Ministry Continues in Lodwar

We boarded a plane for the northern city of Lodwar Monday afternoon and arrived about 2 hours later.  Lodwar is in a section of Kenya populated mainly by the Turkana people.  They are historically nomadic cattle people.  The city of Lodwar is a very dusty outpost that reminds us a little of the old west in the US.  It is located near the borders of both Uganda and South Sudan.  The scripture for Psalm 1:3 comes alive here.

Psalm 1:3 (NKJV) 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

As we flew toward Lodwar, the view from the plane was one of absolute desolation.  Running through the middle of this moonscape is a river.  All along the river are trees and vegetation.  Along this river sits the city.  We need to be like that.  We live in a desolate world.  Jesus is the river of life that we can put our roots deep into and draw that life so we can give it to the world.

When we arrived we met Pastor George.  In his words we found a “brother from another mother.”  His heart and vision is very much the same as ours.  I preached in his church on Sunday while my wife went to a church pastored by one of his spiritual sons.  I believe both churches were strengthened in the Lord.  We start our conference with pastors and church leaders from the surrounding area tomorrow morning.  (Tuesday)  It is hot and very dusty, but the hearts of the people are open and we look forward to a great time in the Lord. 

Here are just a few pictures.  Internet willing, we will post more later.

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Greetings From Kenya!

Once again we find ourselves traveling to bring the Word of God to another country.  We have the privilege of being here in Kenya, East Africa for 7 weeks.  I do not know how often I will be able to post as internet access, not to mention time, can be limited.  I thought I would share and update I sent home with you as well.  I am including some pictures so you can see what God is doing.

Our thrust is touching Pastors and church leaders.  We also minister in local churches as an encouragement to the people.  I believe that if we can impact leaders, we can impact the nation.  God has opened many doors for us and the message we care is one of building character and integrity as well as stirring up faith in the hearts of these precious people for the move of God that will eventually sweep the world.

If you would like to help us financially you can visit us at http://www.Livingwordgreene.com.  There is a place for you to give to our ministry.  Just let us know that you are giving to Living Word International.  You can also help by visiting our Kindle site and purchasing books.  They will be a blessing to you and the price you pay will help us bring the Word of God to the nations.  You can find them at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=bill+kiefer&rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3Abill+kiefer.

Here is the update of our trip so far.

We arrived safe and sound Thursday evening in Nairobi and were met by Brother David and Pastor Peter Kebo.  We got to David’s house around 11 or so and went to bed.  Rest was top of our list of priorities after about 27 hours of travel.

Thankfully we did not start ministry until Friday afternoon at 4 so we got some rest time.  We had a session on Friday, 2 on Saturday, 2 Sunday Morning and 2Sunday evening.  So in our first few days we preached 7 times.  Just the beginning.  We have been grateful for a few days off this week.  We have not done any ministry but have met with some of the pastors and  had dinner with Pastor Peter, his wife Ruth (sorry about that Ruth) and their children.  (Picture included.)
Pray for Pastor Peter.  He is a key man and the devil has attacked him with a degenerative condition in his spine that is threatening to rob him of the use of his right hand.  I do not know what else it could effect but we are going to agree that he is healed and the condition reversed.
We have included some pictures of Pastor Peter’s church, Maranotha, and the town of Limuru.  We will try to keep you all up to date on our progress.  We fly Saturday afternoon to Lodewar for 9 days of conferences and Sunday church meetings.
Please continue to pray for us. IMG_0146 IMG_0148 IMG_0150 IMG_0152 IMG_0153 IMG_0156 IMG_0157 IMG_0158 IMG_0159

How Abraham Gave Glory to God 2

Acts 16:25-26(NKJV) 25But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

Yesterday we looked at the definition of the word “glory.” We found that it meant “the defining characteristics of a person.” In the Lord’s case, we are talking about things like power, holiness and love. We also defined glory as God’s power and presence in manifestation. To glorify God is to live in such a way that his defining characteristics are in manifestation in our lifestyle and ministry.

Today we want to look more closely at the idea of giving glory to God. This is what Abraham did that strengthened his faith. The end result of which was that he was successful in receiving the promise. Everyone who chooses to believe God for a specific promise will find times when their faith needs strengthening. If we do what Abraham did, we will have the same results he had.

