Today we continue our series entitled, “Grace and Truth” by continuing to look at by continuing to look at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus. Our main scriptures are John 1:14 & 17. Let’s look at them again.
(John 1:14 New International Version)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:17 New International Version)
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
In this series we studied Galatians 3, 4, and 5. We finally got to the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are going through all the fruit of the Spirit. We have been dealing with “faith that prevails” for a few days. We will continue today.
(Galatians 5:22,23 The Passion Translation)
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart, and
strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.
Last week I introduced you to four levels of faith:
1. Faith in the works (what you see).
2. Faith in the Word (what you read).
3. Faith in a rhema Word (what you hear).
4. Faith in God (the person).
We have dealt with the first two. We will deal with #3 today.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Rhema is a Greek word that means an “utterance” or “a thing said.” When you read the Word of God you get to believe what God said in the past. But when you hear a Word from God through the Holy Spirit, you get to believe what God IS SAYING to you in the present. Living by what God SAID is good, but living by what He IS SAYING is better.
2. Jesus was “the Word” in the flesh. But even Jesus studied the scriptures. This helps us see the importance of reading the Bible. We need to know what God said (past tense). But to be clear, Jesus did not just live by what He read. Jesus lived by what He heard. Jesus did not just live by what God said in the past. Jesus lived by what God was saying in the present. Guess what? God expects us to live the same way. The Father gave us the Holy Spirit so we could be connected to Him directly, Spirit to Spirit; so we can hear from heaven.
3. Jesus is our example. Jesus received His orders from headquarters (heaven) on a daily basis. This is how we are supposed to live.
4. The Holy Spirit is the key to hearing from God. The Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible. So when you read the Bible (what God said), the Holy Spirit will explain it to you. Further, and more importantly, while you are reading the Bible and seeing what God said in the past, the Holy Spirit will speak to you and tell you what God is SAYING in the present. This type of revelation is critical to becoming the man/woman you were born to be.
5. The scriptures are God’s will documented. The Word of God is the will of God on paper. I love the Word, probably more than most. However, I know that we must read the Word of God with an expectation to hear the voice of God. Living only off of what God said will leave you limited. You have to know what God is saying to you in each time and season, level and stage of your life. That is how Jesus lived, how He led His disciples, and how He performed ministry.
One morning, after making countless trips between His ministry headquarters in Capernaum and the religious leadership’s headquarters in Jerusalem, Jesus told His disciples that this time, on the way back to Capernaum, He felt a leading, a compulsion from the Father, to go through Samaria. The team made this trip countless times and they NEVER traveled through Samaria. The disciples did not like the idea at all. However, Jesus was being led to do so because the Father had scheduled a divine appointment with a woman at a well. Guess what? Jesus did not read that in the Bible. He heard that from the Father, through the Holy Spirit. I could give you countless other examples, but I believe you get the point. The Father wants you to live like Jesus lived, led of the Holy Spirit every second of every day. And when God leads you to do something, or He gives you a promise while you are praying, or through someone else, then that Word from God (a Rhema word) must be just as real to you as the written Word of God. Once you receive a Word from God you are positioned to have faith in what you heard. This is a greater level than just living off of what you read.
6. Jesus is not the only example of living off of a rhema Word in the Bible. You may not realize it, but there are examples all throughout scripture. We know Abraham got a Word from God to leave Ur of the Chaldeans and to become a “father of many nations”. He stood on that word for 25 years until he had the promised child, Isaac. Guess what? He did not read that in the Bible. There was no Bible to read. He heard that from God directly and he stood on that rhema Word. The same holds true for Gideon. One spoken Word from God converted him from a coward into a champion. The same holds true for David. He received a promise through the prophet, a spoken Word, and he stood on that Word for over 20 years until he became the king of Israel. The same goes for Joseph. He got a Word from God in his sleep. He had to wait over 20 years for that Word to come to pass. I could go on and on. The point is that Abraham, Gideon, David, Joseph, and many others, stood on a Word from God, and NONE of them were standing on a Word they read in the Bible. They exercised faith in what they HEARD from God, they believed that God would do what He said He would do. In EVERY case God did, even though it sometimes took decades! You are called and commanded to walk and live by faith. Are you?
7. In closing I will say that you can live a good life by simply reading what God said in the Bible and applying it. But you will never fully maximize your purpose until you learn to HEAR from God. There are things the Holy Spirit will tell you that are not written in the Bible. It is critical for the believer to be able to hear from heaven. My prayer for you is that you hear, and that you exercise faith in what you heard!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, You have given me Your Word and I love it. I read Your Word daily. I meditate and medicate on it day and night. It is the ruler by which I judge my decisions. However, I am not limited to Your written Word alone. You speak to me while I read Your written Word and You speak to me throughout the day. You speak to me through situations, through people, directly through Your Holy Spirit, through dreams and visions, and many other ways. When You give me a spoken Word and I receive it in my heart, that Word is just as real to me, and just as powerful, as Your written Word. I stand on Your promises with unwavering faith. I know every Word You have spoken over me SHALL come to pass. You said it and You will perform it. You promised it and You shall make it good! I live by faith in the Word I read and the Word I hear — in what You said and what You are saying to me! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!