Monday, April 29, 2019

Why Doesn’t My Faith Work? Part 4 Live Righteously

Hello everyone,

We’ve been answering the question, “Why Doesn’t my faith work?”  We’re investigations why  it sometimes feels like our prayers are not being answered, and we’re not living in the blessing or promises of God in certain areas of our lives.

Deuteronomy 16:20 says, “Follow what is altogether just (uncompromisingly righteous), that you may live and inherit the land which your God gives you.”.  In other words, in today’s context, when we live righteous lives, our prayers will be answered and we will walk in the manifest promises of God.  This is only one of the 87 scriptures that speaks about the benefits and blessing for the uncompromisingly righteous - those who choose to follow wholeheartedly after the Lord and His ways.  

So, living righteously obviously has much to do with us not just getting God’s ear, but moving His hand in our lives too.  Interestingly enough, all 87 scriptures are found in the Old Testament.  When we cross over into the New Testament, these promises remain just as true, except, now they have an added value - they become appropriate and accessible to every born-again child of God - through faith!  

Does that mean we don’t have to focus on living righteous lives in order to receive God’s promises?  Um...No - that’s not what it means at all.  According to the New Covenant we have in Jesus, He has made us righteous through His redeeming blood and given us a new nature by His Own Holy Spirit.  

This means because we have been made righteous, instead of trying to live righteously in our own strength, we are now empowered to do so by the Holy Spirit Who lives inside us.  If you remember, in my previous letter, I spent some time teaching this truth.  Now today, I want to show you how faith in God and His Word is the mark of an uncompromisingly righteous child of God.  Which is wonderful, because we are promised that it’s the uncompromisingly righteous who walk in God’s blessing and favour!

Now do you remember why it’s so important for us to have strong faith?  It’s because the Bible teaches us faith is the way we inherit God’s promises.  So faith and righteous living go hand in hand when it comes to seeing our prayers answered.  

Don’t get confused by the scripture that says our good works are as filthy rags to the Lord (Isaiah 64:6), thinking it means living righteously doesn’t have anything to do with our prayers been answered.  When we read that scripture in context, it has to do with us receiving salvation.  Nothing we ever do will earn us eternal life.  That is a gift that’s received through faith alone.  We are speaking about living righteous lives once we have received the gift of salvation.

Once again, we must remember that for the born-again child of God, faith and righteous living go hand in hand when it comes to seeing our prayers answered.

Let’s take a look at the patriarch of faith, Abraham, for a moment.  Do you remember how God credited Abraham’s unwavering, rock solid faith as righteous?  Take a look at what Romans 4:3 says, “Abraham believed in (trusted in) God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness (right living and right standing with God).”  

I particularly love what verse 23 of Romans 4 says, “But [the words], It was credited to him, were written not for his sake alone, But [they were written] for our sakes too. [Righteousness, standing acceptable to God] will be granted and credited to us also who believe in (trust in, adhere to, and rely on) God, Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,...”. 

There it is again, Abraham’s unwavering faith in God was credited to him as righteousness - this speaks of his position in God.  In our new covenant through Christ, we have been made righteous - this is our position in God.

The Bible says that it’s this position we have in God that empowers us to live righteous lives before Him.  It says it’s credited to those who, “trust in, adhere to, and rely on God”.  

Do those words sound like someone who doesn’t love to walk righteously and in obedience to God’s Word?  Of course not!  In fact, here’s a little side note I feel to mention: When people try to convince you that righteous living is not necessary for a born-again believer because there is no consequence to sin anymore, tell them to go read their Bible in context.  

When people are constantly looking for a “loop whole” to condone living in disobedience to God’s Word they are more than likely trying to find an excuse to accommodate sin in their lives they are not willing to give up, and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  If anything, this kind of teaching should sound off very loud alarm bells in your spirit!

If we truly know the character of God, and love Him with all our hearts, there is simply no way of separating our joyful willingness to be obedient to His ways from having faith in Him.  If you love Him, you’ll enjoy being obedient to His ways.  (John 14:21).

Psalms 45:7 echos this very sentiment, “You love righteousness, uprightness, and right standing with God and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.”  

So, to recap what we’ve covered in today’s letter, we’ve continued to lay the foundational truth that loving and having faith in God is the mark of someone who is joyfully obedient to His ways.    What does that have to do with are prayers being answered - there are more than enough scriptures supporting the fact that faith and righteous living cause us to walk in an open heaven where God’s promises become our reality.  

Next week, I want to speak about a key principle of righteous living, found in God’s Word, that will keep our faith activated making our prayers effective.  

