How we respond to God’s Word is important, in fact it defines our destiny. In this podcast, Carl challenges you to put action behind your beliefs. If ‘faith without works is dead,’ (Jam 2:20) then we must take action to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives. Many people want to be judged by their intentions instead of their actions. Joshua and Caleb entered the promised land because they had a ‘can do’ attitude instead of reciting an ‘evil report.’ But what exactly is an ‘evil report?’ Tune in now, to find out some of the issues that might be holding you back from fulfilling God’s plan for your life…
Here is a complete transcript of the podcast…(below)
Today, I’d like to continue with the message of faith and corresponding action. Now where the rubber meets the road or push comes to shove; we need to have action behind what we believe. We are not simply hearers of the word but do-ers of the word amen. Sometimes corresponding action can be something as simple as believing or simply agreeing with God’s word, it doesn’t have to be physical action always. There is a time to act and a time to believe and a time to be patient and we need to discern between them all. Now sometimes that action can even be staying out of worry and remaining in peace. Many times in the Gospels, the healings that took place; required some action on the part of the recipient in order to be healed and I’m going to share some of these with you today. For example, Jesus would say…Rise up and walk, take up your bed, stretch out your hand, go show yourself to the Priest etc. He would often challenge the person.
So let me ask you this, who is responsible for success in your lives…you are! So now that we know the word, what are we going to do about it? Are we just going to keep gathering information or do something with it? Many people today, want to be judged by their intentions and not their actions…certainly, our salvation is assured by our faith in Christ, but it’s our actions that define our success in this life, not our intentions. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words and when it comes to trusting God’s word, how we respond to it, re-enforces what we believe and what we believe influences what we do, Joshua 1:8 “8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shalt meditate therein day and night, that you mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shalt make thy way prosperous, and then you shalt have good success.”
In this passage the word ‘meditate’ in Hebrew actually means to ‘murmur or mutter’. Reciting God’s word to ourselves not only brings faith to us but helps us remain obedient to His will. So as we murmur or speak the word, we are the ones, hearing it, so that we may observe and adhere to it. Then we become successful as we apply the word of God in our lives. As I said previously, we are to be “do-ers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). If someone says to you, Oh I am starving. I have no food or shelter, and if you have the capacity to meet that person’s need, then meet it! Don’t grab their hand and pray friend, no meet their need there and then if you can. So, we need to act, not just pray. Now let’s continue our study of corresponding action by reading… Mark 3:1-10 and this is an account of Jesus healing someone:
And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.2 And they watched him (Pharisees), whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, stand forth 4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.”
There are two things this man had to do, 1) he stood up and 2) stretched forth his hand, notice that Jesus did not say,” You’re healed”, heck Jesus didn’t even lay hands on the man, He simply said “stretch forth your hand” and by doing so, the man with the withered hand believed that Jesus had the power to heal and he knew the moment that he moved his hand, he would be healed. Jesus was, “calling the things that are not as though they were” (Rom 4:17). I challenge you today; come into agreement with what God has said about the topic of healing, start taking action in line with what God’s word says on the topic and here’s another example of healing involving Jesus:
“After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market, a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.5
And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked.” John 5:1-10
In this instance once again, the Lord did not lay hands on this man, no he said, “Rise, take up your bed and walk”. Friends notice the scripture says, and immediately the man was made whole. That man could have ignored Jesus, he had a choice; he could have remained on the floor. Notice he was not made whole until he took corresponding action, he had to do something, he had to rise up and walk. He could have answered differently, he could have said, “How can I rise up and walk? I’m a cripple? How can a crippled man walk?”, but he didn’t…Today God is calling you healed, he’s calling you, prosperous, and he’s calling you successful in every area of your life…. But what is your response? Are you going to agree with the Lord today and say yes sir, your word says it I believe it, that settles it… or are you going to look at your situation and speak the circumstances back to Him? All of God’s promises are yes and amen, “If God be for you, who can be against you” (Rom 8:31).
Time and time again, we see countless examples in scripture, of people talking action in accordance with their beliefs. This can work in both a negative and positive way. One of the most tragic occurrences of the negative way is revealed in Numbers chapter 13 where the Children of Israel were about to enter the Promised Land but their actions were not based on faith but fear. They gave an evil report back to God. An evil report is saying what they saw and heard instead of what God said about the situation. If we give in to fear, we will be overcome by our obstacles instead of us overcoming them. Lets read about it now Numbers 13:30-32:
And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel.”
Friends an evil report is one of fear…. it looks at the circumstances and pronounces that God can do nothing. An evil report is repeatedly saying what the circumstances are saying instead of what God said about the topic. Fear causes us to shrink back and our God becomes very small in our sight. The Jews would not take corresponding actions of faith and they died in the wilderness because of it. In this case what they said out of their own mouth was the verdict, in Numbers Chapter 14:22: and this is God speaking:
22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice.27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:”
They said they couldn’t conquer the land of Canaan, and were likely going to die in the Promised Land fighting the Giants, so God judged they were not qualified, He took them at their word and they died in the wilderness instead. The very thing they said out of their own mouths was the judgment that came to pass. Friend, listen to me now, “Those who say they can and those who say they cannot are both right”. How many things has the Lord done in your life, over and over again he has been gracious to you and shown His divine providence and all of a sudden you are going to stop believing him?
Friend, you are not going to believe this and I didn’t when I first realized it researching for this session but did you know that God said to Moses or Aaron 22 times combined in the book of Exodus alone, “stretch forth thine hand across the waters or land”. Each and every time God required a miracle, he told Moses and or Aaron to stretch out his rod or hand above the waters or over the land of Egypt in order for God to move. Over and over again in the text, God instructs Moses to take corresponding action in obedience to God and THEN God moved.
For example, if you are believing God to get off medication, you need to take a small step in that direction by slowly lowering your dosage and seeing how you feel, if you believe God is telling you to do so. Many people are on anti-depressant drugs right now when all they need is a good clean out of their soul and letting go of some hurts, wounds and memories. I’m not belittling medicine, it has its place certainly but if you’ve been on anti-depressants for months or even years and you know that its side effects are detrimental, yes you may have been on them temporarily to help your symptoms but you should not be on them permanently. Feeling depressed is a manifestation in your emotions of what you’ve been meditating in your thought life. Feelings to follow action my friend. Thinking negatively may cause a chemical imbalance in our brains, but the chemical imbalance is not the cause for the depression, thinking negatively is. This may be hard for some of you to hear but I’m going to say it anyway.
Start thinking on the Lord, read the word of God out loud to yourself, let your ears hear the truth over the situation. Take your thoughts off of yourself and onto something else. Anti-depressants are trying to resolve a soul issue with physical medication and friend, the issue is with your heart and its fruit is manifesting in your physical body. Like I said before the soul condition often remains undiagnosed in the medical arena. Now I’m not telling you to do anything, I’m telling you to listen to the Holy Spirit, stand on His word and if you feel peace to do so and the Holy Spirit tells you to, then slowly come off these pills my friend. There are people locked up in mental institutions today who really need spiritual deliverance but instead they are heavily medicated to suppress them or have electro-shock treatments. I’m not blaming the medical community; many times, the church has not done its authority in enforcing the authority it has been bestowed with.
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