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Introduction

In 1987, a number of my friends were in critical situations. One man had terminal cancer. During a trip, he became so
sick that he was hospitalied, and the doctors said he would ne!er li!e through the night. "fter hanging on for a week,
the doctors allowed him to rent an ambulance and come home.
#is wife called me and said, $#e%s not e&pected to li!e through the night, and he wanted you to pray.$ 'he put the
phone to his ear, and I said, $Don%t you dare die until I get there.$ I went o!er to see this man, along with my associate
Don (row. )e began ministering to him nearly daily for about three months. )e would go by and *ust share the good
news of +od%s )ord with him.
It was amaing what the )ord did. )hen we first saw him, he couldn%t mo!e or e!en hold a phone to his ear. ,inally,
he began walking around, eating, and e!en getting about in the car. -he )ord of +od worked. "ll I did was share !ery
basic principles from the )ord with him.
During this same period of time, a woman in .onument, /olorado called. 'he was critically ill and was supposed to
ha!e surgery in three days. 'he was gi!en no chance of li!ing without surgery and less than a 0 percent chance of
li!ing with it. I shared the same truths with her and she li!ed. 1raise the 2ord33
#ere were two totally different people. -he man, already baptied in the #oly +host, fer!ently seeking the 2ord4
while the other had ne!er e!en heard of the #oly +host. -wo totally different people, with totally different
circumstances, yet both of them needed the same truths from +od%s )ord. I had taken many different things the 2ord
had taught me and applied all of them to these crisis situations, and the results were miraculous.
I began to pray about this, $2ord, it would sure be nice if all these different truths were compiled in one place in the
5ible. -hen I could *ust teach people from those scriptures on what to do in a crisis situation.$ -he 2ord answered that
prayer by leading me to 6ohn 17, 10, and 18.
)hat you%re reading is the result of what the 2ord taught me through those scriptures. .ay +od bless you in reading
it.
"ndrew )ommack
/olorado 'prings, /O
/hapter 1
Don%t 1anic 9 5elie!e
Spiritual First Aid
)hat is the first thing you should do in a crisis situation:
One day as I was reading 6ohn 17, 10, and 18, the 2ord began to gi!e me the answer to this ;uestion. In 6ohn 18<1,
6esus says, $-hese things ha!e I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.$ "ccording to .ark 7<17, when a
person is offended, 'atan takes the )ord of +od from them.
In other words, when you are offended, the )ord of +od stops releasing its life=gi!ing power in your life. )hen you
take offense, when you get hurt, the )ord stops operating. -he 2ord said, $-hese things >6ohn 17, 10, and 18? ha!e I
spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.$
6esus said this to #is disciples the night before #is crucifi&ion. In 6ohn 1@<@A=@@, 6esus said #e knew all things that
were going to come upon #im. #e knew all things that were going to come upon #is disciples too. #e was totally
aware of the situation. #e came to #is disciples to gi!e them some last=minute instructions before the most trying time
they%d e!er e&perienced in their li!es. It surpasses anything that you or I e!er ha!e or e!er will encounter.
-hese disciples were literally the people 6esus was going to use to establish #is church and o!erthrow 'atan%s
kingdom. -herefore, I belie!e 'atan threw e!ery bit of discouragement, doubt, confusion, and torment he had against
them. It was a crisis time. -hey had forsaken families, careers 9 e!erything 9 for 6esus. "nd they were in a situation
that was going to test their faith, that 6esus was the .essiah e!en.
6esus said, $I%m speaking these things to you that you should not be offended.$ In other words, if the disciples had
taken heed to what 6esus told them here, they would not ha!e been offended. -hey could ha!e re*oiced during that
!ery trying time.
'o 6ohn 17, 10, and 18, in capsule form, is e!erything you need to know in a crisis when your faith is being tested. If
this doesn%t apply to you at this moment, hang on 9 it will. B!ery one of us needs to know this. )e need to be
schooled in these precautions before the crisis hits. )hen a crisis hits, your !ery first reaction 9 the first thing you do
when 'atan attacks 9 usually determines the outcome.
The Fires of Adversity
Cot long ago, I was reading a book called -error at -enerife.
It reminded me of what we%re talking about here. -his man, Corman )illiams, was in the accident on the /anary
Islands in which two huge 777s crashed on the runway and burned. Only a few people out of 0DD or more escaped.
-he rest were killed.
It was miraculous how )illiams got out. #e looked at the people on either side of him, and it was so hot, the flesh *ust
melted off of them. -hey became skeletons instantly. #e said that people who were normally nice 9 little old ladies
si&ty or se!enty years old 9 yelled things so !ile it was unbelie!able. #e couldn%t describe it. -he things that were
hidden deep in their hearts came out in a crisis situation and bothered him more than anything else.
5ut what came out of his mouth was different 9 he%d been seeking the 2ord. #e had agreed with his mother before he
left on the trip that he%d be safe. -he first thing to come out of his mouth was his faith that +od would protect him. #e
had a huge fireball come right at him, but he wasn%t burned. -hen a landing gear came flying at him. #e *ust caught
the thing and threw it off. -here was an e&plosion right abo!e his head, and the plane, ten feet high at that point, was
torn open. #e *umped up right through that hole, e!en though he was fifty years old and o!erweight. +od
supernaturally deli!ered him.
Corman )illiams didn%t ha!e time to sit back and ask, $Cow let%s see, what should I do in this situation:$
First Things Last
Eour first reaction is going to determine the outcome in a crisis situation. 'eldom do we ha!e the lu&ury of sitting
back and looking at things. -he attitude you ha!e when 'atan comes against you is going to determine the final result.
If you can get a hold of this truth, it will re!olutionie your life. I%!e been teaching this e!erywhere I go, and I%!e seen
more results out of it than anything I%!e e!er taught. It%s based on simple truths from the )ord, but if you get
established in them, they%ll keep you from being offended, and the )ord of +od will produce in your life.
In 6ohn 17<1, 6esus says, $2et not your heart be troubled< ye belie!e in +od, belie!e also in me.$
Cow this is so simple that you can miss it. It%s !ery profound, howe!er. -he first thing you ha!e to do when 'atan
comes against you is to make the decision that you are not going to let your heart be troubled.
If you were to diagram this sentence, the understood sub*ect is $you.$ Eou let not your heart be troubled. +od ga!e
you the choice. +od ga!e you power o!er your heart.
"gain, this is so simple we often miss it. -he !ast ma*ority of people I deal with who are attacked by 'atan don%t
really understand this. " lot of them belie!e that in a gi!en situation, there is no way that they can help but to be
depressed and discouraged. -hey *ustify emotions that are contrary to +od%s )ord. 5ut this is a command as much as
any other command in the )ord 9 as much as $thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, and thou shalt not
kill.$ It is a direct command from the 2ord3
'o the !ery first thing you ha!e to do is say, $I am not going to let my heart be troubled.$
Depression Getting Christians Down
"s I tra!el, the biggest problem I encounter in the body of /hrist is discouragement and depression. "t least three=
fourths of the people I deal with constantly battle these emotions. -here is no e&cuse for it 9 there are reasons, but no
e&cuses.
)e%!e gotten to the point that we think these kinds of emotions are normal. " lot of people try to resist and walk in
!ictory, for a brief period of time. -hey ha!e bounds, or limits, to how far they%ll go in belie!ing +od. )hen certain
things happen, such as someone dying, they say, $)ell, how could you e&pect anybody not to be discouraged or not to
grie!e:$
)ell, I guarantee you the 2ord 6esus /hrist has borne our sorrows and carried our griefs3 -hat%s not to say that you
don%t miss a person, but there is no *ustification for getting into grie!ing which becomes destructi!e.
Who's in Control Here
)e ha!e an authority as belie!ers that most /hristians ha!e missed. 'atan doesn%t ha!e any control o!er your heart
and circumstances 9 he cannot control you unless you let him. In Deuteronomy @D<19, +od speaks through .oses, $I
call hea!en and earth to record this day against you, that I ha!e set before you life and death, blessing and cursing<
therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may li!e.$
If you were to diagram this sentence, $you$ is again the implied sub*ect< therefore, you choose life. +od ga!e you the
choice o!er your heart. -his is powerful, but again, people ha!e missed it and ha!e allowed themsel!es to *ustify
feelings and emotions that are contrary to +od%s )ord.
,or e&ample, we say, $'ure, I%m supposed to lo!e my brother and sister, and I%m supposed to walk in lo!e.$ )e try to
do that at church and sometimes in the world. 5ut e!erybody has one person who really gets under their skin. 'o we
*ustify feelings that are contrary to what +od commanded us to do. )e say, $)ell, +od can%t e&pect me to lo!e that
person.$
A !arriage of Convenien"e
In my marriage counseling, people in!ariably say to me, $5ut look what this person did,$ and they begin to tell me all
the terrible things their mate has done. -he purpose of this is to *ustify their feelings. -hey say, $I know I%m not
supposed to be depressed and discouraged. I know I%m not supposed to be angry, but look what they did.$
)hat they%re really saying is, $)ell, this *ustifies my feelings, this *ustifies my depression, this *ustifies my actions.$
5ut there is nothing that *ustifies our being less than what +od called us to be.
It doesn%t matter what comes your way 9 death, physical problems, financial problems, relationship problems 9
whate!er the de!il is fighting you with. +od has gi!en you the ability to o!ercome it. 5ut you ha!e to choose. If you
identify with discouragement, doubt, and depression, you set a precedent that will ensla!e you the rest of your life.
A Lot of #nowledge Can $e a Dangerous Thing
Eou can take all I%m ministering in 6ohn 17, 10, and 18, you can learn about faith, you can learn about confession, you
can learn e!erything the 5ible says. Eet, in your heart, if you%!e taken offense, if you%!e been hurt, if you submit to
feelings of depression or discouragement, you%ll wipe out e!erything good. Cothing is going to work.
-hat%s why some people can take all the steps people outline for them, memorie them and carry them out, but if their
hearts are discouraged to begin with, it won%t work. -hey ne!er were standing in faith.
"gain, the first thing you ha!e to do is grab a hold of your emotions and say, $In the name of the 2ord, this thing is
not going to get me.$ Eou ha!e the ability to do that. -he 5ible says that #e set before you a choice. #e e!en tells you
which choice to make. 'o, ob!iously, we ha!e the ability to choose. It%s a lie that you cannot control your emotions.
Our generation has been saying that you can%t pen up feelings and emotions, you need to !ent these things and let them
out. -his psychology has had a greater impact on the church than most of us realie. I agree that you aren%t supposed
to bury things and let them fester. 5ut you are supposed to get deli!ered of them, re*ect them, and resist them. +i!ing
!ent to emotions that are contrary to what +od tells you is not a positi!e thing. It%s a negati!e thing that allows 'atan
to ha!e freedom in your life.
As a !an Thin%s&&&
1ro!erbs A@<7 says that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. "re you depressed: Eou%!e been thinking about things
that depress you. "re you sick: Eou%!e thought about things that make you sick. "re you discouraged: Eou%!e been
thinking about things that are discouraging.
Eou may not ha!e said, $)ell, I want to be sick.$ 5ut your thinking is sick, and that%s the reason you are sick. Eou
may not ha!e said $I want to be poor,$ but your thinking is poor, and that%s the reason you%re poor. Eou may not ha!e
said $I want to be depressed,$ but you%re thinking on depressing things, and that%s the reason you%re depressed.
)e are 1DD percent what we ha!e chosen to be. It is !ital that we understand this. Eou cannot say that a person is 1DD
percent a product of their en!ironment because I can show you people whose parents were alcoholics or drug addicts
or child abusers, and they chose to go the other direction and li!e !ictorious li!es. "s a matter of fact, some of them
say, $)hate!er happens, I%ll ne!er be what I%!e seen.$ "nd they do it.
-herefore, our e&periences are a results of our choices, not our en!ironments. Bn!ironment is a factor, but our choice
is the deciding factor.
Fnbelief, fear, and panic are choices. )rong choices. -here may be many reasons we ha!e been taught to respond that
way, but ultimately, the decision is ours.
A For% in the 'oad Choose (ne
Eou can react two ways when a crisis hits you. Eou can choose to be encouraged or discouraged. Eou do not ha!e to
be defeated in a crisis. Eou do not ha!e to fear. Eou do not ha!e to be depressed.
B!en many churches preach that you ha!e mountain tops and !alleys in your relationship with the 2ord 9 up and
down, up and down. 5ut you don%t ha!e to be that way. If you%re not ha!ing a great time with the 2ord, if your
relationship isn%t a constant upward trend, it%s not because +od makes it that way, it%s because you%!e followed wrong
thinking. Eou belie!ed a lie, and you allowed your emotions to go up and down. Eou%re following your emotions
instead of following your faith.
'o the first thing you ha!e to do in a crisis situation is grab a hold of your emotions, grab a hold of your heart, and set
it in the direction you want it to go. Don%t allow circumstances to dictate how you feel and how you%re going to react.
-hat%s pi!otal. It%s important that the moment something comes against you, you make a decision right then.
Thou Hypo"rite)
-hat decision does not ha!e to be based on how you feel. Eou may feel hypocritical in saying, $I%m going to praise
+od e!en though I feel depressed.$ Eou may think, $)ell, I%d be a hypocrite if I went ahead and acted like e!erything%s
okay.$
Eou%re actually a hypocrite when you go on your feelings because the true you, your spirit Gthe born=again part of
youH, is re*oicing with *oy unspeakable and full of glory all the time G1 1et. 1<8H. -here is always lo!e, *oy, peace,
long=suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance in your spirit G+al. 0<AA=A@H.
'o the decision depends on which self you consider to be the real you. If you consider the emotional part of you to be
the real you, you%re a hypocrite for acting differently. 5ut if you see yourself in /hrist 6esus, recognie that you are a
new creature, and look at yourself through the word of +od, the true you, the spirit, will come out.
Eour spirit ne!er gets depressed, it ne!er gets discouraged, it ne!er gets fearful. If you feel anything contrary to that,
you%re a hypocrite 9 from +od%s standpoint 9 if you go by those feelings. ,or e&ample, somebody says something
that hurts your feelings. )hat are you going to do: Eou%!e got a choice. Eou can either get down and gripe and
complain about it, or you can grow up and forgi!e the person.
Train *p a Child&&&
-hat%s what we%re really dealing with here 9 growing up. -he same principles used for child training apply here. .ost
of us ne!er grew out of doing whate!er we felt like as children. 5ut it doesn%t ha!e to be that way.
-ake children, for e&ample. )e gi!e them certain responsibilities and they do them. )e don%t care whether they feel
like doing them or not. -here are some things you *ust ha!e to do. Eou *ust ha!e responsibilities. I teach my kids that.
)e%!e adopted that attitude as far as work goes 9 we ha!e to get up and go to work. -here are other things we ha!e to
do 9 pay ta&es, obey the law, pay our bills, etc. 5ut in our relationship with the 2ord, we%!e gone back to being like
children in a lot of ways.
Eou don%t feel happy: )ell, grow up3 )ho cares how you feel: 'top caring how you feel 9 you are blessed GBph.
1<@H. Eou%!e got the *oy of the 2ord inside of you. Eou can choose to be happy if you want to be happy. Eou can
choose to be blessed. Eou can choose to be e&cited about the 2ord if you want to be.
'ome people may be thinking, $Cow, wait a minute. Eou don%t know my situation. I agree with what you%re saying, but
sometimes you *ust can%t o!ercome.$ )ell again, you%re putting your e&perience, your natural feelings, abo!e what
+od%s )ord says. +od ga!e us a command to not let our hearts be discouraged, to not let them be troubled. Eou can do
that. +od would be un*ust to command us to do something that we don%t ha!e the power to do.
In Deuteronomy A8<70=77, the 2ord said #e was bringing *udgement on the children of Israel $because thou ser!edst
not the 2OID thy +od with *oyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things.$ #e held them
accountable for their emotions3
In 6ohn 18<@@, 6esus said, $In the world ye shall ha!e tribulation< but be of good cheer4 I ha!e o!ercome the world.$ In
this one !erse 6esus made it clear that #is command to be of good cheer was not *ust for the good times. 5ut e!en in
tribulation, be of good cheer33
Eou can and must control your emotions3
Can God Handle C+C+C+Can"er
Eou%!e got to recognie that +od has gi!en you power o!er any situation. " lot of people can walk in faith if they ha!e
a cold or a cough, but if it%s cancer, that%s different. 5ut there is no difference in the sight of +od. If they tell you that
you are going to die of cancer, you can make a choice not to let your heart be troubled.
I could gi!e testimony after testimony after testimony of people who ha!e done this. "ny situation that you find
yourself in, I guarantee I can find somebody who has faced the same situation and has come through it with flying
colors. "nd if you don%t know somebody, you can go to +od%s )ord and can find someone in a situation that was e;ual
to or worse than yours, and yet they came through.
If you%re depressed, if you%re discouraged, no matter what%s happening to you 9 and I make that statement without any
reser!ations 9 it%s because you%!e chosen to submit to those feelings. Eou%!e made the wrong choices.
,o Conde-nation
Cow some people will think, $)ell, that condemns me.$ 5ut it shouldn%t. It should con!ict you and encourage you at
the same time because if you%re the one who made the wrong choices, you can change e!erything by making the right
choices.
-his doesn%t condemn me. It blesses me because if some things are *ust too big for +od, I%m in bad shape. "ll I can do
is learn to roll with the punches, ha!e people show pity for me, and feel sorry for myself. 5ut if +od has an answer,
and if the only reason I%m e&periencing the difficulty is because I made wrong choices, that blesses me 9 because I
can change me. I can%t change +od, but I can change me.
)hen you ask some people how they are, they immediately begin to tell you e!ery bad thing that has happened to
them 9 $I don%t feel so good and the kids are sick and my rent%s late$ and on and on. )hat they are doing is *ustifying
their feelings. -hey actually get some kind of glory out of telling you how bad they feel. " person like that is ne!er
going to break out until they make a choice that they%re going to be different.
Let the Wea% Say&&&
Instead of being a weakling, you can choose to be strong in the 2ord. 6oel @<1D says, $2et the weak say, I am strong.$
Eou can choose !ictory. Eou can identify with !ictory. Isaiah 07<17 says, $Co weapon that is formed against thee shall
prosper4 and e!ery tongue that shall rise against thee in *udgment thou shalt condemn. -his is the heritage of the
ser!ants of the 2OID, and their righteousness is of me, saith the 2OID.$ If that%s the truth, then how can we *ustify
being defeated, or *ustify the fear we feel: )e cannot *ustify it.
-he answer is to recognie that we%!e made a wrong choice. -he answer is to repent and to begin saying that it%s not
the problem, it%s not these people, it%s not that circumstance, which is causing all of my problems. -hat%s the $"dam
syndrome,$ where "dam said it%s that woman that +od ga!e him. #e pushed the blame off on B!e, then tried to put it
on +od G+en. @<1AH.
'ome people do the same thing. $)ell, it%s the flu season,$ they say. $-he bug%s going around.$ In other words, it%s that
bug%s fault instead of your fault for making a wrong choice. Or, to put it another way, it%s +od 9 $+od, why ha!e you
allowed this thing:$
+od did not allow the problems in your life. -he bug is not your problem. Other people are not your problem. Eour
mate isn%t your problem. -he people at work aren%t your problem. -he economy is not your problem. Eou are your
problem.
I was teaching on this one 'unday in church. )hen I said $-here is no *ustification for your depression,$ a woman
sitting behind one of the pastors said $Fnless you ha!e a chemical imbalance.$ 'ome people try to push it off on
chemical imbalances in the body. -hat%s not your problem either.
If you ha!e a chemical imbalance, then get healed3 -here is no *ustification for being less than what +od told us to be.
It is my opinion that e!en those who really do ha!e a chemical imbalance ha!e thrown that balance off through wrong
thinking.
"gain, there is no condemnation in this. +od lo!es you. Eou can go to be with the 2ord depressed, defeated, and
discouraged if you want to. +od still lo!es you. #e is not condemning you 9 and neither am I.
I%m saying that if you want !ictory, it%s a!ailable. 5ut it starts with you making a choice. It starts with you recogniing
that no weapon formed against you can prosper, unless you choose to let it prosper GIs. 07<17H.
+od ga!e you the choice o!er life and death. If you are e&periencing death instead of life, it%s because you made a
wrong choice. +od will not make the choice for you. 'atan cannot make the choice for you. If you aren%t healthy,
happy, and prospering, it%s because you%!e made wrong choices.
.ro/le-s or Choi"es Ta%e 0our .i"%
2ike any ministry, we%!e had financial problems from time to time. 5ut I li!e by the same thing I%m teaching you. I
don%t think I brought these problems on specifically by what I did, but as I grow older in the 2ord and get wiser, I%m
sure I%ll make better decisions that will a!oid many of these problems.
#owe!er, I%!e made some critical choices, and one thing I%!e chosen is not to let my heart be troubled. 1eople on my
staff ha!e come to me saying, $Eou must not ha!e gotten the full picture 9 you don%t understand how bad this is,$
because it hasn%t bothered me.
