Balancing Faith With Fact

The greatest challenge for believers in the midst of our present international challenge is how to balance faith with fact. The Apostle Paul says, "...for we walk by faith, not by sight—" (2 Corinthians 5:7) Sometimes faith and fact agree. But there are times when they disagree. So how do we balance faith with fact?

First and foremost, our existence is by faith. Paul said we enter this grace through faith. "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;" (Ephesians 2:8-9) The author of the Book of Hebrews writes, "And without faith it is impossible to please Him (do His will), for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6) Our walk starts with faith, continues in faith, and finishes by faith.

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1) Faith is not only trust in God, it is complete trust in His Word. Faith cannot exist without God's Word. Faith comes from God's Word. "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17) The more one studies, learns, prays, and confesses God's Word, the stronger their faith is! No Word, no faith. Without faith, even a born again believer will be tossed about like a kite loosed in the wind.

The Apostle James said "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind." (James 1:5-6) "For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:6) God generously gives wisdom, without reproach. But to receive His wisdom, we must be walking by faith in God and His Word. Wisdom is one's ability to apply the knowledge of God's Word in any and every situation, by faith. Wisdom is the God-given ability to balance faith and fact.

Faith always takes precedence over fact. What I mean is, when faith and fact clash, faith always is the greater force. Why? Because genuine faith is anchored in Jesus, and His powerful Word. Here's a good example. When you are battling a physical sickness, no one has to convince you that you are sick. In a natural sense, that's a fact. So what do you do? Of course you would take the necessary actions to get well and remain healthy. Faith on the other hand, reaches beyond the natural. Faith believes and applies God's Word to your situation. Faith says, "by His wounds you were healed." (See 1 Peter 2:24). Faith applied brings in the supernatural.

In the above example faith and fact collide with one another. True faith believes God's Word. True wisdom is two-fold: Take care of yourself and apply God's Word to the situation by prayer and confession. Taking medicine does not mean you have no faith. But let me say, God's best for you and me is that by walking in faith (applying the word) we walk in health. And when we are attacked by the enemy, we first apply the Word in faith, not allowing the symptoms to distract us from it! And if necessary, we should seek medical help.

Remember I said there are times when faith and fact collide? I see and hear many Christians propagating the facts about the corona virus more than faith in God's Word. Knowing how serious the virus is should motivate God's people to pump out God's Word more than ever! Again, faith comes from hearing the Word of God. But a constant pumping out of the negative destroys rather than builds faith.

Christian believer, you are here for such a time as this. You are here to be a light in a very dark world at this very time. STOP pumping out the negative! Believe me, someone else will do it. Instead, propagate the Word of God! According to Jesus, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away." (Matthew 24:35)

I have no doubt this crisis will pass. Connie and I are doing everything we know (as directed by government and health officials) to stop the spread of it. But above all, we are trusting in our Lord Jesus Christ! We are pleading the covering of His blood over us and our families and the nations. We are confessing the Word of God and walking in faith. Faith and fact have collided through this crisis. We choose faith over fact, because Jesus is greater! He said, "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) Do you believe this? Yes? Then walk in it!

How To Pray The Prayer Of Faith

Prayer is the vehicle God has given us to communicate with Him. Prayer is also the vehicle through which we target others and do spiritual warfare against the enemy. But the vehicle is not effective unless it is loaded with God's powerful Word! So in order to pray the prayer of faith, we must load our prayer with God's Word. When we do, stuff happens! Supernatural stuff!

Do You Believe The Gospel?

Many folks are quick to say, "I believe in the Gospel!" So what is the Gospel? Actually it should be properly stated as "The Gospel of Jesus Christ." The word Gospel itself means "good news". So, do you believe in the good news of Jesus Christ? Jesus Himself said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." (Mark 16:15) Preaching the Gospel is proclaiming the good news about Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul says in Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel (good news), for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." So the good news (the Gospel) of Jesus carries with it the power to be saved! Rather than being ashamed of the good news of Jesus, Paul embraced and proclaimed the Gospel.

What a lot of folks don't realize is that there is more to the Gospel than what is being proclaimed by most. Many who proclaim the Gospel (which should be all of us) fail to proclaim the whole Gospel. The whole Gospel also includes the cost of following Jesus in addition to how to go to heaven, not hell. The focus of the Gospel should also be what it will cost you to give up your life and follow Jesus for the rest of your life, and throughout all eternity.

Listen to Jesus, "For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him..." (Luke 14:28-29) Knowing the cost up front prevents a shipwreck later. Have you ever wondered why some people end up falling away from Jesus later, down the road? Because the sinner's prayer they prayed was not prayed in earnest. Why was it not in earnest? Because they had no idea what it would cost them not only to be saved, but as the Gospel proclaims, to sell out and follow Him for the rest of their life. There was no surrender.

Jesus said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me." (Luke 9:23) This verse is extremely crucial because it states there is a cost to being genuinely saved. What is the cost? Everything! Total surrender to Him, and following after Him is a vital element of our salvation. When we fail to proclaim this aspect of the good news, many people pray the sinner's prayer but know nothing about denying self, taking up their cross, and following Jesus. When we present the Gospel in a way that coerces others to pray the prayer to ease the conscience, but not surrender their lives completely to Jesus, they eventually fall away from Jesus later when it becomes impossible to follow Him through the flesh. In all actuality they were not genuinely saved.

