Faith says, "This
check—this written guarantee is as good as gold. The money is mine right now."
When God opened my eyes to see that He had solved my problem, His word, like
the check, was as good as gold. Faith came on the scene and along with it, the

35
manifestation.
I felt rejuvenated as I got into my car and drove down the mountain. I had seen
the answer with eyes of faith and therefore it was mine. I hadn't felt that refreshed
in many months. I began to praise God (evidence that actual faith was present) as I
descended the gravel road. As I reached the bottom of the mountain, my cell
phone rang.
"Hello?" I answered.
"Hi, Winston," came the voice on the other end. It was him; My friend.
We spoke for over an hour, catching up, joking together as if the dissension had
never occurred. After a while, he addressed the issue, simply acknowledging that we
all make mistakes and that he had forgiven me. To this day he remains one of my
best friends. In fact, we are in ministry together and God frequently uses us to pass
along the message of faith to the hurting and broken. I believe our friendship is
stronger today because we overcame that mountain in our path. This is what God
accomplished as soon as I prayed. This is what took four months for me to receive.
Faith says yes to the invisible. Faith takes it now. Remember what Jesus taught His
disciples about faith:

On this account I am saying to you, all things whatever you are praying and
asking for, be believing that you received them, and they shall be yours.
(Mark 11:241, emphasis added)

Bible translator Julian Anderson renders this verse, "...you must believe that you
have already received all the things you're praying and asking for, and you will
receive them."
Does this say to believe that you'll receive the answer some day? Tomorrow? In an
hour? No! You must believe that you have already received. This is the true
definition of faith, straight from the mouth of Jesus Christ.
This principle is so simple, so foolproof, that it is stunning to see how many
Christians neglect it. As we progress throughout this book, you will find that this is
the true essence of faith. This principle—"believe that you have already
received"—is consistently taught throughout the Scriptures. As you implement
this revelation into your everyday life, you will start to receive answers to all your
prayers. You will see your dreams fulfilled and opposing mountains cast into the
sea.

The Greatest Act of Faith

A few months ago I used the Internet to purchase a necessary piece of equipment
for our recording studio from a reliable, online vendor. I carefully chose a brand new
microphone that would suit our needs, input my payment information, and clicked
on a web link that said, "Submit order." At the click of a mouse button, I was the
proud new owner of a beautiful, studio-grade microphone. I had placed my order,
paid for it, and I considered it mine. I was able to tell people, "I purchased a new
microphone for the studio."
"Great! Can I see it?" someone asked.

36
"Well, no, you can't see it. I don't
have it yet." "I thought you said it
was yours," they said.
"It is mine. I paid for it."
I said yes to something I couldn't see. This wasn't far-fetched—I trusted the
vendor to supply my demand. I didn't return to that website, frustrated
because I wasn't holding the microphone yet, and re-submit my order. That
would be an action stemming from doubt. As it was, if three days passed and I
began to wonder where my product was, I could assure myself that it was mine
and on its way. I would soon see it physically. This is an easy concept for most of
us to grasp. But if the online vendor's word is so trustworthy, why do most
Christians have a difficult time applying the same level of faith to the requests they
make of God? Whatever we need or desire, all we have to do is ask. Jesus already
paid for it in full.
I'm not suggesting that God is as trivial as an online vendor or mail-order
catalog. Obviously, He is not a genie, merely here to satisfy our every whim and
fancy. What I'm talking about is a relational confidence. After all, it was Jesus who
made the offer plain and simple: "Whatever you ask, believe you have received...."
This is an unconditional offer.
You may feel, as I once did, that you're simply unable to have sufficient faith.
You might feel like one of Jesus' disciples to whom He was constantly saying, "0
you of little faith" (Matthew 8:26; 14:31; Mark 4:40 NKJV). But if you are a
believer in Jesus Christ, you are already a man or woman of "great faith"!
Think of it, when you made the decision to allow Jesus to be the Lord of your
life, you committed the greatest act of faith there is! The Bible says, "...that if
you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God
has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes
unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation"
(Romans 10:9-10 NKJV).
This is faith, illustrated. If you have done this, you have exercised the same
type of faith 'that Jesus described in Mark 11:24. The same method I applied to
my relationship with my friend as I sat on that rock by the mountain stream. The
same confidence I demonstrated when I ordered the microphone over the
Internet. If you will allow this faith walk to become a lifestyle, you will be able to
utilize all the wonderful gifts, promises, and power He has made available to you.
Most likely you have never seen Jesus with your eyes. Your physical ears
probably haven't heard Him, nor have you touched Him with your hands. Yet you
believe. You have faith. You've heard the message of the Cross. You've read the
Scripture. You believe it. You've confessed that you believe it. It is yours.
God wants you to use this same faith to believe Him for everything else He
has given you. He is holding His hands out to you, expecting, looking and longing
to be gracious to you. Unfortunately, most of the Church is ignorant about the
inheritance God has given them. Even though He offers physical healing, real
and lasting joy, perfect protection, freedom from all fears and addictions, and
great wealth, most people have never bothered to receive these things. They
have been taught that God doesn't want us to have them. We will specifically

37
discuss knowing God's will, as well as how to release your faith to obtain these
Kingdom benefits.

For all of God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding
"Yes!" And through Christ, our "Amen" (which means "Yes') ascends to
God for his glory. (1 Corinthians 1:20 NLT)

The word "amen" signifies agreement. When you are in a church service and
you shout, "Amen!" to the preacher, you are placing your stamp of approval on
whatever he or she has said. You are announcing, "I agree! What you just said
is true!" In other translations of the Bible, the word "amen" has been rendered,
"So be it" and "Let it be."
Whenever you ask God for something, He answers your prayer. But you must do
you part and receive it by offering your Amen!—your agreement. You must agree
with God and believe you have received. We ask. God says "yes." Then we must
say "yes" to God's "yes." When God says, "I've answered your prayer; I've
fulfilled your dream," you don't have to wait until you can see it in order to say,
"Amen! I agree with you, Father! The answer is mine!" You can speak these
confident words the moment you pray because Jesus said we must believe that
we have already received. And then we absolutely refuse to believe otherwise, no
matter how circumstances appear. Most of the time you cannot agree with both
God and circumstances. They will often be diametrically opposed. Your agreement
will bridge the gap. Faith means having unconditional belief. The late P. Gavin Duffy
said it well:

Faith, you see, is the union of our hearts and wills with God's will and purpose;
and where this unity is lacking, results are impossible.

Everyone believes in something. The reality you choose to come into agreement
with in your thoughts, words, and actions is what the Law of Faith will inevitably
produce in your life. If you only agree with what you see, hear, and feel, you will
merely produce more of the same circumstances. I don't know anyone who doesn't
want to grow, increase, and expand in their lives. Very few people are one hundred
percent satisfied with their current condition. People want to see their businesses
succeed, their marriages mature, and their sicknesses overcome. However, looking
at circumstances the way they are will only keep them caught up in a cycle of the
same weaknesses and shortcomings they're faced with every day. It's like the well-
known saying: "The definition of a fool is someone who keeps on doing something
the same way, expecting different results."
In the situation with my friend, as long as I agreed with the way things seemed,
thinking there was little hope for reconciliation, I reaped only the same results. But
when God unveiled a greater reality, causing me to see the situation from Heaven's
perspective, I began to agree with what I could not see. I set my approval on a new
set of circumstances, believing they were as real as the air I breathed, and saw the
manifestation of my faith occur less than an hour later.
It's important to acknowledge that not every faith endeavor will manifest this

38
suddenly. Patience is a powerful accompaniment to faith. Sometimes it takes
longer than forty-five minutes to receive the desired results, though I hope it never
takes as long as it took Noah!
The Apostle Paul prayed that "the eyes of [our] hearts would be flooded with
light to know the rich inheritance God has given us" (see Ephesians 1:17). He wasn't
praying for our physical eyes to see more clearly. He recognized that it is spiritual
blindness—the inability to see what's rightfully ours in the spirit—that keeps us
from experiencing God's fullness. The fact that we can't immediately see answers
to prayer doesn't mean they don't exist.
In Genesis 16, a woman named Hagar and her son were exiled in the desert,
dying of thirst. Her son was crying and Hagar didn't think they'd make it much
longer. She cried out in prayer. Scripture says that God opened Hagar's eyes, and
that she saw a well—in the middle of the desert! She used it to draw water, saving her
life and the life of her son. But notice that God didn't create the well for her. It was
there all along. Her needs had already been met, even when she was praying. All
He did was open her eyes to the solution. Her problem wasn't lack of water, it was
lack of vision. She didn't need a well; she needed the ability to see past the desert
and into God's provision. However, not being able to perceive the solution with her
natural senses almost resulted in her death, as well as the death of her son.
Whatever we need at any given moment is already provided by God, even if we
can't see it in the visible realm. Like Hagar, our eyes must be opened. We must
learn to agree with the invisible!

Faith for Salvation / Faith to Move Mountains

Generally, the word "faith" (Greek: pistis) is used in the New Testament to denote
the act of receiving God's divine gift of grace as exerted in Jesus' incarnation,
death, and resurrection. Christianity is often called "the faith," referring to our
salvation by grace through faith (see Ephesians 2:8-9). For instance, Acts 6:7
speaks of Jewish priests becoming obedient to "the faith." Again in Acts 16:5 we
read, "So the churches were strengthened and made firm in the faith, and they
increased in number day after day."
This type of faith comes from belief that the Word we have heard about salvation
through Christ Jesus is true (see Romans 10:17). Therefore we agree with this
message and accept by faith that we are saved. It is taking the promise of eternal
salvation and saying, "It is mine now. I am saved." I call this saving faith. It is the
most basic and yet most imperative exercise of faith.
However, many Bible teachers attempt to relegate faith to this narrow
application. They tend to believe that faith is strictly to obtain salvation from our
sins. This relatively safe perspective doesn't require any risk on their part. They
believe that even though it took agreement (faith) to receive the gift of salvation,
God's other promises are only dispersed through divine providence. They think that
freedom from hell is available to anyone who confesses Jesus as Lord. Yet when it
comes to freedom from sickness, poverty, struggles, or trials, they teach that God
may or may not answer our prayers.
Even though this belief sometimes provokes them to pray for God to heal or

39
deliver—an unseen practice in the New Testament—it utilizes absolutely no faith to
believe that God has already done so. If someone doesn't receive healing, it is
assumed that God wants them to be sick for a reason. If they have asked God to free
them from habitual sin, yet remain in bondage, they assume He wants them to
continue struggling in order to foster humility or dependence. This is dastardly
doctrine! Faith is not a one-time endeavor, simply to get us into Heaven when we
die. We began our new lives by faith. Shouldn't we also continue to live by it? (See
Galatians 3:3).
For instance, concerning receiving healing by faith, one commentary states:

By insisting on the fact that this gift [of faith] is a divine work, we can lift from
the shoulders of the sick, the unjust burden imposed by those who tell them
that they are not healed because they 'do not have enough faith.

This sounds good at first, but it does not reflect Scriptural principles. Instead it is
founded on the human tendency to pass off responsibility on someone else for
problems. It is a fear-based assertion that doesn't even make logical sense when
measured outside of the selfish bounds of religious, works-based thinking. While
many teachers appease people by saying, "There, there; it's not your fault that you
didn't get healed," God is saying, "Take hold of what I've already given you!" While
earthly minded people pray, "Lord, if it be Thy will, heal so-and-so of cancer," God is
saying, "I already healed so-and-so of cancer at the cross! What do you want me to
do, send Jesus to die again?"
While many popular ministers walk around saying, "God is in control. Don't worry
sister; we'll be praying that your surgery goes okay," Peter said, "In the name of
Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!" (Acts 3:6b NKJV). He recognized that
the gifts of God do not need to be given. They have already been given through
Christ. They must be received by faith.
This commentary states that it is an unjust burden to relate someone's inability
to be healed to a lack of faith. The author apparently considers it "just" to say that
the person isn't healed because it's not God's will—that He hasn't given them faith.
What a dark day when God's children find it "just" for their Father to willfully afflict
them with illness, while ignoring what Jesus clearly taught about healing! In an
attempt to lift this "unjust burden," they have convinced themselves that in its
stead, the real burden of injustice should be allowed to remain: sickness, which is
of satan! (See John 10:10; Acts 10:38).
This school of thought unwittingly accuses Jesus of imposing an unjust burden
when, in response to the disciples' inability to cure an epileptic boy, He said, "0 you
unbelieving (warped, wayward, rebellious) and thoroughly perverse generation!
How long am I to remain with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring [the boy]
here to me" (Matthew 17:17). Jesus proceeded to cure him (v. 18), and when the
disciples asked why they couldn't cast out the demon, He said, "Because of the
littleness of your faith" (v. 20).
We can clearly see that a deeper level of faith was required to accomplish God's
will: the boy's healing, as was indicated by Jesus' willingness and ability to produce
the miracle. The absence or presence of faith was the determining factor. The

40
burden was clearly on the disciples, not God.
In the same way that a person's faith for salvation comes by "...hearing the
Word of Christ" (Romans 10:17), mountain-moving faith also comes by hearing the
Word of Christ. Some of us might find it easier to believe in the unseen than others.
Faith always begins as a seed. As this seed is nourished, it will grow into a large
tree. Everyone has the ability to increase their faith if they will simply keep at it.
This book teaches various methods that will help you grow that seed into a mature
tree. Once your faith is solid, the power that is in you can be released into
impossible situations. The power is God's, but it flows through the vehicle of your
faith. This can be observed in the life of Stephen:

And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit....And
Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the
people. (Acts 6:5b, 8 NKJV)

Clearly seen are the two components that enable the miraculous: Stephen was
full of power (referred to as the Holy Spirit in verse five, and as power in verse
eight), and it was released through his faith. Every believer has the Holy Spirit, but if
faith isn't present, the Spirit has no expression. Power is available but inaccessible.
It is clear that there exists a form of faith that is an intensification of the
foundational trust in Christ Jesus by which we receive salvation. This supernatural
faith is so far distinguished from saving faith that one doesn't even need to be
walking with God to utilize its power! Paul says, "...and if I have [sufficient] faith so
that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God's love in me) I am nothing (a
useless nobody)" (1 Corinthians 13:2). Remember, Jesus repeatedly stressed that if
you walk in faith, "...you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place,
and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you" (Matthew 17:20b).
We must have faith in God, knowing He is the Source of salvation and eternal
life. But there is a separate operation of faith in the Bible that takes something we
hope for—something God has promised that we want to see manifested—and sees
it done, finished, and completed right now. This is the type of faith that will move
mountains. As I finally did with my estranged friendship, we must believe that
when we ask God for something—anything!—it is done at that very moment. God
sees it as done. Therefore we must see it as done. In this way, we agree with what
Heaven says as opposed to what circumstances say.
When you posture yourself in this state of faith, no matter how risky it feels, no
demon in hell will be able to hold back the overflow of blessings God has in store.
The miracle begins in you. It will only grow to the extent you allow. The only thing
that can keep you from receiving from God is you! Say yes to the invisible.

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End notes

1. Kenneth Wuest, Wuest's Expanded Translation of the Greek New Testament (WM. B. Eerdman's
Publishing Co., 1961)

2. P. Gavin Duffy cited by F.F. Bosworth, Christ the Healer (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell,
1948), p. 94
3. Stanley Burgess, Gary McGee, Patrick Alexander, Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic
Movements (Grand Rapids, MI: Regency Reference Library, 1988), p. 301
CHAPTER FOUR

Transforming Your Life

Man is not the creature of circumstances.


Circumstances are the creatures of men.
—Benjamin Disraeli

S
OMETIMES A LONG-DISTANCE-FLYING AIRCRAFT MUST REFUEL IN MIDAIR.
Another aircraft aligns itself below the first plane, preparing to inject the
necessary fuel. In most cases, however, the receiving aircraft must drop its
altitude by thousands of feet in order to make the connection. When the plane
gets low enough, the two will join together and the transfer will be made. The craft
may be desperately low on fuel, but until it comes into agreement with the aerial
tanker, achieving the proper altitude, it won't receive the fuel it requires.
In the same way, God is not moved to assist us just because we have a need or
are desperate for a miracle. I have seen many people attempt to get answers to
prayer by begging, crying, and even bargaining. But God has chosen not to
respond to us in this way. He doesn't simply act whenever there is a need—be it
casual or urgent. If He did, there wouldn't be people with needs anymore; their
needs would all be met! If God were moved by desperation, there wouldn't be
children starving to death in poor countries. No one could argue that they don't
need food. Yet as hungry and hurting as they are, as much as God hates to see
their little bodies wasting away to nothing, He does not step in and violate the laws
He has set in place.
There is a lot of confusion as to why a loving God would allow starvation,
trafficking, and suffering to continue. Many Christian books have been written,
attempting to explain it. Many unbelievers doubt the existence of God because
they are generally unable to properly reconcile the loving God/hurting world

42
conundrum. And frankly, I agree with them. If an omnipotent Creator is willing to
sit around doing nothing while His people suffer, I'd be inclined to reject Him too.
But a revelation of faith puts this conflict to rest once and for all. The answer is,
God doesn't allow these things! All the sorrow and poverty, broken hearts and
empty stomachs were too much for our loving Father to bear. So He did the
unthinkable: He came to Earth and died as a sinful human so that we could
overcome every obstacle!
Don't you see the finality of what Jesus did? He solved world hunger! He healed
our bodies! He delivered us from sin! Through His poverty, we can become rich!
Who wouldn't want to worship a God who was so passionate about our restoration
that He gave His own life? But sadly, the world is blinded to what Jesus has done,
simply because they only see the natural realm. They claim He withholds
blessings, unaware that it is they who are unable to receive.
God's promises of healing and provision are available to anyone who is willing to
allow them by faith, believing they have received whatever they have asked. God
promised that He would supply all our needs according to His riches in glory, not
according to the economy of our nation (see Philippians 4:19). It doesn't matter
where you live or what your salary is. It doesn't matter what medicine is available.
It doesn't matter if you live in Uganda, Haiti, or America. This promise is yours for
the taking.
However, if you refuse to come into agreement, to "lower your altitude" and
connect with the aerial tanker, you will crash and burn. Amos 3:3 (NKJV) says, "Can
two walk together, unless they are agreed?"
We are all agreeing with something. Whether it is God's promises, satan's lies,
friends' opinions, or the media's propaganda, our beliefs are formed by something.
And the astounding truth is that what a person believes will be reproduced in his or
her life according to the Law of Faith which God has established on Earth. There's
no way around it: The power to transform your life is yours.
The Law of Faith

When God created the earth, He established various laws. Our entire universe is
systematically arranged to operate rigidly and on schedule. Planets are set on
specific courses. Earth rotates on a precise axis. The rain falls and waters the earth,
then rises back up as a vapor to repeat the cycle. What goes up must come down. For
every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. These laws don't change
according to how we feel on a certain day. They don't operate at our convenience. If
you drop a bowling ball off a high-rise, it will fall fast and hit hard according to the
laws of gravity that God set in place.
The Law of Gravity has been around as long as the earth. However, Isaac Newton
didn't "discover" it until a few centuries ago. Before the apple fell from the tree and
awakened his scientific insight, the Law had already been in operation for thousands
of years. People simply had not understood or defined it until that point.
There is another law that God set in motion at the beginning of time—it has been
in operation since Adam and Eve walked in the Garden of Eden. Few know about it
and even fewer consciously live by it. Yet it is one of the most powerful universal
laws in existence. It produces awesome results as well as considerable destruction.

43
Many men and women in the Bible were familiar with this powerful law, though
none to the extent of Jesus Christ. He explained it to His disciples, but they didn't
fully grasp it. It is repeatedly emphasized throughout the Word of God, but most
Christians fail to understand this key principle. People remain victims of themselves,
enslaved by their own fears, perishing for a lack of knowledge (see Hosea 4:6).
I'm talking about the Law of Faith. It states that whatever you believe will come
to pass in your life.
The American businessman, the Russian scientist, the Japanese ambassador, and
the Buddhist monk are all operating in the Law of Faith, whether they are aware of it
or not. The current state of our world is the direct result of man's collective beliefs.
It's not what a loving God allows to happen; it's what the people He placed in
charge allow to happen. It is an extraordinary fact of life, and yet powerfully
destructive in the hands of the ignorant. You see, nothing just happens arbitrarily.
The Darwinian concept of a random universe is a myth. Every situation and
occurrence in this world is stimulated by what humankind believes, whether or not
we are aware of it. In effect, you are transforming your life at this very moment
through your beliefs—your faith.
Both God and satan are limited to your agreement. Satan cannot simply run
around on Earth and generate every whim and desire of his twisted heart. If he
could, neither you nor I would be here right now. He would have tsunamis,
earthquakes, and infernos rampaging throughout the earth, killing and destroying
everyone and everything. But as it stands, God has limited him to the agreement of
man. In order for satan to cause evil he must find a man to say "yes" to his
suggestion before it can actually occur. Satan is completely powerless by himself. It
is man who wields the power on Earth and it's only through a willing host that the
devil can cause destruction. He does not have dominion here. We do. (See Genesis
1:26; Psalm 8:6; 115:116; Hebrews 2:6-8.)
If this seems too difficult to believe, consider Jesus' words about Himself. "And
[the Father] has given him the authority, simply because he is the Son of Man, to
decide and carry out matters of Judgment" (John 5:27 MSG, emphasis added). For God
to operate freely on Earth, He had to be born of man. Why? Because, like it or not,
authority on this planet belongs to man. That's why Scripture refers to Jesus as "the
last Adam." Adam means "man." All dominion was given to the last Adam just as it
was given to the first Adam. The difference is, Jesus didn't surrender his authority to
the devil's agenda.
Satan was present in the Garden of Eden, but he was powerless to touch Adam
and Eve. His hands were tied. He knew that his only shot at destruction would come
through convincing Adam to accomplish it on his own. Adam was the one who had
dominion. Satan deceived and Adam believed. Adam, not satan, opened the door to
sin on Earth. The devil doesn't have any more power today than he did back then.
The only way he can destroy you is by convincing you to believe his lies. It is still
his single most effective trick.

God is Sovereign, but He's Not in Control

I've heard it said, "We can't do anything without God, but He won't do anything

44
without us!"
Before faith can function in your life, you must recognize this foundational truth:
Even though God is sovereign over Heaven, He is not in control on Earth. The Bible
says, "The heavens are the Lord's heavens, but the earth has He given to the
children of men" (Psalm 115:16).
The belief that everything happens for a reason is one of the most damaging
teachings circulating throughout the Church. Without your active involvement as
Christ's co-laborer, your life will resemble a ship drifting arbitrarily at sea,
unproductive to the Kingdom. The belief that God controls everything in our lives is
destructive to the faith to which we have been called. Accepting this fact does not
threaten or insult God or His sovereignty. As a matter of fact, the most insulting
thing you could do is ascribe the evils of this world to God's will. This notion must
be forsaken if you are to become a mountain mover.
The derivation of this belief is the need for a temporary sense of relief from
disappointment and hurt. Think about it; it's much easier to live without having to
take responsibility for mistakes and tragedies. That's why people do it. The doctrine
of God's absolute sovereignty facilitates this attitude effortlessly. However, this
passive mindset poisons God's intent for our participation in carrying out His
agenda on Earth. Interestingly, this popular doctrine is not taught in the Bible.
Teacher Andrew Wommack explains:

The word `sovereign" is not used in the King James Version of the Bible. It
is used 303 times in the Old Testament of the New International Version,
but it is always used in association with the word 'LORD" and is the
equivalent of the King James Version's 'LORD God." Not a single one of
those times is the word "sovereign" used in the manner that it has come to
be used in religion in our day and time. Religion has resulted in the invention
of a new meaning for the word "sovereign," which basically means God
controls everything. Nothing can happen but what He wills or allows. However,
there is nothing in the actual definition that [supports this]. The dictionary
defines "sovereign" as, "1. Paramount; supreme. 2. Having supreme rank or
power. 3. Independent• a sovereign state. 4. Excellent." None of these
definitions means that God controls evegthing.1

The Bible teaches that when God made man, He said he was "very good" and
"approved it completely" (see Genesis 1:31). He made us as a gift for His Son
Jesus, "That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without
spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless]"
(Ephesians 5:27). This is not an easy concept to grasp. Paul said, "This mystery is
very great" (v. 32). Nevertheless, it is factual and beautiful. We are main characters
in a colossal love story. Speaking of His bride, Jesus says, "0 my love, how beautiful
you are! There is no flaw in you!" (see Song of Solomon 4:7).
Many people believe that God made man with a major flaw: the ability to sin.
Most will argue that if Adam was so perfect, he wouldn't have eaten the forbidden
fruit. It is precisely here that God's concept of perfection dwarfs our own.
The crown jewel of man's perfection in the sight of God is not his inability to sin,

45
but his light to sin if he so chooses. If God had preprogrammed Adam and Eve to
choose Him every time, their love would have been completely suspect and
therefore imperfect. Allow me to illustrate this principle.
Imagine a young man who is searching everywhere for his perfect soul mate—
the girl of his dreams. One day he spots her sitting a few tables away in a nice
restaurant. She is resplendent in feminine beauty, gently sipping a glass of red
wine. The young man has just discovered what he believes will be the satisfaction
of his greatest desire. She is refined, confident, and stunning. As he approaches
her, striking up conversation, he realizes she is also intelligent, kind, and
humorous.
As they talk late into the evening, the young man discretely slips a love potion
into the girl's drink. He watches with anticipation as she empties her glass,
knowing that in a few moments she will love him too. The potion takes immediate
effect. The girl falls madly in love with the boy.
They soon marry and neither of them could be happier—at least for a little
while.
A few months into their marriage, the young man begins to realize that his wife
does not truly love him. Oh, she says it often enough, and he knows her words are
sincere. However, it is painfully evident that it isn't her heart declaring her feelings
—only the love potion. He realizes that his wife doesn't love him for who he really
is—because of his personality, conversation, or character—for she never chose him
of her own accord. Their relationship will crumble because her love is not by
choice, but obligation.
Would you call this perfect love?
In order for God to fully approve of man, the quality of free choice had to be
conferred on Adam. Without it, man could not truly love or worship God. Free choice
is priceless to our Father. He even gave it to the angels. His plan for humankind
wasn't to fill the earth with robots, or as some Christians suppose, to be pawns on
the epic chessboard between Him and satan. He made us like Himself in every way
so we could be, as the Scripture says, a suitable companion for His Son. If we were
a different kind or species, we could not be partnered with Jesus any more than a
monkey could fulfill Adam's desire for a wife. God made Eve from Adam's own side
to be his equal—his own flesh (see Genesis 2:22).

Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my
flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man.
(Genesis 2:23)

This story is likened to God's creation of us. It was not fitting for His Son to be
alone. He created us to be a perfect match. He even helped Adam understand this
principle by placing a void within him that could only be satisfied by a woman. God
explained, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a suitable helper for
him" (Genesis 2:18 NKJV).
Even though Adam had all the animals, none of them were created from his
very own side. None were suitable. In the same way, Jesus had all the angels, yet
they were not suitable because they were not in His likeness. For this reason, God

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said, "Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our
likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of
the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that
creeps upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image and
likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:26-
27). This is emphasized all throughout Scripture. Genesis 5:16 says, "When God
created man, He made him in the likeness of God." In the New Testament, James
argues that we must abstain from cursing each other because we are made in
God's image and likeness (see James 3:9).
There is no doubt about it: God is sovereign! He formed the universe and
continues to uphold it by the word of His power (see Hebrews 1:3). He could
destroy it in an instant. However, when it comes to His people, He is not as
interested in power as He is in partnership. When God created man, He didn't want
to be Ruler or Commander, but to co-labor with us as His children. The very first
thing He did after creating man and woman was to empower them with a blessing,
saying, `Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion"
(see Genesis 1:28). This reveals God's intent for humanity: to rule the earth on His
behalf.
God enabled Adam to fulfill his calling by giving him power and authority to
choose. God wasn't looking for a crowd of zombies to parade the earth and do His
bidding mindlessly. In fact, God wanted to make it so clear that Adam wasn't being
forced or obligated to do His will that He placed a tree in the Garden of Eden and
instructed Adam to avoid eating it. If Adam had no other option—no forbidden fruit
to taste—he would have been bound to God blindly in the same way that the
beautiful young woman knew nothing but "love" for the young man. True love and
devotion cannot exist in an environment where free will has been restrained.
Adam was presented the ultimate choice—the decision that would define the
world. Would he multiply and expand the Garden of Eden according to God's Word?
Or allow the exterior darkness to invade the Garden according to satan's word?
God was not in charge of spreading the Garden; Adam was. Satan had no
authority to generate his disastrous intent; Adam did. Both God and satan pled
their case, urging Adam and Eve to follow. Yet Adam
cast the deciding vote. As you are aware, he made the wrong choice, agreeing with
satan and subjecting his God-given dominion to destruction. God's sovereignty
wasn't compromised, yet He wasn't in control. It was not God who forced Adam to
sin. Rather it was within the perfection of the love-creation that Adam exercised his
right of choice, deciding to forsake God's instruction.
Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden as a consequence of their own
decision. I'm sure they experienced bitter regret and painful sorrow. If they were
anything like Christians today, they might have said, "God, how could you let this
happen to us?!" If today's religious scholars were present they would have said,
"God has His reasons. His ways are higher than ours. Remember, He is in control."
But God's response would shock many people. He responds similarly to our
incessant weeping, crying, and desperate pleading: "How could you allow this to
happen, Adam? Why did you allow this to take place, Winston? I gave you
dominion. I gave you the authority!"

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"How Could God Allow This to Happen?"

I witnessed to a gentleman a few weeks ago who, though convinced of God's


existence, wanted nothing to do with Him. As we conversed, this man related to me
a story—a horrible tragedy—that had taken place in his family.
For many years, his twelve-year-old son walked through the countryside every
evening with his dog, wading through a pond to reach his favorite fishing hole. The
pond was situated on a large pasture belonging to a neighbor. One day, the owner
of the land decided to eliminate the overpopulation of beavers by running an
electrical current into the water.
On a certain evening, as the boy was strolling across the field, the dog jumped
into the pond as usual, waiting for the boy to catch up.
This time something was wrong.
The boy panicked as he saw the dog shaking violently in the water. He ran as
fast as he could and jumped into the pond, attempting to rescue his
companion. He landed directly on the electrical wire. Neither the boy nor his
dog came home that night.
As I listened to the man tell me the story of his extreme loss, I was moved with
deep compassion, angry at satan's injustice. He is the thief, the killer, and the
destroyer. The boy's father explained to me that this was why he hated God. He
believed God was a cruel and heartless madman. "How could your 'loving God'
allow an innocent little boy to die such a meaningless and cruel death?" he
demanded.
I quietly asked the Lord for the right words, and instantly knew what to say. "Sir, I
am very sorry for your loss. What happened to you and your family is terrible. But
the question you should be asking is not, 'How could God allow this to happen?' The
question is, How could you allow this to happen?"
Seeing that he was frozen in shock, I continued. "The Bible tells us that we are
called to raise the dead, and to do the same and greater works than Jesus did. He
raised up a young girl, a young boy, and Lazarus from the dead. Both Peter and Paul
raised the dead too. So you are accusing God of failing to do for you what He has
empowered you to do if you would accept His power through Jesus Christ. God has
offered you the very same ability that these other men walked in, and you are the
one who has rejected the very gift that could have saved your son's life. With all due
respect, sir, you must stop blaming a loving God for the fruit of your own wrong
choices."
(I was hoping for gentler words from the Lord, but this is what He told me to say. I
knew the boldness of
God had come on me. I have decided to never compromise the truth in order to
make someone feel better or
more comfortable. Jesus continually scandalized the religious leaders of His
day with offensive,
uncompromised truth. We should not settle for trite, "seeker-sensitive" discussions
when eternity is at stake.)
After a moment of thought, the gentleman said, "I've never heard anyone talk about
God that way before.

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Usually Christians just give me textbook answers such as, 'It was God's time to take
your son home,' or even,
`God killed your boy to punish you for your sins.' But I have never seen the Bible
from the perspective you just explained. You've given me something to think about,
for sure."
We talked a while longer and went our own ways, but I am confident that God is
still revealing Truth to him. I believe he will be restored to his loving Father, who is
only good, all the time.
God must not be blamed for our crises. He is sovereign, but He doesn't
orchestrate and control every circumstance on Earth. He has given that task to His
Body, the Church, who is "...the fullness of Him Who fills all in all" (Ephesians 1:23).
There are many—believers and unbelievers alike—who assign responsibility to God
for evil things that happen in the world, when He is only good and sponsors only good. His plans
for us are well-being and peace, never evil (see Jeremiah 29:11). He will not turn
away from following us to do us good (see Jeremiah 32:40). He couldn't make His
position any clearer than this:

Behold, they may gather together and stir up strife, but it is not from me. Whoever stirs up strife
against you shall fall and surrender to you. (Isaiah 54:15, emphasis added)

There is no question that God is all-knowing and all-powerful. Problems arise


when teachers and scholars assert that every single tick of the clock and flap of
the wing was specifically ordained for a purpose. A scholar's exhaustive
explanation falls outside the boundaries of this book but I do want to clarify my
point. There is nothing that can knock the wind out of your motivation for prayer,
evangelism, and faith like the belief that your efforts change nothing—that God
is simply going to do His will regardless of your involvement.
If this were the case, we would not be called "ambassadors" and "co-laborers."
God wouldn't have given us "all authority and power," or told us to pray for His will
to be done on Earth. In Matthew 16:19, Jesus gave us the "keys (the authority) of
the Kingdom." He did this because He meant for us to use them!

King David's Conundrum

Many teachers place undue emphasis on isolated portions of Scripture in order to


build entire doctrines from them. Yet some of the major misunderstandings of
certain Old Testament passages are due to a lack of knowledge and often-
inaccurate translation of Hebrew dialect and culture.
For instance, if I witnessed a man committing a crime and failed to intervene, the
Hebrews would say that I committed the crime myself. Allowing an act to occur in
Hebrew culture is tantamount to instigating its actual occurrence. For this reason,
the Bible seems to say that King Saul's tormenting, evil spirit came from God (see 1
Samuel 18:10). In reality, the "evil spirit" would be more accurately translated as a
"destructive mental state" or "dark depression" (MSG), which God allowed in
response to Saul's continual disobedience. However, some people use this verse to
argue that God sends demons to afflict us. In Hints and Helps to Bible Interpretation, Dr. Robert

49
Young makes the case that whenever the Old Testament says that God "smote" or
"smites," it would be more accurately interpreted as, "God allowed to be smitten."
One of the clearest illustrations is concerning the time that David ordered a
census of his kingdom. This was clear disobedience. God had emphasized that
strength in battle wasn't to be sought in numbers or human might, but rather His
hand of favor. However, in 2 Samuel 24, the Bible says that God moved David,
saying, "Go, number Israel and Judah" (v. 1). Even David's closest advisor
questioned David's actions, but David ordered the census anyway. Afterward,
David felt condemned and repented before the Lord, saying, "I have sinned greatly
in what I have done...I have done very foolishly" (v. 10). Then the Lord punished
David, resulting in the death of 70,000 men.
Wait, though. Why did David repent for simply doing what God told him to do?
Why did God originally forbid a census, and then tell David to decree one? It seems
ludicrous! Notice, if this story is taken at face value, we see a God who provokes us
to sin, and then proceeds to punish us severely for the evil that He stirred up in our
hearts in the first place. Keeping in mind that David was one of God's most
respected
Prophets—the ancestry from which the Messiah would descend—don't you find this
portrayal of the Father to be ridiculously perverse? This biblical record clearly
violates what the Spirit later tells us in James: "Let no one say when he is tempted, I
am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and
He Himself tempts no one," Games 1:13, emphasis added).
Fortunately, this same incident is recorded elsewhere in Scripture, this time by a
different writer with a more accurate perspective. It says, "Satan [an adversary]
stood up against Israel and stirred up David to number Israel....And God was
displeased with this [reliance on human resources], and He smote Israel" (1
Chronicles 21:1, 7).
In the deeply poetic Hebrew language, many occurrences are said to be from
God, simply because He allowed them. Other times they were simply corresponding
results to the laws God set in place. If I were to fall from the top of a skyscraper and
die, it wouldn't be God's fault, nor His will. Yet the Hebrews would claim that He
caused my death simply because He is the One responsible for the laws of gravity that
led to my demise.
The Hebrew were much more metaphoric and dramatic in their expression than
our western culture. Any curious verses that we find in God's Word should be
measured against the entire Bible before we siphon doctrines. Furthermore, any
characteristic attributed to God that isn't seen in the person of Jesus must be
thoroughly weighed for accuracy.
Contrary to a common doctrine that is taught in many churches today, God does
not author evil. He will take evil circumstances and turn them for good (see Genesis
50:20, Romans 8:28), but only where there is an atmosphere of faith. Where there
is doubt and unbelief, we paralyze God from working on our behalf and empower
the devil's work in our lives (see Matthew 13:58). Even God's promises are limited
by a person's unbelief. The Israelites failed to enter into the land that God had
given them—the Promised Land—because they didn't mix the promise with faith (see
Hebrews 4:2). The Israelites interfered with God's perfect will because their hearts

50
were hardened by unbelief. We are warned against making the same mistake:

Then while it is [still] called Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your
hearts as in the rebellion [in the desert...]. (Hebrews 3:15)

What does it mean when God says, "Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you
stand firm" (Isaiah 7:9b NLT). Could God's power really be subject to our faith? Yes!
Get this concept in your head: "Unless you...I cannot." You can pray and cry out to
the Lord until you're blue in the face. But until you place faith in what He's already
done, He can't help you, no matter how much He wants to. Not because His power is
weak, but because it is restrained by the principles He effected when He gave
Earth to man.
I liken this to driving in a car. God sent the Holy Spirit to be the passenger in our
vehicle of life. He is called the Helper, not the Driver. It is His job to reveal where
we must go. His voice is the best GPS that money can't buy. But many Christians
take their hands off the wheel and tell God to drive the car for them! Popular
country singer Carrie Underwood sings a song called Jesus, Take the Wheel. You don't
have to be a rocket scientist to understand that if you're not steering the car and God
isn't steering the car, you're headed for trouble! Then people wonder why their lives
crash and burn! It is imperative to recognize that you are the helmsman
determining the course of your life, not God (see James 3:4).
God created us to be individuals. He actually values our input and desires our
participation. There are several instances throughout Scripture that reveal God's
willful subjection to the desires of His people (see Genesis 18:23-33; Exodus 32:10-
14; Isaiah 38:1-5; 1 Samuel 8). Nevertheless, Christians continue to give voice to
satan's words rather than God's. Christians have believed and agreed with the lies
of the enemy since Eve was first deceived by the serpent. He is still befuddling the
ignorant and unbelieving Church today, convincing them to think his thoughts and
speak his words instead of God's. God's will is only accomplished on Earth through
your agreement. This is how He has chosen to operate, whether you like it or not. To
be truly effective as a body, we must play by His rules.

Evil Days or Continual Feast?

God granted to us the awesome task of spreading His Kingdom throughout the
earth. It is the same assignment Adam failed to accomplish: To go forth and
subdue the earth, expanding the borders of the Garden of Eden. But where Adam
relinquished his dominion, Jesus Christ has re-commissioned us to complete the
same task. Even though Heaven is open above us, the earth has remained closed
to God's purposes. We are learning once again to empower Heaven's agenda in our
spheres of life. By agreeing with God, receiving His perfect will by faith, we will
literally restructure the world around us.
If you are experiencing good things in your life—walking in God's blessing—it is
because you are thinking and believing in accordance with His Word. You are
putting faith in His plan for you.
Likewise, if you continually find yourself victim to a barrage of negative

51
circumstances such as loss, destruction, and despair, be aware that your faith is
fastened to the wrong beliefs. The enemy has been telling you his lies—"You are
weak, disappointing, and only getting worse"—and you are activating these curses
with your faith. You are empowering the wrong source in your sphere. It's time to
make a change.
This notion can be difficult to accept. Most people would never dream of taking
responsibility for the unfortunate conditions in their lives. It is popular to blame a
hard-knock life on one's dysfunctional family or a bad teacher. While it's true that
our lives are a conglomeration of external influences, as well as our choices, I'm
referring to a deeper source of development: what you believe.
A belief is a series of like thoughts that create a state of certainty about specific
ideas, experiences, and people. A belief is formed—or altered—through repetitive
thoughts and words. Whatever you continually think about, you will end up
believing. And whatever you believe, you will speak. And whatever you think,
speak, and believe will—through the power of faith produce a harvest. The
thoughts you think and the beliefs you form over the years will accurately define
your future—no exceptions. The Bible says, "Keep and guard your heart with all
vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the issues of life" (see
Proverbs 4:23).
According to the Law of Faith, if your life is bearing negative fruit, it is in direct
response to the negative thoughts you've been thinking, whether you're aware of it
or not. Your negative thoughts and agreements are literally attracting negative
circumstances. On the other hand, if you think God's thoughts, you will
automatically open the door for God's blessings.
Proverbs 15:15 says, "All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil
[by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual
feast." Would you rather experience days of evil or have a continual feast? This
verse leaves the decision up to you. The conditions of your reality are contingent
upon your outlook. If you want to feast, maintain a glad heart. If you don't, all your
days will be made evil. It isn't God who brings trouble. It's the devil. And he's only
able to generate evil days in your life if you leave the door open.
For instance, say that while watching the news one evening you hear a report
about a new strain of the flu spreading rapidly throughout your community. Instead
of consciously activating God's divine health through your faith, you begin to worry
about getting sick. You agree with the negative report. Oh, no! I always get sick this
time of year. I'd better not go out in public. I should get a flu shot. I hope my kids don't
pick it up at school. Worry, worry, worry!
You have just signed for the package that satan delivered to your door. He now
has access to afflict you with what you don't want. "Evil days" are coming. God isn't
responsible for your sickness. Not even satan can be blamed for what you've
received. The ability to transform your life is yours, no one else's.
The correct way to respond to the reported flu epidemic is to slam that door in
the devil's face. When you hear the fear-inspiring news report, say, "First Peter 2:24
says that I've been healed by the stripes of Jesus, therefore no sickness will come
near my family!" By doing this, you are taking advantage of the Law of Faith in a
positive way. Your positive beliefs will result in "a continual feast."

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Believers and unbelievers alike have united themselves to abominable
manifestations through wrong thought patterns. They unconsciously oppose
themselves, rejecting their rightful health, joy, and peace by fastening themselves
to the world's way of thinking. When a person thinks like the world thinks, they get
results like the world gets. When a person thinks like Jesus thinks, their life will be
filled with the same results as Jesus. And though many folks believe they cannot
possibly think the way Jesus does, Paul says, "But we have the mind of Christ (the
Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart" (1
Corinthians 2:16b). Inasmuch as you believe this scripture, you will think exactly as
Jesus thinks.

Your Mind is Fertile Soil

God knew that because of Adam's fall, it was hopeless for humanity to stay in
perpetual agreement with Heaven. Because sin entered the world, man's thoughts
and intentions were contaminated. Before Adam tasted the fruit from the Tree of the
Knowledge of Good and Evil, he was entirely innocent. He walked face to face with
God every day. He was an eternal being, destined to bear godly fruit forever. But
when he gained the knowledge of good and evil, his ability had to be restricted.
God knew that with the capacity to conceive evil thoughts with sinful intentions
there would be no end to the destruction man would bring forth on Earth. It was
precisely for this reason that God in His mercy cut Adam off from the Tree of Life.
He knew that the combination of satan's influence and Adam's dominion would be
eternally devastating.
God created Adam's mind to be fertile soil—to produce an abundant harvest of
the seeds sown into it. As He predicted, His once-flawless creation immediately
spawned death and demise, beginning with Abel, murdered by his own brother.
God said, "...nothing they have imagined they can do will be impossible for them"
(Genesis 11:6). He knew that anything they could conceive in their thoughts and
imaginations they would be able to achieve through the Law of Faith. Man was
doomed to failure and destruction because his highly creative nature had been
poisoned.
Thank God that through the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have been redeemed
from bondage to sin and restored to right fellowship with the Father. Now you and I
can choose to think and believe according to the Word of God and the mind of
Christ, producing Heaven on Earth! God has again declared, "Nothing is impossible
to those who believe" (Mark 9:11 NKJV). Now that we have the new nature, it's a
fantastic thing!
Whenever the devil comes to your door offering a deranged product such as
cancer, depression, or poverty, slam it in his face! "No way, satan! That thought is
not congruent with Heaven. I renounce it in Jesus' Name!" He has no choice but to
take his deception elsewhere. The Bible says, "So be subject to God. Resist the
devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). The Greek
word translated "flee" means "to run from as in terror."
Why must you refuse him so emphatically? Because if you believe his lie, you
are no different from Adam and Eve who believed the serpent's deception instead

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of God's truth. If you eat his fruit, you will produce results after his kind—a harvest
of the seed he planted. Here's how Jesus put it:

Either make the tree sound (healthy and good), and its fruit sound (healthy
and good), or make the tree rotten (diseased and bad), and its fruit rotten
(diseased and bad); for the tree is known and recognized and judged by its
fruit. (Matthew 12:33)

According to Jesus, there is a direct correlation between your beliefs and your
fruit. If you see diseased and rotten fruit, your circumstances are simply telling you
that you have been thinking wrong thoughts. You have been "making the tree
rotten" by allowing satan's suggestions and forebodings to dwell in the fertile soil
of your mind.
But it's never too late to make a change! Now is the time to take control of your
thought life—to "refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud
and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and [to] lead
every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ" (2
Corinthians 10:5).
It's time to shut the door on satan's suggestions of defeat, sickness, and sin, and
open up to the blessings of God! This isn't something you can do overnight. But as
your thoughts become more deliberate, the Law of Faith will "make the tree sound."
You will transform your life from the inside out. It begins with one thought at a time.
As you train your mind to agree with God instinctively, you will become skilled at
operating in the miraculous, healing the sick, and moving your mountains. You will
open the door to a continual feast.
God is not a micro-manager. He's not a puppeteer, using us as dolls in a
terrestrial stage play. We are not being forced to do His bidding. Because of His
perfect love, He has given us an awesome gift: free will. He has blessed us and given
us the task of reproducing Heaven on Earth by denying the lies of the enemy and
agreeing with Him instead.
You must develop your faith by learning to focus toward a heavenly direction,
giving God permission to flood your life with every extravagant and wonderful gift
you could possibly imagine. Whether it's God or satan knocking at the door, you
are the one who grants admittance. Remember, Jesus stands at the door and
knocks. He's not going to violate your free will and break it down. You received
salvation because you let Him in. In the same way, if you have received sickness,
poverty, or disaster, it's because you let them in. The sooner you realize this
important detail, the closer you are to moving mountains.
In the next chapter, we will discuss the authority God has given us, and how we
can utilize it to further His Kingdom on Earth.

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Endnotes

1. Andrew Wommack, The Sovereignty of God (Colorado Springs, CO: Andrew


Wommack Ministries, 2008), p. 1

CHAPTER FIVE

The Delegation of Authority

We've so narrowly missed being gods, bright with Eden's dawn light.
You put us in charge of your handcrafted world, repeated to us your Genesis-charge,
Made us lords of sheep and cattle, even animals out in the wild,
Birds flying and fish swimming, whales singing in the ocean deeps.
—Psalm 8:5-8 MSG

K
ING DAVID PASSED ON HIS LEGACY TO HIS SON SOLOMON. As a young man,
Solomon sat on the throne as ruler of Israel. One night, Solomon had a
very good dream. In this dream, God Himself appeared and gave
Solomon an incredible opportunity. God said, "Ask what I shall give you" (1
Kings 3:5). No limits, no exceptions.
Already an heir of dynamic wealth and success, Solomon recognized that his

55
greatest weakness was the ignorance of his youth. So he asked the Lord for "an
understanding mind and a hearing heart" (v. 9). He asked for wisdom.
God was impressed with the boy's request and He fulfilled it immediately. Not
only did He give bountiful wisdom; He added abundance of riches and honor! God
loves to go the extra mile when it comes to blessing His children. The measure of
wisdom and understanding Solomon received was not just great. It was
breathtaking.

And God gave Solomon exceptionally much wisdom and understanding, and
breadth of mind like the sand of the seashore. Solomon's wisdom excelled
the wisdom of all the people of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he
was wiser than all other men....Men came from all peoples to hear the wisdom
of Solomon, and from all kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.
(1 Kings 4:29-31a, 34)

Solomon obviously made an excellent request. His newfound wisdom was not
merely a form of exalted genius—as if calculus and quantum physics became
second nature. Solomon's brand of wisdom saved lives. It brought prosperity and
favor on the kingdom. It placed his wildest dreams within reach. Not only did he
build a revolutionary temple for the Lord, but the kingdom was at peace for the
duration of his reign (see 1 Kings 5:4).
Though he expressed his wisdom in three thousand proverbs and over a
thousand songs (see 1 Kings 4:32), his wisdom also manifested in the form of
boundless wealth, excellence, and order. The queen of Sheba received such
astounding reports about Solomon's wisdom that she planned a special trip to
Jerusalem to see if the rumors were true.

When the queen of Sheba experienced for herself wisdom and saw with
her own eyes the palace he had built, the meals that were served, the
impressive array of court officials and sharply dressed waiters, the lavish
crystal, and the elaborate worship extravagant with Whole-Burnt-Offerings at
the steps leading up to The Temple of God, it took her breath away. She said
to the king, 'Vs all true! Your reputation for accomplishment and wisdom
that reached all the way to my country is confirmed. I wouldn't have believed
it hadn't seen it for myself; they didn't exaggerate! Such wisdom and elegance
—far more than I could ever have imagined. Lucky the men and women who
work for you, getting to be around you every day and hear your wise words
firsthand! (1 Kings 10:4-8 MSG)

Fortunately, much of King Solomon's wisdom is written right in your Bible! The
Book of Proverbs, as well as the Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes, all record the
thoughts and sayings of this God-wise individual. It doesn't take a second glance to
discover the theme of the supernatural revelation God imparted to Solomon.
God gave him insight into the Law of Faith.
Many of Solomon's proverbs explain the principles of faith, employing an array
of examples and illustrations. Solomon discovered the key to living a victorious life.

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He learned how to excel in every endeavor, how to triumph over every obstacle. He
learned the same thing that Jesus—"Someone more and greater than Solomon"
(Matthew 12:42)—taught centuries later.
If a man deliberately controls his thoughts and words, he controls his life.
It was Solomon who penned the well-known saying, "As he thinks in his heart, so
is he" (Proverbs 23:7). He also said this: "Words kill, words give life; they're
either poison or fruit you choose" (Proverbs 18:21
MSG).
He even knew the secret to health: "A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are
the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of
the bones" (Proverbs 14:30).
My life attests to the wisdom of these proverbs. In accordance with the Law of
Faith, we will manifest the sum total of our thoughts—whether good or evil. Whether
godly desires or tormenting fears, you are currently living in the manifestation of
your past beliefs and expectations. Your consistent thoughts—and the words those
thoughts have formed in your mouth—are the steering wheel of your future (see
James 3:4-5).
This is what Solomon learned at a young age. He recognized that God's will was
for His people to live in peace. Therefore Solomon made it a priority to dwell on
thoughts of a conflict-absent kingdom. He began to expand his mind to conceive of
greater riches and honor, excellence within the palace—the food, the servants—
even the road leading to the temple was exemplary.

God Has Given You Authority

You have authority. Authority means delegated power. The source of the power is
God, the Creator of the universe. When you actualize this power through your
authority, you can take the reins of your life and set your course in the proper
direction. You can take hold of your God-given dreams and see them fulfilled—first
by faith, then by sight. When you understand that you have more power than your
mountains, all your fears will self-destruct. The mountains will begin to fear you!
Before a mountain can ever take its stand in your life, it must gain ascendancy
in your thoughts. A mountain is something that stands between you and your
destiny. Mountains are saran's handiwork. But his earthly power is limited to what
you give him. Yes, he was man's greatest threat at one time. But through Jesus, he
has been disarmed (see Colossians 2:15). His authority is no more. His last
remaining weapon? Deceit. Unless you place faith in satan's lies—as Adam did—he
remains powerless. All he had in the Garden of Eden were a snake and some fancy
words. Adam had everything. But when Adam and Eve believed the lie—"God didn't
give you everything; He's withholding"—they surrendered their God-like perfection
to the grasp of evil. They began to conceive vile things, creating chaos all around.
But through the glorious triumph of Jesus Christ, perfection has been restored to
the Church! (see Matthew 28:18-19). The devil only has as much authority on Earth
as we give him through our ignorance.
King David was awestruck by this reality when he asked God, "...what are
people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for

57
them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory
and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under
their authority..." (Psalm 8:4-6 NLT).
Many Christians' beliefs are seriously challenged by this passage of Scripture.
They're afraid to possess authority from God because it places responsibility on
their shoulders. It forces them to wake up from the slumber of their pacifying
lullaby—it usually sounds like this: "God is in control; everything happens for a
reason"—and face spiritual reality. They don't realize that everything truly does
happen for a reason, but it's not what they think.
For instance, I recently read about a couple who lost their child in a devastating
automobile accident. I felt incredible sympathy for their tragic loss. But when I read
how they are dealing with the pain I was furious. Not at them, but at the deception.
They said, 'We will always miss our son, but we realize that it was God's time to take
him home."
Some people would rather believe that their child was killed in a car accident
because it somehow fit into God's mysterious plan, than to step up and question
why they failed to receive God's protection. It is promised in scriptures such as
Psalm 91, Job 5:19, Proverbs 12:21, and many others. A person will almost always
gravitate toward the comforting belief that a personal tragedy is some heroic
element of a greater plan than to admit they have a demonic adversary who comes
only "to steal, to kill, and to destroy" John 10:10b). No one wants to have an enemy!
Instead, they ascribe these tragedies to the will of the One Who came that we "may
have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)" (John
10:10b).
My mother has faced her share of adversity. Things haven't always been easy
for our family. But over twenty-five years of full-time ministry, she has observed
something profound. She says, "It is always easier to say, 'no pain, no gain,' than to
admit that tragedy is an attack from satan, and we need to see where the door
was opened, close it, and get back to victory."
Don't forget the parable we discussed in Chapter One: the servant who buried
his talents—his delegated authority—while the master was away. The servant lost
everything as a result. It doesn't matter what you've been taught in the past. This
book could be God's shining light, calling you to rise up in your spiritual position.
Don't live life as-is! Don't allow mountains to remain simply because you don't
know your authority!
A question that is inevitably raised whenever I teach this message is, "If we
have the authority, then to what extent is God involved on Earth?"
Remember that we are the Body of Christ. Through the resident nature of God
Himself, the Holy Spirit, we are God's hands in the earth!