5ut I understand e&actly how bad it is.
If you begin to walk in these principles and choose not to let your heart be troubled, I guarantee you it%s going to upset
people. 1eople will think you%re a $brick short of a load.$ Eour ele!ator doesn%t go all the way to the top. Eou%re one
donut short of a doen. -hey%ll think something is wrong with you because you aren%t acting normal.
5ut praise +od, we aren%t supposed to be normal3 +od made us to be a supernatural people.
See% the Lord or Get 'eady)
)hen a crisis hits, you need to be prepared. Eou need to ha!e your heart ready. I%!e been meditating on a scripture
lately in A /hronicles 1A. -his is the story of (ing Iehoboam, 'olomon%s son. #e started out good. #e started seeking
+od, but he turned out bad and actually got into idolatry. It says, $"nd he did e!il, because he prepared not his heart to
seek the 2OID$ G!erse 17H.
Iehoboam didn%t want to do e!il. #e started out doing the right thing, but he gra!itated toward e!il because he didn%t
prepare his heart to seek the 2ord. #e didn%t commit himself. #e had a desire to do it, but his heart was on other
things. It wasn%t single upon the 2ord.
)hen you come into a crisis situation, if you ha!en%t chosen to seek the 2ord, if you ha!en%t already made some
decisions, your heart is going to gra!itate toward fear. It%s going to gra!itate toward depression, toward negati!ism,
toward defeat. Eou%!e got to commit yourself. Eou%!e got to fi& your heart so that no matter what the de!il does, you%re
going to walk in !ictory. Eou%re going to keep your eyes on the 2ord.
Eour attitude should be, $'atan, you can%t do enough to keep me from thinking on the 2ord3$ If you ha!en%t made that
commitment, you%re a problem waiting to happen 9 and it%s going to come.
The Great !elting .ot 1ietna-
)hen I went through the ser!ice, I only heard one good thing from a chaplain the whole time I was there. .ost of the
chaplains I had weren%t born again. -he day we got our orders to go to Jietnam, grown men began to cry. It was a
tragic situation.
-his chaplain came in to console e!erybody. #e said that the "rmy and its e&periences, including Jietnam, was a fire.
It will melt you. 5ut you%ll fit into whate!er mold you%!e picked for yourself. -hat was a true statement.
5ecause I had already set my heart on the 2ord, I was determined that I was going to go all the way for +od. "ll the
pressures, all the horror I went through, dro!e me that much more to the 2ord. )hen I came out of Jietnam, I was
stronger than horseradish3 I was walking with the 2ord, the *oy of the 2ord was in my heart, and I was a thousand
miles further in my /hristian walk.
" lot of other soldiers didn%t ha!e that e&perience. -here were many who weren%t necessarily e!il. -hey probably had
ne!er done anything bad to speak of back in the 'tates. 5ut put under that kind of pressure, with no restraints upon
them, with e!erybody else doing it, these good, moral people, these churchgoers, these upstanding citiens, went the
other route.
One after another, I saw them go in to prostitutes, get drunk, take dope, and do e!ery other terrible thing. It was
because their hearts weren%t already fi&ed. -hey hadn%t prepared them.
Swaying Li%e the .sal-s
In 1salm 7A, the writer is talking about all his problems. #e says that as the deer pants after the water brook, so his
soul pants after +od G!erse 1H. #e says that he desires only +od, and the reason he desires +od is that things aren%t
going well for him. In !erse 0, he says, $)hy art thou cast down, O my soul: and why art thou dis;uieted in me: hope
thou in +od< for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.$
In other words, right in the middle of his complaint, he says, $)hy am I discouraged, why is my soul cast down: I can
hope in +od. I%!e got a co!enant with +od. #e%s on my side. )hy should I be discouraged:$
-hen he goes back to complaining and ends the chapter with $)hy art thou cast down, O my soul: and why art thou
dis;uieted within me: hope thou in +od< for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my
+od.$
In chapter 7@, he complains again. ,inally, in !erse 0, he says, $)hy art thou cast down, O my soul: and why art thou
dis;uieted within me: hope in +od< for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my +od.$
#ere is the writer of these psalms talking about all the frustrations that are coming his way, but he had to constantly
remind himself, $)hy am I discouraged:$ Eou need to ask yourself that same ;uestion.
)hy are we discouraged like people who don%t ha!e a +od: #ow could we e!er go back to the le!el of
discouragement and despair we had before we were born again, after +od has done so many great things for us:
)e need to recognie that it%s not +od who doesn%t ha!e power. It%s not +od who is not faithful. )e are the problem.
)e%!e missed it in the !ery first thing 6esus commanded #is disciples to do 9 we%!e let our heart be troubled, and we
feel *ustified in doing it. -hen we wonder why we aren%t prospering, why we%re sick, why we%re depressed. )e ha!en%t
e!en chosen life. )e%!e chosen death.
David Hu-/les Hi-self
In 1 'amuel @D, Da!id had been anointed to be king thirteen years before the te&t was written. ,or thirteen years,
Da!id had prospered. +od had used him to kill +oliath. -he entire land of Israel was seeking after him 9 they were
crying that Da!id had killed tens of thousands, while 'aul had killed only thousands.
Da!id had the support of the entire nation. #e had been anointed by +od and called to be king.
'aul had lost the anointing of +od. #e was tormented by an e!il spirit. 'aul was doing e!erything wrong, costing the
children of Israel much bondage and hardship because of his disobedience.
During this period, Da!id had been anointed to be king, but instead of doing anything to further his cause, Da!id
humbled himself. +od supernaturally deli!ered 'aul into his hands. 'aul went into a ca!e where Da!id and his men
were hiding, to take a nap during the heat of the day. Da!id%s men told him, $+od has deli!ered him into your hands
9 kill him3$
5ut Da!id wouldn%t do it. Iather, he submitted himself to 'aul, caused himself a lot of hardship, was dri!en out of his
country, and had to li!e among his enemies. Once, in a foreign land, his enemy said, $-his is the one they say is king
o!er the land.$
'o to protect himself, Da!id had to act like a cray man, letting spit run off his beard and scratching on the walls like
an animal.
-he king said, $-his man is cray. #ow can he do me any damage:$ /an you imagine how Da!id felt: #e was
probably tempted to say to himself, $'o you%re the great man of faith, the one who has the anointing of +od. Eou%re the
one +od has called to be king, and you%re ha!ing to act cray *ust to sa!e your life3$
David Was 2.itiless2
Da!id had been through discouragement after discouragement while running from 'aul. #e had 8DD men who had
come with him 9 all criminals, con!icts and murderers who had to flee Israel to sa!e their li!es. #e had the scum of
the earth as his army.
'atan could ha!e discouraged Da!id in a big way.
Once, in the midst of it all, Da!id and his men came back to his town of Kiklag to find that the "malekites had
in!aded his city, taken away the women and the children, burned the houses, and carted off e!erything !aluable as
spoil.
-hink of it. ,or thirteen years, Da!id had been faithful to +od. #e hadn%t done anything wrong, and yet ad!ersity
struck at him o!er and o!er again.
)hen we%!e done something wrong, most of us think we deser!e our problems. )e brought it on oursel!es. 5ut when
we%!e done well and the de!il hits us broadside, most of us feel *ustified in griping, complaining, and ha!ing a $pity
party.$
5ut that%s *ust the opposite of what Da!id did.
#e could ha!e felt *ustified in being depressed. In 1 'amuel @D<@=8, it says $'o Da!id and his men came to the city,
and, behold, it was burned with fire4 and their wi!es, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken capti!es. -hen
Da!id and the people that were with him lifted up their !oice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. "nd
Da!id%s two wi!es were taken capti!es... "nd Da!id was greatly distressed4 for the people spake of stoning him,
because the soul of all the people was grie!ed, e!ery man for his sons and for his daughters.$
On top of losing his wi!es, children, and home, Da!id was getting ready to be stoned 9 by the !ery people he had
been responsible for, the people he had fed for fi!e years, those he had faithfully taken care of. -hey were going to
stone him for something that wasn%t his fault3
.ost of us would ha!e said, $-hat%s the last straw. I ;uit. I%m going to ha!e a pity party.$ )e would ha!e felt *ustified
in doing that.
5ut look at the rest of !erse 8, $5ut Da!id encouraged himself in the 2ord his +od.$ If Da!id chose to encourage
himself in a situation like that, we can choose to encourage oursel!es no matter what comes against us.
Da!id chose to do it. "nd notice, it says he encouraged himself.
#e didn%t *ust say, $2ord, I%m asking you to send somebody to encourage me.$
Eou need to recognie that +od has gi!en you authority o!er your own heart. Eou can choose life or death. Eou can
choose to be encouraged or discouraged. Eou%re the one who makes the choice. Da!id chose to encourage himself.
-he first step 9 and nothing else can happen until this 9 is to choose life. Cothing else will work until you do this.
Cothing else will work until you say with the psalmist, $)hy am I discouraged: )hy am I cast down: +od is on my
side. I choose +od. I choose life. I%m going to come through this thing somehow or other.$
Fntil you make that choice, no other choices can be made.
Three !en !a%e a $urning Choi"e
'hadrach, .eshach, and "bednego made the choice. In Daniel @, Cebuchadnear said in effect, $Okay, I%ll gi!e you
one last chance 9 bow or burn.$
-hey said, $O Cebuchadnear, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter$ G!erse 18H. In other words, $Eou
ha!en%t intimidated us one bit. )e don%t care. Our +od is able to deli!er us, and #e will deli!er us, but if e!en #e
doesn%t deli!er us, we aren%t going to ser!e your +od.$ -heir hearts weren%t troubled.
In Daniel 8, Daniel was thrown into the lion%s den. -here is no account of him screaming or yelling as he was thrown
in, clawing to get out. #is heart wasn%t troubled. It was already fi&ed.
1eople who say $)ell, I know I%m supposed to walk in lo!e, but look at what they did$ will always be in a mess
because 'atan is constantly going to send people across their paths to do something wrong. If you say certain
circumstances *ustify walking out of lo!e, being discouraged, being depressed, then you%re going to be unlo!ing,
depressed, and discouraged the rest of your life, because 'atan will always ha!e someone or something to send your
way.
#anging on the cross, 6esus turned to the !ery people crucifying #im and said, $,ather, forgi!e them4 for they know
not what they do$ G2uke A@<@7H. 'tephen, in "cts 7<8D, did the same thing. #e said $2ord, lay not this sin to their
charge$ when they were stoning him to death. If they can do that, we can do that. -he 2ord has gi!en us that ability.
Eou can choose to lo!e the !ery people who hate you. It doesn%t matter what has been done to you. It doesn%t matter
how you were brought up. It doesn%t matter how you%!e been abused. -here is no *ustification for being discouraged
and depressed. -here are reasons for it, but no *ustification.
-hat%s good news. -hat puts the responsibility on you. It may not feel good, but if you%ll think about it a little bit, it
will feel better. It will grow on you. "fter all, you can do something about yourself.
/hapter A
)hat%s Eour 1erspecti!e:
First Aid on the La-/
2et%s re!iew for a moment what we co!ered in the pre!ious chapter. I belie!e that in 6ohn 17, 10 and 18, the 2ord has
gi!en us a brief, concise summary of what we need to do in a crisis situation to win.
In 6ohn 18<1, 6esus said, $-hese things ha!e I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.$ In other words, #e
spoke these things so that the )ord of +od would continue to work. -his correlates with .ark 7<17, where the 2ord
told #is disciples that if they became offended, the )ord would stop working for them.
-he 2ord told #is disciples what to do in their crisis situation, and it also applies to ours. )e started with 6ohn 17. -he
first part of !erse 1 says, $2et not your heart be troubled.$ -he second part says, $Ee belie!e in +od, belie!e also in
me.$ )e talked about taking control of your emotions, how not to panic. -he first step is to grab a hold of yourself, to
make the decision, $I am not going to be troubled by this thing.$ Eou do that by belie!ing in +od, by e&erting your
faith.
)hat we%ll deal with in this chapter, 6ohn 17<A=@, is what I belie!e to be the ne&t step in the process. It is what allows
your faith to operate.
It says, $In my ,ather%s house are many mansions< if it were not so, I would ha!e told you. I go to prepare a place for
you. "nd if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and recei!e you unto myself4 that where I am, there ye
may be also.
2When"e !y Tea"hing2
,irst, let me reiterate that the 2ord ga!e me this teaching because I%d been dealing with people in crisis situations. I
found that 6ohn 17, 10 and 18 was e&actly what I had been telling them. -he 2ord had condensed e!erything that we
need to do in these trying times and put it into these !erses of 'cripture.
I was e&cited about these scriptures, but frankly, I had to skip !erses A and @ at first because they didn%t $click.$ I didn%t
know what the 2ord was saying. I could relate to the first !erse, $Don%t let your heart be troubled. Eou ha!e the
authority, so belie!e in +od.$
-hen, in !erse 8, it says that 6esus is the way, the truth, and the life in our crisis situation. -hat means you ha!e to put
emphasis on the )ord of +od, on a personal relationship with #im. "fter that, it talks about the ministry of the #oly
'pirit, how to abide in #im, and so forth.
B!erything fit e&cept !erses A and @. Did they mean that the 2ord was preparing the disciples for defeat, talking about
hea!en, $pie=in=the=sky=by=and=by$ and $,urther along, we%ll know all about it.$: -hat didn%t seem consistent with all
the other things that the 2ord was sharing with them. I didn%t understand.
(ne Day3 $rawtha3 (ne Day&&&
1art of the reason I felt that way was because the church I was brought up in had pre*udiced me on the sub*ect. -hey
didn%t belie!e in !ictory in this present life. "ll the !ictory, they said, was going to be in the future when we went to be
with the 2ord. 5ut in this life, they were sick, they were poor, they were defeated. -hey suffered the same things the
world did and belie!ed that all the 2ord did was to comfort them in it. -here was no !ictory.
'o we sang songs like $)hen we all get to hea!en, what a day of re*oicing it will be.$ )e talked about the $sweet by
and by,$ but the $nasty here and now$ had no !ictory at all3
5ecause of that, I reached the point that when we talked about hea!en, I felt it was a kind of escape. It was in effect
saying, $)ell, we aren%t going to make it down here, but someday, it%ll all be worth it.$ I came to resent that kind of
thing, and I rebelled against it. GB!entually, the 2ord helped me realie that e!en though that message was abused,
there was still a truth in it. In 1 -hessalonians 7<18, for e&ample, 1aul talks about the resurrection and our gathering
together unto the 2ord in the air. #e says, $)herefore comfort one another with these words.$ It can be a comfort.H
'o as I read 6ohn 17<A=@, it looked like, instead of preparing them for battle and o!ercoming the de!il, the 2ord was
preparing them for defeat by talking about hea!en. I couldn%t grasp it until I saw that what the 2ord was really talking
about here was perspecti!e.
2et%s read it again. 6ohn 17<A says, $In my ,ather%s house are many mansions< if it were not so, I would ha!e told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.$ Jerse @ says, $"nd if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and recei!e
you unto myself4 that where I am, there ye may be also.$
Iemember that in 6ohn 17<1, 6esus told them, when they enter into a crisis situation, they must make a decision< Do
not let your heart be troubled. -ake the authority you%!e got and control your emotions, instead of letting them control
you. 5elie!e in +od. Operate in faith. -hat%s the !ictory that o!ercomes the world.
4t All Depends on 0our .erspe"tive
5ut right in the midst of that, #e refers them back to hea!en. -he 2ord showed me that the purpose of that was so that
if they couldn%t see anything positi!e in their circumstances now, they could turn their attention to something that was
positi!e.
#e was encouraging them to look to the promises of the future. #e wanted them to ha!e hope so that regardless of
what they encountered now, they would not lose their perspecti!e.
In other words, $)hat if I fail: )hat if my faith doesn%t work: )hat if I%m not healed:$ In a crisis situation, 'atan will
always hit you with that kind of $what if:$ thinking.
-he a!erage person trying to operate in faith will not confront these thoughts. -hey%ll try to ignore them. -hey%ll say,
$Co, I%m not going to think about defeat.$
5ut the 5ible doesn%t teach us to ignore the de!il4 it teaches us to resist the de!il, and then he%ll flee from us G6ames
7<7H. I%!e found, in dealing with some people, that it actually does them good to sit down and say, $"ll right, what if:$
$)hat if I don%t recei!e my healing: )hat if I lose all my money: )hat if I die:$ I clearly say to them, $It is +od%s
will to heal you, but what if you don%t respond properly: )hat if your faith isn%t at the place it should be:$
It shocks people at first. 5ut the truth is, if you die, you win. If you li!e, you win. Eou can%t lose for winning. )hen
you look at it that way, it takes the bite out of the fear 'atan is tormenting you with. I belie!e that%s what the 2ord was
telling the disciples in this crisis.
-hey were plagued with thoughts like, $)hat%s going on: )hat do all these things mean: )hat%s going to happen to
us:$ 6esus said, $2ook, *ust take your attention off of that, and think that if worse comes to worse, e!en if you%re
totally defeated in this life, you%!e got a place assured in hea!en.$
-his will cause the peace of +od to settle in. It will cause what the 2ord instructed us to do in 6ohn 17<1 to come to
pass 9 not let our hearts be troubled. Eou%ll think, $-his isn%t such a big deal. If worse comes to worse, e!en if the
de!il kills me, I%!e still got sal!ation. I%m still going to miss hell. I%m still going to hea!en.$ -hat%s not bad.
If you could stop and think about that 9 that it doesn%t matter what you go through in this life, you%!e already been
deli!ered from the worst thing 9 it would settle your heart.
Eou could re*oice in that. Eou could take comfort in it. It could help still your heart and let the peace of +od return to
you. In other words, what you%re doing is putting things into perspecti!e.
'atan lo!es to blow things out of perspecti!e. #e lo!es to make you think that yours is the worst problem anyone has
e!er faced in this life. #e lo!es to make you sing that old song $Cobody knows the trouble I%!e seen.$
4t's So $ad Here 54 Love 4t6
'omehow, /hristians take pride in thinking their problems are worse than anyone else%s. )hen I go to some cities,
people tell me, $-his place is bad. It%s hard to minister the +ospel here.$ -hey%ll tell me things like, $-his is the occult
capital of the Fnited 'tates. -here%s more witchcraft and demonic stuff going on here than anywhere else.$ -he
amusing thing is that e!ery place I go, the /hristians tell me that3
/hristians seem to re*oice in thinking that their town is the worst place on earth. )e don%t consciously think this, but I
belie!e it%s because it gi!es us an e&cuse for being ineffecti!e3 Of course, 'atan lo!es it. #e lo!es to make you think
that you%re in a hard situation. #e lo!es to make you think your town is unreachable. #e lo!es to make you think that
your financial crisis is the worst since the dawn of history. #e lo!es to make you think that your cancer is so bad that
no one has e!er been healed of it.
-his is the reason testimonies can be so encouraging and build your faith. -hey show you that there%s another person
who had the same thing you do Gor worseH and yet li!ed through it. Eou start to think, $If it will work for them, maybe
it will work for me.$ It changes your perspecti!e.
Instead of becoming so $tunnel=!isioned$ that e!ery time you see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel you%re
con!inced it%s another train, you begin to ha!e hope of a better day. Eou begin to consider other things.
What 4f 4 Fail Great)
One of those other things is< If worse comes to worse, e!en if you fail, you really ha!en%t failed if you%re standing on
the )ord and belie!ing +od. -here is no disgrace in going down fighting. I%!e had to consider this in my own
ministry.
-he 2ord called me to the ministry, and I%!e been sharing #is )ord since 1988. I%!e been tra!eling and on the radio
since 1978 and on tele!ision since ADDD. )e%!e had some great things happen, but we%!e also had a lot of attacks. I%!e
had a lot of financial problems, which I%d like to say didn%t e&ist. I wish I had a different testimony, but the truth is that
we%!e been on the !erge of closing down se!eral times.
-here was a time I had so many problems in my ministry that I turned it o!er to se!eral businessmen. One was my
pastor, who had a net worth of o!er L1,0DD,DDD before he was @D. I *ust turned it o!er to them. -hey came in, set up
some sound business procedures, and began to find out what was wrong.
"fter a few months, they reported to me, $It%s all o!er. Eou can%t make it. It%s e!en beyond +od%s help.$ -hey told me I
was going to ha!e to shut the ministry down. It *ust failed.
I couldn%t handle that. I didn%t want to consider that possibility. I had fears and doubts about failure, but I didn%t want to
face them. Eet it was finally presented to me in a way that I couldn%t a!oid. I had to make a decision. I had to consider
my options.
-he most important thing to me was my relationship to +od, then my relationship with my wife and family, then after
that, the ministry. I realied that the ministry really wasn%t the most important thing in my life. I had been happy before
I was in ministry, and I could be happy without it if I had to face that.
