Galatians 3:2 says, “This only I want to learn from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” Verse 5 says, “Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
Obedience is rooted in faith. Hebrews 11:8 says, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place where he would receive an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
The devil hates our faith and will use temptations to get us to doubt God’s word. James 1:6-8 says that a doubter is likened to a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. Doubting makes us unstable. Steadfast faith does not dialogue with even one of satan’s suggestions.
Mark 11:23 says, “…does not doubt in his heart, but believes…” Faith believes and stands in God’s word, in the face of each impossibility, hardship, trial, and adversity.
We strengthen our bodies through exercise. How do we exercise our faith? We believe God’s word and act on it. Romans 10:17 says that we increase our faith by proclaiming God’s word out loud. Our ears hear it, and it goes down into our heart.
Trials add resistance to our faith to make it stronger. We can compare trials to high intensity exercises that put pressure on our bones, increasing their density. After the age of 50 our bone density decreases. FYI: if you go to americanbonehealth.com you can download a pdf called, “Do it right and prevent fractures.”
Faith is the structural backbone of our walk with the Lord. Hebrews 11 is called the faith chapter. Each account starts out with, “By faith…” Verse 6 says that without faith we cannot please the Lord. Colossians 2:7 says, “Rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith…” The deeper our faith is rooted in God’s word, the more consistent our faith’s testimony will be to those around us.
Daniel purposed in his heart long before he was ever tempted. Daniel 1:8. Job made a covenant with his eyes. Job 31:1. What are you doing to resist temptations? Predators look for a weak link in a herd.
Therefore we shore up our weak areas by hiding God’s word in our heart. The devil’s preplanned temptations are geared to entrap us in our weak area. For instance, in my case, he would not use something that has no hook in me. Yet, he would use a temptation that I used to be ensnared in.
John 14:30 says, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.” Unlike us, Jesus had no unresolved issues. The things that we bury give the devil inroads or hooks.
We are to guard our hearts. Proverbs 4:23. Process things as they come up, instead of burying the emotional pain. Forgive when we are offended, instead of allowing it to become a burr in our saddle.
We are tested through trials, adversities, and hardships. 1 Peter 1:7 that our faith may be purified. Every temptation is designed to derail us, with the evil intention that our faith would fail.
I love what Jesus said to Peter. He had told him that satan wanted to sift him. Luke 22:32 says, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Did you catch it? Jesus knew that Peter would come through the sifting, because He prayed for him.
Jesus intercedes for us as well. Hebrews 7:25 says that as our High Priest He lives to make intercession for us. He also made provision through His word to help us fight each temptation. They will come again and again. Luke 4:13 says, “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.”
Matthew 4:1 says that Jesus was led by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. How did He resist every temptation? He preceded His answer with ‘It is written…’ then quoted Scripture. Hebrews 4:15 says that He was tempted in all points as we are.
We take our example of resisting temptations from Jesus. That means that the Scriptures we need have to be hidden first in our hearts. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
Jesus was led into temptation. However, James 1:13 is a foundational understanding that we need. It says, “…God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.” Never will we be led by the Spirit into a temptation.
That verse defeats any lying spirit that whispers to us to engage with tempting thoughts. Verse 14 says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”
Praying Scripture unites hearts with God’s purpose. 2 Peter 1:20-21 says, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Here is one Scripture we can pray. We know from 2 Peter 3:9 that God is not willing that any should perish. We can stand on that verse as we fulfill His command to pray for our nation’s leaders.
Paul included prayer without ceasing as a strategic piece of God’s armor. Ephesians 6:18 says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
Agreeing with Scripture in prayer is so powerful. It keeps us from inserting our own personal agenda. Colossians 1:10 is a verse that I often use to pray for someone struggling with sin, overcome with circumstances, waning in faith, or veering off the path of righteousness.
Acts 2:1 says, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Strong’s definition for with one accord is being unanimous, having mutual consent, being in agreement, having group unity, and having one mind and purpose.
Everyone is on the same page. That is not how we could describe the churches in our nation right now. Some have veered off track. We must intercede for a united front based on the truth of God’s word.
When Peter wrote his second letter, he warned against false teachers. James 3:1 says, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”
In Ephesians 4:1-6, Paul was calling the church to unity. In verse 12 he wrote that the teachers were, “For the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Edify means to build up.
Revelation 8:5 says, “Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.” The prayers of the saints were stored up, to be used in this cataclysmic event.
Years ago Reinhardt Bonnke, a German evangelist, held crusades in Africa. He built a high platform that he would preach from. Under the platform were intercessors. They prayed the whole time he was preaching. He called them, “Fire under my feet.”
We are living in unprecedented times in our nation and in the world. It is a call to intercede. As in Ezekiel 22:30, the Lord is looking for those who will stand in the gap. We need to be fire under the feet of our nation. Let’s fill the bowls of incense, so that the unquenchable fires of revival can be poured out!
Revelation 5:6 says, “And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain…”
Verse 8 says, “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
Revelation 8:3 says, “Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.”
Now watch what happened with the censer. Remember that it is filled with the prayers of all the saints. Just take a minute and think about it. All the saints…
In 1997 I bought an old mobile, and had the old shag rug removed. I replaced it with an emerald green carpet. I wanted to think of God’s throne room each time I vacuumed. Revelation 4:3 says, “And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.”
In Hebrews 4:16 we are encouraged to come into God’s throne room. It says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
As I read Revelation 4 this time, I thought about my emerald green carpet. My next thought was from trying to picture one scene. The four living creatures continuously say, “
…Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”
Note that they have eyes all around. I picture it as though they see a fresh revelation of Him and cannot contain their awe ~ as we will one day.