The rich young ruler in Mark Chapter 10 is a great example of the cost of following Jesus. In order to inherit eternal life Jesus said to Him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." (Mark 10:21) This was total surrender for a man who was extremely wealthy and owned much property. But Jesus didn't require that he just sell everything. He also required that he give all the proceeds away to the less fortunate. Can you imagine? He was to go from being filthy rich to having less than the poor! The truth is, he would be even richer! Instead, his treasures would be in heaven, and would supply his every need eternally! If he would follow Jesus, he would never lack while at the same time laying up infinite treasures in heaven!

There were lots of people who followed Jesus when He was on the earth. According to the Scriptures however, there were only a few that Jesus personally invited to follow Him. Could it be this rich young ruler would become the replacement for Judas, the son of perdition? We don't know this for sure, but we do know that when Jesus calls, He bids us to forsake everything for His sake and for the sake of the Gospel. "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel's sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life." (Mark 10:29-30) It's a shame the rich young ruler chose not to follow Jesus. I believe he was torn between giving up everything to follow Jesus and retaining his possessions. He walked away grieving.

Let's make sure we don't shy away from the whole Gospel thinking we might deter some from praying the sinner's prayer. We must lay it all out, the way it is so each person can make an informed decision. Even if they are deterred, they will have the whole Gospel to ponder instead of just some of it. The Holy Spirit can be more effective in the heart of a person who has heard and is hearing the whole Gospel. When they do choose Jesus, it will be real. God will do great exploits through one who is truly born again, not one just who prays the sinner's prayer to ease their own conscience.

Applying Jesus' Blood - The Recipe For Protection & Peace

I was recently reminded about the Children of Israel when they were delivered from bondage to Egypt. God began to fulfill His promise to them of a land of their own, flowing with milk and honey. He performed a miraculous feat for Israel, as He would do many times after that. Not only did God protect His people in the midst of the plagues He put on Egypt, but God demonstrated the power of protection and deliverance by the blood of the sacrificed lamb applied during the very first Passover.

God instructed Moses to have each family in Israel sacrifice a lamb and apply the blood of the lamb to the doorposts and lintel of each household. When the destroyer came to kill each first born, he passed over each and every home to which the blood had been applied. What a beautiful picture of how the blood of Jesus, the final sacrifice Lamb of God, covers and protects us when it is applied. Remember, the blood of the lamb was applied only by those who were God's people. In the very same way, only those who are purchased by the blood of the Lamb can apply His blood to themselves and their families for deliverance, healing, and protection.

In our current time there is mounting fear over the things happening in the world. From terrorism to politics to the Corona virus, fear is being planted in the hearts and minds of folks due the panicky reporting of the news media and through social media. I'm not saying that today's issues are not serious. Certainly we must be vigilant to take common sense precautions. We cannot ignore today's happenings. But listen to me carefully: Nothing, absolutely nothing is more powerful than the blood of Jesus poured out on the cross! Nothing! It's time that believers start believing that! Israel's experience is a keen example of applying the blood of the lamb to every single area of our lives.

As a result of applying the blood of the sacrificed lamb, God protected and delivered the Children of Israel from over 400 years of brutal bondage to Egypt. The destroyer could not touch them. But where the blood was not applied, death came and took each and every first born of man and beast.

Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world was offered up over 2,000 years ago. (John 1:29) Not only did the blood He poured out take away our sins, but it has  provided deliverance and victory; victory over the one who prowls about like a roaring lion seeking anyone he can devour. We who are purchased by this blood overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loves us! (Romans 8:37) But just like Israel, the blood must be applied!

Jesus, has died and shed His blood for all mankind. Those who believe and receive this enter into eternal salvation. And from that point forward the precious blood of Jesus is applied to every aspect of our lives. But again this blood must be applied.

What does it mean to apply the blood of Jesus? It's so simple many followers of Jesus miss it. To apply the blood takes faith. Simply stated, you deeply believe God's Word is the truth, and that it is more powerful that any situation, any force, any feeling, or any other thought patterns contrary to it. To believe God's Word is to believe that what God says takes precedence over anything else. But faith alone is not enough. You must confess what you believe. Confession is the evidence of genuine trust. This is the very spiritual principle by which we become saved. We believe in our heart and we confess with our mouth. "For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." (Romans 10:10)

Confession of what we believe is not just what we say to ourselves and others. Of course, it is what we pray to God. God's Word is activated in our lives and in our circumstances when we confess it back to Him. I love this passage from Isaiah 55:10-11: "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." God's Word comes from God! And much of what He says is fulfilled as we confess it in our prayers and when we speak it in our conversations. This is what makes our prayers and confession powerful.

When we look deeper into that first Passover over 3,000 years ago, we see that in order for Israel to be protected from the destroyer, the lamb had to die, and his blood shed. His blood had to be applied to the entrance to each home. This provided supernatural protection from death. In addition, this same blood had to be applied in order for Israel to be delivered out of more than 400 years of bondage. This blood protected Israel and freed them from bondage.

When I apply the blood of Jesus, I simply remind the enemy that I am covered in Jesus' blood, and thus delivered from ALL sin. As a result, I am covered and protected from ALL that came about as the result of sin. When I apply the blood, I also direct my my conversation to God. I thank Him that His blood has cleansed me, and that His blood (just like Moses, and Israel) protects me and my family from the attacks and ploys of the enemy. As I apply the blood, I ALWAYS use Scripture that pertains to my particular situation (not only verses about the blood). Remember, applying the blood of Jesus involves faith, and application/confession of God's Word.

You don't have to be rattled by all the political drama happening currently in our country. You don't have to be shaken by the panic-riddled news media. The blood of Jesus is more powerful than any and everything the world can throw any point in time! You are a child of God, covered in the blood. I encourage you, apply the blood to every area of your life. Then, walk in the incomprehensible peace of God, not the fear of the enemy.