And [God] has put all things under Jesus feet and has appointed Him the
universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout
the church], which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in
that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete,
and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself]. (Ephesians 1:22-23)

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When Jesus was born of a virgin and "became flesh," God's primary work in the
earth was accomplished through His Son. Jesus was, at that time, full of and
representing the Holy Spirit. But after Jesus ascended to Heaven in Acts 1:9, He sent
the Holy Spirit to infuse the Church with power to continue accomplishing God's
agenda (see Acts 2:4).
We are living in this awesome dispensation right now! We the Church are God's
plan for this planet. We represent God and His will for humanity. Our charge is to
listen to God's instruction, to know His will, and to enforce it on Earth. I'm not
referring to social activism. I'm talking about spiritual activism! The spiritually
slumbering Church must arise and take her place on the throne!
Could it be that God's plan for destroying satanic darkness is us? God told Adam
(meaning "man") to subdue the earth (see Genesis 1:28). King David echoes this
eternal agenda: "Out of the mouths of babes and unweaned infants You have
established strength because of your foes, that You might silence the enemy and
the avenger" (Psalm 8:2). God's plan is and always has been, not to annihilate
satan with a command (otherwise He would have done it long ago), but to effect
his demise through His children. You and me!
Jesus said that the very gates of Hades could not prevail against the Church
(see Matthew 16:18). God's plan has always been to use the Church to make
known His wisdom to the spirit realm (see Ephesians 3:10).
As you can clearly see by observing the world around you, few people have
truly surrendered to the advancing Kingdom of God. They are too caught up in
building their own kingdoms—even if it's bigger church buildings and ministry
corporations—to stop and hear acting orders from the King Himself! The state of the
world is a product of men's depraved thoughts, primarily influenced by the enemy.
We can see this through increasing violence, drugs, and rebellion pervading our
society. Mankind misuses our God-given authority by creating what seems best to
us, with no respect for what the Father desires. Our authority must be subject to the
desires of God, not selfishness.
When our culture feeds on thoughts of discord, anger, and perversion through
the media and even dinner conversation, is it any wonder that our world is so
corrupt? It is the Law of Faith in action. Faith is producing in the world around us
what is being focused on within us.

Negative Expectations

In my travels I have discovered an interesting consistency. People get what they


expect. Without exception. One couple lamented over their teenage son who
recently died of a heroin overdose. "We've always been afraid that something like
this was going to happen. We kept telling [him] that he was going to die from a drug
overdose, and now look!"
This family subscribed to satan's agenda and ended up reaping an unwelcome
harvest. Though they stayed awake many nights begging God to change their son's
behavior, they were unwilling to change their own expectations. God wasn't afraid.
In fact, He already gave His life for this young man, what else was He supposed to
do? There was no lack of divine intervention. There was only a lack of faith. How

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was this boy supposed to receive what God had already done when even his own
born-again parents didn't believe it? This family was less in bondage to their son's
drug addiction than to the debilitating lies of the enemy.
In this situation, fear fueled the problem rather than preventing it. When people
come into agreement with negative results, especially when that agreement results
in repetitive confession, they begin a downward spiral. Feeding the problem with
worry only serves to strengthen it. An approach from a posture of defeat, rather
than victory, demonstrates lack of congruence with the miraculous potential God
has in store.
Even though it seemed as though God never answered this family's desperate
prayers, it was they who failed to receive His answer through faith. Instead of
looking to the Word of God as their final authority, they were in bondage to sight.
They continued to look at the problem rather than the promise. God was grieved by
their son's death, but it is not desperation that produces answers in prayer. It is
faith.
Rather than constantly focusing on the problem, trying to change their son's
outward actions, they should have planted new seeds by meditating on the
promises of God. They should have boldly declared, "As for me and my house, we
will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15). Whenever satan came knocking at the door,
attempting to deliver his hellish package of fear, saying, "Your son will die of an
overdose," they should have slammed the door and declared Isaiah 54:13: "All my
children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of my children."
Every time they were reminded of the problem, it should have become an
opportunity to say yes to the invisible.
Unfortunately, this father and mother didn't understand the Law of Faith.
Because of ignorance, hell had a party at their expense. As this couple learned
about faith, as well as their delegated authority, they realized that the awful
tragedy of their son's death could have been prevented. However, they have allowed
their loss to become a stepping stone. God has blessed them richly, and they now
consider themselves spiritual parents of many young people in their community.
God always restores what was stolen. They learned to receive His recompense by
faith.
Have you ever noticed how some people live life smoothly, rarely facing
setbacks, while others seem to be driving a rickety old car down an endless stretch
of rocky road, bombarded with one dilemma after another? These people may be
faithful church-attendees and Bible readers but it seems that the devil has it in for
them more than everyone else.
There was a family—two parents and four children—who attended our church.
On any given Sunday, at least one of them was at home, sick. I can't remember
ever seeing them all at a service together. The story was
the same every week. "Our daughter has the flu. Our son has measles. My wife got
food poisoning. I didn't sleep all night."
What was going on here? Did this family simply have poor immune systems?
Was satan particularly angry with them? Was God allowing the sicknesses for a
purpose?
The truth is that the constant outbreak of illness in their bodies was really just

60
evidence of their belief system. They believed they were always sick. They thought
thoughts of sickness, spoke words of sickness, and even had other church members
agreeing with these notions. It was a constant joke among the rest of the
congregation: "The So-and-so's bringing their whole family to church together?
That'll be the day that pigs
fly.
And so this family found themselves caught up in a cycle of illness and
incapacitation that stemmed entirely from wrong thought patterns and beliefs. The
Law of Faith doesn't respond to desires; it responds to beliefs. Thoughts held
consistently. Words spoken repeatedly. Their strong agreement with sickness
became a busy highway for demonic activity. The only way out of a situation like this
is to grasp God's promises in faith with the tenacity of a bulldog. Bite down and
refuse to let go! We must learn to take our eyes off circumstances and see with eyes
of faith into a better future—a superior reality.
"Isn't this just more of that positive thinking business?" one might ask.
Well, yes, it is. Positive thinking is exactly what Scripture instructs us to do,
because it works. We must not relegate these principles to psychology and the New
Age Movement. It is God's method. We who are destined to be the spiritual leaders
of our generation are shying away from the real deal because we're afraid of
becoming involved with the counterfeit! Do you quit using money because there's
counterfeit cash out there? Of course not! While guarding against deception is
reasonable, fear of deception is not. This popular mindset seeks to eclipse the Spirit of
Truth by crediting His methods to the dark side when He's the One who invented
them in the first place. God is the one who created the power of positive thinking.
Whatever you can conceive you can achieve. If you can see it, you can be it. What reigns on the inside will reign on the
outside. People have said it in a myriad of words, but God is the founder of this
principle.
The Bible teaches, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" (see Proverbs 23:7).
The man who takes authority over his thoughts—who believes before he sees—is the man
who utilizes his delegated authority on Earth. The time is here for the body of Christ
to step up to the plate. To be who the Bible says we are. It's time to exercise the
authority God gave to man.
There will always be those who misuse the Law of Faith, bringing unwanted
circumstances into their experience. But when you learn how to operate in its
powerful principles, living with precision, you can create anything you desire.
Recognizing how to harness this supernatural power and use it to further the
Kingdom of God is truly rewarding. When you go before God in prayer, seeking His
will for your life, pay attention to what you hear. Every Scripture verse He
emphasizes. Subtle nudges in a specific direction. These things are God's guidance.
He is telling you what to agree with. By extending your faith toward these things,
you are partaking in your greatest assignment: Letting His will be done on Earth as
it is in Heaven.
Instead of becoming frustrated by sickness, poverty, or stress in your life, start
to do something about it. Begin to feel a supernatural empowerment. Don't
become slack and hopeless. Obtain fresh faith and rise above your stagnant
circumstances. No matter what comes your way, believe what God says rather than

61
your five senses. This course change will produce immediate results. Aligning your
thoughts with God will primarily manifest in your emotions. Joy will overtake sadness.
Hope will expel despair. Then circumstances will change, too.

The Ball is in Your Court

Picture yourself at a great doorway. On the other side of the door is the perfect will
of God for your life: your dreams realized, your hopes fulfilled, victory in every
battle, and triumph over every mountain. In the same way that Jesus beckoned
Peter out of the boat to walk on the water, God is calling you to come. Step over the
threshold of faith and never look back. Leave fear and anxiety behind. Take your
thoughts and surrender them to the Holy Spirit. God is faithful and He loves you
dearly. He will never let you down.
It is vital to understand that the ball is in your court. It's your turn to move.
Ephesians 1:20-21 tells us that God "...raised [Jesus] from the dead and seated Him
at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places]. Far above all rule and authority and
power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be
conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world
which are to come."
Two thousand years ago, the Son of God hung on a cross and announced, "It is
finished!" (John 19:30). He meant what He said. Jesus finished His work and is now
sitting at God's right hand in Heaven. The author of Hebrews makes this striking
observation:

every [human]priest stands [at his alter of service] ministering daily, offering
the same sacrifices over and over again, which never are able to strip
[from every side of us] the sins [that envelop us] and takes them away—
whereas this One [Christ], after He had offered a single sacrifice for our sins
[that shall avail) for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, then to wait
until His enemies should be made a stool beneath His feet. (Hebrews
10:11-13, emphasis added)

This says in no uncertain terms that while human priests still try to please God,
working day after day to meet the spiritual needs of the people, Jesus is sitting
down. Why is He sitting down? Because he has done all that He's going to do "until
His enemies should be made a stool beneath His feet." Who will perform this
colossal task? The answer is you and L The Church of Jesus Christ, filled with and
led by God Himself.
He is waiting on us to enforce His victory. Jesus reclaimed the spiritual life that
Adam relinquished, and gave it back to us. Jesus said, "Go into all the world and
preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved;
but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those
who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new
tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no
means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover" (Mark
16:15-18 NKJV).

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It is crucial that you believe this truth. You can't explain it away. If you doubt the
magnitude of power God has entrusted you with through His Spirit, you will
continue to live like most of modern Christianity: programmed and powerless
Supernatural authority is yours; it is in you right now as a believer in Jesus. Don't
become discouraged if you haven't seen many miracles yet. I've been pressing into
these realities for years, and though I've seen many wonders, I don't yet see
power working in my life to the extent Jesus promised greater works than His
(see John 16:12). But thank God, I am much closer than ever before!

If you feel isolated, void of God's power, don't get discouraged! He didn't create
you to be powerless. He made you to excel in faith. He didn't just give you a little bit
of authority. He didn't give you some authority. Jesus said, "All authority has been
given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore..." (Matthew 28:18-19a NKJV).

The Enemy is Defeated

If all authority has been delegated by Jesus, that doesn't leave any for satan, does
it? John the Apostle writes, "The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible)
was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done]" (1 John
3:8b). Jesus Himself explained this, saying, "How can one enter a strong man's
house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he
will plunder his house" (Matthew 12:29 NKJV).
When Jesus gave His life for all men, He defeated the devil. He bound the
"strong man." For this reason the Book of Hebrews tells us "that by [going through]
death He might bring to naught and make of no effect him who had the power of
death—that is, the devil..." (Hebrews 2:14).
A woman once raised her hand in a meeting, asking, "If satan is defeated and `of
no effect,' how come his evil works are still so evident in the world around us?"
"The answer is simple," I said. "The Church has not yet believed that all power
and authority has been delegated to us. Therefore the enemy continues to break
the law, knowing it isn't being enforced. The reason satan is still successful on Earth
is because he convinces people—believers and unbelievers—to agree with his lies
instead of God's Truth. When the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, many
slave owners kept their slaves ignorant concerning the truth. Slavery continued for
many years, simply because the new laws, though in effect, weren't being
enforced. The 'strong man' is bound, but it's up to us to plunder his house."
If the governing body of a city imposes a new law, forbidding a certain act, it
doesn't automatically mean that the act will cease. It is up to the law enforcement
officers—the police—to enforce that law. If the law is never enforced, the outlaws will
continue to break it. This is the problem with the Church. We are called to take
dominion over the works of darkness and subdue the devil's works the same way
Jesus did. Remember, we have no less ability than He had because we are Him!
Scripture boldly declares, "...as He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17).
The sad fact is that many Christians reject this God-given authority because
they feel unworthy. They believe they could never do what Jesus did. Jesus foresaw
this problem when He said, "Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He

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really find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8 NKJV). That is a serious concern!
It is time to forsake religious traditions and limitations. Rise up and declare that
His Word is true. God is looking for a generation of people who will boldly step into
a life of faith, vowing never to return to powerlessness. He is looking for you!
Jesus never settled for a powerless gospel. Paul never settled for a powerless
gospel. Peter, John, Philip, and Stephen never settled for a powerless gospel. And
God certainly never meant for us, living in the last days—the ushering in of His
glorious Kingdom—to preach the Gospel without the accompaniment of signs and
wonders. Jesus said these signs will accompany those who believe. He didn't say they
might,. He didn't say they would sometimes. He spoke deliberately and clearly,
including every single one of us. These signs will accompany those who believe (see
Mark 16:17).
Don't feel bad if you haven't witnessed many miracles yet. We are all growing in
faith together. We are being changed by the power of God every day as we trust
Him with our journey. Each moment we spend in prayer and fellowship with the
Father is a moment we will be changed—convicted of who we really are in Him—
And who He is in us!
The important thing is to recognize that it's not prudent to continue living life as
usual. It is vital to understand that the ball is in our court and that we must
actualize the authority that has been delegated to us in Christ. The authority, the
supernatural, the ability to move mountains and stop storms is accessed by faith.
When reading the Book of Ephesians it isn't difficult to see that Paul's primary
objective is to cause believers to assume their vital position of authority in Christ.
He wants us to know that this is no small matter. The Son of God gave His life so
we could reclaim our rightful position of authority on Earth. He demonstrated
this in His life, death, burial, and resurrection. Let's not mock His costly sacrifice by
rejecting our inheritance, esteeming lightly the price He paid. Stop tolerating
satan's lies and hindrances. He is defeated and powerless to touch you without your
agreement. Put your foot down and tell him, on the basis of God's Word, that he
cannot come onto your promised land! In the same way satan fled from Jesus, he
will flee from you too. You come in the Name and representation of the Master.
Jesus is sitting down right now, waiting for His enemies to be made a footstool.
We are His body—His feet. It is our job to fulfill the very same call God gave to Adam
thousands of years ago. We must be about our Father's business, spreading the
Garden of Eden, subduing the earth in the Name of Jesus.

Adam was a type (prefigure) of the One Who was to come [in reverse, the
former destructive, the Latter saving/.... For if because of one man's trespass
(lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those
who receive [God's] loving grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of
righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings
in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed
One)...And [He has] made [us] a kingdom (royal race) and priests to our God,
and [we] shall reign [as kings] over the earth! (Romans 5:14b, 17;
Revelation 5:10)

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PART TWO

Developing Your
Faith

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CHAPTER SIX

The Foundation of Faith

Man is what he believes.


—Anton
Chekhov

E
VERY BUILDING HAS A FOUNDATION. When building the structure of faith in
your life it is important to examine your foundation to ensure that your faith-
edifice will endure. Cheap or hasty construction results in a short-lived house
—unable to withstand the storms. But a patient and careful architect will design a
home that lasts a lifetime. Jesus spoke about the importance of choosing the right
foundation.

"So everyone who hears these words of mine and acts upon them [obeying
them] will be like a sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house
upon the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and
beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had been founded on
the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25)

So far, I have established faith's vital role in our spiritual walk. Now let's step
further into the mystery—the spiritual operation of Faith—that God has carefully
placed at the center of our universe. Faith is God's method of accomplishing His
will on Earth through His children. Faith allows us to receive everything our Father
has given. Faith enables us to fulfill our destinies. Apart from faith we are helpless.
Apart from faith we cannot please God. If it weren't for faith, Peter could never
have walked on water. Paul would still be martyring Christians. The Israelites
would still be enslaved in Egypt.
God wants us to walk in faith because it requires us to rise above this world's
appearance and think like He thinks. There is absolutely no limit, no throttle, no
hindrance to your God-inspired dreams and desires. This is not a farce. Faith is real.
Jesus promised that with even a little bit of faith you would accomplish
absolutely anything you want or need. He said if we believe, all things are possible
(see Matthew 17:20; Mark 9:23).
People usually find some way to explain away these promises—to take what is
stark black-and-white in Scripture and force it into their convenient gray boxes.
As long as they can neutralize the threat of disappointment and ensure their
personal ease, they are perfectly content to remain in a spiritual slumber.

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Consequentially, a significant portion of Christ's body is numb and ineffective.
But you don't have to be that way. God is calling you today. We are the ones
He's chosen to fulfill His purposes. We are destined to revolutionize the Church
through passionate surrender to God, placing ourselves completely at His
disposal. If He says, "I want you to start an orphanage in Africa," we can say, "Yes,
Father!” without a second thought. We know how to take hold of the abundance of
His riches by faith. We know not to look at our current salary or wonder for even a
moment how we'll ever be able to raise enough money to spearhead such an
endeavor. We know that God's promise of prosperity is bestowed on us to
appropriate by faith, and we will do it gladly.
If this book is your first invitation to the faith life, I'm honored to show you the
way. I'm confident the Holy Spirit will work in your heart—perhaps little by little—and
bring you to a mature understanding. You will know who you are in Christ and the
fullness you're entitled to on Earth. Once again, I urge you to invite the Spirit to stir
a burning desire to experience all of Him. He is on your side. He is your Helper. It's
important that you know His voice for yourself.

Using What You Have

Jesus made it clear that the quantity of faith is insignificant. Faith is simply agreeing
or believing that something is true. Anyone can believe in something. In fact,
everyone does! The issue is not, do you have enough faith, but, in whom are you
placing faith? Are you placing faith in what the doctor, the creditor, and the lawyer
says, or are you placing faith in what God says? By developing your faith, you will
be learning how to agree with God's will and nothing else. When Jesus said, "Oh you
of little faith," or "Your faith is great," He wasn't referring to volume. What He
implied was, "Oh you of little or great faith in what I told you."
If someone doesn't have enough faith to get healed, it's not that they're unable
to exert faith. Their faith is simply divided or misplaced. If you believe that you will
get sick this winter just like you always do, you're exercising faith. Your belief will
draw the unwelcome experience. But if you believe that no sickness can touch you,
as God promised, you're exercising the same faith, but in a different outcome. It
doesn't take greater faith to believe God than to believe what you're seeing in the
sense realm. It's simply a matter of developing your faith to the point where you
will only agree with spiritual reality, regardless of how things look. This is
supernatural faith.
When I was in my twenties, I got slammed in the face by a car door, shattering
my front tooth and painfully exposing the nerve. I was able to see a dentist
immediately, and my tooth was carefully reconstructed with a bone-like enamel.
However, a new grill wasn't the only thing I left the dentist's office with—I had to
reach deep into my pocket to cover the enormous bill.
About a month later I was telling some coworkers about my accident and the
hefty medical cost. To my chagrin, someone asked, "Why didn't you have our
company insurance cover your medical costs?"
I was embarrassed because I didn't know I had company insurance. As a private

68
contractor working for a large firm, I assumed I wasn't entitled to benefits. I was
only using the office for desk space. When I explained this he said, `Winston,
haven't you ever read through the company handbook? Your benefits and
insurance privileges are spelled out in detail!"
I had never bothered to study the handbook because I assumed it would only
consist of company policies and obligations that probably wouldn't apply to me,
being self-employed. I ended up spending a lot of money unnecessarily because I
didn't know what was rightfully mine. If only I had read the handbook!
In the same way, most Christians continue to spend valuable time, effort, and
money, settling for less than the best, and never having much to show for it. They
accept sickness, poverty, strife, and depression from the enemy and end up paying
for it out of their own savings. They have never taken the time to read through the
company handbook, the Bible. It is every Christian's manual of faith, detailing every
benefit we are entitled to in Christ Jesus.
King David recognized this error when he said, "Bless the Lord...and forget not
all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who
redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving-kindness and
tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is
renewed like the eagle's" (Psalm 103:1-5 NKJV).
Have you forgotten God's benefits?
Many people simply do not know what is available to them in Christ. (Once
again, I cite Hosea 4:6: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.")
Others see the promises in the Bible yet remain clueless when it comes to
actually experiencing fulfillment for themselves.

Knowing God's Will

The foundation for all faith construction is to know the will of God. Many people pray
for something, uncertain if their request is God's will, and then wonder why they
never see results.
Faith cannot exist where the will of God is unknown.
Nothing can obstruct the fulfilled promises of God as much as a subtle suspicion
that He might not want to give you what you are asking. If you wish to receive from
God, you must first find out what His will is in relation to your request.
Most of us have been taught that God's ways are higher than our ways and that
no man can understand the purposes of God. "You never know what God will do
next," people say, "but He'll make sure and keep us on our toes!"
This may sound spiritual to some folks, but not me. And whether or not it's
spiritual, it certainly isn't biblical. First Corinthians 2:9 is frequently cited, where
the Apostle Paul quotes a passage from Isaiah:

But as it is written: `Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into
the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love
Him.” (NKJV)

Many people stop reading right there and attempt to demonstrate

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humility by debasing themselves, contrasting their knowledge with
God's. However, Paul does not stop with this Old Testament quotation.
He goes on to illustrate true humility as he reveals something so
profound—so awesome!—that he spends the rest of the chapter on this
subject.

But God has revealed [all the things He has prepared to us through His Spirit...
that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God....But
we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings
and purposes) of His heart. (1 Corinthians 2:10; 12b; 16)

Whenever I travel and minister, I always emphasize the importance of


memorizing this Scripture and declaring it every morning. When you wake up,
immediately remind yourself that you don't have to figure out today's problems on
your own. You're not limited to your human knowledge or reasoning faculties. In
other words, you could say something such as, "Today I recognize that I have the
mind of Christ in accordance with First Corinthians 2:16. No matter what I'm
confronted with, I know I have perfect understanding of what to say and do."
During the day, if the devil comes after you with confusion, attempting to
muddle you or make you feel inferior, simply remind him of what God says about
you. Tell him, "Satan, I resist you with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of
God. I know that when I resist, you have to flee! I have the mind of Christ and I'm
thinking His thoughts, feelings and purposes, not my own!" (See Ephesians 6:17;
James 4:7; 1 Corinthians 2:16).
Paul reiterates, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus..."
(Philippians 2:5a NKJV).
When people declare that it's impossible to know God's will, teaching that He
keeps His purposes hidden in order to foster our trust, they are demonstrating
ignorance of Scripture. God instructs us to "Live purposefully, and worthily and
accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent
people)...Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding
and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:15b, 17, emphasis
added).
Do you understand and firmly grasp God's will? You should.
Jesus said, "The Father dearly loves the Son and discloses to (shows) Him
everything that He Himself does...I'm no longer calling you servants because
servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've
named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father"
(John 5:20a; 15:15 MSG).
Those who claim that they cannot know what God is thinking and planning—
what His will is—have never become "friends." They are still servants. God's will is
that we know His thoughts and purposes today. In fact, if you don't know God's will
in any given situation, you cannot receive from Him by faith. If you believe God is
the One who placed the mountain of sickness or poverty in your path, you cannot

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operate in mountain-moving faith. Uncertainty undermines faith every time.
God doesn't find joy in surprising you with the unexpected. He doesn't want to
keep you in the dark or keep you guessing. Most Christians, however, think that's
His modus operandi. They think He waits until you least expect it to reveal the next
step. This couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, that's the whole reason He
gave you His Spirit! The Holy Spirit reveals God's will and plan! We're His children and
He wants us to know what He's up to! We work for the King, and as His
representatives it is imperative that we know His agenda. Don't allow yourself to be
ignorant of His will. He wants you to be aware of what's yours. He wants you to be
familiar with His intents. If you'll let Him, he will reveal the secret things to you. No
more guesswork.
Knowing God's will is primary in the life of a world overcomer. Remember, faith
is agreement. To agree with someone or something, you must have a clear
understanding of what it is that you are agreeing with. I've seen a number of people
come to the altar during a service, requesting prayer for physical healing. One of the
first things I do when someone requests that I lay hands on them is to find out if they
believe it's God's will for them to be healed. Many times, people admit their
uncertainty about God's desire for their restoration. They may say, `Well, if it's His
will, then I'm sure I'll get healed."
Unfortunately, this doesn't cut it. I can always identify someone who lacks faith
when I hear the word it I always ensure that a person is convinced that physical
healing is God's will before I lay hands on them. Why? Because faith cannot exist
where the will of God is unknown. Jesus held to this principle as well. On one occasion,
a man from the crowd approached Him, begging for his son's deliverance. As the
boy was thrown into convulsions on the ground, his father said, "Please help my
son, if you can."
Jesus responded, "If? There are no 'ifs' among believers. Anything can happen"
(Mark 9:23 MSG). Another time, a leper knelt before Him, saying, "Lord, if you are
willing, you can heal me and make me clean."
Jesus said, "I am willing. Be healed!" (See Matthew 8:3). He always made His will
clear before performing the miracle. This is an important detail. If you're praying for
something, skeptical of God's will, you are hindering the answer. There is no
foundation. You can't operate in supernatural faith. This doesn't mean God hasn't
given you what you've asked for; it simply means you won't receive until you come
into complete agreement, saying, "I know it is God's will for me to be free from
sickness, poverty, depression," or whatever it might be.

Are You Receiving What God Has Given?

There is nothing more reassuring than to know exactly how our Father feels about
us and what we're going through. I could have been spared a lot of heartache if I
had familiarized myself with my company benefits by reading the employee
handbook. I could have saved a lot of money if I had known that my dental costs
were already covered. In the same way, if satan can keep you ignorant of your
inheritance, he will keep you spending out of your own pocket—your own strength—
as I did, failing to acknowledge your benefits.

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If my company's insurance policy covered my dental costs, why did I end up
busting my own piggy bank? Did the insurance provider fail to keep their end of the
deal? No, it was my ignorance that kept me separate from my benefits.
In the same way, if you find yourself "busting your own piggy bank" as you face
problems in your life, don't blame it on God. It's your own fault for paying a bill that
has already been paid! Jesus paid it all—everything you could ever need.
Far too many people blame God when their various enterprises are
unsuccessful. They accuse Him of withholding something, rather than admitting
their own failure to receive. If an individual is not experiencing answers to their
prayers, it is always due to a malfunction on the receiving end. This is a reality that
a lot of believers find difficult to comprehend. It's more convenient to hide one's
failure-to-receive behind the pretense of "God's sovereign will" than to admit that
He has already done His part—that they're the one who failed to obtain the
manifestation. "It must not have been God's will," is a popular excuse.
In fact, numerous people find this faith notion downright offensive. I've been
rebuked many times for telling people that the reason their needs aren't met is
because they aren't exercising faith. Folks may consider it cruel to say such a thing,
but incidentally, Jesus reprimanded people frequently for having no faith! It's not an
insult. It's loving correction. Jesus did it. He wasn't unfair or cruel.
Wouldn't it be better to face the fact that you might still have room to grow in
faith than to assume that God failed or chose not to answer your prayer? What if,
instead of rationalizing our disappointments by attributing ungodly characteristics
to God, we place those confusing and sometimes devastating situations into a folder
marked, "I don't yet understand," and lay it at the feet of Jesus?
What if, instead of saying, "God let my husband die for a reason," we threw
ourselves into the arms of our loving Father, saying, "I don't understand why my
husband didn't receive healing, Lord, but I know it's not Your fault. I know that You
are the Healer, not the afflicter. Don't allow me to compromise your identity to ease
my pain. Use this disappointment to thrust me into a deeper understanding of Your
benefits." Every disappointment should become a stepping stone to a miraculous
lifestyle.

Setting the Captives Free

Caleb Torres was arrested and convicted on a serious drug charge in 1984. When I
met him in 2006, he had spent twenty-two years in federal prison with a whopping
twenty-eight years remaining on his sentence. Caleb experienced Jesus Christ in a
powerful way, shortly after he witnessed the murder of a fellow inmate. As I spoke
with him, he told me he had been praying and asking God to shorten his prison
time.
"Do you believe God wants you to get out early, Caleb?" I asked.
"I don't know if He does, Winston. But I'm praying He'll do it if it is His will."
"Caleb, in order to receive a miracle from God," I explained, "You have to be able
to stand in faith, not just hope. In other words, you must believe that when you ask
God to release you from captivity, it is done immediately. Jesus said, `all things
whatever you are praying and asking for, believe that you already received them,

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and they shall be yours.' The Bible also says that faith is being fully persuaded that
the things you hope for are now real, even if you can't see them with your senses.
But the very foundation for this kind of mountain-moving, bondage-breaking faith
is to know that God's will is for your freedom."
He pondered for a moment before sharing his reservations. "Winston, I'm guilty
of what I've been convicted. God has no reason to save me from what I deserve,
even though I'm born again now."
"You may feel guilty," I replied, "but God says you are completely innocent. When
you gave your life to the Lord and turned away from sin, the Bible says that He
threw your sin as far as the east is from the west (see Psalm 103:12). He doesn't
remember it anymore. If God has chosen to forget your sin, then you had better
forget your sin."
I opened my Bible and read, "If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can
be our foe if God is on our side?] He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own
Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give
us all [other] things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect [when it is] God
Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come
forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who
acquits us?]" (Romans 8:31-33).
"Caleb, you need to get into the Bible, get with God, and discover His will for
your situation. Only then can you have a firm foundation upon which to build your
structure of faith."
A few days later, I spoke to Caleb again. He was whistling a different tune. He
said, "Winston, I searched the Bible and found out that God promises freedom to
the captives—even those who are guilty but have repented! I believe that Jesus was
punished on my behalf. He took the earthly punishment for my sins and paid my
debt on my behalf. And not only that, but as I've spent time in prayer, I have
become fully convinced that God wants me to be home with my family. I have faith
for this miracle, Winston!"
I shared his exuberance. "That's great, Caleb! Now I can stand in agreement with
you for your early release. You've asked for it and according to God's Word, He has
already done it. I consider it finished. Now it's time to praise!"
When Caleb Torres discovered God's will for him, he was able to lay an excellent
foundation for his stand of faith. It is important for all of us to "firmly grasp the will
of the Lord."
Maybe you're facing captivity of some sort today. You might not be an actual
prisoner like Caleb, but perhaps you're captive to a destructive addiction. Maybe
sickness is keeping you from walking in total freedom. I'm telling you now: It is
God's will for you to experience freedom in every single area of your life. Whether
drug and alcohol addiction, anger problems, mental illnesses, or physical ailments—
now is the time to dig into God's Word and discover His will. You will soon see that He
has made total provision for whatever mountain you're facing. Not just power to
endure hardship but power to overcome it through faith! Stop falling back on
statements such as, "if it be God's will," and find out for yourself that God wants
you free!
Many times we tritely add the phrase, "if it's Your will," to the tail of our prayers

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as if we're afraid of stepping on God's sovereign toes. But I believe it has become
an excuse to settle for much less than what He has promised. Praying reservedly
like this is a tradition that has prevented God's people from having to "get their
hands dirty" and search out the will of God for themselves. By adding those five
words to the end of their prayers, they fashion an emotional disclaimer. If they
don't receive the manifestation—which they won't—they can always fall back
on "It wasn't God's will" as an explanation.
I find it amazing how far people will go—how ruthlessly they will bend the truth—
to keep from taking an emotional risk. Fear of disappointment has paralyzed the
Church for far too long. When believers withhold their expectations, refusing to "get
their hopes up," they are actually subscribing to philosophy more Buddhist than
Christian. It's time to reclaim our courage. To leave fearful reservations to other
religions. Let them stay in the boat. As for followers of the Soon and Coming King,
we will walk on water!
Incidentally, less than a month after Caleb decided to take his own risk of faith,
he received some very good news. His original sentencing judge passed away and
a renowned attorney caught wind of Caleb's case. The lawyer took the initiative,
pulled some strings, and had the newly appointed judge request an early release
from Caleb's prosecutor. The prosecutor dragged her feet, but Caleb just kept on
believing. He knew God's will, and as far as he was concerned, the prosecutor had
no say in the matter. She had no bearing on his faith. He was convinced God's
promise was true.
Within six months of his foundational faith-resolution, Caleb walked out of the
prison gates, a free man! God has called him to travel the country, bringing the
message of hope and faith in Jesus Christ to prisons everywhere. He is living in the
center of God's will today.
In other words, it wasn't praying, "Your will be done," that caused God's will to be
accomplished. It was when Caleb discovered God's will for himself and laid hold of
it with unwavering faith that God's will was manifest in his experience. On paper, it
seemed he would be in prison for much longer. However, he stopped agreeing with
what was written on paper and placed His agreement in God instead. He
transformed his life through faith!

Having Confidence before God

The great thing is, faith will work the same for you. It is a law. Like gravity, it never
stops operating. We must learn to gauge our beliefs with diligence—to stop and
consider what agreements we have made with ourselves. Nothing will knock the
wind out of faith like the negative feeling associated with even the slightest belief
that God is holding back your miracle because it's not His will. This is why living
purposefully and accurately, firmly grasping the will of God, is the very foundation
of mountain-moving faith (see Ephesians 5:15, 17).
We are instructed to "fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the
throne of grace...that we may receive" (Hebrews 4:16, emphasis added). If you are
praying for something that you believe might breach the confines of God's will for
you, stop. You are wasting your time. It's not that God won't grant your request—in

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fact if you've prayed for something, He has already given it to you according to His
Word—but you will have a difficult time receiving. You can't come fearlessly and
confidently to receive from God if you're unsure of His will. Your own uncertainty will
short-circuit your faith.
The Apostle John agrees with the author of Hebrews when he writes,

And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we
have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request)
according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and
hears us. And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever
we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have
granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him. (1 John
5:14-15)

The confidence of which John speaks is attributed to knowing that what you're
praying for is God's will Think about it—if you suspect God wants you to be sick, you
cannot confidently ask for healing. If you suspect He wants you to be poor, you
can't boldly pray for prosperity. However, when you have the revelation that
physical healing and financial prosperity are gifts God has already given to all His
children in Christ, there remains a wonderful ease in obtaining the desired
miracles.
When a person first understands that Jesus, out of sheer love, gave His life for
them, that it's God's will for them to be saved, confidence blossoms. This enables
them to receive salvation through faith. When they are born again, God doesn't
save them at that moment. He saved them two thousand years ago at the Cross.
But now, impelled by the knowledge of His will, they are receiving by faith what
was theirs all along.
When I was a boy, my family lived down the street from an elderly woman who
knew how to bake delicious cookies. On several occasions she reminded the
neighborhood kids that we were always welcome to stop by her house for a cookie
or two. She faithfully kept her cookie jar full. When she offered this invitation we
became clearly informed of her will. I knew beyond doubt that if I visited her quaint,
little house down the street, she would open up the cookie jar just for me. I never
wondered if she would. I never questioned the validity of her longstanding offer. I
was fully assured that her will involved placing a chocolate chip cookie into my
hand. I could approach her house "with boldness, confidence, and fearlessness,
firmly grasping her will" to receive what was rightfully mine.
This same confidence belongs to all of us as God's well-beloved children if we will
only discover what His will is for each situation. When you settle in your mind once
and for all that God wants you to be healed, joyful, prosperous, and blessed, you lay
an unshakeable foundation beneath your feet. Then it is time to erect a structure
of faith, based on the knowledge of His will. The same goes toward whatever
mountain you're facing—whatever trial comes your way.
Perhaps you are like Caleb Torres, reading these pages from inside prison walls.
When you discover for yourself that God doesn't see you as guilty anymore—that
He is the One who sets the captives free you are well on your way to constructing a

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stable structure of faith that absolutely no prison wall or court decree can oppose!
This is the power of faith!

You Determine Your Own Destiny

Nothing in the experience of life is as static as it first appears. Every confrontational


situation can be altered as swiftly as it materialized. As we discussed previously,
God has placed the reins of your life into your hands. You are the one who
determines your destiny. Through the power of agreement—the Law of Faith—you
can choose to move in either God's direction or satan's. Because Jesus has
reclaimed dominion for the Church, we are free to restructure our lives, one thought
at a time. That's why it is imperative that we firmly grasp God's will
While He does have a specific, fulfilling plan for each of us to accomplish, the
choice is up to you. Will you live out His design or insist upon your own? He will not
violate your free will, forcing you to choose His plan. The responsibility to discover
God's will is yours. When you do, you can move in that direction by faith.
For instance, sickness is not God's will for His children. He opposes it. If you find
yourself confronted with persistent illness, that means you are the one allowing it
into your experience. This thought might seem alarming at first, but it is
nonetheless true. Most likely, you aren't intentionally inviting the experience into
your sphere. However, attention given to sickness, even if it is a strong feeling
against it, will empower it in your life.
Satan is perpetually offering disease, sickness, and demise, and he eagerly
encourages you to sign for his package. Obviously, he must be discreet. Otherwise
we wouldn't fall for his deception. He has to con you into receiving the unwanted
through sly tactics and clever manipulations. This is, after all, how he convinced Eve
to eat the forbidden fruit, isn't it? Once you identify that God is not the source of
your trouble, you can realize that somewhere, somehow, you allowed the sickness
into your own life. This enables you to take the necessary measures to receive His
perfect health in your body once again.
Because God has orchestrated the world in this way, giving us dominion over
our lives through faith, doesn't it make sense for us to create our future in
accordance with His will and His plan? In November 2007, God told me, "I am
sending you to teach My people how to create their future according to my Word"
We have seen how a person can use the Law of Faith to obtain things outside
God's perfect will, even possessing mountain-moving faith while still living without
the love of God in his or her life (see 1 Corinthians 13:2). Even the unsaved can
utilize the Law of Faith to their benefit. For this reason we commonly see Christians
who suffer and lack, yet unsaved folks who prosper and are healthy. This doesn't
seem fair, but it is. God has established the Law of Faith and it works the same for
every person. I guarantee you the reason some Christians are poor and sick is
because they focus their attention—their faith—on lack of health and wealth. The
unbeliever prospers because he constantly focuses on and thereby empowers
success, well-being, prosperity, and health. This is unfortunate. Jesus recognized
the same discrepancy when He said, "And it is true that the citizens of this world
are more shrewd than the godly are" (Luke 16:8b NLT).

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We must ensure that our beliefs are in line with God's Truth, that our desires are
also His, and that we are only asking for what He wants us to have. We can actually
receive answers to our prayers even if they are less than His perfect will. The
prodigal son was granted his inheritance before his appointed time by a father who
knew full well that the boy wouldn't handle the wealth properly. He gave it to his son
because he had asked for what was rightfully his (see Luke 15). The son came with
boldness and he received, even to his own detriment.
Consider Solomon. He possessed marvelous insight and wisdom, knowing that
through the Law of Faith he could be whatever he wanted and have whatever he
desired. He knew that his thoughts, words, and beliefs determined the course of his
life. Yet he used this power to satisfy ungodly lusts and wishes, filling his palace
with foreign, idolatrous women, and eventually bowing down to idols himself. He
ended up writing the Book of Ecclesiastes, a poetic reflection of a depressed man's
futile attempt to find fulfillment outside of God's will. He obtained for himself
pleasures that seemed like a good idea at the time, but left him fruitless and bitter.
As long as you learn how to lay a solid foundation by learning God's will, your
life will produce more of Heaven each day. Your awesome, loving Father has granted
you the supernatural opportunity of an eternity: to create your own life in agreement
with His will. But if you misunderstand His nature, believing and receiving things
such as sickness, poverty, or disparity, assuming those things are a mysterious
branch on the tree of His unsearchable providence, you'll bear fruit for the kingdom
of darkness instead of Light.
It is a wonderful thing to grasp the powerful and consistent operation of the Law
of Faith. It's even more wonderful to utilize this force to our own advantage by
building God's Kingdom. Let's define our days, not according to a good idea—as
spiritual or religious as it may sound—but according to our Father's plan. It is this
wisdom alone that will lead us to true and lasting fulfillment.

CHAPTER SEVEN

The Four Plumb Lines

I ask the God of glory to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally,
your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do,
grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers,
oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!
—Ephesians 1:16-19 MSG

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O
UR BRAINS ARE WIRED TO BE PROBLEM SOLVERS. The human mind has
been trained to behave logically and methodically, like a calculator. We
believe that if we can organize all the facts on our intellectual grid, we will
logically acquire the most fitting solution to the equation. That's fine if you're
systematizing a cluttered office, balancing your checkbook, or planning the most
efficient travel route.
But what about those moments in which you find yourself tangled by
impossibility? Financial debt that can't be resolved. Terminal illness. Divorce
papers. What happens when a mountain stands in your way or a storm troubles
your waters? To the natural mind, these impossibilities are indeed impossible. If
there seems to be no solution, we give up hope. To those who live faithless lives,
circumstances dominate. When impossible mountains arise, the logician turns
around and goes home. He might try to find a way around the obstacle. But
eventually, mountains such as cancer and AIDS all lead to death. Losing one's job
can lead to poverty. Divorce can foster loneliness. Only God's power can turn these
unfortunate situations around.
To a man or woman of faith, impossibility becomes opportunity. Every mountain
presents an occasion to grow stronger, to reinforce dependency on the miraculous.
A fresh obstacle craves a fresh miracle.
Unfortunately, many Christians have learned to view impossibilities as
impenetrable mathematical equations instead of opportunities for the miraculous.
In our society, if we can't define a logical solution to a perpetual problem, we define
a logical method of coping with it.
This should not be.
Strangely enough, the Christian life was never intended to be compatible with
human logic, formulas, or problem-solving techniques. It was meant to be lived
supernaturally. Was there anything normal about Jesus' life? How about Paul, Peter,
or John?
Any follower of Christ should be able to attest that they wouldn't be where they
are today without God's miracle-working power. If the life you're living is
resistance-free, requiring no supernatural power, I dare say you are not living like
Jesus lived.

Supernatural Solutions for Every Problem

If you're like me, sometimes you face issues too big to handle on your own. If you
struggle in any area—health, finances, relationships it is time to lay aside your
human strategies and go to the throne of God to discover His will. As we saw in the
last chapter, God doesn't enjoy keeping secrets from us. He doesn't want us in the
dark—not in any area. Whatever mountain you're facing right now, not only does God
have your solution, He already solved your problem before you even knew about it.
Don't live like normal men, constantly betrayed by their own sensibility. Our
finest efforts at essential solutions to monumental problems are mere child's play.
We scurry to and fro, doing our best to alleviate pressures, keep enemies at bay,
and wage battles in our own strength. All the while, God is forced to sit on the
sidelines and watch our futile efforts wax and wane until we're devastated and

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utterly hopeless.
We seldom realize we're attempting to fight a battle that He has already won. Our
best-laid plans will always be flawed without a clear knowledge of God's will. When
we know what He has done for us—when we see that He has made provision for
every area of our lives—we will begin to see our battles in a new light. There is
nothing as exciting as receiving God's illumination, shining like a beacon in the
midst of the battlefield. His light never ceases to make our crooked paths straight
and our rough roads smooth.
You can waste a lot of time and effort in your wayward attempts to solve your own
problems. In the mean time, God is continually urging you onward in faith so that
you can overcome your mountains His way—the faith way. The more you succeed
using your own methods—the more problems you appear to solve through natural
means—the more confidence you will gain in your own abilities. As a result, your
faith muscle will grow weaker and weaker. Oh, it may seem as though you have
everything under control. But there will come a point when your convenient
solutions are no match for some of life's very real problems.
Most Christians view modem medicine as God's wonderful gift to mankind. It is
usually supposed that a miracle is only necessary when modem medicine has
failed. But Jesus didn't share this perspective. He never referred anyone to a doctor.
I believe that the medicinal advancements of our time are a well-disguised
handicap. I know there are many people who would be infuriated by that
statement, but it's true. The convenience of popping a pill every time we get a
headache or sore throat can effortlessly escort us to a false sense of security.
Unfortunately, there are diseases and illnesses to which there is no natural
remedy. If you have never learned how to rely on God's power for insignificant needs
—overcoming small obstacles by faith—what will happen when you are faced with a
problem that has no earthly solution? Your faith will be in man's way out, and
eventually it won't be able to deliver.
Many Christians habitually go to the medicine cabinet, the hospital, and the
pharmacy before considering a visit to the Source of Health—God! Why go to a
corruptible physician on Earth when Jesus Himself is called, "The Great Physician"?
These warped priorities are clearly demonstrated in common Christian vernacular
such as, 'Well, all we can do is pray," as if God is some sort of last resort after the
doctor has "done all he can."
As with any muscle, lack of use equals lack of growth. If we don't condition our
faith, we will be without spiritual fortitude when we need it most. Learning how to
receive from God in the little things will open doors to receive from Him when there
are no other options. I'm not suggesting that it's morally wrong to use modern
medicine. I've used it many times. My point is, as long as a person relies on it
exclusively, they aren't relying on Jesus. We are called to live separate from the
world's system—a system which clearly infiltrates the medical industry.
New Testament author Luke—a physician himself—tells an amazing story that
contrasts natural and supernatural solutions to a formidable dilemma.

And a woman who had suffered from a flow of blood for twelve years and had
spent all her living upon physicians, and could not be healed by anyone,

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came up behind Jesus] and touched the fringe of His garment, and
immediately her flow of blood ceased. (Luke 8:43-44)

Friend, it is the will of God to do in your life immediately what would require
twelve years to accomplish through man's best efforts. Medicine fails. God does
not. This is why we must learn to take a bold stand of supernatural faith against our
mountains. While God isn't opposed to modem medicine, He has made a better way
available. It's up to us to discover His promises and claim them by faith until they
become sight.
All of God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 1:20).
He has already solved every problem you will ever face. He has abundantly
provided all your needs. He has completed every incompletion. Faith is the conduit
through which you draw these solutions from their heavenly origin to invade your
circumstances. Faith is built on the foundation of knowing God's will, and He has
made His will known in various ways. Once that foundation is laid, you can begin to
build the structure of faith, opening the door to the well-being that is rightfully
yours in Christ Jesus.
In this chapter, I will acknowledge four specific avenues to discover His will
regarding the issues in your life. This list is extensive-but not exhaustive. I refer to
these avenues as "The Four Plumb Lines of Knowing God's Will."
A plumb line is a construction tool comprised of a cord that suspends a lead
weight, providing accurate vertical measurement, congruent to Earth's center of
gravity. It ensures that all corresponding building implements are perfectly aligned.
I use this term to describe knowing God's will because everything we do must be in
uncompromised alignment with the Master.
As with laying any solid foundation, it is vital to remember that every angle,
every edge must be precise. If one measurement is even slightly off-kilter, the
integrity of the entire structure will be seriously jeopardized. If your beliefs about
God's will are misaligned, your "faith structure" could very well topple during a
storm.

1. The Written Word of God

In our culture, truth is simply a concept, stripped down from solid actuality to
subjective interpretation. "Whatever feels best; whatever works for you" is the
predominant mindset in schools, governments, and even churches. There has never
been a more urgent time to step out of our utopian daydreams and into the bigger
picture—total alignment with the will and purpose of God. You can strive, work, and
run toward dreams and goals all of your life and end up neglecting the Father's
plan. Though you may achieve some pleasing results, you will completely miss the
mark if you're not congruent to the heart of God.
The Bible is a supernatural collection of God-stories, God-commandments, God-
narratives, and God's love, carefully spilling out in word form—a very suitable
plumb line for His character and nature. Not all of God is contained within its
pages, however. That would be impossible. Even all the books in the world can't
contain a depiction of everything Jesus was, said, and did (see John 21:25). It is

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comical when people assume that the Scripture is the end-all of God. As if words
and stories could even come close to containing the Alpha and Omega, the
Beginning and the End!
What the Bible does do is reveal God. Within its pages, we are immersed in epic
adventures of life and death, love and forgiveness, judgment and wrath. It is a
manual for living—a revelation of what is true. It will be the plumb line to help you
walk straight in a shifting, deviating society.
I don't believe that every word in the Bible is dictated by God. If it were, only one
translation could truly be God's Word. All others would be defective. However, I do
believe that every prophecy, song, poem, and story was given supernatural life
through the His very breath. Paul told Timothy, "Every Scripture is God-breathed
(given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction
of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in
righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and
action)" (2 Timothy 3:16).
The word "inspire" actually means "to breathe into." Without the breath of
God, the Bible is merely words on a page. Yes, those words are wise and full of
sound instruction, but it is truly the inspiration—the very breath of God—that sets
this book apart from all others.
Interestingly enough, the Bible isn't the only thing God has "inspired." When He
created Adam, He formed him from the dust of the earth.

Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed
into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life, and man became a living being.
(Genesis 2:7)

You see, Adam's body consisted of—and this is true with all of us—mere dust from
the ground. Dead and inactive. In the same way, the Bible is a book of stories,
songs, and letters—words written down over a span of time. The thing that
awakens, fills, and gives life to our mortal bodies is the same substance that
makes the Word of God alive, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword: the
precious breath of the Living God.
God's Word is His will. When you know His Word, you know His will. And when you
know His will, you have a foundation upon which to build your faith. The Bible tells
us, "So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17
NKJV).
Most likely, you will remember that it was at the precise moment that you heard
the truth of God's love and saving grace that faith began to surface. You might not
have believed the Gospel the first time you heard it, but nevertheless—whether
gradually or immediately—you began to grasp and comprehend the truth of God's
salvation message. Faith was planted in your heart. It started as a seed and began
to grow. Eventually it produced a harvest in your life. That small seed of Truth took
root in the soil of your heart, just like Jesus taught.