All my love,


Monday, April 22, 2019

Why Doesn’t My Faith Work? Part 3 Obedience

Hello everyone,

In the book of James it says we ask and have not, because we ask amis. That means there is both a correct and appropriate way to exercise our faith when we pray and  bring our needs before the Lord, as well as an incorrect or inappropriate way.  Over the past two letters, we’ve been discussing some of the things that could very well cause our prayers to be fruitless, and prevent our faith from working and appropriating what the Word says is ours to have and enjoy.

If you’ve been asking and believing the Lord for a particular breakthrough in your life, but feel as though your prayers have fallen short of reaching heaven, these letters are here to encourage you, and perhaps answer why your faith just doesn’t seem to be working. 

We’ve already discussed how doubt and an incorrect perspective of God and His Word could be neutralising your faith and making it inactive. Since we’ve established that God desires to see us blessed and walking in the fullness of all His promises; we have to conclude that the problem with our faith not working doesn’t lie with Him.

I believe the problem lies with us not understanding certain principles in His Word that activate our faith instead of crippling or making it ineffective.  In this letter, we’re going to discuss two important truths we should pay attention to before we come to the Lord in prayer.

The first one being obedience - which by the way, is key!

The Bible teaches that even if we do have faith, and speak God’s words over our situations, if we are not obeying God’s voice, whether it be His spontaneous, rhema Word in our spirits, or His written Word, we won’t receive what we ask for.  

In John 14 and 15, Jesus clearly says we must be vitally connected to Him, to the point where His Word must be alive in our hearts and we must obey it, if we want to see what we ask for.  A living, intimate relationship with Jesus certainly involves obedience to His Word. If we aren’t doing this, He says we have no right to expect anything from Him.  

We are so quick to say we love the Lord and profess Him to be on the throne of our hearts, but Jesus makes no qualms about what His opinion of that statement really means.

Take a look at what John 14:21 says, “The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]”. 

Then in verse 23 He says, “If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.”

In John 15:7 Jesus says, “If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”

There it is, loud and clear - loving God is far more than lip service, it’s a daily decision to invest in a living relationship with Jesus, through His indwelling Holy Spirit, where His Word and ways become our own.  When they do, we are guaranteed that whatever we ask, will be done for us - it’s that simple.

Having said that, I want to share one of these key principles we find in God’s Word we are expected to walk in, when we profess to walk in His ways.   It’s the second truth we should pay attention to when we come before the Lord in prayer.

It’s the principle of  turning our back on sin!

It’s true Jesus did deal with the sin issue on the cross.  The Bible says he broke the curse and power sin has over us, by His redeeming blood.  He has given us a brand new nature, His very own in fact, that is not cursed and tainted with the bondage of sin.  Hallelujah!  Now we can live by the power of God and His Spirit in His ways!  We don’t have to succumb to the temptation to sin any more.  

We can daily choose to live sin free.  His power that’s at work in us, and our minds continually being renewed to His Word enable us to do this.  When we live like this we stop shrugging our shoulders saying, “Oh, I’m just a sinner saved by grace.”  No, we begin to boldly declare that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!  Do you see the change of perspective?

In 1 Timothy 1:19, Paul tells us that when there is sin in our lives, our consciences are seared before the Lord and our faith becomes shipwrecked.  This is not what we want to happen because we know without faith, we will never receive God’s promises.  So choose to turn your back on sin, give yourself to living for God, and you will receive all He has promised you.

So, what have we learnt from today’s letter?  Firstly, according to Jesus, a life of daily obedience to His voice and His Word will cause us to have whatever we ask Him for.  And secondly, when we choose to see ourselves as God does - empowered to live free from sin - our faith becomes strengthened, not weakened! 

Understanding we are made righteous through the blood of Jesus, and have a brand new nature that is free and able to live for Him - sin will have no pull on us and we can continuously turn our back on it.  This fuels and strengthens our faith instead of shipwrecking it so we can believe in God’s good character and His promises.  

In the next letter we’ll look at another key principle we need to pay attention to that will activate our faith and give us confidence when we come before the Lord in prayer. 

All my love,

Monday, April 15, 2019

Why Doesn’t My Faith Work? Part 2 Don’t Doubt

Hello everyone,

It’s easy to feel disappointed when the things you’re believing God to do for you just don’t seem to happen.  Often people write in asking why God doesn’t hear their prayers.  They feel so despondent in their Christian walk, because it seems that all their heartfelt requests fall on deaf ears.  If you can relate to this, I pray this series of letters touches your heart and brings you a clear understanding of how good God is, how much He loves you, and how you can practically understand faith and put it to work in your life.

In the previous letter we discovered that faith is not a whimsical, wishful state of mind, but a spiritual force that has the ability to reach into the spiritual realm  and bring whatever God has promised us, into our natural reality.  