-his set me free. I disco!ered that there could be life after ministry. I could be happy. I could still lead people to the
2ord. It really didn%t matter. I wasn%t tunnel=!isioned, thinking only about the ministry, I had a relationship with +od. I
had a good relationship with my wife and family.
I began to consider what life would be without the ministry, and I actually got e&cited. I began to think, $-his would
be great. I wouldn%t ha!e to deal with all of these people%s problems. I wouldn%t ha!e to deal with financial crises. I
wouldn%t ha!e to tra!el and be gone so much. I wouldn%t ha!e to go through all the pressures. I could *ust be lo!ing
+od.$
I realied that my relationship with +od and my family would ha!e skyrocketed without the ministry3 I actually got
e&cited.
Of course, the 2ord told me that wasn%t what #e had called me to do and that we were going to make it. 'o I stood and
belie!ed +od. -hat was around 1980, and I%m still in the ministry. )e are prospering now. )e are growing. )e still
ha!e challenges, but we%re meeting them.
)hat I%m saying is that it helped me to confront the ;uestion $)hat if:$ I began to put it all into perspecti!e. I%!e
touched more people in the last 1D or 10 years than I e!er thought I would. I%!e made an impact. B!en if I were to fail,
I wouldn%t ha!e failed because I was doing what +od told me to do. It ministered peace to me.
Don't Worry&&&$e Happy
I belie!e this is what the 2ord was saying to #is disciples in 6ohn 17. #e%s gi!ing them commands that seem so
unreasonable. #ow could you keep your heart from being troubled in a crisis situation: #ow could you ha!e faith in
+od when e!erything is ca!ing in around you, and your world is falling apart:
)ell, if all else fails and you can%t see anything positi!e in your situation, *ust sit back and start thinking about the
promises +od has gi!en you about hea!en. 'tart thinking, $De!il, if you kill me, praise +od, I%m going to be with the
2ord.$
)hen the 'al!ation "rmy lists obituaries in their newsletter, they say that people like /olonel so and so and +eneral
so and so were $promoted to glory.$ -hat changes the whole perspecti!e. It makes it a positi!e statement like, $#ey,
they got to go be with the 2ord 9 that%s what it%s all about.$
1aul had this perspecti!e in 1hilippians 1<A@=A7< $,or I am in a strait betwi&t two, ha!ing a desire to depart, and to be
with /hrist4 which is far better< Ce!ertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.$
If the de!il had come to him and said $1aul, I%m going to kill you,$ he could ha!e replied $'o what: 5ig deal.$ "s a
matter of fact, he e!en said one time, $5ut we had the sentence of death in oursel!es$ GA /or. 1<9H.
In other words, he had already died to himself. #e was so ali!e to the 2ord, so ready to meet #im, that if you said
$Ienounce your faith or I%ll kill you,$ that would ha!e been no pressure to him at all. #e had things in perspecti!e. #e
recognied that to die and go to be with the 2ord was better.
2et%s say you%re fighting a terminal disease, and 'atan says, $I%m going to destroy you, I%m going to defeat you.$ ,irst
of all, that is not so. Eou%!e got promises that can o!ercome that. 6ohn 17, 10 and 18 will help you o!ercome, but you
also need to sit down and consider those fears 'atan is fighting you with.
Instead of ignoring your fears and denying that they e&ist, *ust sit down and say, $"ll right, so what if I do die: I%!e got
promises that +od is going to recei!e me.$ If you fail financially, so what: If your ministry collapses, so what: If you
lose your home, so what: Eou belie!e that +od is going to transcend all those things and bring you to hea!en.
+od looks at things differently than men do. )e%re so carnal at times that we don%t e!en take into account a person%s
heart. +od is not like that. I belie!e the 2ord looks at some of things we consider failure and, from hea!en, cheers us
on.
#e would be clapping and praising some people *ust because they tried. It%s better to try and to fail than to aim at
nothing and hit it. I%d rather shoot for the stars and, if I miss, make the moon. I%d accomplish more than someone who
says $I don%t want to do anything because I might fail$ and ne!er gets off the ground. I belie!e that +od !iews things
that way.
)hen we begin to put things in +od%s perspecti!e, suddenly e!erything changes. It begins to dissipate fear.
Fear and Faith Don't !i7
,ear, of course, is the opposite of faith. ,ear opposes faith. 6ust a tiny amount of faith is enough to supply any need
you ha!e. It doesn%t take big faith to recei!e miracles from +od, but it has to be pure. It cannot be mi&ed with anything
else.
.any people ha!e to build up huge amounts of faith because they ha!e so much unbelief, fear, and doubt warring
against them. If you allow those le!els of unbelief in your life, then it will take a huge amount of faith to o!ercome.
"n easier way is to simply pull the plug on unbelief3 )hen you do that, you%ll find out that a little mustard seed of
faith is enough for anything that you need. It doesn%t take great faith, it takes pure faith, with nothing counterbalancing
it.
,or e&ample, if the doctor suddenly tells you you%re going to die, and those words generate fear in you, you ha!e to
deal with that fear, or your faith won%t operate. It%s not that it doesn%t work, but it%s counterbalanced. -hat%s the reason
that when 6esus raised 6airus% daughter from the dead, #e told 6airus, $,ear not< belie!e only$ G2uke 8<0DH.
In other words, $+et rid of your fear and *ust belie!e.$
.any of you ha!e released your faith and yet nothing happened. It%s perple&ing when you know that you really ha!e
faith. Eou know that +od heals, and yet you don%t see your faith work. One reason that happens is that other things
neutralie your faith and keep it from producing.
Jery seldom do people deal with unbelief. -hey *ust try to build faith. Eou ha!e to work on both angles. Eou can%t
allow fear to run rampant in your life and e&pect faith to o!ercome it. -hat%s not the way that +od intended you to
function.
)hen a crisis hits, the first thing 'atan does is try to put fear on you. ,ear comes up and says, $Eou%re going to die.
Did you hear what the doctor said:$ Eou%!e got to be able to deal with that fear before your faith will operate.
Get Fear in 5under6 .erspe"tive
One way of dealing with it is to do what 6esus told #is disciples to do 9 think about hea!en. If you do that enough,
you%ll say, $'o what: )hat if I do die: 5ig deal.$ )hen you look at it from +od%s standpoint, life on earth is !ery
short.
)hat%s really important: -he most important thing is your soul. 6esus said, $,or what shall it profit a man, if he shall
gain the whole world, and lose his own soul:$ G.ark 8<@8H.
)hat does it matter if you ha!e all of this world%s goods, e&cellent physical health, lots of friends and e!erything else,
if you die and go to hell: -hose things really don%t matter in the end.
If you look at the flip side of that coin 9 the positi!e side 9 you can ask, $)hat does it matter if for some reason I
don%t get healed and I do die: I%ll go to be with the 2ord. I%ll be better off.$
If you think about hea!en, you can actually reach a place where, like 1aul, you%ll say, $I really want to depart and be
with /hrist, but I guess I%ll stay around for your sake$ G1hil. 1<A@=A7H.
#ow many of us ha!e e!er reached a point where we long to be with the 2ord so much that we ha!e to use faith *ust to
stay here: Cot many. )hy is that: 5ecause not many of us ha!e gotten +od%s perspecti!e.
)hen you%re really walking with the 2ord, the thought of ha!ing no more inade;uacies, of knowing all things as you
are known, of being totally in the presence of +od. "ll of that should be more appealing to us than li!ing on this earth.
Cow I%m not minimiing li!ing here or re!erting to the old mentality that $I%m *ust suffering for 6esus, and it%s all
going to be worth it someday.$ I belie!e that we%re to li!e a !ictorious life now. I li!e in !ictory now. I%m ha!ing a
great time now. 5ut li!ing now, as good as it gets, isn%t as good as it will be in hea!en. )hen you put things in that
perspecti!e, it will take fear away.
Dying to $e with the Lord
I was dealing with a man once who was afraid he was going to die. I told him, $Eou aren%t going to die. +od%s )ord
says you%ll li!e. 5y #is stripes you%re healed.$ 5ut his fear still remained.
,inally I said, $"ll right, what if you do die: Eou get to be with the 2ord. )hat%s wrong with that: )hy are you afraid
of going to be with the 2ord:$ )e started talking about hea!en and about what it would be like. "ll of a sudden, that
fear was gone.
-hat didn%t mean he stopped belie!ing. Eou%re still supposed to belie!e, but fear lea!es when you consider the options.
It%s not as bad as 'atan makes you think.
If you%re dealing with financial problems, 'atan will try to tell you that you%ll be a failure the rest of your life.
Cearly e!ery millionaire I%!e read about had more than one bankruptcy. -hey failed. 5ut it was only temporary.
1eople who really succeed big also fail big. 5abe Iuth, the home run king, was tremendous in hitting home runs. 5ut
he also had more strikeouts than anyone else. #e didn%t bunt or go for singles. It was either a home run, or he would
fall flat on his face. -hat%s one reason he made so many home runs 9 he wasn%t afraid to fail.
.eter 2Failed2 8esus
2uke AA is a powerful lesson about failure. -his one in!ol!es 1eter. In !erse @1, 6esus says, $'imon, 'imon, behold,
'atan hath desired to ha!e you, that he may sift you as wheat$ G-hat%s the Cew -estament counterpart of 6obH. Jerse
@A says, $5ut I ha!e prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not< and when thou are con!erted, strengthen thy brethren.$
Cotice that 'atan had desired to sift 1eter like wheat, but 6esus prayed for him. Do you think 6esus% prayers were
answered: Do you think 6esus e!er prayed for something that didn%t come to pass: I belie!e #is prayers were
answered.
5ut 1eter denied the 2ord three times. 'o, was 6esus% prayer unanswered:
Co, I belie!e 1eter failed by our standards, but not by +od%s. I don%t belie!e +od measures failure in the same way we
do. 1eter failed, but his faith didn%t fail. #is actions failed, but his faith didn%t fail. #e still retained his faith in the
2ord.
.any times, 'atan will tell you that you%re going to fail. 5ut what is failure: Is it defeat:
In the military, you can lose a battle without losing the war.
)e%!e become totally success=oriented, but the world measures success opposite the way +od does. -he world
measures it by what you can see, what you can put in the bank, what you can dri!e down the street. 5ut +od doesn%t
measure success that way. I belie!e +od looked at 1eter%s heart, and e!en though 1eter failed outwardly, +od didn%t
consider him a failure.
The A"id Test
)hen you%re facing a crisis, that%s the acid test. Eou need to put things in +od%s perspecti!e and say, $'o what if I fail:
I ha!en%t really failed in +od%s eyes.$
)hen I considered ha!ing to shut the ministry down, I sat down and thought, $)ell, the ministry isn%t e!erything +od
has for me. I could ;uit this. I could go back to pouring cement and lead people to the 2ord doing that. I%d still be
blessed.$
-hat was a tremendous !ictory in my life. I didn%t tie success to things. .y success was in ha!ing the 2ord. I began to
look at the broader picture. I still had the 2ord, I still had lo!e, I still had *oy.
I en*oyed the 2ord when I was *ust pouring cement. )e led many people to the 2ord. It was *ust a tremendous time. I
could go back to doing that right now. I don%t ha!e to be a preacher to minister. -hat%s powerful, because it defines
success as it really is.
)hat is success: 'uccess is knowing the 2ord.
If you%re born again, if you ha!e the hope of eternal redemption, if you know you%re going to be with the 2ord, if you
know all your sorrows and tears will be wiped away, 'atan can%t defeat you. #e can%t dangle that fear of failure o!er
you.
Iegardless of what he does, you%re going to win. It%s important to put things in the perspecti!e of eternity.
I%!e seen people who had miraculous con!ersions. -hey were alcoholics or drug addicts, their spouses had left them,
they%d lost their *obs, their li!es were falling apart. Eet +od did a great miracle and brought them completely out of it.
-hen two to three years later, they get caught up in some problem, say, a L1DD bill they can%t pay. Cow they%re ready to
renounce their faith. -heir whole world is coming to an end. -hey can%t stand it.
-hat%s not rational. 'omeone like that shouldn%t fall apart after +od has done such great miracles in their life. -heir
present problem shouldn%t taint e!erything else. -hey%!e lost their perspecti!e.
In my denominational church, we used to sing a song< $/ount your many blessings, name them one by one, count
your many blessings, see what +od has done.$ Its purpose was to put things into perspecti!e.
'ometimes we get so eroed in on one negati!e fact that we forget all the great miracles +od has done. 'atan gets us
to thinking that this is the greatest problem that e!er e&isted.
Eet, if you%ll draw back from it and look at it in perspecti!e, it%s nothing compared to what +od has already done in
your life. If +od has already healed you of cancer, a cold should not defeat you.
If +od has deli!ered you from hell, you should not struggle with doubt that #e won%t deli!er you from the problems of
this life.
,ailure to put problems into perspecti!e will gi!e you tunnel !ision. Eou can%t afford that. One way of o!ercoming it is
by thinking about eternity and recogniing that our big problems really aren%t that important. " thousand years from
now in eternity, e!erything will look different.
It%s like adolescence. Do you remember when you first had puppy lo!e: It was earth=shattering. It was a huge thing.
Eou%d *ust die if it didn%t work out. Eet when it was all o!er, you found out that it wasn%t really big or important at all.
-hat%s one of the problems of adolescents 9 they blow things out of proportion. -hey don%t see things the way that
they really are. It%s the same with adolescent /hristians.
One thing you can do to counter that is to keep things in the perspecti!e of eternity. )hen you do, it will take care of
fear.
What Were 0ou When 4 Found 0ou
"gain, take the crisis in our ministry. )hen I considered it, one of the fears I had was that I was going to be labeled a
$failure.$
I didn%t want to be a failure. I certainly didn%t want other people to percei!e me as a failure. -his was a real pressure on
me.
-hen the 2ord asked me, $)hat were you when I got a hold of you:$
5oy, I was a failure. I was a college dropout, I was going nowhere, I had nothing. "ny good thing that%s happened in
my life, I can attribute directly to +od. I ha!en%t earned anything. I don%t deser!e it. I%m not trained. It%s all been what
+od has done in my life.
-hen +od said to me, $'o what ha!e you got to lose: 5y yourself, you%re already a failure.$ -hat set me free3
I%d allowed myself to think I%d attained something, but in reality, I was a failure. It was +od in me who made any
success of my life whatsoe!er. #e had done it before, and #e could do it again if that was #is will. )hen I saw that, it
took all the pressure off.
I didn%t ha!e to fear being a failure 9 I already was. -hat put things into perspecti!e.
" young woman, who was a friend of mine, had been told by the doctors that she was going to die of cancer. )hen
she first told me about it, I began to laugh. I said, $/ancer%s no problem with +od3 It%s no harder to heal cancer than it
is to heal a cold.$
'he knew all of that, but she was so $eroed in$ on her problem that things had gotten out of proportion. 'he had
forgotten that +od already had done great miracles of healing in her life. -his cancer had become so big, it looked
bigger than +od.
5y my laughing about it and comparing it to a cold, it put things into perspecti!e for her. It shrunk the problem down
to where she could handle it. "ll of a sudden, the fear was gone. #er faith worked, and she was healed of it
completely.
-he doctors had told her she would be dead in *ust a few weeks without surgery, and e!en with surgery, they only ga!e
her a 0D percent chance of li!ing. -hat has been ten years and three children ago, and she is doing fine.
In a crisis situation, you%!e got to put things into perspecti!e.
.any of you are facing a crisis right now. If you%d look back, you%d see the great things +od has done in your life
already. .aybe you%!e been healed of a terminal disease. .aybe you%!e been deli!ered out of a terrible financial
crisis. .aybe your marriage was on the rocks and +od resurrected it.
If you%d think about what +od has already done, it would make your current crisis seem small in comparison. I%!e
e&perienced that in my own life. I ha!e doctors% reports to pro!e that I was healed of incurable diseases. I%!e seen +od
heal others. I%!e seen #im open blind eyes. I%!e seen #im raise the dead.
Little $ig .ro/le-
Eet there are times when, somehow or other, I%m caught off guard. 'atan or someone else will hit me with a problem,
and all of sudden it looks big. It blows itself out of proportion. 'o I%ll go back and remember how +od handled things
bigger than this, and soon it shrinks that problem down to sie. It puts it in perspecti!e. "ll of a sudden I see that this
is nothing for +od.
It%s ridiculous for someone who has been healed of an incurable disease to despair of being healed of the flu or a cold.
If you compare the two, it *ust doesn%t make sense. Eet it happens. I know people who%!e seen miraculous
inter!entions of +od suddenly stumble o!er something insignificant because they don%t put it into proper perspecti!e.
In A 1eter @<1, 1eter says, $I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance.$
1utting yourself in remembrance is a way of keeping perspecti!e on things. ,ew days go by that I don%t think back to
1988 when +od supernaturally inter!ened in my life. I could spend weeks telling you the miracles that I%!e seen. I
think on those things, and it gi!es me a better perspecti!e on current situations. I think, $-his is nothing3 It%s a piece of
cake compared to what I%!e been through.$
'e!eral years ago, a good friend of mine came to be the general manager of our ministry. #e had managed se!eral
banks, so he was well=ac;uainted with financial problems. -hen he came and saw all the bills that we had.
Our income can fluctuate as much as L7D,DDD a month3 )e don%t sell our materials 9 we gi!e them away. Our
finances depend solely on people%s gi!ing, and that can !ary greatly. It%s totally beyond our control.
)hen he saw the situation, he was o!erwhelmed and nearly lost his faith3 #e was bothered. #e would tell me about
the situation, and I%d say, $)ell, +od is going to supply.$ #e didn%t feel like I was getting the picture. If I really
understood the situation, I%d be more disturbed about it. ,inally, I had to sit him down and say, $2ook, I understand
your concern, and I understand this is something new to you. It looks like a gigantic figure to you.$ G"t the time we
needed about L1A=10,DDD 9 immediately.H
Try to 'e-e-/er&&&
$It looks impossible,$ I told him, $but I can remember when we had a board meeting, and there was nothing to
discuss3 It was all o!er. )e%d ha!e to turn out the lights if +od didn%t pro!ide a miracle. 'o we didn%t discuss anything,
we *ust asked +od for a miracle.
$Iight then, my mother called and told me that a church of @DD people had sent us an offering of L8D,DDD3 It didn%t
sol!e all of our indebtedness, but it took the pressure off. It was a miracle from +od.$
I said to him, $I remember that. I%!e seen +od come through many times. I%m not saying that we don%t ha!e a crisis, but
I know it%ll be taken care of.$
-he reason I remained calm was because of my perspecti!e. I%d already been through this. #e didn%t ha!e that track
record. #e didn%t ha!e the same reference point I had. 5ut after se!eral years in the ministry, he was able to handle
things better.
"gain, the first two steps are found in 6ohn 17<1, $2et not your heart be troubled< ye belie!e in +od, belie!e also in
me.$ 5ut to e&ercise those areas, you must put things into perspecti!e.
One way to do that is to look back and see the many miraculous things +od has done in your life. If you take your
focus off the problem and think about what +od has done and how blessed you are, it will make the current crisis
seem like a piece of cake. Eou%ll know that +od is well able to handle it.
5ut what if you%re in a crisis that supersedes anything you%!e e!er dealt with, and you can find nothing to draw on:
Eou can always go to +od%s )ord. It will show you people who%!e been through much worse things than you%re going
through now. Eou can draw on the )ord. -hat%s another way of changing your perspecti!e. If you look at the li!es of
these people in the )ord of +od, it will help.
"nd if you don%t ha!e either past e&perience or knowledge of the )ord to draw on, *ust do what 6ohn 17<A=@ says 9
think about hea!en. -hink, $It doesn%t matter what I%m going through. If worse comes to worse, I still win because I%ll
go straight to be with the 2ord.$
'tart looking at scriptures about hea!en and the reward.
.oses used this in his life. #ebrews 11<A8 says, $,or he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.$
-hat is the reason he was able to suffer affliction and identify with #ebrew sla!es rather than cling to a position of
royalty in the household of 1haraoh.
-he word $recompense$ means to pay back. In other words, whate!er you suffer down here, e!en if your faith fails,
there will be a time when you%re going to stand before +od and be rewarded.
I belie!e +od will reward you e!en if your effort wasn%t 1DD percent, e!en if it didn%t get you the success you were
promised in this life.
It is no disgrace to die belie!ing +od. It is no disgrace to ha!e financial failure or be sick or ha!e your life fall apart
9 as long as you%re standing and belie!ing +od.
Cone of us is perfect, and I belie!e +od *udges things differently than we do. 'o ha!e respect unto the recompense of
the reward. 1ut things into perspecti!e.
It will seem like all the sufferings of this present life are not worthy to e!en be compared to the glory that is going to
be re!ealed in us GIomans 8<18H. )hen you do that, it%s impossible for your heart to be troubled.
Eou need to do that in a crisis. Eou need to look beyond your current situation.