When we speak of giving glory to God, we must look at some other aspects of the definition of glory. The Old Testament word carries the idea of “heavy in weight.” By extension, the idea of wealth was included. This is the same as our perception that something that has some weight to it is of higher quality than something that is very light.

Holman’s Bible Dictionary points out that this word can also mean to give “weight or value to someone.” So we might say, to give glory to anyone is to ascribe weight and value to them. Therefore, if we are going to give glory to God we are placing weight and value in him. How does this strengthen our faith?

As we look at the problems we face in life, to what do we give greater weight or value? If we are honest in our evaluation, we will have to come to the conclusion that we usually consider the problem of greater weight than the promise. We do not think of it that way, but if we are worrying, that is exactly what we are doing.

Worry puts the focus on every possible negative outcome to the problem. Worry causes us to run possible negative scenarios in our mind until they produce fear. None of these things has happened. They are just possibilities. When we allow the negative possibilities to remain in our mind, we are giving weight or value to them. They become more real the longer we dwell on them. Finally, we see them as true.

The way to counter that is to declare the glory, or weight and value of God. It is a powerful thing when we choose to stand in the face of a difficult situation and declare the greatness of God. I am not talking so much about meditating on or confessing the promise. I am talking about declaring the greatness of God, independent of the promise or the problem. There is something powerful about ignoring the whole situation and taking time to remind ourselves that he is the most powerful, the most important being in the universe.

Sometimes I like to declare that, “The Lord is great and mighty. There is none like him. He is the almighty God. He is the holy one. There is nothing he cannot do!” When I do that, I am giving him glory. I am making him more important in my eyes than the problem.

Today’s scripture is one of the more familiar stories in the Bible. Paul and Silas had been taken prisoner in Philippi for preaching the gospel. They had stirred up the some local people by casting the devil out of a slave girl who told fortunes. Her masters made money off her demonically inspired ability and they were not happy. They demanded Paul and Silas be arrested.

After they had been whipped, they were put in the worst part of the prison. In those days, there was no assurance you would get a speedy trial, so there was no guarantee how long they would be there. (Roman citizens did have such assurance, but they did not know Paul was a Roman citizen.)

I cannot think of a situation that would be much worse than that of Paul and Silas. They were beaten and imprisoned. This had happened to them because they were doing what God had asked them to do. They really had no defense except that the Lord told them to case out devils. This would not have had much influence in the Philippian court. What are they going to do? How are they going to strengthen their faith?

The Bible says that they were singing hymns at midnight. What is a hymn? It is a song that gives glory to God. They chose to give more weight and value to God than to the problem. They had no hope except in the Lord just as Abraham had no hope. Right in the middle of the prison, they began to sing about the greatness and power of God.

I do not know what the other prisoners thought, but I am sure Paul and Silas did not care. It does not seem that anyone tried to stop them, so it seems to me that their singing must have had a positive effect on the other prisoners as well. The more they ascribed value to God instead of to the situation, the stronger their faith became and the less they worried about the future.

Soon, the jail began to shake and every chain on every prisoner fell off. The doors to the jail opened and they were free. Praise God! Giving glory to God will always result in freedom. I find what happened next to be the most interesting part of all.

The prisoners did not try to run away. Their chains were off and the doors were open, but when the jailer came to see what had happened they were still in the prison. Maybe they just had not had the time to escape, but why not push past the jailer. There was no indication he was not alone. I believe that giving glory to God did more than just free them from physical chains.

I believe that giving glory to God made the temporary condition of being in jail less important than the greatness of God himself. They hardly noticed when they were free from the prison because they were freed inwardly first. The prison was no longer so important.

Second, giving glory to God made the will of God more important than Paul and Silas’ physical freedom. They stayed because they knew the jailer would forfeit his life for losing them. They stayed in the physical situation until they were able to preach the Gospel to him. The result was that the jailer and his whole house were saved.

Not only that, Paul was able to exert his Roman citizenship, which forced the magistrates to come and personally apologize to him. What do you suppose Paul would have done when the magistrate came? I think he probably preached the gospel to him.

