As my wife and I have walked this journey concerning the attack on her health, we have received a lot of comments, suggestions and words of advice from a great and divergent multitude of individuals and places. Some of the best advice has come from the most unlikely places while some as I had expected it would came from Christian individuals and leaders within our “camp” of doctrinal belief. We’ve also received some unwanted and not too positive advice from places and people we would have never expected.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned through it all is to rely first and foremost on the Word of God and not on the word of man’s reasoning. The preacher we were listening to last night just before bed nailed it on the head when he stated that “man’s reasoning does not produce faith in you.” Our faith must be based on our knowledgeable expectations in the supernatural Word of God, as faith only comes through our hearing and believing His Word! (See Hebrews 11:1 and Romans 10:17)
Through the ups and downs of this walk, we have continuously witnessed the power of His Word working on our behalf on a very personal level. We have come to intimately understand that “God’s word is living and active (and) it is sharper than any two-edged sword…” (Hebrews 4:12 God’s Word ©) Over the last five years we have seen the adamant advice of man’s reasoning dissipate under the pressure of what we have been facing while God’s Word has always proven true!
I think that one of the best pieces of advice that I could give to someone facing difficult circumstances is to always “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33 KJV). I would suggest that you do this for yourself before you take other's well-meaning but not always suitable for your situation, thoughts on the matter before you. And please understand that what I am about to say is not in any way meaning to be disrespectful to any Christian leaders or other brothers or sisters in the Lord, but in the early days of our battle I received thoughts and potential advice from some in leadership that was not really suitable for our particular set of circumstances.
At the time I had not yet taken my own advice and fully sought out the Lord, but I instantly knew inside that what they were telling me did not “feel” right for Piper and I. As I studied (and continue to..) the Word and read volumes from great men of women of our faith, I began to understand just why I felt the way I did. The information given was not quite correct. Their hearts were in the right place, but in this particular instance the info was not right for us.
One individual who was in the inner circle of church leadership tapped me on my shoulder one Sunday morning and told me that he had just received “a word from the Lord” about Piper and proceeded to share it with me. We had recently returned to the church after our three year stay in Oklahoma and I did not really know this gentleman as he and his wife had joined the church after we had left. But I smiled and listened and then thanked him even though what he said was opposite to what I believe the Lord had been telling me!
Now that does not mean that I would not and have not gone back to some of these leaders for guidance, but I now know to check it out before I put anything into use! This morning I was reminded about I John 4:1 where the seasoned Apostle of love tells us to check out what is being said… as well as Ephesians 4:14 where we are encouraged to step it up and be “no more children tossed to and fro” (KJV) by the information that is hitting us from all directions!
The Apostle Paul instructs us to “take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17 ESV) when we find ourselves fighting a battle against the schemes of the enemy and I think it helps to prove my point in this case. The term that is translated “word” is the Greek word “rehema” which in a simple explanation denotes a particular scripture or word from God that becomes especially meaningful to us in a specific situation or need. It is one of those words that the Lord causes to jump off the page of your Bible that just speaks to your heart about what you’re going through. It is the one that causes those “Ah-Ha” moments that I often times talk about.
It is these “rehema” scriptures that comprise the 100+ healing verses that I confess over my wife multiple times a day! They have special significance and hold God’s answers and His will for the healing that we are standing in faith for. These “rehema” verses are the ones that the Spirit of God will point out to you as you “seek first His kingdom.” They are the ones to stand on when you face the various and sometimes unique situations of your life because you know that you know that they are for you.
I have come to firmly believe that God does not have a “one size fits all” solution for everyone. That is why I feel that man’s reasoning may not always be what is right for you. We have to dig into the Word of light and life and see what His personal solution is for you in this particular need. Let’s face it, no one knows you as well as Papa God! This is the way that I always endeavor to counsel people who have needs. I will guide, encourage and suggest, but I will never force upon them what “I” believe is the correct answer for them to pursue. I will always point them to the Word of God and endeavor to have them investigate it for themselves in order to find and then take ownership of the directions given by the Lord.
In the middle of the night when I am sitting there in the dark, I ALWAYS find my dependence, my strength, my peace and the fortitude to face another day in the truth, love and faithfulness of HIS Word and not in the advice of man alone! How about you? Have a great day. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting to depend on today?”