Faith is an interesting concept. The Bible tells us that it has substance and is the only evidence needed by a Christian when facing situations that tell a different story than what they are believing for. (See Hebrews 11:1 KJV) The God’s Word © translation tells us that faith gives us the blessed assurance that what we are actually expecting to happen – due to our belief and subsequent stand on the promises in God’s Word – do indeed exist in the as-yet unseen stage of their development.
It continues by declaring that strong, continuing faith convinces us as to its existence… in spite of what we keep seeing around us… and that in some point in time, what we are believing for will move from the unseen realm into the visible realm, effectively changing the situation in favor of what we have been standing for.
But let’s face it… there are some around you and me who will think that we’ve lost a marble or two when we begin to talk and act like this! That’s when we find ourselves standing apart from the world and declare the words Jesus did in His prayer to the Father in John chapter seventeen saying: “They (today’s Christians) are no more defined by the world than I am defined by the world.” (John 17:16 The Message)
My wife and I knew that when we began to stand in faith for her healing and take the subsequent actions that our stand demanded in order for our faith to work, that we would hit some flack along the way. And you know… some of the strong “suggestions” that we were given sounded real good in the natural… but when push came to shove… they were contrary to where we continue to believe that the Lord has been directing us.
Now, I may have just recently discovered the particular translation of John 17:16 listed above, but it is exactly what we have been doing since our return to California in 2009 with a growing idea of what we were having to stand against concerning Piper’s health. When we stood in that crummy little kitchen in the duplex we were renting in Oklahoma and declared our unfaltering faith in God and His Word for whatever we might face along the unknown path ahead, we settled right then and there that we would not allow ourselves to be “defined by the world” and its way of thinking and acting.
And boy… Have we had A LOT of opportunities to give in to the world’s defeatist way of thinking… Like this morning when Piper kept refusing to swallow her breakfast! I found myself emotionally spent as I drifted into the kitchen after using every technique and trick I could muster in order to get her to swallow (with a little bit of success – I’ll take whatever I can get!). But as hard as my flesh wanted to… I could not get myself to utter a discouraging word!
For you see, the truth of not allowing the world to define us and our situation, has been branded upon my heart and head! After taking the pooch out and giving him his breakfast, I plopped down into my chair at the dining room table next to my wife and after a few moments realized that we had to face the facts of our stand in faith and boldly declare that “we will not be defeated and we will not quit!”* I also understood that we cannot go by what we see that is contrary to God’s Word and immediately began to declare over Piper, God’s will in the form of Matthew 8:17, Psalm 91:16, Psalm 107:20, 3 John 1:2, and every other healing verse that came to mind. (After confessing these over Piper at least twice a day for many years now, it is easy to repeat them verbatim!)
So yes! I am a little beat this morning, but no matter how I feel, or what things may look like, I continue to stand alongside my wonderful wife and loudly confess that we will not be defined by the world’s way of thinking. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!” (Joshua 24:15 KJV) – END OF STORY!
Have a great week ahead, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “Who or What am I expecting to define who I am today?”
*Well known quote, sermon and book title by Revered Kenneth W. Hagin, Pastor of Rhema Bible Church in Broken Arrow, OK