And He said, With what can we compare the Kingdom of God, or what
parable shall we use to illustrate and explain it? It is like a grain of mustard

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seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all seeds upon the
earth; yet after it is sown, it grows up and becomes the greatest of all garden
herbs and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air are able to
make nests and dwell in its shade. (Mark 4:30-32)

What's the seed that was sown? It was God's Word, which is the declaration of
His will. The more you thought about that Word, dwelt upon it, and allowed the Holy
Spirit to water that seed, the larger it grew. Many believers barely keep their seed
alive, watering on Sundays only, and allowing weeds to grow alongside it. Because of
this, many Christians constantly waver between faith and doubt, belief and
unbelief. One minute they're zealous about their faith. And the next, they doubt
they were even saved in the first place. One moment it's "God loves me," and the
next, it's "God is mad at me."
This uncertainly results in a sorry state of Christianity. Faith wavers in these
people because they aren't convinced of God's will for salvation. They don't grasp
His will because they don't grasp His Word.
The salvation experience is monumental. It is absolutely crucial for every
human being to receive God's gift of salvation by faith. Yet without the seed of
God's message being planted in the fertile soil of Holy Spirit-conditioned hearts,
faith can't grow. Paul said, "And how are they to believe in Him [adhere to, trust in,
and rely upon Him] of Whom they have never heard?" (Romans 10:14b). Paul
understood that in order for faith to grow in a person's "soil," the seed has to be
planted first. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. There can be
no agreement without something to agree with!
Imagine a lazy farmer who decides not to sow seed in his field one spring. He
spends all summer watering and fertilizing that field. He sits on His porch sipping
lemonade in the autumn, waiting and watching every day for crops to spring up. He
will never reap a harvest. He may really want the harvest. He may really need the
harvest. But there is not a field in the world that will yield for a farmer who doesn't
plant seed.
This illustration portrays the faithless lives of many well-meaning Christians in
the world today. They may be in desperate need of a financial harvest. Yet where
there is no sowing there will be no reaping. They may need miraculous healing, but
if they aren't hearing the Word of God—if they don't sow the appropriate seed their
health can never be harvested. You cannot expect growth if you have failed to plant a
seed. You cannot expect faith if you have failed to hear the Word of God.
It's interesting to note that when Paul uses the word hearing in Romans 10:17,
he is implying something much deeper than a simple register of sound waves in the
eardrum. The Greek word rendered hearing suggests the notion of grasping,
comprehending understanding and even seeing. Faith comes when we actually listen
to and visualize God's Word. Sometimes it takes repetitive hearing of a Scripture
before your mind can grasp its implications.
When you find a scripture that pertains to your need, write it down. Speak it out.
Highlight it in your Bible and read it several times daily. Plant the seed deep in your
heart and continue watering until it produces the desired harvest. It will produce.
Isaiah 55:10-11 explains, "For as the rain and snow come down from the

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heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth
and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My
word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to me void [without
producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and
purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."
You must know the Word of God intimately. God's will is revealed in His Word. His
Word is inspired; it contains His very breath. When you know His Word, you'll
understand His will. Only then can you truly stand in confident, unwavering, lasting
faith.
It is essential to plant seeds that correspond to the crop you wish to harvest. You
can't plant wheat kernels and expect to reap corn. Salvation or holiness scriptures
fail to yield a healing or prosperity harvest. When our churches only preach the
salvation message, they are missing out on other, deeper aspects of the Faith.
Sermons about hell only instill fear. So many preachers are busy telling the people
to repent from something, that they never explain what we're repenting to. Because
the faith message is modest at best, when believers fall ill or face mountains, they
don't know how to fight back. They haven't been taught.
It's a fundamental fact that the topics honored from the pulpit will be
empowered within the body. Honoring the subject of healing yields a healthy
congregation. Honoring the subject of love yields a loving congregation. Honoring
the salvation experience yields new converts. Here's a little secret: If you want
more of something in your life, honor it!
Just because a Christian knows John 3:16 and Genesis 1:1 doesn't mean they will
be fruitful when it comes to other spiritual matters. There is no doubt in our hearts
that God created the heavens and the earth and that He loved the world and gave
His only begotten Son. We have memorized and recited these verses so often that
we walk in an abundant harvest of faith in these truths.
But what about physical healing? What about depression? What about the
mountains in your life? To build faith in these areas, you must find corresponding
scriptures and feed on them as you do salvation verses. Whatever the need—
whatever mountain you desire to conquer—you must begin by finding God's will in
the Bible. Immerse yourself in it. Get it deep in your heart. Sparse sowing produces
a thin harvest. If God's Word clearly contradicts your intentions, you can be sure that
your faith structure is on a shaky foundation. But when you know that it's His will for
you to possess whatever you need, you will be equipped to march forth in
unshakable confidence.

2. Heaven / The Garden of Eden

If you want an accurate depiction of a man's true nature, take a look at his home.
Every sphere of a person's life will be reflected in their surroundings—whether
house, car, or workspace. A bedroom filled with G.I. Joes, toy guns, and nun chucks
undoubtedly belongs to a boy who's fascinated by battle, bravery, and adventure.
An
academically-oriented child who enjoys numbers and problem-solving will
respectively line his shelves with books, model airplanes, and maybe a Rubik’s

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cube.
I am familiar with the basics of interior design through my involvement with the
real estate industry. In any given home, I can always determine the value placed in
television-viewing based on the layout of the living room. Is the television the focal
point? Or is it the fireplace? Are the bookcases filled with books or DVDs? Is there an
entire room dedicated to media? For instance, people can usually discern my love
for music by observing the disproportionately large stereo and speaker
components in my house.
The second plumb line to measure God's will is His dwelling place. Heaven is
God's home and it is an accurate picture of what matters to Him. The aspects of His
character and nature are revealed where He lives. Sometimes in assessing the will
of God for a situation, we can simply focus on Heaven—what it's like as well as
what it isn't like.
Jesus instructed us to pray, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven"
(Matthew 6:10). We should observe Heaven as a clear model for what God wants
on Earth. If God's will wasn't for Earth to be transformed into a Heaven-like
environment, Jesus wouldn't have instructed us to pray this way. Heaven on Earth.
This has always been God's intent.
When God made man, He intentionally placed him in the Garden of Eden and
assigned this task: `Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth" (Genesis 1:28). The
Garden was a blueprint Scripture hints that the rest of the earth belonged to satan,
calling it "chaotic" and "full of darkness." God gave Adam the task of spreading the
borders of Eden to subdue everything else into agreement with the Garden. But
rather than continually invading outward, Adam allowed his territory to be
captured by the enemy.
Through Christ Jesus, God has again called His people to subdue this earth. But
this time, instead of placing us inside the Garden, He placed the Garden in us! Jesus
said, "For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts]" (Luke 17:21).
Heaven was revealed to Adam and Eve through the Garden of Eden, and it is
revealed to us in Christ by its very presence in our hearts! God's will for you, me,
and the whole earth is Heaven. It should be easy to measure your situation against
God's will as revealed in His home. If you find yourself afflicted with an illness and,
like most Christians, entertain the thought that God allowed the ailment for His
purpose, you can easily dismiss that notion by holding your suspicion against the
atmosphere of Heaven. Is there sickness in Heaven? No. Therefore you can
confidently know that sickness isn't God's will and has no right to exist in your
body.
Many people argue that we live in a fallen world and that sickness is an integral
part of living here—one of the consequences of sin. While it may be true that
sickness is part of the fallen world around you, it would insult God's plan of
redemption to succumb to the world around you as opposed to His Kingdom within
you. You are not of this world. You, as an ambassador of Christ Jesus, are not to
reflect this world in any way. You are the light of the world. The salt of the earth. If
you don't demonstrate Heaven to the world, who will? God's will is not
demonstrated by the fallen world. That isn't where you should be looking. His heart
is revealed in the Kingdom of Heaven.

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Another argument I often hear sounds like this: "When Jesus comes back we will
be free from sickness and evil. But until then, He only provides strength to endure."
This assertion merely attempts to avoid the responsibility Jesus left us. He did not
tell us to wait for Him to bring Heaven's perfection to Earth. Rather He assigned this
responsibility to His disciples—His followers. You and me.

I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind
(declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound
in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is
already loosed in heaven....Truly I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare
to be improper and unlawful on earth must be what is already forbidden in
heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth
must be what is already permitted in heaven. (Matthew 16:19; 18:18)

Jesus makes it unmistakably clear: We are to observe the condition and


environment of Heaven (which should be easy since it's located within us), identify
what is permitted and forbidden there, and orient our spheres in an identical
direction here on Earth. For this reason, Scripture says, "So we are Christ's
ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us" (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Webster's II New College Dictionary defines ambassador as, "A diplomatic
official of the highest rank appointed and accredited as representative in residence
by one government to another."
We as Christians are truly sent from another government—the Kingdom of
Heaven—to represent God's agenda to the kingdom of this world. An ambassador
lives on foreign soil in an embassy. That embassy is the property of the country the
ambassador represents. An ambassador is not to take on the form or fashion of the
host nation but to remain an accurate representation of his homeland. If you don't
know what it's like in your homeland, you will be a poor ambassador to this world.
You must observe Heaven as a model of God's will for this planet. Then you must
live that reality, bringing Heaven to Earth through faith.

And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things),
not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2)

But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in


heaven. (Philippians 3:20)

As the Church rises to this high calling in Christ Jesus, we will see the world
around us transformed as the reality of Heaven comes crashing in to the reality of
Earth. We must break out of our religious boxes and rise up as ambassadors,
speaking to our mountains and storms in faith. We must forbid sickness and
disease! We must forbid torment and depression! We must forbid poverty and
financial debt! We must not tolerate anything less than Heaven! Why? Because
these things are forbidden in Heaven! Jesus is no longer in charge of this task—He
gave the Kingdom keys to us.

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3. The Ministry of Jesus

God came down. It is the essence of our faith.


He is not distant. He is more than a concept. The Creator of the Universe,
considered impersonal by the world, took up the noblest quest in all eternity. He
sent His Son—an extension of His own Self—to become extremely personal.
Beautifully intimate. And at times, too close for comfort.
Almighty God collected His entire agenda and carefully wrapped it in human
flesh for all the earth to see, know, and experience for itself. The Gospel. The Light.
The Word. Love.
The perfect message was Jesus Christ. He walked with us as a man. He talked
with us as a friend. He experienced the same emotions and temptations as we do.
Passionate zeal . . . as He threw over the money changers' tables.
Innocent joy ... as He welcomed little children onto His lap.
Tender compassion . . . joining His tears with Mary as she mourned
the death of her brother. Exasperation . . . when even His own
disciples weren't able to exercise faith.
One thing is for certain: Jesus embraced the heart of His Father in full—that is,
without even a hint of compromise. In fact, He was the heart of His Father. This
being the case, you can plainly see that the ministry of Jesus is the perfect reflection
of God's will. The Son of God illustrated the desires of the Father in a practical and
tangible way. Jesus reveals to us what is essential to God's heart. Jesus Christ is
perfect theology, as Bill Johnson says.
What a concept! To recognize that all our religious ideas—why God does
this, why God does that—are superfluous in the presence of the One who bore the
Father's own nature, and then imputed that nature to us. God doesn't want to be
studied. He wants to be known. Systematic formulations extracted from the Bible
pale in comparison to interacting with the Author Himself. Any character trait or
assumption we've attributed to God that isn't actualized in the life of Jesus must be
thoroughly scrutinized.
Jesus said, "I and the Father are One" (John 10:30). He also said, "Anyone who
has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). This means that everything He did
and said was directly correlated to what God was doing and saying. Jesus is the
third plumb line against which we should measure our current interpretation of
God's will.
Take a moment and identify a couple of your own beliefs about God. You might see
Him as loving good, or compassionate. Now take those same notions and apply
them to Jesus. Is there a match? Do those attributes manifest in the life of Christ?
Of course.
Now search deeper. Can you imagine Him welcoming you onto His lap like a little
child? Can you see Him in anguish when you experience pain and sorrow? Yes,
Jesus portrayed these aspects of the Father's nature.
Perhaps you've suffered a loss—a family member to terminal illness or a severe
financial setback. Do you, like many others, impute those tragedies to God's
"mysterious will"? Does part of you believe God is holding something against you?
Is He purposely withholding something good from your life? Is He punishing you?

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No. You cannot find these traits demonstrated in Jesus. However, multitudes of
Christians still believe that God intentionally allows bad things to happen to His
children. They'll invoke various philosophies and arguments in order to justify their
"stinking thinking." Yet they can't reconcile their theories with who Jesus is.
As I stood at the front of the sanctuary, people came to the altar to receive
prayer after the service. An older-looking gentleman made his way toward me,
leaning on a wooden cane. I felt the Lord speak to my spirit. "His heart, Winston.
His heart comes first."
The man suffered from severe arthritis in his legs and arms. I could see that he
was in pain. As he requested prayer, I got the feeling this was not his first time
responding to an altar call for healing.
"How can I pray for you?" I asked.
"Nothin' too much," he said. "Just for the Lord to gimme a lil' break from some of
this pain. I'd do well to get a good night sleep for a change."
My heart was saddened. There we were, about to pray to the most loving,
powerful Being in the universe—God, who has promised to give us anything we ask
for—and this man could only hope for a little relief—the spiritual equivalent of a
couple aspirin tablets. I recalled God's word-of-knowledge. His heart comes first.
"Jesus would love for you to receive complete healing in your body today," I
suggested. "He doesn't want to just relieve you; He wants to set you free!"
"Well. I don't think so. God gave me my arthritis to show me how to be humble.
I suppose He'll take it away whenever He's done His work."
I looked him straight in the eyes. "Can you show me in the Bible where Jesus
ever afflicted anyone with disease? Did He ever deny healing to a person who came
to Him? No, Scripture tells us repeatedly that Jesus healed them all, don’t you find it
strange that after spending years healing the sick, Jesus would suddenly decide to
make you sick? It really doesn't sound like something He would do, does it?"
It took a moment for the man to grasp this profound simplicity. I'm sure his
thoughts were similar to many other people: It must be more complicated than that.
After all I've been sick for a long time. Is there a catch? He finally said, "Well, didn't
God put sickness on Job?"
"No, it was unmistakably the devil who put sickness on Job," I explained. "But Job
is beside the point. Job is not the perfect reflection of the Father's will. Jesus is! So
then, fixing your eyes on the example of Jesus—and no one else—what is God's will
in your situation? Of all the sick, demonized people Jesus encountered, He never
failed to cure every sickness, cast out every demon, and even raised the dead!
Doesn't it seem foolish to believe that God abruptly changed His agenda?"
I could see tears beginning to form in his eyes. "Yes... yes, that does seem
foolish."
"Now that you are aware of the truth, you can be set free. If you will come into
agreement with the will of God—that Jesus bore your sicknesses and carried your
diseases, and by His wounds you have already been healed—you can receive the
healing that has been yours all along."
We prayed together, not that God would heal him, but that he would gain a
revelation of the fact that God had already healed him. I felt the anointing surging
through my hands as I ministered to him. When he came into agreement with the

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truth, he described peace flooding his heart—something he hadn't felt in a long
time.
And then in a moment, his fresh faith drew from the power of God inside me. It
came upon him and set him free! This man was healed!
As awesome as this miracle was, I know the most important healing that evening
took place in the man's heart. His heart comes first. His mountain moved because
he allowed his faith to agree with God's Word. His miracle materialized as soon as
he discovered the plain will of God for his healing. And in this instance, the will of
God was revealed by observing the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.
Are you like this man? Have you come into agreement with falsehoods about
God—characteristics that can't be seen in His Son? Now is the time to reconcile
your beliefs with what is true: the will of God, as revealed in the person of Jesus.

Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors
in different ways for centuries. Recently he spoke to us directly through his
Son.... This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God's nature.
(Hebrews 1:1-3 MSG)

[Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [The visible representation
of the invisible]; is the Firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God. He was in the beginning with God....And the Word became flesh and
dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten
of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-2, 14 NKJV)

As you can see, God hasn't shrewdly hidden His will from His children. It is not
mysterious. It isn't disguised. It is revealed. Not only in the Bible, but in the
monumental life of His only Son—the ministry of Christ.
You as a Christian have been given the task of continuing Christ's ministry on
Earth. The same attitude and purpose that was in Him two thousand years ago must
be in you as well. You are His ambassador. His ministry is your ministry. His will is the
Father's will and it should be yours too.
If Jesus did it, we must do it. If He loved, we must love. If He forgave, we must
forgive. If He healed the sick and raised the dead, we must heal the sick and raise
the dead. When we act like Jesus, we can be confident that we're positioned in the
center of God's favor. This is the foundation upon which we will aspire in faith. To be
empowered to do even greater works than Jesus did (see John 14:12).

4. The Voice of the Holy Spirit

Scripture doesn't provide concrete answers for many of life's quandaries.


Inevitably, there are decisions you will have to make that aren't spelled out in the
life of Jesus or seen by looking at Heaven.
Should I move my family to Brazil to do missionary work? Does God want me to accept
this new position at the company? Which church should I attend? What color should I
paint my bedroom?

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Granted, God leaves certain decisions up to us. You may prefer a particular
automobile manufacturer over another. And you probably don't need to ask God
whether to make a tuna casserole or roast beef for dinner. (Go with the roast beef!)
But He does have a perfect plan for each one of our lives. If you stay in His will at
all times, you will notice a higher level of peace in your heart. If you'll remain
sensitive to His direction, you will experience greater ease in everything you do.
Being in the center of God's will means living in His abundant favor.
There is no need to wonder whether or not God wants you to be healthy. You
never need to question His will concerning sin. Is it okay to commit adultery? Does
God want me to leave the restaurant without paying for my meal? Answers to these
questions are clearly spelled out in the Bible, congruent to the atmosphere of
Heaven, and displayed in the life of Christ.
But rather than leaving tough decisions up to us, God sent His own Spirit to help.
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth (see John 16:13). This
promise guarantees that no matter what question you ask, no matter what
situation you face, God has the answer. That answer will be revealed to you by the
Holy Spirit. I think of the Holy Spirit as God's resident will.
The Bible can't tell you who to marry, but the Holy Spirit can. The Bible won't
suggest which house you should buy, but the Holy Spirit will.
Learning to follow the direction of the Spirit is the fourth plumb line to knowing
God's will.
It's remarkable how many Christians don't understand much about the Holy
Spirit. Plenty is said about the Father and the Son, but to the average believer, the
Spirit is some sort of mysterious entity. Many think He is a dove or a flame. While
His attributes can be likened to these things, they are only similes of His nature.
Though there are great books written about the Holy Spirit, if you feel shaky on
this subject, I would simply recommend asking Him to reveal Himself to you. John
chapters 14 through 17 do a good job of defining the unity of the Father, Son, and
Spirit. I've spent countless hours meditating on this biblical "hot spot," and every
time I revisit this portion of Scripture, God reveals something new to me. I highly
advocate meditating on these chapters.
Jesus said to the disciples, "...for [the Holy Spirit] lives with you [constantly] and
will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans...; I will come [back] to you" (John
14:17b-18).
A few verses later Jesus told them, "...the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in
my name [in my place, to represent me and act on my behalf], He will teach you all
things" (John 14:26).
To put it simply, Jesus knew that the number of His followers would be
increasing dramatically. It was important that He ascend and return to Heaven in
His body so He could then return to Earth as the Spirit. Though it was a great thing
for Jesus to be with His disciples to instruct and guide them, it was time to be in
them. Now He's with all believers, no matter where we go. The same Jesus Who
walked and talked with crowds on the shores of Galilee is on the earth today. He is
the Holy Spirit of God. Even though this truth can be difficult to understand
intellectually, God requires us to believe it by faith—agreeing with it even though
we can't see it. The things which can't be mentally discerned are impossible for us

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to control. This is opportune. We are not meant to exert control over the Holy Spirit,
but rather to surrender to His guidance.
Like Jesus, He is a person. You just can't see Him. God intends for you to interact
with His Spirit much in the same way that you would interact with Jesus if He were
standing right next to you. Wherever you go, the Holy Spirit is with you. You can't
hear Him with your ears, but you can understand Him with your human spirit.
If you have a question or need guidance, ask the Holy Spirit. He has the answer.
Let's say, for instance, that God has called you to be a local-church pastor, but
you have no clue how to go about starting a church. You have questions such as: What
s the first step? W/here should it be located? In my hometown? Another city? Even
though you could simply take a guess, the lack of knowing God's will might severely
cripple your faith. Of course, no church can prosper under those conditions. When
adversity comes, you will be tempted to question the validity of your efforts. Maybe I
never should have done this. Why is God letting this happen to me?
It is important to discover God's specific will and instructions before you take
action on your project. Start by asking, "God, where do you want me to begin the
church?"
Before long, thoughts of a thriving congregation might flood your mind. You feel
deep peace in your heart. It seems as though starting the church across town is the
right thing to do. That peace—or knowing—is the Holy Spirit speaking to you. The
sense of peace literally means that your current thoughts are aligned with the Holy
Spirit. You are resonating, if you will.
Now seek Him further. "When should I start the church?"
Wait. Ask Him to make it clear to you. The thoughts will enter your mind,
seeming to rise up from somewhere deep inside. Rather than complicating this
process by worrying that you'll mistakenly hear the devil or your own thoughts,
trust God's ability to get through to you.
You might sense His voice, accompanied by that peaceful, resounding feeling as
He says, "Begin by starting a Bible study in your home. I will bring others to
support you in your vision."
All of a sudden, you know God's perfect will because you've heard Him clearly.
You know His favor is on you. As a result, you can confidently stand in faith.
Hearing from the Spirit can take practice. Ask for His help. After years of
learning, it is easy for me to discern His voice, and He wants it to be easy for you
too. Once you know that you have heard from God and have His endorsement, do
you really think adversity will be able to bring you down? You can say, "Things in
my life may look shaky right now, but I have heard from God! I know I'm in the
center of His will! In Him I have already overcome every mountain!"
Can you see how hearing from God makes all the difference? During adversity,
you felt as if you were facing the storm alone. You hoped the church would succeed.
You wanted it to succeed. But when you have the confidence that comes from
knowing God's clear direction, you can be sure He's on your side, helping and
strengthening you.
You might not feel called to start a new church. But whether it's determining the
proper school for your children or choosing which week to schedule your vacation,
the Holy Spirit will give you direction. If there's a mountain you want to move, learn

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to discern God's will even before you pray. If you aren't sure which course of action
to take (if any at all), simply ask God and wait for His voice. Sometimes He will leave
decisions up to us and we must trust that we'll make the right one being led by His
Spirit.
I used to struggle to hear God's voice. Even regarding important decisions, I
usually questioned whether the voice I heard was actually from God rather than
satan, or if it was simply my own thoughts. Can you relate? I have learned that it is
never productive to second-guess yourself.
One day, I read a scripture that forever quenched my doubts. Jesus said that I am
His sheep and He is my Shepherd. He said that His sheep know His voice and they
will never follow the voice of a stranger (see John 10:4-5).
When I read that, it became unmistakably clear to me: Hearing from God
shouldn't be difficult or confusing. It should be as simple as a sheep following its
shepherd—a son following his father. God has lifted the burden of hearing His
voice from our shoulders. He promised that every one of His sheep would
inherently recognize what He is saying.
For many of us, this simplicity has become muddled by religious confusion and
unfounded fear. To worry that the voice you're hearing is actually the devil is to
doubt God's ability to speak clearly. He wants you to hear His voice. That's why He
sent the Holy Spirit!
He speaks to us individually in different ways, and no method is greater than
another, except to the extent that it works for you. One thing is for certain: We must
trust His ability to convey His message more than our ability to hear. He's not
teasing us or playing games. His greatest desire is to have open communication
with His children much like earthly fathers want to be able to talk freely with their
own children. This is why God made humankind. He walked and talked with Adam
every day.
An effective way to practice hearing from God is to sit down with pen and paper.
Ask a simple question. How do you feel about me, Father? Then wait until you sense
an impression in your heart. Put the pen to the paper and trust Him to give you a
clear response.
Winston, I'm glad you asked. I love you, I like you, and I enjoy who you are.
Does His response seem congruent with His character in Scripture? Does it seem
like God would say this to me? Does it conflict with the character of Jesus? Then I
must trust that I've heard from Him. Remember, He would rather you be like Peter
and step out of the boat, uncomfortable as it may feel, than to stay where it's safe.
Even when Peter began to sink, Jesus was there to pick him up. Don't you think you
can trust Him to do the same for you?
I have made a decision to trust my Shepherd. I know He will never lead me in
the wrong direction. If for no other reason than that He promised in the Bible that I
would recognize His voice, I choose to step out of the boat and believe. As long as I
trust Him, He'll never allow me to be deceived.
We have now firmly established the importance of knowing the will of God in our
lives. We have seen the four plumb lines used to discern His perfect plan in any
given situation. They are:

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• The written Word of God
• Heaven/The Garden of Eden
• The ministry of Jesus Christ
• The voice of the Holy Spirit

Now that we've laid the foundation for mountain-moving faith, let's move on to the
building process. In the following chapter we will examine God's promises and
discover how to appropriate them in our everyday lives.
CHAPTER EIGHT

Possessing the Promises

`How long are you going to sit around on your hands,


putting off taking possession of the land that God, the God of your ancestors, has given you?
—Joshua 18:3 MSG

T
HE BIBLE IS FULL OF PROMISES. Scripture after scripture tells of all the
wonderful things God wants for us. Both Old and New Testaments contain
a variety of promises that pertain to everything you will ever need.
From peace to prosperity, health to wisdom, and protection to perfection,
God didn't exclude anything. He has made complete provision for every situation.
Many people are ignorant of God's promises. They don't know that He has taken
every measure to ensure that we come out on top in life. In the same way that I
failed to read my company handbook, preventing me from appropriating my rightful
dental coverage, Christians frequently neglect to appropriate God's promises in
their lives. Because they don't take time to read His manual—the Word of God—
they remain sick when they don't have to. They stay poor even though they are
children of the King. They cower in the shadows of their mountains, not knowing
that the solution to their problems is included in God's coverage.
It's all too common for believers, instead of finding the promises of God that
apply to their situation, to believe that God is actually the source of their problem
rather than the solution. All the while, the power of God is being held captive in
thousands of promises just waiting for someone to come along and say, "This is for
me! I'll take this!"

Receiving the Promised Son

In the Bible, Abraham is referred to as the father of our faith. There is much to
learn by studying this man's life. God made a promise to Abraham—a promise to
give him a son. Even though Abraham and his wife Sarah were too old to bear
children, God told Abraham that He would make a way. So Abraham believed. The
Bible records this about him:

No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the

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promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith...Fully
satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His Word and to
do what He had promised. (Romans 4:20-21)

Because Abraham possessed mountain-moving faith, believing what God


promised, he received a son. He was one hundred years old when Isaac was born.
How did Abraham obtain this level of agreement with God? Hebrews 7:6 says
that Abraham "...possessed the promises [of God]." This means that when he saw
what God wanted to do for him, he took it to heart. He believed what God said.
The interesting thing is, Abraham didn't take possession of the promise
immediately. As we've all done from time to time, He wondered how God was going
to be able to pull it off. After all, his body was old and wrinkled On top of that,
Sarah's womb was barren. He surely thought, There is no way my wife can have a
child. Doesn't God know how old we are? Abraham struggled with the same
questions and doubts you and I face in our lives.
But notice that Scripture says Abraham grew strong. He didn't just wake up one
morning and realize he was "Faith Man." Even though God's promise seemed
impossible at first, Abraham began to water and nurture it. His faith began to grow
strong until he was "empowered." Then it was harvest time.
When God speaks a promise, He will bring it to pass. He never fails to perform
His Word. However, it is vitally important to realize that God's promises only carry
the potential of fulfillment in our lives. Just because He makes a promise doesn't
mean you will automatically receive it. That is the point where faith enters in. This is
where most Christians fail.

Ignite the Fire With Faith

Late one night, I was deep in prayer, asking God to give me a greater understanding
of faith. As I stood in my bedroom, eyes closed, He opened the eyes of my heart to
see a vision. In my mind I saw the makings of a great bonfire which had yet to be
ignited. There was a large, towering pile of wood, paper, cardboard, tree branches,
and other flammable materials. Then, floating along in midair, a large gas can
appeared. It began to pour its contents onto the pile of rubble. After every drop of
gasoline saturated the wood, the container itself fell into the midst of the debris. It
was evident this would be an explosive and forceful fire.
But nothing happened.
I waited for the show to start--a fireball from heaven or a lightning bolt—but as I
viewed the scene in my mind, all I could perceive was a fuel-soaked pile of
potential combustion, just waiting to go up in smoke.
After a while, I began to get impatient. As if this was the cue, God spoke to
me and said, "Isn't it frustrating to see such grand potential just sitting there with
no one to ignite it?"
With these words I immediately understood what God was revealing to me.
When God makes a promise to us, it's as if He is pouring gasoline onto our
situation. As far as God is concerned, He has accomplished His part. The potential
is there. But in order for us to experience the fulfillment of His Word, we must

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ignite it with our faith.
Many times it seems as if God has failed to answer our prayers. We might have
seen a promise in the Bible pertaining to our need. Maybe God has given you a
specific word like Abraham. Time has passed and you haven't seen any changes.
You are tempted to say, "That promise must have been for someone else. I haven't
heard God accurately."
But please don't second-guess God's faithfulness to His promises. The problem
is not that He neglected to perform His Word; it is that sometimes we fail to
receive it. Our problem is lack of faith.

What if some did not believe and were without faith? Does their lack of faith
and their faithlessness null and make ineffective and void the faithfulness
of God and His fidelity [to His Word]? By no means! (Romans 3:3-4a)

As I stood there in my bedroom, God spoke to me again. "Winston, we are


waiting on you."
I knew what I had to do. As the vision began to flood my mind once more, I found
myself walking toward the heaping pile of wood and cardboard. The potential was
there, just waiting to be activated. In my hand I held a single match. I examined it
closely; amazed that such a small catalyst could illuminate the sky with sizzling
flames. It doesn't take much, I thought. Jesus said faith like a mustard seed could
move a mountain.
I struck the match against a rock. The pungent scent of sulfur pierced my
nostrils... and I threw.
Though God was only facilitating this vision in my mind, it felt as if the ground
trembled under my feet. I sprang back instinctively as that little match fostered a
powerful explosion. Fire everywhere. Dancing flames clawed at the night sky as I
stared in awe. With scorching heat, the cardboard and tree branches were
consumed in the inferno. It was beautiful. Promises fulfilled.
"Faith is the key," God said to me. "You must ignite the fire with faith."
This is so simple. After all, isn't this precisely how we got saved? The Bible says
that Jesus gave His life on the Cross for the whole world. He died for the sins of
everyone, everywhere (see 1 John 2:2). But we know that people continue to die and
go to hell today (see Matthew 7:13).
Does this make God faithless? Did Jesus somehow neglect to save a large group
of people? No! Men who do not add faith to what Jesus has done fail to receive
eternal life. God has poured His promises all over their lives. But they stubbornly or
ignorantly refuse to ignite the fire.

The Answer is Already Yours

What are you waiting for God to do? Heal your body? Restore your marriage? Set
you free from a binding addiction? No matter what you need today, God has
poured His potential into your life. He has placed the "match" in your hand. It is
time to quit waiting for God to do something more. He has already accomplished
everything. The ball is in your court. The match is in your hand.

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The Bible says, "All of God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ Jesus with a
resounding `yes'..." (2 Corinthians 1:20 NLT). It is our agreement—our faith—that
activates this "yes" in our experience. We say Yes to God's resounding "Yes."
Don't believe for a moment that God has forgotten you. In the New Covenant, He
made provision for all your needs and desires. He solved every one of your
dilemmas through Jesus Christ. All that's left is for you to ignite His promises with
faith.
Paul said that God has blessed us with every (supernaturally given) blessing in
the heavenly realm (see Ephesians 1:3). He didn't say, "some blessings" or "most
blessings." He said, "every blessing!" But look closer. Where are they given?
They've been given in the heavenly (or spirit) realm. Our faith is the key to
receiving the reality of the spirit realm in the natural realm. Faith draws the
supernatural into the natural. It brings Heaven to Earth. God isn't holding anything
back from you. In fact, He has provided you with everything. Your dreams, your joy,
your health, your family, your peace. The apostle Peter says it this way:

God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the
knowledge of Him who called us to Himself He has given us exceedingly great and
precious promises, and by these promises we have become partakers of His
divine nature. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

The quality of life you are experiencing right now directly corresponds with what
you've been willing to receive from God through faith. If it pertains to life or
godliness, it is rightfully yours at this very moment. If you don't see it with your
physical eyes, begin to see it with eyes of faith. Take possession of God's promises.
After all, they were made for you.
Many people feel guilty when they hear this. They don't see how they could
deserve "every spiritual blessing." They don't feel qualified for "all things that
pertain to life and godliness." And they're absolutely right! We don't deserve the
blessings of God. But Jesus does! That's why we're told that all of God's promises
were fulfilled in Christ. When Jesus cried out, "It is finished!” He meant it. He got
what we deserved so we could get what He deserved! This is the good news! Jesus
took your sickness and gave you His health (see Isaiah 53:2). He took your poverty
and gave you His wealth (see 2 Corinthians 8:9). He took your sin and gave you His
righteousness (see 2 Corinthians 5:21).
If you struggle with depression, you can be free today. God has poured His
"gasoline" on depression and He's waiting for you to ignite it by faith. Faith is the
catalyst.
If you're fighting habitual sin, understand that Christ has already dealt with it on
your behalf. Instead of fighting an impossible battle in your own strength, ignite
God's potential by faith. Don't ask Him to remove your desire to sin; start believing
that He already has! God once told me, "It saddens me to see my children fighting
a battle that I've already won."
It's time for us to humble ourselves and say yes to all our Father has given. Every
blessing. All things Don't let guilt get in the way of your faith. Remember, it's not
because you are deserving; it's because He is! Bill Johnson gives a great analogy of

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faith:

An automobile may have several hundred horsepower. But the car will go
nowhere until the clutch is released, connecting the power contained in the
running motor and transferring that power to the wheels. So it is with faith. We
have all the power of heaven behind us. But it is our faith that connects what is
available to the circumstances at hand. Faith takes what is available and
makes it actual.

Nothing is missing. Nothing is lacking. No wonder David could say, "The Lord
is my Shepherd, I have no needs." You may not feel as though you can echo
his words today. You may be facing insurmountable problems—desperate
needs. But that's faith! Believing in what you cannot see and acting on that
belief. Take your eyes off the problem and place them on the solution. The
answer is already yours; you simply have to take it.

I find it interesting that when God promised to give Abraham a son, He said, "I
have made you the father of many nations" (Genesis 17:5, emphasis
added). The Apostle Paul comments on this, saying that God "...speaks of
the non-existent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they
[already] existed" (Romans 4:17c). That sounds like faith to me.

When God made this promise to Abraham, Abraham couldn't see his son. Sarah
wasn't even pregnant yet. Circumstances said God was lying. How could Abraham be
the father of many nations when he didn't even have a son?
But God wasn't lying. He was ding. He was subscribing to a greater truth than
Abraham could see with his natural eyes. Abraham's son had indeed been given—
given in the heavenly realm. It wasn't until Abraham came into agreement with the
Word of God—possessing the promise, throwing the match, releasing the clutch—
that Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to Isaac. Faith unlocked the door that
separated the reality of the heavenly realm from the reality of the earthly realm.
You can do this too.

Therefore, [inheriting] the promise is the outcome of faith and depends


[entirely] on faith, in order that it might be given as an act of grace
[unmerited favor], to make it stable and valid and guaranteed...to those who
share the faith of Abraham, who is [thus] the father of us all (Romans
4:16)

If you will make a decision to share the faith of Abraham—to possess the
promises you too will inherit the answers to your prayers. But if you don't actively
take possession of the promise, you won't receive. Inheriting the promise is the
outcome of faith. It depends entirely on your faith, nothing else.

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I have learned through experience that there is no adversity that can't be
overcome. God has made abundant provision for every need. He has provided
healing for every sickness. He offers strength for every weakness.
Sometimes you may not feel like "digging up" God's promises. There are some
days when it seems easier to simply go about your business and let life happen by
default. But as a child of the King you are called to live higher. The world says we
must make the best of every negative situation—find a way to adapt to our
misfortunes. But God has a better way. He hasn't called you to merely survive
within your problems. He has empowered you to overcome them! It may take time
and effort. It will require some level of determination. But in the end it will all be
worth it.

Possessing My Healing

I once had to make a faith decision concerning my health. I grew up suffering from
chronic sore throats. Every two or three months, I found myself unable to swallow
food. In fact, I could barely swallow at all! My body ached; I coughed all night long
and lost valuable sleep. I frequented the doctor's office to have my throat probed
with a long swab and fill a new penicillin prescription. The virus in my throat
continued to develop immunity to even the most potent antibiotics. One day, they
ceased to help at all.
I was told that the only remaining option was have my tonsils removed. I had been
leading worship for many years, and the doctors informed me that the surgery could
significantly alter my voice. Still, I couldn't go on suffering with the sickness. I had
prayed and asked God to heal me, but experienced no improvement. I assumed that
undergoing the surgery was God's method of curing my problem.
I scheduled the appointment
The day before the operation, I visited my grandmother. As we were doing some work
around her house, she inquired about my health. The conversation turned toward
my upcoming surgery.
"Did you ask God to heal you?" she asked.
"Yes, but it didn't work," I said.
She looked at me with compassionate eyes. `Winston, please reconsider your decision.
God wants you to receive healing from Jesus, not from a surgeon. He doesn't want a
knife to touch your body. You need to look through the Bible and make a list of His
promises for healing. Then stand firm on His Word. Put those scriptures into your
thoughts and words and don't let go until you receive His health in your throat."
Grandma was a woman of faith. She wasn't looking at the problem. Her eyes were
fixed on the promise.
That evening, something stirred inside my heart. A determined voice told me
Grandma was right. That seed of faith was calling me higher. I knew what I needed to
do. I had prayed and God had answered. Healing was mine in the spirit realm. I had
to receive it by faith—to possess the promise.
I left a message for the surgeon, telling him to cancel the operation.
Then I went to work. I dug deep into the Word and found out what God had to say
about my sore throat. I fashioned a list of promises such as:

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• To you who fear my Name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His
wings. (Malachi 4:2 NKJV)
• Jesus took our sicknesses and carried our diseases and by His stripes we are healed.
(See 1 Peter 2:24)
• Bless the Lord and forget not His benefits. He heals your diseases. (See
Psalm 103:2-3)

Then I began to meditate on these verses, taking possession of them. I spoke them
out loud. I decided to believe God's Word instead of my symptoms. If I felt pain in my
throat, I'd say, "No! Jesus took my sickness and diseases, and by His stripes I am
healed!" When the voice of the enemy came, saying, Look, Winston, you’re sick as a
dog and God isn't going to heal you. You made a mistake. You never should have
cancelled that appointment, I didn't allow myself to feel discouraged. I reminded
myself of God's Word. I'd say, "You're a liar, devil! God has already healed me! The
Bible says that all His promises have been fulfilled in Christ Jesus!"
When people mocked my faith, I responded with promises. If they told me I was
foolish to cancel the surgery, I'd fall back on what God had to say. I didn't deny that my
body felt sick. I denied that sickness the right to remain in my body!
I'd say, "The woman with the issue of blood spent twelve years going to doctors.
They couldn't help her. But one touch of Jesus' robe was enough. I may be taking a risk,
but I'll be glad I did. God won't disappoint."
It wasn't always easy but I was determined to lay hold of what God had given. I
wasn't content to sit back and stare at a fuel-soaked pile of wood, waiting for someone
else to light the fire. No, I took that match in my hand and activated the potential of
God's promises. I meditated on these scriptures until they became more real to me
than my sore throat. I put a smile on my face and declared out loud, "I am the healed
of the Lord! Jesus took my sore throat to the Cross! It's not mine anymore!” even
though I could barely swallow. Some might say I wasn't telling the truth. But that's a
ridiculous statement. If God's Word is Truth, and I am speaking God's Word, how
could I be lying? I was sharing the faith of Abraham. As Paul described in Second
Corinthians 5:7, I was walking by faith and not by sight. Thank God I'm not confined to
the realm of the five senses!
Three weeks after the cancelled appointment, my sore throat left forever—
completely gone! It has never returned. Though I struggled with the sickness for a
long time, many years have passed and I've had no more than a slight tickle in my
throat. Healing came crashing into my life because I opened the door to Heaven
through faith.
Now, I could have undergone the surgical extraction and it probably would have
turned out fine. But I'm glad I went to the Master Surgeon instead. Not only did it
cause my faith to grow, it also created a powerful testimony. I'm not saying it's
wrong to go to the doctor for help. If you're not yet strong enough to fight the fight
of faith, the doctor might be able to help you! You don't have to feel condemned
for using a doctor or taking medicine. We are all growing in faith individually.
However, you must not avoid the fact that God is calling you to live according to
heavenly standards.
Having my tonsils removed might have required less effort at first, but my

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Grandmother's urging convinced me to not compromise. Remember, "Without faith
it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6). It may not be the easy way, but it's
God's way. And let's face it; sometimes it's the only way.
If you're dealing with depression right now—if it seems as if there's no hope, no
reason to go on—find God's promises that pertain to joy and hope. Get a Bible
concordance if you need help. Write down the scriptures you find. Read that list
over and over until God's Word gets down deep inside you. Instead of thinking
thoughts such as, I'll never be happy again; there's no hope for me; I'm in over my
head; fill your mind with the Truth of the Bible. Say, "God knows His plans for me.
They are plans for prosperity and never harm. He has given me hope and a future"
(see Jeremiah 29:11). Carry that list with you wherever you go. Any time
discouraging thoughts enter your mind, recognize that it's the enemy trying to
convince you to take possession of his lies instead of God's Truth. Let those
negative thoughts remind you to take a dose of God's Word.
This is one of the most effective ways to develop your faith. Remember that
Romans 10:17 (NKJv) says, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of
God." The more you hear God's Word pertaining to your need, the more your faith
will develop. Eventually that strong and persistent faith will produce a harvest in
your life. You will reap according to the seeds you've sown.
Be advised; if you don't ever stretch your faith if you continually settle
for less than God's promises—you will never grow. If you fail to exercise your
faith muscle, you will end up being a weak and powerless Christian. If Abraham had
given up on God's promise to bless him with a son, he wouldn't be called "the father
of our faith." If I had disregarded my grandmother's counsel, I wouldn't be able to
share the testimony of my healing with you. Because I took a leap of faith, I now
have that much more confidence to receive miracles in other areas of my life.
Remember, just because God promised you something doesn't automatically
guarantee its fulfillment in your life. Sure, it will always be fulfilled in the heavenly
realm, but when it comes to receiving the result in the natural, it depends on your
faith. This shouldn't be intimidating. God has equipped you with everything you
need to receive from Him by faith. He has already performed the hard part. All it
takes is a tiny flame to ignite a huge fire. Remember, Jesus taught that even faith as
a mustard seed could move an entire mountain into the sea (see Mark 11:23).
However, without that faith, the mountains aren't going anywhere.

The Israelites and the Promised Land

Consider the Israelites in the Old Testament. God used Moses to miraculously free
them from Egyptian slavery. We all remember the wondrous signs God performed
through Moses. The burning bush. The destructive plagues. The parting of the Red
Sea. God's plan was to deliver His chosen people out of captivity and into the
Promised Land.
Notice, God didn't just give them land, He gave them Promised Land. He made a
promise to give them the land of abundance—land flowing with milk and honey.
Moses led over a million Israelites across the desert toward their Promised Land.
Reaching its border after a few days, they were shocked to discover that their land

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was occupied by the enemy. It looked like God's
promise wasn't going to work out after all. They were faced with a decision. The
decision that would determine their destiny. Would the Israelites believe what God
had promised, or would they believe what circumstances said? Keep in mind that
possessing the promise depends entirely on faith.
Moses sent twelve spies to scope out the Promised Land. They returned to the
camp after forty days of scouting. Our story picks up from there:

They presented themselves before Moses and Aaron and the whole
congregation of the People of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran at Kadesh.
They reported to the whole congregation and showed them the fruit of the
land. Then they told the story of their trip: 'we went to the land to which you
sent us and, oh! It does flow with milk and honey! Just look at this fruit! The
only thing is that the people who live there are fierce, their cities are huge
and well fortified. Worse yet, we saw descendants of the giant Amak.
Amalekites are spread out in the Negev; Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites hold
the hill country; and the Canaanites are established on the Mediterranean Sea
and along the Jordan." Caleb interrupted, called for silence before Moses and
said, 'Let's go up and take the land—now. We can do it. "But the others said,
"We can't attack those people; they're way stronger than we are." They
spread scary rumors among the People of Israel. They said, 'We scouted out
the land from one end to the other—it's a land that swallows people whole.
Everybody we saw was huge. Why, we even saw the Nephilim giants (the
Anak giants come from the Nephilim). Alongside them we felt like
grasshoppers. And they looked down on us as if we were grasshoppers."
(Numbers 13:36-33 MSG)

Amazingly, the Israelites ended up agreeing with the negative report of the spies
instead of God's promise. They failed to possess the promise and consequently
failed to possess the land. They resigned themselves to wandering the desert for
forty years instead of putting faith in what God had said.
God took care of them for those forty years. He provided food and drink. He
didn't abandon them. But they wound up settling for a lot less than God intended.
He didn't fail to fulfill His promise; the Israelites failed to receive it. In fact, every
single one of their generation died in the wilderness without claiming what God had
given—what was already theirs (see Deuteronomy 1:35). That is, all except two.
Joshua and Caleb—the two spies who were willing to enter the land forty years
earlier—took possession of the Promised Land after the rest of their generation
died.
What was so special about them? They had faith. The author of Hebrews says
the Israelites who "were given the good news about [the Promised Land] and the
opportunity [to enter it], failed to appropriate it and did not enter because of
disobedience" (Hebrews 4:6). This plainly states that failure to appropriate God's
promises by faith is not an option. It's disobedience.
Hebrews also says, "...the message they heard did not benefit them,
because it was not mixed with faith...by those who heard it; neither were they

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united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe)" (Hebrews
4:2).
God Himself put it like this: "[The Israelites] did not abide in my agreement with
them, and so I withdrew My favor and disregarded them" (Hebrews 8:9, emphasis
added).
Using these passages, let's break down the Israelites' errors in order to decipher
where they went wrong. While Abraham received the miracle of a son by
"...possess [ing] the promises [of God]" (Hebrews 7:6), the Israelites failed to enter
the Promised Land because

• They did not appropriate the good news about it,


• They did not mix the message with faith,
• They did not unite with the ones who did believe, and
• They did not abide in God's agreement with them.

Read that list again. Are you guilty of any of those things? Can you see how
many people, just like the Israelites, fail to receive what God has given?

Shaking off Statistics

Since your present focus is determining your future, a relevant question is, where
is your focus? Are you banking on the negative or the positive? Are you making a
deliberate effort to steer your thoughts or do you let them run wild? I'll be honest; it
can be difficult to stay positive in such a negative society. When headline news
boasts tragedy and disaster every morning, God's promises can grow vague. Your
children aren't safe anymore. Not at the supermarket. Not at a friend's house. Not
at school. The economy is in crisis. Foreclosures are up. Terrorists are angry. On
and on, the voice of the world claims to make God's promises obsolete. The more
you focus on these negative statistics, the more likely you are to believe them.
Getting the kids ready for school in the morning? Hit the mute button on CNN.
Allowing the negativists to suggest disaster in your own home shouldn't even be an
option. Every fearful report is a seed planted in the tender soil of your heart.
This may sound dramatic, but how is it any different than the Israelites? Some of
the spies returned with a negative report. Believing that report kept the people from
possessing what God had given. Think about that for a moment. It wasn't the actual
enemy forces or the succession of giants that prevented Israel from moving forward.
It was the spies' report!
Please listen carefully. The school shootings, drunk drivers, and terrorists aren't
what are placing you and your family in danger; it's the belief that those things can
affect you.
Stop agreeing with the negative report of the world. Don't be like the fearful
Israelites. Instead, mix faith with God's promises. When the world says that one out
of ten teenagers will die in a fatal car crash, simply reject the lie. That statistic may
be true for the world, but not for you. Instead, plug this scripture into your mental
machine: "A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand,

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but it shall not come near you" (Psalm 91:7).
About three years ago, I made the decision to stop watching and reading the
news altogether. God showed me that whatever I put into my mind, I will
undoubtedly reproduce in my experience, whether I want it or not. The more I dwell
on threats of war, disease, and scarcity, the more ammunition the devil has to
develop fear in my heart. If I harbor fear, I know I'm putting out the welcome mat
for the very things I don't want. Even a strong feeling that you don't want
something is still focusing on the unwanted, thereby empowering it. Rather, fix your
mind on the things you do want. Satan is looking for opportunity to gain access.
Don't give it to him. Ignore evil reports of inhabitants and giants in your land. Be
like Caleb and say, "Giants or no giants, let's go up and take the land! We can do
it!"
Now consider this: The ten spies with the bad attitude? It's not like they were
lying. Those giants and warriors really were occupying the land. Having faith
doesn't mean denying the natural state of things. Notice how Caleb didn't deny the
enemies. He just viewed the situation from a divine perspective. Giants and
warriors are of little consequence to someone who is possessed by God's promise.
When Heaven speaks louder than circumstances, faith is imminent.
When frightening statistics surface, ignore them. Those fear facts don't pertain
to you. Agree with God instead. Say with Joshua, "...as for me and my house, we
will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).
If you've been trying to buy a new home, don't be surprised if everyone starts
talking of rising real estate prices and high interest rates. This is only the enemy
attempting to defy your faith. He wants your agreement. Instead of taking
possession of discouraging reports—people telling you it's impossible—possess
God's promises. The Bible says that He "will liberally supply (fill to the full) your
every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
Ignore what the world says. Put faith in what God says. It really is that simple.
Regardless of what you're facing today, God has covered your need. Search the
Scriptures daily and make a list of appropriate promises. Read it often. Keep His
Word in your heart and mouth. Don't be like the Israelites who failed to receive
what God provided. Be like Abraham and possess the promises!

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Endnotes

1. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth (Shippensbutg, PA: Destiny Image,
2003), p.55
CHAPTER NINE

Learning to Talk to Yourself

Whatever kind of word thou speakest,


The like shalt thou believe.
—Greek Proverb

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V
OICES. Millions of voices. From every angle, every direction. Everywhere you
go, there's a cacophony of voices—opinions, facts, and sales pitches.
Product slogans and television theme songs creep into our mental
jukeboxes. I often wish I could clear my head of annoying jingles,
overplayed chart-toppers, and repetitive children's tunes. Airplanes pull
advertising banners. Billboards. Bumper stickers. Graphic T-shirts. One street
corner hosts a costumed employee, waving a 25-percent-off banner. On the other
side, a zealous doom-and-gloom preacher shouts apocalyptic threats. Everyone
everywhere is trying to tell you something—to convey a message.
The atmosphere is littered with millions of radio and satellite signals that we
can't see or hear. Stealth messages voyaging back and forth between cell phones,
two-way radios, and television sets. A hundred years ago this was not the case. A
hundred years ago the air was silent.
Throughout life, you've formed opinions and cultivated thought patterns based
on what other people have told you. Every word you've ever heard has been filed by
your brain. Even if you can't seem to remember it, all that information is stored
somewhere in the back of your mind. This conglomeration of information will
sometimes surface when you least expect it. In a fit of anger. In a dream. And all
those words, all those signals, have helped shape who you are today. For example,
the reason you speak your native language isn't because it was built into your DNA,
but because you've heard it in your home, school, and society so often that you
adopted it.
The Apostle Paul said that "faith comes by hearing [what is told]" (Romans
10:17).
Jesus said, "He who has ears [to hear], let him be listening and let him consider
and perceive and comprehend by hearing" (Matthew 13:9).
Over the years, you have formed deep-seated beliefs based on the things
you've heard. Sometimes positive: "I'll never stop loving you. I couldn't have
asked for a better son." And sometimes not. A teacher says, "You'll never be good
at math! You are hopeless!" A frustrated parent: "Can't you ever do anything
right?!" Perhaps you've heard even worse.
Words such as these have stuck with us throughout the years, shaping our
belief systems, for better or worse. I was told by a classmate in fourth grade that I
would never be good at sports, that I shouldn't even try. Although I didn't even know
this kid's name, his words strongly impacted me. So strongly, in fact, that I gave up
athletics for many years, believing I was doomed to fail at baseball, football, soccer,
or anything else falling under the category of "sports."
Honestly, I had just as much athletic potential as any fifth grader. The only thing
that kept me from excelling was agreement with my classmate's degrading words.
He told me something, I believed him, and it became so. I believed what he said
was true and by virtue of my faith, it became so. That's why the Bible says, "For as
he thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7).
After a few years, I understood that the only thing inhibiting my athleticism was
my own misplaced beliefs. I was able to correct my thoughts and excel at tennis,
softball, and various other sports.

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Separating the Truth from the Lies

Satan's entitlement to exert power on Earth was defeated at the cross of Jesus
Christ. He was "...brought to naught and made of no effect" (Hebrews 2:14). The
only power he has is through deception. Before the Fall, he couldn't force Adam and
Eve to eat the forbidden fruit; he had to convince them to do it of their own free will.
He fights with words. He works overtime, trying to get us to believe his deceit. When
I was young he used a cruel classmate to discourage my athletic pursuits. He still
tries to discourage me! He tells me I'll never be successful. He tells me God doesn't
love me. He tells me I'm a failure as a Christian. And he tells you the same kind of
lies!
But now I've identified the source of such disempowering statements. Whether
they show up as my own thoughts or through someone else's words, I can easily
identify whose message I'm hearing. When you know God's will, it's easy to discern
an opposing voice. I know that unless I take possession of those lies, they are
powerless against me.
What does satan tell you? That God isn't going to deliver you? That you're going
to die of cancer just like your grandfather? That you're going to go broke and end
up homeless? That your business will have to file bankruptcy? Recognize that
these words will only become true if you mix them with faith—if you make an
agreement.
Many times, satan uses others to communicate his discouraging words. A
relative, friend, or coworker. Even the words of a total stranger can be devastating
if you allow. Yet the words most difficult to ignore are spoken by people we love. Be
on guard when others give you warnings or advice. Are they speaking from faith or
fear? Are they pushing Heaven's agenda or their own?