F+Stop Worry
)hen you%re using a camera with a manual focus, you could be looking at a flower or another ob*ect. Eou can focus
on it, or you can point your camera in the same direction and focus beyond the flower, or this side of the flower.
Eou can watch that flower blur and fade out so that e!en when you%re pointed directly at it, you can see other things.
Eou can see the background or foreground. Fsing this same techni;ue, you can actually take a picture through a wire
fence and cause the wire to disappear by focusing on the ob*ect in the background.
In the same way, there%s a right way to look at your problem, and there%s a wrong way. Eou can focus on that problem
so much that you lose sight of e!erything else. Eou can forget that +od is ali!e, that +od can inter!ene in your
situation.
Eou can become so eroed in on that problem that it brings doubt and unbelief upon you. Or you can look at the same
situation, put it into perspecti!e, change your focus, and see +od, who is able to handle that situation.
-here%s an e&ample of this in A /orinthians 7<18=18. #ere 1aul gi!es us tremendous insight into his own relationship
with the 2ord and how he was able to respond to crises. #e says, $,or which cause we faint not4 but though our
outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. ,or our light affliction, which is but for a moment,
worketh for us a far more e&ceeding and eternal weight of glory4 )hile we look not at the things which are seen, but
at the things which are not seen< for the things which are seen are temporal4 but the things which are not seen are
eternal.$
1aul said a mouthful here. In !erse 17, he says $our light affliction.$ )hy did he say his affliction was light: Is it
because he didn%t ha!e problems:
'ome people think that. -hey think that if you%re really walking with the 2ord, you won%t ha!e problems. "ctually, it%s
the opposite.
2ook at 1aul. #e said the "postles were set forth to be the least of e!eryone. -hey were set forth unto death G1 /or.
7<9H. -hey had more problems, more afflictions, and more persecutions than anyone else.
In this same letter, 1aul talks about the problems he was ha!ing. In A /orinthians 11<A1=A@, he says, $I speak as
concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. #owbeit whereinsoe!er any is bold, GI speak foolishly,H I am bold
also. "re they #ebrews: so am I. "re they Israelites: so am I. "re they the seed of "braham: so am I. "re they
ministers of /hrist: GI speak as a foolH I am more.$
.aul's 'Lite' Affli"tions
In other words, he is talking like a lost man would talk. 'ince they weren%t listening to the 'pirit, he%d reason with
them in the flesh.
In effect he%s saying, $I%m talking like a lost man would. 'ince you want a list of my ;ualifications, I%ll gi!e them to
you.$ "nd how did he !erify his ;ualifications: #e began to list the things he had suffered for the cause of /hrist.
#e says in !erse A@, $In labours more abundant, in stripes abo!e measure.$
Cow remember, this is some of his $light affliction$ he was writing about in this same book. #e had stripes abo!e
measure. -hat means beyond his ability to count.
#a!e you e!er been beaten so many times you couldn%t count them:
#e goes on to say, $In prisons more fre;uent.$
#ow many times ha!e you been thrown into prison:
In "cts 18, 1aul was beaten mercilessly in 1hilippi, cast into prison, and put in stocks like a common criminal. )hen
did that last happen to you:
-hen he says, $In deaths oft.$
#e doesn%t e&pound on that, but I belie!e this is in reference to "cts 17, where he was in 2ystra and Derbe. 1aul was
stoned and left for dead. -he scripture doesn%t say that he was dead, but he was so close that those who were trying to
kill him were satisfied that he was dead G!erse 19H.
-he disciples stood around him and prayed that +od would raise him up 9 and +od didn%t take si& months to do it3
-he ne&t day he walked something like twenty=two miles to the ne&t town and began to preach the +ospel. -hat was
miraculous.
In !erse A7, he says, $Of the 6ews fi!e times recei!ed I forty stripes sa!e one.$ In other words, he%d recei!ed thirty=
nine lashes fi!e different times.
$-hrice was I beaten with rods,$ he says in !erse A0.
-hey took rods and beat the bottom of his feet and legs, often to the point that bones were broken. If +od hadn%t
supernaturally healed him, it could ha!e maimed him for life.
-hen he says, $Once I was stoned.$ G-his was talking about 2ystra or Derbe, which I *ust cited.H
Jerse A0 continues, $-hrice I suffered shipwreck.$
#e was a prisoner onboard a ship when he suffered shipwreck. #e knew it wasn%t +od who did it, yet because of his
stand for the +ospel, he was forced into it anyway.
Ce&t he says, $" night and a day I ha!e been in the deep.$
In other words, he literally had to float out on the open ocean for one=and=a=half days.
In !erses A8=A8, he says, $In *ourneyings often, in perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own
countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils
among false brethren4 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold
and nakedness. 5eside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.$
#e didn%t e!en e&plain the emotional stress of being responsible for the churches3
)hate!er you and I ha!e suffered, 1aul had it worse. Eet, in A /orinthians 7<17, this man says, $,or our light
affliction, which is but for a moment.$
#ow could the man say it was a light affliction: "gain, it%s his perspecti!e.
It is not because he didn%t ha!e problems. 1aul was more *ustified in being discouraged, depressed, upset, and angry
than you and I ha!e e!er thought of being.
How Are 0ou 5Don't Tell !e6
)e all know people who, when you ask then how they are, they *ust dump on you. It seems like they always ha!e
such a hea!y burden, such a rough time in life, such a terrible ordeal. It seems like they ne!er ha!e anything go their
way. -hey are negati!e, negati!e, negati!e.
1erhaps you%re like that, and you say, $5ut it%s the truth. I *ust can%t help it. -hat%s the way it is.$
1aul had circumstances that were worse than yours, and yet he said his afflictions were $light.$ #ow can we
scripturally *ustify talking about our hea!y burdens, our great loads, our huge problems, when they%re actually less:
-here is no *ustification. Eou may find *ustification in the eyes of man, but not from +od%s perspecti!e.
If you say that you ha!e anything but a light affliction, your perspecti!e is wrong. Eour faith is wrong. Eour focus is
wrong. Eou%re looking at the problem instead of the answer.
1aul sets the e&ample to show you how the 2ord can deli!er you. +od can become real in your life. Eou can put things
into perspecti!e and start realiing that nothing is impossible with +od.
1ietna- $efore3 During3 and After
I had an e&perience with the 2ord on .arch A@, 1988, when I was eighteen years old. It re!olutionied my life, and I
fell so in lo!e with the 2ord. -he 2ord became so important to me. It was like focusing on that flower 9 I *ust eroed
in on the 2ord, and #e was all I could see. B!erything else was blurred. .y focus was on 6esus.
6esus was the totality of my life. #e still is today, but emotionally this was such a dramatic e&perience it *ust
o!erwhelmed me.
It was *ust a short period of time later that I got drafted and sent to Jietnam. I had some hard times there and suffered
a great deal of loneliness. I had a great desire to be used of +od, but I saw so much ungodliness that I felt like I *ust
wasn%t effecti!e. I had to deal with that, but as a whole, I came out of Jietnam unscathed. I came out a thousand times
stronger in my relationship with the 2ord. I came out without any of the psychological problems that other people had.
O!er 08,DDD F.'. soldiers died in Jietnam. 'ince that time, o!er 79,DDD Jietnam !ets ha!e committed suicide3 -his is
the largest suicide rate of any segment in our society. Jietnam !ets ha!e o!er a 90 percent di!orce rate. "nd the
statistics go on and on.
Eet I had no negati!e effects at all. I actually grew in the 2ord tremendously during the time I was in Jietnam. I knew
I was blessed, but I didn%t realie *ust how blessed I really was until nearly twenty years later.
In about 1988, a man in /hicago ga!e me a copy of a book about Jietnam. I had ne!er read anything about the
Jietnam war. I *ust wasn%t interested. -his book had twel!e testimonies about people who went through horrible,
horrible e&periences there but found complete freedom through the 2ord when they got home.
-he man who ga!e me the book had his story in there, and he autographed the book for me. 'o I read it.
I really became interested in the book because three of the soldiers mentioned in the book were in the same di!ision I
was in3 -hey were talking about places that I had been. I was actually on one of the landing ones G2K%sH *ust a few
days before the e&perience that one of these men was relating in the book. -his hill was o!errun by the Jiet /ong, and
this man related the horrifying details !ery !i!idly.
"lthough I missed the worst of the e&perience, the day I was there, we took something like twenty mortar rounds in an
area no bigger than eighty feet long and twenty feet wide. I was in the thick of this fighting, yet it didn%t e!en register
with me.
Fire/ase Heaven
Do you know what I was thinking about during that time: I praying for those men. I was trying to share the +ospel
with them, thinking about them instead of myself.
I remember another situation where we were on red alert when it looked like our hill was about to be o!errun by the
Jiet /ong. )e could see mule fire from the enemy weapons coming up the hill. I briefly thought about being killed,
but my thoughts immediately went to the Corth Jietnamese soldiers.
I began to think, $+od, I know where I%m going, but in all probability, the Jietnamese who were fighting us would go
directly to hell if they were killed.$
I had no fear of death whatsoe!er. I found myself praying for the Jiet /ong who were coming against us. $+od,
somehow re!eal yourself to them,$ I asked. I knew they were e&periencing fear *ust like the F.'. troops were, and I
was praying for them.
-hat kind of attitude won%t make you a !ery good soldier, but it certainly did keep me from dwelling on my own
problems.
5ecause of my perspecti!e 9 because I was so eroed in on the 2ord 9 I felt as if I were in a bubble. I didn%t
e&perience the same emotions, the same terror, and fear, yet I was in the thick of the fighting. I wasn%t in it as much as
some of the $grunts,$ the $ground pounders$ who were always out on patrol, but there were a lot of times I could ha!e
been killed in the fighting.
I saw in the book the perspecti!e of a man who was in the same location I was, at the same time, recounting the same
circumstances, yet he was an unbelie!er at that time. -he terror, the fear, the anguish that he felt came across in that
book. I only felt it twenty years after I%d been there 9 reading this book3 I was o!ercome with emotion. I suddenly
knew what others must ha!e gone through. It began to dawn on me how supernaturally +od had protected me.
I *ust wasn%t conscious of things the other people were. Do you know why: It was the fact that I was completely
focused on 6esus. I was thinking of #im so much that I honestly didn%t think about myself. I didn%t think about the
situation. I was thinking of other people.
It was my perspecti!e.
If I had sat down and thought about being on the opposite side of the world, uprooted from the people I lo!e, facing
death, I would ha!e been as depressed and terrified as anyone. 5ut because I was focused on 6esus, my thoughts didn%t
run in that direction.
-hat is what 1aul is saying. 1aul went through ad!ersity that you or I can%t imagine, yet he was able to say it was a
$light affliction.$
I am not saying this to condemn anyone. 1lease understand that. 5ut if you feel that your situation is terrible, if you
are o!erwhelmed with a feeling of tragedy in your life, you ha!e lost perspecti!e. Eou aren%t looking at things
properly.
,rom +od%s perspecti!e, there is no problem. #e doesn%t e!en ha!e to lift #is hand to sol!e your problem. +od can
mo!e one little finger and deal with your situation3
Why Doesn't God 99999999 5fill in6
'omeone might be saying, $-hen why doesn%t #e do it:$ It%s because #e%s going to flow through you.
Bphesians @<AD says $"ccording to the power that worketh in us.$
-hat doesn%t mean that the burden of producing !ictory is on you, but you do ha!e to belie!e. )hen you%re operating
in fear, you%re really thinking that your problem is bigger than +od. #ow do you a!oid that: 5y not letting your heart
be troubled. Eou can recognie that +od ga!e you a choice. Eou ha!e authority. Eou can e&ercise it. Eou can belie!e
+od and put things into perspecti!e. Eou can think, $-his no big deal.$
One of the scriptures found throughout the 5ible is $"nd it came to pass.$ -his isn%t a true application of that scripture,
yet it ministers to me. I *ust say, $'atan, it%s going to come to pass.$
In other words, the reason it came was so it could pass3 It%s *ust temporary. It%s not going to last. -hat helps me put
whate!er it is, into perspecti!e. I think about all the other times it looked like there was no way out, yet I came
through, and it helps me.
-hat%s what 1aul was doing. #e says in A /orinthians 7<17 that it was a light affliction. -hen he gi!es us two reasons
why it was a light affliction. In !erse 17, he says it is $but for a moment.$
-his is e&actly what 6ohn 17<A=@ says. 1aul is thinking about eternity, about hea!en, about fore!er. -he life we li!e
down here is so short compared to eternity. Eet because of the pressure, because of the afflictions, some people are
willing to renounce their faith in +od and go in a different direction because they *ust can%t stand it. It%s dragged on too
long, they say.
" person who says something like that has lost their perspecti!e.
One of the things you need to do is remember that it doesn%t matter if 'atan fights you from now until the day you go
to be with the 2ord. Co problem 9 it%s *ust a moment in the light of eternity.
+et that perspecti!e. 5egin to reference things from +od%s !iewpoint.
I%!e talked to some people about getting into the )ord of +od and building their faith up.
$-hat%s going to take a year3$ they say. $-hat%s unacceptable$.
'o what do they do: -hey don%t get into +od%s word. -hey don%t build themsel!es up, and two, three, or four years
from then, they%!e still got the same problems, if not worse.
If they%d put things into perspecti!e, they would ha!e said, $'o what if it takes a year: It%s worth it.$ "nd in a year%s
time, they would ha!e been there. -hey would ha!e been e&periencing !ictory. Eou can%t get there any faster than by
starting right now3
One reason that 1aul could say his affliction was light was because he recognied that it was but for a moment. It *ust
was a brief period of time compared to the eternity he%d be spending with +od.
Turn 0our .ro/le- 4nside (ut
.any times our problem is bigger on the inside of us than the outside. It%s the way we !iew it that%s the real problem,
not the physical thing itself.
I%!e talked to many people who were in a crisis and could see no way out. It was because they were held capti!e in
their own thoughts, that is, in their fears, in their imaginations. Once I shared these truths with them, they got free on
the inside. -hen handling the problem became almost incidental.
5ut until we see it as an easy problem, it is big. It%s a stronghold. 5ut it%s a stronghold first on the inside of our minds
before it%s a stronghold in the physical realm.
If you can deal with that inner image, if you can gain !ictory there, then !ictory in the natural is assured.
-he second thing that 1aul used to put his afflictions into perspecti!e is found in !erse 18< $)hile we look not at the
things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen< for the things which are seen are temporal4 but the things
which are not seen are eternal.$
#e didn%t focus 9 or look 9 upon the problem. 1aul makes it !ery clear that anything you can see 9 a tumor on your
body, what%s in your checkbook, or your child in trouble Mmdash is temporal, that is, temporary or sub*ect to change.
-hat means that all of your problems are sub*ect to change. 5ut the things that you can%t see 9 things in the spiritual
world 9 are eternal and not sub*ect to change.
6esus is eternal. -ruth is eternal. -he )ord of +od is eternal. 1aul chose to focus on these things instead of physical
things. Eou can look at a situation in a positi!e way if you can see the promises of +od concerning that situation.
,or e&ample, let%s say you%re faced with a di!orce. Instead of focusing on the problem until it becomes bigger than
+od, you need to see +od%s promises that #e will comfort you, that you can intercede to sanctify your mate, that you
can belie!e for reconciliation. "ll of those things can be found in the )ord. "nd they are eternal.
:lisha Loo%s Down on His .ro/le-
Eou need to look beyond your problem and see the eternal spiritual truth. -his is what ga!e Blisha peace in the midst
of his crisis GA (in. 8H.
-he king of 'yria had come to kill him. #e woke up one morning, and he and his ser!ant went out on the walls of the
city GDothanH. -he king of 'yria had massed his army around the city. -housands and thousands of soldiers
surrounded them, and here were Blisha and his ser!ant *ust staring down at them.
It looked impossible. -hey knew why the armies were there. Blisha, by prophecy, had been gi!ing the king of Israel
secret battle plans of the king of 'yria, and he%d been found out.
'o there they were, on the wall of the city. Blisha%s ser!ant +ehai looked at the things that could be seen, the army
with all its horses and chariots, and his reaction was one of panic< $"las, my master3 how shall we do:$G!erse 10H, or
$)hat in the world are we going to do:$ #e threw up his hands. It was hopeless.
Do you know what Blisha did: #e was in the same situation. #e saw the same armies, the same horses, the same
chariots, and yet he saw something that +ehai didn%t see. #e saw the spiritual world, and he said, $,ear not< for they
that be with us are more than they that be with them$ G!erse 18H.
'omeone who operates only in physical truth, in temporal things, would say, $-hat%s a lie.$ Eou could count the 'yrian
army out there by the tens of thousands. -hen Blisha counted himself his ser!ant and said, $One, two.$
.ost people would say $Eou%re cray, Blisha. Eou%re not dealing with a full deck.$
Chariots of Fire&&&See
-hat%s the reason that when you confess that you%re healed, yet e!eryone sees that your nose is running, your sinuses
are stopped up, and you%re coughing and wheeing, they%ll say $Eou%re *ust fooling yourself. -his positi!e confession
stuff is nothing but a lie.$
In fact, it is a lie if you see only the things that are temporal3 5ut the truth is that there is a whole other world of
spiritual reality out there.
-rue, some people ha!e misused confession and thought, $If I will *ust say that it%s so when it really isn%t so, then it%ll
become so.$ Cow that is wrong thinking. -hat%s denial.
#owe!er, if you don%t deny that you ha!e physical problems but speak the greater spiritual truth, then the physical
problem will ha!e to bow to the spiritual reality.
If you%re using it that way, positi!e confession is not a lie. It%s the truth.
In the face of this hopeless situation, Blisha said, $-hey that be with us are more than they that be with them.$ +ehai
had a ma*or problem understanding this, so Blisha said, $2OID, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see$ G!erse
17H. -he 2ord opened up his eyes so that he could see into the spiritual world.
-he armies of 'yria were still there Gthe problem hadn%t disappearedH, but there were also chariots and horses of fire
surrounding them on the mountains3 In other words, the angels of +od were encamped around them.
Cow when did those angels arri!e: )hen the young man opened his eyes and saw them: Co, they were there before,
but he didn%t ha!e the ability to percei!e it. Blisha hadn%t seen the angels either, but he belie!ed the promises of +od
and knew that they were there.
-hat%s why Blisha could say, $,ear not.$ In other words, $-his is no big problem, +ehai. It%s *ust a light affliction.
#a!ing a hundred thousand men come to kill you is no big deal.$
#e was looking at things that couldn%t be seen. #e was standing on the promise of +od that the angel of the 2ord
encamps around about those who fear #im and #e deli!ers them. Da!id had already written that in 1salm @7<7. #e
was standing on the )ord of +od. 5ecause of that, it didn%t matter if the mightiest nation on the face of the earth came
and tried to kill him. -hey couldn%t do a thing.
Blisha walked out, raised his hand up and prayed to the 2ord, $'mite this people, I pray thee, with blindness.$ G!erse
18H -he 2ord blinded the entire army of 'yria.
-hen Blisha told them to take each other by the hand and walk into capti!ity. -hus, a single prophet captured one of
the most powerful armies on earth 9 all because of his perspecti!e. #e was able to see things that weren%t in the
natural, but in the spiritual.
-hat%s what 1aul is saying in A /orinthians 7<17. One of the reasons he could say that he had a $light affliction$ was
because he didn%t look at what e!eryone else was looking at. #e didn%t acknowledge only the physical world, but he
looked at the unseen, spiritual world, recogniing that it was eternal. B!erything you see here is *ust temporary.
4t's Settled)
If you ha!e a physical problem, it%s *ust temporary, it%s sub*ect to change. 5ut the truth that $5y whose stripes ye were
healed$ G1 1et. A<A7H cannot change. It is the )ord of +od. It is settled fore!er G1s. 119<89H. #ea!en and earth will
pass away, but +od%s )ord will not pass awayG.ark 1@<@1H.
)hen you begin to get that perspecti!e, you%re on your way to a miracle. Eou will see the power of +od manifest in
your life.
,aith is more than attitude, but it begins with an attitude. If your attitude is one of fear, you%re not going to see the
power of +od manifest in your life.
Eou%!e got to deal with your attitude. It begins by putting things into perspecti!e.
'top looking at things and saying, $Oh, this is terrible. .y whole life is ruined. )hat will I do:$ Iecognie that it%s
*ust for a moment.
2ook at what +od has already done in your life. 2ook at the 5ible%s positi!e e&amples. If all else fails, look at hea!en,
and think about how +od is going to bless you for all eternity. 2ook not at the physical things but at the unseen things,
the promises of +od.
,ind a promise in the )ord of +od that counters the negati!e circumstances you%re in and dwell upon it. ,ocus on it.
Iemember that $as he >a man? thinketh in his heart, so is he$ G1ro!. A@<7H.
)hat you focus your attention on is what you will be dominated by. If you look at natural truth alone, you may
intellectually acknowledge the power of +od, but if you aren%t focusing on it, your problem is going to dominate you.
