Working The Word ot Make It Work
I think Roger Sapp has identified some of the areas where faith teaching has lost focus.
See: for what prompted this comment: http://www.stillhaventfound.org/2010/11/06/roger-sapp-on-meditation-on-christ-authority-and-faith/#comment-159787
Our faith is in God by His word. It is not faith in your faith. I have learned many times as I enter battle to ask the Lord to be my strength and to see me through to His glory, and He has been very faithful. So I depend on God to keep me in faith in faith battles.
Ex 15:2 “The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God ….”
1 Chron 16:11 ”Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually. 12 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth.”
Ps 18:2 “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. 3 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.”
The other point is authority. Jesus has ALL authority in Heaven and in Earth.
Matt 28:18 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All exousia/power (authority, commission and the resources of Heaven) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
And this authority of Jesus is so extreme, so complete that everything in all of what we call Creation must bow at the name of Jesus and must confess with their tongue that Jesus is Lord. It is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when.
Phil 2:8 “And (Jesus) being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
So technically it is all Jesus’ authority and you have none of your own. But in the effort to help people understand the teaching has gotten off to “my” authority as a Christian representing Christ. Since all things were created by Jesus for Jesus, anything outside of the will of God can be subdued by faith in the name of Jesus to re-establish the dominion of God, or the Kingdom of God, in that situation.
So even if you sin, Satan’s attack is illegal. If you are ignorant of the realities of redemption, Satan’s attack is illegal. You cannot leave a door open for the devil and then it be legal in the Court of God for the devil to afflict you in any way. You do not have the authority to authorize the devil in anything, but to leave and restore destructions as Jesus demonstrated in the Gospels.
I was an officer in the military. I had authority, but when I saw men twice my age obey me, I had no delusions in my authority. Or hundreds obey me at my command. It was in my rank, my job and by the government. I knew it and they knew it. To properly exercise that authority I had to stay within the bounds of what the government required of me. And above all I had to have the backing of my superior officers. Using the authority of Jesus is no different.
As a result of these extreme views we have people worried about their faith and their authority. Our answer is in God by His word, the ways He has revealed, not our faith. When you make that transition, a lot of issues go away.
Many make faith harder than it is. We humans operate by faith all the time. Faith is the absolute assurance of the joyful expectation of coming good. So a young child gets excited when Daddy is coming home. That is faith.
As the child gets older they may need inducements, such as, “When Daddy gets here he will play ball with you,” or “Daddy will have a treat for you.” The child is still excited and cannot wait for Daddy to get there.
You walk into an office and sit down on the chair. You did not examine the chair to see if it was strong enough. You just sat down. That is faith. We operate in this kind of faith all the time. The issue is, “Whose word will you believe, God or circumstances or the doctor or your bank balance or CNN?” Whose report will you believe?
As a human you are operating all the time on one report or another. Faith is unique in that it is the joyful expectation of coming good. Faith in God is joyful expectation of coming good from God by His Word. Doubt is when you are no longer joyful and stop doing supporting faith actions. Doubt is the devil’s, or the world’s, efforts to get you to believe a different word, and then act per that new word. This is a temptation to do the works of doubt.
You only have two choices, faith or fear. What you actually do determines who or what your faith is in. So to doubt God means you no longer do the supporting faith actions of Scripture confession, aiteo, praise, thanksgiving and joy. Instead you either put your trust elsewhere, such as in the doctor, or in anything or anyone other than God, and then do actions per your new word you are believing.
Or you go into dread or fear that evil is coming on you, and there is no help or little help in God. So then you do actions consistent with your evil fear. To get out of doubt’s temptation you re-affirm the Word of God, the Scriptures you are believing, and then do faith actions while your mind, and even other people, tempt you to stop.
This is summarized in:
Isa 53:1 “Who hath believed our report (of God’s great work in Jesus)?”
Doing this in the face of internal fears and pressures and outer evil realities is part of the fight of faith.
1 Tim 6:11 “But thou, O man (or woman) of God, flee these things; and follow (embrace and pursue with vigor) after righteousness, godliness, faith, agape/love, patience (glad and diligent consistency), meekness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lambano/lay hold on eternal zoe/life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
If you do faint, if you do doubt, start again. Find the Scriptures that fit your need, renew your mind on truth, put on your “game face” of actually doing aiteo, thanksgiving, praise, joy, etc. and get going again. Follow the path described in Phil 4:4-9.
We are promised that the devil will attack any word of God you are attempting to believe. See this in the Parable of the Sower and the Seed in Matt 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8. So the essence of faith in God by His Word is will you continue to do the works of faith in affirmation, aiteo, communion/Lord’s Supper, thanksgiving, praise and rejoicing?
What you are counting on is what you have faith in, and what you are counting on will be evidenced by your words and actions all day long. A few faith actions in church that are not continued all day long, every day, is not biblical hope, much less biblical faith. What you believe is what you do consistently. It is what you do when no one is around and the fear of failure attacks. What you do next demonstrates who you are really counting on.
