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!
(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.
Yesterday we looked at Ephesians 3. Let’s go back to it again today.
(Ephesians 3:16-20 TPT)
16 And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.
17 Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.
18–19 Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!
20 Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.
Yesterday I closed with the following statement. I will start from there today:
“We have been learning how to withstand and overcome anything. Paul is teaching us in Ephesians that the key to walking in God’s divine might and explosive power is getting to the point where we are convinced He loves us! Once we are fully persuaded that God loves us, there is nothing we can’t do!”
So what does this mean for you today? Ephesians 3:17 says, “Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.” I will share a few things about faith and love.
I taught a series back in 2019 entitled “Grace and Truth.” In that series, I took my time to explain how we, as Born-Again believers, are no longer under The Law and how if we attempt to live under The Law of Moses, Paul says we have “fallen from grace.” Falling from grace has nothing to do with losing your salvation. Falling from grace has everything to do with relying on your performance instead of God’s immeasurable love and grace. I will share a few nuggets from that series with you today:
1. As New Testament, Born-Again, Spirit-filled believers, external ceremonial Laws or rules should no longer be our focus. We are not made right with God by performance-based religion. We are only made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ.
2. The focus of the Born-Again believer is to be led by the Holy Spirit, pursue what He leads us to do by faith, and maintain our love walk with God and man.
3. Faith is not about you telling God what to do because you can’t. Faith is not you grabbing a scripture and declaring it over and over, commanding God to perform it in your life, as if God is your servant and He is at your beck-and-call. Faith is about an agreement with and submission to God’s will. Faith begins where the will of God is known, which is why God gave us His Word and His Spirit. To live by faith, we must get God’s Word down in our hearts and then allow Holy Spirit to lead us in all things. Living this way, we are not focused on external rules. The life of faith is focused on the internal leading of God’s Spirit to do whatever He leads you to do; however, He leads you to do it.
4. Living by faith is about dying to self daily, submitting your will to God’s will, accepting what He wants to do in you by His grace, and then seeking to pursue it by faith.
5. If you don’t acknowledge and embrace the Love of God towards you, your faith will not work because you will inevitably make a mistake. You are human and flawed. You are not perfect. When you make a mistake, satan will tell you that you have disqualified yourself from what God promised. If you believe satan, you will cross over into condemnation and no longer believe God for the manifestation of His best. However, if you are convinced that God loves you and that He knew you were going to make a mistake before He gave you the promise, and He promised it to you anyway, you will press forward by faith. Because at that point, your faith is fueled by God’s love and grace.
6. For years, I thought Galatians 5:6 meant that my faith would work when I loved God and other people. Based on my thinking back then, if I did not operate in love towards God or others, my faith would fail. Thinking this way put pressure on me to perform, do things right, and love both God and man because I feared that my faith would not work if I did not. However, the entire letter to the church in Galatia compares human effort (the Law) with God’s effort (Grace). So, in context, Paul is not putting a requirement on you — to make sure your upward love towards God and outward love towards man is perfect — before your faith will work. That would be inconsistent/incongruent with the intent of the overall letter. Paul’s emphasis is on God and not us. Therefore, Paul must mean that faith works when we are convinced that God loves us!
7. I remember thinking, “If I don’t love others the right way it is going to stop my faith. Because Paul said that faith works by love.” When I thought this way, the pressure was on me to perform. The pressure was on me to do everything right and to treat everyone right. Now, I am not saying that we can treat others badly. That’s not what I am saying at all. My point is that Paul was not putting pressure on us to love to enable our faith. Paul told us that our faith would be strong when we know God loves us, not the other way around!
8. Your faith will be strong when you are convinced that God loves you and that He wants to use you by His Grace, not because you are so good. If you bring over a performance-based religious mindset to the life of faith. It is not going to work, because every time your performance does not measure up, you will mentally disqualify yourself and disengage your faith. If you understand what Paul is teaching in Galatians, you will realize that you are no longer under The Law, that your performance does not dictate God’s goodness towards you, and that your faith will only be strong when you are convinced that God loves you. God wants to bless you, not because you are good, but because He is!
9. If you attempt to live by faith without embracing God’s love in your heart, you will attempt to live by faith with your head. This is more mental assent than true faith. People who live this way people spend lots of time praying for things, making confessions, declaring this-and-that, but to no avail, because faith does not work from your head. Faith works from your heart. Faith works when the Holy Spirit leads you and when you believe God, despite your performance.
10. God’s motivation to bless you is His love, not your faith. What caused God to make plans for you, to seek you out, to save you, and to use you for His glory, is His LOVE and GRACE, not your faith or perfection.
11. When you are convinced God loves you, it puts you in a position to receive from Him. Your understanding of God’s love towards you helps you receive His grace by faith.
12. When you are convinced God loves you, it is easier for you to believe what the Holy Spirit is revealing, no matter how incredible or amazing it seems. Because at that point, you are believing God and what He wants to do in your life because He loves you, not because you are perfect.
13. When you are convinced God loves you, that He wants to bless you by grace, because of His everlasting love towards you, you will believe God with your confidence in Him and not you. This way, you know you don’t have to be perfect to receive God’s promises. You can actually rest in His love. I hope you better understand now what Paul meant when he said, “the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life” (Ephesians 3:17 TPT).
14. When you are convinced God loves you, your faith is truly energized. Your faith finds its strength in knowing that God loves you. When your faith is rooted in God’s love towards you because it is not contingent upon you, it is only contingent upon God and His tireless dedication to you and the plans He made for you before the foundation of the world.
15. Rest in God’s love and allow His love to become the very source and root of your life. This means that everything in your life should spring forth from this thought: “GOD LOVES ME!”
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me. I LEVEL UP by getting a revelation of Your love for me. I am convinced that You love me. I am Your beloved son/daughter. You love me just like You loved Your son Jesus. I did nothing to cause you to start loving me, and nothing I do will ever make you stop. You love me because You are so good, not because I am. You love me because You are Love and Love emanates from every part of Your being. I accept Your Love. I believe Your love. I embrace Your love. I am changed by Your love. I become Your love. I rest in Your love. Your love is my resting place. Your love is the very source and root of my life. My faith works because I know You love me! And this is how I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.