Eou can%t focus on something without it ha!ing an inroad into your life3 If you aren%t thinking on +od%s promises, it%s
impossible for you to operate in faith. Eou are going to be the way you think.
-hink on the negati!e, the problem, and you%re going to be full of the problem. -hink on the answer, and you%ll be full
of hope, full of faith, full of lo!e and *oy and peace. Eou%ll be able to say with 1aul that it is a light affliction. +et your
attention off the problem and onto the answer.
What 0ou .ray 4s What 0ou Get
)e call a lot of things prayer that aren%t really prayer.
'ometimes when people come into a crisis, they%!e been conditioned to tell +od e!ery rotten thing that%s happening to
them. I%!e heard people pray like this in churches< $O +od, I need help 9 the doctor said says I%m sick and that I%m
going to die.$ -hey go on and on about how bad their situations are.
Or they say, $O +od, what%s going to happen to my children: -hey%ll be on drugs soon. +od, what%s going to happen to
my mate: #e%s so bad. O 2ord, we don%t ha!e any insurance. -hey can%t e!en bury me. I%m so poor.$"nd on and on and
on.
-hey recount e!ery negati!e thing in their li!es. -hey spend forty=fi!e minutes talking about the problem, then end up
by saying, $O 2ord, help me in 6esus% name, "men.$
In other words, they spend forty=fi!e minutes on the negati!e, fi!e seconds on the positi!e, and then they wonder why
prayer isn%t working. -hat%s not prayer. -hat%s complaining.
/harles /apps was praying once, and the 2ord spoke to him, $)hat are you doing:$ #e said, $I%m praying.$ +od said,
$Co, you%re not. Eou%re complaining.$ It really set him straight on what prayer is and what it isn%t.
1rayer is not an opportunity to tell poor, misinformed +od about your terrible situation. Eou don%t ha!e to tell +od
what the doctor says. Eou don%t ha!e to tell +od what your bank account is. Eou don%t ha!e to tell +od how your kids
are rebelling. Eou don%t ha!e to recount e!ery negati!e thing in your life.
+od knows what%s going on with you more than you do.
1rayer is an opportunity to ask for help. Eou should spend fi!e seconds stating the problem and forty=fi!e minutes
praising +od for the answer.
+od has a pro!ision for your problem before you e!en had the problem. 6esus already died to produce your healing.
5y #is stripes you were healed 9 that%s past tense G1 1et. A<A7H. +od already made the pro!ision, whate!er your need
is, before you e!er had the need.
Whatever 0ou Do3 Don't .ray)
'ome of us would be better off to stop praying the way we pray.
1rayer is not wrong. 5ut what we often call prayer is wrong because it makes us focus on the negati!e and gi!es the
de!il more opportunity in our li!es.
1rayer should be an opportunity to commune with +od in faith, talking about what #e can do instead of the negati!e
circumstance.
-hat%s what the 2ord was telling #is disciples in 6ohn 17<A=@. 1erspecti!e is critically important. If you continue to
think about the problem, meditate on the problem, talk about the problem, pray the problem, you%re going to ha!e the
problem 9 because as a man thinks in his heart, so is he G1ro! A@<7H3
Eou%ll ha!e that principle work in your life whether you want it to or not. B!en though you%!e made the decision to not
let your heart be troubled and to belie!e in +od G6ohn 17<1H, you are going to be what you think on.
If you continue to think on the problem, it will negate the power of your faith. Eou will be unable to fulfill 6ohn 17<1
unless you get your attention off the problem. Eou%!e got to focus on the 2ord.
"gain, I%m not saying to ignore the situation, I%m saying e&actly the opposite. If the de!il tells you that you%re a total
failure, that you%re going to die, that it%s all o!er, *ust say, $'o what:$
-hink about it for a moment, and if worse comes to worse, you%ll ha!e a mansion in hea!en. -he 2ord 6esus has
promised to make one special for you. )hate!er you ha!e to endure down here, whate!er the de!il fights you with,
you%ll win anyway.
+et that kind of attitude. -hen whate!er problem 'atan is fighting you with, you%ll o!ercome.
Iom 8<8 says, $,or to be carnally minded is death4 but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.$
)hat I%m talking about here 9 focusing on the )ord of +od instead of your problem 9 is being spiritually minded.
If you do that, the 5ible says it will be life and peace to you.
Eou can%t die thinking positi!ely, praising +od for #is pro!ision. -o die, to ha!e 'atan defeat you, you ha!e to be
stayed on the negati!e circumstances. If you look beyond the problem and focus on your answer, it will produce
!ictory in you.
)hen I reach a place where all my care is cast o!er on the 2ord G1 1et. 0<7H, it really won%t matter. If I win, that%s
great, that%s what I e&pected. 5ut e!en if the de!il beats me, it%s no big deal because there is life after my problem. I%m
going to make it. B!en if it means physical death, I%m going to be with the 2ord.
If your perspecti!e is right, 1 1eter 0<7 will show it. Is all your care cast on the 2ord: Or is it hea!y, oppressi!e and
burdensome and resting on you: If it is 9 and I%m not saying this to condemn you 9 you ha!e not yet gotten a hold
of this message. Eou don%t ha!e it in perspecti!e.
If you are fretful about it, worried about it, an&ious about it, if you are telling people how bad it is, you ha!en%t put it
into perspecti!e.
5egin now to mo!e from a position of defeat, focusing on your problem, to a position of !ictory where you recognie
that in /hrist 6esus, you are more than a con;ueror GIom. 8<@7H.
/hapter @
(nowing +od
Con;uest Ta%es Confrontation
I%m confident that if we took the things the 2ord ministered to #is disciples in 6ohn 17 and implemented them in our
li!es, there%d be no reason for us to succumb to problems 9 e!er. )e may not be able to pre!ent problems from
coming, but we can pre!ent them from winning3 )e can be more than con;uerors through #im that lo!es us 9 in
e!ery case.
1aul said, $Cow thanks be unto +od, which always causeth us to triumph in /hrist.$ GA /or. A<17H. -he /hristian life
is, or should be, a life of !ictory. It%s not !ictory without effort, howe!er. In fact, once you become a /hristian, there
will be tremendous effort. -he stronger you become in the 2ord, the stronger the battle becomes. If you ha!en%t
realied that, I may be bursting your bubble, but it needs to be burst.
Eou must recognie that +od didn%t call us to a!oid the de!il. Eou should be seeking out the de!il to destroy him and
his works, not a!oiding him. Eou should go on the attack. If you are looking for a place where there is no opposition,
you need to die and go to hea!en. 5ut here on earth crises will hit.
-he first thing you do when a crisis hits is to let not your heart be troubled. Eou need to get a hold of yourself and
recognie your power of choice. -he second thing is to put things into perspecti!e. -hat%s what 6esus was doing when
#e talked about hea!en. #e was saying, $2ook, guys, if you choose life, then build yourself up in faith. -hat should
do it. 5ut e!en if it doesn%t, e!en if you lose, you%ll still win. One way or another, you%re going to come through this
thing !ictorious. "ll the problems you%!e had down here will be nothing compared to the glories +od has waiting for
you.$
I belie!e these teachings are some of the most needed things in the body of /hrist today. Our surroundings, our nation,
our world, are so negati!e. -hey are defeat=minded, depression=minded, criticism=minded. If you don%t ha!e a positi!e
attitude to counter that with, these things are going to o!ercome you. Eou can%t *ust ignore them and ha!e them go
away. Eou literally must take the truth and oppose doubt and unbelief with it.
God #nows&&&Tho-as Dou/ts
)e shared a tremendous amount of truth in 6ohn 17<1=@. -he ne&t thing 6esus said to #is disciples is !erse 7, which
says, $"nd whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.$ 6esus knew people better than they knew themsel!es. -he
5ible says that the 2ord knows what is in the heart of man G1 'am. 18<7H. 6esus pro!ed on innumerable occasions that
#e saw right into a person%s heart. 6esus knew #is disciples. #e knew that their thinking was still muddled. #e knew
they weren%t acting correctly.
)hen #e said $"nd whither I go ye know, and the way ye know$ G!erse 7H, that was a true statement, because they
knew #im. -hen -homas said to 6esus, $2ord, we know not whither thou goest4 and how can we know the way:$
G!erse 0H. -hen, !erse 8 says that 6esus is the way, the truth, and the life, but #e knew that they didn%t understand this.
I belie!e 6esus was talking about +od, about faith, and about how a lot of people throw away their faith. .any people
think they%re operating in faith, when the truth is they aren%t operating in faith at all. " lot of us are simply going
through the motions. )e%re dead inside.
!e A Dou/ting Tho-as
'top and think about this. In a church meeting, we all come, supposedly to belie!e the 2ord. )e come to hear from
+od. )e put our best spiritual foot forward when we%re at church. )e belie!e 9 or we pretend that we belie!e. 5ut
out in the world when the de!il attacks us, we respond differently. If we%re honest, we%ll admit that we%!e done the
same thing -homas did many times.
-homas, in effect, was saying, $2ord, what you said isn%t true. It%s a lie. )e do not know where you%re going, so how
can we know the way:$ )e think, $-hat%s terrible. #ow dare -homas contradict the 2ord 6esus and say #e was
wrong3$ 5ut how many times ha!e you said something like, $)ell, I know +od%s )ord says that by #is stripes I am
healed, but I%m still sick.$ -hat%s different, right: )rong3 -he only difference is that you said it instead of -homas, and
we%re more lenient on oursel!es than others in circumstances like this.
It%s the e&act same thing -homas did. -he 2ord has said certain things in #is )ord. ,or e&ample, #e said that 6esus
became poor so that we through #is po!erty might be made rich GA /or. 8<9H, that #e blessed us with all spiritual
blessings in hea!enly places in /hrist 6esus GBph. 1<@H, that nothing shall by any means harm us G2uke 1D<19H. -hese
things ha!e already been done. -hey%re in the )ord.
+od said it, but what do we say: )e say, $2ord, that%s not right. "nybody can look at my bank account and tell I%m not
rich. "nybody can see from these symptoms that I%m sick. "nybody can look at my circumstances and tell that I%m not
blessed.$ -hat%s calling +od a liar...nothing less.
B!erything the 2ord e!er said is 1DD percent true. 5ut because -homas couldn%t percei!e it in the physical realm, he
re*ected it and said, $2ord, what you%re saying isn%t true.$ )e do the same thing.
Fa"t vs& Truth
One thing we must recognie in a crisis situation is the difference between what is true and what is truth. /ertain
things are true from a physical perspecti!e, but there is an o!erriding spiritual truth. -his is what 6esus was
ministering. 1eople always go by what%s happening in the physical realm. If all you do is acknowledge that, you%ll
ne!er be able to operate in the truths of +od%s )ord because they%ll always cross each other. -hey%ll be contrary to
each other a lot of the time, usually most of the time.
-he world of the flesh and the world of the spirit are enmity against each other G+al. 0<17H. -hey%re at war.
)e often make the mistake of e&alting physical truth o!er spiritual truth. )e hold what we can see, taste, hear, smell,
and feel to be more real than what +od%s )ord says. 5ut one of the things you must do in a crisis is go back to +od%s
)ord, humble yourself, and say, $,ather, forgi!e me for e&alting natural $truth$ o!er your truth. )hate!er your )ord
says is true. If I don%t understand it, please e&plain it to me.$
5ut that%s not what the disciples did. -homas countered 6esus, saying, $2ord, we don%t know where you%re going, so
how can we know the way:$ -hen 6esus turned to him and said, $I am the way, the truth, and the life< no man cometh
unto the ,ather, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should ha!e known my ,ather also< and from henceforth ye know
him, and ha!e seen him$ G!erses 8=7H.
-hen 1hilip said, $2ord, shew us the ,ather, and it will suffice us$ G!erse 8H. 1hilip did the same thing -homas did. #e
said, $2ord, what you say is not true. )e ha!en%t seen the ,ather.$ 6esus *ust said that they had seen the ,ather, and
this time 1hilip contradicted #im.
As% and 0e Shall $e 5<6 Answered 5=6 'e/u%ed
2ater, in !erse AA, it says, $6udas saith unto him, not Iscariot, 2ord, how is it that thou will manifest thyself unto us,
and not unto the world:$ -his is the third ;uestion, but the ;uestioner wasn%t rebuked this time. -he 2ord simply
e&plained it. -here was a difference in the intent of the ;uestion. -wo of the ;uestioners had said, $2ord, you%re
wrong. #ow could that be:$ "lthough phrased as ;uestions, they were still moti!ated out of unbelief. It was rebellion,
opposition to what +od had said.
-he third ;uestion, asked by 6udas, was simply, $2ord, I don%t disbelie!e you, but how will you do this:$ It was for
information. -hose kinds of ;uestions are good. )hen you ha!e a crisis, ;uestions usually come fast. )hat%s
happening: )hy is it happening: )hat will the outcome be:
Eou must make sure you ne!er ;uestion the integrity of +od%s )ord, +od%s faithfulness to you, or the things +od has
spoken to you. +od has said #e will ne!er lea!e us nor forsake us G#eb. 1@<0H. 'o don%t ask, $+od, where are you:$
-hat%s unbelief. Eou aren%t going to get a positi!e response from +od out of that. Eou%ll be rebuked. 'imilarly, the
5ible says that only good and perfect gifts come from abo!e G6ames 1<17H and that 'atan is the one who brings
problems G6ohn 1D<1DH.
'o don%t say, $+od, why did you do this:$ or you%re headed for trouble. -he 5ible says 6esus became poor so we could
become rich GA /or. 8<9H. 'o don%t ask, $+od, why am I poor:$ -hat%s doubt and unbelief.
#owe!er, if you ;uestion it by saying, $+od, what is going on: I know you%re faithful. I know your )ord is truth. I
know you%d ne!er do anything wrong. Is there something I ha!en%t learned:$ If it%s that kind of ;uestion, for
information, that%s positi!e. -here is a godly type of ;uestioning.
When 0ou're *p to 0our :ars in Alligators&&&
)hen people come into crises, one of the first things they do is start ;uestioning the things they%!e held as
foundational truths. ,or instance, if you belie!e in healing, if you%!e been professing healing, if you%!e been telling
other people about healing, if you%!e prayed and been healed yourself or seen others healed, and suddenly sickness
comes upon you, then 'atan will try to broadside you. Eou try to release your faith, you pray, you ;uote the )ord, but
if you don%t see the sickness lea!e in thirty minutes or an hour or a day, you begin to ;uestion.
Eou think, $-his isn%t working the way it should.$ -hen there are ;uestions. Is this really true: Is it really +od%s will to
heal e!ery time: #a!e I been wrong in what I%m saying: Nuestions like this are going to come. If you don%t know how
to handle them, your faith can be shipwrecked G1 -im. 1<19H.
#ow do you deal with these ;uestions: Eou must make a commitment. In Iomans @<7, it says, $2et +od be true, but
e!ery man a liar$ Eou need to get to a point where you can e&alt spiritual truth o!er physical truth. Eou need to e&alt
what +od%s )ord says, taking it as a more sure word than what you can see, taste, hear, smell, and feel. -hat%s easy to
say, but not easy to do. It is a lifetime process. -hat%s maturity in the /hristian life.
&&&4t's ,o Ti-e to Thin% of Draining the Swa-p
)hen you enter a crisis, if you ha!en%t been applying yourself to the )ord of +od, if you%re waiting until the storm
hits before you try to build your house, you%re going to be in trouble. -hat%s all there is to it. 'ometimes the storm is so
se!ere that you can%t build your house in the midst of it. Eou ha!e to run ne&t door and find someone who%s already
built their house and weather the storm there. 'ometimes you%re going to need help to sur!i!e. Eou%ll ha!e to wait until
it%s o!er and start re=establishing yourself in the )ord of +od.
Eou need to make a decision that +od%s )ord is greater than what you can see, taste, hear, smell, or feel. In other
words, what you e&perience in the physical realm. )hat I%m talking about is a simple principle in +od%s )ord, but few
/hristians e!er get a hold of it. .ost of us are more dominated by the physical than we are by the spiritual. Eet you
can soften your heart, you can sensitie it to the things of +od so that what +od says becomes more real to you than
what you see.
,or some of you, this may sound far out. Eou may think, $I%m not sure this guy is dealing with reality.$ It depends on
which segment of reality you%re talking about. If all you acknowledge is physical reality, you may think I%m cray. 5ut
when you begin to look at things from +od%s perspecti!e, it%s *ust common sense. B!erything we can see was created
out of something we can%t see, according to #ebrews 11<@< $-hrough faith we understand that the worlds were framed
by the word of +od, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.$
-hings that are seen 9 this book, your chair, the walls of your house 9 come from something that you can%t see.
-hey didn%t come from nothing. +od didn%t make something out of nothing. +od took spiritual substance and made
physical substance out of it.
Isn%t that simple: -here%s a spiritual world out there, but because we can%t see it or contact it through our physical
senses, we don%t acknowledge it. -he )ord of +od is a perfect representation of spiritual truth, what%s already there in
the spirit realm. If you don%t understand this, you can%t operate in faith.
5ecause people don%t understand it, a lot of them think that you ha!e to confess the )ord to release the ability of +od.
-hey say, $I%m saying that it%s so when it isn%t so in order for it to be so.$ -hey think that through confessing
something, they actually make it happen.
/onfession doesn%t make anything happen. "ll confession does is take something that%s already present in the spiritual
realm and, by speaking it, release it into the physical realm. Eou aren%t creating it. Eou aren%t making +od do
something. If you say $5y the stripes of 6esus, I am healed,$ that will not make +od heal you. Co, you%!e already been
healed, according to 1 1eter A<A7. It%s an accomplished fact. It%s already done. Eour confession *ust brings what%s
already a reality in the spirit realm into the physical realm.
+od did it A,DDD years ago. It%s already pro!ided. It%s already there. 5ut it%s in the spiritual world, and your body is in
the physical world. It doesn%t do you any good as long as it stays in the spiritual realm. Eour body is physical, and it
needs physical results. 'o how do you get it from the spiritual world to the physical world:
Faith is Su/stan"e
Eou belie!e. $Cow faith is the substance of things hoped for, the e!idence of things not seen,$ according to #ebrews
11<1. It doesn%t say faith is the e!idence of things that don%t e&ist3 ,aith is the e!idence of things that do e&ist4 they *ust
e&ist in the unseen world. -hey are spiritual reality. ,aith takes from the spiritual world and brings it into the physical
world.
6esus said in 6ohn 17<7, $)here I%m going you know and the way you know.$ 5ut with their little minds, the disciples
couldn%t comprehend what #e was saying. 'ince they didn%t understand it, they said, $6esus, you must be wrong.$ Eou
need to recognie that +od%s )ord is smarter than you%ll e!er hope to be. If you li!e to be 11D, you%ll ne!er begin to
approach the wisdom of +od. Eou need to make a decision< $+od, your )ord is true.$
)hen +od says that you are healed by the stripes of 6esus, is that a true statement or not: 'ome of us say, $I know the
)ord says that, but my body says I%m not healed. Oh, I wish I could be healed.$ "re you saying that: -hen you%re
calling +od a liar. It%s simple 9 it%s is so simple you ha!e to ha!e someone help you misunderstand it3
)e%!e come up with elaborate ways of rationaliing our failures so that it doesn%t throw the blame on us. 5ut when we
make these statements of doubt, we%re basically calling +od a liar. )e%re doing the same thing -homas did because
we%re e&alting our own reasoning, our own feelings, our own senses, abo!e what +od%s )ord says. If you do that,
you%re ne!er going to prosper or ha!e your needs met or get healed or make it through a crisis, because 'atan always
will put emotions and e!ents on you that make it look like +od%s )ord isn%t true.
Eou must get to the place where you e&alt +od%s )ord and belie!e it more than you belie!e the physical realm.
Aero/i"s for the Senses
-he 5ible says in #ebrews 0<1@=17,$,or e!ery one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness< for he is a
babe. 5ut strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age >this is talking about maturity?, e!en those who by reason
of use ha!e their senses e&ercised to discern both good and e!il.$
-hese scriptures say that you can actually reprogram your mind, your senses and your emotions to discern good and
e!il, instead of constantly ha!ing them go in the other direction. )hen your feelings say $I hurt. )ho cares what
+od%s )ord says:$ you can actually get them to acknowledge +od%s )ord. Eou can renew your mind so that it doesn%t
always ha!e to drag you toward the de!il and away from +od%s )ord. Eou can e!en renew your senses so that they
will begin to start bearing witness to +od%s truth.
Of course, until you get a renewed body, you can ne!er totally trust your senses so that they become the leading part
of your personality. 5ut you can get to the point they aren%t constantly screaming doubt and unbelief at you.