Be Careful What you are Hearing

Let's face it: Whether it's frightening news reports, talk of increased crime in your
neighborhood, or perpetual TV commercials telling you why you need such-and-
such medication, your mind is constantly being bombarded with words of
negativity. If you stop in a crowd and listen to various conversations, you will
commonly hear statements such as, "This country's really going down the tubes."
"It's impossible to make a decent living these days." "I don't know what we're
going to do about the high price of gas."
If you dwell on these discouraging words, you will end up believing them. Your
faith will come "by hearing." For this reason, Jesus said, "Be careful what you are
hearing. The measure [of thought] you give to what you hear will be the measure
that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear" (see
Mark 4:24).
In a society that's inundated by trepidation and worry, spending more
money on sedatives and anti-depressants than any other nation in the world, we
must truly "be careful what we are hearing." We must not allow the world's way of
thinking to penetrate our minds. We've all heard the adage, "Garbage in, garbage
out." This phraseology accurately describes the intricate functions of the human

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intellect.
No one is the way they are by default. The moment your mind became alive and
active, it began to construct formulas; interpreting reality based on the information
it was fed. The style of clothing you wear and the variety of foods you enjoy reflect
a mass processing of years of experience as well as your environment. Your brain
is a supercomputer that basically files data and reproduces behavior based on its
calculations.
Recent studies show that our minds latch onto auditory information and file it as
truth, even if we're being told that it isn't. In a recent article about rumors, Taylor
Clark writes:

The more you hear a rumor, the more you'll buy it—even if you're hearing
that it's false. Even hearing that a rumor is bunk... tends to plant it deeper
in your mind. 'No question, the more you hear something even the same
thing from the same person—the more you believe it....Even a denial can
be a repetition of a rumor." What's more, repeating a rumor can also make
people believe it came from a credible source. Examine your stockpile of
offbeat conventional wisdom: It takes seven years for swallowed gum to pass
through the body. We only use 10 percent of our brains. The Great Tall of
China can be seen from space. People swallow eight spiders a year in their
sleep. These tidbits are all simple and specific, with a vivid detail that sticks
in the mind. They're also false....Here's a funny thing about the human
mind: Hearing that a statement is false can actually leads you to
remember it as true. It simply becomes more familiar in the mind,
studies show.'

It's amazing the things we accept as truth with virtually no factual basis. We
have heard certain statements so many times that they just become part of
who we are. Beliefs are formed because we eventually make mental
agreements with what we hear, even if it's on a subconscious level.
Neurophysiologists have discovered that speaking certain words, whether they
are words of positive reinforcement or disempowering negativity, create
characteristic electrical patterns in the brain. When you speak, you are literally
programming your brain with electric signals that will shape the way you believe,
which, of course, determines the course of your life.
God made our minds to be perfect. He did not err in His creation. Much like a
brand new computer, just shipped from the factory, God created us innocent
and flawless. When He made the human race, He said, "It is good" (see Genesis
1:31).
Unfortunately, even the most perfect and powerful supercomputer will be
rendered inoperative—even self-destructive—if it processes erroneous
information. We call it a virus. The computer itself hasn't malfunctioned. In
fact, it is performing like it was intended. But as it integrates this malicious code,
it begins to do wrong things. It has wrong reactions. Its ability to perform the
helpful functions for which it was intended is obstructed.

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The Virus

I had this problem a few years ago. I ordered a brand new, custom built
computer for my recording studio. I didn't cut any corners. I made sure that
only premium components were implemented. The manufacturer fine-tuned
the hardware for maximum performance in audio production. I was excited
when the machine arrived at my door. I spent the next few hours setting up and
learning how to operate it properly. After a few days' use, I was blown away by
what this new system could do. It processed massive amounts of data within
seconds. With my hand on the mouse and my eyes dazzled by the stunning
visuals, I felt as if I was in the driver's seat of a brand new luxury sedan. It even
had that new car smell!
But something bad happened. I connected the computer to the internet so
I could access my e-mail account. I discovered a letter in my inbox that claimed
it was from "an old friend." So I opened it:

Winston, it's been so long since we were in high school together! Do you
remember me? We used to sit next to each other in math class. Click this web
link to view my biography webpage and make sure to write back! Much love,
Jennifer.

Huh, I thought. Jennifer... was there a Jennifer in math class? My curiosity was
piqued and I thought perhaps a picture on her webpage would jog my
memory. I clicked on the blue web link.

But there was no Jennifer.

Instead, the image scrambled like pixels in a hurricane. Random numbers


splashed across the screen and the cooling fan in the chassis began to whir
noisily. I clicked furiously with the mouse, attempting to bring the system
back under my control. After a few moments a message appeared. A yellow
smiley face followed by the morbid words, "Congratulations, you've been
infected by a virus!"

Uh oh, I thought. What have I done now?


Sure enough, it didn't take long before my brand new, shiny computer began
to rebel. It deleted valuable files and opposed my instructions. It turned against
me. It needed expert repair. Sound familiar?
I believe this experience is a perfect illustration of the drama in which mankind
has starred for thousands of years. God made us wonderfully. He can't make
anything imperfect because He Himself is perfect. When He created Adam and Eve
and set them in the Garden of Eden, He was entirely pleased, enjoying their
companionship on a daily basis.
However, at some point the enemy showed up in Adam's email inbox. Satan didn't
come right out and say, "Hi, I'm evil. I'm here to destroy you." If my malicious email
had announced, "Open me, I'm a virus," I would have sent it to the trash can with a
triumphant slam on the delete button. But "Jennifer" appealed to me and I was

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deceived.
The Bible says the serpent in the Garden was the most crafty of all the animals.
He deceived Eve into eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When
she and Adam ate the forbidden fruit—just as when I clicked on "the following web-
link" with my mouse—their systems were contaminated. I can just see the devil
smiling sadistically and announcing, "Congratulations, you've been infected by a
virus!"
Adam began to malfunction immediately. He became ashamed of his own
nakedness and hid from God. He could no longer be trusted to fulfill his assignment.
For this reason, God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden until the problem
could be eradicated (see Genesis 3:24).
If what happened to my brand new computer seemed disastrous, imagine the
magnitude of an all-creation-contamination! You can easily see why the world is in
its present condition.
If you've had any personal encounters with a computer virus, you know how
easily and rapidly it can spread to other systems. It travels through emails, photos,
and memory cards. A brand-new, uninfected computer, formatted with a copy of
the infected machine's software, will inherit the virus.
In the same way, this "virus" has been passed down from generation to
generation. Theologians refer to it as original sin. It was the origin of Cain's jealous
murder. It was the fire behind David's adultery. It was the reason Jesus had to come
to Earth as a human. He was tempted in every way, yet never sinned (see Hebrews
4:15).
The sin problem in the world was not on the count of a faulty Creator anymore
than my computer's erratic behavior could be blamed on the manufacturer. In both
instances, foreign, erred programming was the source of the sin.

Replaced by the Very Life of Jesus

God always knew His creation could be restored. Mankind needed to be emptied,
cleaned, and reprogrammed. Jesus came and set everything right again. To those
of us who receive His life, we are wiped clean and reinstalled with the proper
operating system: a reborn spirit. We who were dead in sin have now received
eternal life. The old, broken man has been replaced by the very life of Jesus. The
Bible says it like this:

Therefore if any person is [engrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new


creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual
condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come. (2
Corinthians 5:17)

So the message is this: The virus—original sin—has been cured. But this doesn't
mean happily ever after—at least not yet. Our intellectual computers still face risks
every day. That's why Jesus warned us to be careful what we are hearing. If our
fully functional minds receive erred information, our behavior will respond
accordingly.

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Unfortunately, we can't avoid error and confusion altogether. Our society is still
riddled with the virus even though we as Christians are free. If we're not careful, we
will begin to believe lies about ourselves, others, and God. We must continually fill
our minds with truth. When we begin thinking rightly, we begin acting rightly. As a
man thinks in his heart, so is he. Garbage in, garbage out. Error in, error out. Truth
in, truth out. It's relatively simple.
The Apostle Paul wrote, "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but
let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think" (Romans
12:2 NLT).
Of all the different voices we come in contact with throughout our lives, there is
none we trust as unreservedly as our own. The words you speak are presumed true
by your subconscious and classified as reliable data in your processing center. As
our minds compound the data, beliefs are formulated. And we know that our
environment will respond to our belief system according to the Law of Faith.
Learning to talk to yourself can be a very helpful method of developing your
faith. Even though the devil lies to you relentlessly, his words have no bearing
unless you give voice to them out of your own mouth. It doesn't matter how bad
things look. It doesn't matter how big the mountain is. Do not come into agreement
by speaking it out of your mouth! It is vitally important that you counteract satan's
fiery darts with the shield of faith. Because your mind responds vigorously to the
potency of your own words, you must only speak what you wish to ultimately
believe. Constantly renew your mind so you won't be inundated by the world's
systems of belief.
When you're attempting to believe that you've already received whatever
you've asked for, as Jesus instructed (see Mark 11:24), it is counterproductive to
talk as if you don't yet possess what you requested. That means you must walk by
faith rather than by sight. You must change your mind to agree with the reality of
the spirit realm instead of the natural realm.
"But aren't you talking about living in denial?" a man asked.
"Yes," I answered. "That's exactly what I'm talking about. The Bible says, `Let the
weak say, I am strong!' (see Joel 3:10). However, the problem with living in denial is
that if you don't have a higher truth to replace the he with, you're headed for trouble.
When you walk in biblical faith, you're not merely denying the appearance of reality,
you are defying it. You are subscribing to a higher system of belief. If my body is sick, I
don't say, `I'm not sick.' But I do deny that sickness the right to remain in my body."
The man said, "That's wrong. It's dangerous to ignore your surroundings."
"On a purely rational level, I agree with you," I told him. "When Caleb
encouraged the Israelites to go up and take the Promised Land, he didn't deny the
fact that there were giants and armies standing in the way. He simply didn't care.
Caleb ignored the negative—though realistic—report of the other spies because his
mind was resounding with God's Words: `I have given you the land!'
"No doubt when Caleb scouted the enemy territory and saw the danger—the
seeming impossibilities—he was tempted to agree with his fellow spies. However, it
is obvious that Caleb learned the value of talking to himself. When thoughts came,
saying, Look how powerful those cities are. God was lying to you, you'll never enter the
land, Caleb said, `No! I refuse to believe that lie. Physically we are weak, but that

109
qualifies me to say, "I am strong!" We are well able to take the land!' By bringing his
words into agreement with God's promise, he was shaping his belief system
according to the unseen. He was developing his faith."

Ignoring the Naysayers

The Book of Mark tells an interesting story about a man named Jarius. Jarius was a
prominent leader in the community, faced with an impossible problem. He heard
about Jesus, a man of great faith, and came to Him for help.

[Jarius] begged [Jesus] earnestly, saying, My little daughter is at the point of


death. Come and lay Your hands on her, so that she may be healed and live.
And Jesus went with him.... While He was still [on His way] there came
some from the ruler's house, who said [to Jarius], Your daughter has died.
Why bother and distress the Teacher any further? Overhearing but ignoring
what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, Do not be seized
with alarm and struck with fear; only keep on believing.... When they arrived
at the house of the ruler of the synagogue, He looked [carefully and with
understanding] at [the) tumult and the people weeping and wailing loudly.
And when He had gone in, He said to them, Why do you make an uproar
and weep? The little girl is not dead but is sleeping. And they laughed
and jeered at Him. But He put them all out, and, taking the child's father
and mother and those who were with Him, He went in where the little girl
was lying. Gripping her [firmly] by the hand, He said to her...Little girl, I say to
you, arise from the sleep of death] And instantly the girl got up and started
walking around. (Mark 5:23, 35-36, 38-42, emphasis added)

When I first read this passage in light of the Law of Faith, I was stunned by how
utterly unreasonable Jesus was. At no time did He say, "Now let's look at the facts
here." The girl's condition abruptly changed from sick to dead and Jesus didn't' miss
a beat. He was completely unmoved by shifting circumstances and negative
reports. He couldn't help overhearing the morbid update on the girl's health, but
He chose to ignore it.
I'm sure the mourners and weepers thought Jesus had lost His mind. He
certainly appeared to be acting crazy. Some of the crowd was undoubtedly
offended at Jesus' evident lack of responsibility. They probably thought He had a
hard time swallowing reality. In fact, it wasn't that He had a difficult time facing the
earthly reality of the girl's death, He blatantly refused to! On top of that, Jesus is
the One who treated the guests as though they were crazy! "Why do you make an
uproar and weep," He questioned. "She isn't dead, she's only sleeping." And when
they jeered, He threw them out. Jesus recognized their lack of faith and refused to
compromise the miracle by allowing them to remain.
At first, it may sound foolish to defy "reality" and talk according to faith instead
of sight. Others will accuse you of lying to yourself. But you aren't lying any more
than Jesus when He said Jarius' daughter wasn't dead. Circumstances are temporal.
Even if no one else will, you must be the one to tell yourself the truth.

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Those who refuse to join you—who cannot see with eyes of faith—will
continually compromise your miracle. Do what Jesus did: kick them out! Sometimes
the only thing holding you back in your walk of faith is the influence of people who
only tell it like it is. Many people pride themselves in this. I hear folks say, "I always
speak my mind—I tell it like it is!" Or, "I call it like I see it."
But let me tell you like it really is. People who tell it like it is, or call it like they
see it are walking by sight rather than faith. Jesus didn't tell it like it was. He told it
as it wasn't and was ridiculed for it. When you decide to talk faith-talk, you will be
ridiculed too.
Consider Jesus' response to Peter when he voiced opposition to His upcoming
crucifixion. Jesus turned to him and said, "Get away from me, satan! You are a
dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things from a human point of view, not from
God's" (Matthew 16:23 NLT, emphasis added).
Sometimes you must ignore what others say, unless they are in strict agreement
with God's point of view. Jesus went so far as to call Peter—who was not seeing with
eyes of faith—"satan," meaning "adversary." Jesus knew there was only one source
of opposition to the Cross.
Sometimes you must risk looking foolish. Even so, be like Joshua and Caleb. Be
the minority who will not compromise the miracle by only agreeing with reality as it
appears. Instead, be like God who "...speaks of the non-existent things that [He has
foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed" (Romans 4:17). After all,
Scripture tells us, "Be imitators of God as well-beloved children imitate their
fathers" (Ephesians 5:1).
Even when Abraham had no children and was too old to do anything about it, God
told him, "I have made you the father of many nations." Abraham probably thought,
You are crazy! His wife Sarah actually laughed when God spoke this way. God was
talking by faith. He could see something they couldn't! It wasn't until Abraham
learned to talk by faith, agreeing with God, saying, "God has made me the father of
many nations," that Sarah conceived a child. They finally received in the natural
realm what was theirs in the spirit realm all along. That's how faith operates.

Cognitive Restructuring

When you talk faith to yourself, you stir yourself up. You might feel foolish at first,
but after a while you'll begin to believe the things you tell yourself. This can be
applied negatively as well as positively. I know a slender girl who looks in the
mirror and actually believes that she is fat. Even though her eyes see a
sickly,starving, skinny body, she has learned to believe otherwise, defying reality to
perceive herself overweight. How is this possible? She told herself for years that
she was fat, and eventually her mind believed what she programmed it to believe.
This is a negative application of what psychologists commonly refer to as "cognitive
restructuring."

In the same way, we can use words to the advantage of our faith, causing
ourselves to believe contrary to what out eyes see. We are cognitively restructuring
the way we believe—what Paul calls "renewing the mind" (see Romans 12:2).

111
If your eyes see stacks of bills and debt, tell yourself you'll have no problem
paying everything you owe. Say, "My God has supplied all my needs according to
His riches in glory in Christ Jesus!" (see Philippians 4:19). If the collection agency
calls and tells you they're coming after you, take a page out of Jesus' book:
Overhear, but ignore. Tell yourself, "God's blessings come upon me and overtake
me! My bills are paid! I am free from debt in Jesus' name! I have an abundance of
wealth, just like Abraham, just like David, just like Solomon!" Faith will come simply
by hearing God's Word spoken through your own mouth.
This is not, however, a license to be lazy. You must follow the leading of the Holy
Spirit as the venue through which you will receive the money you've asked for. God
can provide the answer in various ways. You must be prepared to act in obedience,
according to your faith, even if that means getting a job.
On the flip side, no matter how much you labor and strive, if you see yourself poor
and unable to pay your bills, you'll always fall short. No physical effort can
circumvent a powerful, negative belief. If you see yourself poor and lacking, the
first change that needs to occur is not a new job or bigger paycheck, but your
belief system. This means you must let God determine your financial status, not
the voice of the creditor.
Use Scripture-based affirmations to reprogram the way you perceive reality. This
procedure might feel uncomfortable at first. The devil will come and tell you how
foolish and irresponsible you're acting. Overhear, but ignore. Say, "I am enriched in
all things and in every way. So much that I can be generous and glorify God in my
giving!" (see 2 Corinthians 9:11).
Memorize prosperity promises and recite them over and over throughout the
day. Build up your faith muscle in the area its weak. Say them repeatedly until faith
develops. Say them until you know that you know that you are in agreement. Not
just recognizing that they're true, but recognizing that they are for you!
In line at the bank, say, "Though Jesus was so very rich, for my sake He became
poor, that I through His poverty could be enriched and abundantly supplied" (see 2
Corinthians 8:9).
At the grocery store: "Jesus became poor so I can be rich!"
When you wake up and when you lie down: "Everything I set my hand to will
prosper!" (see Psalm 1:3, Joshua 1:8).
When doubt comes and attempts to sneak a virus onto your computer, talk to
yourself and stir up your faith. If you repeatedly tell yourself something, you will
believe it.
An excellent example of this biblical principle is found in Matthew chapter nine.
This is the story of the woman who suffered from an uncontrollable flow of blood.
Doctors had given up hope but she remained strong. When she heard that Jesus the
Healer was coming to town, she prepared her heart by strengthening her faith. How
did she strengthen her faith? By talking to herself.

For she kept saying to herself, If I only touch His garment, I shall be restored
to health. Jesus turned around and, seeing her, He said, Take courage,
daughter! Your faith has made you well And at once the woman was
restored to health. (Matthew 9:21-22, emphasis added)

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Her faith made her well and her faith came by hearing. She made the decision
to receive healing and she discovered the power of talking to herself.
You may overhear the doctor tell you you'll never be able to walk again. That's
fine. That's his opinion. Overhear, but ignore. You appeal to a higher Physician. Talk to
yourself. "I can walk again! My legs are healed right now by Jesus' blood! I am strong
and able! I am the healed of the Lord!"
Say with Abraham, "I am the father of many nations!"
Say with Joshua and Caleb, "God has given me the Promised Land. I am
well able to take the land!" Say with Jesus, "The girl is not dead, she is
only sleeping!"
If you faithfully apply this principle in your everyday life, you will find yourself
continually thinking like God thinks—agreeing with the reality of Heaven rather
than Earth. Your faith will rise up strong and miracles will occur in your life.
Healings will be commonplace. Mountains will move. I know it's true because I've
seen proof in my own life, as well as in others' lives.
As those victories start coming more frequently and you begin seeing prayers
fulfilled, it's important not to let them pass unnoticed. In the next chapter we'll
see how we can frame our present miracles and draw strength from them to
open the door to more.

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Endnotes

1. Taylor Clark, The 81/2 Laws of Rumor Spread (Psychology Today, New York: Sussex), Nov./Dec. 2008, pp.
84-86

CHAPTER TEN

Recalling Yesterday's Triumphs

Meditate on and talk of all His marvelous deeds


And d e v o ut l y p r a is e th e m.
—Psalm 105:2

W
E ALL FACE MOMENTS WHEN OUR FAITH BEGINS TO WAVER. One of the
easiest ways to restore your faith to its necessary constancy is by
marveling at past miracles. Recalling God's faithfulness to you
yesterday will encourage you today. You'll become convinced that if He was able to
do it before, He'll be able to do it again. It's important to remind yourself of this
fact.
One of satan's favorite mind games is to tell you that this time is different—this
time God isn't going to come through. This mountain is too big. If he can successfully
deceive you, he has already thwarted your miracle. At all costs, he will attempt to
steal your past triumphs in order to prevent pending miracles.
Have you ever failed to recognize an answered prayer when it showed up? Have
you mistakenly attributed God's help to coincidence? I heard a humorous story a
few years ago that illustrates my point. A man arrived late to a baseball game and
sped around the parking lot trying to find a decent parking space. After circling
three or four times, unable to find what he was looking for, he cried out to God.
"God, if you'll help me find a good parking spot I promise I'll start going to
church every Sunday."
Just as he circled to the front of the lot, a car pulled out of a prime parking
space. The man pulled in, and with a sigh of relief said, "Never mind, God. I got
one."
Sometimes we don't take time to meditate on our victories because we're too
busy thinking about our unfulfilled prayers. One thing I've discovered in my walk of
faith is that it's crucial to embrace triumphs as they come. When a dream or desire
is fulfilled, don't offer a trite, Thanks, and rush on to the next big thing. Instead, feast
on the answered prayer enthusiastically. Tell everyone you meet what God did. Let
your heart overflow with gratitude and rejoicing.

Testimony Cultivates an Attitude of Gratitude

When I was a teenager, I asked God for a brand new bass guitar. I carefully

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determined which model and color I wanted and patiently waited for its arrival. I
had no money at that point—Christmas and my birthday had since passed. So I
placed the request with my Heavenly Father. Then I expected to receive it just as if
I had ordered straight from the catalog. Sure enough, a few weeks later, a friend of
our family decided to buy me a bass guitar. I was elated when it arrived. I hung it
on my wall where I would see it every time I entered my bedroom. It had a glossy
blue finish and a swanky leather strap. For days, when I would. come home and see
my prized possession glimmering in the afternoon sunlight, I would overflow with
gratitude. I was continually confronted with an awareness of God's goodness and
generosity. That guitar stands as a monument to His faithful provision.
I still play that bass guitar today. It is a reminder that God is interested in the
things I'm interested in, big or small. He loves to answer my prayers and grant my
heart's desires. Remember what King Solomon wrote: "Hope deferred makes the
heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life" (Proverbs 13:12).
When we witness our dreams transpire—our desires manifest—it's like delicious
fruit from a beautiful tree, providing nourishment for our faith. When we are
standing in the rain of blessings, we feel as if we can tackle anything. We know
God is with us. We're convinced He's on our side. Keep eating this fruit. Consider
what God has done in your life and feast on those triumphs. By doing so you
are saying, "God has done it before and I know He'll do it again!"
Solomon's father, King David, understood the importance of eating from
the tree of life. He knew perhaps better than anyone the power of meditating on
what God had already done.

I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies as much as in all riches.... Your
testimonies also are my delight and my counselors. I cleave to Your
testimonies. (Psalms 119:14; 31)

I'm sure that when David was hiding out in caves and clefts all those years,
running from King Saul's demented vendetta, he learned the importance of
recalling God's past faithfulness. David faced some sizable battles in his day.
Anyone determined to live by faith should pay close attention to this "man after
[God's] own heart" (Acts 13:22). How did he survive the battlefield? How did he
emerge victorious in every situation? I believe David's constant meditation on
God's mighty works—the testimonies—played a significant role in David's great
faith. He learned to never let go of the triumphant stories and stunning acts of
power that God performed for him and his fathers. By developing this habit, he
remained equipped to manage every onslaught of the enemy.
David used past victories to build his expectation of winning the next
challenge. When facing Goliath, David famously told Saul, "The Lord Who
delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, He will
deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine" (1 Samuel 17:37). In the shadow of
an intimidating giant, David's confidence was fueled by remembering his past
triumphs. His story schools us to affectionately remember our many God-given
victories.
What lions and bears have you defeated in the past? What mountains have you

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overcome? Meditate on these successes. When faced with a fresh challenge, say,
"I've already defeated the lion and the bear. This giant is going down!"
Remember that David refused to wear Saul's armor. He used his simple sling and
stone. When you win your battles (which you will!) it will be because you trusted
the power God placed in your own hands, not on account of someone else's fancy
weaponry.
Let's look again to the wise words of Bill Johnson to encourage us further
regarding this subject.

The testimonies of God are the tools that equip us to walk in our purpose to
demonstrate what He is like through the miraculous. First, they reveal the
nature of God and how He does things—His ways. Secondly, this
awareness of who God is creates an expectation in our hearts for God's ways
to be manifested in our lives. The Hebrew root word for `testimony" means
"do again." Every record of what God has done in generations past is a
promise of what He will do again in our lives, because He is the same
_yesterday, today and forever, and is no respecter of persons (see Heb. 13:8;
Acts 10:34). Not only that, Revelation 19:10 says, "the testimony of Jesus
is the spirit of prophecy"....the prophetic anointing does not just declare
what God wants [to do], but also carries creative power to bring what is
declared into being. The testimony releases this anointing. When we declare
what God has done, power is released to make that testimony happen again
in the lives of those who hear

Can you remember the last time you heard a truly moving testimony? Was your
heart stirred? Were you challenged to believe God for greater things? When we
hear about God's powerful works in the lives of those around us it makes us think
God can do that for me too!

The Accident

Joe used to be the fastest sprinter at his high school. He was built for running.
Tall and lean, he could outrun the competition at nearly every track meet and
tournament. His dream was to continue running in track and field sports,
eventually entering the International Olympics. His family was very proud of him.
He was unstoppable.
Then there was the accident.
At a party in his final year of high school, Joe was designated to drive his friend’s
home safely as he didn't drink alcohol ... and they'd be too drunk to even find the
keys. While Joe remained sober, he watched and laughed as his classmate’s
drained bottles and kegs to celebrate their football team's recent success.
At two-o'-clock in the morning, rain poured hard, and all seemed according to
plan. Joe steered his Honda Civic down the back roads, friends passed out in the
back seat. Heavy water droplets pelted the windshield.
Unfortunately, others at the party didn't designate sober drivers. While Joe was
trying to stay awake, relieved the party was finally over, he thought with

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anticipation about his upcoming track meet. His mind drifted to the Olympics as he
pictured himself wearing the gold medal around his neck. He was driving fast and
didn't notice the other car swiftly approach in his rear-view mirror. No one knew if the
other driver was simply trying to play a joke, or if he just didn't notice the Civic
getting closer and closer through his windshield. When Joe saw the headlights
glaring from a few feet behind, he drifted to the right to allow the vehicle to pass.
But it didn't. Joe put his foot on the brake and began to slow down. The other car
sped up and swerved, losing control.
The collision was monumental. Cars spinning, rolling. Twisting metal as they
toppled over each other. Screaming. Chaos. And then.... silence.
Two female passengers were dead. So was the drunk driver. Joe was
unconscious. His legs were crushed beneath a collapsed dashboard.
He would live, the doctors told him, but he would never run again.
The Bible says, "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy"
(John 10:1Oa).
Joe had been visited by the thief—the devil. His future was gone. His hopes and
dreams shattered in an instant. Or so it seemed.
Joe's family was strong in faith, believing in God's ability to heal. They began to
pray, asking Him for a miracle in Joe's life. While many passed judgment on Joe,
saying, "It's his own fault. He never should have gone to that party in the first
place," and, "God must not have wanted him to compete in the Olympics. He did this
to Joe for a reason," Joe and his family stood firm on the promises of God. They
knew His grace was enough, party or no party. They were still proud of their son.
It was a significant test of their faith. Months passed with no change. Surgery was
attempted to correct the handicap. Though Joe hoped it would be God's method of
restoration, he remained confined to a wheelchair.
Well over a year passed. Joe could tell that his faith was not where it needed to
be. Over time he began to waver, doubting God's will for his healing.
One day, an itinerant evangelist advertised a series of meetings in the area. The
subject of the conference was healing. Joe knew he needed to attend.
The first two nights, Joe listened to the minister preach from the Bible about
healing. He talked about
Jesus; how He healed every single person who ever came to Him. He said that
healing is still God's will today.
Joe began to picture himself going forward at the end of the service. He imagined
the minister praying for
him. He hoped tonight would be the night. But part of him was holding back. He
could feel it. It was a fear of being disappointed. Deep down he still questioned
whether the handicap was God's punishment for his
attendance at the party. Joe knew this couldn't be true. He knew God was only good,
but somehow he couldn't seem to shake the doubt.
The final night of the conference, Joe watched person after person go forward to
share their testimonies. Men and women told how God healed and set them free.
One man shed tears as he conveyed how the Lord removed his craving for
cigarettes the previous night. He knew he'd never light up again. Another
gentleman spoke of chronic back pain that was gone. God had done what the

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strongest medication could not do.
But Joe's eyes became transfixed as a dark-haired woman walked onto the
platform. There was something about her . . . something inside him knew God
was going to use this woman. He knew he had to open his heart and receive from
the Lord.
The lady shared her testimony. She told how she had been born with a fragile
bone condition. As she grew up, her legs had become weaker and weaker, until
at last, she couldn't walk at all. She remained crippled for many years.
That is, until tonight.
The woman continued to say that during the praise and worship segment that
evening, God had healed her body. Joe leaned forward in his chair.
"All of a sudden, I just knew I could stand on my own," she said. `We were
singing about Jesus' blood and it became so real to me: Jesus died so my body
could be made whole. And now I can walk!"
She was crying. Many people were crying. Joe felt tears roll down his own
face. That woman wasn't the only one who knew. The revelation of Jesus' blood
poured out at the Cross. The healing He provided. It was for Joe too.
As the wonderful truth of the Gospel shot through his mind like a dazzling
light, Joe felt an intense heat surge through his legs. He wanted to shout but he
couldn't make a sound. Strength was returning to his body. He felt a substantial
crack! in his left knee. Then another in his right. His head was swimming as his
legs—the legs that should have never walked again—straightened out.
Joe stood to his feet and began to walk. Then jump. Then run. Then dance!
Joe received his healing that night. It was accessed through the testimony
of another. Faith came by hearing the testimony.2 And I don't doubt that this
testimony will inspire your faith too.
We find a similar story in Scripture. We've already mentioned the woman
who issued blood for twelve years. She was restored to health when she touched
the hem of Jesus garment (see Matthew 9:20-22). This was an unconventional
method for receiving healing—but not for long.
Interestingly, a few pages later in the book of Matthew, we find a similar
occurrence:

And when the men of [Gennesaret] recognized Jesus], they sent around into
all the surrounding country and brought to Him all who were sick and begged
Him to let them merely touch the fringe of His garment, and as many as
touched it were perfectly restored. (Matthew 14:35-36)

I find it remarkable that the initial healing of the bleeding woman, though
unconventional, fostered a wave of identical miracles in its wake. She stepped
out in faith and did something that had never been done before. But word
traveled fast even in those days. Soon the entire region was informed of her
healing. Its simple deduction: As other sick people heard the exciting news—
that even a touch of the Rabbi's garment would swiftly avail their own healing—
they set out at once, single-minded. If that woman got healed by simply touching
Jesus' robe, certainly I can get healed in the same way!

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Great faith was produced in the lives of those who heard the testimony. For
the sick and downtrodden men of Gennesaret, thinking on the miracle of what
God had already done paved the way for the same miracle to occur again and
again. "As many as touched it were perfectly restored." Strengthened faith.
Countless miracles.

Documenting the Miracles in Your Life

One of the practical ways you can implement this principle is to keep a journal—a
diary of what God has done. I keep track of all my prayer requests, writing
detailed descriptions of what I've asked for. I know each one of them will be
fulfilled; therefore I leave a blank space below each prayer. When manifestation
occurs, I record it concisely—how it happened and how grateful and joyful I am.
If I'm struggling with doubt, all I have to do is thumb through the previous
pages. There are a few prayers that I haven't seen fulfilled yet, but hundreds that
I have. From my health to my finances, expansive dreams to secret petitions of
the heart, my journal is brimming with testimony after testimony. I am so
convinced of God's faithfulness!
Recently I was at a conference in Washington State. Sitting behind me were a
mother and daughter, both suffering severe back pain and headaches resulting
from an automobile accident. The Holy Spirit told me they were dealing with
pinched nerves. With permission, I placed a hand on each of their backs, and
spoke to the ailment directly: "Pressure be released, in Jesus Name! Headache,
go now! I command perfect health to be restored to these women!"
They both experienced immediate healing and praised God.
My faith was very strong in that moment. In other words, my agreement was
exactly where it needed to be. I knew that God's will was healing. I knew they
were healed by the blood. I knew I had the authority to manifest it by speaking to
the mountain of back pain. I wasn't even surprised when it worked. Jesus said it
would!
I wrote that miracle in my journal. I read it often, knowing that it will fuel my
faith the next time I'm faced with the same type of need.
I've never raised someone from the dead, but I know I will. Jesus instructed us to
raise the dead. However, when I was about twelve years old, I had a pet goldfish
named Henry. Henry was a fine companion, even though he didn't talk much.
One day, I came home from school to find Henry floating upside-down,
bobbing at the top of his fish bowl. I was sad that he died, and I asked my mom
to flush him down the toilet. But my proactive mother saw the tragedy as an
opportunity.
She said, "Winston, go raise that fish from the dead."
I didn't know what to say. Actually, the thought was overwhelming. I can't raise a
fish from the dead! "Winston, go do it. If you ever want to raise people from the
dead, you have to start somewhere. This will be faith practice."
"But I don't know how," I reasoned.
"That's fine. Just ask the Holy Spirit to help you."
I was somewhat put out but knew better than to argue. I went back into my

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bedroom. There was Henry, dead for at least an hour. I just stared at him,
hoping God would do something on His own. Nothing happened.
I said, "Jesus, please raise my fish from the dead."
Nothing happened. After a few moments, I was ready to go tell my mom it
didn't work. Just then I heard her shout, "Don't come out of there until that fish is
swimming!"
It seemed infuriatingly unreasonable at the time, but in hindsight, I'm glad
she put the pressure on. Suddenly, I remembered what Jesus said to dead
Lazarus.
Well here goes nothing, I thought. I looked at the floating goldfish and
said, "Henry, come forth!" Nothing happened.
I sat on my bed, trying to figure out what to do. After a few minutes of
distracting myself, my mom opened the door and came in. As she glanced at
Henry's bowl, I cringed, foreseeing a lecture.
"Winston!"
Here we go, I thought.
"That's awesome! Isn't God great?" she said with a smile. "Now you know you
can raise the dead! Praise God!"
'What—" I looked up. There was Henry, swimming vigorously, lively as could be!
To most people, raising a goldfish from the dead seems supererogatory. To me,
it was a stepping stone to my destiny. This testimony is written in my journal
for a reason. I know that as I'm standing over someone who needs supernatural
life one day, my faith will not fail. (Thanks Mom!)
When I reference everything the Lord has done for me, I feel great faith
bubble up inside—like there's nothing too big for my Father to handle—nothing
impossible at all!
Sometimes I get so stirred that I'm compelled to ask God for even more, just
to increase the wealth of memorials established in my journal. This isn't excess,
its extravagance! And God is extravagant!
Testimonies do this. They are massive faith builders. If you don't have anything
to write yet, start with the miracles recorded in Scripture. Write about Joseph—
how God faithfully delivered him from prison to the palace. Write about David
who was delivered from his enemies, time and again.
Pay attention to the testimonies of those around you. Write them down. Make
them yours. Meditate on them. Use your imagination to visualize the miracles
of God. You will pave the way for the same mighty power—the power that
delivered Daniel from the lions and Jesus from the grave—to reach in and
transform every facet of your life. Just as impossibilities were shattered before
the saints of old, so will your mountains bow before the wonder-working power of
the Living God!
In addition to the miracle of the testimony, God has made an incredible stealth
weapon available to every believer to help us keep our eyes—our faith—focused on
and in agreement with the real reality. This mysterious and controversial tool will
be discussed in the following chapter.

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Endnotes

1. Bill Johnson, Strengthen Yourself in the Lord (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 2007), p. 109

2. Story adapted from the pamphlet, God's Still Works Miracles (Published anonymously, 2006), pp. 7-10
CHAPTER ELEVEN

Rise Like an Edifice

When you pray in your private prayer language, don't hoard the experience for
yourself.
Pray for the insight and ability to bring others into that intimacy. If I pray in tongues, my
spirit prays....
Dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the
Holy Spirit.

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—1 Corinthians 14:14; Jude 20 MSG

G
OD NEVER CHANGES. He isn't making this story up as we go along. He
knows the beginning from the end. Before you were ever born, God
had a plan. He's been unfolding that plan from the foundation of
the w orld. And He will complete it. We are privileged to live in an amazing
slice of history—a day and age when animal sacrifices are no longer necessary.
There is no human priest standing between us and our Father. We are no longer
called servants but friends. Jesus doesn't walk with us anymore because now He is
in us!
Certain things have changed, but God Himself has not. Many times in Scripture,
God announces His plans to do "a new thing" (see Numbers 16:30; Isaiah 43:19;
Jeremiah 31:22). Not new to Him, but new to us.
For instance, even though humanity had suffered for thousands of years under
slavery to the law of sin and death, God planned that at the right moment He would
do a new thing: unveil salvation in Christ.

In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had
previously purposed and set forth in Jesus], [He planned] for the maturity of
the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up
and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the
earth. (Ephesians 1:9b-10)

You and I are fortunate to live in this end-time age. God has made awesome
power available to us through His Sprit, indwelling every born-again child of God. He
has opened up the heavenly realms and gifted us with divine languages—the ability
to speak spiritual mysteries with our natural tongues.
Speaking in unknown tongues has been the basis for much controversy
throughout the years. Many Christians have avoided the subject altogether,
attempting to deter contention and disunity. Others run from it like the plague. For
many people, the idea of speaking in tongues is simply uncomfortable. It violates
their grid of intellectual acceptability.
Perhaps that's why it's so powerful.
It's one of the primary rally points for doctrinal contention, fueling many fierce
debates and church splits throughout the past century. To those who fear man's
opinions—the "seeker-sensitive"—the gift of tongues has become a taboo. Don't
ask, don't tell.
But for those burning with spiritual hunger, longing to experience the fullness of
the Kingdom, tongues should be a subject to which much prayer and study is
devoted. If you have determined to exert your God-given authority over the
impossible mountains in your life, you are no longer a member of the play-it-safe
club. There is a mandate in the Church today for the Joshua’s and Caleb’s among
us to step over the Jordan river and face our giants. Like Peter, we must place our
foot over the edge of the boat. Jesus has said, "Come." We must follow Him, even if
it means walking on water.

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Instead of shying away from volatile biblical issues, owing to their propensity to
foster confrontation and pious defense mechanisms, these subjects should become
hot spots for deep consideration. If speaking in tongues has been such an open
door for spiritual attack and dissension, the question should be, Why? If there is
arguing and disunity, it's safe to say that the accuser of the brethren is near. And if
he's exerting his hellish efforts to stir confusion around the subject of tongues,
again we must question his motive. He only has a vendetta against realities by
which he is threatened.
What about speaking in tongues is satan so scared oft What does he know that we
don't? He has no ability to create anything. All he can do—all he has ever done—is
distort and pervert the flawless creations of the Creator. If the subject of speaking
in tongues has become such a confounding vehicle for satanic advancement, it
only confirms that underneath all the carnage and rubble lays a precious gem of
uncontaminated truth. It is my desire to unearth that jewel in this chapter so that
the Holy Spirit may reveal to you the incredible, untapped power of heavenly
languages. In a world where truth is no longer considered relevant, we must look to
the Holy Spirit to lead us to truth concerning this powerful subject. Remember,
truth does not divide—it sets us free (see John 8:32).

The Day of Pentecost

It was time for the unchanging God to do something new. Time to unveil something
He had planned since the beginning. His own Word had become a man—a walking,
breathing, Kingdom declaration. The last sacrifice had been offered. God and man
were set right. The only remaining task was tell everyone the good news! Since Jesus
was only one person, it would have taken far too long for Him to deliver the message
single-handedly. So the Father took His Word—the Word that was Jesus Christ—and
breathed it into all who would receive it. Ordinary men like Peter, John, and Paul
became powerful conduits for the revolutionary message of the Gospel. His plan
was that His children take His Son's place on Earth, continuing His ministry, as
Jesus had foretold:

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will
never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at
large cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't
recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in
you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. But it is
actually best for you that I go away, because if don't, the Counselor won't
come. If I do go away, he will come because I will send him to you. John
14:16-18; 16:7 NLT)

In the following verses, Jesus continued to speak about the Holy Spirit and His
mission, concluding with the cliffhanger, "I have still many things to say to you, but
you are not able to bear them or to take them upon you or to grasp them now. But
when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all
the Truth (the whole, full Truth)" John 16:12-13a).

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This clearly reveals that there are certain truths that Jesus did not convey in His
teachings. Often in modern day churches, people mechanically disqualify the
present work of the Spirit because they can't locate relevant teaching in red letter.
This is popular with those who attempt to discredit or downplay the gift of tongues.
Yet Jesus instructed us to expect the Holy Spirit to bring new concepts and truths to our
theological tables.
A Pharisaical attitude says, "I don't see that in the Bible, therefore it isn't true."
This assumption caused the religious watchdogs of Jesus' day to completely miss
out on—not to mention violently oppose—the Messiah Hirnself! Rather than
discounting experiences that make you uncomfortable or challenge your concept
of spirituality, use the Scriptures and your God-given discernment to establish
whether or not the activity in question is aligned with the entire character of the
Father. There is nothing wrong with or missing from the Bible. However, the Bible is
"foolishness" to our minds without the key ingredient of a humble heart,
surrendered to the only One who can accurately interpret its pages: the Holy
Spirit. Even the best scholasticism cannot be substituted for the Author's
interpretation of His own Book! Only the religiously arrogant would attempt to do
so.
Refuting speaking in tongues on the grounds that Jesus didn't teach on the
subject is no longer valid. God continued to reveal new aspects of Himself well after
Jesus ascended into Heaven. There is no evidence that
He has stopped doing so today. We will see that tongues was a significant
aspect of Christianity's establishment.

The Outpouring
Jesus did exactly what He promised. In Acts 1:9, He ascended to Heaven. Angels
told the disciples that He would return in the same way He departed. He told them
to wait in Jerusalem until they were clothed with power from on high (see Luke
24:49). They did this for many days, numbering about one hundred and twenty men
and women (see Acts 1:15).

All of these with their minds in full agreement devoted themselves steadfastly
to prayer, [waiting together] with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus,
and with His brothers... And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they
were all assembled together in one place, when suddenly there came a sound
from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole
house in which they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues
resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on
each one of them. And they were all filled (d used throughout their souls)
with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign)
languages (tongues), as the Spirit kept giving the clear and loud expression
[in each tongue in appropriate words]. (Acts 1:14; 2:1-4)

The Church was launched into a glorious new dispensation. This was the

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flourishing fulfillment of Isaiah's well-known prophecy: "...by men with stammering
lips and another tongue will He speak to this people..." (Isaiah 28:11). A few
confused theologians have concluded that this isn't possibly referring to speaking
in tongues. But the Apostle Paul himself puts Isaiah's prophecy in exactly that
context (see 1 Corinthians 14:21). Jesus also prophesied about this wonder, saying,
"And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in my name...they will
speak in new languages" (Mark 16:17, emphasis added).
"New" means that these languages wouldn't yet be known to man. Jesus was
referring to more than the initial outpouring of the Spirit in Acts Chapter Two. Here's
why: In that instance, the Jews heard the disciples speaking in their own native
languages. The languages weren't new—they were old. In this instance tongues
being used as a supernatural sign to the unbeliever. I'll detail this subject in just a
moment.
There's no reason to deny that speaking in tongues is bizarre. Babbling in
indiscernible languages appears foolish and undignified—traits that our flesh
absolutely abhors. Yet God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise
(see 1 Corinthians 1:18-29). For those who are determined to lay hold of everything
God has made available, there must be an abandonment of human dignity—a
willingness to lay pride on the floor. Along with reputation, tradition, and all comfort
doctrines. As with anything God asks us to do, obedience is paramount. We must
always remain open to what the Spirit is doing in our hearts and lives.

In the Early Church

It is now appropriate to survey the impartation of the gift of tongues in the lives of
the apostles and the Early Church.
Physician and author Luke continued to document the work of the Spirit after
Jesus ascended. In the book of Acts, Luke writes to his acquaintance, Theophilus. It
is a relational letter, intending to describe a series of events. Luke's objective was
not to form doctrine. That is, his motivation wasn't to say, "This is how it works. God
always does it this way." Indeed God doesn't always do things the same way. It isn't
prudent to constantly get hung up on what God did and how He did it. Instead, we
would be better off trying to discover the most important issue of all: What is He
doing now? In fact, God's methods and emphases vary all throughout Scripture. It
would be detrimental to force doctrines out of isolated incidents. Remember, even
though God never changes, He is always doing "a new thing" (see Malachi 3:6;
Isaiah 43:19).
So far, we have seen speaking in tongues as an outward sign which accompanies
the infilling or baptism of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer (see Acts 2). In Acts
8:16 there is a subsequent experience of receiving the Holy Spirit, distinct from the
initial act of believing and receiving Jesus. The Samaritans in this chapter were
saved in verse twelve, but didn't receive the Holy Spirit until Peter and John came
and laid hands on them. Simon the sorcerer was able to "see" that the Holy Spirit
had been imparted through the laying on of hands (see verse 18). Most likely he
observed the Samaritans speaking in tongues.
In Acts 10:45 the Jews witnessed the Gentiles being filled with the Holy Spirit

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while Peter was preaching. Verse 46 shows that it was the Gentiles, speaking in
tongues, that convinced the Jews they'd received the Spirit.
In Acts 19:6 certain Ephesians had been saved and baptized into Christ, but Paul
imparted a separate encounter with the Spirit and they immediately spoke with
tongues.
Paul himself was filled with the Holy Spirit (see Acts 9:17), and he said, "I thank
God I speak in tongues more than you all" (1 Corinthians 14:18 NKJV).
Since this gift of the Spirit is indeed sourced in the Holy Spirit, there is no reason to
believe that tongues was removed from the Church's experience unless the Holy
Spirit has also been removed. In fact, Paul speaks of a coming day when prophecy,
tongues, and knowledge will pass away. As it is evident that knowledge is still here,
and that not all prophecy has been fulfilled yet, it's safe to say that Paul's
"coming day" has not yet arrived (see 1 Corinthians 13:8). That means that the
operation of tongues has not yet passed away.
There are varying executions of the gift of tongues. These distinctive
manifestations are often referred to as "diversities." I will outline these variations—
these diversities.

1. Tongues as a Sign to the Unbeliever

The day of Pentecost is a good place to start. This is the first instance that speaking
in tongues is documented in the Bible. On this occasion, the Holy Spirit exploded like
a hurricane in the presence of the praying disciples. The blazing Spirit of God so
consumed this historic church meeting that the men and women in attendance
were beside themselves. All those in the vicinity figured them to be drunk! This
monumental outpouring was replete with speakers in tongues.

And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together and they were
astonished and bewildered, because each one heard them [the apostles]
speaking in his own [particular] dialect. And they were beside themselves with
amazement, saying, Are not all these who are talking Galileans? ...we all hear
them speaking in our own native tongues [and telling of] the mighty works
of God! (Acts 2:6-7; 11)

This was a tool used by the Spirit to display the power of God to unbelievers. Paul
refers to this distinctive operation of tongues, explaining, "Thus (in this instance)
[unknown] tongues are meant for a [supernatural] sign, not for believers but for
unbelievers [on the point of believing]..." (1 Corinthians 14:22).
Obviously this diversity of tongues is meant to proclaim to the unsaved that
Jesus is Lord. It appears that this particular diversity isn't initiated by human will,
but by the Holy Spirit. However, Paul instructs us to earnestly desire the best gifts
(see 1 Corinthians 12:31). If you desire to operate in this gift, it is never
inappropriate to ask the Holy Spirit to use you in this capacity.

2.Tongues with Interpretation

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Paul places significant emphasis on this diversity of tongues for the context of
public or corporate use. Much attention is devoted to this subject in the book of
First Corinthians. This letter from Paul was specifically addressed to a chaotic and
confused church. Unfortunately, many debilitating doctrines find their origin in this
letter, due to serious ignorance of Paul's agenda.
The setting of this writing is crucial to an accurate interpretation: Paul was
sternly addressing wrong mindsets in the Early Church. At Corinth, perversion and
incest were being endorsed. As a result of distorted priorities, public gatherings had
become fruitless. Paul targeted selfishness during Communion, misuse of the
spiritual gifts, and women who were abusing their ministerial positions. But many
Christians today have so rigidly compartmentalized Paul's exhortations that
valid subjects have been altogether abandoned. Overreacting to error
generates even greater error, only exacerbating the problem. Satan has
perpetually implemented this tactic within the Church to hinder some of God's
most potent tools.
First Corinthians isn't meant to be an academic guideline within which we
confine the Holy Spirit to resemble our own ideals of human dignity. Paul's main
point in discussing church order was to foster brotherly consideration—sensitivity to
the leading of the Spirit in the use of spiritual gifts rather than brandishing them
like clubs, causing more harm than help.
That being said, Paul gave clear instruction on the use of the spiritual gift of
tongues in a corporate setting. Apparently the Corinthians were simply standing up
in front of the congregation, speaking in tongues for a while, then sitting back
down. This left the church unedified as they couldn't understand what was being
spoken. Paul remedied this by instructing the speaker-in-tongues to either have
someone present who possessed the spiritual gift of interpretation of tongues, or
to possess the interpreting ability himself.

Therefore, the person who speaks in an [unknown]] tongue should pray [for the
power] to interpret and explain what he says. (1 Corinthians 14:13)

Paul repeatedly stated that without interpretation, public expression of tongues


was useless and didn't edify the Body. It might as well be replaced by prophecy,
which was intelligible by the masses. He wrote, "But if there is no one to do the
interpreting, let each of them keep still in church and talk to himself and to God" (1
Corinthians 14:28).
In First Corinthians 12:10 and 12:30, Paul implies that the gift of tongues is not
apportioned to everyone, but to certain individuals as the Spirit wills. Many people
use these verses to argue that tongues is not for everybody, only for some.
Interestingly enough, no one who uses this argument seems to have the gift
themselves. On the contrary, anyone who does speak in tongues will agree that
the gift is indeed available to everyone. Why not listen to someone who knows
what they're talking about?
In actuality, Paul is specifically referring to the public use of tongues with
interpretation, not private implementation. He tells us to earnestly desire the best
gifts saying, "Now I wish that you might all speak in [unknown] tongues" (1

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Corinthians 12:31; 14:5a). It's interesting to note that in every instance of baptism
in the Holy Spirit in Acts, not only some but all who received the Spirit received
ability to speak in tongues. There is no indication of intermittence.

3. Tongues for Personal Edification

At times in our Christian walk, it seems like we're so far away from being where we
need to be. Sometimes we want so badly to have faith—to believe God more than
our circumstances. But we can't break free from the natural realm. What if there
was a way to free ourselves from that sensory prison? Is there something we can do
to charge up our faith, to get to where we know we should be? The Bible teaches
how to do this very thing. It says, "He who speaks in a [strange] tongue edifies and
improves himself' (1 Corinthians 14:4a).
A few paragraphs ago, I quoted First Corinthians 14:28. Notice how Paul
instructed that in the absence of interpretation, one should "talk to himself and to
God," still referring to tongues. When you pray in tongues, it is no longer you, the
natural man, speaking. You are surrendering the use of your tongue to the words of
the Holy Spirit. Though the language sounds foolish to your own intellect, God
understands it just fine. This can be essential for those moments when our thoughts
and emotions seem to be raging against faith, hindering our ability to agree with
God.
If your senses are speaking louder than your faith, simply bypass your
reasoning faculties. Submit to something outside of your own ability to rationalize.
There are times when you might not know how to pray or what to do in a given
situation when a conscious deference to the wisdom of the Spirit will once again
bring your five-senses-based confusion into alignment with God's will.
When God seems incomprehensible, far off, and mysterious, we have a Helper
who was given to us to lead the way. What seems dark to our natural mind is clear
as day to the Holy Spirit who "...searches diligently, exploring and examining
everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God" (1
Corinthians 2:10).
In a nutshell, our human minds only know what our human senses tell us. Can you
imagine how this limits us? What if we, like the world, were completely blind to the
spirit realm? What if we couldn't see what God sees, hear what He hears, or feel
what He feels? Since we know that the majority of cause to which we witness effect
doesn't happen on Earth, but in the spirit realm, this blindness puts us at a significant
disadvantage. Thank God He's given us the ability to see farther than our eyes can
look! Paul distinguishes our human spirits from our souls (our minds) and bodies
(see 1 Thessalonians 5:23). If it weren't for our human spirit, we would be utterly
blind to the occurrences of the spirit dimension. However, most individuals have
not learned how to function in the realm of the spirit, sensing, hearing, and
communicating spiritually.
There are people who are familiar with the spirit realm who aren't even
Christians. Many involved in New Age, witchcraft, and eastern philosophy, to name
a few, place due emphasis—albeit wrong emphasis—on the spirit realm. Certain
psychics and mediums allow demonic spirits to speak through their lips much in the

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same way the Holy Spirit desires to speak through ours. As I've stated previously,
this is simply one of satan's cheap counterfeits, paling in comparison to the miracle
of the Holy Spirit speaking mysteries through us.
Even though many such counterfeits have indeed become prolific in spiritual
communication, we have the supreme advantage of having open communication
with the very Spirit of God! Paul describes this experience in relation to prayer—
allowing the Holy Spirit to use our tongues to decree and declare into the spirit
realm, not our own works but the very will of God:

So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for
we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought,
but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf
with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. And He
Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy]
Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before
God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will.
(Romans 8:26-27)

The Holy Spirit is one hundred percent familiar with God's will. When you pray in
tongues, you allow Him to communicate this perfect will to your own spirit, to
the angels, demons, to God, and if there is an interpreter, to others. What an
absolutely amazing gift! What an astounding partnership God has made available
to us as heirs of the Kingdom! Now can you see why satan has exerted his grandest
effort to stymie this spiritual force? Can you grasp what millions of believers
ignorantly discard in exchange for familiarity and unwillingness to appear foolish?