Now I will get a bit “spooky.” The seraphim that circle Father God and cry Holy, Holy, Holy are doing that, in part, because they are constantly seeing new aspects of God as they fly by. The Jews have an expression that each Bible verse has at least 70 valid interpretations. So we can all look to Jesus and focus on various aspects, be different, and not be wrong.
But to some it sounds like we are like the six blind men describing the trunk, the body, the tusks, the tail, the mouth and the legs of the elephant, but not able to see the elephant. Each one is convinced they have the real thing, and they do, but their perceptions are vastly different, yet not wrong. So if you find conflicting Scriptures, start by saying “and” and not “but” until you got more light.
What God tells us in the New Testament that will change us per His plan is to renew our minds on what we are already made in Christ. This is found in Rom 6, Rom 13, Eph 4 and Col 3. This means a constant mind renewing to change your self identity to what God did to you in the New Birth-New Creation.
The next step is found in:
2 Cor 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [to be all God made you to be in Jesus]. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord [in our own reflection of what we see of Jesus manifesting in us by faith], are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
So Holy Spirit will change you into as much as you see of Jesus in yourself. Jesus is the blueprint, and you and Holy Spirit are the construction crew.
We can look at many different aspects of Jesus, and as long as we see Jesus doing that in us, Holy Spirit will transform you into that image. And the first step starts with changing your self identity.
For example, righteousness does not just mean you are right, it is a characteristic. It means you now have the nature of God to do right. The real you, the spirit man, only wants to do right as Jesus did, and God wants done.
As the discussion on authority, or meditation of what Jesus has accomplished, here is another Scripture.
Philem 6 “That the communication (outworked manner of your life in Holy Spirit) of thy faith may become effectual [to bringing Heaven to Earth in power, agape/love and a sound mind] by the epignosis/acknowledging (by the awareness, learning and practicing until you are a master craftsman) of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus [by the new-birth, new creation in Christ].”
So if you want powerful faith start by meditating on what Jesus has done for you and what you now are and have in Him. Other topics are good, but this is the path I can defend with Scripture.
Unfortunately without the New Creation man as a basis, a person in their unique life gets to know Jesus; they develop an understanding and relationship that is unique. They come from a personal place and have a personal testimony, but not necessarily useful for others, and often it will not fit with Scripture. In fact, as one brother said, “I have let go, held on, rested, and worked to the point that all I am doing is spinning in circles and feel like a yo-yo.”
At some point you are no longer looking for a new revelation as you are wanting the revelation you have to be solid and manifest Jesus in your life.
I believe this is what Paul was saying:
Phil 3:7 “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Paul saw the revelation, and in verse 14 all he wants is to be that revelation.
Let us go back to the image of the seraphim in Heaven:
Isa 6:5 “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. 6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.”
Notice the seraphim needed tongs to handle the live coal of the fire of God, yet Isaiah’s tounge could handle that fire of God just fine. The tongs were for the seraphim and not Isaiah! And Isaiah was not a born-again, new creation man. Yet Isaiah could handle the fire of God just fine and not be destroyed.
In Jesus we are told:
1 John 4:17 “Herein is our agape/love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”
In the new creation we are made as Jesus is now. Not the suffering servant on the cross, but the glorified Lord of all Creation, as He is NOW! All we need is to mature, “be made perfect” in agape love.
That fire of God burns in Jesus, and as we learn to walk in agape love, that fire is released from our spirit to invade our soul and the Earth. And that fire of God is meant to burn in us also. It is what we are made for in the new birth. Because we are made for it, just as we are made to walk in the authority of Jesus by using His name to do what He would do in His place with His desire.
“As he is now” means this is how you also look in the spirit:
Rev 1:13 ”And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.”
And that is why we are to renew our minds into the reality of our new creation in Jesus. One way to start on this is to highlight every passage in the New Testament with what you already have now in Jesus.
Philem 6 “That the communication (out-working of your life in Holy Spirit) of thy faith may become effectual (to bring Heaven to Earth in power life Jesus did) by the epignosis/acknowledging (awareness, study and doing until you are a master craftsman like Jesus) of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus [by the new birth that made you a new kind of creature with Holy Spirit dwelling within].”
I love Roger Sapp’s mediation cards and I have ordered them. So handy for renewing the mind when reading is better than listening to earphones, or when it is harder to pull out the Affirmations from OK, GOD, Now What? I just wish he had not put on the symbols of playing cards (heart, diamond, etc.) on them.
What are the best ways you have found to develop faith in the name of Jesus?
What results have you obtained to show you are on the right track?
God Bless you and yours in the name of Jesus to be more noble in Him (Acts 17:11-12)
Jesus is Lord of Heaven and Earth!
CPM: Donald C. Mann
Preacher, speaker, teacher, mentor and author:
- OK, God Now What?
- Battle Prayer for Divine Healing – Field Manual 2
- Discovering Our Redemption