#ow do you do that: -here are se!eral ways, but the two primary ways are found in .atthew 17<19=A1. 6esus had *ust
cast a demon out of a boy, and the disciples asked #im, $)hy could not we cast him out:$ 6esus said, $5ecause of
your unbelief< for !erily I say unto you, If ye ha!e faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain,
Iemo!e hence to yonder place4 and it shall remo!e4 and nothing shall be impossible unto you.$ ,inally #e says,
$#owbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.$
6esus is not saying that this kind of demon goes out only by prayer and fasting. -here are no demons who need more
than the name of 6esus to be cast out. Eou can fast and pray until you wither to nothing, and it will not increase your
power against the de!il one iota. ,aith in the name of 6esus alone is what accomplishes the miracle. 5ut fasting and
prayer will cast out the kind of unbelief 6esus was talking about. It will eliminate what I call human, or natural,
unbelief.
Thou 4 Don't Spea% in Tongues&&&
-here is an unbelief that comes from a heart being hardened toward +od. ,or e&ample, let%s say someone had a bad
e&perience with 1entecostals. "t one time, they were e&posed to preaching about the baptism of the #oly 'pirit,
speaking in tongues, miracles, etc. 5ut then they saw some 1entecostal do something really wild, something
irresponsible, something that offended them and they re*ected it.
'o they hardened themsel!es and said, $I hate that. I don%t want anything to do with it.$ -hey turned away from
tongues and gifts of the 'pirit altogether. Cow they%re in a state of unbelief, but it%s an unbelief by choice. -hey
hardened themsel!es, so it%s actually a rebellious kind of unbelief. It can e!entually wreck a person%s life.
5ut say another person is seeking +od with their whole heart, belie!es in the baptism of the #oly +host, and desires
it. It%s not that they%re rebellious4 they long for it, but they can%t seem to get it. 'ome people ha!e been tarrying for the
#oly +host for thirty years3 -hat can come through wrong doctrine. Or it can come because a person ne!er gets
beyond the realm of feelings. -hey%re hung up on their feelings, waiting for an e&perience. "nd because they ha!en%t
felt or seen anything, they can%t belie!e.
-heir physical senses ha!e become so dominant o!er them, they can%t get beyond that. -hey can%t belie!e for anything
they can%t see, taste, hear, smell, or feel. -hat%s what I call a natural type of unbelief. B!erybody has it. Cobody
naturally belie!es +od. Eou ha!e to e&ercise your senses to belie!e +od. It%s like a muscle. Eou ha!e muscles in your
body, but none of them are naturally huge and bulging. If you lea!e them alone and do nothing, they%ll atrophy. -hey
don%t naturally grow, they decay.
In the same way, your senses will dominate you if you don%t make a deliberate effort to e&ercise them.
-his natural type of unbelief is what the 2ord is talking about in .atthew 17. -he disciples belie!ed that +od could
do miracles 9 they had cast out demons themsel!es. 5ut in this case, they weren%t able to see deli!erance. I belie!e
the reason the disciples had unbelief was because the epileptic boy fell on the ground, wallowed, and foamed at the
mouth G2uke 9<7AH. If you%!e e!er seen an epileptic attack right in front of you, it will send goose bumps up and down
your spine. ,ear will assault you.
.rayer and Fasting Wor%s !ira"les
It made their senses stand at attention. -hey said, $It%s not working. -his guy is getting worse instead of better.$ -heir
senses dominated them. -hey had a natural unbelief that stopped them from seeing a miracle. 6esus said to them, $"ll
you need is a little bit of faith, but your unbelief was opposing it.$ #e said, $Eou can%t get rid of this kind >in other
words, this kind of natural unbelief? e&cept by prayer and fasting.$
Cow why does prayer and fasting work: 5asically, it works because it brings your senses under control of your spirit
and e&alts spiritual truth abo!e natural truth.
Eour body is not the way you may ha!e pictured it. It is not as strong as you think. Eour body literally does what you
tell it to do. It is not e!il in itself. 2ikewise, your emotions and senses are not e!il in themsel!es. 'atan will tempt
them, and if you yield your senses to him, they can become instruments for e!il. 5ut your body and your senses in
themsel!es are not e!il or good. -hey%re amoral. -hey%re natural.
+od ga!e you your body and senses. It%s the way you use them that corrupts you. It%s like a child. " child has certain
tendencies to be self=centered, pleasure=seeking, rebellious, etc. -hose things in themsel!es aren%t bad unless you let
them become dominant. Eou%!e got to direct them. Eou%!e got to channel them in the right direction. Eour body, your
carnal nature Gwhat the Cew -estament calls the fleshH, is the same way.
'o how do you bring it under control: One way is by prayer and fasting.
5ut most people ha!e the wrong impression here. ,or e&ample, people fast as an act of law, to make +od do
something. -ypically, it goes like this< -hey pray and nothing happens. -hen they think, $I don%t know why the 2ord
hasn%t heard my prayer, but I%!e prayed and nothing%s happened yet.$ -hen they go to church and get somebody to
agree with them. 'till nothing happens. 'o they say, $If all else fails, I%ll go on a fast until I get my answer.$ )hat
they%re saying is, $I don%t know why +od hasn%t answered my prayer, but #e%ll answer it when I get into a fast.
Hungering After God
In other words, a fast becomes a le!er or a pry bar on +od. 1eople think, $I don%t know why +od is not budging, but
this%ll do it. ,asting will get #im. )hen #e sees me about to waste away, I know that regardless of how upset #e is
with me, #e%ll ha!e mercy. 'urely #e%ll mo!e on my behalf when I%m about to die.$ )e play on +od%s sympathy.
-hat kind of fasting will get you nothing but hungry. It does not accomplish a thing. ,asting doesn%t gi!e you any
more $pull$ with +od 9 #e doesn%t lo!e you a bit more if you fast or don%t fast, or if you pray or don%t pray. If you
ne!er fasted or prayed again, +od%s lo!e toward you would still be the same. #e doesn%t change. +od doesn%t keep a
chart with the hours you%!e spent praying and fasting and then, when you reach a certain le!el, #e assigns you
$priority mail$ and has to answer your prayer3
+od doesn%t operate that way. Eou don%t influence #is attitude or actions toward you through your acts. +od lo!es you
because #e is lo!e. 1rayer and fasting don%t mo!e #im.
5ut prayer and fasting does mo!e you. 'uppose your senses dominate you to the point that when +od%s )ord says $5y
whose stripes ye were healed$ G1 1et. A<A7H, your body rebels and says, $Co, I%m not healed. I hurt.$ #ow are you
going to get that body to submit itself to greater spiritual truth:
'ome of us are totally dominated by our bodies. Our bodies say, $Bat3$ and we say, $#ow much:$ )e do whate!er it
tells us to. .ost of us can look in the mirror and see more than enough e!idence that we%re not doing well in this area
Gthere are some skinny gluttons out there, tooH. If your body has dominated you, if you indulge your flesh, remember
what #ebrews 0<17 says 9 that by reason of use we ha!e our senses e&ercised to discern both good and e!il. Eou%!e
got to e&ercise your senses. It%s by reason of use.
Down3 $ody3 Down)
If you%!e been li!ing a self=indulgent life, if you%!e gi!en your flesh e!erything it asks for, and then suddenly the de!il
puts cancer on you so that fear, panic, and pain set in, you may say, $"ll right, I%m taking authority o!er you, body and
emotions.$ -hen your body responds, $)ho are you to tell me what to do: I tell you when to eat, how much to eat,
what to eat 9 and you do it. "nd now you%re going to control me:$ Eour body%s going to rebel. Eou%re going to ha!e
warfare. It is possible to win if you%re desperate enough, but if you ha!en%t been disciplining yourself, most of the time
you%ll lose.
#ow can you deal with that: " fast is a tremendous way. Eour appetite is one of the strongest dri!es you ha!e. 1eople
will kill o!er hunger. Bating is one of the temptations the de!il used against B!e. It%s a strong urge.
)hen you start on a fast and your flesh hasn%t been brought under sub*ection, it will rebel. Eou may ha!e heard
someone talk about seeing three angels and fi!e !isions and getting words from +od and all these things during a fast.
Eou may think, $-his is wonderful. I%m going to fast. I want to see angels. I want to ha!e !isions. I want to ha!e +od
do something special for me.$
'o you go on a fast, and by noon the first day, you%re cranky, you%re irritable, you%re headachy, you feel like you%re
wasting away. Eou think, $'ome !ision this is3$
Of course, medically speaking, it doesn%t hurt you to fast. One day a week is actually good for you. It will purge your
body of poisons. If you%re drinking water, you can go forty days or more before you begin to star!e. 5efore forty days,
it%s your appetite, not your body, that is star!ing. If you thought you were dying of hunger before sundown the first
day, you were wrong. -hat was your flesh rebelling.
,ot /y .ie Alone
'o your body begins to rebel. It cries out, $+i!e me some food, or I%m going to die3$ )hat do you do now: Eou ha!e
to start drawing on the spirit man to sustain you. )hen 6esus was tempted by the de!il, #e told him, $.an shall not
li!e by bread alone, but by e!ery word that proceedeth out of the mouth of +od$ G.att. 7<7, where he ;uotes Deut.
8<@H. )hen #e said that, #e was not *ust spiritualiing a scripture. Eour spirit can actually gi!e physical strength to
your body.
Of course, that%s not a long=term solution. +od made your body to be fed by eating. 5ut the spirit can literally ;uicken
your mortal flesh GIom. 8<11H. -he spirit can gi!e you physical strength when your body and emotions are going wild.
5ut you%ll ha!e to deny the flesh and draw on the spirit man. -he spirit man literally begins to sustain you physically.
It begins to sustain you emotionally. It begins to sustain you mentally. Eou literally li!e off the reser!es in your spirit
man. Eou take your focus away from the physical realm.
B!ery time you lust for an apple pie and you deny it, you%re taking your attention off the physical realm. Eou cannot
think of food all day long and succeed in a fast. Eou can%t go about your normal business all day long and succeed in a
fast because your normal business constantly draws you back to indulging the flesh. -he only way to succeed on a
prolonged fast is to withdraw, take your attention off food, off things, off problems, and put it on the 2ord. )hen you
do that, you%re denying the flesh.
Leggo !e3 $ody)
-he flesh begins losing its grip on you. If the flesh says $Eou%!e got to feed me, or I%m going to die,$ you say, $Cope,
we%re going three days.$ Eour flesh says, $-hree days: I can%t3$ Eou say, $'hut up or I%ll raise it.$ $Oh, I%m going to
die3$ $"ll right, four days.$ $,our days3 I%m going die for sure.$ $,i!e days.$ 'oon, that flesh will be ;uiet. It will say,
$I%d best shut up.$
Eou%ll get to a point that your spirit man says $6ump,$ and your flesh will say $#ow high:$ )hen your spirit man says
$Iaise your hands,$ instead of saying, $)hat%s e!erybody going to think of me:$ you%ll raise your hands. )hen your
spirit man says $'tay awake and pray$ and you want to go to bed, you%ll stay up and pray.
Eou%ll literally break the control of the flesh through a fast. )hen you first go on a fast, you feel terrible 9 all your
irritability, carnality, and anger rises to the surface. Eou think, $-his is the pits. I was better off before I started. I was
better off being carnal than this.$ )hen you e&perience those things, that%s when a fast is doing the most good3 -hat%s
when you%re flushing that poison, all that carnality, all that fleshliness out of you. If you want to persist, you%ll ha!e to
work through all of that. Eou%ll ha!e to put the flesh down.
5ut when you come through it, you%ll ha!e ten times as much power as you had before. -here are going to be results.
( Lord3 4&&&>+>+>+>+>+>&
-he same thing is true of prayer. If you pray a godly prayer, it denies your flesh. Eour flesh does not en*oy praying. -o
persist in prayer, you ha!e to put down your desires in the physical world. Eou ha!e to become spiritually minded.
In a teaching entitled Hardness of Heart, I show how your heart becomes sensiti!e to whate!er you focus your
attention on. If you focus your attention on the spirit man through prayer, fasting, studying the )ord, etc., it becomes
more real to you than the physical. Eou%ll reach a place that when +od says #e supplies all your need according to #is
riches in glory G1hil 7<19H but your bank book is o!erdrawn, you%ll ;uestion the physical before you ;uestion the
)ord. Eou%ll say, $-his can%t be true,$ because the spirit realm has become more real to you than the physical. Eou%ll
realie that what +od says is more true than anything you can see.
.any think that%s *ust a pipe dream, that it%s not dealing with reality, but it is. +od and what #e says can become more
real to you than what you see. -hat%s the way a !ictorious /hristian walks.
)hen +od says you%re prospering, you%re prospering. )hen my wife and I started in the ministry, we were poor as
church mice. )e were so poor we couldn%t pay attention. )e didn%t ha!e any food 9 we were literally star!ing. Eet
+od%s )ord said that I was blessed, that all of my needs were supplied. )hen we didn%t ha!e two pennies to rub
together, someone would ask us how we were doing, and I%d say, $)e%re blessed3$ I belie!ed I was blessed. I talked
like I was blessed. I e&pected to be blessed.
)e could ha!e gone on food stamps many times. )hen 6amie was eight months pregnant with our first son, 6oshua,
we went for two weeks without food of any kind. "ll we had was water. Imagine a forced fast at eight months
pregnant3 -he de!il was telling us, $Eou%re going to kill that child.$
I couldn%t e&plain it in the natural. I couldn%t tell you why we were in that situation, but I knew it was all sub*ect to
change. I was looking at the things that couldn%t be seen, and we *ust kept going. "nd praise +od, we came through it.
'ometimes I lose patience with people who say things like, $I tried to belie!e +od, but it%s been two weeks, and I
ha!en%t got my answer.$
!y !ind 4s *nfruitful
,aith does not come without effort. -here were times when I literally had to shut my mind off because if I let it think,
it would ha!e flooded me with unbelief. -here was nothing in the natural that e!en remotely lined up with the )ord of
+od. Once, when 6amie and I were at the breaking point, I literally thought we couldn%t go for another twenty=four
hours. )e were ready to renounce the 2ord, our faith, e!erything.
I%d been in the house praying se!eral hours that day, waiting on a miracle in the mail. )hen the mail came, I ran out
and looked. -here were only bills. I knew that if I allowed my mind to think freely, I was going to re*ect prosperity.
)hat did I do: I started praying in tongues, because when you pray in tongues, it is your spirit that prays not your
mind G1 /or. 17<17H. I wasn%t going to let my mind pray. I was going to let my spirit pray.
'o I started praying in tongues, but my mind was still thinking. I literally had to start screaming at the top of my lungs.
I screamed for o!er two hours in tongues. If my mind got louder, I%d get louder. I finally *ust out=yelled my mind3
"fter two hours, my spirit finally gained pre=eminence. 1eople often say, $I tried that and it didn%t work.$ 5ut they
didn%t really try hard, or it would ha!e worked.
Don #row A Wal%ing !ira"le
.y associate minister, Don (row, is a good e&ample. #e came to 'eago!ille, -e&as, when I was ministering there. I
had first met him at a 5ible study a year or two before. #e recei!ed the baptism of the #oly +host through some other
people and, for a while, went back to Oklahoma. #e got sick, and while he was in the hospital, he had a high fe!er and
literally lost his mind. #e lost his ability to remember. #e wasn%t able to think or focus. #e was addicted to the drugs
they had gi!en him.
-he de!il told him there was no hope, that he%d ne!er be worth anything again. #e came back to 'eago!ille, and I
spent two weeks *ust spoon=feeding him the )ord, day and night, day and night. ,inally, he said, $)ell, I know that
but....$ #e was threatening suicide.
"fter two weeks, we rented a house and put him up. I said, $Eou know what the )ord says. It%s up to you to choose$
GDeut. @D<19H. "nd I said, $Eou either kill yourself, or get on with it. I%ll be back in three days to check on you.$ I
walked out. #e got mad. ,or three days he prayed in tongues. #e didn%t eat. #e didn%t sleep much. #e made a decision
that he was going to belie!e +od. "nd +od supernaturally healed his mind. #e came out stronger than horseradish,
ministering to e!erything that mo!ed3
Don chose life. #e renewed his mind. #e got to the point that it didn%t matter what his mind was telling him. #e
couldn%t e!en remember from one moment to the ne&t, but he knew +od%s )ord was true. +od restored his mind.
Don is a walking miracle today. 5ut for three days and three nights, he went through torment, speaking in tongues and
submitting his flesh to the things of +od. #e said, $I am healed. I don%t care what the doctor says. I don%t care what I
think. I don%t care what I feel. +od says I%m healed and that%s it3$
It worked. )e all can do that. )e can e&alt +od%s word abo!e all things.
#nowing God
)hen we come into a crisis situation, we need to go to +od and say, $+od, I ha!e a lot of knowledge in my head. I
know intellectually that by the stripes of 6esus I%m healed, but I don%t know it in my heart. I%m ha!ing trouble with it.
+od, I want to know you. I want to know your )ord.$
" lot of /hristians know 6esus, but they don%t know 6esus. If we really knew the 2ord, we wouldn%t be susceptible to
so much doubt and fear.
Do you know why we%re afraid we%re going to fail: 5ecause we don%t really know +od. If you had a true re!elation of
+od, it would be impossible for you to doubt that +od was going pull you through. " person who%s ha!ing problems
with doubt is a person who%s ha!ing problems knowing +od. Eou may not identify with that, but it is true.
I may know you as an ac;uaintance, but I don%t really know you. I don%t know what you%ll do under pressure. I don%t
know what you%ll do in a crisis. 5ut there are other people I know. I mean I know them. I could tell you what those
people would do. ,or e&ample, if you told me that my wife was out cheating on me when I%m out of town, you%re *ust
barking up the wrong tree, because I know my wife.
'ome people think, $Eou%re cray. Eou can%t know for sure what your wife is doing.$ -hey may think that because they
didn%t know their wi!es Gor maybe they do know their wi!es, and they aren%t like 6amieH. 5ut, I know 6amie, and I
know what she%ll do in a gi!en situation. Eou can%t discredit 6amie to me because I know her. 'he has some
weaknesses, but that%s not one of them. I know her.
)hen 'atan comes up and says $+od isn%t going to heal you,$ the reason we fall for it so easily is that we don%t really
know +od. If we understood the lo!e, the compassion and the mercy of +od, we could ne!er, ne!er, ne!er doubt #im.
1eople who say $I%!e asked +od to heal me, but I%m not healed$ ha!e said a mouthful. -hey%!e said they don%t really
know +od. -hey%!e said they don%t ha!e a re!elation of who +od is. -hey%!e said they need to go back and *ust come
to know +od.
)e need to get to the place where we e&alt spiritual truth abo!e natural truth. )e need to get to where we know $the
+od of the )ord$ instead of *ust the )ord of +od. )e need to let the )ord of +od paint a picture for us of who +od
is and, through that re!elation, ha!e fellowship with #im and know #im.
If you do that, I guarantee 'atan will not be able to hit you with discouragement and depression. Once you get a heart
re!elation that +od lo!es you, you%ll be able to resist the de!il.
God's Love .araly>ed
I was teaching in a church one time. " man was there with his daughter, who was in a wheelchair. 'he was 1A years
old. I was teaching that it was not +od who put troubles on us, made us sick, kept us poor, etc. -his man got mad and
left the ser!ice. -he people who brought him said to him, $"t least wait and talk to this guy and ask him what he
meant. .aybe you misunderstood him.$
'o this fellow stayed after the ser!ice. I went out there to talk to him. 5oy, he was hot . #e started saying, $Eou%re
saying it%s the de!il who made my daughter like this: 5ut it was +od3 +od made her like this. It was +od%s will. #e%s
getting glory out of this situation.$
I know why he was saying this. It was a defense mechanism. It absol!ed him of any responsibility. #e wasn%t able to
cope with it. #e couldn%t *ust ask, $Is there something that we can do: "re we really belie!ing +od: "re we wrong:$
Iather than confront that, he pushed off all the blame on +od. " lot of people do that.
I was trying to be compassionate toward him but he was mad. #e%d ;uote scriptures to show that +od had put this on
her. I%d ;uote scriptures to show that he hadn%t. )e weren%t getting anywhere. It was an impasse. I finally figured I had
nothing to lose, so I *ust said, $)hat%s the matter with you: Don%t you lo!e your daughter: )hat kind of father are
you: Do you want your daughter to be a paraplegic, *ust sitting in a wheelchair not conscious of anything for the rest
of her life:$
#e was mad before 9 now he got furious. #e screamed, $I%d gi!e anything to heal my daughter3 If I could, I%d sell
e!erything I%!e got. I%d do anything if there were an operation that could cure her. If I could, I%d become like she is so
she could become like me.$ #e started crying. #e was really upset.
-hen I said, $"nd you think +od, who has all power and all might, lo!es her less: -hat%s e&actly what +od came to
do. #e became what we were so that we could be what #e is. Eou don%t know the lo!e of +od.$ -hat man could argue
doctrine with me, but when I started talking about the lo!e of +od, he didn%t ha!e a leg to stand on.
