Today we continue our series, “Progress On Purpose.” I told you that God wants us to walk in “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!” But if we are going to do so, we must be intentional about our progress. With that in mind, as we lay the foundation for the year, I told you that I would discuss “Leveling Up” in five areas:
We have covered the first three thus far. Today we are looking at the fourth: Leveling up internally. In this section, I will cover the following:
1. Being anxious for nothing
2. Receiving unshakable peace
3. Joy and peace in believing
4. Relaxing your mind and getting physical/psychological rest
5. The highest form of faith is rest
Today’s message deals with the third, joy and peace in believing.
So what does this mean for you today? Let’s go back to our verse and seek to glean a few things from it.
(Rom 15:13 NASB)
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1. Faith vs. Senses.
This morning I will focus on the words “in believing” from Romans 15:13. Paul prayed that God would fill them (and us) with joy and peace “in believing.” What does this mean? What does it mean to be in what I call the “believing phase” of a breakthrough?
Webster says that the word “believe” means: to accept as true, genuine, or real. I add something to it. I say that the word “believe” means: to accept as true, genuine, or real, without the validation of sense-realm-evidence. This means that when you believe God, you are accepting something as a reality, although you cannot verify it with your five senses. So you cannot see it, touch it, taste it, smell it, or hear it. But you still believe it. Further, if you are truly in-faith, you actually accept it as true, without any sense-realm evidence to support what you believe.
I will attempt to explain. I don’t have to believe that I own a computer to send out Today’s Word. I can see it right in front of me right now, and I can touch it with my hands. Once I can verify something with my senses (as a human), I go from believing to knowing. I simply know I have it, and I am no longer required to believe.
Taking it to another level, faith comes by hearing (and receiving) the Word of God (Rom 10:17). When I receive a Word from God about what I am believing, it helps me to graduate from the belief stage to the faith stage. Faith adds substance to my hope; it adds power to my belief (Heb 11:1). Since I have a Word from God, and I know God cannot lie, I believe it is already done in heaven, and it is only a matter of time before “it” manifests in the earth. I then live with an active expectation to receive what God said, knowing that for Him, it’s already done, even though I have no sense-realm evidence to support what I believe. This is the life of faith, and it is how we are supposed to live.
2. My belief must be in ACTIVE MODE.
The letters “ing” at the end of the word “believing” indicates that my belief is active. So I am actively believing God for what I cannot validate with my senses. I am waiting on God for what I believe will happen, although it has not happened, and I have no human or natural way to validate my expectation for it to happen. Paul explained this well in 2 Corinthians 5:7, in the Easy to Read Version. It reads: “We live by what we believe will happen, not by what we can see.”
Not only must we believe God in the absence of sense-realm evidence to support what He is saying to us, but in many cases, we must believe God in the presence of sense-realm evidence that goes directly against what God is saying. But God requires us to believe anyway! God is looking for us to be active in our faith, believing that He will do what He said He would do, even though the evidence we have is directly against our expectations.
I may have a doctor’s report or another form of a report from man, but someway somehow, my belief system enables me to understand what the world has said, but still believe God. And not just a passive belief, but actively believing, which means that I enter every day with an expectation that my situation is going to turn around. I may not know how, but I stand on what God said, I openly declare what He said, and I refuse to allow what I see (with my natural eyes) to cause me to change what I say!
This time of actively believing can be a fragile one. The enemy will do everything he can to get us to cross over into frustration. Many times, the situation will get worse before it gets better, which is why need what Paul prayed. We need Joy and Peace while we are actively Believing! Joy gives us the excitement of expectation, and peace gives us the rest that comes from our overwhelming confidence in God. We need both – Joy and Peace – while we are believing!
— A so-called final word from man is not always final.
— Conclusions of human evidence can be overturned by the power of God.
— Your belief can enable you to expect that a God that you cannot see will show up in your life in a way that you can.
— You can have Joy and Peace In Believing!
— Your faith must be active. You cannot just passively accept everything that happens as the will of God. No, even when things get worse before they get better, you are actively believing God, you are actively standing in faith, and you are not moved by the evidence of this world. Why? Because you live off of a different reality. What God is saying to you is more real than what you see in this world!
*** And you do all of this with a smile on your face because you have JOY and PEACE! This is how we will LEVEL UP our lives in 2021!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I walk by faith and not by sight. I thank You for what I can see, but I am not limited to mere sight. I can see beyond where my eyes can look. I can see with my spirit through the lens of faith. I can see beyond human limitation. I can see beyond a report of man. I then believe what You enable me to see, and since I can see and believe the invisible, I know You can perform the impossible in my life. I am a believer, I walk by faith, and I have Joy and Peace In Believing! I LEVEL UP my life in 2021! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith, in Jesus’s name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!