I Began Speaking in Tongues

I was familiar with the Acts Two outpouring at a young age. I heard people at church
speaking in tongues, but it never occurred to me that it was something I could do
personally. When the importance of praying in the Spirit was first explained to me, I
was still fairly young. I vividly recall where I was and how it took place. It was made
evident through Scripture that I could do it, and I simply asked the Holy Spirit to
speak through my lips. I didn't feel anything special. No sensations. No elevated
emotions. Only the desire, secured in trust, to receive what He had for me. It wasn't
as if my tongue spontaneously began wagging in a spiritual frenzy. I simply began
saying, "Ahhhh..." and let it go from there. I could sense deep within my spirit what
needed to be
spoken and I allowed my mouth to form the corresponding sounds. However, this
activity totally bypasses the mind and intellect. My mind wasn't participating or
comprehending any aspect of the experience. In fact, my mind told me I was acting
foolish. In hindsight, I recognize that the experience itself was an exercise of faith.
Initially, I felt awkward and embarrassed. The sort of feeling you get when you
try ice skating for the first time. But as I did it more and more, I began to feel
confident. Even when the devil attempted to discourage me by saying, "That's just
you making those noises. Can't you hear how repetitive it sounds? You're acting

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like a fool," I pushed through instead of giving up. Eventually he gave up. Over the
years, I've discovered that he tells these same words to everybody. He's desperate
to pilfer this power.
But one of the most amazing things that happened when I began to pray in
tongues with regularity was change. I saw change in my thoughts and behavior. My
spiritual growth increased exponentially. If I was faced with an impenetrable
dilemma, I would pray in tongues until the strategy became clear. God knows the
answers. The Holy Spirit knows God. When we pray in tongues, we allow heavenly
truths to bubble up within our human spirits. When the "knowing" surfaces in our
minds, there is a sense of profoundness—as though the idea didn't originate with
us but came from somewhere deeper.
The more I prayed in tongues, the more I was spiritually edified, just like Paul
said. Scripture tells us, "But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your
most holy faith [make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], praying in the
Holy Spirit" (Jude 20). I was rising higher and higher in faith, founded on faith—an
edifice which cannot be shaken.
Praying in tongues carries me out of the sense realm and into the Spirit realm. I
usually do it for at least one hour every day. This isn't required, but I'm positive you
will soon desire to do the same. When your mind is overriding your faith, saying,
"The mountain looks so big! We'll never get past it!" it's time to pray in tongues,
giving the Holy Spirit dominance over your intellect. This is an indispensable aid in
subscribing to faith rather than sight. Praying in tongues humbles wayward or
ungodly thought patterns, replacing them with Truth.
You have emanated from the presence of God. You are not your body. You are
spirit. When you speak in tongues, it's as if you are speaking in your native
language—the language of the spirit. Paul calls this speaking in tongues of angels.
The more you talk in your native language, the more you boost yourself to a
heavenly mindset. You literally restore yourself to your original state of congruency
with Heaven, the place from which your nature originates.
If you talk to men and women in the world today who are seeing results in their
faith walk, experiencing miracles, healings, and divine solutions, you'll find each of
them to be avid pray-ers in tongues. Remember, Paul wishes us all to speak in
tongues (See 1 Corinthians 14:5). He also said, "I thank God that I speak in
[strange] tongues (languages) more than any of you or all of you put together" (1
Corinthians 14:18).
Even though Paul clearly instructed, "...do not forbid or hinder speaking in
unknown tongues" (1 Corinthians 14:39), many churches and denominations do just
that. Religious people hate tolerating things that are out of their control. But it's just
a clever ploy of the enemy to cut us off from one of the most powerful gifts God
has given to His children. It is not a requirement for salvation, but it's a valuable
contributor to mountain-moving faith.
If you already pray in tongues, I hope this chapter has inspired you to do it more
often. If you have never stepped into the realm of this beautiful mystery, start by
simply asking God to help. You may not understand it, but if there is a desire in
your heart to experience fullness, simply receive this gift by faith. Ask and then
believe that it is given to you. Jesus promised that if you ask God for bread, He won't

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hand you a stone. If you ask for a fish, He won't hand you a serpent. He will give
you the fullness of the Holy Spirit just ask, receive, and rise up like an edifice—
higher and higher!

CHAPTER TWELVE

In the Image of God

God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God's nature.
—Genesis 1:27 MSG

T
HE FIRST TIME GOD MENTIONS MAN IN THE BIBLE , He doesn't mince words.
Adam is not introduced to the stage of Creation insignificantly. Scripture
isn't vague when it declares our purpose for being here. We arrived on
the scene with a bang!—as God declared His revolutionary intent for humanity.

God said, Let U s [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image,
after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the
sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over
everything that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in His own image,
in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created
them. And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the
earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and
man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over
every living creature that moves upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26-28)

This text makes it perfectly clear that we are not mere puppets—God's
playthings. Rather, because it pleased Him, God made you and me to be just like
Him! We are God-like in nature. This concept is difficult for us to wrap our minds
around, partly because we rarely see ourselves or each other act like God, and
partly due to religious Christianity, which has mercilessly debased itself over the
years under the pretense of humility.
Very few ministers who have admitted the truth about our God-likeness have
escaped subsequent ridicule. However, I cannot skirt around this issue in a book that
is meant to inspire a generation of mountain movers. If God is God, and we are His
children, created in His likeness, it stands to say that we are much more like Him than
most Christians are willing to admit. In the same way that my son or daughter is
like me, reflecting my nature, so we are like God, reflecting His nature. We have
been issued the same authority and dominion over this earth which God Himself
exerts over the entire universe. He made us able to choose, to create, to love--all

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qualities of Himself.
Any heart that rebels against this scriptural truth should be investigated in
order to unearth the root. To the truly humble, the concept of God-likeness should
evoke feelings of wonder and worship to the King who wasn't threatened to make a
race of beings in His own image. Perhaps those who deny our God-like condition see
a little too much of lucifer in themselves for comfort. They are afraid of making the
same mistake that this fallen angel—now satan—made. As Heaven's top-ranking
angel, lucifer purposed to ascend to Heaven, exalt his throne above God's, and
"make [himself] like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:13-14).
I have been challenged by religious critics and doctrinal watchdogs for teaching
on the subject of our God-likeness. They argue that this teaching instills pride by
exalting humanity to be like the Creator—the same sin for which lucifer was cast out
of Heaven.
But if we examine these scriptures carefully, we will observe that lucifer's pride
wasn't comparable to the revelation of our God-likeness. The profound disparity lies
in the fact that lucifer, as an angel, had to try and make himself like God. We as
God's children don't have to become like God—we already are! The Bible says it! This
is obviously a sore spot for satan because this is the very area in which he
attacked Adam and Eve. He promised Eve that by eating the forbidden fruit she
would become "like God." Unfortunately, like most Christians today, Eve was
ignorant of her true identity. She didn't need to become like God. She already was!
What a perpetual slap in the face for lucifer (satan), who, after endeavoring to be
like God to his own destruction, ended up becoming subservient to you and me—
we who are God-like by virtue of our sonship! We never have to climb higher on the
ladder of royalty because we were born in the palace!
Sadly, most Christians mope around like paupers, clothed in false humility while
they should be walking confidently in the courts of the King like the princes and
princesses they are. Well-respected apostle Bill Hamon says it like this:

At Creation, Adam became the highest expression of God in the universe.


Man was the only creation that God made in His exact image and likeness.
Before man sinned he looked and functioned like God, and God looked and
functioned like man. They were interrelated and compatible with one another.
They related in the Garden as Father and created son. No doubt the angels
were amazed at how much their God and man looked alike. Man walked like
God walked and talked like God talked as they walked and talked in the
Garden in the cool of the day. All the other heavenly host watched as God
created the body of man from the dust of the Earth and then breathed the
breath of life into him. They were thrilled to see God's masterpiece creation
immediately become a living functioning God like being. There are no
biblical statements that the cherubim, seraphim, angels, or archangels were
made in God's own image and likeness, only man. For that reason redeemed
mankind is able to become the many-membered Body of the Bride of Christ.
Redeemed Saints actually become co-equal heirs with Christ of all that He is
destined to inherit from His heavenly Father. No other creation has such a
calling and destiny.... Our eternal destiny as God's children and as Saints is to

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be redeemed spirit, soul, and body human beings, just as God originally
created. There is no higher or greater being that God could make than man,
since He had already made man in His own image and likeness, and there is
no other being in eternal existence greater than Jehovah—the only Eternal
Almighty God.

The revelation of your conformity to God's image is essential to operating in


mountain-moving faith. Without knowing your royal identity in the Kingdom, you
will be like a beggar child, stealing food from the street vendors just to survive.
When you know your place in God's family, you can simply give the command and
servants will attend to your every need and desire. You will move from surviving to
thriving!
Jesus said, "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you
the kingdom" (Luke 12:32 NKJV, brackets added).

Kingdom Sons and Daughters

Allow me to share an illustration of humanity's fall and return. Picture, for a


moment, a beautiful palace in a luxurious kingdom. There are thousands of servants
and slaves moving about, ministering to the needs of the royals. The King is a kind
man, generous and caring. The kingdom is at peace.
One day a particular servant who has the honor of serenading the king with
fanfare and adoration decides to initiate a rebellion. He wants to be king and
desires the real king to become his own slave.
The kind King learns of the minstrel's mischievous plot and orders the servant to
be arrested and cast out of the kingdom forever. Even though the wicked servant
persuades a third of the other servants to leave with him, the kingdom flourishes
and legends are told of the thwarted rebellion.
Time goes on and the King decides to fulfill his heart's desire for a family. He
creates sons and daughters who are just like him. As princes and princesses in the
kingdom, he places them in charge of many things.
But as the children are learning how to behave like royalty, tending to their
gardens, the banished, wicked servant arrives to introduce himself. At first, the
King's children are wary of the stranger. But somehow he is able to tell them of
mysterious and wonderful things. He speaks of faraway lands, of greater kingdoms
than their own—kingdoms without kings! The evil servant tells them of their own
father's selfishness, of his plot to keep them from experiencing all the wonders that
exist beyond the horizon.
Against their better judgment, the children begin to mistrust their father. The
words of the servant seem so attractive and honest. Just think! Greater kingdoms
than this one! Greater gardens to tend and subdue!
The children of the King decide to run away and see these new kingdoms for
themselves. They leave the kingdom behind, and with it a wounded and sorrowful
king.
The children are led farther and farther away from their homeland. Though

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the renegade servant continues to promise satisfaction, the terrain seems to be
getting more and more and desolate. The light appears to grow dimmer with every
step. They soon discover that there are no other kingdoms—only an endless
expanse of miserable wasteland—formless and void. They realize the crafty servant
has led them away from the palace, not to reign, but to become enslaved. It seems
hopeless.
Miles away, back in the lush gardens of their father's kingdom, servants arm
themselves for battle, preparing for a heroic rescue mission. One man stands a
head and shoulders above them all, waving his sword in the sky, light shining from
his eyes.
The King wants his children back.
He and his men spring forth in hot pursuit of the rebels and the captive children.
They are focused and determined. Nothing will stand in their way.
Meanwhile, the preposterous servant has clearly taken the children captive.
Bound in shackles, they are desperate for food and water. Many of them have
forgotten what it was like back home. Many grasp only a slight memory of their
father, the King. Yet others cling to the hope that if they only follow the servant a
little further, they will be rewarded. Perhaps their promised kingdom is just beyond
the next hill.
On and on they march, until a distant rumbling breaks the haunting silence. The
ground shakes.
The mischievous captor panics, prodding the children onward. He commands
them to move faster.
The outlying noise grows more powerful, like thunder in the ground. The
servant-deceiver loses his composure. Terror sets in. The children tremble. A thick
cloud of dust erupts from the expanse behind them. There is shouting. Multitudes
on horseback.
The children experience awe and wonder as they gaze upon the powerful man
leading the pursuit. He is the most beautiful man they have ever seen. Eyes raging
like fire. Passion spills forth in his thunderous shouts.
He swiftly overtakes the adversary and his cruel parade of prisoners. With a
single swipe of his massive blade, he shatters the chains and breaks the shackles.
He turns with a fearsome roar to face the exiled servant—the man who long ago
led the kingdom in glorious song—the one who craved the throne. The servant
freezes in his tracks, immobilized by fear.
After a moment the King speaks. "Wicked servant! You have determined to
become like me—to become royalty. But you cannot. No matter where you go or
who calls you king, you will only, ever be a mere servant."
The King is gloriously indignant, emanating vengeance with every breath.
But there is something wonderful lacing his words. Is it love?
It seems to the children as though hours go by, the servant lost for words. But
then, with feigned courage and a hint of mockery, he speaks. "You can't have the
children. They have chosen me. They are mine now." One of the children gasps. Is
it true? Are they lost forever?
Just then, the King steps forward, causing the servant to utter a pathetic shriek
of terror. The massive sword glimmers in the hot sun. The powerful man is poised to

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strike. The servant wonders if this breath will be his last.
Much to everyone's surprise, the King explodes in a roar of laughter. "These
children will reign with me forever, 0 wicked servant. But you will spend the
remainder of your days scampering through the desert, never knowing which day
might be your last. When they are grown, they will search you out and find you."
The King issues a command to those faithful servants standing beside him.
"Bind this man!"
The obedient servants lunge forward. In moments, the traitor is bound with his
own chains, laying helpless on the rocky ground. He starts to crawl away, issuing
threats behind him. "As long as I can speak, I will deceive your children, 0 King—and
their children's children! I'll never stop `till I have them all!"
But his words fall on deaf ears as the mighty King scoops up his children into an
enormous embrace. He comforts them and dries their tears. He places them atop
the finest horses and leads them back to the palace.
He gives them robes and crowns and holds feasts in honor of their return. He sets
them on thrones at his own right hand and restores their dominion to them. They are
his children, his sons and daughters. Princes and princesses in the kingdom. They are
like him—something the wicked servant ardently pursued but could never attain.
Then something strange begins to happen.
Sometimes, the King looks to his right hand, desiring to speak to his children. But
they are not there. Their thrones are empty. He searches throughout the palace and
eventually finds each of his sons and daughters. He discovers them wearing
servant's clothes, scrubbing the floor, cooking in the kitchen, and fulfilling other
servant-like duties.
"Son, daughter, what are you doing?" he asks.
'We are trying to please you, 0 King," they answer.
"But you are my children! Why have you taken off your robes? You are my own
flesh and blood! You aren't servants, you are sons!" he reasons.
"Not after what we've done. We're just blessed to be back home. We would
never sit on the throne with you. We'll never be prideful like that wicked servant
who led us astray."
Despite the King's pleas, the children refuse to identify with their royal status.
Even though their father continues to explain who they are, they cannot seem to
believe. They've placed themselves on the same level as the wicked servant.
And that's the difference. For a servant to desire the throne is pride. For a son to
deny the throne is also pride. Paul tells us, "Let this mind be in you which was also in
Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal
with God" (Philippians 2:5-6 NKJV).

Imitating God

When fellow Christians antagonize me for taking this biblical stance, it seems to me
they think that to be like God is some sort of robbery—that it somehow detracts
from His sovereignty. This is arrogant thinking. To believe that Almighty God is as
insecure as to feel threatened by His own children is to seriously shortchange His
love nature. In the natural, if a son grows up acting, talking, and looking like his

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father, it is an honor. Nothing could be more rewarding for a father than to hear
someone say, "Sir, your son is just like his daddy!" After all, Paul instructs us to "be
imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children
[imitate their father]" (Ephesians 5:1).
God wouldn't tell us to do something we couldn't do. If He says to imitate Him,
we should. If He says we're made in His image and likeness, we should say the
same. Do you find yourself imitating God? Have you ever considered it possible? By
human standards it is not, "but all things are possible with God" (Matthew 19:26).
Interestingly, Jesus dealt with this very same issue. He was constantly ridiculed
and threatened for claiming to be God's Son. Do you recognize the source of His
greatest opposition? It was the Pharisees, the religious elite of the day. But when
they continued to challenge His God-like identity, Jesus simply quoted Scripture.

Jesus answered, Is it not written in your Law, I said, You are gods? So men are
called gods [by the Law], men to whom God's message came—and the
Scripture cannot be set aside or cancelled or broken or annulled. (John 10:35)

The scripture Jesus quotes is Psalm 82:6: "I said, You are gods [since you
judge on My behalf, as My representatives]; indeed, all of you are children of
the Most High."

“But that was Jesus," many people argue. "He was God. You can't use Him as
an example."

This is a popular but ignorant argument. The Bible says that Jesus is like us in
every way (see Hebrews 2:17), that we have His mind (see 1 Corinthians
2:16), His anointing (see John 20:21), His miracle-working power (see John
14:12), His nature (see 1 John 3:9), and His righteousness (see 2 Corinthians
5:21)! The Bible says, "as He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17). It says,
"The person who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him" (1
Corinthians 6:17).

The concept of man's God-like identity is spread throughout Scripture. It


was commonly embraced by men and women of old, and if today's Church
would grasp this truth, it would forever increase our power-encounters with
God and others. We must rise up in our royal authority. Yes, we were deceived
by the enemy at one time. But not anymore! You are a new creation and you
are called as the beautiful body of Christ to rise up and declare God's glory on
Earth. We must get up off the floor and take our rightful place upon the
throne, seated at the right hand of the Father (see Ephesians 2:6)

The Apostle Peter said, "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a

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dedicated nation, [God's] own purchased, special people, that you may set
forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who
called you out of the darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9).

Paul said, "for you have stripped off the old (unregenerate) self with its evil
practices, and have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever
in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect
knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it"
(Colossians 3:9-10).2
Paul tells us that "through the Man Jesus Christ and the gift of righteousness, we
reign as kings in life" (see Romans 5:17). This is such an overwhelming concept that
it can only be gained through divine revelation. Let me encourage you to take a
moment and prayerfully meditate on those verses, allowing the truth to saturate
your mind—to recognize who you really are in Christ.
When you understand your identity in Jesus, you will no longer see the need to
trust in your own ability to believe and stand in faith. Instead, you can place firm
confidence in God's perfect nature within you. This takes unnecessary pressure off
your back and allows you to rest in the God-kind of faith.

One Spirit with the Lord

Satan would love for you to believe that having faith to manifest miracles is a
difficult task. Actually, it isn't difficult at all. When you settle it in your heart once
and for all that you are God's beloved child—that He has given you everything you
need that pertains to life and godliness (see 2 Peter 1:3)—you will find it easy to
stand in faith for both major and minor things. Your trust isn't in your human ability to
have great faith; it's in the Holy Spirit within you. Most of the steps discussed in
this book have to do with bringing your mind out of alignment with the natural
realm and into alignment with the Holy Spirit. Remember the words of Paul: "I have
strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and
equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-
sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]" (Philippians 4:13).
The fact is, you are one spirit with God if you are in Christ. There is nothing
missing or lacking. God has given you everything! It wasn’t because He was obligated or
felt sorry for you; it was His good pleasure. He loves you with an everlasting love and He
has offered you a wonderful future—not far off in Heaven, but in the here-and-now!
It's time to leave negative thoughts and expectations behind. Embrace a faith
mentality. Freedom. Life. Love. Perfection. If you're in Christ, you can do all things!
All things are possible to you! Anything you desire can be, if you will believe that it
already is! This is mountain-moving faith and it is present in each believer's reborn
spirit.
Let that seed of faith germinate. Feed it. Water it. Let it grow until it is taller
than your mountains. God's desire is for you to experience great faith all the time.
He has already written your name next to the great faith-heroes of the Bible. He
sees you as a winner and overcomer. Why don't you begin to live from that

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revelation? Let go of your past failings, what you thought you were, and what your
church might have told you to the contrary? Instead, agree with God. You are made
in His image.
To degrade yourself, seeing yourself less than His best, is a direct insult to your
Father. He doesn't make junk. To insult my children is to insult me. To criticize my
handiwork is to criticize me. You are God's own workmanship—His handiwork.
Don't see yourself negatively. If your concept of humility includes self-ridicule
or degradation, it is superficial. Anytime your attention is fixed on your own
shortcomings, you are engaged in the most dangerous form of pride.
Be truly humble. This means recognizing that, to no credit of your own, you are
like God. You are one with your Father. Just think about it. Jesus was the most
humble man in history, yet He said, "I and my Father are one. He who has seen me
has seen the Father." He called Himself the wisest man ever (see Matthew 12:42).
Religion called that pride. Heaven calls it humility.
God's power in you is more than enough to conquer every obstacle. On your own,
you're a loser. But you are not on your own and never will be again. God has given
you license to be anything, do anything, and have anything. You are a son or daughter
of the King of all kings. You are royalty. It's time to rise up and begin acting as such.
Stop expecting things in your life to go wrong. Expect things to go right! Expect
people to be kind and helpful to you. Look forward every day to the multitude of
blessings that God has in store.
I'm always fascinated to hear how many Christians struggle to find confidence
with God. Most of us have caught ourselves saying and thinking self-debasing
thoughts and words, attempting to please God. But there is nothing holy or pleasing
about putting yourself down. I frequently hear people say that they "just need to
get out of God's way." This is contrary to the Bible. You are not a nuisance to God.
You're not in His way. In fact He specifically placed you here for a reason. He
wouldn't have created you if He only intended you to "get low," or get "tore up
from the floor up," as I heard one preacher say. We're not God's obstacles. In fact,
He cannot do what He desires to do on Earth without us! We are aligned with Him,
walking with Him, in agreement with Him. No, we're not in His way. We are His way!
We are His method, His plan for the earth today. We are His hands and feet His body.
For many years I struggled to believe that God trusted me, that He was truly on
my side. It seemed as if our relationship was always strained. I thought I was
walking on eggshells. Even though I knew that He loved me—after all, theologically
He had to—I lacked confidence in my relationship with Him. Besides, He loves
everybody. I certainly didn't feel special. In fact, I felt like one big disappointment. This
spiritual insecurity runs rampant in the Body of Christ today.
Though there are many origins of such false beliefs about the Father, none of
them are legitimate; Worst of all, when we allow seeds of doubt to remain in our
belief systems, we can never stand in true faith. If we believe that God doesn't
want to help us for some reason—that He endorses the mountains that oppose our
destinies—we'll never be able to receive the things we've asked.

God Wants You to Receive

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Before you get excited about implementing the Law of Faith to manifest your needs
and desires, make sure you've settled it in your heart with finality: God wants you to receive
what you have asked for. Examine your heart and root out any shred of doubt in His
goodness and willingness to help you. Then you will be able to stand in faith with
confidence, firmly convinced that God has granted your requests.
The book of James clearly contrasts the man who exhibits confidence in God's
willingness to answer every prayer with the man who wavers in faith. James says,
"...let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly,
without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him. Only it must be in faith
that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers
(hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and
thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will
receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord" games 1:5-7).
It's important to distinguish between God refusing to answer our prayers with
our inability to receive the manifested answer. James doesn't say that unconfident
prayer keeps God from answering. Rather, he states that it's the doubting man who
won't "receive anything." The problem is never on the giving end. If the prayer
goes unfulfilled it is always due to a malfunction on the receiving end.
If I hand my child a gift for her birthday, she must reach out and accept it from
me. Imagine me telling her, "take it, I bought it for you to make you happy," yet she
refuses my gift, or even accuses me of not giving it to her. A psychologist would
diagnose her with a serious complex if, in the face of a generous father's free
offering, she refuses to receive because she feels inferior or undeserving. In fact, I
would be the one who would look bad! With so many clear scriptures speaking of
God's joy and willingness to answer every one of our prayers, it amazes me how
many people shoot themselves in the foot by doubting His generosity.
Have confidence with God. Trust Him to help you build your faith. Trust Him to
aid you in overcoming doubt, insecurity, and condemnation. You were created in
His image and likeness. There's nothing you can't be, do, or have. Only believe.
God loves you dearly and He wants you to have perfect confidence with Him.

The Source of Your Problems

Another common hindrance to receiving miracles in our lives is the popular


misconception that God is somehow the source of our problems. If you have a
suspicion that God has erected a mountain of poverty or sickness in your life for
one reason or another, you are faith-crippled. You will not move that mountain.
One of the most common misconceptions in the Church is that God is somehow
pleased when His people suffer. The only suffering to which a believer is called is
persecution for the sake of the Gospel. Suffering itself is not something to be
desired. It's merely a byproduct of following God's plan for your life. When you
preach the Kingdom, others will oppose you. Jesus told us it would be this way, but
assured us that we couldn't be harmed.
Though Jesus Himself was the object of many assassination attempts, nothing
could harm Him. The only reason the Jews were able to persecute Him was because
He willingly gave Himself up to them. In fact, they were having trouble arresting

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Him! He had to help them along. The band of guards was supernaturally forced to
the ground when they tried to capture Him (see John 18:6). He had to hold His own
disciples back from defending Him (see John 18:11). And He refused to argue His
case in court. The Cross couldn't even kill Him! He willingly gave up His spirit (see
John 19:30).
God doesn't send suffering to teach us how to be holy or humble. Don't think that
He does. This incorrect belief system stems from Buddhism, Islam, and Catholicism.
Our God is a God of love and does not delight in the hurt and agony of His people.
Suffering is not holy. Suffering is a curse. God made that very clear in
Deuteronomy Chapter 28.
Scripture even says, "Such [practices] have indeed the outward appearance
[that popularly passes] for wisdom, in promoting self-imposed rigor of devotion
and delight in self-humiliation and severity of discipline of the body, but they are of
no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh (the lower nature). [Instead, they
do not honor God but serve only to indulge the flesh]" (Colossians 2:23).
Jesus said that suffering and trials don't come from God to teach us to be better.
He taught that suffering comes from the devil for the specific purpose of stealing
the Word from our hearts (see Mark 4:17).
When you truly know that God wants the very best for your life, you'll have no
problem standing strong in faith. However, launching into a journey of faith-growth
while believing that God isn't fully supporting you is like speeding off in a sports car
while failing to disengage the emergency brake. You might travel fast for a
moment, but eventually your car will break down, your journey will halt, and you'll
end up stranded by the side of the road.
The solution? Get in the Word. Find out how much God loves you. Highlight the
scriptures that attest to His willingness to give you whatever you ask or desire. Talk
to Him. He actually exists and He is here now. He is with you as you read these
words. He wants to hear from you. He wants to talk to you. Just listen. Write
down what He says. You will discover that His words aren't condemning or
faultfinding. He will encourage you and lavish you with kindness. He is passionate
about you!
Become convinced of your place in the Sonship, your seat at God's right hand, and
your oneness with the Source of Life. When you stand against a mountain, it is the
power of God in you doing the work. Where you go, God goes. His very nature is in
you, causing you to triumph over every obstacle. Only believe.

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Endnotes

1. Bill Hamon, The Day of the Saints (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 2002), pp. 231-233

2. For further references to our God-image and -likeness see Genesis 5:1; 9:6; Psalm 8:5-6; and
James 3:9.
CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Identifying and Demolishing Your Hindrances

You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right.
Then you can see God in the outside world.
—Matthew 5:8 MSG

I
N MY EXPERIENCE WITH FAITH , I've noticed certain roadblocks to success
that appear frequently. I would like to devote a chapter to exposing these
common setbacks in order for you to be prepared to identify these
dynamics as well as eliminate them. It is not prudent to dwell unnecessarily
on these negatives. What you focus on, you will empower. The more time you
spend studying and worrying about potential threats to the faith life, the greater
those hindrances will appear. Though it's unwise to ignore the devil's tactics, they
must be observed from the correct perspective.
While you read this chapter, keep in mind that you are a redeemed child of
the Living God. You have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. You have the divine
nature that equips you to overcome every obstacle in your path. Rather than
seeing these hindrances from a human vantage point, picture yourself seated

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in heavenly places at God's right hand. After all, that is where you really are (see
Ephesians 2:6).
Don't get caught up in a phantom struggle with these shortcomings if
they're not actually a problem. Oftentimes when we attend to matters of
human weakness, satan attempts to make us over-relate to the problem and
forget that the solution has already been provided through the Cross. Please be
mindful of this fact while dealing with any of the weaknesses mentioned here.
Remember the truths we highlighted in the previous chapter. You are one with God.
He is a perfect Creator and therefore you are a perfect creation.
The hardest blow ever dealt to the devil was when Jesus became sin itself and
died on the Cross (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). He took the sin-virus to the grave and
left it there along with the punishment and guilt that was due humanity. In doing
so, Jesus absolved the world of its sin (1 John 2:2). We are no longer guilty. The
Father did not withhold His wrath, but poured out its entirety on the perfect
offering of His Son. Two crucial events took place in that moment.

1. Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh and blood [in the
physical nature of human beings], He [Himself] in a similar manner partook
of the same [nature], that by [going through] death He might bring to
naught and make of no effect him who had the power of death—that is,
the devil—And also that He might deliver and completely set free all those
who through the [haunting/ fear of death were held in bondage throughout
the whole course of their lives. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

2. For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected


those who are consecrated and made holy. (Hebrews 10:14)

If you feel guilty for wrong thoughts or actions, you will be stymied in your
faith walk. I believe it's impossible to receive the bountiful gifts of God when we
feel as though we don't deserve them. Guilt and condemnation cannot cohabit with
mountain-moving faith.
How often do you battle feelings of guilt? Many Christians spend their entire
lives feeling guilty about something they once did or said—even if it happened
years ago. Most of the people I've ministered to who just couldn't seem to have
faith for their miracle were held back for this very reason.
While leading worship at a summer camp one year, I had the opportunity to
spend a lot of one-on-one time with the students. It was a powerful time of
growth and I was blessed to see so many young men and women hungry for
God. One night after the session, a young man approached me for prayer.
He said, "Winston, I've been learning to play the guitar. I want to be a worship
leader like you."
"That's awesome, Jeremy," I said. "It's an amazing experience to lead people in
worship to God. So how can I pray for you?"
He hesitated, and then began to express his intense feelings of guilt. "When I
was eleven years old, I did something terrible. I sinned really bad and hurt
someone horribly," he admitted. "Every time I pick up the guitar and picture

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myself leading worship, I just start to cry. I feel as though God is mad at me—like
I've failed Him already. I think He gave up on me. How could I ever lead people in
worship knowing that I've done such an evil thing?"
Even while he was talking, tears began to flow. His heart was severely broken.
"Have you ever told anyone what happened?" I asked.
"No. I know they'd hate me if they knew."
"Jeremy, I barely know you, but I can see the authenticity of your heart. The
fact that you're willing to be so honest with me shows that you're a cool guy. I
promise that if you choose to tell me what happened, I won't think less of you. I
love you because God loves you. That kind of love isn't based on anything you
do or have done. It's based on who you are."
The young man proceeded to pour out his heart to me in an open and
honest way. He cried—even sobbed—for over an hour while we talked. He
spewed out four collective years of guilt and condemnation, obviously ready to
face his demons. We had a powerful time of ministry—God touching both our
hearts deeply. I explained to him that he was absolutely forgiven in every way. I
showed him in the Bible that if God loved him so intensely while he was still a
sinner, how much more then now that he was a child! (See Ephesians 2:4-5).
"The point is, Jeremy, there is absolutely no sin—nothing in all creation—that
can separate you from the mighty love of God. The only thing left is to forgive
yourself. That means that you must let go of what happened those many years
ago and move on. You can't look back. God will never remember your sin, and
neither should you."
I will never forget that powerful night. Jeremy, once a wounded young man,
released the infinite weight of condemnation into the hands of God. He was
forgiven at the Cross. But now he knew it.
I handed him my guitar and he began to strum it. He played his favorite
worship songs while we sang together. Soon, others in the room joined in
and this precious child of God led worship for the first time—totally absolved
of all guilt. Last I heard Jeremy is still living victoriously over sin, doing what God
has put in his heart to do.
This is freedom. Are you free?
The Bible says, "Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging
guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus...for the law [principle] of the
Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me
from the law of sin and of death" (Romans 8:1-2).
Regardless of what you've done—what sins you've committed—you don't
have to remain captive to condemnation. You've already been set free. The only
thing left to do is receive that freedom. How? By faith.
Receiving answers to prayer through faith—the subject of this book—
requires resolute boldness. You must know beyond doubt that you have the
right to receive whatever you ask God for. Remember, Jesus said that to receive,
you must believe that you already have, in order for manifestation to occur (see
Mark 11:24). If you believe God is mad at you, withholding something from you, or
holding you guilty for something, you cannot confidently say, "I know God has
granted me the things I've requested."

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John talks about this, saying, "And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts)
do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have
confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God. And we receive from
Him whatever we ask..." (1 John 3:21-22).
The sole condition John places on receiving from God is freedom from
condemnation. Are you free today? If you've committed sin, you are already
forgiven. Jesus forgave every sin you would ever commit before you were even
born. You don't need to ask God to forgive you when you sin. Simply agree with
Him that what you did was wrong (sin means "to miss the mark"), make it right
if you've hurt someone else, and then move on. Don't ever bring it up again,
even though satan will tempt you to do so.
It is part of God's nature to give liberally. However, you cannot receive what
He has given if your faith is bound by feelings of guilt and condemnation. Ask
God to reveal areas of your life where you might be feeling guilty right now. Deal
with these problem areas swiftly, from a posture of faith and victory.
The Weight of Condemnation? Identified and demolished!

Upstaging the Flesh

When you were born again, all the old habits and conditions of your sinful self
were crucified with Christ. The old man is dead. The new man has come (see 2
Corinthians 5:17). Any time you recognize patterns of the old nature surfacing in
your life; it is up to you to exercise faith over those lies. If you start to feel like a
"sinner," you must disagree with that deception and agree with what God says
about you instead.
Many Christians believe that they will always have a death-defying struggle
with their flesh ("sinful nature," as some translations say), until Jesus comes
back. This is not true. Any action stemming from your old nature has no right to
operate in your life now that you're in Christ. There should be no struggle with
sin. Jesus defeated sin. The Bible says that you must "consider yourselves also
dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God" (Romans 6:11). Why
are you dead to sin? Because the part of you that used to be subject to sin—the
flesh—was done away with when you became a new creation!

I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is
no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I
now live in the body I live by faith.... (Galatians 2:20)

This is where most people miss it. If God says you're free from sin, why
would you continue to believe contrary? Jesus dealt with the sin problem. Our
problem isn't lack of holiness; its lack of faith in our God-given holiness! You
absolutely cannot be more holy and perfect than you already are in Him! It is
when we come into a full understanding of this fact that our actions begin to
respond accordingly.
Sin is only an external manifestation of an internal problem. Even though the
sinful nature was stripped off when you got saved, if you continue to agree with

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the lie that you're still a sinner, of course that's what you'll manifest in your
experience. You are using the Law of Faith against yourself.
How does this apply to developing your faith?
If you doubt your ability to receive the things you desire when you pray, you
aren't able to stand in faith. Doubting that one or more of God's promises are
true, or doubting His willingness or ability to give you what you pray for will
short-circuit your faith. Doubt must be demolished.
Doubt is a product of the flesh. Doubt is sin. Anytime you place faith in
something other than what you truly desire, you are entertaining doubt. Once
again, it doesn't mean that God can't give you answered prayers. It does mean,
however, that you can't receive them in the natural realm. Doubt acts like a
barrier between Heaven and Earth.
If you struggle with doubt, you need a revelation of your new nature in
Christ. Why? Because Jesus crucified your flesh—the part of you that doubts—
when you were reborn. If you still have doubt, it shows that you haven't placed
full confidence in the work of the Cross. Jesus never doubted. Neither should you.

In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands,
but in a [spiritual] circumcision [performed by] Christ by stripping off the
body of the flesh (the whole corrupt, carnal nature with its passions and
lusts)... for you have stripped off the old (unregenerate) self with its evil
practices. (Colossians 2:11; 3:9)

Doubt is one of the "evil practices" of the old self that was "stripped oft" Did you
know that? Now that you do—and as you continue to believe it more and more—
you will notice that doubt doesn't exist in your heart any longer. It can't! It was
destroyed when Jesus took sin to the grave! However, if a person continues to
believe that though they are in Christ they will always struggle with temptation
and doubt, it will be done according to their faith. I'm not suggesting that
temptation won't come into the life of a believer. What I'm saying is that the
Christian is fully equipped to cast down every ungodly thing—including doubt—
with ease. You can't triumph over doubt through your own willpower. It's only by
activating the nature of God within you through faith.
Not too long ago, I set my heart on a new study Bible—one that was difficult to
find. I decided to track down a copy to add to my library. However, obtaining it was
not as easy as I imagined. So I asked my Heavenly Father. I described the exact
Bible I wanted—black, genuine leather. When I asked, I immediately knew that God
had given it to me. How did I know? Because Jesus said that I could ask for anything,
confident that I will receive. I knew that the way to actually receive was to believe
that I already had (see Mark 11:24).
I began to thank God that He had heard and answered my prayer. In my
imagination, I saw myself holding that Bible. I could feel it in my hands, open it and
fan through the pages. I began speaking as though it was mine. "I now possess this
Bible. It is mine right now because God said it is!"
"That sounds like this 'name-it-and-claim-it business,"' you might comment.
It absolutely is, and so much more. I was operating in Jesus' prescribed method

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of obtaining something—anything I desire—from my Father.
Three weeks passed. For the most part, I maintained my faith. However, the
devil did assail me with unbelieving thoughts. He said, `Winston, how in the world
are you going to get that Bible? Those are so rare! You're wasting your time, looking
like a fool." But I knew that the moment I came into agreement with satan's
thoughts, I was hindering the manifestation of my desire. I simply ignored His lies.
Twenty-three days after I requested the Bible from God, I was chatting with a
group of people. One of them was asking for advice in choosing a good Bible
translation. I said that I was very interested in this hard-to-find version—the one I
prayed for. One of the men said, "Are you serious? I have an old copy of that Bible
and I can't stand it! The way it's organized is very confusing."
I said, "I disagree. I think it's an incredibly useful study aid."
"Well, I'd be happy to give mine to you. I'll never use it again."
Next time I saw this man, he gave me his copy of that Bible. It was the exact
one I asked God for three weeks prior—bound with black, genuine leather!
Isn't that amazing? The chances of me being part of that conversation at that
specific time with those specific people were slim to none! Yet God made it
possible. It was a miracle—one of the many I experience every day. I have gotten
used to receiving answers to prayer in this way. It works every time.
But just think: If I had bought into satan's unbelief, I would have cut off the
possibility of that miracle. God would still have set up that divine appointment
for me, but I would have sabotaged the encounter through doubt. Every single
miracle is contingent on your ability to believe God's promises without doubting!
If you're believing to see a mountain move, satan will try and plague you with
doubtful thoughts. He says, "It's never going to work. You'll never have enough
faith. Look, even now you're worried that you'll never overcome the obstacle."
Don't agree with those lies! If your thoughts say, "I really struggle with doubt,"
you must disagree immediately. You must counter it with Truth. Say, "Doubt is sin,
and I am dead to sin! Doubt cannot exist in my mind!" If doubtful thoughts persist,
keep reminding yourself of the Truth. "I am free from doubt! I believe God's promises
with my whole heart! I know the victory is mine!" You may not feel like it, but faith
transcends your feelings. You don't speak something out because you feel like it.
You agree with God's Word because you know it's true, no matter what feelings
say, what circumstances say; or what satan says.
Doubt is of the flesh and the flesh is defeated. Identified and demolished!

Surrendering Bitterness and Unforgiveness

God has forgiven every single sin you have or will ever commit. You are fully
absolved of guilt through your faith in Christ. If this is true, shouldn't we also
forgive those who have wronged us?
I have been seriously hurt by many people. Strangers, relatives, and fellow
believers alike have caused hurt and spoken words that they never should have.
I myself have hurt others. Sometimes accidentally and other times on purpose.
This is true with all of us. We have many opportunities throughout our lives
to offend and be offended.

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Perhaps it's someone who used to make fun of you in school. Maybe an
unfaithful spouse or friend betrayed you. There are endless sources of hurt and
pain in this life. Sin has placed this world under its curse. It's no wonder that
"hurting people hurt people." Those vicious cycles have been reeling for
thousands of years. Even after we become Christians, we still cause pain to others
sometimes.
Have you been wronged? Treated unfairly? Taken advantage of?
I'm sure you have. We all have. But thank God we don't have to remain hurt
and offended by others, no matter how terrible they've been to us. Forgiveness is
part of the beautiful character of God. God is love.
We are made in our Father's image and commanded to imitate Him as His
children (Ephesians 5:1). This means we are supposed to think like He thinks,
talk like He talks, and forgive like He forgives. Jesus demonstrated the
boundless forgiveness that pleases God. When He hung on the Cross, He looked
all around Him and saw the evil soldiers, religious teachers, and those who had
seriously wronged Him. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not
what they do" (Luke 23:34).
Surrounded by darkness and hatred, Jesus responded with the light of
forgiveness. Because of this love, one of the soldiers standing nearby
recognized that Jesus was the Son of God (see Luke 23:47). One of the crucified
thieves also saw the truth about Jesus' identity and received eternal life.
Later on, Stephen, a man filled with faith, laid on the ground as the Jews
stoned him to death. Before he gave up his spirit, he said, "Lord, fix not this sin
upon them [lay it not to their charge]!" (Acts 7:60).
The soon-to-be Apostle Paul was standing nearby, overseeing the murder
of this righteous man. But Stephen forgave him. I believe that this is the major
reason God was able to get through to Paul on the road to Damascus. I believe
Stephen's act of love opened the door for Paul's life to be transformed.
Jesus taught the disciples that forgiveness has eternal consequences: "...if
you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of anyone,
they are retained" (John 20:23).
Paul exhorted, "And become useful and helpful and kind to one another,
tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one
another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32).
Immediately after Jesus described the workings of mountain-moving faith to His
disciples, He concluded, "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything
against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go)..." (Mark 11:25).
Jesus recognized the value of forgiveness in the life of a mountain mover.
God is light. Jesus is light. If you are a believer, you also are light (see
Matthew 5:14). If that is so, it's wrong to harbor bitterness and unforgiveness.
Faith is a product of the light. If you are operating on the frequency of revenge and
hate, you cannot operate in faith. Darkness and light cannot coexist. If you
are standing in a pitch-black room and you want to vacate the darkness, how
do you go about doing it? Do you swing at the darkness with a golf club,
attempting to beat down the un-illuminated area? Do you yell at the darkness,
trying to scare it away? Of course not. All you have to do is turn on the light.

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In the same way, if satan has surrounded you with darkness, using others to
hurt you or drag you down, don't fight against the darkness. Simply switch on the
light. Darkness will no longer function in that type of environment. I have seen this
principle demonstrated time and again.
There have been times when people have ranged themselves against me,
trying to throw me off course through discouragement and lies. For a while, I'd
seethe with anger. I'd think of all the ways I'd like to pay them back. All that
did was make the situation worse. After all, I was using the Law of Faith
incorrectly, empowering more of the same type of undesirable behavior. It
didn't matter that my feelings opposed their attitude. The Law of Faith simply
allowed more of what I spent my time expecting. When I focused on myself being
accused and taken advantage of, I received more of the same.
Eventually I understood the importance of turning on the light of love. I forgave
the people who had bothered me. I went out of my way to be good to them, to
say nice things to and about them. In my mind, I pictured myself engaged in
pleasant conversations with them. At first, it was difficult. Though I had chosen
to forgive them, I certainly didn't feel like I did it because it's what God
requires. Little by little, I noticed the dynamic begin to shift in relation to these
people. My love toward them was driving out the darkness they exhibited
toward me. Soon, the conflict had diminished entirely.
When they hear Jesus' teachings, many people assume He requires us to
simply lie down and take a beating from our enemies. On the surface, it may
seem that way. But when you understand that the force of God's love is more
violent than any weapon, inflicting damage to darkness in the most wicked
heart, you'll realize how futile it is to respond to an enemy with more of the
same evil. We must transcend the cyclic darkness with the power of love and
forgiveness. Paul says, "For by doing so you will heap burning coals upon his
head" (Romans 12:20). Releasing love toward opposition will destroy it altogether.
Bitterness and unforgiveness? Identified and demolished!

Threshing the Mountain of Fear

"I'm afraid I'll get cancer. I'm scared I'll lose my children. I'm worried that we won't
be able to pay our bills."
These statements are prevalent in our society, even among Christians. But
such concerns are not valid to the faith-filled believer. God has promised to
provide our every need (see Philippians 4:19), give us everything pertaining to life
and godliness (see 2 Peter 1:3), and never allow anything to harm us (see Psalm
91:10; Isaiah 54:17; Luke 10:19). If you are fearful of anything at all, you are not
walking in faith.
.Fear is agreement with satan. God says you have nothing to worry about.
Therefore, if you continue to fret over a matter, you have agreed that God is a
liar and that satan is telling the truth. It doesn't matter how much you love God,
how much you pray or fast or attend church. If you entertain fear, you are giving
the devil legal access to attack. Fear is having faith in what satan says.
Remember, through the Law of Faith you will receive everything you believe

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you already possess. If you believe you are in danger of being robbed or
kidnapped, you will be. You're empowering those things by fixing your mind on
them. This is no way to live.
For most of my life, I've had a tormenting fear of snakes. I dreamed about
snakes, cringed when I saw a picture of snakes, and screamed if I saw a
harmless garter snake in the backyard. This fear was totally unfounded, but at
some point, I agreed with one of satan's lies that I was in danger of a snake attack.
Sure enough, one summer while wading near the banks of the Dismal River in
Nebraska, a rattlesnake bit me. I felt a shocking pain sear through my ankle. I
whipped around quickly to see what had bit me only in time to see the creature
swimming away. I ran as fast as I could to my great uncle's house--a half-mile
away--to get help. All the while, I claimed scriptural promises: "I have power
to trample on serpents and scorpions! Nothing will harm me! I've been given
power to handle snakes like Paul did without being harmed! I am healthy! By
Jesus' stripes I am healed!"
When I got back to the house, my uncle examined the snakebite. Sure
enough, my ankle wore two deep slashes, seeping blood. "Shouldn't we call the
hospital?" I asked with a desperate tone.
My burly, cowboy of an uncle laughed. "Winston, if you were going to die, it
would've happened already. This here's a baby rattler bite. They're more
poisonous than the adults. Lucky for you it didn't have time to excrete it's
venom before it swam off. You'd be in a heap o' trouble!"
He thought it was funny! I was shaking, I was so scared! Sure enough, no
snake could harm me. But I know in my heart that I allowed that attack into my life
because I expected it for years. I agreed with saran that snakes were a threat to
me, and lo and behold, I had one of the rate opportunities to get bit by a rattler!
Thank God I also believed that "no weapon that is formed against [me] shall
prosper" (see Isaiah 54:17).
In the Old Testament, Job was called blameless and upright He was rich and
successful, the father of ten children. Nevertheless, he had a big problem. He
lived in fear every day that calamity was going to visit his family, assuming his
children were being disobedient to God. Job constantly offered sacrifices and
burnt offerings, trying to alleviate any sin that his family might have committed.
One day, satan went before the Lord, attempting to discredit Job. God told
the devil, `Behold, all that he has is in your power" Job 1:12a). Why was all Job
had in satan's power? Because Job, like Adam, was created to have dominion
over the earth. Rather than take his place, Job lived in constant fear of disaster.
In doing so, he was not in alignment with God. He agreed with satan. Through fear,
Job gave the devil access to all he had.
Sure enough, saran wreaked havoc in Job's life. He killed Job's family, livestock,
and servants. He afflicted Job with illness and stirred up rivalry in his relationships.
Most people believe that God simply let satan destroy Job's life as some sort of
test. We've already talked about this point of view. To assume this about our
loving Father is a grave injustice.
God didn't allow the attack Job allowed it. How? Through his fear. He
eventually admitted, "For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me, and that

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of which I am afraid befalls me. I was not or am not at ease, not had I or have I
rest, not was I or am I quiet, yet trouble came and still comes upon me" Gob 3:25-
26).
If only Job had heard the wisdom of Solomon:

All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [disastrous] [by
anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a
continual feast....A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and
health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the
bones. (Proverbs 15:15; 14:30)

Job was fearful, afraid, and had no ease, rest, or quiet. He didn't understand
that those very conditions of his heart were opening the door for the devil's
assault. His anxious thoughts and forebodings "made his days evil."
The most commonly repeated command in the whole Bible is, "Fear not!" If
God has placed so much emphasis on this issue, shouldn't you heed His
instruction? Remember, fear is what kept the Israelites from entering the
Promised Land. Are you allowing fear to keep you from God's best?
When the Israelites faced the Philistine army, lead by Goliath, they had a
decision to make. They could either face the giant with boldness and courage,
or shrink back in fear. "When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the
Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid" (1 Samuel 17:11, emphasis
added). God's people were paralyzed with fear. They hadn't even gone to battle
and they were defeated already! It wasn't the giant's weapons or strength that
defeated them. They defeated themselves by agreeing with his words. How
often do we surrender to the intimidations of the devil because we believe his
words instead of God's? Is fear keeping you from your destiny?
Consider Peter. He stepped over the side of the fishing boat because he heard
the beckoning of Jesus. As long as Peter agreed with Jesus—that he could walk
on water—he did just that. "But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he
was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me [from death]!"
(see Matthew 15:30).
Notice that when Peter fixed his mind on Jesus' words, he was able to
transcend natural law. But when his five senses got involved—he "perceived"
and "felt"—he sank. When he focused on Jesus, he overcame the storm. But
when he attended to the danger of the situation, taking his eyes off the goal,
his faith collapsed. There is much to learn from this illustration.
In 2007, football star Sean Taylor was murdered. While confronting robbers
who had broken into his home, he was shot in the leg. Though a leg wound is
usually not fatal, the shot severed a major artery, resulting in mortality. Though
he had been in trouble with the law, he was finally getting his life back on track,
enjoying a successful athletic career playing for the Washington Redskins.
The interesting thing is, after his death, many people stepped forward with
statements such as, "Sean always knew his past was going to come back to
haunt him. He always said that he knew he would be murdered. His greatest
fear was that he wouldn't be there for his family—that his wife would have to

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raise children on her own."
Taylor was afraid of dying. At first, this tragedy seems so unjust—so
random. But upon further investigation it became clear to me: Sean Taylor, like
so many others, opened the door to disaster. He believed he would die young.
He talked about dying young. His agreement with satan allowed his dreams
to be actualized, as unwelcome as they were. Through elongated focus and
persistent attention, the Law of Faith empowered the situation on which Sean
Taylor focused the most.
Fear is a killer—an invitation for demonic invasion. Fear is placing faith in the
wrong voice. Ask the Lord to expose any hidden fears in your life. As He does, deal
with them swiftly. Pray this prayer:

I renounce and reject all agreements made with the enemy. Fear has
absolutely no place in my heart. The Bible says that God hasn't given me a
spirit of fear but a .spirit of power, love and a sound mind (see 2 Timothy 1:7).
It doesn't matter what the news says. It doesn't matter what mountain I'm
facing. It doesn't even matter if I feel afraid. I refuse to fear because no evil
can come near me, no disaster can come near my dwelling! Angels are
protecting me, and I will no longer give access to the enemy through fear (see
Psalm 91:10). I am set free from fear!

The mountain of fear? Identified and demolished!

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PART THREE

Taking Your Stand


of Faith

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Making the Decree

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Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation.
—Matthew 12:37 MSG

N
OW THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF FAITH—what it is, how it
operates—and have discovered how to develop your faith, building an
unshakable structure of agreement with the unseen realm, it's time
to advance to the practical release of mountain-moving faith. Consider
the chapters of the previous section as tools you can use to grow in and
maintain a life of powerful faith.
There is never a time when you should be weak or slack in your faith life.
Waiting for disaster to strike before you attempt to develop your faith will lead to
failure. The emotions of battle will usurp your ability to walk by faith rather than
sight. For this reason, begin to develop your faith now. Implement the
aforementioned tools every day of your life. That way, when a mountain rises in
your path, you'll be fully prepared to deal with it.
These final chapters will specifically address how to deal with situations for those
who have already developed their faith. Attempting to implement these steps
without a strong faith-structure in your life would be like revving the engine of
your car while it's still in "park." You'll make a lot of noise, use a lot of gas, and
go absolutely nowhere. If you are trying to overcome an obstacle, yet can't
seem to maintain faith, I encourage you to revisit Section Two: Developing Your
Faith.