If this human father, whose lo!e is corrupted, would literally die for his daughter and take her place, how could he
doubt the willingness of +od to heal her: #ow could he think that +od had put that thing on her to teach her
something: #e couldn%t 9 it%s *ust inconsistent.
God3 Spea% to !e&&&God God
-hat lie would be totally unbelie!able if people knew +od. 'atan couldn%t discredit +od if we had a re!elation of who
#e is. )e%re operating in intellectual ideas instead of a heartfelt e&perience, a re!elation of +od. )e need to get a
re!elation of who +od is. )e need to come to know #im personally.
-hat%s what 6esus was saying in 6ohn 17. $+uys,$ #e said, $you think you know the way. Eou know the way, but you
don%t know -#B )"E. I am the way.$ -hey wanted to see the ,ather, and the ,ather had been li!ing with them, eating
with them, and sleeping with them for three=and=a=half years3 -hey hadn%t percei!ed #im. -hey had missed #im
because #e wasn%t in a form they recognied.
'ome of you want a word from +od. Eou say, $O +od, speak to me,$ and the 5ible is right there in your hand. +od
has spoken to you. -he written )ord of +od is a more sure word of prophecy than any audible !oice. Eou couldn%t ask
for more. )e ha!e our 5ible on our table and say, $+od, where are you:$ #e%s right there, where #e%s always been3
1ick it up, blow the dust off the thing, and read it3 -he 5ible is +od speaking to us. It is +od%s )ord. )e need to e&alt
it.
Eou can do that. Eou can lose your own life, your own senses, your own wisdom, and get to the place where it%s only
+od%s )ord that makes sense to you. -his carnal world doesn%t make sense anymore to me. It%s +od%s )ord that makes
sense. B!erything else is screwed up. It%s not +od%s )ord that is screwed up 9 it%s the rest of the world3 +et a hold of
that.
Eou can renew your mind to think that way. Eou%ll get to where +od%s )ord is greater than anything 9 greater than
the word of a doctor, the word of a lawyer, the word of a 1h.D., whoe!er. It doesn%t matter what they ha!e 9 if it%s
contrary to +od%s word, it%s ignorance. It%s a fool who is speaking. )e ha!e a lot of educated fools. If they don%t speak
the )ord, it%s because there isn%t any truth in them. -he 'cripture says that GIs. 8<ADH.
)e need to get to the place that +od%s )ord becomes e!erything to us. -hrough the )ord, we%ll come into a heartfelt
re!elation of who +od is. If you%ll e&alt +od%s )ord in a crisis, if you%ll fast and pray to get your body under control, if
you%ll ignore what your senses are telling you, it will deal a death blow to 'atan%s work in your life.
It may take time to do this, but belie!e me, it%ll be worth it.
/hapter 7
-he )ord
In the last chapter, I alluded to the importance of going by the )ord of +od more than anything else 9 more than
your fears, more than $e&pert$ opinion, more than what your family thinks, etc. In this chapter, I want to stress that
truth in a ma*or way.
Try Again3 Tho-as
In 6ohn 17<7, 6esus said that #is disciples knew where #e was going and they knew the way. 5ut -homas didn%t
belie!e this. #e knew 6esus, but he didn%t recognie that 6esus was the way. #e didn%t know the answer.
)hat 6esus said was true. -homas should ha!e said, $6esus, you know more than I%ll e!er know. B&plain to me how I
know the way. B&plain to me what I don%t know.$ -hat%s the way we should approach the )ord. )e should say, $+od,
your )ord says that I%m healed. I belie!e it. 'o why does my body hurt: 1lease e&plain to me.$ +od will e&plain it to
you and tell you what to do.
5ut when you%re e&alting what you see, hear, taste, smell, and feel abo!e +od%s )ord, you%re saying, $+od, you%re
wrong. -his is the way I am. I can feel it.$ If you do that, you%re in trouble. "nd you won%t come out of that trouble
until you e&alt +od%s )ord abo!e e!erything else.
In A 1eter, the "postle is writing to the church at large. #e%s trying to con!ince people that what he%s saying is not
something out of his own heart. #e says, $-his isn%t me speaking. It%s +od speaking.$ #e%s trying to get people to listen
to the !oice of +od. #ow did he do that:
Cot like people do today. 1eople today are so carnal that if someone were to ad!ertise o!er radio and tele!ision $I%!e
had a !ision. +od appeared to me, and told me to share this !ision with you at the ,irst Intergalactic /hristian /hurch
on December 0th and 8th,$ you couldn%t hold the people. -hey%d pack the place out because they%d want to hear
something directly from +od.
The 1isi/le 1oi"e of God
1eter was trying to con!ince people that what he was telling them was directly from +od. In A 1eter 1<18=18, he says,
$,or we ha!e not followed cunningly de!ised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our
2ord 6esus /hrist, but were eyewitnesses of his ma*esty. ,or he recei!ed from +od the ,ather honour and glory, when
there came such a !oice to him from the e&cellent glory, -his is my belo!ed 'on, in whom I am well pleased. "nd this
!oice which came from hea!en we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.$
1eter was referring to the transfiguration. #e said, $I was with 6esus 9 I saw #im radiating light. " cloud came o!er
#im, the 'hekinah glory of +od like in the Old -estament. -he glory came o!er #im, and an audible !oice from
hea!en said, %-his is my dear 'on.%$
Cow that%s strong. )hen people first read that, they probably thought, $5oy, we%d better listen to this guy. #e was with
6esus. #e heard the audible !oice of +od. #e saw things we ha!en%t seen. #e%s got a re!elation.$ 5ut in !erse 19, 1eter
says,$)e ha!e also a more sure word of prophecy.$ )hat could be more sure than the !isible glory and audible !oice
of +od from hea!en:
Jerse AD tells us< $(nowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any pri!ate interpretation.$ -he thing that
is more sure than an audible !oice or a !isible manifestation of +od is 'cripture 9 the written )ord of +od. I can%t
o!eremphasie this. It%s critically important.
)e need to e&alt the written )ord of +od abo!e any !isible manifestation. If I had a meeting at your church and
called you up from the audience and said $6oe or .ary, anything you want tonight, +od says #e%ll gi!e it to you,$ I
guarantee that you%d go out of there e&cited, telling e!erybody what +od had said. Eou%d hardly be able to contain
your enthusiasm.
Did you know +od%s )ord promises that e&act same thing in se!eral places:
#owe!er, most of us don%t e&alt +od%s )ord to that place. If we had to choose between two doors, one marked $!isible
manifestation$ and the other marked $)ord of +od,$ most of us would choose the !isible manifestation e!ery time.
$+i!e me an e&perience,$ we%d say. 5ut did you know that an e&perience is inferior to the )ord of +od: -hat%s what
1eter is saying. -here is a greater blessing on belie!ing the )ord than there is on seeing a !isible manifestation and
then belie!ing.
8esus Shows His Hand
In 6ohn AD, the disciples were telling -homas about the resurrection of 6esus. -homas replied to them, $B&cept I shall
see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I
will not belie!e$ G!erse A0H. Bight days later, 6esus appeared and said to -homas, $Ieach hither thy finger, and behold
my hands4 and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into my side< and be not faithless, but belie!ing$ G!erse A7H. -homas
fell down saying, $.y 2ord and my +od$ G!erse A8H.
6esus looked at him and said, $-homas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast belie!ed< blessed are they that ha!e not
seen, and yet ha!e belie!ed$ G!erse A9H. In other words, 6esus said there is a greater blessing on belie!ing +od%s word
than on e&periencing a supernatural manifestation.
I%m not telling you to turn down anything from +od. .any powerful men in the word of +od had !isible
manifestations, but their hearts weren%t on them. -hey were seeking +od. If +od gi!es you a !isible manifestation,
don%t re*ect it. 5ut don%t seek it. +et to the point that you e&alt +od%s )ord abo!e e!erything else. Fntil you get to that
place, you aren%t going to be capable of handling a !isible manifestation. It would ruin you. It would destroy you.
-hat%s the reason we don%t get more of them. )e%d start following !isions and *ust run wild. 'atan can counterfeit
!isions, but he can%t counterfeit the )ord of +od. -he )ord of +od is superior to all of 'atan%s wisdom, and there is
no way he can touch it. #e can gi!e you a dream. #e can gi!e you goose bumps. #e can gi!e you an angelic !ision.
#e can gi!e you messages that can fool you if you don%t know the )ord, but he can%t counterfeit the )ord of +od.
-he )ord of +od is superior to e!erything else.
Our senses go against that. In 6ohn 17<8, the disciples were saying, $2ord, show us the ,ather and that%ll be enough for
us.$ 6esus replied, $#a!e I been with you this long, and you still don%t know .e:$ -hey knew 6esus, but they didn%t
really know 6esus. -hey hadn%t fully discerned #im. -hey didn%t recognie who #e was. -hey were looking at #im
from a physical, natural !iewpoint. -hey hadn%t percei!ed the spiritual truth about #im. -hey hadn%t had a re!elation
of who 6esus really was.
Where's !y ,a-e in the $i/le
One time, Da!id Bngles was preaching at a meeting and I was there. I went up to talk to him after the meeting was
o!er and was standing in line. -he fellow in front of me had a huge 5ible under his arm. #e walked up and said,
$5rother Bngles, I%!e *ust been told I ha!e cancer. Do you ha!e any scriptures or a word from +od that #e will heal
me:$ 'o Da!id Bngles rattled off Isaiah 0@<0, .atthew 8<17, 1 1eter A<A7, and @ 6ohn A to him 9 all of the ma*or
healing scriptures. #e said, $I know all of those. Do you ha!e anything specifically for me:$
I thought, $)hat does this guy want, a scripture with his name engra!ed on it:$ +od%s )ord is +od speaking to us.
+od%s )ord is the answer for you, it%s the answer for me, it%s the answer for e!eryone.
.any times people come forward at my meetings, and I%ll pray for them. -he 2ord often gi!es me discernment about a
problem they ha!e. ,or e&ample, when a person is *ust weary and about to gi!e up, I%ll say something like, $I see that
you%re weary, that you%re ready to ;uit and gi!e up.$ -hat person will begin to cry and say, $-hat%s of +od,$ which, of
course, it is Gafter all, it%s a gift of the 'piritH. -hen I%ll gi!e them #ebrews 1A<1=A, but I%ll put it into my own
terminology. I%ll say, $-hus saith the 2ord, the reason you%re weary is because you ha!en%t been looking at 6esus, the
author and finisher of your faith. If you keep your attention stayed on #im, you won%t be weary.$ -he person will say,
$-hat%s a word from +od *ust for me,$ and they%ll go out of there all e&cited.
"ll I did was paraphrase #ebrews 1A<1=A, which they ha!e a!ailable to them all the time. -hey won%t read it, yet
they%ll recei!e it if it comes through someone with their eyes closed saying, $-hus saith the 2ord.$ I%ll use it to bless
people, but that%s carnal and immature. )e ought to grow up and get beyond that. +od will use it, and I don%t feel bad
about doing it, but it%s a shame to ha!e to ha!e spoken o!er you something that%s already in your 5ible. +od has gi!en
you the answer.
-he problem is that we aren%t taking +od%s answer, meditating on it, and making it ours. )e%re crying out to +od for
something else. "ny time you%re in a crisis, you%ll be tempted to say, $O +od, what do I do: I need a special word from
you. +od, say something to me.$ )e get desperate for a )ord from +od. -he first thing you should say is $I%!e
already got the answer. It%s in my 5ible somewhere.$ -hen pore into the )ord of +od. -ake e!ery scripture you%!e
heard of on that sub*ect and look it up. .editate on it. Don%t e&pect +od to speak something special to you when #e%s
already spoken it in #is )ord. -hat%s a more sure word of prophecy than anything +od could speak to you.
Ti-e Travel? @A A&D&
'ometimes people think, $If only I%d li!ed in the days of 6esus, if only I%d been one of #is disciples, if only I%d seen all
those great miracles, I%d ha!e been powerful. Eou couldn%t ha!e stopped me.$ Co, actually I belie!e it would ha!e been
harder to belie!e in 6esus if you were one of #is twel!e disciples than it is now. )hy: ,or one thing, familiarity
breeds contempt. $" prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin$ G.ark 8<7H. )hen
you%re familiar with a person and you know his or her human side, it%s harder to belie!e. It%s actually easier to !isualie
6esus now, sitting at the right hand of +od with all #is power and glory, than it would be if #e were walking on earth.
-he 5ible says that some ha!e entertained angels unaware G#eb. 1@<AH. I think many of us ha!e seen angels and didn%t
recognie them because they%re !ery plain looking. -hey can disguise themsel!es as people. In 1hoeni&, a strange man
walked in during one of our meetings. #e looked like a drunk, a derelict. #e was huge, he had tattoos all o!er him,
and he rode a motorcycle. -his fellow knew more of the 5ible than anybody I%!e e!er seen in my life. #e could talk to
anybody. #e%d be o!er there talking to somebody, then he%d be o!er here talking to somebody. I didn%t see him walk
from place to place Mmdash he was *ust e!erywhere3
#e led many people to the 2ord that night. #e may ha!e been an angel. I wouldn%t ha!e thought an angel had 5.O.,
wore a leather *acket, and had tattoos, but I really belie!e he was an angel. I belie!e +od delights in manifesting
#imself in ways that it takes faith to percei!e. In Isaiah 0@<A, it says that 6esus had no special form or comeliness that
we should desire #im. 1hysically, 6esus was !ery ordinary. I belie!e it took more faith for the disciples to belie!e in
6esus than it does for us because they had to look beyond the physical and see into the spirit realm to percei!e who #e
was.
The Dis"iple Andrew 5Wo--a"%6
I had a dream some time ago. In it, I was one of the 2ord%s disciples. It was real 9 I dream in technicolor3 I was there
when #e raised 6airus% daughter from the dead. I remember the thrill of it 9 we were *ust running down the road, so
e&cited. -here wasn%t any $holy$ or religious thing about it. )e were celebrating, and our hands were in the air. )e
had also fed the 0,DDD. I was right there when it all happened.
Iight in the midst of this, 6esus turned around, stuck #is finger in my face, and asked, $5ut who do you say that I
am:$ -his was the same thing #e asked the disciples in .atthew 18. I knew the answer. 1eter said, $Eou are the
/hrist, the 'on of the li!ing +od$ G!erse 18H. 5ut when 6esus asked me that, I *ust looked at #im. #e was as plain as
day. I could see the miracles and relate to them. 5y #is actions, by the )ord of +od, and by the witness of my heart, I
knew that #e was the 'on of +od, but my flesh said that #e was *ust a man. )hen I finally said, $Eou are the /hrist,$
it took more faith than I%d e!er had to muster in my life.
6esus% disciples knew #im, but they didn%t really know #im. -hey knew #im as a man. In A /orinthians 0<18, 1aul
says that we knew /hrist once in the flesh, but now we know #im that way no more. In other words, we knew 6esus
once as a physical man, but we didn%t percei!e who #e was. B!en 1eter, who said that #e was the /hrist, didn%t
always relate to #im that way. 1eter !acillated back and forth between seeing #im as a man and percei!ing who #e
really was.
-he same thing happens to us. )e lose sight of the )ord of +od. )e forget how powerful it is. )e forget that 6esus is
the )ord, the )ord is +od, and the )ord created the hea!ens and the earth G6ohn 1<1=@H. -he )ord created your body,
and if you speak the )ord in faith, your body has to respond to it. -he 5ible says that when 6esus comes back, #e%s
going to destroy #is enemies with the )ord of #is mouth GIe!. 19<10H. I don%t belie!e #e%s going to create some kind
of nuclear blast. I don%t belie!e #e%s going to unleash angels to kill e!erybody. I don%t belie!e #e%s going to speak
anything new. I belie!e #e is going to speak the written )ord of +od.
)hen 6esus was being tempted by 'atan, #e said, $It is written.$ #e could ha!e said $2a, la, la,$ and that would ha!e
been 'cripture 9 anything #e said would ha!e been 'cripture. 5ut #e went back and ;uoted the Old -estament from
Deuteronomy 8<@. )hy: 5ecause #e couldn%t impro!e on it. -he )ord of +od is perfect in e!ery way, and e!en 6esus
could not impro!e on it. "ll #e did was ;uote the )ord.
2And His ,a-e 4s the Word of God&&&2
I belie!e that when 6esus comes again, #e%s going to ;uote scriptures from the book of Ie!elation, and that that will
destroy #is enemies and bring in the reign of righteousness. -he same )ord we now ha!e between the co!ers of our
5ible will be greater than all of the nuclear bombs, $'tar )ars$ weapons, poison gas, or anything else the world can
throw at #im. -he )ord is powerful 9 we don%t begin to recognie how powerful it is. )e%re sitting here waiting on
+od to gi!e us something, and it%s right in our laps.
)e%re far below where +od wants us to be. 1eople are not meditating on the )ord day and night. )e all want the
benefits of +od without getting into the )ord of +od. )e don%t take heed to it. )e%d rather sit down and watch the bad
news on tele!ision than to read the good news of the 'cripture. 'omething is wrong when we spend more time in the
world than in the )ord. +od does not intend it to be that way.
Eou shouldn%t e!er get out of the )ord 9 that alone would pre!ent a lot of crises. 5ut if a crisis comes, you need to
turn off the tele!ision, go back to the )ord, and saturate yourself in it. If you%re sick, don%t lay in bed with your feet
propped up, popping pills, and watching tele!ision. +et into the )ord.
" friend of mine, 6oe Cey, was holding a meeting once and was e&tremely sick. Instead of going to bed and $suffering
through,$ he got up, but he was too sick to stand up too. 'o he lay on the floor, put his 5ible in front of him, and for
twel!e hours pushed it around the room with his nose, saying, $5y the stripes of 6esus I am healed.$ -hat%s how hard it
was for him to do 9 but he came out healed.
,o .ain3 ,o Gain
If that%s what you ha!e to do to get into the )ord of +od, do it. )e think, $-hat%s a little fanatical, isn%t it: Eou don%t
ha!e to be like that.$ -he woman in .ark 0 could ha!e been more reser!ed, but she wouldn%t ha!e been healed. 'he
touched the hem of 6esus% garment and was ridiculed because of how desperate she was. 'he probably had to crawl on
her hands and knees to touch #im. Eet the 5ible says that for twel!e years, she had wasted all of her money and
suffered many things of many physicians G!erse A8H.
'ome medical practices today are barbaric. Eet nobody thinks anything of going through that kind of torture in the
name of science. 5ut if it takes any effort at all to pray or get into the )ord of +od, people won%t do it. )e put
oursel!es through sheer agony to follow the ways of men, yet we e&pect +od to work automatically3
I was talking to a man once in +ermany. #e said, $I don%t understand it. Bither you%re healed or you aren%t. It doesn%t
seem like you should ha!e to stand on the )ord of +od.$ 5ut it doesn%t work that way in the natural, and it doesn%t
work that way in the supernatural. -here%s a place for standing. -here%s a place for fighting the good fight of faith, to
speak the )ord of +od regardless of what happens.
It begins by getting into the )ord. It%s going to take some effort. 'atan will fight you to keep you out of +od%s )ord.
#e will gi!e you more things to do than you e!er could do. It%s ne!er going to be con!enient to study +od%s )ord. It%s
ne!er going to be con!enient to know it frontwards and backwards. It%s ne!er going to be con!enient to pray. If you%re
waiting for a con!enient time, you might as well ;uit now, because it will ne!er come.
We 4nterrupt This $road"ast&&&
It won%t e!en be fun at first. 5ut after you get your mind renewed, it will be more fun. It will be more fun than
watching the *unk on tele!ision. ,or me, it%s not fun to watch tele!ision any more. I watch it a little bit, but after a
while, it *ust isn%t fun. " little bit goes a long way3
"fter a while, the )ord of +od will be fun. It%s fun to ha!e *oy, peace, and the anointing of +od. It feels good.
)atching people cursing, stealing, killing, and committing adultery is not fun. If you%re used to that, if your mind is
corrupted by all that, when you start into the )ord of +od, it%s not going to be fun. Eou%ll ha!e to retrain yourself. 5ut
you can do it.
" person who has gorged themsel!es on sweets all of their life won%t think anything else is good. 5ut that can change.
,or a long time, my wife and I didn%t use any sweets at home e&cept honey. 'he e!en cooked with it. -here was no
sugar of any kind in the house. )e got to a place where we couldn%t tolerate anything with sugar. )hen you change
your diet and begin to eat healthy food, you get to where an orange is as sweet as you stand. Eou can%t stand food with
sugar in it. Eou condition yourself to the way you eat. -hat%s where you are.
&&&for a Spe"ial Word fro- God
Bmotionally and intellectually, it%s the same way. If you feed on *unk all the time, it begins to be appealing. It%s the
norm. -hat%s where you are. )e%re so polluted today that if we don%t ha!e access to all the garbage on tele!ision, we
get bored. 5ut you can renew yourself. Eou can separate yourself. "t first, it will be hard, but after a while, the )ord
of +od will begin to taste better and better to you. In 1salm 19<1D, it says that +od%s )ord is $more to be desired...than
gold, yea, than much fine gold< sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.$ Eou can get to a place where reading
+od%s )ord is the most e&citing thing you do.