When you choose to give glory to God in the midst of trials, your faith will gain strength, however, much more will happen as well. The problems you face will become less and less important. You will gain freedom from them, but you will gain freedom in your heart first. That is more important. You will also facilitate the will of God gaining ascendency in your life. When you glorify God, you want to serve him. Glorifying God will release the Power of God in every dimension of your life. Why not begin right now?

How Abraham Gave Glory to God

Romans 4:20-21(NKJV) 20He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

We ended last week by looking at the final step of our Romans 4 “quick start guide” to faith in God. That step was to give glory to God. In the years I have taught from this scripture I had never quite seen that as the forth step in the process. I taught that the forth step was to not waver through unbelief and to be fully persuaded. As I looked at Romans 4 this time, I realized that those two things were the result of the process. They are what would lead directly to possessing the promise. The forth step is giving glory to God.

Last week I pointed out that we all need to be strengthened in faith. Anytime we choose to believe God for something specific there will be some time of waiting. During this period, our faith will be challenged and even the strongest believer will have periods where they want to waver. In those times, we need to give glory to God so that our faith will stay strong.

As I was preparing for this week, I assumed that I was done with Romans 4. I began to pray about what to preach next Sunday. The more I prayed the less settled I seemed to be about any topic. I felt the Lord urge me to look again at this thought of giving glory to God as a vehicle to strengthen our faith. I found some interesting things.

Often we assume we know certain things, especially if we have been walking with the Lord for a long time. The reason I did not think to look deeper into giving glory to God is that I thought it was such a basic idea that everyone knew exactly what it meant. As it turns out, I did not have as clear a picture of what Abraham did to strengthen his faith as I thought I had.

What does it really mean to give glory to God? First, let us consider the word, glory. I have done some study on this word because the glory of God is something that Pentecostals and Charismatics are always praying to see. It is one of those words that seem very spiritual and very humble. “Oh Lord that we might see your glory!” we pray. What is it we are really asking God to show us?

The word glory has a number of meanings. It means the defining characteristics of a person. My wife used to very long, thick, red hair. She was known for that hair all over the world. It would be correct to say that her hair was her glory. Any characteristics that a person is know or defined by can be called their glory. What are the defining characteristics of God? What do we think of when we think of him? There a many.

God is known for his power. That is a defining characteristic. He is known for holiness and righteousness. He is known for justice. He is everywhere present, all knowing and all loving. You cannot think of God without those characteristics coming to mind. They are part of his glory.

Another aspect of the word glory is the power and presence of God in manifestation. One example of this is what the Bible calls the Shekinah glory. This cloud manifested in the temple when it was dedicated. The power and presence of God manifested in such a way that it was visible, a supernatural cloud that caused those in the building to fall to the ground as they encountered it.

The manifest presence of God also appeared as a light in the Holy of Holies of the Jewish temple. God himself lit the place where the Ark of the Covenant dwelt. His power and presence was manifested physically. When that happens, it is called the glory of God.

Putting those things together, we understand what we are praying for when we pray for the glory of the Lord. We are asking for a tangible manifestation of the defining characteristics of God. This involves both his power and his character. Jesus exemplified this while he walked the earth.

Hebrews 1 describes Jesus this way;

Hebrews 1:3(NKJV) 3who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Colossians 2:9 says that the fullness of the Godhead dwelled in Jesus bodily. Jesus was the power and presence of God manifested in the midst of humanity. He displayed God’s glory by healing the sick, raising the dead and touching multitudes with the Word of God. He also displayed God’s glory by perfectly manifesting the character of God. He was love, power, and integrity in the flesh.

Too often, when we pray for a manifestation of the glory of God, we think in terms of the cloud in the temple or the light in the Holy of Holies. However, Jesus redefined the glory of God and its purpose. The real glory of God we need to seek is his character in our daily living and his power in our ministry to others. I am not opposed to shining, supernatural clouds or other spectacular manifestations of God’s presence, but I prefer those that directly touch the lives of people.

It could be said that Jesus glorified God better than any other person because he perfectly reflected who God is through his humanity. I have at times equated that with giving glory to God as stated in Romans 4, however I have come to realize that they are not the same thing. To glorify God is to live in a way that brings him glory, but what does it meant to give glory to God. That is what Abraham did which strengthened his faith enabling him to successfully possess his promise.

What does it mean to give glory to God? Join me tomorrow as we begin to find out.