Step into Your Destiny as Co-creator

Once you have trained yourself to see things beyond their circumstantial
appearance, according to the higher reality, you are equipped to follow the
specific, creative processes outlined in this section. What do I mean by creative
process? When you have brought your perception into perpetual harmony with
God, you are ready to step into your destiny as a co-creator of your life.
Most people allow life to happen to them by default. But God's highest plan is
for us to co-author our own experience in agreement with His perfect will. One of
the greatest lessons Jesus came to teach the disciples was that their lives were not
outside of their control. Jesus specifically taught His friends how to enter into their
heavenly ambassadorship. He expected them to utilize their authority to
manifest God's desire on Earth. You'll probably notice that this authority is
exactly what God originally intended for Adam and Eve. Well, God didn't give up
on His initial plan. He has been working for thousands of years to restore the
Church to our rightful place of royalty. We are called to "reign as kings in life"
(Romans 5:17).
God didn't place you on Earth simply to be an observer. You are here to be a
creator. You are here to steer energy and direct the natural realm into alignment
with the Kingdom of Heaven. God has made His design for the earth apparent
(see Matthew 6:10). He delegated this assignment to His people, fully expecting

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to return and find that we've made the most of the power He left with us (see
Matthew 25:14). If this sounds foreign to your conventional theology, you're
not alone. For centuries, the Church has departed from its original
assignment, embracing a counterfeit form of Christianity. Paul calls this form
without power (see 2 Timothy 3:5).Unfortunately, most Christians are waiting
around for the rapture, holding on for dear life until they can finally escape this
God-forsaken planet. You probably know people like this. They have never
understood their rightful place in God's Kingdom. There's a reason we've been
granted the nature of God, the Kingdom within, the Holy Spirit, the keys of the
Kingdom, and dominion over the entire earth (see 1 John 3:9; Luke 17:21; John
16:13; Matthew 16:19; Psalm 8:6). It wasn't just coincidence that God lavished us
with these extravagant gifts. He intended for us to use them! Why did He grant
these supernatural abilities? Because He has called us to live a supernatural
lifestyle!
We need to apply this principle to our understanding of prayer. We must stop
praying for God to do the things that He has empowered us to do ourselves.
Though it is widely taught that God wants us to be weak and dependent on Him
for strength, the opposite is true. It is because we were weak and dependant that
He gave us His strength through Christ Jesus! Paul says, "While we were yet in
weakness [powerless to help ourselves], at the fitting time Christ died for (in
behalf of) the ungodly" (Romans 5:6, emphasis added). Paul said, "God is
strong, and he wants you strong" (Ephesians 6:10b MSG). You are not supposed
to be weak anymore. According to the Bible, you no longer live—Jesus lives in
you! Now you can rely on His supernatural ability within you to do in an instant
what would take a lifetime to accomplish through physical exertion. When you
use your creative power to manifest your individual desires and destiny, you're
operating in the same way Jesus did.
When you face a mountain, you must draw from the ability of God within to
direct the mountain out of your way. Those who lack understanding of their God-
like identity will be forced to heave every single rock of that mountain by hand—
sometimes an impossible task. But to those who take Christ at His Word and use
the supernatural power He gave, moving mountains is as simple as speaking a
word.
Most people wonder why God won't move their mountains for them. Even
though they pray, fast, and beg, they experience no results. This has fostered
wayward doctrines that teach that God approves of the obstacles blocking our
paths. In reality, the reason God won't move the mountain is because He wants
you to learn how to do it yourself. He gave you the power, now He expects you to
use it. For this reason, we are identified as "co-laborers."

Lift up Your Rod

There are many instances in Scripture where God makes it clear that He
expects His people to accomplish through His power what they are asking Him to
do for them. If He always moved the mountain without our intervention, it would
keep our faith from growing by reason of use.

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After the Israelites escaped from Egypt, they found themselves trapped in the
desert between the Red Sea and Pharaoh's pursuing host. They began to fear.
They cried out to God. They complained. They wanted Him to rescue them from
their predicament. God's response is staggering:

The Lord said to Moses, Why do you cry to Me? Tell the people of Israel to go
forward! Lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the sea and [you]
divide it, and the Israelites shall go on do, ground through the midst of the
sea. (Exodus 14:15-16)

The Israelites were crying out to God for help—something most Christians
would commend them for. However, God wasn't impressed. In essence, He
said, "Moses! I gave you that rod for a reason! Don't just stand there, use it!"
Notice that Moses didn't just presume to follow his own good idea. First, he
heard God's will, and then he used his dominion to accomplish it. This can be
seen again after the Israelites were safely on the other side of the sea: "Then the
Lord said to Moses, Stretch out your hand over the sea, [so] that the waters may
come upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and horsemen" (Exodus 14:26).
God gives us the instructions. We use His power within us to accomplish His
will supernaturally. It is His desire for us to join with Him in His works. He has not
called us to observe, but to participate.
After Jesus preached for an entire afternoon to five thousand people, the
crowd became hungry. They were in the middle of nowhere, having no food to
eat. The disciples urged Jesus to send the people home so they could have dinner.
But Jesus had a more miraculous meal in mind. He instructed His disciples, "You
give them something to eat" (Matthew 14:16). But they were not thinking
supernaturally. Jesus ended up having to perform the miracle that He instructed
the disciples to do themselves, multiplying mote than enough food for everyone to
be satisfied.
Don't ask the Master to do what He has explicitly told you to do.

Speaking to the Mountain

Jesus instructed us to speak to mountains. He told us that the way to release our
faith into a certain situation is by speaking it forth. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Faith is
the substance of things hoped for..." (NKJV). Once you have built up your faith
on the inside, you have substance with which to call forth the manifestation.
Speaking to yourself is useful for building up your faith. But when you speak to
your mountain, words not backed by faith will fall to the ground.

And as Jesus] saw one single leafy fig tree above the roadside, He went to it
but He found nothing but leaves on it. ...And He said to it, Never again shall
fruit grow on you! And the fig tree withered up at once. When the disciples
saw it, they marveled greatly and asked, How is it that the fig tree has
withered away all at once? And Jesus answered them, Trudy I say to you, if
you have faith (a firm relying trust) and do not doubt ,you will not only do what
has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken

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up and cast into the sea, it will be done. (Matthew 21:19-21)

Jesus demonstrated the power of faith, released through words, by withering a


fig tree. The disciples were impressed. Wouldn't you be? But Jesus seems to make
light of this miracle. He implies, "You thought that was impressive? Don't you know
that you could even tell something as big as this mountain to throw itself into the
ocean and it would obey you?"
By phrasing His response in this manner, Jesus completely removed every
limitation from the possibilities of faith. I believe He simply looked around and
chose the most dramatic miracle He could think of: moving a mountain into the
ocean.
Did Jesus tell us to ask to God to move the mountain? Did He instruct us to
ask Him to do it? No. He specifically told us to make the decree. Picture yourself
standing at the base of a towering mountain. Look up to its summit. It's very
high. You feel dwarfed by its shadow. Now simply tell the mountain to move into
the sea. Imagine the mountain trembling in response. The ground shakes
beneath your feet. It pulls itself up with a deafening roar and flies through the
air as if thrown by a Hall-of-Fame quarterback. You can hear a distant splash as
it crashes into the ocean, leaving dust in its wake.
In light of this imagery, does it really seem like such a big deal to kill a fig tree?
How about to pay your bills? Be healed of sickness? Reunited with your family? I
believe this was the effect that Jesus intended. This illustration can be seen in
Matthew 17:20, when Jesus makes a similar statement about the mountain-moving
power of faith.

For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard
seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and
it will move, and nothing will be impossible to you. (Matthew 17:20b,
emphasis added)

Notice that Jesus compares faith to a grain of mustard seed. If He was merely
referencing something small to use as a comparative, He could have chosen a
grain of sand or speck of dust. The reason Jesus spoke of a mustard seed is
illustrated in Mark 4:31:

It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the
smallest of all seeds upon the earth; Yet after it is sown, it grows up and
becomes the greatest of all garden herbs and puts out large branches, so that
the birds of the air are able to make nests and dwell in its shade.

Jesus was referring to the process of growth. All you need in order to move a
mountain is a seed of faith. That seed must be planted in fertile soil. How do
you plant the seed? By hearing the Word. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing
by the Word of God." When you see Jesus' promise in the Bible—"You have
enough power to move a mountain"—the seed is planted in your heart. Then it
must grow.

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After your faith matures, when you make your decree—telling the mountain to
move, telling the fig tree to shrivel up—you will find your words backed by
supernatural power. You reap the harvest by making the decree. The Bible says, "You
shall also decide and decree a thing, and it shall be established for you; and the
light [of God's favor] shall shine upon your ways" (lob 22:28).
Plant your seed before you find yourself caught in a difficult situation. Be ready
to face whatever comes with the confidence of having already triumphed. You
must recognize that when Jesus said you could move a mountain with your
words, He meant it. He wasn't speaking figuratively. The reason the mountain
has to obey your decree isn't because you're incredibly holy. It's not because
you're an ordained minister. It's not because you have a lot of money. It will obey
because Jesus said it would!
The disciples said, "...even wind and sea obey Him!" (Mark 4:41). If those
elements had to obey Jesus, they also have to obey you, because you come in
Jesus' Name. You have His authority, identity, and anointing. You are called to do
the same works and even greater (see John 14:12). You have dominion over all
the works of God's hands and He has placed all things under your feet (see Psalm
8:6).
Rather than complaining to God and others about your mountain, speak to
it! Your destiny as a child of God is to be a mountain mover. You must recognize
the authority that's been granted to you and utilize it to move every obstacle
from your path. There is no excuse for a mountain to keep you from God's best. He
has equipped you to overcome in every situation.
God says, "Behold, I will make you to be a new, sharp, threshing instrument
which has teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and beat them small, and shall
make the hills like chaff. You shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them
away, and the tempest or whirlwind shall scatter them. And you shall rejoice in
the Lord, you shall glory in the Holy One of Israel" (Isaiah 41:15-16).
When you remain perpetually stirred up in faith, you will be ready to thresh
the mountain as soon as it arises in your life. When you take time to pray in
tongues, confess God's promises, and meditate on testimonies, following the
suggestions in the previous section of this book, you will always be ready to
face the next challenge with confidence. There are instances when you
must have a knee-jerk, faith-reaction to crises—moments when you don't
have time to fast and pray. You must remain prepared at all times. I
encountered just such a moment when I was nineteen years old.

Not a Moment to Lose

Due to some stress in my life at the time, I decided to take a road trip, west
from Montana, to visit a friend in the state of Washington. It was February and I
had to cross two major passes to reach my destination. I drove my Geo Tracker
Convertible—a small, lightweight car—through the snowy mountains, arriving at
my friend's house without incident.
A week later, a blizzard swept through the region. My mother urged me
not to drive home until the weather subsided. But I didn't listen. I began

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driving back to Montana, confident that my four-wheel drive would carry me
through. All was well for the first half of my journey, but I started hitting some
major snow when I drove through the Idaho panhandle.
Driving down Lookout pass, the sun broke through the clouds, melting the
morning snow into slush. I slowed to a cautious 45 miles-per-hour in the drivers'
lane. On my left, a sedan rushed past, much too fast for the road conditions. Its
tires splashed slush across my windshield.
I was blinded. I couldn't see anything.
I tried my wipers. The caked slush had frozen on the cold glass. It wouldn't
budge.
I hit the brakes. My tires stopped spinning. My car kept moving.
I slid, out of control. I could see through the passenger window that I was
skidding rapidly toward the mountainside embankment. I knew what was about to
happen. I didn't have a moment to lose. I yelled, "JEEEESUUUUUS!"
I smashed violently into the wall. My car flipped over. I felt the shock of the
driver's side smash against the icy highway. My face inches from death. The
drivers door caved in, clinging to my left shoulder. I was upside-down. A ferocious
roar as the unforgiving pavement tore the canvas top to shreds. Hands gripping
the steering wheel tightly. Eyes squeezed shut as a storm of glass shards assailed
my face.
The momentum kept my car sliding down the mountain for what
seemed like an eternity.
Then it was over.
Absolutely stunned, I carefully unbuckled my safety belt, falling out of the
driver's seat onto a tattered mess of what was previously my roof. I crawled out
the back window, freeing myself from the tangle of metal and glass. I was
immediately greeted by a flurry of people rushing toward the accident.
I was alive. I was okay. And I didn't have even a single scratch.
"Oh, my God! You should be dead!"
"How did you survive that accident?"
"He's delusional; he said he can't feel any pain!"
It was a miracle. People were shocked. I had skidded 460 feet in an icy
blizzard and lived to tell about it. The highway patrol called it a "forty-flare
accident."
When I felt my car hit the embankment, I didn't have time to start praying in
tongues. I didn't have time to get out my Bible and find God's promises of
protection. I was already built up in faith. I was already strong in my agreement
with God that nothing could harm me. I believed at that moment that angels
were surrounding me, keeping me safe. All I had time to do was make my
decree: "JESUS!" In doing so I released my faith to operate in the situation. The
worst of it was simply trying to get the glass out of my hair.
I was not spared because God sovereignly intervened, or because it
"wasn't His time for me to go." If Jesus had been standing there He would have
told me the same thing He told all of the miracle recipients in the Bible. "Winston,
your faith has kept you safe."
I believe that the angels, though standing by, would not have intervened in

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that catastrophic situation without my enabling them through faith. When they
heard me call on the Name of Jesus—and everything that Name represents—they
were released to move on my behalf. Thank God I was already built up in faith.
As I stood there on the side of the road, surrounded by highway patrol,
out of cell phone range, my greatest concern was just getting home. I needed
to let my mother know I was safe. As a truck drug what was left of my car to the
narrow highway shoulder, I said, "Father, I receive your help right now." Not
only did I have the confidence of knowing that He wasn't the cause of the
accident, I knew that He already had my solution, as well.
Just then, fifteen minutes after the accident, a white Suburban sped by. I
barely had a moment to catch a glimpse of the face of the woman sitting in the
passenger's seat as she opened her mouth in shock. The vehicle pulled over.
Imagine my surprise to see the parents of one of my closest high-school friends
from Montana! They just "happened" to have been coming home from a
weekend vacation in Washington. They just "happened" to be a few miles
behind me when I wrecked. This goes to show you that no matter how big a
weapon satan might form against you, it cannot prosper. Our father is always one
step ahead.
Before long, I was wrapped in a wool blanket, riding comfortably and
safely, on my way home. I cannot say what a relief it was when I called my
mom on the cell phone, able to tell her that though I was in a bad accident, I was
safe in the care of trustworthy friends. I would be home soon.
The likelihood of those folks being in Washington the same week I was is
slim. The fact that they happened to pass by the scene of the accident within
fifteen minutes, slimmer. The fact that they identified me within the large group of
people standing by the road? Humanly impossible. All these events taken
together? A miracle. If I had left Washington fifteen minutes later, they would have
been in front of the accident. If I had been standing in a different spot by the
road, they wouldn't have recognized me. On top of it all, I was able to get an
unusually large sum of money by selling my car for parts. My Father takes very
good care of me!
This is the story of my life. Mountains have risen against me. I have moved
them. Not because I've been lucky. Not because God loves me more than others.
But because I've learned how to operate in the principles of faith.
Be ready. Don't let a crisis blindside you. Remain filled with faith so that when
you need to draw upon the power of God at any given moment, you can. Making
the decree reaps the harvest of faith that you've planted and tended.
For instance, if you have asked God for a new home, you know according to His
Word that it was granted immediately (see Mark 11:24; 1 John 5:15). But you
cannot see it, of course. You may have sighted the property of your dreams, but
you still don't have the title deed with your name on it. Therefore, you begin to
build your faith in that area. You don't need the title company to tell you it's yours;
you have the Word of God.
1. Make sure that you're confident in His willingness to give you what you asked
for. Be positive that you know it's His desire for you to have it.
2. Begin to talk to yourself about it. Say, "The home of my dreams belongs to

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me now. The things I desire are granted when I pray. I deserve this home
because I am a child of God. I will enjoy my new home."
3. Pray in tongues, keeping yourself synchronized to the heavenly environment
of faith, seeing everything from a faith-perspective.
4. Meditate on testimonies of other people who have received their dream
house. Recall how the Lord helped you purchase your first home. Consider
all the blessings He continually pours into your life.
5. Find scriptures to edify your faith. Write them and post them on your
bathroom mirror, car dashboard, and refrigerator. "God takes pleasure in
the prosperity of His servant" (Psalm 35:27). "The desire of the righteous
will be granted" (Proverbs 10:24 NKJV).
6. Use your imagination to see your desire fulfilled. See yourself living in the
home of your dreams. See yourself signing at the closing table, your name
on the tide. See it until you believe it. You will end up believing, not because
you can see it in the natural, but because you can see it with your eyes of
faith.
All these exercises help build up your faith to the level where moving into
your new home—no matter how far out of your budget it may be—seems like
the next logical step. You see it as done. Finished. Accomplished. At this
point, you have reached the requirements of faith that Jesus explained. He
said, "...believe you have received, and it shall be yours" (Mark 11:24 NKJV).

Planting the Seed, Letting it Grow

All the time you’ve spent following the procedures of faith-development can be
likened to watering and fertilizing the seed of faith you initially sowed. The seed
germinated. It grew. You are "...like a man who scatters seed upon the ground,
and then continues sleeping and rising night and day while the seed sprouts and
grows and increases—he knows not how. The earth produces [acting] by itself—
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is
ripe and permits, immediately he sends forth [the reapers] and puts in the sickle,
because the harvest stands ready" (Mark 4:26-29).
Now the harvest is ripe. Your faith is unshakable. You are ready to reap. Before it
matured, you spoke your desired reality in order to train your mind to think
according to God's reality. However, now that your faith has matured, you can
confidently say, "I own my dream house! It's mine today!" And you actually
believe it. You have come into the place of absolute, unwavering agreement with
God—that when you asked, He gave. This is the point of connection. Your decree
calls forth the desired reality. Manifestation occurs.

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. (2
Corinthians 4:13)

Remember, God spoke the world into existence. He "speaks of the non-
existent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already]

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existed" (Romans 4:17). Created in his image, we have the same ability to
conceive realities in our minds and call them into existence out of nothing. The
Bible says, `By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of
God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are
visible" (Hebrews 11:3 NKJV). This verse refers to God's spoken-word creative
process as "faith." When explaining how to move mountains, Jesus emphasized
the importance of speaking words. There can be no creation without words, no
harvest without words.
Hebrews 1:3 says, "[Jesus] is the perfect imprint and very image of
[God's] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the
universe by His mighty word of power." We must remember that Jesus is God's
Word and it was through His Word that He created all things (see John 1:1, 3).
Nothing can be created or come into existence without being spoken. The Word that
God spoke countless years ago, bringing the very universe into existence, is the
same Word that continues to uphold and maintain it today. It is impossible to
revoke a word once it is spoken.
Sound waves, though they diminish in size over time, will never completely
cease. The words you spoke as a child are still traveling throughout the
atmosphere, even in their most indistinguishable form. Scientists can't put their
finger on the phenomenon of God's creative power, yet it is widely recognized
that there is some unknown source of order which we have thus far been
unable to define. There are trillions of planets, stars, and galaxies, yet there
isn't enough existing matter to hold it all intact Renowned author Bill Bryson
explains:

[Scientists] recognize that there [isn't] nearly enough visible mass in the
universe to hold galaxies together and that there must be some other
gravitational influence—what we call Dark Matter.

Scientists admit to a significant gap in their comprehension of the universe's


ability to maintain and hold itself in concert. They theorize Dark Matter as a
possible explanation for this "other gravitational influence." But the author of
Hebrews attributes this indefinable force to "the Word of God's power." Dark
Matter doesn't actually exist. It's simply a supplementary speculation to the
current void of understanding. It is widely held that there must be something
beyond the physical realm whose power causes everything to function as it
does. This so-called "Dark Matter" is truly "the Word of God's power"—a
mystery to men, yet clearly revealed in the Bible.
God created the universe to adhere to the order of His spoken word. Then He
made you in His likeness, and called you to rule your own life with the order of
your spoken word. That's why in the Bible, storms are stopped with words, trees
are killed with words, and mountains are moved with words. Think about it: Of
all the living creatures on Earth, humans are the only species with the ability to
speak. We have the power to not only communicate with each other, but also
with matter itself. We can call things that are not as though they already exist.

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Moses and the Rock

One of the most fascinating stories in the Bible is when God told Moses to talk
to a rock. The Israelites had been wandering around the desert for a while, and
now they were thirsty.

And the Lord said to Moses, Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and
tell the rock before their eyes to give forth its water, and you shall bung forth to them water out of the rock; so
you shall give the congregation and their livestock drink. (Numbers 20:7-8, emphasis added)

First, notice that God didn't say He would perform the miracle. He
instructed Moses bring forth water, specifically telling him to bring his rod,
representing the authority that had been delegated to him. This is the same
expectation God placed on Moses when the Israelites were trapped at the Red
Sea. God wanted the congregation to witness Moses perform the miracle by
using his authority. When God's people walk in supernatural authority, it
doesn't detract from His glory. It magnifies it.
Second, how did God tell Moses to implement the power? By speaking to the rock.
Let's see what transpired.

So Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as He commanded him. And Moses and Aaron assembled the
congregation before the rock and Moses said to them, Hear now, you rebels; must we bring you water out of this
rock? And Moses lifted up his hand and with his rod he smote the rock twice. And the water came out
abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, Because
you did not believe in (rely on, cling to) Me to sanctify Me in the eyes of the Israelites, you therefore shall not
bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. (Numbers 20:9-12)

Here's the dilemma. God desired Moses to perform the miracle with the
power of his decree. Instead, Moses used brute strength to strike the rock, not
once, but twice. Because of his disobedience—what God called a lack of faith
("you did not believe")—Moses was not permitted to enter the Promised Land.
This is serious business.
This represents a critical aspect of faith. God expects us to operate
supernaturally in the midst of a natural world. When we've been given authority
through our decree, it is wrong to forsake our inheritance in exchange for a
natural, physical solution. Exerting human strength against an obstacle you
have total supernatural authority over is unacceptable. Jesus didn't instruct the
disciples to grab a shovel and dig the mountain out. He didn't tell them to go to
the nearest city to buy food for the hungry crowd. He never sent the sick to
the doctor's office. Think of it—His very first miracle was for a relatively
insignificant purpose: turning water into wine at a party!
Don't assume there's a shortage of God's power—as if you're only allowed a
certain number of miracles , so you better make them count. In fact, the more
power you currently walk in, the more power will become available. He wants
you to draw on your divine strength to accomplish your needs, whether it's moving
a huge mountain or simply turning water into wine.

Words Shape the Existence of Energy Itself

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Many scientists are now discovering that matter is directly affected by the
power of words. Research shows that at a subatomic level, words have the
capacity to transform and shape the existence of energy itself. Though this
discovery is somewhat new to our western, intellectual culture, many eastern
philosophies are based on this very fact. For thousands of years, mystics and
monks have recognized the same principle that Jesus taught about the power
of words. Prior to Jesus' incarnation, Solomon walked in great wisdom
concerning the ability of the tongue to shape and control our lives. And even
before that, God taught Adam about taking dominion with his words. Creation
itself was initiated through the power of a decree: "Light be!"
Dr. Chuck Missler offers amazing scientific evidence for the word/matter
interconnectivity. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand the basic
premise.

Another discovery of the physicists is that a subatomic particle, such as an


electron, can manifest itself as either a particle or a wave.... When an
electron manifests itself as a wave it can do things no particle can. If it is fired
at a barrier in which two slits have been cut, it can go through both slits
simultaneously. When wavelike electrons collide with each other they even
create interference patterns. It is interesting that in 1906, 1 J. Thomson
received the Nobel Prize for proving that electrons are particles. In 1937, he
saw his son awarded the Nobel Prize for proving that electrons are waves.
Both father and son were correct. From then on, the evidence for the
wave/particle duality has become overwhelming. This chameleon-like ability
is common to all subatomic particles. Called quanta, they can manifest
themselves either as particles or waves. What makes them even more
astonishing is that there is compelling evidence that the only time
quanta ever manifests as particles is when we are looking at them....
One of [Scientist] Bohm’s most startling suggestions is that the tangible
reality of our everyday lives is really a kind of illusion, with similarities to a
holographic image. Underlying it is a deeper order of existence, a vast and
more primary level of reality that gives birth to all the objects and
appearances of our physical world in much the same way that apiece of
holographic film gives birth to a hologram. Bohm calls this deeper level of
reality the implicate (enfolded) order, and he refers to our level of existence
as the explicate (unfolded) order.2

While this discovery is revolutionary to modern scientists, the concept is not


new. In the beginning, God spoke words (which are waves) and they became
matter (made of particles). He has placed this same latent ability inside those
made in His likeness. Jesus said that our words (waves) can move mountains
(particles). He made the decree (waves) and killed a fig tree (particles). At His
command (waves), the sea (particles) became still.
Furthermore, the Hebraic word that is translated "word" in the Old
Testament is "devar." "Devar" is the same exact word the Hebrews used to
mean "thing." Whether talking about a word (wave) or a thing (particle), they

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used the same word! The root word of "devar" means "to arrange, used
figuratively (of words) to speak."3 This implies an understanding of the truth
that the Bible repeatedly stresses: Words can shape and arrange physical
matter. God wants us to use our words to change things in the natural realm.
Referring back to Missler's essay, note this astounding statement: "The only
time quanta ever manifests as particles is when we are looking at them." Once
again, the Hebrews understood this principle when deriving the word "devar"
from the root meaning, "to arrange." I believe that what scientists refer to as
"quanta" can be likened to un-molded clay. For this reason, when God created
the heavens and the earth, "The earth was without form and an empty waste,
and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep" (Genesis 1:2a).
How did God begin to arrange this clay-like formlessness? Genesis 1:3 gives our
answer: "God said...." His words, or waves, created particles of light, firmament,
collective waters, earth, vegetation, stars, sun, moon, living creatures, and so
forth.
When we focus on and speak to these yet-to-be-defined subatomic quanta,
they manifest themselves as particles. All matter originates through words that
are spoken. The Bible says, "All things were made and came into existence through
[the Word]; and without [the Word] was not even one thing made that has come
into being" (John 1:3). Likewise, you cannot achieve results in your life without
speaking forth the desired results that have formed within your mind.
The first chapter of Genesis is laced with the phrase, "And God said...and
there was...... In the Old Testament, Rahab told the spies, "According to your
words, so it is" (Joshua 2:21). Jesus said, "If you say...it will be done." Content of
the mouth is clearly linked to quality of life. Speaking always precedes being.

Gabriel and Zachariah

Another interesting illustration involves the mother and father of John the
Baptizer. God promised a son in response to barren Elizabeth's prayer. The
angel Gabriel came to deliver the news to Elizabeth's husband, Zachariah.
Gabriel said, "...your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you must call his
name John..." (Luke 1:13). However, Zachariah didn't believe what Gabriel said.
He lacked faith. "And Zachariah said to the angel, By what shall I know and be
sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years" (v. 19).
Gabriel replied, "Now behold, you will be and will continue to be silent and
not able to speak till the day when these things take place, because you have not
believed what I told you" (v. 20).
Wait a second. Why would Zachariah's unbelief result in his inability to
speak? Was Gabriel punishing him? No, when the angel saw that Zachariah was
prone to speak words of doubt and unbelief, he was forced to close his mouth. If
Zachariah had been permitted further speech—in potential opposition to God's
will—it would have compromised the miracle of John's birth. Since this was a
matter of some importance, the unbelieving man was silenced to keep the
miracle from being jeopardized.
Our words make or break us, depending on whose words we give voice to.

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As in this story, if we speak contrary to what God has prophesied into our
lives, we can literally cancel His intervention. If you don't believe this is
possible, just ask the folks from Nazareth (see Mark 6:1-6).
A few months later, Zechariah realigned himself to God. He obediently named
his son John, even though others attempted to dissuade him. When God saw that
the man was back in agreement His will, He opened his mouth and loosed his
tongue (see Luke 1:63-64).
God has trusted us with the ability to co-create with Him on Earth. Humans
are the only creatures in all creation with the ability to form words with our
tongues. Why do we have dominion here? Is it because we're the largest of the
animals? Is it because we're the strongest physically? What gives us the upper
hand on the rest of God's creation? We have the ability to form and nurture reality
within our minds and call it into existence with our mouths.
We must be sure to speak only according to the Father's will. We can use
our words to establish His Kingdom or we can use them to further darkness.
Once again, with whom are you going to agree? When God gives you a promise,
are you going to give voice to His words? Or will you continue to repeat the lies
of the devil? Remember, without your faith, neither God nor satan will further
their agenda on Earth. You are the one who casts the deciding vote because
you have dominion. Your words are the release of your faith, and your faith is
the catalyst that breathes life into God's will. It is your declaration that
accomplishes His plan. That's why we must declare, "Your will be done on Earth
as it is in Heaven!" Without our faith to receive it, His plan will only be done in
Heaven.
The Bible talks about the ability to steer our lives with our words:

A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a
huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the
strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it
can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark,
remember, to set off a forest fire. (James 3:3-6a MSG)

James says that even though the circumstances of your life may seem
overwhelming at times, they are all under the direction of that little member,
the tongue. Solomon says, "A man's self shall be filled with the fruit of his
mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether
good or evil]. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who
indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]" (Proverbs 18:20-21).
If you are standing in faith to receive from God, you cannot afford to speak
contrary to your prayer. It is counterproductive to ask God for something, and
then go around talking as though you don't have it. That is not believing you've
already received. If you claim God's promises of healing for your body, and then go
tell everyone in sight how horrible you feel, you will not receive. Rather than
using your words to move the mountain, you are reinforcing it. You can't pray
for financial blessing and follow your prayer with statements of doubt. "I just
don't know how we'll ever pay all these bills. We can't seem to make ends

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meet. We can't afford this. We can't afford that." Those words are counterpoised
to faith.
Jesus observed, "For out of the fullness (the overflow, the
superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks" (see Matthew 12:34).
Therefore, if you are speaking words of doubt and unbelief, contrary to the
desired result, that is a clear indication that you don't have the necessary faith to
receive from God. You can say that you believe, but if your speech doesn't
parallel your so-called faith, it isn't really faith. True faith will always manifest
itself in your mouth.
Allow me to share a final example of the importance of making a faith decree.

As Jesus went into Capernaum, a centurion came up to Him, begging Him,


And saying, Lord, my servant boy is lying at the house paralyzed and
distressed with intense pains. And Jesus said to him, I will come and restore
him. But the centurion replied to Him, Lord, lam not worthy or fit to have
You come under my roof; but only speak the word and my servant boy will be
cured. For l also am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me,
and I say to one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and
to my slave, Do this, and he does it. When Jesus heard him, He marveled
and said to those who followed Him...I tell you truly, I have not found so
much faith as this with anyone, even in Israel. (Matthew 8:5-10,
emphasis added)

What a shocking statement from the Son of God! Jesus identified the
greatest level of faith He had ever seen. This seems like an important matter.
(By the way, the only other time Jesus was said to have "marveled" is in Mark
6:6: "And He marveled because of their unbelief." When He marveled the first
time, a powerful miracle took place. But when He marveled a second time, it
was at unbelief so great that the Bible says, "And He was not able to do even
one work of power there." Either way, if you have great or little faith, Jesus is
marveling.)
What was it about the centurion's faith that caused Jesus to "marvel"?
It was his understanding of authority. He recognized that healing didn't
have to come through Jesus' physical presence or through the laying-on of
hands. He recognized that Jesus didn't have to pray to God for healing. The man
understood that Jesus' power rested in His decree. This faith-filled individual
knew that no matter where Jesus was in relation to the needed miracle, His
words would trigger immediate obedience where it was required. Neither time
not space could hinder the supernatural power of One who understood His
spiritual authority.
The man who grasped this principle had the greatest faith in all Israel!
If you truly believe that you have the power that Jesus said you have, your
decree, filled with faith, will make mountains move, storms cease, and demons
flee. "And nothing will be impossible to you" (Matthew 17:20b).

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Endnotes

1. Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything (New York, NY: Broadway Books, 2004), p. 33

2. Chuck Missler, Prophecy 20/20 (Nashville, TN: Nelson Books, 2006), pp. 12-13; 18 (emphasis added)

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3. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance (Hebrew Dictionary #1696)

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Ask and Receive

He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon.


His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out.
—2 Corinthians 9:9 MSG

I
F YOU ARE A PARENT, you understand the inexplicable delight in giving gifts to
your children. The greatest moment of your child's birthday is seeing the
expression of gratitude and joy on their face as they pull the wrapping
paper off the gifts you meticulously selected for them. You might have
bought the present’s months ago, looking forward to the ritual of presentation,
or perhaps the present is something you made with your own hands. Either way,
you must admit that this act of fulfilling your children's desires far surpasses any
gift you could ever receive yourself.
The personal pleasure which the act of giving imparts to our human hearts
pales in comparison to the wonder of emotion experienced by our loving
Father God—the Source of every good and perfect gift (see James 1:17). You
didn't think that generous nature of yours came by itself, did you? No, it was
carefully patterned after the One who created you in His own image.
And just think the riot of joy and excitement that encompasses the selfless
act of giving to the ones we love here on Earth is nothing compared to the elation
that overwhelms the One who is generosity Himself. Jesus made this point very
plain when He said, "'Don't bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need.
This isn't a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we're in. If your child asks
for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him
with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn't think of such a
thing. You're at least decent to your own children. So don't you think the God
who conceived you in love will be even better?"' (Matthew 7:7-11 MSG).
God loves to give, more than you or I will ever know. He is overflowing with
generosity. In fact, He can't not give. It would be inconsistent with His nature.
One of the greatest ways you can walk in faith is by understanding the
importance of asking and receiving from God. The majority of Christians have
denied God this pleasure time and again.
"Oh, I could never ask God for that!"
"He has a lot to deal with. I wouldn't bother Him with my little need."
"I only pray for the needs of others. I would never pray for my own desires."
"If God wants me to have something, He'll give it to me. I don't need to ask."
These statements and others have devoured the well-being of the Church

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like untreated fungus. As with many faith issues, the devil has successfully
splattered the truth with his deceptive distortions. Once again, Christians
parade their false humility as if it's somehow pleasing to the Father, when all He
longs to do is pour out His extravagance. It is dishonoring to refuse the gift of a
lover. How many times have you slapped God in the face by refusing Him the
pleasure of gifting you the desires of your heart?
The Bible has a lot to say about asking and receiving from God. This
subject is repeatedly discussed, making it difficult to overlook its importance.
The question is, how important is it to you?
Three aspects of asking and receiving must be addressed in order to
successfully operate by faith. The first is how to ask. The second is why to ask.
The third is what to ask.

How to Ask and Receive

Generally, a person's life followed the direction that was determined by the
name they were given as a child. For instance, Isaiah, when speaking of the
future Messiah, prophesied His Name, "Immanuel." Immanuel means God with
us. This name was obviously appropriate as Jesus Christ was exactly that.
The name ‘Jesus’ itself means God saves. If there was ever an appropriate
name, or identity, given to the Savior of the Jesus gave us specific instruction on
how to pray. He told us not to pray directly to Him, but to the Father, in His
name.

Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as
presenting all that I AM]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will
receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete. John
16:24)

When Jesus said, "Up to this time..." He was referring to the disciples'
relationship with Him prior to his crucifixion and resurrection. At that time, the
disciples did not have direct access to the Father. They had not yet been made
righteous. For this reason, they simply asked Jesus for their needs because He
was physically available to them. But after Jesus paved the way for
righteousness-restored, they would begin to ask the Father for whatever they
desired. What newfound right did they have to approach the Father directly?
The same access you and I have today: the Name of Jesus.
What is the significance of the phrase, “in My Name”? In our generation and
culture, names don’t bear nearly as much significance as they did to ancient
cultures. A person’s name was synonymous with their identity. Generally, a
person’s life followed the direction that was determined by the name they were
given as a child. For instance, Isaiah, when speaking of the future Messiah,
prophesied His Name, “Immanuel.” Immanuel means God with us.
The name “Jesus” itself means God saves. If there was ever an appropriate
name, or identity, given to the Savior of the world, it was Jesus. So when we pray
“in Jesus’ name,” we’re evoking much more than just a fanciful ending to our

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prayers. When Jesus instructed us to pray in His Name, Jesus intended us to
posture ourselves in His identity. We are to approach God as Him, by right of Him,
with His credentials. Blasphemy? The Pharisees thought so. But Jesus called it our
destiny.
When the Hebrews made a blood covenant, one of the dramatic
exchanges that took place was the absorption of each others' names. They
would say, "My name is your name and your name is my name," among many
other rituals. When God cut the New Covenant with His people through the
blood of the Lamb, He gave us His Name, and along with it His authority, His
family ... and everything He owns!
Noted translator Kenneth Wuest expands the phrase, "in My Name,"
saying that it would be best understood by the phrase, "in view of all I am in
God's estimation." This helps us see that, in Christ, we no longer approach God
as mere men, but as resurrected, exalted, Christ-like children! No wonder God
promises to give us whatever we ask!

At that time you will ask (pray) in My Name, and I am not saying that I will
ask the Father on your behalf or it will be unnecessary]. For the Father
Himself [tenderly] loves you because you have loved Me and have believed
that I came out from the Father. (John 16:26-27)

For centuries, Catholicism has taught that we as mortals do not have the
right to approach God ourselves. The Catholic Church has propagated the
doctrine that we must pray to Jesus, letting Him take our request to God.
Furthermore, many Catholic doctrines have actually instructed us to petition
the deceased saints, allowing them to pass along our requests to Jesus,
then to God. You don't have to have a scholar's comprehension of the
Gospel to recognize what a travesty this methodology infers. If you're in the
habit of asking Mary, Saint So-and-so, or even Jesus Christ to petition the Father
on your behalf, you are asking outside of God's prescribed method. James says
you "ask amiss" (James 4:3 NKJV), which means "in the wrong way." In fact, you
are undermining the very reason Jesus came to give His life on the Cross: so that
you and I could have direct access to God for everything we could ever need.

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace
(the throne of God's unmerited favor), that we may receive mercy [for our failures]
and find grace [godly empowerment] to help in good time for every need
[appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]. (Hebrews
4:16)

You have absolute right and access, and are in fact required to approach God
face to face in order to live the proper life as a believer in Christ. If you are
attempting to live your faith life through the intervention of anyone except
Jesus Christ, repent and turn back toward the personal God who knew you
before you were even born. Neither Mary, nor any other so-called intercessor,
has any more likelihood of receiving from God than you do. There is absolutely no

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one—not even Jesus Himself—that is more righteous than you. You are God's
righteousness! (see 2 Corinthians 5:21).
Isn't that an amazing privilege? To be able to confidently come before the
One who created the entire universe! You don't have to have fear that God is
judging you, looking for your faults and shortcomings. You can be fully
persuaded that you stand before Him as a pure vessel, even if you've sinned.
Why? Because your purity doesn't originate from your sinless ness, but from
Christ's righteousness. As long as you are in Him, you are without sin. Sin cannot
keep you from receiving the gifts of God. However, your own feelings of guilt and
condemnation can keep you from coming boldly, which in turn will prevent you
from receiving. We already addressed the subject of condemnation in Chapter
Thirteen.

Must be in Faith, Without Wavering

Another key aspect of knowing how to ask is discovered in the first chapter of
James:

If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who
gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or
faultfinding, and it will be given him. Only it must be in faith that he asks with
no wavering (no hesitating no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates,
doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither
and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will
receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord. (James 1:5-8)

You must ask in faith. When you ask of God, you must believe without question
that He has already granted your request. You must hold firm to this belief, not
because you have physical evidence of the answer, but because you trust in
the uncompromising nature of God's Word. When He said, "Everyone who asks,
receives," you must believe it. James says that if you waver in that belief, it
doesn't keep God from giving, but it keeps you from receiving.
The only barrier between Heaven and Earth is your own incongruence to
God's will. If you doubt His willingness to give what you've asked for, you can't
receive. If you doubt His ability to provide your need or desire, you can't receive.
If you doubt your right to have the desires of your heart, you can't receive. James
specifically reminds his readers that God gives "liberally, ungrudgingly, without
reproach or faultfinding." If you approach God with confidence, recognizing that
He actually takes delight in giving you whatever you ask, nothing will be able to
keep you from receiving. It doesn't matter how big or impossible your request, it
will be granted.
It is commonly taught that we must continually pray and keep on praying for
the same thing until we receive the answer. Some people call this bombarding
the gates of Heaven. This is wildly unscriptural. God isn't holding out on us,
refusing to cooperate with our requests until we get desperate enough. He doesn't
demand repetitive prayers or desperate crying out. He doesn't require fasting.

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He requires us to simply ask in faith, believing we have received as soon as we
ask (see Mark 11:24). This is the only true key to receiving from God.
If you request something of your Father, then ask Him for the same thing
tomorrow, it's pretty clear that you never believed He granted your prayer in the
first place. This isn't faith. You can ask God every hour, on the hour, to grant your
request, but you will never see the desired results. Why? Because you're
being unscriptural, violating the conditions of answered prayer which Jesus
Himself presented. Jesus specifically said not to pray repeatedly, thinking you'll be
heard for your much speaking (see Matthew 6:7).
Don't waver. When you ask, believe it's done. Believe you've received.
Further attempts to get something from God only reinforce your belief that He
hasn't yet granted your request. In doing so, you're actively strengthening the
barrier between the higher reality and your life's experience.
The Bible says, "And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking,
and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He
may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God
of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly]
wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His
love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!" (Isaiah
30:18).
It is important when you ask that you be specific in your request. If you need
a car, don't just ask for any old car. God delights in giving you the desires of
your heart. So He wants you to decide what would suit you best. He enjoys
partnering with you in this way. In the same way you might ask your children or
spouse, "What do you want for your birthday," God wants to hear what would be
the most pleasing to your heart.
God's nature is abundantly generous. He wants to continually pour new and
exciting blessings into your life. According to Isaiah 30:18, He actually keeps His
eyes open for opportunities to bless you. While growing up, my mom always
found excuses to buy presents for my sisters and me. If she went on a trip, she
always returned with gifts. At my siblings' birthdays, she bought presents for all of
us. She even invented new holidays such as `Brother's day" and "Sister's day,"
just as an opportunity to lavish us with thoughtful extravagance. She got this
idea from God. He is extravagant and bountiful. There's nothing you could
request that is too big or too small for Him.

Abide In Christ, Let His Word Abide in You

Jesus said, "If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in
you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done
for you" (John 15:7).
Here Jesus imposes a condition on successful asking and receiving. First of all
you must live in Him. If you are born again, you already fulfill this requirement.
Your life is not your own. You find your identity in Jesus Christ. Secondly, Jesus
desires His words to remain in you. The Greek word translated "words" in this
passage is rhema. Rhema means the revelatory and now-word of God. Jesus is

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referring to much more than the words found on the pages of Scripture. He
wants you to be in constant communication with Him. When you have His
words in you, freshly spoken into your life, He can be sure you're in alignment
with His desires and purposes. This completely negates the widely held
concern that we might ask for something that isn't God's will, consequently
failing to receive. If you are in open communication with your Father, your desires
will be parallel. Anything you desire as a New Creation is okay by Him.
The other reason you must have Jesus' rhema abiding in you is because only in
this way can you have faith. Jesus verbalized this condition as a guarantee that
you will have faith to receive what you're asking from God. If you know Jesus'
words, then you'll know your right to ask and receive. Without this knowledge,
your requests will be in vain.

Why to Ask and Receive

On several occasions, Jesus emphasizes the importance of asking "whatever


you will." Following each instance, He explains the necessity of doing so.

And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that IAiV1], so that
the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the Son. (John 14:13, emphasis added)

...ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is
honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine. (John 15:7-8,
emphasis added)

Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as presenting all that LAM]; but now ask
and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.
(John 16:24, emphasis added)

What a profound harmony between God's glorification and our joy! When we
ask and receive from God, we both reap the reward. He is exalted as others
witness the demonstration of His goodness and generosity reflected in our
lives. This aspect of His character alone will draw multitudes to the kindness of
His hand. But in addition to bringing glory to the Father, our joy is made full and
complete. This implies that without asking and receiving from God, it's
impossible for us to experience the fullness and completeness of joy that He
desires us to possess. When our needs are met, our relationship with Him is
strengthened.
We are repeatedly instructed to ask God for our needs and desires,
whatever they may be. Scripture testifies of many men and women engaged in
this aspect of relationship with Him. I make requests every day. I ask for good
parking spaces, help arriving at appointments on time, and discounts when I
shop. I request supernatural favor in relationships. I ask Him to open my eyes to
find money by the side of the road when I go jogging. If I've misplaced
something, I ask Him to show me where it is. When I sold real estate, I would
ask Him to lead me into the perfect business opportunities.
Every chance I have, I make requests to God. To many people, this might

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seem self-centered or even greedy. It's just the opposite. In fact, the primary
reason I do it is because I know how much it delights the Father to bless me in
these ways. And every time I receive divine assistance—even in the little
things—it glorifies Him as well as creating fresh testimonies. In addition, it
keeps me humble. Think about it: Every moment I lean on Heaven's aid, I'm
reminded how much I need Him! People in the world may be content to operate
solely in their own strength. But as for me, I refuse to take my divine advantage for
granted.
When I was growing up, I'll never forget how my mother would ask God to
show her where certain items were. If she lost the keys, she would simply pause
and ask God to show her where they were. He always did, and she knew exactly
where to look for them. There have even been times when she has asked the
angels to retrieve something that was lost years earlier. I've seen objects such as
jewelry or photographs—things I know were lost, stolen, or sold previously—
materialize in dresser drawers, on bedroom floors, and kitchen counters. This
confidence in God to care about even the smallest things has carried over into
my adult life, and I know that if I've lost or misplaced something, God is always
faithful to restore it.
Sometimes I think God's favorite miracles to perform are the ones that seem
insignificant to us. When we see His hand at work even in the minutest realms of
life, it attests to His determination to help, not because He has to, but because
He simply enjoys doing so. When we know that God goes so far as to relocate our
keys for us, is there any doubt that He'll provide support in the much more
significant trials of life?
Simple faith can do wonders. Just ask and receive. It's the Father's pleasure to
meet your every need.

What to Ask and Receive

So what do we have license to ask for? The answer to this question is simple:
'Whatever you will (or decide)..." (see John 15:7).
"Are you saying that I can just ask God for anything I want and expect Him to
give it to me?" asked a student in a class.
"Yes. That's exactly what I'm saying," I replied. "That's what Jesus said. There
are no limitations or exceptions."
"So if I ask God for something bad, you're saying He'll give it to me?"
"There is debate surrounding that question because we have multiple scriptural
examples of God granting requests that weren't necessarily His will. Personally, I
believe that we have the right to ask and receive anything that God has made
available to us through His promises in the Bible. But the real issue is this: Are you
a Christian?"
"Well, yes."
"Then what would you want to ask God for
that is evil?" "Uhhh ... I dunno."
"How often do you ask for drugs and
hookers?" "Never!"

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"Exactly. For those who are in Christ Jesus—the ones who have this right to ask
and receive—there is no evil or ungodly desire. For this reason, God confidently
promised in Proverbs 10:24 that the desire of the righteous shall be granted. When
the two blind men called to Jesus from the side of the road, Jesus stopped and
asked, What do you want Me to do for you?' (See Matthew 20:32). In doing so He
subjugated Himself to their desires—he made Himself vulnerable to them. You can
search all you want but you will not find a single place in the entire Bible where God
said, `No,' to someone who asked Him. The same is true today."
Offering to grant the desires of one who has found favor can be seen all
throughout the Bible. It is a legitimate sign of approval to make this generosity
available.

• God told Solomon, "Ask what I shall give you" (1 Kings 3:5).

• King Ahasuerus told Esther, "What will you have, Queen Esther? What is your
request? It shall be given you, even to the half of the kingdom" (Esther 5:3).
Later, the king repeated, "What is your petition? It shall be granted you. And
what is your request? Even to the half of the kingdom, it shall be performed."

• Herod, pleased by a young girl's dance performance, said, "Ask me for


whatever you desire, and I will give it to you.... Whatever you ask me, I will
give it to you, even to the half of my kingdom" (Mark 6:22-23).

These instances in the Bible clearly illustrate the limitless generosity of a king
who is pleased with his subjects. How much more does our Father want to be
generous with His children?
There are dozens of instances throughout Scripture where this principle is
reiterated. It is truly important to the Father to be able to grant the desires of His
children. I will specifically list some of these verses. If you ever feel doubtful about
God's will to give you whatever you ask, refer to these pages to stir up your faith.

And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be
glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. John
14:13-14 NKJV)

If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you
and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be
done for you. John 15:7)

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should
go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you
ask the Father in My name He may give you. John 15:16 NKJV)

And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you

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have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may
be full. (John 16:23-24 NKJV)

Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a
symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything) they may
ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.
(Matthew 18:19)

And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will
receive. (Matthew 21:22)

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be
opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds,
and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV)

For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust
and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it]. (Mark
11:24)

And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, He will grant it to You.
(John 11:22)

And we receive from Him whatever we ask.... (1 John 3:22)

And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we
have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request)
according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and
hears us. And if (since) we[positively] know that He listens to us in whatever
we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have
[granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him. (1 John
5:14-15)

The Other Son

One of the most familiar parables of Jesus is the Prodigal Son. Everyone knows
how the younger of the two sons asked his father for His inheritance. He left home
and proceeded to spend his wealth lasciviously. Several parties, prostitutes, and
hangovers later, the boy ran out of cash. He was too embarrassed to go home so
he got the only job he could find: tending to pigs on a farm—a very degrading
occupation for a Hebrew.
Finally, he tired of having to compete with the swine for their slop and
decided to go home to his father. He planned out what he would say. He
would cry and apologize for squandering His inheritance, acknowledging

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his stupidity. Hopefully his father would at least allow him to be a servant,
enjoying some decent food and lodging.
But his return was greeted with an unanticipated response. The father, who
had been waiting for this day to come, saw his boy approaching in the distance.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved
with pity and tenderness for him]; and he ran and embraced him and
kissed him [fervently]. (Luke 1 5:20b)

The boy attempted to recite his scripted apology but was interrupted by an
excited father who was simply overjoyed to see his son. Rather than reproof, the
prodigal son received a fresh set of expensive clothing, new sandals, and a ring
(representing honor, dignity, and authority). He was also invited to attend a
party that night in which the most valuable calf would be butchered and served in
honor of his homecoming.
If this isn't extravagant, I don't know what is. Remember, Jesus is using this
story to illustrate God's nature as Father. However, the remainder of the parable,
though often overlooked, is equally essential.

`All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day's work was
done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and
dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He
told him, `Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—
barbecued be j because he has him home safe and sound. 'The older brother
stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and
tried to talk to him, but he wouldn't listen. The son said, Look how many years
I've stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have
you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who
has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a
feast!' His father said, `Son, you don't understand. You're with me all the
time, and everything that is mine is yours. " (Luke 15:25-31 MSG)

Jesus seamlessly transitioned His story by recasting the older brother as the
main character. Can you relate more clearly to the older or younger brother?
While many Christians have never rebelled against God and squandered His
gifts, how many have devalued their inheritance in the fashion of the older
son? I dare say, most.
The most grievous part of the parable isn't regarding the son who had the
boldness to ask for his inheritance. It's the unresolved tragedy of the older son
—the one who tried so hard to do everything right, to be good enough. He
owned it all in vain. The older brother was more concerned with earning his
father's gifts and blessings than simply receiving them because they were
rightfully his. This son states his case before his father: "I have served you, and
I have never disobeyed your command...." However, God doesn't give to His
children because we deserve it. It's because we're His sons and daughters!
Let's say that your daughter's birthday rolls around. When it's time to open

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presents, she discovers that there are none.
"Daddy, mommy, where are my presents?" she asks.
You answer, "We didn't feel as if you did enough to earn it this year, dear.
You mouthed off to your mother a few months ago, and you don't keep your room
clean. Try harder next year!"
That's perverted! You shouldn't bless your children because of their behavior,
but because of their identity as your children! If you don't, you're setting your
children up for a lifetime of insecurity. Under the old covenant, God based His
generosity on a reward/punishment system. If you train your children in this
manner, they will find it very difficult to receive the unconditional love that God
extends toward them. If this is you, most likely you have never known how to
receive His love yourself. Being rewarded for who they are in relation to you will
help establish a firm sense of humility in your children that will carry over into
their relationship with God.
Unfortunately, many of God's children are unwilling to ask their Heavenly
Father for their needs and desires because they feel unworthy. This was the
attitude of the older prodigal son, and it was wrong. To these confused Christians,
God says the same thing as the parable's father: "Son, daughter, you are always
with me and all that is mine is yours."
God is not as interested in how you utilize His gifts as in how comfortable you
are asking Him for what you want in the first place. God wants your behavior, yes,
but not unless it is a genuine expression of your heart. He recognizes that the son
who knows who he is will naturally exhibit corresponding behavior. This is a fail-
proof test. Anyone who has the confidence to stand before God and boldly ask
for what he requires is someone God can trust with much.
Yes, the younger son rebelled and squandered his inheritance, but it eventually
led him back to his father’s house, celebrating his sonship. Though the lesson was
slow in coming, he recognized that his father's love wasn't contingent on his
works. This revelation fosters healthy Christians. The son who didn't rebel
might as well have. Even though he was still with his father, he postured himself
as a mere servant rather than an honored child. This is the greater dishonor.
Though the Church often exemplifies this attitude in an attempt to be humble,
the older son demonstrated that the result is self-righteousness instead.
If you wait until you feel as though you deserve to ask freely from God, you'll
never be able to receive. For instance, you don't have to ask your boss for your
paycheck. It is earned. This is understood. But the very fact that God invites us
to ask, demonstrates that the nature of the provision is that of a gift, not
wages. It's not based on behavior, but solely on the nature of the Giver to provide
for the receiver.

