God’s Intention is that Our Faith is Not Influenced By Circumstances, But By the Truth
When will you believe you’ve won? When you see a result or when you get the victory in your spirit? If you are waiting to see the victory before you believe, well you may never see it at all-Jesus said, “When you pray, believe,” not, “When you pray, wait and see and then believe.”
David (Before He was King) Had an Interesting Situation
David was trying to keep out of King Saul’s way, so he went to Gath in the land of the Philistines. Achish, king of Gath, gave David the city of Ziklag, and so Ziklag became his military base for a while. From Ziklag, David and his men attacked the enemy.
One day after a battle, David returned to the city and found that the Amalekites had ransacked Ziklag. They had set fire to the city and taken all the women and children away (the word “Amalekites” means “people that wring”). If that wasn’t enough, David’s own men were so upset they wanted to stone him. David put up with a whole lot from his “mighty” army. They did great when they were winning, though they often were fearful when they were losing. How about you?
God’s intention is that our faith is not influenced by circumstances, but by the truth. The truth will set you free from what may seem to be true in the natural realm. It may be “true” that maybe you don’t feel so good, maybe you are sick, but the truth is, “Jesus Himself took our sicknesses and bore our infirmities.” The truth is, “By His stripes you were healed.”
David had no one left-what a great opportunity to get discouraged and down! He might’ve said, “I need a worship CD; I need to find the prayer group,” but there was no worship CD and there was no friendly prayer group in sight. You know what the Bible says he did? “He encouraged HIMSELF in the Lord.” He had learned that secret, hadn’t he? In the Book of Psalms, he spoke to his own soul, “Why are you cast down, O my soul?…HOPE THOU in God.”
My friends in Orlando had a situation where it looked like they were going to lose just about everything. I mean, it was unreal the things that were stacked against them. Most people told them to give up, but they wouldn’t. They went after the “thief” and got back everything and more.
What You See Depends on Your Perspective
Someone told me one time, “Only Christians and mad people talk to themselves.” I guess that’s true, although the Apostle Paul said (paraphrased), “Speak to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
What about Paul and Silas in prison? They were in an inner prison. That’s a prison inside a prison. Their feet were fastened in the stocks. I am sure it was cold and damp. Does it say they whined and moaned and complained? “O God, why have You left us here? We are ministering for You. Where are the love offerings?” No. You know that they did? They sang praises to God. They made a lot of noise. I think they shouted.
Maybe they had a worship tape. Maybe they had a praise band secreted away in that prison. Or maybe there was a great preacher in the next (inner) cell? I don’t think so. Well, the prison couldn’t contain them and the angel showed up and responded to the praises-and then, guess what?
The doors burst open and the whole place began to shake, rattle and roll. But you see, they were not shaken. Why? Because they were in the Shaker. Best place to be in a shaking is in the Shaker. In the middle of it all, they were able to tell the jailor how to get saved.
Do you let your situations take all of your attention? If you stay in the Shaker you can stand still and minister to others. Maybe everything is whirling around you, maybe it looks all upside down. It depends where you are looking. God isn’t shaking. God isn’t wondering what to do.
I have a cartoon picture in a book by Arthur Burt. The picture is of a little boy and his sister standing in an elevator. The little boy had an ice cream cone and in front of him was a large lady in a fur coat. The girl says to the little boy, “Be careful, Willy, you are getting fur all over your ice cream.” What you see depends on your perspective doesn’t it?
David Had Confidence that God was Able to Do Everything He Couldn’t Do
Well, back to David! He was tired; he had been in a three-day battle, but he didn’t stand by and feel sorry for himself. Self pity is a spirit that keeps you from RECEIVING. You can’t receive anything when you sit around feeling sorry for yourself. David got mad at the Amalekites and took off after them.
Two hundred of the 600 men couldn’t make it; they were too weary. Do you know discouragement makes you feel weary? Here’s what makes a leader-true leaders are people who forget to ask themselves how they feel. I believe they were all weary, but 400 of them decided to go, regardless.
David and his men came upon a man in a field. The man was sick and dying. The Amalekites had left him behind because he was of no use to them. But David saw an opportunity, and the man ended up telling him where the enemy was camped out. A bit of compassion goes a long way. If the Amalekites had not left him behind, David wouldn’t have found them so quickly.
David captured those Amalekites, who were partying, and took back the women and children. Not only that, he saw a whole lot of cattle and sheep and added them to his inventory-their main wealth was in cattle and sheep. When he got home, his 400 men that went with him didn’t want to share the bounty with the 200 men who couldn’t make it, but David gave them all an equal share. “A brother is a brother,” one of my good black preacher friends once said.
When David was done restoring everyone’s family and their stuff, he sent presents to his friends. David was a “sharer.” That’s God’s heart in operation. Jesus shares His inheritance with YOU. The Father shared His Son with YOU. The Holy Spirit shares (reveals) truth to YOU.
David had confidence that God was able to do everything he couldn’t do. Have you ever been glad that you can’t do it? Then you have to let God.
The Bible says, “God looks to and fro over the whole earth seeking to show Himself strong on behalf of those that love Him.” He can’t stretch forth His mighty arm on your behalf if you’ve got your own arm in the way. We are great sometimes at praying our heart out and then trying to fix it.
God is Greater than Any Voice
I one time asked everyone to pray for my daughter Lisa. Lisa had her luggage disappear on her flight from Atlanta to Barcelona, then to Liverpool, Paris and London. When she got to Paris she was freezing, as all her warm clothes were in her suitcase. The problem was, the airline kept saying it was on its way and, well, you don’t want to go and buy all new clothes when your own clothes are just about to arrive. However, no suitcase arrived, and after eight days she gave up. By then she had to go and buy all new clothes-including suits for her business appointments, a coat, etc.
But I had a vision of a suitcase that had written on it the word “Found,” and in the vision I saw it being delivered to a hotel where Lisa was surprised. Day after day there was no case. When she went on to London, I said, “Lisa, you will get a surprise.” Well, her suitcase was delivered to her London hotel the day before she left!
A friend of mine who has been in the ministry for about 85 years always asks, “What do you do with your lemons? Do you make a face, or add some ‘Amens’ (sugar) and make lemonade?”
What you see in the spirit and witness in your spirit is more real than anything you can see with your eyes or hear with your ears. God is bigger than our concepts. He is greater than every voice raised in the natural, no matter what any “powerful” voice says. He spoke and the worlds were framed and the whole of creation sprang to life.