The majority of our conversations are surface level conversations. Rarely do we break through the surface to discuss the real and the raw, the deep issues in life. We put floaties on and cling to the edge of the pool in shallow water. However, our Heavenly Father is saying, “Come out into the deep end with Me”. Yet we dismiss Him and stay within our comfort zones. Well, it’s time for a vertical reality check, because the Bible says from Genesis to Revelation that God deeply desires to have two-way conversations with us. Thus, virtual reality is transparency before God.
Finally, we must yield ourselves daily to the Lord in every facet of life. It is great to kneel before Him with our heads bowed and our eyes closed. This symbolizes utter surrender and reverence for both Who and what God is. It is also great to stand before God with lifted hands like a child reaching for their parent because it shows intimacy and the necessity of God’s Fatherhood. Reaching towards Him say, “I am Your child. I worship You. I praise Your name and surrender this situation to You, knowing Your strength is made perfect in my weakness”.
As Christians, we know “…the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8). We know that without the armor of God we are unprotected and exposed to Satan’s wiles. We know God is sovereign, and He alone has dominion over the entire universe; yet He allows the enemy to attack us. Why? If we were never under siege, if we never failed to wear God’s armor—which impossible—our growth and development would halt. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who live Him, and who have been called according to His purpose”. Thus, within His overriding will this allowance enables us to become more like Christ. Notice, the scripture does not say, “all things are good”. It says, if you are a Christ follower, God will place all things—good, horrible, and mediocre—into a pot, stir them, and eventually benefit those called according to His purpose. I recently prayed with a young man dealing with a horribly tumultuous life situation. He has been mistreated and taken advantage of in inexplicable ways. I looked at him and said, “Although you are depressed and your situation is abysmal, God will use it for your good. It may not be today, tomorrow, or six months from now, but eventually if you remain faithful to Him, Scripture promises He will mold you and strengthen you into the person He desires.” I left him with this verse: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:2-3).
God has a formula for faith. When we follow and live out His formula He places His hand on our lives. Scripture defines “the hand of God” as His power, protection, and provision in a person’s life. However, His hand will not be on upon us unless we submit and surrender to His mysterious math, His will. I don’t know about you, but I want the Lord’s hand on my life! His formula for faith is based on three equations:
Blessing + Expansion = Inadequacy: You might be thinking, “Ed, you mean I’m supposed to feel a bit fearful and scared?” Yes! You are right where God wants you. The apostle Paul, a man of faith and possibly the greatest Christian who ever lived next to Jesus, had a thorn in his flesh. Bible scholars believe this “thorn” was either a physical ailment or extreme life difficulty. He prayed for healing repeatedly to no avail. But, Jesus spoke through Paul and said, “My grace is sufficient for you…” Essentially, God’s grace is never insufficient. “…For my power is made perfect in weakness.” In response to Christ he wrote, “Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest upon me.” You see, Paul accepted his affliction as an addition. According to the Bible God’s power, provision, and protection “rested on his life”. In this context, the word “rested” means to throw a tent over. Thus, when we rest in God’s grace and power we are enveloped and covered by His love and mercy. I love what P.T. Forsythe said regarding pain: “It’s a greater thing to pray for pain’s conversion than pain’s removal.” We don’t live by God’s explanations. We live by His promises, and He has promised us His power and sufficiency in our inadequacy.
Say yes, the right yes, to God’s principles. If I say the right yes to God’s principles, then I’m going to meet the right people, and then I can say yes to his purposes. If I say the wrong yes to the wrong principles, I’m going to meet the wrong people and end up in the wrong places and missing the purposes God has for me.
Yes and no. The right yes or the wrong yes. I say the right yes, I’m going to be a success. The wrong yes, my life will be a colossal mess.
2 Corinthians 1:20, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ.”
Think about the promises of God. Think about God sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins and rise again. If God didn’t go back on that promise, he’s not going to go back on any other promise.
The verse continues, “…and so through Him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
We can say “Amen” to the promises of God. What does amen mean? It means “so let it be.”
I grew up around preachers. My father’s a preacher. Certain preachers say amen a little bit too much. I’ve talked to some preachers, amen, they say amen all the time, amen? I’ve played golf with some preachers. They’ll make a putt, they’ll go “Amen!” I knew one that used amen as a question. Amen?
So we can say amen to the promises of God. Let your yes be yes. Let your yes be yes—a word of commitment, a word of decisiveness, a word of affirmation.