Making Your Demand

A simple word study can shed plenty of light on this subject. I familiarized
myself with the Greek word that was translated "ask," attempting to
comprehend Jesus' true reason for promising that God will give us anything
we desire. It seemed too good to be true. Being the man of faith that I am, I

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was trying to find the catch!
I got more than I bargained for. There are three Greek words which English
translators render "ask" in our Bibles. The first is punthanomai, which means, "to
inquire on an informational level." Punthanomai was used in John 13:24: "So Simon
Peter motioned to him to ask of whom He was speaking."
The second word is erotao, which means, "to request as a favor, to pray." Erotao
was used in Matthew 21:24 when Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees. "Jesus
answered them, I also will ask you a question...."
But the third word is aiteo. It can be translated, "to ask, beg, call for, crave,
desire, or require." According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, it is `strictly a
demand for something due. "An instance of this word is found in Matthew 27:20
when the Jews asked for Barabbas' release in exchange for Jesus' crucifixion.
As you might recall, this was an angry mob, not a polite petition. They had a
right to possess what they asked for, and they asked with corresponding
confidence.
This word was also used in Mark 6:25 when Herodias' daughter demanded
John the Baptist's head on a silver platter. Again, not a timid petition. She had
been promised anything she wanted. She knew she had a right to ask for John's
death.
It is important to recognize the distinctions between these definitions. Aiteo is
the word used in every verse where we're promised to receive anything we ask.
Every single time we ask God for something it is to be with the confidence of
demanding what is rightfully due!
Is this how you pray? Is this the attitude you exude when you approach the
Father?
I'm in no way suggesting that we are to be disrespectful or act like spoiled
children. That goes without saying. But by utilizing this particular word to tell us
that whatever we ask will be done, Jesus emphasizes our need of two things:
First, we must know what is rightfully ours. We are only authorized to ask God
for what is due.
Second, we must ask with confidence. When you ask God for something, you
aren't trying to persuade Him to grant your request. No, we've already seen
many verses showing that God is more than willing to give in full as soon as we
ask. When you approach God with your request, you are essentially asking to
possess what is already yours.
For instance, when I walk into the bank and approach the teller, I have
confidence to request a withdrawal. I know I don't have to convince the woman
that she should give me what I ask for. It's already mine. I simply have to take
what already belongs to me. This is the nature of the transaction that God invites
repeatedly. The question remains, then, What is rightfully due?
The answer is found all throughout Scripture. Certain rights and privileges
are frequently emphasized. Here's a far-from-exhaustive list:

• Complete bodily health. (See Psalm 103:3; Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24;
Matthew 4:23; Acts 10:38) • All abundance in all things at all times to
every good work. (See 2 Corinthians 9:8) • All needs met according to

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God's measure of wealth. (See Philippians 4:19; 2 Corinthians 8:9) •
Power to be witnesses. (See Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:17-18; Luke
10:19)
• Authority to move mountains and stop storms. (See Mark 11:23;
Mark 4:39; John 14:12) • The desires of your heart fulfilled. (See
Psalm 21:2; Proverbs 10:24)
• Total heart peace. (See John 14:27; 16:33)
• Absolute protection. (See Psalm 91; Isaiah 54:17; 1 John 5:18)

To sum up the hundreds of biblical benefits, God drives the point home by
promising to freely and graciously give us all things (see Ephesians 1:3; 2 Peter
1:3; Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 3:21; Luke 15:31). You can't find a better
warranty in the business! God has held nothing back from His children! He
has taken countless measures to ensure eternal blessings!
It is time to lift up your eyes and gaze upon the vast treasuries of Heaven—
bountiful abundance that emanates from the very presence of God Himself!
Just look at the staggering vastness of the universe He created for us. And
science shows that it's still expanding! Endless trillions of stars, planets, and solar
systems stretch out beyond heavenly horizons, attesting to the extravagant nature
of our loving Father.
With this vivid imagery pacing through your mind, let me encourage you to
ask of the giving God for whatever you need, want, or desire. Nothing is too big
or too small. Simply aiteo from the catalog of God's amazing resources. He
never says no. He wants you to ask for more!

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

Pregnant With the Purposes of God

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God made humans in his image reflecting God's very nature.
You're here to bear fruit, reproduce, lavish life on the Earth, live bountifully!
—Genesis 9:6-7 MSG

W
HEN I WAS A LITTLE BOY, I used to play a game called "make-believe"
with a friend. Many times we would pretend like we were cowboys or
policemen. Another favorite was "make-believe church." In this
scenario, my friend would play the layperson while I stood at a
makeshift lectern and preached to him. (I doubt this game was as fun for him
as it was for me!)
We spent hours role-playing our favorite heroes and the adults we looked up
to. When he left, I would often set up my stuffed animals in his place, "preaching"
to them until bedtime. I sometimes utilized my dad's overhead projector to
facilitate a worship service. It wasn't until two decades later that I realized
the significance of what we were doing. By using our childlike imaginations, we
were able to transport ourselves out of reality-as-is and into an environment of
our choice. We had no limits—no one to tell us, "You can't do that!"
These things may seem cute in hindsight, but a couple years ago, I got a
revelation of what was really going on. Our game of pretend wasn't simply
providing entertainment; it was literally shaping my destiny. I was using my
God-given imagination to steer my life in the direction God had placed in my heart
before I was even born. I was becoming the architect of my own future.
God told the prophet Jeremiah, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew and
approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I
separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a
prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5).
In essence, I realized that when my mother became pregnant with me, she
became pregnant with God's purposes, which were contained in me. I was
specifically placed on this earth, not just to be another walking sack of flesh
and bones, but to represent the heavenly Kingdom. I'm here to utilize my gifts
to awaken the world to its destiny in Christ.
How does this relate to playing "make-believe?" In every possible way.
What's fascinating is that those passions that burned in my heart as a child are
now being fulfilled in reality. I travel all around the world, speaking and leading
worship—my congregation no longer comprising stuffed animals! I don't believe
I could have stepped into the fullness of my destiny without those countless hours
of allowing fantasy to become reality through my imagination.
Think of the title, "make-believe." It's called this because the participants are
making themselves believe something that isn't actually true. This sounds a lot like
faith, doesn't it? By coming into agreement with the unseen realm—the realm
where God's promises are as real as He is—we have been gifted with an
indispensable asset: our imaginations.

The Creative Center of the Brain

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Your imagination is the creative center of the brain. You might have heard the
word imagination used so often or erroneously that the notion of implementing
it today seems a bit childish. If that is true, let me be the first to awaken your
mind to understand the value of this tool that was so powerful as a child. Jesus
said, "Whoever will humble himself and become like this little child is greatest in
the Kingdom of Heaven" (see Matthew 18:4).
Stop and think about it. In your mind, you can be anything you want to be.
You can do anything you want to do. You can have anything you want to have.
There is absolutely no cap on the possibilities of life when viewed through
your imagination, or your eyes of faith. Why would God design our minds to
conceive extravagant possibilities that most would deem impossible, only to
place us in an environment where that creative source was unable to produce
what it had processed? He wouldn't!
A hundred years ago, if you were to inform someone that humankind would
soon take to the sky, soaring like eagles through a technological
breakthrough called an airplane, they wouldn't believe you. "That's
impossible," they would say.
People told Thomas Edison that the light bulb was impossible. They said the
phonograph was impossible. They laughed at Henry Ford when he decided to
build an automobile. And most people still say it's impossible to walk on water.
But all these things became possible. Edison didn't simply wake up one
morning to find a light bulb sitting on his night stand. Through endless hours of
cognitive cultivation and idea construction, Edison was able to draw from the
fantay of his imagination into circumstantial reality, blessing billions of people
in the process.
In fact, everything that has ever been invented was a reality in someone's
imagination far before it came into existence circumstantially. The clothes you
are wearing. The chair you're sitting in. Only when formulated in the mind could
these things become substantial.
This book has been a reality in my imagination for years. I can see it on
the bookstore shelves. I can visualize the cover. I can picture it on tables at
conferences. I can already hear testimonies of how it has changed people's
lives. Because I am able to conceive these realities prior to their actual
occurrence, I know I am paving the way for their manifestation. Without a
clear picture in my mind of where I'm headed, this project would not be able
to sustain itself. In moments of discouragement or "writer's block," the image in
my mind of the completed product pulls me through. I know I can do it because in
my imagination, I see that I've already done it!
Unfortunately, as children grow up, the imagination tends to wane. Due to
unsettling circumstances or premature responsibilities, so-called present
reality gains ascendancy in their thoughts. Most kids become victims of life-as-
is-and-always-has-been. They are told what works and what doesn't. They are
informed that this is not a good way to earn a living, but that is. They are taught
to think realistically and "down-to-earth." Even Christian children are raised to
think this way. The sad logic of western culture forces its way into our once-
inspired minds, slowly displacing the powerful creative force of our God-given

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imaginations. The more our minds are consumed with earthy realities, the less
room there is to conceive heavenly truths.
Nevertheless, God intends us to live different than the world. Even though
adherents to world religions and vain philosophies outnumber us, Christians can
once again tap into the un-reason-able expectations of God and manifest Heaven
on Earth. Paul says, "And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the
higher things), not on the things that are on the earth" (Colossians 3:2). The
reason for this is simple. What you conceive in your imagination, you will
eventually draw into circumstantial reality. If you set your mind on earthly
systems and orders, you will align your life to them through the Law of Faith. But
if you see according to heavenly realities, the creative force of faith will produce
the miraculous every day.
Our five senses are only able to comprehend the inferior reality—the visible
realm. We've discussed saying yes to the invisible. But how can you agree with
something you can't see? Through your imagination. By delving into the
creative portion of your brain you are able to transcend the-way-things-are
in exchange for the-way-things-can-be.
Endless possibilities are available to those who know how to think outside
the box. This is God's method for producing Heaven on Earth. It is through
the gateway of you! When you come into agreement with the superior reality,
you partner with Him to produce His will within your jurisdiction. We've seen
how Jesus used the example of a farmer planting a seed, waiting for the
harvest. But now let's look at another story to help us understand how the
creative process works.

Overshadowed by the Power of the Most High

The Bible says that Jesus is God's Word. After four thousand years of dealing
with a rebellious people who couldn't follow the law that they so adamantly
demanded, God effected a new dispensation. He sent His Word to be born as a
man. This Man would bring demonstration of the true workings of the Kingdom
of Heaven. The love-sacrifice of this Man would dispel the darkness of sin from
humanity and pave the way to a new era of grace.

And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled
(fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His
glory (His honor, His majesty)....John 1:14)

When John refers to Jesus as "the Word," he uses the Greek word "logos."
The word "logos" refers to God's eternal agenda—His will. His Word is who He
is. God sent His own agenda—the message He wanted to reveal to humanity—to
Earth as a man. Here is how it came about:

... The angel Gabriel was sent from God... to a girl never having been
married...And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found
grace (free, spontaneous, absolute favor and loving-kindness) with God. And

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listen! You will become pregnant and will give birth to a Son, and you shall
call His name Jesus....And Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I
have no [intimacy with any man as a] husband? Then the angel said to her,
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will
overshadow you [like a shining cloud]; and so the holy (pure, sinless) Thing
(Offspring) which shall be born of you will be called the Son of God... .For
with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without
power or impossible of fulfillment. Then Mary said, Behold, I am the
handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have
said. (Luke 1:26-27; 30-31; 34-35; 37-38)

This is perhaps the greatest miracle of all time. God had a powerful agenda, and
He used a human (`the handmaiden of the Lord") to bring it forth. I would like to
expand this story and draw several key points.

1. God sent His message through an angel to inform Mary of what He wanted to
accomplish with her consent.
Because God has placed this earth under the dominion of man, He limits His
works to what men will co-labor with Him to accomplish. We can see this time
and time again throughout Scripture. Without the cooperation of a man's faith,
Jesus was not able to do any great miracles (see Mark 6:5).
In the Old Testament, God placed a rod into Moses' hand. For the rest of his
story, Moses would act as God's partner in the miraculous through his willful
cooperation. When God wanted something accomplished, He instructed Moses to
bring it to pass using his delegated authority. My favorite example of this is when
the Israelites went to battle against Amalek. Moses stood on a nearby hill,
holding the rod of God in his hand. Joshua led the offense against the enemy.

When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and when he lowered his
hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy and grew weary. So
[the other men] took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Then
Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side and one on the other side;
so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And
Joshua...disabled Amalek and his people with the sword. (Exodus 17:11-
13)

The outcome of the battle was wholly determined by the man who wielded
the authority of God. Though it is obvious that God wanted the Israelites to
win, their success was contingent on Moses' willingness and ability to co-labor
with Him to get the job done. In other words, God's favor was either activated or
disabled concurrent to Moses' actions. Without Moses' participation, the Israelites
would have lost the battle—clearly contradicting God's will.
The Bible says, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His
secret to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). God wants to involve us in His
ministry on the earth. After all, that's why He created us! We must partner with
Him to get the job done. Paul says, "So we are Christ's ambassadors, God

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making His appeal as it were through us" (2 Corinthians 5:20a).
If the United States wants to deliver a message to a foreign country, we
don't send the President in a helicopter. We have ambassadors who live
within those countries with which we have diplomatic relationships. These
ambassadors make appeal on behalf of their homeland—the United States of
America. Our government informs the appropriate ambassador of what we
want to be accomplished in that country. The ambassador is the person who
sets those things in motion. But without first hearing the government's agenda,
the ambassador cannot effectively act. This was the reason for Gabriel's
appearance to Mary. Gabriel essentially said, "This is God's plan and here's your
part to play."
Sometimes angels still appear to deliver messages to God's people. But most of
the time, God speaks to us through His resident Messenger, the Holy Spirit. The
Spirit informs us at all times what God's plan is. Then He requires our
cooperation to bring it to pass through our faith.

2. God deliberately chose a girl who had never been married, having no intimacy
with a man.
Most of the time, God calls us to co-labor with Him on assignments that are not
humanly possible to us. Be it healing the sick or delivering a nation from
bondage, He wants us to undertake projects that are impossible. In this way, we
aren't tempted to respond in the natural, attempting to fulfill His plan
through our human strength. No matter how convenient it may seem, doing so
always leads to trouble.
When Abraham and Sarah attempted to fulfill God's promise of a son in
their own strength, they produced a tragedy. Through Abraham's union with
his servant Hagar, Ishmael was born—the man who would make war against the
miracle-child, Isaac, for generations to come.
Gabriel immediately violated Mary's concept of "realistic," by telling her she
would get pregnant outside of natural intimacy with a man. This was obviously
something she didn't have the power to accomplish by her own means. What
God had planned for Mary would require faith. Gabriel knew this, which is
why he deliberately addressed the unfeasibility of the situation. He reminded
Mary that nothing is impossible with God. Only through faith would she receive
the impregnation of the Spirit.
Gabriel intentionally used a testimony to help convince Mary that the
audacity of God's promise was indeed supernaturally possible! Immediately
after he explained that God was going to germinate His seed in her womb, he
said, "And listen! Your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son,
and this is now the sixth month with her who was called barren" (Luke 1:36). Isn't
that awesome?! One of the reasons God caused the once-barren Elizabeth to
become pregnant six months prior to Gabriel's arrival at Mary's house was to set
Mary up for faith. God purposely established a testimony to be an example
that would enable Mary to conceive the Word through her agreement.

3. Through intimacy with the Holy Spirit, Mary would become pregnant.

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Marital intimacy leads to pregnancy. It is the same with Jesus and His Bride.
The Bible makes it clear that earthly marriage between a man and a woman
was not only patterned after Christ's relationship with the Church, it was
actually given to help us understand the corresponding spiritual reality. I believe
this is why homosexuality is such an abomination before God. It isn't so much
that the act of perverted sex disgusts Him as it is an attack on the spiritual
significance of holy marriage. Homosexuality is a violent distortion of the
spiritual marriage model that has been established for us through male/female
commitment and intimacy.
Many Christians—especially men—have a difficult time grasping the notion
that the Church—all of us—are Christ's bride. "Christ's love makes the church
whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to
bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness.
And that is how husbands ought to love their wives" (Ephesians 5:27-28a MSG).
Because this illustration disrupts conventional masculinity, many of the
prophetic implications have been altogether overlooked. Yet an entire book of
the Bible—Song of Solomon is dedicated to exemplify the prophetic virtues of
spiritual intimacy and sexuality.
Here is what God has revealed to me: When we engage in intimacy with
God, we are liable to become pregnant with His Word. His agenda becomes
planted in our spiritual womb. This is our imagination—our creative control
center. It is then up to us to nurture and care for the vision like a mother would
do for a baby in her womb. We must not expose ourselves to potentially
harmful substances. We must remain sober and vigilant. We must always be on
guard against those who would try to steal our vision.
As time passes, the Word that was planted in our heart continues to grow
and develop. Pretty soon we start to show. Others can tell that we're pregnant
with the purposes of God. We are eager to give birth, but patience is still
required. Eventually the vision can be contained no longer. It can be painful to
give birth. It will be messy. But when the child emerges, it is alive. Real. Breathing.
So it is with our vision.
Are you pregnant with a dream? Has God given you a promise that’s
gestating in your spiritual womb? With the desire to be a missionary? An
evangelist? To start an orphanage? To work with the homeless? How about a
vision of healing the sick? Becoming a successful businessman? Perhaps God
has promised you a physical child, but doctors say it isn't possible.
The purpose of a mountain is to stand between you and the realization of your
vision!
Several years ago, I was spending time in prayer when God impregnated me
with a vision. It was small at the time, and I didn't even know how it would
come to pass. He showed me that I would facilitate a training center to equip
and send out teams of worshipers and leaders all throughout the world. He
revealed that at the home facility there would be an endless worship service, a
place where the manifest presence of God would rest habitually. It would be a
place of healing and restoration, where folks would travel from many parts of
the earth to soak in God's presence. To receive ministry. To escape the chaos of

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the world. It would be an oasis in the midst of a desert. There they would come
and be filled up, prepared to mobilize. Some would stay longer than others.
Then they would go forth. They would equip churches and families to face the
end times with faith and confidence. They would teach and prophesy and
establish the Kingdom wherever they went.
I received this vision when I was fifteen years old. It has yet to be fulfilled.
But I have nurtured it and invested in it for many years. I have delved into the
depths of my imagination to explore the reality that God has promised for my
life. I have seen the building. I've heard the music. I've witnessed the impact the
ministry will have in our city, state, and nation.
Focusing on this vision doesn’t mean I've ignored other ministry opportunities.
Our team travels extensively and ministers powerfully. But I know it is just a small
taste of the vision with which I am pregnant. God has made a promise to me and
I am mixing it with faith—believing that I have already received what was revealed
to my spirit.
Interestingly enough, though the concept presented in my vision was unheard
of at the time, many houses of 24/7 prayer and worship have since
commenced. I could become offended at this (`But You gave me the vision!
Why did You bring it to pass for them?'), but instead, I see that it is to me what
Elizabeth's pregnancy was for Mary: a testimony meant to stimulate my faith!
Gabriel informed Mary that the Spirit would come upon her and she would
conceive. It's important to clarify that God did not have physical relations with
Mary. He communed with her in the spirit realm. When she received His Word,
spoken through Gabriel, she conceived in her womb.

4. Mary said, `Take notice that I make myself available to the seed of God. Let
what you said come to pass."
This statement reveals that Mary immediately came into agreement with
God's promise, initiating her pregnancy through faith. Romans 10:17 says,
"Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God" (NKJV). When Mary
heard God's Word through His angel, she said yes to the invisible. Many people
overlook this fact, but I believe that the "overshadowing of the Most High" took
place at the exact moment Mary said, "Let it be done to me according to what you
have said."
The Bible says that Gabriel departed upon hearing those words. Mary
immediately went to Judah, "making haste," and visiting Zachariah and Elizabeth.

And it occurred that when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped
in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit.
And she cried out with a loud cry, and then exclaimed, Blessed (favored of
God) above all other women are you! And blessed (favored of God) is
the Fruit of your womb! (Luke 1:41-42, emphasis added)

As do all those who receive a promise by faith, Mary conceived at the


precise moment she came into agreement with God's word. At that moment,
could she see Jesus? Could she feel Him in her womb? No, she simply believed

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it because God spoke it. Faith is nothing more than hearing God's will and
saying yes—agreeing that it is so. No questions. No doubt. Pure faith.

The Divine Force of the Sanctified Imagination

Since our five senses are unable to perceive the spiritual realities that God
calls into existence, He gave us a faculty within our brains that enables us to
peer into the invisible realm. The imagination. Using your imagination, you
can create and visualize realities that seem impossible to natural man. Because
your mind's processing center cannot distinguish between what is physically
real and what is just in your imagination, you can use it to persuade yourself of
things that are not yet perceivable in the flesh.
When you dream about falling or running, your muscles fire accordingly.
You might suddenly jolt or convulse in your sleep. This is your brain
responding to the image that was placed before it. It doesn't matter if the event
is actually occurring or just a figment of your imagination. Your brain responds
accordingly, not appropriately.
I used to have frequent nightmares of being attacked by snakes, and I often
woke up soaked in sweat. Why would I sweat profusely in response to a dream?
Because my brain cannot make a distinction between a dream and reality. Even
after I was completely awake (and had turned the light on), my heart continued
to pound in my chest. How could this be? There were no real snakes—I knew that.
Yet my brain was still in defense mode.
At first, this appears to be a malfunction in our cognitive design. But I believe
that God deliberately made the human imagination to dominate the central
nervous systems of our bodies. The snakes were not real, even though my mind
believed they were.
In that moment, the Law of Faith was operating. If I had continued to hold a
strong belief that there were snakes in my bedroom, they would have had to
physically manifest. Before you think I'm crazy, listen to this—there is no
explaining it away: Jesus said, "Believe that you have received, and it shall be
done" (Mark 11:24). His promise wasn't contingent on me actually desiring the
thing to be manifest. He simply said we would receive the things we believe.
And what you focus on—whether physical or imagined—you will eventually
believe. Even in secular society this is a well-documented fact. Stranger
phenomena than the sudden, unexplainable manifestation of snakes have been
recorded and researched.
Because of my dream, my mind had become convinced that snakes were a
legitimate threat. If it wasn't for my ability to bring myself into a different mental
state, immediately extinguishing that belief, it could have resulted in a
manifestation of literal snakes in my bed. "But that's impossible," you say.
Actually, it's not. Jesus said all things are possible if I believe (see Mark 9:23).
Thank God there's a delay between conception and manifestation. No one in
their right mind would continually allow the fear of snakes in their bed to
convince them that their nightmare was a reality. As I recognized that my fear
was the product of a nightmare, I severed my agreement from it. My rapid

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heartbeat began to subside and I stopped sweating like a pig. I aborted the fear
that I had conceived. I dug up a seed that had just been planted. I killed the
thought while it was still in gestation.
Nevertheless, I retained my general fear of snakes. This entrenched fear
fostered the nightmares in the first place. As I explained in Chapter Thirteen, my
fear eventually manifested and I was bitten by a rattlesnake.
After God gave absolute dominion to mankind, He said, "...now nothing they
can do will be impossible for them" (Genesis 11:6). The power was given to
Adam and Eve for a godly purpose: spreading the Garden of Eden. But now that
the Virus had entered the hearts of men, they were prone to imagine filthy,
abominable, despicable things. In doing so, by the Law of Faith, they would bring
about the manifestations in time, whether those things were actually desired or
dreaded. This posed a dilemma. I believe this is why God was forced to shorten
the span of human life. This is why man had to be cut off from the Tree of
Life. Think of it: a contaminated people with limitless power and endless time
to manifest their integrated perversion? Not a good thing.
But now, through Jesus, the sin-virus is destroyed and we have the mind of
Christ! Now that we are capable of thinking like God thinks, our imaginations
can become invaluable tools of Kingdom creation. If you will submit your God-
given imagination to His purposes, it will become an amazing source of
faith-growth. With it you can literally peer into your future. What you focus on, you
will empower. This is true even for the things you focus on through your
imagination.
Jesus drove this point home: `But I say to you that everyone who so much as
looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her
in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). He extinguished the line between real and imagined.
Whether it's with the body or with the mind, it's still adultery. Why? He recognized
that the fruit starts at the root. Today's thoughts become tomorrow's reality.
Misha was diagnosed with a terminal illness. But she quickly discovered God's
promises for bodily health. She was caught in the void between God's promise and
Misha 'c circumstances. Interestingly, Misha put more faith in the medical report
than the Bible report. Of course she did—this is a sense-oriented society! But if
she would have employed the living words of God to form a perfect-health-
blueprint in her mind, and if she anchored her focus there, Misha would have
manifested God's will rather than satan's.
For instance, consider First Peter 2:24: `By Jesus' stripes you have been
healed." Awesome words! But words aren't enough. Those words are empowered
to project a picture onto the canvas of your mind—a clear image of divine
health. When Misha initially discovered God's will for her healing, she
conceived. Now she must nurture and develop that baby in her spiritual womb—
see herself healed, strong, and whole. Allow the vision to blossom into dazzling
clarity. Remember, if God testifies to your healing, then you're healed. Regardless
of the doctor's report. Defying the scientist's conclusions. No matter how you feel.
Cultivating an image of yourself, aligned to the superior reality, is an effective way
to facilitate the manifestation of Heaven.
In the same way that my mind responded to the snakes in my dream, your

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mind will respond to the image of the healed you, even if that image is only in
your imagination. Though people believe that imaginations aren't real, I believe
that when we harmonize our inner image with the superior reality, we actually
escape the lesser, temporal reality. For once, we are seeing what is truly real.
Elevating your mind to this heavenly latitude is the key that unlocks the door to
your healing. On the other hand, the worst thing you could do is allow
circumstantial evidence to define your reality. By doing so, you nurture and
eventually birth the thing you have dreaded all along. This is the way faith works
—for or against you, depending on what image you hold in your mind.

Visualizing God's Promises

What has the Lord promised you? What have you asked Him for? No matter what
it is, you can be assured that it is already given to you according to His Word.
Chances are, you can't see it with your physical eyes yet. Now is the time to
activate your eyes of faith.
Find a place of solitude—a meditation spot. For me, it's the mountains.
When I can get away from the bustle of society and hike to a high place, I am in
a perfect posture to delve deep into the forces of my creative imagination. There
I can imagine my future with confidence that the Law of Faith will bring my
creative imaginings into my physical experience. I know that to see it is to
believe it, and to believe it is to speak it, and to speak it is to create it.
Perhaps you find solace at church or sitting in your car in the garage.
Though it's common for people to neglect the game of "make-believe," don't
let busyness become an excuse. Make time to use the creative gift God has
given you.
When you find your place of serenity, sit in a comfortable position. I find it
most easy to visualize when I'm seated upright. I like to begin by reading
specific promises from God out loud. Sometimes I pray in tongues. It's
important to set your mind in a heavenly direction. Remember, you're here
to steer your mind—and thus your circumstances—not just in a good direction,
but in God's direction.
Close your eyes and begin to see your desires manifest. See your
dreams actualized. Your goals accomplished. Define as much detail as
possible in your picture. Auditory, visual, kinesthetic. Become so engrossed in
the state of your imagined reality that you feel corresponding emotion. Enliven
all of your senses. In this state, you are actually reprogramming your mind to
think differently. The Apostle Paul says, "...be transformed (changed) by the
[entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude]..." (Romans
12:2). You are learning to implement your sanctified (reborn) imagination toward
this end.
By transcending the evidence of your five senses, you are releasing your
faith in it's true form. You know that you have already received what you've
prayed for because you can see it. Touch it. Feel it. Not with your body, but with
your mind. In this state, you truly believe that you've received, for instance, the
car you desire. Why? Because you can hear the hum of the motor. You can

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smell the leather. You can feel your hands wrapped around the steering wheel.
It's easy to believe!
As long as you retain the "already received" mindset, you are in a state of
allowing. Physical evidence of the presence of your desire is not necessary. If you
open your eyes and notice the lack of your desire, you have left the positive side
of creation. In fact, you are creating more circumstances in which you lack your
desire because you are no longer believing that you've already received. The
mind is the control center of not only your body, but your life.
This may take some practice. The mind has a tendency to wander. Begin with
a five-minute session. That's all it takes. Five minutes spent focusing on your
desired reality is a healthy step toward impacting your future. All you have to do
is focus on what you want—what you already have according to God's
perspective. You don't have to think about how you will accomplish it. You don't
have to worry about likelihood, hindrances, or details. Let God take care of the
alterations. You are nurturing a baby within your womb. All you have to do is
continue to care for the vision, feed it, talk to it, protect it. The time will come,
sometimes sooner, sometimes later, when you will give birth to that reality.

Where Do You Allow Your Thoughts to Go?

Initially, this concept may feel uncomfortable. But think about it, you use your
imagination all the time! When you find out you don't have enough money to
pay the bills, where do you let your thoughts go? Do you worry that you might
have to sell your house? That you might be evicted? Do you see your
embarrassed friends, avoiding your calls? Your spouse wanting a divorce?
Your children ashamed of you? Pretty soon you've worked yourself into an
emotional frenzy! Then the doctor has to prescribe anti-depressants to neutralize
the emotions that are simply screaming, "STOP THINKING THESE
THOUGHTS!" All these things are unsanctified imaginings. And yes, in this
state you are actually conceiving satan's suggestions. If you nurture these
thoughts for an extended period of time, you will manifest your fears. Not might,
maybe, or probably. You will! This is how the Law of Faith is designed. It responds
to what you believe is real. Jesus said, "It shall be done for you as you have
believed" (Matthew 8:13a).
If your husband still isn't home from work, where does your mind go? Do you
worry? Maybe he's in trouble. Maybe he was in an accident. Maybe he's with another
woman. Don't hide from the fact that satan gladly suggests these thoughts to your
mind. The key issue is whether or not you conceive them. Saying yes to the invisible
will cause conception, just like Mary conceived the promised Child. If you nurture
satan's distorted suggestions, you will give birth to that reality even though you
don't want to.
If it is so easy to conceive terrible things in your future, it must be equally easy to
imagine good things. Instead of listening to the devil's ideas, listen to God's! When
God says, "For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you. ...thoughts and
plans of welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final
outcome" (Jeremiah 29:11), let that promise take precedence in your imagination.

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What is well-being? What is peace and hope? Whatever those concepts represent
let them form positive images in your creative center. Conceive God's will. Think
on it. Meditate. Ponder. And eventually, give birth.

Let Your Gaze Be Straight Before You

The Bible says, "Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze
be straight before you....the prudent man looks and considers well where he is
going" (Proverbs 4:25; 14:15). Focusing on your desires with fixed purpose is
necessary for bringing about results. There are no neutral thoughts. There is no
inner image that won't materialize, if given substantial attention. This can be a
positive or negative experience, depending on whether or not you consciously
direct your thoughts. Remember that Job's continual meditation on the disasters he
feared gave satan grounds to attack. "All the days of the desponding and afflicted
are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings]..." (Proverbs 15:15).
James says this process applies to sin.

But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by
his own evil desire (lust,passions). Then the evil desire, when it has
conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth
death. Do not be misled, my beloved brethren. Games 1:14-16)

James doesn't mince words. He wants the brethren to understand the basic
principles of creation. All things first come into existence through thoughts. That
thought is nurtured, fed, and protected until it comes time for labor. Solomon says,
"As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" (see Proverbs 23:7).
If I am perpetually intimate with my wife, she will eventually conceive and give
birth to my seed. Likewise, if you are continuously intimate with a thought, you will
eventually conceive and give birth to its reality. Everything that is, had its
beginning in this way. It was through this method that God created everything we
can see.

In the beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens
and the earth. The earth was without form and an empty waste, and
darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was
moving (hovering brooding) over the face of the waters. And God said, Let
there be light; and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3)

How did God create the heavens and the earth? He spoke. But notice that the
speaking was preceded by hovering and brooding. I believe that in this moment,
God, in the form of the Holy Spirit, was pondering, planning, creating, and
conceiving His desired reality. The earth was a blank canvas. Empty and dark. In
need of creative orchestration. God decided what He wanted. He saw it, and brooded
over it like a mother hen broods over her eggs. Then when the desire had
conceived and matured, He spoke it forth through the creative words of His
mouth.

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He created us in His image and likeness, giving us the ability to create like He
does (see Genesis 1:26-27). He uses faith to give substance to things not yet
seen, calling those things that are not as though they are (see Hebrews 11:1;
Romans 4:17). He tells us to imitate Him as His children (see Ephesians 5:1).
God first began to teach me about the importance of using my imagination two
years ago. As I was praying desperately (and ignorantly) for a huge mountain to
be removed, I felt the Spirit quicken my heart. I grabbed a pen and wrote down
His words. This book is fruit of that initial revelation that I received while laying
on my bed.

Winston, do not doubt that you are seated on the throne in Heaven and
that the throne is a place of authority. As I have said, you reign as a king in
life. You've been given the clear agenda from the King of all kings and you
must use your delegated power to shape your sphere into the King's design.
When you walk in the Spirit you do not need to ask your King about every
little decision, because He trusts you with the power you have been given.
When you walk according to the Spirit, you won't decide wrongly or abuse
your power. And you do walk according to the Spirit because you are My son.
This is the operation: Conceive the desired results in your mind. Ponder them
in your imagination. Meditate on them. This is the process of "hearing" the
Word. Once you have nurtured it and fed it and it is a healthy and whole
vision, it is time to give birth. Release the vision into your sphere by speaking
it into existence. You will speak in faith because faith has come by conceiving
and conception came when the seed of My Word--My rhema—was
planted in your womb.

At the time I received this revelation, I had never heard anyone teach it
before. To be honest, I was a little wary. However, I know the idea didn't come
from me. I certainly didn't have the ability to conjure up such compelling
insight! Soon, I began to hear other Spirit-led teachers teach on this same
subject. It is a revelation that God is truly emphasizing to our generation!
When I shared my concern about the unfamiliarity of this teaching with God, He
said:

I am taking you into uncharted territory. I'm giving you the confidence to
follow, knowing I won't let you go wrong. My Spirit is in you and deception is
not! Realize by revelation that when you dream, you are creating your future.
That's the creative power by which you are made in your Father's image. I've
given you the power to imagine and conceive My vision for you, and to speak
it into existence. I said, “Whatever you desire when you pray, believe that you
receive it and it shall be done."

Quit Sleeping With the Enemy!

Following that prophetic word from the Lord has been one of the riskiest and
most wonderful steps I've ever taken. Several years ago, I adopted a negative
attitude. Over time, I started expected things to go wrong. I expected plans to

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be cancelled. I expected to be rejected, overlooked, and taken advantage of I
would lay awake at night, allowing my thoughts to drift and ponder many
negative outcomes. I'd perpetually replay bad memories and sad imagery in my
imagination. I'd worry about what was going to happen tomorrow. In fact, I was
downright depressed!
But ever since God showed me that my thoughts were literally producing the
negative circumstances in my life, I've made a change. It didn't all happen at
once. But one thought at a time, I'd catch myself drifting into hell's territory
and consciously change the channel. Though it was unfamiliar ground, I'd
force myself to picture myself successful. Everything going right. People liking
me, enthusiastic to help me. I'd see myself happy, healthy, fulfilled. I'd picture
myself living out my dreams.
Every time those old negative thought patterns—the Bible calls them
strongholds—tried to creep back in, I'd put my foot down. No way! I'm setting a new
course for my life. I'm moving in a heavenly direction from now on! And I did. Over time
I began to notice results. First of all, I began to look better. For the first time in years,
I began to feel confident when I saw myself in the mirror. Then I saw my life begin
to correspond to my new mental state. My prayers were answered swiftly. My
desires were fulfilled. Miracles began to occur.
All these blessings had been available to me since childhood, when I accepted
Jesus. But something had been holding me back from manifesting God's reality in
my life. That barrier was not the devil. It was not other people. It wasn't bad luck. It
was my mind.
Paul says, "For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh
and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of
strongholds, [inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and
every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God;
and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ
(the Messiah, the Anointed One)" (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
These demonic strongholds are simply ungodly thought patterns that have been
formed in our minds through constant repetition. We were the ones who cooperated
with darkness to erect these fortresses and we are the ones who have the power to
tear them down. Living a successful life is as simple as this: receiving God's
thoughts and rejecting everything else.
Your circumstances can help you recognize the thoughts you’ve been thinking,
the words you’ve been speaking. Your current circumstances are the world that
you’ve been creating. Does it resemble Heaven or hell? Your circumstances are like
a gauge that can help you measure where your thoughts have been. This is a
profound realization. When you look around—your job, your family, your friends,
your health, your finances—you aren't seeing present reality. You are merely
witnessing the manifestation of where you have been. The old adage says, "The
definition of insanity is to keep doing what you've been doing and expect different
results." Continuing to dwell on what you see around you will inevitably produce
more of the same. Most people are caught in a hopeless cycle. They feel that
change is improbable. They feel stuck. But the only reason they feel this way is
because they're thinking thoughts of being stuck. Ignorance of the Law of Faith is

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sapping our society of all the luster God intended! Rather than being a victim of
circumstances, start dominating!
If you don't like where your life is heading, change directions! That doesn't
mean you need to hire a psychologist or a life-planner/coordinator. It's not a
matter of changing jobs, churches, or spouses. It's a matter of the mind. As long as
you are intimate with negative imaginations, bad circumstances will follow you no
matter where you live, which church you attend, or to whom you're married. Quit
sleeping with the enemy You're only bound to produce more of his children!

If You Can See It, You Can Have It

When God began to speak to me about the subject of the sanctified imagination, He
led me to a passage about Abraham. Abraham and his nephew, Lot, were both
prospering greatly. Too much, in fact. The land they shared became too small for
their needs. They decided to split up, lest confrontation arise. The Bible says that
Lot went one way and Abraham the other.

The Lord said to Abram after Lot had left him, Lift up now your eyes and look from the
place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the
land which you see I will give to you and to your posterity forever...Arise, walk through the
land, the length of it and the breadth of it, for I will give it to you. (Genesis 13:14-15;
17)

Whatever Abraham could see, he could possess. God wanted him to get a vast
perspective—as far as the eye could see. He wanted to expand Abraham's vision
so he could conceive of the great nation he was to
become. God knew that if Abraham didn't conceive an inner image of His
promise, he'd never be able to walk out its fulfillment.
I would also like to note God's instruction to Abraham. Not only did He want him
to see a picture of his inheritance, He also wanted Abraham to walk through it.
From end to end and corner to corner, it was important that Abraham not simply
see the land, but to see himself in the land/That's huge! When you retreat to a
state of visualization, don't merely see a picture of your desire. See yourself there!
Let the reality of your dreams surround you in your imagination. Only then will the
Law of Faith produce the corresponding reality: you and your desires—together.
When praying for the saints to truly grasp the power of God's love, the Apostle
Paul said, "[I pray] that you may have the power and be strong to apprehend
and grasp with all the saints [God's devoted people, the experience of that
love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; [that you may
really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the
love of Christ which far surpasses mere knowledge..." (Ephesians 3:18-19).
Notice that a two-dimensional image wasn't good enough. Both God and
Paul recognized that the two-dimensional picture had to become a three-
dimensional experience. Surpassing knowledge about the land or about God's
love, true faith is released when we can bring ourselves into an actual experience

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with our desires. This is the same principle which Abraham had to learn by
experiencing for himself the land that God wished to present him.
Two chapters later, God led Abraham into a similar exercise.

And He brought him outside [his tent into the starlight] and said, Look now
toward the heavens and count the stars if you are able to number them.
Then He said to him, So shall your descendants be. (Genesis 15:5)

Once again, God deliberately gave Abraham a clear picture of His promise. God
wasn't content to leave Abraham with mere words. He provided an appropriate,
corresponding image. In the same way God told him to walk through the land,
He instructed Abraham to "count the stars." Once again, a picture wasn't
enough. Abraham had to participate. Because of these exercises, Abraham was
able to transcend the contrary physical evidence and conceive the reality of God's
promise, impossible as it was. And he received the manifestation.

Living From Inside the Vision

Growing up in Montana, I was an avid hiker and backpacker. My brother-in-law


and I have trekked many mountains and canyons, reaching high elevations and
breathtaking vistas. This has involved rock climbing and scaling sheer
mountainsides and towering rocks. One of the easiest ways to get from the
bottom to the top is to use a grappling hook. To grapple, we hold a long rope
with a three- or four-pronged hook affixed to the end, spinning it like a lasso
overhead, and tossing the hook to the top of the rock or cliff. When it makes
contact with the summit, we jerk on the rope until the hook catches something
solid. This gives us the ability to climb the rope securely, leading us to the
precise location we locked into using the hook.
Using a grappling hook is a lot like utilizing faith. When you believe you've
received what you've asked, it is no longer acceptable to think thoughts of not
yet having the results. The important thing is to throw your imagination in the
right direction. Let that hook catch at the top of the rock you want to climb.
When I throw that grappling hook, I lock into my desired destination. If I
only threw it where I already was, I would never go anywhere. Many people only
conceive an inner image of where they already are. If they are sick, they see
themselves sick. If they're poor, they see themselves poor. If they are
depressed, their inner image agrees. This will never lead anywhere new. If you
desire to move past your current circumstances, you must start by throwing your
grappling hook in the right direction. If it doesn't hook anything solid, throw it
again.
Here's the beauty of grappling: When my hook is locked in at the top of the
cliff, I don't have to question how I'm going to get there. I simply start climbing
the rope. Even if I veer to the left or right during my climb, guess what? It will
always lead to the exact spot I originally apprehended.
Don't think from where you are; think from where you want to be!
Notice I didn't say, think about where you want to be. You must think from it! It

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is vital that you learn to live from inside your vision. As long as you're seeing
your desires from afar off, you're reinforcing the belief that you are far away
from them. The Law of Faith will manifest this. As long as you're worried about
how or when to get something, you're strengthening the belief that you don't
yet possess it. This, my friend, is not what Jesus instructed you to do.
You must take a leap—a leap of faith—and think, talk, and act as though it's
already done. After all, if you believe God's Word, you'll have no problem
agreeing that it is done! However, most people simply will not accept that fact.
They're still striving for what God has already given. Healing. Wealth. Favor.
Joy. Peace. Freedom. Wisdom. Salvation. Stop trying to pray your way into what
you already have! Stop fighting to get, get, get! You can't get something you've
already got! Live from within!
God says, "Every blessing is supernaturally yours. Everything pertaining to
life and godliness. All things are yours" (see Ephesians 1:3; 2 Peter 1:3; 1
Corinthians 3:21).
Sure, you can't see these things with your physical eyes. And you never will
until you learn how to first see them with your eyes of faith—the imagination. The
Bible promises that "the mirage shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground
springs of water" (Isaiah 35:7). A mirage is something that you can perceive
even though it isn't really there. Your imagination works similarly. In your
imagination you have the ability to perceive realities that aren't physically existent
yet. But according to Isaiah, they will be! The mirage will become an actual pool.
What was once thirsty in your life will spring forth with water!
Your sickness will be turned to health. Your poverty to prosperity. Your
sadness to gladness. It's already done. All you have to do is swing that rope and
toss that hook. Fix your eyes on the desired results and let God take care of the
alterations!

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

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Let Your Emotions Speak

Whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly,


whatever is just,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and loveable, whatever is kind and winsome and
gracious,
if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise,
think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on
them].
—Philippians 4:8

T OUCH. TASTE. SMELL. SIGHT. HEARING. The five senses.


Each contains the ability to inform us of physical realities. Each is capable of
registering pleasure and discomfort. Each sense tells us of impending danger or
dissatisfaction. By utilizing our ears, we can discern the source of a sound. Our
nerves tell us what we're touching. Our eyes tell us where we are going.
What about your thoughts?
Your thoughts determine the direction of your life. By stopping to examine what
you're looking at in your imagination, you can clearly see where your path is
headed. If your thoughts are fixed on positive images, your experiences will
correspond. Tomorrow's reality is in perfect harmony with today's thoughts.
Since this is true, can you see how important it is to continually stop and
think about what we're thinking about? Allowing thoughts to run unchecked
will permit our lives to do the same. And no one wants an unchecked life. Do
you? No, you want to determine for yourself what your life will be like. And if you
want to truly be happy and fulfilled, you're not just satisfied with steering your car
in a good direction. You want God's direction. His way is the only way to true peace
and joy.
But hold on a minute. It seems like an extremely taxing notion to examine
each and every one of the millions of thoughts that rampage through your
mind each day. Who has that kind of time? It's hard enough just remembering
what time your kid has soccer practice! It is physically impossible to keep track of
every little thought and suggestion that comes into your brain.
You need a gauge. An instrument of sorts that would tell you at a glance what
you've been thinking about. After all, if the mind can define your future, shouldn't
your thoughts be counted as one of your senses?

Remove Your Hand From the Burner!

When I was younger, I remember having a conversation while standing in the


kitchen. Somehow, one of the burners on my stove had been left on. I couldn't
tell this just by looking. As I conversed, I reached back and set my hand on the
stove for support—right on the active burner.
I shouted and jerked my hand up lightning-fast, dashing to the sink to run it

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under cold water. That burner was hot, and my hand was in serious pain!
In this instance, I was very thankful that my sense of touch was able to
register the feeling of pain. If it hadn't, I would have been content to leave my
hand on the burner, searing and severely wounding myself. The extreme heat
applied to my skin sent a rapid message through my nervous system, informing
my brain that my hand was in a volatile location. My brain responded just as
swiftly, yelling, "Winston! Danger! Remove your hand from the burner and do it
now!" My body responded.
It's not difficult to pay attention to these gauges. Negative sensory responses
help us stay out of potential disasters every day. A bad scent tells us that the
garbage needs to be dumped or that the milk is spoiled. The sound of gunfire
tells us to hit the floor. Pain in our eyes informs us that looking directly into the
sun is counterproductive. Likewise, a hug makes us feel good. Strawberries are
delicious. And we like the smell of cinnamon.
In short, we are a people highly responsive to the pain and pleasure of the
senses. When I set my hand on the burner, I didn't have to stop and pray about
whether or not it was a good idea. I didn't have to dust off my graphing calculator
and reason with statistics and probabilities. There was an effective and
immediate response that God implemented in my nature. I moved my hand
because my hand was in a volatile situation.
So why do most people ignore these same responses when they're generated
by our emotions? Why do we trust our physical feedback, but not our emotional
feedback?
Human emotions have been scrutinized and misrepresented in our society.
Because their purpose has been gravely misunderstood, emotions have either
been disproportionately trusted or painfully neglected. Both of these errors stem
from the misconception that emotions respond to reality.
Let me explain. Take Laura, for instance. Laura is depressed. She feels
absolutely hopeless. She despairs about life and wonders if things will ever work
out for her. After a two-year relationship with Doug, he finally called it off. She
still loves him very much, but he thinks it's better if they don't talk to each other
for a while. Laura is devastated. Her emotions are screaming painfully, and Laura
responds with agreement. Her emotions say, "Danger! This is a bad place! You
must leave this place!"
Laura says, "I know! Being rejected is horrible! My life is in a bad place! I
must leave! I must escape by watching television or overeating. Maybe I should
escape by taking my own life . . . ."
As you can see, this response will lead to catastrophe—sickness,
ineffectiveness, or even death. Because Laura's depression is simply an intense
series of negative emotions, her counselor advises her to begin ignoring them.
"Laura, you can't listen to your emotions. God says to rejoice in your sufferings.
You must ignore what your emotions are saying and find joy in the midst of trials."
The counselor's suggestion is drawn from the conclusion that Laura is
responding properly to her emotions, and that those emotions are leading her in a
negative direction. The truth is, neither Laura nor her counselor understand the
purpose of emotions. Why would God give us the ability to feel emotion if it was

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something we were just supposed to ignore? The answer is, He didn't.
Emotions are very important to our well-being. Ignoring them is not healthy.
Laura believes that her emotions are responding to the world around her.
When they say, "This is a bad place! You must leave this place," she thinks
they're describing her circumstances. Her counselor discerns that Laura's emotions
are leading her to a potentially dangerous state. Therefore he advises her to ignore
them.
But Laura's emotions aren't responding to her circumstances. They are
responding to her thoughts about her circumstances. It is not the painful
breakup that is causing her depression. It's her beliefs about the
circumstances that are triggering her emotional negativity. The pain she
experiences is a response to her thoughts, saying, "Something must be wrong
with me. No man will ever love me. Doug was only using me."
These beliefs, whether true or not, are self-degrading. They will only lead to
further rejection. Because Laura has come into agreement with these lies, the
Law of Faith will draw similar circumstances. When more rejection manifests, it will
only reinforce her wrong beliefs. "I knew it! It's just as I thought. I can't do anything
right! No man will ever love me!" These thoughts will foster even greater rejection
than before. We all know someone who always seems to end up in abusive
relationships. Bad luck? No—wrong thinking.
This is not a pretty situation. Laura has placed her mind in a dangerous
environment just like I placed my hand on a hot burner. The feedback of
physical pain caused me to remove my hand from that situation. Laura's
emotional pain is sending her the same message. Not that her circumstances
are wrong, but that her thoughts are wrong. In a sense, her emotions are saying,
Warning! You are damaging your future! You are drawing more of the same situation
that you do not desire. You are headed toward a buffet of breakups and rejection.
When properly understood, emotions can be extremely beneficial to our lives.
Especially when it comes to faith.

Your Emotions are Communicating

I mentioned in the previous chapter that I used to have snake-infested


nightmares. When I awoke, my emotions were screaming fear. I was in a
defensive mental state, prepared to attack the slithering fiends. My emotions
weren't telling me that there were actual snakes in my bed. They were
informing me that I was thinking thoughts about snakes in my bed, and that since
this was an unwanted manifestation, I should "take my hand off the burner."
One of the keys to using your imagination successfully is to let your emotions
speak. Your emotions will never fail to tell you what frequency you are on. If you feel
sad, that's your emotions saying, You're thinking sad thoughts. If you feel joyful,
your emotions are telling you, You're thinking joyful thoughts. If you feel afraid,
your emotions are communicating, You're thinking fearful thoughts.
There might be nothing to be sad, joyful, or fearful about. To assume that
your emotions are an accurate gauge of reality is mistaken. It will lead to
confusion and inappropriate response. However, if you become an astute

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emotion reader, you'll be quick to catch yourself when your mind has traveled an
undesirable path.
Learn to pay attention to your feelings. If you start feeling hopeless or
despondent, question the location of your thoughts. What were you just thinking
about? You will discover it was something unwanted. You were remembering a fight
you had with your spouse. You were recalling negative words from a colleague. You
were worrying about the upcoming job interview.
If you feel unusually happy and invigorated, do the same. You were just
thinking thoughts about that which pleases you. Your children. Your pet. Your
favorite vacation spot. Now here's the kicker: Not only are those pleasant
thoughts conjuring pleasant emotions, they are also drawing corresponding
situations into your life. I like to think that those positive emotions are literally
the joyful resonance of your mind and your spirit coming into agreement.
In like manner, I believe negative emotions are the result of your mind
operating in conflict with your spirit. I think it's possible that good feelings are
caused by our spirit saying, Yes! This is right! while bad feelings are associated
with our spirit crying, No! This is not the right direction!
Emotions can be beneficial when picturing your desires in your imagination.
If you see your desire as something that you already possess—as Jesus
instructed—you will draw circumstances in which you already possess that
desire. Conversely, if you see your desire as something that you don't possess yet
—a hindrance to faith—you draw circumstances into your experience in which
you don't yet possess your desire. Can you see that even though these
thoughts are nearly indistinguishable while you're thinking them, they have
wildly different emotional—eventually physical—results? It all has to do with the
posture from which you approach your visualization. Are your imaginations
associated or disassociated? If you want to receive your dreams, don't see them as
far off, as if you're merely watching them on a television screen. Associate yourself
with your vision. See health, wholeness, and well-being as if they are surrounding
you. See yourself moving physically in ways you've been unable for years.
So how can you be sure your dreams are from a positive, faith-perspective?
Let your emotions speak. When you're using your eyes of faith to tap into the
unseen realm, do you feel a sense of satisfaction or hopelessness?
Let's say your desire is to get married. You've asked the Lord to connect
you with the perfect mate. Assuming you asked in the confidence of knowing His
will, you can rest assured He has answered your prayer. Now it's up to you to
receive this desired relationship. Even though you can't physically see this
amazing person in your life, you begin to see him/her by faith. You say, "I
believe God wants me to be married to the perfect spouse. I believe He has
already provided the fulfillment of my desire. I know our paths have crossed
perfectly. Thank you, Father, for meeting my needs."
Are you experiencing positive emotions? Is it almost as if you're already
married to this guy/girl? If so, you are in the process of allowing your desires to
manifest. What God has provided by His grace, you are in the process of
receiving through faith. You can be sure that you're "believing that you've already
received."

