Mar 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. Mar 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. Mar 9:25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. Mar 9:26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. Mar 9:27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. Mar 9:28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? Mar 9:29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
The passages above speak to us of believing and understanding the words that Jesus has written and spoken to us. Believing what Jesus says is very important but practising it is even more important. One cannot just hear a word and only believe but must demonstrate that belief by putting into practise what they have heard. Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; Mar 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Why is hearing, believing and practising the word important? They are important disciplines because one cannot exist without the other. If one only hears and does not activate what they hear, then they are just hearers of the word and not doers of the word. Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. Jas 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: Jas 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Verses 22 and 24 are connected. The PERSON IN QUESTION starts off by being a filthy person and looks into the mirror of correction. He discovers his true state of being and then walks away doing nothing about it. His state of being is the same without any change in himself to prove that what he had heard and recognised, he did something about. Many ask God to intervene in a broad range of their needs from rectification of a personal sin life to greater understanding of a deeper spiritual life and moving in power for miracles, signs and wonders; yet, rarely do they do what God tells them to do. This keeps them in a state of unbelief. As a result many blame God for the lack of change in their lives.
The Disciples of Christ had to learn to marry what they had heard with practical outworking by the application of the word. If fasting and prayer was required to cast out certain types of demons, then they had to fast and pray. This was a discipline they had not yet learnt but soon learned and were able to activate the word taught in their own lives. Many Christians have only waited for supernatural impartation in their lives to activate them but have not learned the disciplines of the word of God that follow supernatural encounters. Going from one supernatural encounter to another always requires a person to remain focused on the word in prayer and in understanding before putting it into practice. Otherwise, supernatural encounters have a way of misguiding a person into believing the wrong things and producing wrong and damaging results.
It is precisely in this discipline of placing oneself in the word that the foundation of our Christian faith is built and strengthened.
I have had the privilege of having countless numbers of supernatural encounters with Jesus and His ways. Yet, one thing the Holy Spirit always taught me was, to focus on the written word of God and draw from it the sustenance needed to have the next encounter. The word became important not only in the written context but in the manifestation of the word. This launched me into trusting the word that I had both heard and understood. This helped me outwork my life and produce results that came from another world other than human understanding. At times my speech and actions may have sounded way out because of what I believed and practised but the proof of the pudding was always manifest in the practical outworking of what I had believed and put into practise. This of course did not sit well with many because their understanding of the word was not the same as mine. Explaining what I believed and the practising of it in their midst drew many reactions. In the early days of my ministry, I was questioned, criticised and even asked not to do things that would jeopardize the belief of others.
Many today in the churches remain in the same way of their thinking because they have not encountered God through His word. They have merely intellectualised their faith based on human reasoning and have even accepted the supernatural encounters described in the Bible as mere stories not relevant for today’s modern man. As a result, healing, deliverance, miracles, signs and wonders are unacceptable to them. Furthermore, they have no insight into the revelation of God’s word for a generation that is seeking to know (encounter) God and not just to have an intellectual understanding of Him. If all we seek is an intellectual understanding of Him, we will soon be disillusioned and fall away into unbelief and become victims of the devil’s lies.
Saul, before he became Apostle Paul had intellectualised what God was saying and had become a Pharisee of Pharisees. He knew the Torah and God’s commandments to the “T”. However, he had not encountered the true God of the scriptures he was so familiar with. The Samaritan woman was in the same vein, living on religious beliefs rather than the living word. When both of them met Jesus, their lives were changed forever. Where did it leave them after the encounter? They needed the Spirit inspired word in order to continue their lives. This is where the true infilling of the Holy Spirit matters. He reveals the word continually in us because He lives in us and is the Spirit of the word which is TRUTH. When the Holy Spirit speaks, He can only speak the TRUTH as He is the Spirit of TRUTH. There is only one truth and it must manifest to substantiate the faith of men in it. Otherwise, human beings are lost. God is not a mystery anymore because of His given word are Spirit and Life to mankind. If He only limited Himself to His word engraved on stones, death followed as those words could not give life; they were Spirit given but not Spirit filled. Men took those words and made them God instead of the one who gave those words.
God’s words must be activated by Him in us and not by us in Him.
Ever since Jesus revealed to me the importance of receiving His spoken word as my sure source of truth, I have understood my dependence on two or three witnesses of His written word. Many have gone ahead of me in their understanding of the word and revelation but many have also become dead men’s bones because they have not understood the practical application of the word and longevity required of the abiding truth in a person. This is so because we live in a world that is influenced by the devil. The ones who have gone on and have revealed the truth of what they have learnt, have also demonstrated it in their lives and ministry over time. These are the men we need to learn from.
The residency of the word of God in a person’s life always builds a sure foundation in that person’s life which can be seen as a tower of strength
In Ephesians, we see this made true by the way God is building His habitation through the Spirit. First he lays a cornerstone called Jesus (Himself). Then He adds Apostles and Prophets (some of us) to form the foundation of His habitation. Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; then He adds living stones (the remainder of us) to complete the building. 1Pe_2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. In every instance, He is using His word (Jesus) to establish His building because it will stand the test of time. In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, several kingdoms came and went and finally God’s word as a stone uncut by human hands came and smashed all the kingdoms of the world and established itself as the true Kingdom. The truth of this is; no building built by human hands will stand. Secondly, only what God builds will be built. Thirdly, God will only occupy what He builds and not what we build for Him out of our own understanding. This is why we need to be led by the word and not take the word and build for ourselves and God what we think is right. Jesus was careful to do and say only what He heard His Father do and say. This takes the discipline of hearing and doing what God says we must do.
Whatever we do, let us seek God for His word as revealed to us by His Spirit and not our own interpretation of the word. Many will come using quotes of scriptures to establish their understanding of the truth. Yet, truth must be established by the proven ministry of the Holy Spirit in and through a person who themselves are established by the truth. Mere manifestations and miracles are no proof because there are many who will come in the last days who will use falsity to get into the sheepfold. Even immaturity will kill. Discernment is the need of the hour. How you then proceed will be determined by your faith in the word of God and what you yourself have heard and is purporting to be the truth. It takes a relationship with God through Christ and the Holy Spirit in order to be truly affirmed. Acts 2.22
Lots of love