Today we continue our series “God is faithful!” The Lord led me to 2 Corinthians 4. In this passage, we are looking at what it looks like to believe God is faithful. Because of God’s faithfulness towards us, we can withstand and overcome anything!
In our last message, we deal with verses 13. We will go back to it again today.
(2 Corinthians 4:1, 7-13, 16-18 TPT)
1 Now, it’s because of God’s mercy that we have been entrusted with the privilege of this new covenant ministry. And we will not quit or faint with weariness.
7 We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that this immeasurable power will be seen as God’s, not ours.
8 Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.
9 We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out.
10 We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.
11 We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.
12 So, then, death is at work in us but it releases life in you.
13 We have the same Spirit of faith that is described in the Scriptures when it says, “First I believed, then I spoke in faith.” So we also first believe then speak in faith.
16 So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day.
17 We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison,
18 because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
(2 Corinthians 4:13 TPT)
We have the same Spirit of faith that is described in the Scriptures when it says, “First I believed, then I spoke in faith.” So we also first believe then speak in faith.
Friday I taught on speaking words of faith from a believing heart. Your words matter, and speaking the language of faith is critically important to becoming the man/woman you are called to be. This is all part of the lifestyle of faith. Let’s look at two additional passages before we get into the meat of today’s message.
“I have made you a father of many nations.” This is true before God, the one Abraham believed—the God who gives life to the dead and who calls those things that are not as though they are.
There was no hope that Abraham would have children, but Abraham believed God and continued to hope. And that is why he became the father of many nations. As God told him, “You will have many descendants.” Abraham was almost a hundred years old, so he was past the age for having children. Also, Sarah could not have children. Abraham was well aware of this, but his faith in God never became weak. He never doubted that God would do what he promised. He never stopped believing. In fact, he grew stronger in his faith and just praised God. Abraham felt sure that God was able to do what he promised.”
“That which is has already been, and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by [so that history repeats itself].” (Ecc 3:15).
1. God calls the future from the present.
— The Bible says that God calls those things that are not as though they are. My point for today is that we, as His children, are supposed to live the same way. We must develop our faith to the point where we align our lips with what God enables us to see in the Spirit about our future. We must do this, even if what God is leading us to say is completely contrary to what we are seeing with our physical eyes. If we truly believe what God is allowing us to see (about things that are future to us, but past to Him), we must have the faith to say what we saw until we see what we saw!
— God knows the end from the beginning. He has knowledge of everything that will ever happen on earth. So when He speaks to you, He does so informed by every decision you will ever make and every blessing He will ever release in your life. This is why it is easy for God to speak to your “TO BE” stage from your “RIGHT NOW” stage. God literally calls those things that are not (yet) as though they are (right now) because He has already seen them come to pass in eternity and He knows that for you, in the earth, it is only a matter of time. This is how God attempts to LEAD US into the future He destined FOR US.
— The Holy Spirit reveals things to us about our future. These things are ‘future’ to us, but they are actually ‘past’ to God. Our future is God’s past, and He calls us into our future from our present. God can do this because He has already seen it. God has been to our future, and He reveals things to us about it in our present. This is how God looked at a barren man (Abram) and called him a “Father of many nations.” This is how God looked at a scared farmer (Gideon) and called him a “mighty man of valor.” This is how Jesus looked at the lame and called them into their healing. Jesus even looked at the dead and called them back to life. In every case, Jesus was being led by the Holy Spirit to say things that did not line up with His physical eyes. His body (or eyes) was telling Him one thing, the Holy Spirit inside of Him was revealing something else, and to live by faith, Jesus had to choose faith over sight. Jesus had the faith to say what He believed (on the inside) over what He was looking at (on the outside). As imitators of God, we are called to live the same way. This is what it means to speak the language of faith.
2. We are called to be imitators of God.
— Since we are God’s children, the Bible teaches us to imitate God, the way children imitate their parents (Eph 5:1). God calls those things that be not as though they are. He literally calls the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). We are supposed to live the same way. When you speak the language of faith, and what the Holy Spirit reveals to you is more real than what you see with your natural eyes, you are acting just like your heavenly Daddy!
— When God allows you to see what He already knows about your future, it is called revelation because God is revealing TO YOU what He already planned and prepared FOR YOU. When God does this, what He is looking for from you is faith. If you align your lips (your words) and your legs (your actions) with what God revealed, even if it flies in the face of everything you can see with your natural eyes, then what you are doing is living by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). You are choosing to believe what God revealed to you in the spirit over what you can see with your physical eyes. The only way to truly get to this point is by meditating and medicating on what God said. If you meditate on what God revealed long enough, it will become more real to you than what you see every day. It is then, and only then that you will be able to say what God said, with conviction, even if it has not happened yet, and then keep saying what God said until you see what God said. Simply put, living by faith requires us to speak the language of faith, no matter how long it takes.