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But what if thoughts of your desired spouse leave you feeling lonely and
hopeless? When you see her in your imagination, you say, "I really, really want
to be married. But I just don't know how it's going to work. I can see this girl/guy
in my mind, but it's not realistic. I'll probably never meet someone like this." Even
though you're looking at the same picture, your emotions inform you that
you're in a completely different state of creativity. You are now merely creating
more circumstances of you-not-married. This act of disallowing what God has
done by grace will ensure that you never cross paths with the right mate, or if
you do, you won't connect with them. No matter how much you want to, no
matter how much God wants you to, you won't receive His perfect plan if you
are going against the heavenly grain.
Remember that it wasn't good enough for Abraham to simply see a picture of
his allotted land. He had to "walk through it." Paul doesn't want us to merely know
about God's infinite love. He wants us to experience it three-dimensionally. The
difference between the two could mean life or death. Your emotions will
properly respond to your otherwise indistinguishable perspective, letting you
know if you've set your thoughts in a positive direction or if you've "placed your
hand on the burner."
In the example of Laura and Doug, the appropriate response to her sadness was
to recognize that she was thinking sad thoughts. This would have allowed her to
then move her mind to a state of allowing the things she truly wanted. The
emotional state of alert should have reminded her that she was attracting further
unwanted experiences, similar to Doug's rejection. Only then can Laura take proper
measures.
Though it seems difficult at first, Laura is determined to quit digging her own
grave. The experience with Doug was painful, yes. She doesn't have to deny
that. But instead of choosing to focus on a hurtful situation that didn't come
from God, she is going to begin thinking from a positive perspective.
"Doug and I had many wonderful memories together, and I wish him the very
best. I forgive and release him from hurting me. I choose to see him finding the
perfect mate and fulfilling God's design for his life. As for me, I'm attractive,
likeable, and most importantly, I know God has the perfect husband for me. I
may not know who he is, but I know that he is wonderful! I am an excellent wife to
him. We are raising great children together. I can't see him in my life yet but I know
that I soon will because I can see him with my eyes of faith. Thank you, Father, for
meeting my needs. I know that from Heaven's perspective, I am already
together with the godly man you have in store for me. Instead of agreeing with
my circumstantial lack of this man, I choose to agree with Your reality. Therefore
I can say in faith, I am married to the perfect husband and I am very happy."
Laura's response is immediately endorsed by strong, positive emotions. Her
spirit is saying, Y es! This is good! This is the right path! Notice that nothing
changed in the physical realm. But it soon will, by virtue of her faith. What God has
ordained in the heavens will be swiftly manifest in her life. She has conceived the
vision in her spiritual womb and as she nurtures and protects it, she will give
birth to her fulfilled desires! This works every time.
Do you understand the value of giving your emotions the proper platform?

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Without them, you'd have a lot of manual thought-sorting to do. But with their
assistance, you can easily verify that you're steering your life in the right
direction. Don't ignore your emotions. Let them speak!

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

An Attitude of Celebration

Just think you don't need a thing you've got it all/All God's gifts are right in front
of you
As you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale.
—1 Corinthians 1:7 MSG

T
HE MOST POTENT REVELATION of the Christian life is grace. An unmistakable
epiphany of Christ's finished work. Anything you could ever want, need, or
desire, has already been accomplished through Jesus. To fulfill your
destiny? To complete your calling? To live a long, satisfying life? It's done. The
bodily health that keeps you going strong? It's done. Finances to live well, give
abundantly, and facilitate the Kingdom? Done. Transcendent joy? Done.

Spiritual restoration is finished (see John 19:30). When Jesus got to Heaven, He
sat down (see Hebrews 10:12). All blessings have been given (see Ephesians
1:3). All things are yours (see 1 Corinthians 3:21).

What more could you ask for? The Book of Ephesians resounds with finality.
Completion. Definiteness. If you were to take an entire week, reading Ephesians
once a day, you would change your life forever. It is a six-chapter revelation of
what Christ has already done. He has blessed, chose, foreordained, lavished, purposed,
set forth, planned, made, obtained, stamped with the seal... and that's only the first
half of the first chapter! In Ephesians, past-tense reigns supreme. We discover
who we are and what we have in Christ Jesus. The text actually oozes with Paul's
euphoric joy. In light of this prodigious revelation, how can we continue to ask
God for what He's already provided? No wonder people don't see their prayers
answered! They're asking for things they already possess! Paul lifts up a
passionate prayer in this letter. It is a letter to all the saints. That means you,
me, and everyone in God's family.

[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into

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mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him. By
having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and
understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious
inheritance in the saints (His set apart ones), And [so that you can know and
understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing
greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the
working of His mighty strength, Which He exerted in Christ when He raised
Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly
[places], Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every
name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this
age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to
come.... (Ephesians 1:17-21)

Not only did Paul know how to write run-on sentences, he truly understood
the revelation of grace! Paul knew what belonged to him in Christ, and he
prayed that the saints would obtain like comprehension. One thing he doesn't
include in his prayer is a request for something more from God. What Paul wanted
was for the saints to finally understand what was already theirs.
In Chapter Fifteen, we discussed the proper attitude in prayer. We don't ask
God to give us something He hasn't already given. We simply ask to receive
what is already ours. Until you open up the deed of your inheritance, the Bible,
you won't know what you have the liberty of obtaining. But when you know for
sure that all things are yours—everything pertaining to life and godliness (see 2
Peter 1:3)—you can't help but erupt in praise!
Even though much of popular Christianity is centered around weeping,
mourning, and self-sacrificing intercession, Paul's perspective was actually the
opposite. When we enter into prayer, spiritual warfare, or even intercession, we
should never forsake the posture of joy. An attitude of pleading, begging, or
striving is an abomination to the completed work of the Cross. God wants us to
have an attitude of celebration.
When you pray, is it with joy and thanksgiving, or sorrowful longing? Do you feel
as if you're trying to get something from God? Or are you simply coming to him
with confidence, ready to receive what's already yours? If your prayer life
fosters emotions of sadness or longing, you are not praying in faith. You will
not receive your answer. If you are trying to get something from God that you
don't believe is already yours, you're wasting time. He has nothing left to give you!
What part of "all things, every blessing" don't you understand?
When you communicate with God—that's what prayer is—you should
overflow with joy. It's the only proper response to a holy, vast, powerful God
who calls you "child." If you feel sad or laborious when you talk to your
heavenly Father, part of you believes that He's withholding something good.
Maybe it's His love, His healing, or His forgiveness. But these beliefs—thus the
negative emotions—are faulty.
Even when you're faced with a massive, intimidating mountain, you should
be full of celebration. Why? Because all the power that you need to manifest a
miracle is already yours! The power to stop storms, heal the sick, move

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mountains, and thwart demons is resident in you right now. But if you believe
otherwise, it's no wonder you're desperate and fearful.
I'm not saying that trials won't appear in your life. Jesus said, "In the world you
have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer
[take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world,
[I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you]" (John
16:33b, emphasis added). However, no mountain can remain in your path unless
you allow it. Why be of good cheer? Because you're going to Heaven one day?
That's only part of it: Be cheerful because Jesus has already overcome every
trial—because He has brought Heaven to you!
When obstacles arise, you can take immediate joy knowing these things:

• God is not the source. He didn't send the mountain. He is not punishing
you for your sins. He is not chastising you with earthly catastrophes. The
storm didn't come to teach you or make you stronger (the Holy Spirit is
doing a fine job, thank you very much!). God says, "Behold, they may
gather together and stir up strife, but it is not from Me" (Isaiah 54:15a,
emphasis added).

• Rather, it came because your adversary, the devil, suggested it. Somewhere
along the line, whether you meant to or not, you allowed the attack to
manifest. However, knowing that you're the one who allowed the storm, be
confident that you can also stop the storm. You have authority over every
obstacle.

• God already provided the solution to your problem before you were even
born. He's not worried,
frustrated, angry, or desperate. He's already celebrating the victory. It may
not look like victory from
where you stand, but from a divine perspective, the problem is already
solved. It's up to you to
manifest it experientially through faith.

Joy on the Battlefield

It's true, sometimes we are forced into war. Whether or not we win is largely
determined by the stance from which we march. If we approach the enemy with
fear in our hearts, realizing we're far outnumbered, defeat is imminent. But if we
war from a place of victory, we will win. Why? Because God has already won it for
us!
Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, had to make such a decision. The Moabites,
Ammonites, and Meunites came against the Kingdom, far outnumbering the allies.
King Jehoshaphat's first response was to worship the Lord. After that, he brought to
remembrance all the testimonies of God's power. He spoke of past triumphs. Then
He asked God what to do. God responded, `Be not afraid or dismayed at this great
multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's" (2 Chronicles 20:15b).

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Notice the vital steps of faith-growth. He worshiped God. He praised God for His
nature, taking his eyes off the problem, focusing on the solution. He remembered
God's past miracles, meditating on the testimony. Then he discovered God's will.
All the elements of mountain-moving faith were present.
God continued, "Tomorrow go down to them....You shall not need to fight in this
battle; take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord [Who is]
with you, 0 Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not nor be dismayed. Tomorrow go out
against them, for the Lord is with you" (vv. 16-17).
The battle had already been fought and won in the spirit realm. Knowledge of
this victory didn't permit the inhabitants of Judah to simply stay home and take a
nap, however. They had a part to play. God told them to confront the enemy, but to
maintain a posture of victory. That would require faith! Only a fool would lead an
army in battle pretending like they'd already won! But what's foolish to the five
senses is wise to faith.
Then God instructed the army to "stand still." This is the same instruction the
Apostle Paul gives believers in Ephesians Chapter 6.

Therefore put on God's complete armor, that you may be able to resist and
stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the
crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Stand therefore....
(Ephesians 6:13-14, emphasis added).

The Greek word that is translated, "stand," is stenai. It means, "to maintain a
critical and strategic military position over the battlefield." We are not called to
stand in the midst of the battle. We're aren't told to take up earthly weapons and
simply do our best. No, our command is to "stenai." To stand over the battlefield,
strategically! This is what Moses did when the Israelites faced the Amelekites. He
stood on a nearby hillside, overlooking the battle. When his hands were raised
(holding the rod of authority), the warriors prevailed against the enemy. Moses
didn't rush down into the battle. He would have been a liability. Besides, he would
have had to lower his hands in order to do so. By engaging in the physical battle,
Moses would have sealed Israel's fate.
Likewise, our standis one of faith. We don't fight according to military protocol.
We fight from the bearing of victory! This is precisely what God instructed
Jehoshaphat to do.
Finally, God told King Jeshoshaphat's armies to "see the deliverance of the Lord."
In Chapter Sixteen, we discussed the necessity of seeing with eyes of faith—looking
beyond circumstances to become pregnant with Heaven's reality. No matter what
you're facing, it's vital that you keep your eyes on "the deliverance of the Lord."
For us, on this side of the Cross, it means living in recognition of what God has
already done. No matter what circumstances say, you're victorious through the
blood of Jesus! As long as you can "see the deliverance" that was firmly in
existence before the problem ever reared its ugly head, you will allow its
manifestation.
Fully equipped with the necessities of spiritual victory, Jehoshaphat prepared to

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follow God's instructions. Listen to this description of his "stenai"—his strategic
stand:

When he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers to sing to the
Lord and praise Him in their holy [priestly] garments as they went out
before the army, saying Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy and loving
kindness endure forever/And when they began to sing and to praise, the
Lord set ambushments against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir
who had come against Judah, and they were [self-] slaughtered. (2
Chronicles 20:21-22)

This is one of the greatest illustrations of joyful warfare in the Bible. The
Israelites approached the battlefield with joy in their hearts and a song on their
lips. They knew they had already won. God said so! All that was left was for
them to praise! What better response is there to absolute victory, even victory
that hasn't yet manifested? It wasn't superior combat skills that won this
battle. It was receiving what God had already established in the spirit realm. In
this instance, faith was released through praise and worship.
If you're facing an army today, face it with joy. Lift up your heart in praise.
But how can I praise God when everything around me is falling apart?
Because you don't live according to "everything around you." You live according
to faith. And faith gives substance to things unseen. If you, by faith, see past the
negative circumstances, focusing on your victory, your emotions will bubble up
with joy. Like the Israelites, you'll explode in praise right in front of your enemies.
As long as you're trapped by what you can discern with the five senses, you're
already defeated. You'll only produce more of the same. If your life is on a
downward spiral, the only way to reverse the curse is to empower what you do
desire, rather than sustaining focus on what you don 'tdesire. Your emotions will
alert you to which posture you're currently taking. If your emotions hurt, move
your thoughts!

As He Gave Praise and Glory to God

When you exchange your earthly perspective for God's, you're bound to
praise! This was the ticket to Abraham's victory. When God promised to
provide a son, even though Abraham and Sarah were past the age of
childbearing, an attitude of celebration carried Abraham to manifestation.
The Bible says, "[For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in
faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been
promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be. He did not weaken in
faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as
good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he
considered] the barrenness of Sarah's [deadened] womb. 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, fully
satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what

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He had promised" (Romans 4:18-21, emphasis added).
The source of your power is God. When you praise and worship God for what
He's already accomplished in your life, you release powerful, mountain-moving
faith. You magnify the solution rather than the problem. In addition, satan can't
stand it when we praise God. If he sees that his attacks only thrust you into
deeper levels of worship, he'll think twice before messing with you again.
Scripture says, "And every passing stroke of the staff of punishment and
doom which the Lord lays upon [the enemy] shall be to the sound of [Israel's]
timbrels and lyres, when in battle He attacks [Assyria] with swinging and
menacing arms" (Isaiah 30:32). I wouldn't want to be the enemy when God's
people start praising! Our praise and worship is the soundtrack to our victory!
David also marries praise and victory in Psalm 149:6. "Let the high praises of
God be in their throats and a two-edged sword in their hands." Notice that he
doesn't say, "Let the high praises of God be in their throats and [let] a two-edged
sword [be] in their hands." The understood subject of the sentence is the high
praises of God. Therefore, the correct understanding is: "Let the high praises of
God be in their throats and let the high praises of God be a two-edged sword in
their hands." Praise is a weapon!
The other spiritual force that moves in response to our praise is the
angels. The subject of angels is extensive and belongs in another book, but I
will say this much: Angels respond to an environment of praise. Just like a fish
thrives in water, so do the angels take action where there's an attitude of
celebration. Why? Because this is their bread and butter! This is what they do
nonstop in Heaven. If you want to activate angelic intervention, live a life of praise
and worship.
Praise and worship will also cure pain-inflicted emotions. If you're sad, it
means you're dwelling on sad thoughts. The moment you begin to magnify the
goodness of God, your emotions will respond positively. If you're in a rut, unable to
respond in faith, just say, "Jesus." Say His Name over and over. Let it blossom into
magnificent adoration. Soon, you'll have forgotten why you were sad in the first
place.
King David wrote hundreds of songs, many recorded in the Bible. It's
remarkable to see that even when David was discouraged and hopeless, he
always brought himself out of it by the end of the song. Though he begins the
psalm feeling depressed, his perpetual magnification of God fostered a
wellspring of celebratory lyrics to ensue. No matter how weak you may feel in
your faith walk, victory is always as close as the praise on your lips.
But what if I don't have anything to praise God for?
A popular answer is that we should simply thank God for our ability to
breathe. To thank him for a beautiful flower, or the sweet song of a bird.
While these things are okay, I would assert an even better response if you can't
find a reason to praise.
Praise God for the miracle, even though you can't see it yet!
There is no faster way to manifest what God has promised. All day long,
when you wake up in the morning, and when you lay your head down at night,
praise God for already accomplishing your need. If you need healing, praise God

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for your perfect health.
But I don't feel healthy. I'm in pain. They said I'm going to die.
Listen, the only hope you have is to quit looking at feelings, pain, and what
they said. As long as your praise is hindered because they said you're going to
die, they're right. You will die. You've tuned your radio to an earthly frequency,
so don't be surprised when your life starts playing the music of despair. But if
you will transcend despair through faith, you will not die. You will live. Tune your
radio to a heavenly frequency. Lock into God's signal. Play the music of healing
and well-being. This is one hundred percent guaranteed. Besides, which is
stronger, your sickness, or Jesus' blood? The way you reconcile this question will
determine the extent of your victory. Praise God for your healing, simply
because the Bible says you're healed. Praise God for prosperity, simply
because the Bible says you're prosperous. Praise acts as though the answer is
already here—because it is! This is the attitude of celebration—the "stenai." The
strategic faith-stand.

Feasting, not Fasting

In the midst of wayward circumstances, discover an attitude of celebration.


After all, God has already given you your miracle. Why not rejoice? To rejoice
means to re joy yourself. You must bring yourself to a state of joy once again.
Replenish your joy by thinking about the solution instead of the problem. As a
Christian, you do not have permission to ever be without joy. However, religion
will tell you otherwise.
Religion emphasizes fasting. Religion believes that God will be impressed and
moved to respond by a demonstration of self-denial. Religion says, "God, I
refuse to eat until I see a breakthrough!" But the Scriptures teach the
opposite.
Jesus, Paul, Luke, and other New Testament authors had very little to say about
fasting. In fact, most of the time Jesus addressed the subject, it was to rebuke
the Pharisees for their vanity. To think that God is withholding a miracle
because He's not yet convinced of your desperation is ludicrous! The whole time
you're starving yourself, fighting to obtain something you already have, God is
saying, "I can't move the mountain for you, because I already have! Now's not the
time for fasting; it's time to feast!"
In my early twenties, before I received the revelation of mountain-moving
faith, I was going through a difficult time. I found myself in an extremely
negative situation and had exhausted all efforts to "pray my way out." I decided
to get serious about my desperation. I was going to let God know how bad I
wanted it. So I started fasting. Fueled by entirely the wrong reasons, by the
fourth day I was fatigued and discouraged. Then God spoke to me.
"Winston, as soon as you're tired of fasting, come and dine with me."
I said, "No! I refuse to eat until you perform your word in my life!"
He said, "Son, there's nothing left to perform. Faith doesn't fast. Faith feasts."
The twenty-third psalm came to mind: "You prepare a table (feast) before me in
the presence of (when I'm surrounded by) my enemies" (v. 5a). Feasting in the

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middle of a battle is foolishness to the world, but wisdom to God.
Fasting is an expression of longing. Jesus said, "As long as they have the
bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come when the
bridegroom will be taken away from them, and they will fast in that day" (Mark
2:19b-20). I believe Jesus was referring to the period of time between His
ascension and the day of Pentecost when He returned as the Holy Spirit. Jesus
recognized that fasting is something you do when you're mourning a loss or
recognizing the absence of something desired. If God has already met your
need, providing everything fasting is an inappropriate response. I'm not saying
that fasting is wrong. By all means, follow the Spirit's leading if He has
instructed you to fast. But in the context of trying to get something from God, it
is completely unnecessary. Fasting won't move God. He has already moved.

Elijah

After a severe, three-year famine in Israel, Elijah told King Ahab, "Go up, eat and
drink, for there is the sound of abundance of rain" (1 Kings 18:41). This was
crazy. Without a cloud in the sky, the prophet is telling the king to go celebrate
the rain! Then Elijah prayed and asked God to send the rain. Can you see his
faith? He was so confident that God would respond to his prayer that He told
Ahab to go celebrate in advance. Elijah heard the "sound of...rain." He didn't hear
this sound with his natural ears. No, he was listening in the spirit.
Don't wait to feast until you see or hear or smell or taste or touch your victory.
Celebrate in advance! No matter what kind of famine you're in, hear the sound
of rain today. When you hear it, call a feast! You're not in longing. You're not
in lack. Like David, partake of God's feast even when your enemies surround
you. Celebration in response to faith rather than circumstance is the only way to
victory.

Jonah

When Jonah sat in the belly of the huge fish, seeing no way out, here's what He
prayed:

`7 went as far down as a body can go, and the gates were slamming shut
behind me forever—Yet you pulled me up from that grave alive, 0 God, my
God!...But I'm worshiping you, God, calling out in thanksgiving! And I'll do
what I promised I'd do! Salvation belongs to God!" (Jonah 2:6, 9 MSG)

Jonah maintained an attitude of celebration even when he was surrounded


by what could be considered the most miserable and repulsive circumstances
possible. As he sat for three days in the sewer of a whale's stomach, he didn't
ask God for rescue. He simply prayed and praised from the posture of having
already been rescued. The very next verse says, "And the Lord spoke to the fish,
and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land." His deliverance manifested
immediately.

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Joshua

When Joshua and the Israelites marched around Jericho, Joshua said, "Shout! For
the Lord has given you the city" (Joshua 6:16, emphasis added). They had been
marching in circles for seven days, seeing no results. Yet Joshua declared victory
in the past tense. Even though he couldn't see the victory, Joshua knew it was
time to shout the victory! The shout and trumpet blast of faith brought the walls
to the ground.
No crying out to God. No whining. No begging. No desperation. Just faith,
expressed in celebration.

Paul, Silas, and Peter

In Philippi, Paul cast a demon out of a lucrative servant girl/fortuneteller. Her


masters were not pleased. Marshaling an assault on Paul and Silas, city officials
had them beaten and thrown into the dungeon. With their feet locked in stocks
and their backs severely bruised, Paul and Silas had a valid reason to cry out to
God.
"God, can't you see we're trying to help your cause here? All we did was
cast out a demon like you instructed us to do, and this is what we get? Please!
Please hear our cry! See our chains and bruises! Rescue us in your great mercy, if
it be Thy will!"
But that's not what happened. To the average reader, it certainly seems as
though Paul and Silas needed God's rescue. But to the faith-minded, they had
already been rescued. All that was left to do was celebrate.

Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust
hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn't believe their ears. Then, without
warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open,
all the prisoners were loose. (Acts 16:25-26 MSG)

Paul and Silas were so joyful in the midst of such opposite circumstances that
the other prisoners couldn't believe their ears. What if you learned to operate in
that same level of faith? When all around is shaken, be the one—even if you're the
only one—to sing a robust hymn to God. Live so contrary to circumstances that
those around you simply can't believe their ears!
Peter faced a similar situation as Paul and Silas. King Herod had captured and
killed the Apostle James, receiving accolade from the Jews. To keep morale high,
Herod proceeded to arrest Peter. The Church prayed for him earnestly. But Peter
wasn't worried. He had absolute, unwavering faith.
James had just been in the same situation—and he was killed! Shouldn't Peter
be terrified? Shouldn't he be praying as hard as he can, crying out to God for
a miracle? No, Peter's faith wasn't dependant on circumstances. Therefore,
James' murder, though unfortunate, had no bearing on Peter's belief. Peter
knew God's will, and that, of course, is the foundation of mountain-moving faith.
Jesus had told Peter how he would die. He said, "...when you grow old..." John

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21:18b). As Peter sat in that miserable prison, he thought, This isn't my time.
I'm not old yet! His faith latched onto that word. His confidence was boosted by
a solid assurance that his Father wanted him to live and not die.

The very night before Herod was about to bring him forth, Peter was sleeping
between two soldiers, fastened with two chains, and sentries before the door
were guarding the prison. And suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared
standing beside him], and a light shone in the place where he was. And the
angel gently smote Peter on the side and awakened him, saying Get up
quickly! And the chains fell off his hands. (Acts 12:6-7)

Peter was in such a confident state of faith that he was able to sleep (quite
soundly!) during what the world would call his last night on Earth. Doesn't it
seem like Peter should have been a little more proactive? Shouldn't he have
been binding and loosing, shouting and rebuking? No, Peter knew that the
miracle was already his. Faith was the connector that allowed the angel to
enforce his freedom. When you have a revelation of grace Jesus has already done
it all!—striving turns into rest.
The miracle manifested according to Peter's faith. The Church was praying,
yes, but not in faith. After Peter was set free, he showed up at the all-night
prayer service. When Rhoda the maid answered the door, she recognized Peter's
voice. Rushing into the meeting, she said, "Peter's okay! He's here!"
Their response? "You are crazy!" (Acts 12:15a).
When Rhoda persisted, they argued, "It is his angel!" (v. 15b).
Clearly, these so-called prayer warriors weren't expecting results. Prayer in
quantity isn't the key to miracles. Prayer in faith is. Absence of faith is exposed
when there is so much shock in response to the manifestation that the pray-ers
don't even believe it.

Jesus

Peter isn't the only one who was able to sleep during a storm. In Mark chapter
four, the disciples were caught in a furious storm at sea. The boat was rapidly
filling up with water. They rowed as hard as they could, but the ship was going
down. They were in dire need of a miracle. Where was Jesus? He was "..in the
stern [of the boat], asleep on the [leather] cushion" (v. 38).
Bill Johnson suggests that Jesus was able to sleep during such tumultuous
conditions because in His world, there are no storms. What an amazing
perspective! Jesus was in such perfect agreement with the heavenly realm that
the earthly storm didn't even disrupt his sleeping pattern!
The disciples were fearful, desperate, and near hopelessness. Jesus was in
faith. This clues us in to an important point. If you don't have enough peace to
sleep during your storm, you're not in agreement with Heaven. As long as
you're afraid that your lack of doing something might disqualify you from your
miracle, you don't understand that God has already done it. Faith doesn't manifest
itself in striving, but in celebration.

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Because Jesus was able to sleep soundly during a furious storm, He had
no problem arising and commanding the wind and waves to be silent. Jesus
expressed His disappointment with His disciples. It seems He expected them to
perform the miracle. He recognized that their lack of faith prevented this from
happening.
Don't be like the disciples, agitated and fearful during a storm. Be like Jesus, so
confident in your authority that you're not afraid to enter into rest. Don't imitate
the disciples, begging Jesus to do what He expected them to do. Imitate the
Master. Stop the storm yourself.

God

If anyone knows how to rest, it's our Father.

For we who have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on God) do
enter that rest, in accordance with His declaration that those [who did not
believe] should not enter...and this He said although [His] works had been
completed and prepared [and waiting for all who would believe] from the
foundation of the world. (Hebrews 4:3)

When you truly believe that God has already given you everything you
could possibly need in life and eternity, is there a more appropriate response
than rest? If you believe, adhere to, trust in, and rely on God—that
everything He has promised is already yours—you can truly rest. You don't
have to strive, fight, bargain, cry out, whine, moan, groan, fast, confess your sins,
or cut yourself.
If you're broke, you don't have to get money. You already have it. What
you need is revelation—to transcend temporal circumstances and agree that
the wealth you need is already yours. The person who does not believe, does
not enter. The person who believes, does.
After God created the earth in six days, He rested. Friends, He is still resting
today. He is not laboring in Heaven. He's not busy doing this and that, trying to
make everything work together and fit into His sovereign plan. No, He is resting
—waiting on you to receive what He has done. His works have been completed
and prepared from the foundation of the world, waiting for all who would believe.
Before you were even born, God had your miracle. Before you were a twinkle in
your mother's eye, God provided supernatural health. Before you tasted fresh
air for the first time, God solved your problem. Before you took your first step,
God moved your mountains. Before you were thrust into the fight of your life, God
was already laughing at your enemies, dancing on the opposition, hosting a feast.
The only one absent from the table is you.
Maintain an attitude of celebration, distinctly unaffected by circumstances. This
is the great release of
mountain-moving faith.

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CHAPTER NINETEEN

The Power of Focus and Determination

Waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother.
We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us.
But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
—Romans 8:25 MSG

C
HANGE TAKES TIME. There is a discrepancy between the point of conception
and the time of birth. It takes approximately nine months to facilitate a
baby’s proper development in its mother’s womb. Is this any reason for
discouragement? Of course not. Though pregnancy does encompass periods of

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difficulty and pain, it is a beautiful thing. When a mother carries a child in her
womb, she feels as though she's doing what she was born to do. It feels right.
When you conceive a heavenly reality—when you become pregnant with the
purposes of God—you must nurture your vision with patience and care. Not every
miracle manifests immediately. Some things take time. As Pastor Keith Moore
says, faith is not a rush; it's a rest.
When time passes and there seems to be no result to your prayer and
declaration, keep your eyes on the prize. It's only a matter of time. Sometimes
impatience fosters the birth of an undeveloped baby. I was born two months
early. If it hadn't been for my mother's faith in the power of healing, I wouldn't
be here today. I was born with many defects, and I even died. This occurred
because I was born too early. But that tragedy was turned to our advantage. I was
raised from the dead and completely healed!
That wasn't the only time I jumped the gun. One of the character
weaknesses I have had to confront is impatience. I don't enjoy having to wait. I
don't like things that take time. Fast food. Fast cars. Instant coffee. Ten-minute
abdominal workout. I operate efficiently, but sometimes at the cost of quality.
Are you impatient? Or do you see things through to the end, no matter how long
it takes?
For many years, I thought impatience was something I just couldn't
overcome. But the Lord corrected me by showing me a verse:

But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within
accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience.... (Galatians 5:22,
emphasis added)

Patience doesn't come easily to human nature. Sure, some are less patent
than others, but one of the universal lusts of the flesh is to want it now! As long
as I viewed this problem as something I had to overcome on my own, I failed.
There were times when I was actually impatient to get patience! But when I read
Galatians 5:22, it became clear that patience isn't an outer work. It's an inner
work.
Though many people believe that outward circumstances can teach us
patience, it is actually the task of the Holy Spirit within to bear that fruit. In other
words, if you have the Holy Spirit, you have patience. Patience isn't something
you need to get, or even develop. It must be allowed. Rather than struggle
through self-discipline and psychological exercises to obtain patience, recognize
that it's something you already possess.
God doesn't want us to strive to get what He's already implemented in our
new nature. Paul rebuked the Galatians for doing just that.

Are you so foolish and so senseless and so silly? Having begun [your new life
spiritually] with the [Holy] Spirit, are you now reaching perfection [by
dependence] on the flesh? (Galatians 3:3)

I commonly hear folks say that God made them sick to teach them patience.

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But this is illogical. To think that the very presence and nature of God that
indwells us isn't enough, is to seriously dishonor the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
In a sense, people are saying, "The Spirit wasn't strong enough to bear the fruit
of patience in my life, so God had to supplement His inability with an outward
circumstance."
God is not a man that He should stoop to natural methods of
transformation. Worldly people rely on circumstantial methods of change. But
true change must always come from the inside. After all, that's why the Holy
Spirit was given in the first place.

Consistency

It is generally thought that patience is the ability to wait. But this isn't God's
idea of patience. There's no point in just sitting around, waiting for something to
happen. Patience means consistency. It means continuing to do what you know
is right, no matter what influences arise.
True patience isn't listless, complacent, or apathetic. It is focused. Determined.
It lays hold of the prize and won't let go. Patience is so consistent that it outlasts
the competition. Faith requires this type of patience. The man or woman of faith
must be consistent and steady.
Jesus told an interesting parable "...to the effect that they ought always to
pray and not turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up)" (Luke 18:1).

He said, Ina certain city there was a judge who neither reverenced and feared
God nor respected or considered man. And there was a widow in that city who
kept coming to him and saying, Protect and defend and give me justice
against my adversary. And for a time he would not; but later he said to
himself, Though I have neither reverence or fear for God nor respect or
consideration for man, Yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will
defend and protect and avenge her, lest she give me intolerable annoyance
and wear me out by her continual coming or at the last she come and rail on
me or assault me or strangle me. Then the Lord said, Listen to what the
unjust judge says! And will not [our just] God defend and protect and avenge
His elect (His chosen ones), who c to Him day and night? Will He defer them
and delay help on their behalf? I tell you, He will defend and protect and
avenge them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find
[persistence in] faith on the earth? (Luke 18:2-8)

I've heard this parable used to encourage people to "bombard Heaven's


gates" with their prayers. It is usually taught that God is like this unjust
judge who will only avenge us after we wear Him out. This
interpretation couldn't be further from the truth.

In this story, Jesus uses an extreme example of injustice to contrast the


extreme justice we receive from our Heavenly Father. He implies, "If even a

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worldly and unjust judge will eventually help you out because of your
incessant pestering, imagine how quickly Almighty God—your Father
who loves you--will rush to your rescue!"

But notice the last sentence. Jesus staggers His readers when He voices His
greatest concern. Will He find persistence in faith when He returns?

That's why it is so important for us to learn how to operate in the lost art of
faith. Let your life neutralize Jesus' concern. Even when those around you are
caught up in worldly circumstances, be the one locked into faith. Stay in
agreement with what God has promised, no matter how long it takes. When
things seem to be working against you, don't break agreement with Heaven.
Don't fall back into old patterns of begging and bargaining with God for
answers. Everything you need, He has provided.
To the best of his abilities, satan will attempt to delay and hinder the
manifestation of your miracle. He will fight to maintain the mountain in your life.
But remember, his only power is in your mind. His only means of delay is by
keeping you in doubt of God's Word. Be consistent. Don't give up. Learn to
hold 'ern and never fold 'em.

Cast Your Bread upon the Waters

When you plant a seed, give it time to grow. Keep speaking God's Word. Keep
meditating on His testimonies. Keep building yourself up in faith by praying in
tongues. Don't acquiesce.
Solomon says, "Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many
days" (Ecclesiastes 11:1). Isaiah echoes his advice. "Happy and fortunate are you
who cast your seed upon the waters..." (32:20). This is unfamiliar imagery to our
culture, but both these writers were discussing the principles of sowing and
reaping. In ancient times, farmers would travel upstream from their harvest
field. There they threw their seed into the river during the springtime when the
waters were high. To the uneducated, it seems as though this is a waste. But
beneath the water—in the unseen realm—the seed sank to the bottom and
lodged in the mud. There it germinated.
Months later, after the spring rains were over and the waters subsided, the
farmer would travel back to the river to see if his harvest was above water. If
not, he didn't fret. He'd wait a few more days and return. Over and over the
farmer checked the seeds' progress. And one day, the water would be low
enough, exposing the harvest. It was time to reap.
Have you cast your seed upon the water? Don't hold onto it. Sow what God
has given you. Plant your seed of faith in full assurance that even though time
may pass, it is growing. When the waters subside, you will have your harvest.

He who observes the wind and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not
sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. (Ecclesiastes 11:4)

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You can always find a reason to give up. There will always be plenty of excuses
to not move forward with God's instruction. There will always be more pleasing
conditions. But if you're waiting for the waters to subside before you plant the
seed, it will be too late. Plant now! That way when harvest time arrives, you will be
able to collect.

The Myth of God's Timing

God's will is already done in Heaven (see Matthew 6:10). His word is forever
settled in Heaven (see Psalm 119:89). The only place His will has yet to be
accomplished is here on Earth. The Church has been sent to enforce this task.
But instead of performing her supernatural obligations, the Church has coined an
erroneous concept called "God's timing." I'm sure you've heard people make
excuses for unanswered prayers by saying, "I guess it just wasn't His timing."

God lives in eternity. His perspective isn't time-bound. From His angle,
everything is happening at once. Everything is already accomplished. If you view
life from this heavenly perspective—after all, that's where you're seated right
now (see Ephesians 2:6)—you will see the same.
God has set in motion certain plans on this earth. But they are to be fulfilled
by our hands. His work is through the Church alone, just like His work was
through Jesus alone when He was here in the flesh. To assume that the lack of
a manifested miracle is on account of God's timing is incorrect. We are not
waiting on God. He is waiting on us.
To believe that the reason you haven't received healing, prosperity, or victory is
due to God's timing, is to believe that He hasn't done it all yet—that He's
withholding something. This simply isn't true. Your time to receive is now. Today.
By discussing patience, I'm not advocating delays. God doesn't want delays. But
if they come, you must recognize that they aren't because of Him. Jesus asked
the disciples a rhetorical question: 'Will [God] defer them and delay help on their
behalf?" The answer is an emphatic No!
The prophet Daniel had an interesting experience with a delayed answer.
After a series of visions was unveiled before him, he prayed to God twice. After
his first prayer, Daniel said, "Yes, while I was still speaking in prayer, the man
Gabriel, whom I had seen in the former vision, being caused to fly swiftly, came
near to me [and said]...`At the beginning of your prayers, the word [giving an
answer] went forth, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved"
(Daniel 9:21, 23).
He received an immediate response. Before he had even finished praying, the
angel appeared to help. Then Daniel prayed a second time. This time he waited
for three entire weeks before he received an answer. Finally, the angel appeared
and said, "Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind and
heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God ,your words were
heard, and I have come as a consequence of [and in response to] your words"
(Daniel 10:12, emphasis added).
In this scenario, there was a three-week delay. Today's Christian would say

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that the angel came at the perfect moment, in accordance with God's perfect
timing. But the Bible says differently. This angel wasn't delayed by God's
restraining hand. In fact, he told Daniel that he was dispatched just as swiftly as
Gabriel, in response to the previous prayer. So why the delay? The angel explains
that he responded immediately, `But the prince [spiritual principality] of the
kingdom of Persia withstood me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the
chief [of the celestial] princes, came to help me, for I remained there with the
kings of Persia" (Daniel 10:13).
God did not defer or delay help on Daniel's behalf. Nor does He wait to
answer your prayers until "His timing" is right. His time is now, just like it was
with Daniel. In fact, the Bible says the angel was summoned, not as an act of
God's will, but "...as a consequence of [and in response to] your words."
Demonic forces were responsible for the delay, not God.
That notion is stunning. It is crucial that you understand that God is waiting on
you. Angels respond to jou. Healing comes in response to your faith. The
mountain will move because you tell it to. Stop trying to get something from
God that He has already given! Quit trying to force a response from Heaven
when Heaven has already responded! Don't wait on God to do what He has
empowered you to do yourself! He will not act apart from you. Any prayer failure
is the fault of the receiver. So stop acting like you're waiting for God to put the
pieces together. Remember, it takes time for the seed to grow. But don't use
that as an excuse to settle for years and years of defeat because you're waiting
for your harvest to come. Jesus taught His disciples to stop expecting the harvest
to be out in the future. He instructed them to expect it today:

Do you not say, It is still four months until harvest time comes? Look! I tell
you, raise your eyes and observe the fields and see how they are already
white for harvesting. (John 4:35)

If your miracle seems to be delayed, go get it! Your fields are white! It's time for
harvest! Command that mountain to get out of your way! Command those
finances to manifest! Command that lost child to come home! Keep speaking
to the storm! Be persistent, not with God, but with circumstances. Take your
authority over stubborn situations and demand God's will to be accomplished on
Earth as it is in Heaven. The Judge has made the ruling, and it's up to you to be
the enforcer.

As Small as a Man's Hand

In the last chapter, I shared the story of Elijah. After the three-year famine, he
called for rain upon the land, telling King Ahab to go feast, "...for there is the
sound of abundance of rain" (1 Kings 18:41). But let's take a look at the
following events that transpired.

And [Elijah] said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went
up and looked and said, There is nothing. Elijah said, Go again seven times.

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And at the seventh time the servant said, A cloud as small as a man's hand
is arising out of the sea. And Elijah said, Go up, say to Ahab, Hitch your
chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you. In a little while, the heavens were
black with wind-swept clouds, and there was a great rain. (1 Kings 18:43-
45a)

Elijah knew rain was coming. How? He didn't see any physical evidence. He
heard the sound—perceived in the spirit realm—of abundant rain. He was so
convinced that his prayer had been answered immediately that he called for a
royal celebration. After three years of famine and no evidence of coming change,
he staked his reputation on the authority of God's promise: "Go, show yourself
to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth" (1 Kings 18:1).
Only after Elijah spoke and acted in faith—that is, in agreement with his prayer—
did he look for physical evidence. He sent his servant to go examine the sky.
But there was no evidence.
Many believers today would say, "Oh. I guess it didn't work. I guess it's not God's
will. It must not be His timing."
But not Elijah. He wasn't interested in religious excuses. He was full of faith.
"Go again," he told his servant.
Still nothing.
"Again!" he commanded.
Nothing.
A fourth time. A fifth time. A sixth time.
Still nothing.
Wouldn't you be a little discouraged by now? Can you imagine Elijah's servant's
response? "C'mon, Elijah! You prayed! Now we just have to wait until God's ready
to answer."
Many of us would give up at this point.
But to Elijah, it was already raining. He was simply waiting for the manifestation to
catch up with his faith. "Check again," he said.
"But..."
"I said, Go!"
So the servant hiked up the cliff one more time. And there it was. A little cloud,
about the size of a fist held up against the horizon. Not quite the "abundance"
he was expecting. But apparently it was enough. "Master, master! I saw a
little cloud in the distance!"
"Perfect. Now go quick! No time to lose! Tell King Ahab that if he doesn't saddle
up in a hurry, he'll get stuck in a flood!"
Doesn't this sound like a bit of an overreaction? It is . . . if you're looking at
circumstances. But Elijah didn't see a hand-sized cloud. He heard the sound of
abundance. Before long, the little cloud had erupted in the sky. "The heavens
were black with wind-swept clouds, and there was a great rain."
Be persistent. Your prayer has been answered. Expect manifestation.

Use Passing Time to Define Your Future

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Since your future manifests according to your present beliefs, the delay is actually
a blessing. If everything manifested as soon as you conceived it, you'd destroy
your life. Anytime you conceived a fear, the reality would manifest. You'd
annihilate yourself instantly!
View the period of time that occurs between conception and manifestation
—sowing and harvest—as an opportunity to fully develop and clarify your vision.
Have you ever thought you wanted or needed something, only to discover after
the fact that it wasn't really what you wanted? We all have. The process of
germination and growth acts as a buffer to give us a chance to determine what
we really want and what God really wants for us. Remember, your faith can
give birth to ungodly realities. Satan is constantly vying for your faith. The
delay gives us an opportunity to check our thoughts and say, That's not what l
want! I can't believe I was thinking about that. I'm going to change my inner vision and
focus on what I do want.
Use the time you have today to determine what you'll experience tomorrow.
Take a few moments each day to meditate on your desired reality. In doing so,
you'll nurture, develop, and eventually give birth to your dreams. And when they
come, they'll be exactly what you wanted because you patiently and carefully
cultivated the vision while it was still in the womb.
Remember, when you're pregnant with a vision, don't compromise it by
allowing ungodly influences. A pregnant mother must abstain from alcohol and
drugs. She must remain in a peaceful and gentle state. She must avoid certain
foods. Exposing herself to wrong substances can jeopardize the health of her
unborn child.
In the same way, when you're pregnant with a vision for prosperity, don't
meditate on news stories that speak of increasing poverty and crime. Don't worry
about your bills. Avoid the naysayers. These things can seriously taint what you've
worked so hard to cultivate. If you're pregnant with a vision of healing, stay
away from people who constantly discuss their illnesses. You know who I'm
talking about. People whose conversation tends toward their arthritis, doctors,
and medicine. Focusing on ailments will hinder your faith for healing and might
even cause you to manifest further maladies.
Instead, surround yourself with people of like mind. People who encourage
you. Testimonies of healings and financial miracles. Use the pregnancy period to
fully develop the vision in accordance with God's standard of perfection. Stay
focused on the desired result and let God take care of the alterations. When you
believe that you already have the things you desire, you can truly enter into
rest. That rest will be the patience, or consistency, that carries you through to
the end.

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CHAPTER TWENTY

Erasing the Lines of Limitation

The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it,
But that its too low and we reach it.
—Michelangelo

I
MPOSSIBLE! THERE'S NO WAY! IT CAN'T BE DONE! Such is the world's
philosophy when it comes to facing mountains. But as a believer in Jesus,
it is time to evict such nonsense from your vocabulary. Every impossibility
is an opportunity when you're thinking like the King.
With the power of God readily available to all who would receive by faith, there
is no reason to delay your commission any longer. The "greater works than these,"
of which Jesus spoke, are for our generation. God specifically placed you on Earth
at this time. These days are not for the faint of heart. Cowardice will not
survive. If the Father planned for you to be here now, He made provision for
every miracle you'll ever need. All that you need, want, and desire is already
inside you.

Abundance, Personified

God is infinitely vast. There is no end to the expansion of His presence. Even
the very universe He created with His word is still getting bigger. An infinite
universe with infinite time and infinite resources attests to the limitlessness of
God's nature. To think in terms of limits is to be out of harmony with God. He
knows no boundaries. He is abundance personified. Having the Kingdom
within means always being aware of your irrevocable connection to your Divine
Source.
People suffer constraint due to their lack-consciousness. Lack is a concept
propagated by the devil, and certainly isn't an attribute of Almighty God. It's
time for the Church to leave the confines of not-enough and embrace the
Creator who is more-than-enough. The limitations we experience are products

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of our own belief systems. We're born into this world with no perception of
scarcity. Lack-consciousness must be developed. Children absorb our culture's
self-imposed limitations through repetitious exposure. They are taught that the
reason they can't have something is because "we can't afford it." We limit
their destinies by confining their dreams to the financial possibilities of a good
job that comes from going to a good college. That's putting faith in the world's
system, not in God.
Jesus recognized the importance of limitless thinking, instructing the King's
kids to operate in childlike faith (see Matthew 18:3). What else could that signify
but unreserved trust in limitless possibilities? If a unicorn wanders into my
backyard, I'm going to be stunned. But my daughter will probably squeal with
glee and say, "Look, Daddy, a unicorn!" She's pleased with the results, but not
staggered by their occurrence. Kids have to be taught that all things are not
possible. Limitations are legislated by a five-senses-oriented society. It's often
the well-learned who are the most blind to spiritual things.
Paul wrote, "Dear, dear Corinthians, I can't tell you how much I long for
you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in. The
smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're
living them in a small way. I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great
affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!" (2 Corinthians 6:11-
13 MSG).
Many people live expecting things to go wrong. They live from one disaster to the next. They're afraid
to dream big because of past disappointments. Their mantra is, "Better
conservative than disappointed." They reel in the line, hoping to catch fish close to
the shore. Sure, they end up without a catch, but at least risk is circumvented. The
decreased probability of storms, sinking, and drowning makes them feel safe.
Small-mindedness is an offense to God. All throughout Scriptu re, He
wrestles with our narrow-mindedness. He urges us to expect greater. Hope for
more. Dream bigger. He says:

Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be
stretched out; spare not; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes, for
you will spread abroad to the right hand and to the left; and your offspring
will possess the nations and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
(Isaiah 54:2-3)

To spare not literally means "to prepare for a maximum amount or quantity."
Are you preparing for the best? Are you expecting increase? How big is your
vision? These questions should be asked on a daily basis. Am I willing to receive
the fullness God has for me or am I holding back my vision? Am I scared of the best? Am
I settling for tepidity?
God honors extravagant expectations. Many Christians have been taught that
God is stingy and scrimpy. They believe that Jesus was poor and we must be
the same. But the Bible teaches the opposite. God doesn't encourage us to
decrease our expectations but to increase them! In fact, He dares us to dream
bigger! He promises to "...do superabundantly, far over and above all that we

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[date] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts,
hopes, or dreams]" (Ephesians 3:20).
Now that you've been educated in the Law of Faith, it's time to start
implementing these principles to accomplish God's will for your life. Does this
seem like a tall order? It is! But the good news is you've been given every tool to
succeed against even the most intimidating obstacles. You've been empowered to
move mountains!
Why did Jesus authorize such extravagance? There's probably no instance in
your life where you'll need to cast a literal mountain into the sea. His prime
example actually seems impractical.
The reason Jesus talked about moving mountains was to demonstrate the sheer
audacity of what can be accomplished through faith. He knew we would face
insurmountable hurdles. He knew about cancer and AIDS. He knew about
marital unfaithfulness and depression. He knew about prison incarceration and
unjust lawsuits. He knew there would be car accidents and plane crashes.
Jesus knows the troubles we face! He wanted to make it unmistakably clear that
none of these things stand a chance against the people of God!
The Bible is replete with vision-enlarging exhortations:

• All things can be (are possible) to him who believes! (Mark 9:23)

• For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard
seed, you can say to this mountain,
Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be
impossible to you. (Matthew 17:20)

• With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God. (Matthew
19:26)

• For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be
without power or impossible of fulfillment. (Luke 1:37)

• I can do all things through Jesus Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians
4:13 NKJV)

The heroes of the Bible had no shortage of impossibilities. From lions' dens
to fiery furnaces, those who placed faith in God's promises have overcome.
Those who gave up were defeated. As long as you simply see God as the One
who saved your soul from hell, you'll never progress to the fullness of your
destiny. Salvation was the means to an end, not the end itself. You were
rescued out of spiritual darkness because God needs you!
The principle that empowered you to receive what Jesus did on the Cross for
your salvation is the same one that can draw on His power to heal, set free,
prosper, and bless you exceedingly. Faith is all you need. Faith makes a
withdrawal from your heavenly bank account. And God has made the ultimate
deposit! There is no end to all you can be and do through the power of God.
Stop thinking small and prepare to embrace the very best of life!

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When God has mandated an expansive vision, do not spare. Don't settle
for what's ordinary—or even what's necessary! Go all out! Associate with the
colorful expression of Isaiah's prophecy: Stretch those curtains to the right
and the left. Lengthen those cords and stakes. To the right and to the left, get
ready to break forth in every good work!

Keep Striking the Ground

Elijah's successor, Elisha, was an eccentric man in many ways. But he knew
how to think big. When Elijah offered him a parting gift, Elisha demanded, "Let a
double portion of your spirit be upon me" (2 Kings 2:9).
The Bible presents a remarkable story in which Elisha pronounces a blessing
on Israel's king, Jehoash. Elisha adds a unique twist to the story by allowing
Jehoash to determine the level of blessing he would receive. Let's take a look.

And Elisha said to him, Take bow and arrows. And he took bow and arrows.
And he said to the king of Israel, Put your hand upon the bow. And he put
his hand upon it, and Elisha put his hands upon the king's hands. And he
said, Open the window to the east. And he opened it. Then Elisha said,
Shoot, And he shot. And he said, The Lord's arrow of victory.... Then he said,
Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, Strike
on the ground. And he struck three times and stopped. And the man of
was angry with him and said, You should have struck five or six times;
then you would have struck down Syria until you had destroyed it. But
now you shall strike Syria down only three times. (2 Kings 13:15-19)

This story tells us something critical: Tomorrow's victories are determined by


today's expectations. When Jesus says that we've been granted a//power and
authority, who are we to act as though we only have a little, if any at all? When
bad news comes your way, do you stand there holding your arrow, perhaps
giving it a little tap on the ground? Do you hit it just three times? Though I
don't understand the numeric significance of Elisha's suggested five or six
strikes, the point is evident: When you're determining tomorrow's triumphs,
don't think small!

Enlarge Your Capacity to Receive

In another chapter, Elisha visits a poor widow. She is deeply in debt, expecting
the creditors to come and take her two sons as payment. Elisha has a plan. But
as with King Jehoash, Elisha allows the woman to determine the extent of her
blessing.

Elisha said, wonder how I can be of help. Tell me, what do you have in
your house?" 'Nothing," she said. 'Well I do have a little oil." 'Here's what
you do," said Elisha. `Go up and down the street and borrow jugs and
bowls from all your neighbors. And not just a few—all you can get. Then
come home and lock the door behind you, you and your sons. Pour oil into

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each container; when each is full, set it aside." She did what he said. She
locked the door behind her and her sons; as they brought the containers to
her, she filled them. When all the jugs and bowls were full, she said to one of
her sons, `Another jug, please. "He said, 'That's it. There are no more jugs.
"Then the oil stopped. (2 Kings 4:2-6 MSG, emphasis added)

The number of vessels this woman gathered in preparation defined the


amount of oil she collected. If she had prepared greater capacity, she would
have received more oil. As it was, when the jars ran out, so did the miracle.
God is only able to accomplish something to the extent that you allow. His
reservoir is waiting to burst forth into your life. But as long as you only expect a
little drizzle, that's all you'll receive. It's not because God's being stingy, but
because your capacity is sorely lacking.
Start expecting great things. Don't simply settle for what you need. Not
only does God promise to meet your needs, He wants to fulfill all the desires of
your heart. To neglect your unique desires, whatever they may be, is to
shortchange the God who deliberately gave you those desires in the first place.
In addition, He wants to far surpass your needs so that everyone around you will
benefit from your overflow. So when you ask, don't insult God. Ask big, prepared to
receive as much as possible. Gather a multitude of empty vessels—not a few!

In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling short-changed.


Quite the contra y-- we can't round up enough containers to hold everything
God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! (Romans 5:5
MSG)

Faith With a Purpose

Remember, God didn't place mankind on Earth as an experiment. His plan was
to use His children to expand His Kingdom on this planet. Though Adam led us
on a four-thousand-year sin-detour, we are back on track. We have been saved
for a purpose. Not only have we been saved from sin, but we've been re-
commissioned to fulfill our original assignment. We must enforce God's will in
our individual spheres so that it might be accomplished on Earth as it is in
Heaven (see Matthew 6:10).

God didn't grant us supernatural power so we could toy around and orchestrate
a fancy light show—to bring glory to ourselves. Rather, it was to reunite His
people from the ends of the earth to be as one body—the Body of Christ—to be
ushered like a bride on that great wedding day.

[The purpose is] that through the church the complicated, many-sided
wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects might now
be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities (principalities and
powers) in the heavenly sphere. (Ephesians 3:10, emphasis added)

Sure, you can harness God's power for your own design. But it will always

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lead to sadness. It's not power itself that gives us reason to rejoice. It is power in
agreement with God that causes Heaven and Earth to explode in praise to the
Creator. Paul said, "...and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove
mountains, but have not love (God's love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody)"
(1 Corinthians 13:2).

Conclusion

God is your Father. He wants you to succeed in every aspect of life. Your destiny is
grand. It will not leave you wanting. Allow the revelation of faith to shatter your
theological paradigms. Sacrifice your conventional doctrines on the altar of
truth. God has issued the dominion mandate to the Church. Be up and awake to
what God is doing! He is moving in the earth and fulfilling His agenda through
you!
You are the conductor. The baton is in your hand. It's up to you to lead the
ensemble of life in a heavenly chorus—His Kingdom come. His will be done.
Mountains moved. Storms silenced.
Settle it in your mind once and for all: Faith is the key. No matter what you're facing,
whether it's sickness, depression, poverty, or strife, Jesus has already provided the
solution. Today is your day to overcome through the power of mountain-moving,
world-overcoming, earth-shaking, storm-stopping, water-walking, ocean-parting,
dead-man-raising, demon-expelling, cancer-curing faith!

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