Faith is the way God designed for us to live as people who overcome in this life.  It’s the way we can appropriate every freedom and promise Jesus paid the price for when He went to the cross.  It’s the only way we can enjoy the benefits of personally knowing God, and it’s how we live in continuous victory over our enemy, the devil.

We also learnt that we increase our faith by meditating on the Word of God, believing what it says as our final authority, and being sure to keep our words and conversations in line with it.  

The important key is to never change what we say to align with our circumstances, but rather keep our words true to what God’s Word says.  Even if situations appear to stubbornly stay the same - we must never speak contrary to what the Word says.  No circumstance has ever, nor will ever change what God says.  It’s His Word that remains forever the same, and has the power to change every fact of our circumstances, and making them line up with His Word.  

This means the problem with our faith not working is not on God’s side.  His Word ALWAYS produces what it says.  Isaiah 55:11 says, “So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

So what prevents our faith from working?  One prevention is doubt.  

  • Don’t Doubt!

Often, when we don’t see the results we want, when we want - doubt sets in.  The first tell tale sign of doubt is in our words. Just as faith is carried on our words that align with scripture, doubt is carried out on our negative words, and has the power to make our faith completely inoperative. The book of James says that we mustn’t even expect to receive anything if we have doubt.  James 1:6-8 says, “Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].”

The Bible says we must keep a vigilant watch over the words we speak, so determine to never allow your words to carry doubt because they disagree with God’s own words.  

Another deterrent of active faith is the way we perceive God’s Word.

  • See God’s Word as Himself

Something that will help you counter the temptation to doubt is to change your perspective of God’s Word.  It’s easy for Christians to fall into the trap of seeing the Word as a mechanical formula, instead of a personal representation of the Person of God.  Our confidence and expectation must lie in our trust of the God we intimately know. Our dependency is rooted in understanding His absolute love and faithfulness towards us. Not a mechanical formula. When we give ourselves to God’s Word, we give ourselves to truly knowing Who He is.  This is where we see that His ways are perfect and His promises are true - we fall in love with Him and His Word.  Loving and embracing God through His Word begins a transformation process in us from the inside out.  We are changed by knowing Him. Our thoughts become influenced by His thoughts (His Word), as do our attitudes, our words, and our actions.  
So now, when we speak words of faith, they aren’t just empty recitations, or wishful declarations, they are full of power because we speak from lives that have been Divinely influenced by our relationship with the Word Himself.

I earnestly encourage you to take the time to purposefully give yourself to God’s Word this week.  Each day determine to find out more about Him as you spend time meditating on its truth.  Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the Person of Jesus to you and make His Words come alive in your heart, so that the transformation process can begin inside you. As you delight in His Word, you’ll delight in Him and His ways.  This is where He places His pure and wonderful desires for your good in your heart and mind, so you can walk in them.  Psalms 37:4 says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.”

In our next letter, we’ll continue speaking about some of the things that can prevent our faith from working and being as effective as the Word says it should be.  

All my love,


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Why Doesn’t My Faith Work? Part 1 Faith Is

Hello everyone,

It can be very disheartening when we bring our request to the Lord, speak words of faith, but don’t see the results we’re believing for.  What’s the deal?  Are we doing something wrong?  Why isn’t our faith working?  Does God only answer certain prayers for certain people?  

In this series of letters we’re going to find the answers to these questions from the Word of God.  I’m believing to help you get a clear understanding of how to see your faith go to work and do exactly what the Bible says it should do.

The thing is, sometimes our foundation of what faith really is, how to get it, and how to put it to work -  is a little weak and uncertain.  So let’s briefly begin there, before we move on to reasons why our faith possibly isn’t producing the results we know it should be producing.

So, what is faith? Hebrews 11:1 tells us: “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].”

In other words, faith is a spiritual force that has the power to reach into the spiritual realm, take a hold of whatever God’s Word has promised, and bring it into our natural world.  

We know we live in a fallen world that because of sin, is full of lack, devastation and heart ache.  But for those of us who have chosen to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus, through faith, we are expected to live above the problems of the life we had before we knew Him.  Faith is what causes us to continuously overcome and live in victory.  This is the life Jesus went to the cross for us to have.  That’s why Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith, it’s impossible to please God. What pleases Him?  Seeing us appropriate everything He and His Son sacrificed for us to have and enjoy!  But we can’t do that without faith.

How do we get faith?  Well the Bible tells us that God has given each of us a measure of faith.  But once we become part of His family, we are expected to increase that measure by spending time meditating on the truth of God’s Word through the indwelling Holy Spirit.  He is the One Who teaches us and makes the Word come alive inside of us to produce the spiritual force of faith. 

How do we put faith to work?  Mark 11:23-24 says, “Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].”