— God is able to call those things that are not (yet) as though they are because He already knows what is going to happen. And since He wants us to imitate Him, as His children, He reveals things to us by His Spirit. When He reveals something to us, especially something that does not align with the current situations we are facing, He wants us to believe Him so much that we will SAY what He revealed, even in the face of what we see with our natural eyes. He wants us to SAY what He revealed, even when we have no sense-realm evidence to support it. Now, if we do, and if we imitate Him in this way, clearly calling in the future from the present, God is truly pleased. He is pleased when we believe Him so much that we are willing to open our mouths and say what He promised well before it happens. Anyone can give the testimony afterward. But those who are willing to SAY IT before they SEE IT with their natural eyes are men and women of God who are willing to speak the language of faith! This is part of how we can withstand and overcome anything.
3. Calling those things that be not (yet) as though they are should be an exercise in faith and not foolishness.
— When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord revealed to him that the time had come for him and his wife to have the promised child. At 99, Abram was past the human child-bearing age. Not only that, but his wife Sarai was 89 years old, and she had been barren all her life. Human limits mean nothing to God. God promised it, and He wanted Abram to align his lips with it. So God changed his name from Abram to Abraham. Abraham means “Father of many nations.” God wanted Abram to go around and introduce himself as “Abraham, the Father of many nations,” for nine months before his wife even had the baby that would lead to the promise. Abraham did it, and sure enough, nine months later, he and his wife had the baby. This is how you call those things that be not as though they are. It simply boils down to saying in the present what God has revealed about the future; and saying it like it is already done.
I will attempt to explain the difference between faith and foolishness. Some people don’t want to acknowledge their current situation because supposedly they don’t want to “claim it.” Listen, you don’t need to claim it. You are already living in it. Abraham’s testimony was that he and his wife waited 25 years for the promised child, and even after they were well past the childbearing stage, God gave them the promise. At 100 years old, Abraham’s body, from the waist down, was not working anymore. And back then, there were no ‘little blue pills.’ So Abraham had to believe God, even though his body was not working anymore and Sarah’s womb had never worked. She could not have children at 18 years old, much less 90. But they both believed God! Abraham spoke the language of faith, he went around introducing himself as a father, and it came to pass. The real testimony is in the fact that their situation was a real situation. His body was not working. Her body had never worked. They were both old. But God did what He said He would do.
Abraham called those things which were not as though they were. He went around saying, “Hello, my name is Abraham,” fully aware that Abraham means “Father of many nations.” He said this by faith because he and Sarah did not have any children. And the testimony was that although he and his wife were barren, they received the promise. What some people do today is go around and say, “I’m not sick” (when they are), or “I’m not this” or “I’m not that,” when they clearly are. Abraham did not go around saying, “I’m not old” or “I’m not barren” because that would be calling those things that ARE as though they ARE NOT. God told us to call those things that ARE NOT as though they ARE, not to call those things that ARE as though they ARE NOT. This is the difference between faith and foolishness.
To further explain, I will use a situation I encountered years ago. A young man who was a member of my church had a cast on his arm. His arm was clearly broken. He went to the doctor, and they put a cast on it. I said, “Aw man, you broke your arm. How long is it going to take to heal?” The guy said, “My arm is not broke! I don’t claim that. The devil is a liar!” This was not faith; it was foolishness. I said, “Dude, tell me how long the doctor said it would take to heal, and we can pray for God to speed it up. Or we can ever pray for God to heal you now. But if your arm is not broke, then you don’t need healing. Take the cast off!” This young man was calling those things that ARE as though they were NOT.
I will close with this:
— It’s okay to acknowledge your situation because if your situation is NOT REAL, then you don’t need a REAL breakthrough.
— Acknowledging the challenge is not “claiming it” or “speaking it” over your life. It’s just simply acknowledging what you are facing. The next step is speaking the language of faith over it. For example, Jairus came to Jesus and said, “Master, my daughter is dying. She is at the point of death.” That is acknowledging the gravity of the situation. But he then said, “But if you would come and lay hands on her, she SHALL recover and she SHALL live!” He acknowledged the situation first, and he then spoke the language of faith. If he had gone to Jesus and said, “My daughter is not sick! I don’t claim that.” Then Jesus would not have gone to his house to heal her. I hope you see the difference. Live by faith, not foolishness.
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me. I LEVEL UP by speaking words of faith from a believing heart. By Your Spirit, You have revealed things TO ME that You prepared FOR ME from the foundations of the world. These are things You will do in my future and You have revealed them to me in the present. Now, You expect me to speak what You have blessed me to see; to declare what You have revealed. As I do, I am calling those things that be not as though they are. I am calling my future into my present by faith. But I never call those things that are as though they are not. I walk by faith and not foolishness. I live by what You reveal, not just by what I see with my natural eyes. I SAY what You SAID until I SEE what You SAID because what You reveal to me is more real than what I see down here in this world. Therefore, I boldly declare, GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.