If you ha!en%t reached that place, you ha!en%t begun to mature in the )ord of +od. Eou need to reach a place to where
+od%s )ord is e&citing, where it%s your meditation day and night. -hat%s the beginning.
)hen you%re in a crisis situation 9 especially 9 shut down e!erything and get into +od%s )ord. -he 5ible says in
Iomans 8<8, $,or to be carnally minded is death4 but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.$ 'piritually minded is
)ord minded. 6ohn 8<8@ says $-he words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.$ +od%s )ord is spirit
and life. 'o when you%re thinking +od%s )ord, you%re spiritually minded. -he 5ible says that will produce life and
peace.
If you%re depressed, you ha!en%t been keeping your mind on the )ord of +od. If you%re discouraged, you ha!en%t been
keeping your mind on the )ord of +od. If you%re defeated, you ha!en%t been keeping your mind on the )ord of +od.
If you%re sick, you ha!en%t been keeping your mind on the )ord of +od. -he )ord will produce only life and peace.
Isn%t that simple: "s a man thinks in his heart, so is he G1ro!. A@<7H.
Sow Wheat3 'eap Wheat
I used to pastor farmers. I learned some !ery simple things from those farmers. -here are laws that go!ern their li!es<
they plant wheat, they get wheat. -hey plant soybeans, they get soybeans. -hey plant weeds, they get weeds. Eet, the
+od who created those natural laws also created spiritual laws. "ctually, spiritual law supercedes natural law. 'piritual
laws are more accurate, more steadfast, and more certain than natural laws.
Eet most people ha!e the concept that natural laws are absolute and that spiritual things are sub*ect to change. It%s
e&actly the opposite. Catural things are sub*ect to change, while spiritual things are eternal GA /or. 7<18H. -here are
spiritual laws. ,or e&ample, $)hatsoe!er a man soweth, that shall he also reap$ G+al. 8<7H. -here are people who say,
$I%m sick. I%m ha!ing financial problems. I%m ha!ing marital problems. 5ut honest, it%s not anything I%!e done. I%!e
done e!erything right. It must *ust be +od%s will.$ -hat%s not so.
Eou don%t plant wheat and get corn. Eou don%t plant the )ord of +od and get sickness. Eou don%t plant the )ord of
+od and get depression, defeat, sorrow, anger, and all those kinds of things. If those things are operating in your life,
you ha!en%t been meditating on +od%s )ord. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, says .atthew
1A<@7. If you%re speaking anger, strife, fear, *ealousy, and things like that, it%s because you%!e been meditating on it in
abundance.
+o back and make sure you%re sowing the right thing. Eou shouldn%t wait until a crisis situation comes, but if it does
come, go back and make sure e!ery thought, e!ery desire, e!ery emotion you%!e sown lines up with +od%s )ord.
"nything that doesn%t, pull it up. Ioot it out.
+od%s )ord is ultimate truth. -hat%s what 6esus was telling #is disciples. In 6ohn 17<7, #e said, $"nd whither I go ye
know, and the way ye know.$ -hen -homas said, $2ord, we know not whither thou goest4 and how can we know the
way:$ G!erse 0H In !erses 8=7, $6esus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life< no man cometh unto the
,ather, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should ha!e known my ,ather also< and from henceforth ye know him, and
ha!e seen him.$ Cotice what 6esus said here. #e didn%t say, $)ouldn%t it be nice to know the ,ather and see #im: $#e
said from henceforth ye know him, and ha!e seen him$ G!erse 7H. -hat%s a declarati!e statement, a statement of fact.
-hen 1hilip said, $1hilip saith unto him, 2ord, shew us the ,ather, and it sufficeth us$ G!erse 8H. In other words,
$)rong again, 6esus. )e don%t know the ,ather.$ -hat%s a blatant contradiction of +od%s )ord, but we do the e&act
same thing. In A -imothy @<18=17, it says $"ll scripture is gi!en by inspiration of +od, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness< -hat the man of +od may be perfect, throughly furnished
unto all good works.$
The Word of God&&&and Then So-e
Cotice the word $perfect.$ -hat means there is no plan 5 or plan /. Eou don%t ha!e to learn by $hard knocks.$ Eou
don%t ha!e to get it by special re!elation. Eou don%t ha!e to ha!e an angel teach it to you. Eou don%t need anything else.
+od%s )ord will make you perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. +od%s )ord will supply you with
e!erything.
Eet, most of us don%t belie!e that. .ost of us don%t turn to +od%s )ord to supply us with e!erything. .ost of us don%t
go to +od%s )ord for e!ery answer in our li!es. .ost of us use +od%s )ord as kind of a foundation, a basic principle,
but for day=to=day li!ing, we think we need more than that. -hat%s not true.
+od%s )ord has an answer for e!erything. B!erything you will e!er deal with is found in +od%s )ord. 6esus was
saying, $I%m e!erything. If you%!e seen me, you%!e seen the ,ather. If you know me, you know the ,ather.$ -he
disciples said, $Co, 2ord, that%s not enough. +i!e us one more thing Mmdash a !isible look at the ,ather 9 and that
will satisfy us.$
If you put a carrot on a stick and hang it out in front of a horse%s head, that horse will go for it. 5ut e!ery time he takes
a step, the carrot mo!es. It%s always *ust out of reach, and it keeps on mo!ing. -hat%s the way the de!il is. -he de!il
always tells you, $If you *ust had this or that from the 2ord, if you *ust had this e&perience, if you *ust had that !ision,
if you *ust had this dream, if +od would *ust do this for you.$ #e%s always dangling something in front of you, telling
you that you need more. 5ut you don%t need anything else. -he )ord of +od will make you perfect, thoroughly
furnished unto all good works.
2et me emphasie that. Eou don%t need anything more than the )ord of +od3
+od%s )ord has a complete answer for you, whoe!er you are and whate!er your circumstances. -he problem is that
we don%t know what the )ord says. "nd the things we do know, we don%t meditate on. )e let them slip so that we lose
the re!elation of it. +od%s )ord is powerful, but it%s something you can%t understand *ust mentally. Eou ha!e to let it
soak down inside of you. It has to take root before it begins to release power.
Whatsoever 0ou Sow3 Leave 4t)
"gain, it%s like a seed. Eou don%t *ust scatter seed and reap a har!est ten minutes later. It must ha!e time to germinate,
to put roots down, to get nourishment from the soil. Eou can%t plant it one day, dig it up the ne&t day to see if anything
happened, then plant it again. Eou ha!e to lea!e it there. 2ikewise, the )ord of +od is something that has to abide
G6ohn 10<7H. Eou can%t get all pumped up on the )ord of +od on 'unday, then .onday, -uesday, )ednesday,
-hursday, ,riday, and 'aturday go out and root it up, then come back on 'unday and plant it again. It doesn%t work
that way. -he reason most people don%t e&perience !ictory is because the )ord ne!er takes root inside of them. It
touches them and they%ll get e&cited about it, but they won%t abide in it. -hey won%t allow it to stay and germinate.
-he )ord of +od must become e!erything to us. It%s a more sure )ord of prophecy than an angel or a !ision or a
dream or anything else that may come our way. 1aul says in +alatians 1<8 that if anyone preaches anything e&cept the
)ord of +od he preached 9 e!en an angel of +od 9 let him be accursed. -hen he repeats it. If something is contrary
to +od%s )ord, *ust curse it. +od%s )ord is the only absolute truth.
Aw Co-e (n3 Are 0ou 'eally The !essiah
2et%s look at .atthew 11. 6ohn the 5aptist had *ust been cast into prison. 6ohn sent two of his disciples to 6esus to ask,
$"rt thou he that should come, or do we look for another:$ G!erse @H. Cow this is an amaing statement. -o get its
impact, you ha!e to recognie that 6ohn the 5aptist had announced four times publicly that 6esus was the .essiah. #e
said this with all the confidence and authority he could muster. #e belie!ed it with all of his heart. #e had said, $#e
that sent me to baptie with water, the same said unto me, Fpon whom thou shalt see the 'pirit descending, and
remaining on him, the same is he which baptieth with the #oly +host$ G6ohn 1<@@H.
'o 6ohn not only had the witness of the 'pirit in his heart but also a !isible sign. +od had told him that when he saw
this happen, it would be the .essiah. 6ohn knew beyond a doubt who 6esus was, and he proclaimed it to the world.
)hen 6esus% ministry began to prosper at the e&pense of his own, he e!en said, $#e must increase, but I must
decrease$ G6ohn @<@DH.
6ohn the 5aptist was a tremendous man, a tremendous e&ample of a ser!ant. 6esus said that among those born of
women, none were greater than 6ohn G2uke 7<A8H. In other words, 6ohn the 5aptist was greater than any Old
-estament saint who e!er li!ed 9 greater than "braham, Da!id, Bli*ah, Blisha, 6eremiah, Daniel, whoe!er 9 not to
mention any of the pagan heroes.
6ohn was a powerful man of +od, and he knew beyond any shadow of a doubt who 6esus was. 'o now 6ohn is in
prison and, by all e!idence, had been there at least a year or two. During this time, he began to doubt. #e doubted so
much that he sent two of his disciples to ask if 6esus was really the /hrist or if there was another that they should look
for.
-his was serious. -he greatest man who e!er li!ed up to that point was now doubting e!erything3 ,or thirty years,
6ohn the 5aptist had been li!ing in the wilderness preparing for this ministry. #e had spent only si& months in
ministry and then was thrown into prison. In si& months he had re!olutionied not only the 6ewish nation but people
from all the nations around it. #e literally shook continents in si& months% time, proclaiming the coming of the
.essiah. -he fire of +od burned in his heart. ,or a man like that to be shut up in prison must ha!e been hard on him.
It must ha!e grated on him day and night.
!essiah? Servant3 .riest or #ing 5"hoose one6
"lso, most people did not ha!e a proper understanding of the .essiah. -he 6ews thought #e was going to set up a
kingdom immediately 9 perhaps by force. -hey didn%t understand the church age, the end times, or the $suffering
ser!ant$ of Isaiah. It wasn%t clear. 'o it%s possible that 6ohn the 5aptist thought 6esus was going to establish a physical
kingdom, and now, two years later, it wasn%t working out. #e probably had a lot of confusion, a lot of ;uestions.
"ll of these things came to bear on 6ohn so that he actually began to doubt that 6esus was the .essiah. )hen his
disciples finally went to 6esus to ask #im, #e answered, $+o and shew 6ohn again those things which ye do hear and
see.$ G.att. 11<7H. In 2uke chapter 7, the same story, it says that after they asked 6esus this ;uestion, #e didn%t reply
for a whole hour. In this hour, #e opened blind eyes, unstopped deaf ears, healed lame men, and performed all kinds
of miracles. -hen, after an hour, #e came back to them and said,$+o your way, and tell 6ohn what things ye ha!e seen
and heard4 how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor
the gospel is preached. "nd blessed is he, whosoe!er shall not be offended in me$ G!erses AA=A@H.
)hen I first read this, it didn%t seem that 6esus% response met 6ohn%s need at all. 6ohn the 5aptist had a serious need,
and 6esus said in effect, $6ust go tell him what you%!e seen and that he%s blessed if he%s not offended.$ It didn%t look
ade;uate, especially when 6esus went on and on about 6ohn after his disciples had gone. #e asked, $)hat did you go
out into the wilderness to see: 'omebody wearing nice clothes: Eou don%t find that in the desert. Ieeds swaying in the
wind: Eou don%t find that in the desert. Eou went out to see the anointing of +od. -his man was a prophet and more
than a prophet. -here has ne!er been a greater man than 6ohn the 5aptist$ G!erses A7=A8H.
#e said some powerful things about 6ohn. I thought, $)ouldn%t it ha!e comforted 6ohn if he could ha!e heard all these
nice things: )hy didn%t #e send that message to 6ohn instead of the one #e did:$
Andrew Who
I can relate to that. Once, I was in a con!ention at ,ort )orth. "ll the big names were there 9 hundreds of them.
B!erybody was big e&cept me. Cobody knew who I was. Cobody cared. 1eople were gi!ing money to these big
ministries. )e needed money as badly as any of them. I was ha!ing a pity party.
I was in a huge auditorium filled with A,DDD people. -hey were singing and praising the 2ord. -hen they said to go
around and hug somebody. 5ob Cichols, the pastor of the host church, came directly back to me and started hugging
me and *ust wouldn%t let go. It wasn%t a $charismatic$ hug 9 this man started crying and telling me that +od lo!ed me
and he lo!ed me. It was really +od. -here was no way he could ha!e known what my situation was. #e really
ministered to me.
I can see that it would ha!e ministered to 6ohn the 5aptist to ha!e 6esus, whom the whole nation was clamoring after,
say something like, $Don%t you people know who 6ohn the 5aptist is: #e%s a great man of +od. Co Old -estament
saint is greater than 6ohn.$ It seems that would ha!e blessed 6ohn a lot more than what 6esus actually said. I was
meditating on this, thinking, $+od, why did you do this:$
-hen the 2ord showed me the answer. In Isaiah @0 there is a prophecy about the .essiah. Jerses @=8 tell some of the
things that will happen when the .essiah comes. It says, $'trengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble
knees. 'ay to them that are of a fearful heart, 5e strong, fear not< behold, your +od will come with !engeance, e!en
+od with a recompense4 he will come and sa!e you. -hen the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the
deaf shall be unstopped. -hen shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing< for in the
wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.$
6ohn the 5aptist was familiar with Isaiah. )hen asked who he was he said, $I%m the !oice of one crying in the
wilderness, prepare ye the way of the 2ord,$ which came directly from Isaiah 7D. -hese were some of the scriptures
+od used to call 6ohn the 5aptist into the ministry, to tell him what he was supposed to do, and to tell him what the
.essiah would do when #e came.
Again3 4 Say *nto 0ou&&&
'o what was 6esus doing when #e didn%t gi!e 6ohn the 5aptist a special answer and *ust performed the miracles: In
one hour%s time, 6esus fulfilled e!erything written in Isaiah @0. -hen #e told the disciples, $+o back and tell 6ohn that
you see blind eyes opened, deaf ears opened, the lame man leap as a hart, and streams breaking out in the desert.$ In
other words, $+o back and tell 6ohn the )ord of +od is being fulfilled3$ #e was saying in effect, $6ohn, you%re blessed
if you%ll belie!e what +od%s )ord says.$ #e actually ga!e 6ohn the greatest answer #e could gi!e 9 #e referred him
back to the )ord of +od instead of gi!ing him some cheap, emotional thrill that would last only for a short time.
#e referred him back to the )ord of +od because that is +od%s best. 6esus told 6ohn, $Eou%re blessed if you%ll belie!e
and not be offended.$ I belie!e 6ohn knew e&actly what 6esus was doing. #e recognied the 'criptures, and I belie!e
he went out with a shout.
-here are times you and I come crying to the 2ord for an answer when +od%s )ord already has an answer for us.
+od%s )ord has e!erything we need, but we close it up and pray, $O +od, speak to me.$ I belie!e it is lo!e that +od
isn%t speaking to us. I belie!e +od wants us to get to the point that we don%t li!e off milk. #e wants us to get into the
meat of the )ord. +od is trying to get us back to the )ord of +od. It is mercy that #e%s not speaking to us and gi!ing
us what we ask.
)hen I first got turned on to the )ord, I heard stories about (enneth #agin ha!ing had a !isitation from +od. #e had
fire burn in his hands, and when he put his hands on other people, the fire *umped onto them. Others saw angels come
into the room. I heard about these things and began seeking them. I started praying, $+od, I want to see angels. I want
to see !isions. I want you to do something special for me.$
-hen the 2ord began to show me that the )ord of +od is more powerful than all these things.
'o-an vs& 4sraeli Faith
In .atthew 8, a Ioman centurion came to 6esus for his ser!ant to be healed. 6esus said, $I will come and heal him$
G!erse 7H. -he centurion said, $2ord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof< but speak the word
only, and my ser!ant shall be healed. ,or I am a man under authority, ha!ing soldiers under me< and I say to this man,
+o, and he goeth4 and to another, /ome, and he cometh4 and to my ser!ant, Do this, and he doeth it$ G!erses 8=9H.
-he 5ible says that 6esus mar!elled saying, $I ha!e not found so great faith, no, not in Israel$ G!erse 1DH. Only two
times in the )ord of +od did 6esus mar!el 9 one time at this man%s faith and the other at #is disciples% unbelief3 #e
mar!elled that people could be so full of unbelief and that they could be so full of faith. -his man%s faith didn%t ha!e
anything to do with the physical. #e didn%t ha!e to see anything, feel anything, touch anything. "ll he needed was a
)ord. $6esus, you *ust gi!e the word and it%s done,$ he said.
-hat%s the highest form of faith there is. /ontrast that with 6ohn AD<A7, where -homas had to physically see 6esus%
hands and side before he would belie!e.
-he highest way +od will e!er communicate with you is through the written )ord of +od. -hat is a more sure word
of prophecy than an angel, a dream, a gift of the 'pirit or anything else. Eet most people ha!e not ele!ated +od%s )ord
to that status. )e%re making the same mistake that the disciples made 9 we ha!e the )ord with us, but we don%t
recognie the importance of the )ord.
!editate Day and ,ight
.any of us who ha!e had +od%s )ord re!ealed to us don%t meditate in it the way we should. )e aren%t planting it and
letting it germinate inside us. Eou must reach a place to where +od%s )ord literally dominates and controls you. If that
seems out of character for you, if it seems impossible, then you won%t prosper. Eou must see that it is possible for you.
)hen I say that you ha!e to be dominated by the )ord, that needs some e&planation. Eou do not ha!e to be reading
the )ord day and night. I spent a few hours reading the )ord today, but there are some days I don%t read the )ord at
all. 5ut that doesn%t mean I%m not in the )ord. I%!e put so much of the )ord inside of me that I meditate on it
constantly. I get some of the greatest re!elations I e!er get from +od without opening the 5ible. Eou can be in the
)ord all day long no matter what you%re doing.
Of course, you can%t do that until you first put the )ord inside of you. Eou can%t bring back to your remembrance what
you ne!er put into remembrance3 Eou need to begin to meditate +od%s )ord. It%s not how much you know. 'ometimes,
I%!e taken one !erse and read it o!er and o!er for a month%s time. It *ust ministered to me so much I couldn%t read or
think about anything else. I got more benefit out of reading that one !erse for a month than many other times when I
read chapter after chapter after chapter. It%s not how much you know. It%s how well you know what you know.
Can't Get There fro- Here
)hen I first got turned on to the 2ord, #e showed me some !isions. -hese were not open !isions but simply desires of
my heart, what it was like to ser!e +od and how #e wanted me to change people%s li!es. #ere I was from 1odunk
/orner, -e&as. I had left college, and e!eryone told me that I%d be a total flop. I was drafted as soon as I ;uit school. It
looked like I was going to die in Jietnam. I had a !ision of +od using me, yet it looked like I was a million miles off.
I remember kneeling at my bed one day saying, $+od, what shall I do: #ow do get from where I am to where I%m
supposed to be:$ It looked impossible. -hen the 2ord spoke to me, $-his 5ible has e!erything you need to know.$ I
flipped it open and found that it makes me perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works GA -im. @<17H. I based
my life on that.
I%m still not where I need to be. I ha!en%t arri!ed, but I ha!e left3 I know I%m going in the right direction. -he )ord of
+od works. B!erything you need is in the )ord of +od. If you%re ignorant of the )ord of +od, you%re going to be a
failure. -here is no e&cuse for being ignorant. )e *ust ha!en%t ele!ated +od%s )ord to its proper place.
In 6ohn 17, 6esus was ministering to #is disciples about the importance of understanding and recogniing what they
had 9 #e was the )ord made flesh and dwelt among them. 6esus is the )ord.
+od%s )ord says you%re healed. Eour body says you%re not. 'adly, we often belie!e our bodies more than we belie!e
+od%s )ord. )e need to re!erse that so that +od%s )ord is more real to us than what our bodies tell us. Eou can do
that. I%!e been in so many places where e!erything in the natural says it wouldn%t work. Eet +od%s )ord had become
more real to me than the natural. I *ust said, $I can%t understand it. -hat can%t be because +od%s )ord says this.$ I
literally could not belie!e it because it didn%t line up with +od%s )ord. It worked. +od brought me through it. Once, I
had an incurable disease, with a doctor%s report to pro!e it. -wo days later, the same doctor confirmed that I didn%t
ha!e it. I knew +od%s )ord, and I knew that was not what +od promised me. I *ust couldn%t belie!e it. I couldn%t
belie!e I was sick because +od%s )ord didn%t say I was sick.
I%!e seen it work for me on many, many occasions, and it will work for you. 5ut it all starts with putting the )ord of
+od first place in your life.

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