According to this portion of scripture, faith goes to work for us the moment we wholeheartedly believe the Word and speak it from the conviction of our hearts.

It’s more than just agreeing with the Word, we must really believe it as the final authority in our lives - not doubting it at all. Then, when our words are consistently in agreement with God’s and don’t contradict what His Word says, they become carriers of that faith.  Like conveyer belts, our words carry the conviction of our hearts and begin to speak those things that are not currently in the natural, as if they are.  That’s how convinced we are of God’s promises being more real than what we see in the natural.  Faith believes what it perceives in the spirit, before it sees it in the natural.  

God is the best example of this in Hebrews 11:3.  It says He spoke the world’s into existence by His own words of faith.  Since we are recreated in His image, and have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, we can believe His Word, speak it into our world, and see it become our reality.

I want to encourage you to take time to let this all sink deep into your heart and mind this week.  In the next couple of letters I’m going to speak about some of the things that can prevent our faith from working and being as effective as the Word says it should be.  

All my love,


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Battle of the Mind - Fill Those Cracks!

Hello everyone,

Building a strong wall of defence around our minds keeps the devil from gaining a foothold in our affairs.  This doesn’t happen by accident, in fact, it takes diligence and steadfast determination to keep our minds fortified in the truth of God’s Word.   

That’s why we must cultivate a sincere passion and devotion for the Word. I’m amazed at how many Christians have no desire for the Word.  No wonder they remain harassed and defeated by the enemy.  They have no wall of defence around their souls, giving the enemy access to mess with their thoughts and emotions.

When we realise that the Word is alive and carries the Spirit of God Himself in its truth, we begin to see it in a different light. We understand that it’s words are so valuable because they have the power to change and transform everything about us.

A long time ago, I understood how growing in a continual love relationship with Jesus - had everything to do with falling in love with His Word. The Holy Spirit is more than willing and faithful to lead and teach us as we give ourselves to God’s Word.  The knowledge we gain is more than intellectual, it’s something that is revealed to our hearts so that we can actually experience its power heal, restore, transform, and empower us - while it protects us from the lies and deceit of the enemy.

Last week I spoke about us choosing to spend a portion of our time each day, feeding our minds on various sources of good biblical truth.  In other words listening to, or reading teachings from people who know and love God and His Word.  People who have the fruit to show they’ve victoriously kept the faith by continuously standing strong and true in God, in spite of life’s challenges.  Many of these men and women of God are truly gifted and anointed to explain the scriptures and create in us a strong desire and hunger to study the Word for ourselves.

As we do, we find ourselves deliberately pursuing a meaningful relationship with the Lord in His Word; where He begins to dominate our thoughts, our attitudes, our words and our actions.  If we continue to follow this path, His Word, that’s alive in us, creates an atmosphere of heaven inside us that permeates the atmosphere around us, everywhere we go.

Which brings me to another practical step we can use to fortify our souls in the Lord, and resist the devil’s involvement in our lives. It is to take time throughout our day to acknowledge God’s control and presence in our lives.   

In Psalms 119:164-165 David said, “Seven times a day and all day long do I praise You because of Your righteous decrees. Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble.”

Purposefully acknowledging the Lord in everything we do, throughout the day, sets our minds on Him and brings His Presence right into our circumstances.  In fact, deliberately stopping ourselves in the process of our daily routine to acknowledge the Lord and His Presence in our lives mentally re-enforces us in faith, and keeps that wall of defence rock solid.

It makes it that much more difficult for the enemy to infiltrate our minds through any cracks, where he can wedge his own agenda into our minds.  

Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.” 

You see, no evil influence is going to be comfortable in the company of a person who’s thoughts are deliberately turned to God, and praising Him!  

Now, when Rick Renner was teaching this point, he said he had an alarm set to go off at 7 different times during the day.  This alarm interrupted what he was doing and remind him to stop and acknowledge the Lord and deliberately praise Him for His involvement in his life.  

Now, Understand this was never intended to become a legalistic ritual in Pst. Rick’s attempts to follow David’s example.  It was meant to set a habit to train his mind to regularly acknowledge the Lord in the midst of his busy day.

Do you know how powerful it is when we keep our minds full of praise instead of our problems?  For one thing it attracts the power and presence of God, bringing Him right into the heart of our circumstances!  It drives the devil right out of our thoughts and emotions and keeps us in a position of receiving supernatural help!  

I think establishing this habit of continually acknowledging God, and being thankful to Him, is well worth the effort - don’t you?

Spend your week focusing on this step and watch how you will remain strong, steadfast, and true no matter what you face.  Stay fortified in peace, and strengthened by joy, as every crack in your wall is filled up with praise! 

All my love,