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.
Setting the stage.
When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to explain the parable of the sower, and why He spoke in parables, Jesus explained, “This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving… But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” (Matthew 13).
In Mark 8, a passage we looked at yesterday, the disciples had an argument over the fact that they got on a boat with Jesus and they only had one loaf of bread to eat. They were basically “freaking out” because they did not have food. This was Jesus’ response:
Jesus said, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see? Are you not able to understand? Do you have eyes that can’t see? Do you have ears that can’t hear? Remember what I did before, when we did not have enough bread? I divided five loaves of bread for 5000 people. How many baskets of food were left over?” The disciples answered, “12 full baskets.” Jesus continued, “And when I divided seven loaves of bread for 4000 people, how many baskets did you fill with the leftover pieces?” They answered, “Seven full baskets.” Then Jesus said to them, “You remember these things I did, but you still don’t understand?”
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. God is a spirit and you require God’s spirit to understand His spiritual ways.
— The Father can give you a spiritual understanding of His Word and of His ways. But to those who are not sensitive to receive divine understanding, the Word of God makes no sense. Paul said that the message of the Word of God “comes across as foolishness to those who do not believe.” (1 Cor 1:18). Paul went on to say: “People who do not have God’s Spirit do not accept the things that come from his Spirit. They think these things are foolish. They cannot understand them, because they can only be understood with the Spirit’s help.” (1 Cor 2:14). This is why you should not get into a spiritual debate with unspiritual people. They cannot understand the Bible or the things of God without the Holy Spirit, so why debate it with them. The only thing in the Bible for the person who is not Born-Again is the message of eternal life through Christ.
— The Word of God is alive. The Bible is a spiritual book designed to speak to your spirit, not your senses. This is why the Bible does not have to make sense. You cannot validate the teachings of the Bible with sense-realm evidence. It’s the same with God’s ways. When God speaks something to you that He wants to do in your life, it requires faith to believe what you cannot validate (the way the world validates things). Without faith, you won’t believe it, because you cannot see it or prove it. But with faith, you can accept, believe, and launch out into the things of God, without any sense-realm evidence to support your actions, based solely on the internal conviction you have by the Holy Spirit.
— When God speaks to you through His Word or by His Spirit, if you have the faith and spiritual perception to see the Word, hear the Word, and understand the Word of God, your life will be changed forever.
— You must approach God, His Word, and His ways with spiritual eyes and ears. If you do, the Holy Spirit will give your spirit divine understanding. But if you don’t, God’s Word and His ways won’t make any sense to you.
— To be clear, you can be Born-Again, filled with God’s Spirit, and still choose to live your life the same way you did before you were Born-Again. Receiving God’s Spirit is not a guarantee that you will develop the spiritual perception to hear His voice, nor the spiritual discipline required to choose His will over your own. The Bible calls the people who are Born-Again but still rely on their flesh (and not God’s Spirit), carnal.
— In the parable of the sower Jesus explained that satan can (and will) come immediately to snatch the Word away from those who do not understand what God was saying. If that is true (and it is), then it is also true that he cannot snatch the Word from you when you have divine understanding. When you comprehend the Word of God, or when you have a clear understanding of what God is revealing to you by His Spirit, satan cannot take it from you. God’s Word is sown in your heart and it is an incorruptible seed that will produce a harvest in your life.
— Spiritual perception, discernment, and understanding are critical because you will never maximize what you do not understand. But when you SEE a Word, HEAR a Word, and UNDERSTAND a Word from God, you can be changed (in a moment) by that Word you SEE, HEAR and UNDERSTAND. It can happen at any time. So wake up every morning knowing that ONE WORD from God can change you forever. This is part of the excitement of walking with God.
1. When you walk with a level of spiritual understanding, you don’t lose your peace easily and you are not moved by the external conditions of this world.
— When the disciples were basically “freaking out” over not having any food to eat, Jesus was very upset with them. He scolded them for lacking spiritual understanding. He did the same thing when they were “freaking out” over a storm and they thought they were going to die. While they were full of fear, looking at the storm, Jesus was knocked-out sleeping. Jesus was not moved by the storm or the lack of food, because He was living off a different reality. He was so focused on the UNSEEN that what was happening in the SEEN did not move Him at all. This is the way we are supposed to live.
— At the end of Genesis 2, Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. They were so God-conscious and tuned-in to the Holy Spirit, that they did not even realize they were naked. The SEEN realm (the reality of their nakedness), meant nothing to them. They were led by the Holy Spirit every moment of every day until they sinned. When they sinned, the Holy Spirit was removed, they died spiritually, and they were resigned to living their lives as mere men. At that moment, when the Holy Spirit was gone, they realized they were naked. To be clear, they were naked before, but it was not an issue, because they were focused on the Holy Spirit. My point is that when you are led by God’s Spirit and you are fully in tune with Him, things in this world will not even register at times. You are will be so locked into God, that you will not be bothered or moved by the things that are happening around you. But if you fail to walk in the spirit, then it is easy for you to lose your focus and lose your peace.
— Christians freak out over things every day, only to realize later, when they look back, that the issue they thought was so big was actually a small thing God. It was not something worthy of losing their peace over, but they lost their peace because they lost their focus. If you want to withstand and overcome anything, you must maintain your spiritual focus. You must be locked in to the Holy Spirit every day!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me! I LEVEL UP by walking in the Spirit every day of my life. My expectation is tied to You, Your Word, and Your ways! Your Spirit enables me to SEE, HEAR, and UNDERSTAND what You have said in Your Word and what You are saying to me every day. In turn, I am changed by the Word I SEE, HEAR and UNDERSTAND. I walk in the Spirit and I do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. I walk in the Spirit and I do not lose my spiritual focus. And since I don’t lose my focus, I never lose my peace. Living this way, GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.