Giving Glory To God

Romans 4:20-21(NKJV) 20He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

Today we are going to conclude our study of Romans 4. It seems that most of the things I buy come with two sets of instructions. One a detailed owner’s manual and the other a quick start guide. The quick start guide tells you the essentials you need to know in order to start using the product. That is how I see Romans 4. It gives us the essentials of walking by faith in an easy, step by step presentation. Let us take a quick look at the steps we have uncovered so far.

  1. We must have a promise. We cannot walk by faith in God if we do not know what God has said he will do. It is not enough to “have an idea” what the Bible says. We must know specifically what we are standing on if we are going to receive
  2. We must speak in line with the promise. God calls those things that are not as though they were. We must speak the Word of God that we are believing even though we may not yet have seen it happen.
  3. We must consider the promise not the circumstance. We must give more credibility to what the Bible says than to what the circumstances say. We must not dwell upon the circumstances but we must dwell upon the promise. In this way, we will maintain our hope even when surrounded by impossibility.

Now we will look at the last step put forth in Romans 4. The Bible says that Abraham did not waver in his faith in the promise, but “was strengthened” in his faith. I have been in the ministry full time since April 1 of 1978. For the first ten years of my ministry, my family struggled financially. We were learning the things I am teaching now, and I can tell you that I have had many times when I wavered in my faith in the promises of God. Abraham stood for twenty-years. There is no way that he never had days when he questioned the promise.

The greatest battleground of faith is the mind. That is why step three is so important. However, even as we consider the promise of God and give it credibility over the circstance we are facing, there will be challenges to our faith. James 1 tells us this is true.

James 1:2-4(NKJV) 2My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Our faith will be tried. The Devil will certainly try our faith. Our own flesh will try it and, at times, God himself will try it. Every faith operation has some waiting period involved. It may be twenty-five seconds or twenty-five years, but there will be a waiting period and in that time, we will have to resist the temptation to waver.

During the time we wait for the promise to manifest, we must find a way to stay strong in faith. We have a promise. We speak in line with the promise and we consider the promise over the circumstance. What else can we do to stay strong in our faith? I have taught this many, many times over Thirty-three years of ministry, but somehow I never caught this as a step in the process until now. Abraham’s faith stayed strong because he gave glory to God.

Philippians 4:6 says we should make our requests known to God with thanksgiving. If we are going to be strong through the whole faith process, we must thank God for the answer. Thanking God puts in the right emotional and spiritual state to possess the blessing in the promise.

There is something about a thankful person. It is hard to defeat someone who is thankful. When the pressure comes to back off the promise, but we choose to thank God for the answer, we refocus on the solution and off the problem. Abraham stayed strong in faith by giving glory to God. Another scriptural term is to magnify Lord.

My wife loves to use this illustration. Have you ever looked through the wrong side of a telescope? When you do, instead of things appearing closer to you they actually appear farther away. The purpose of the telescope is to magnify the image or make it larger, but when you turn the telescope around it does just the opposite. Many times, we look at the Lord through the wrong side of the telescope and the problem through the right side. We magnify the problem and minimize the Lord. Giving Glory to God does just the opposite. It looks at God through the correct side of the telescope.

When you are pressed to quit on the promise, instead make a decision to aggressively give Glory to God. He is worthy of glory even if the promise never comes to pass. He is worthy because he is God. He is worthy because he saved you. When the problem seems so great that we are overwhelmed, giving glory to God reminds you of what is really important. It also reminds us that God is almighty. It reminds us that we are not trying to solve the problem in our own strength or ability. We are depending on God and giving him glory reminds us of that.

Giving glory to God also helps us tap into the joy of the Lord. That joy is our strength. When we choose to give glory to God, we step into the realm of the spirit where God and the promise live. We step out of the natural where the problem lives and connect with God in a way that nothing else will do. There is really no way to be successful if we will not give God glory throughout the faith process.

When we do not choose to glorify God, we are turning the telescope the wrong way. The problem will get bigger and bigger. God will seem to get smaller and smaller. We will feel increasingly alone and isolated. We will begin to focus on our ability and we will consider the problem and not the promise. Our hope will waste away until we have nothing upon which to hang our faith. When that happens, we are defeated.

In our church, praise and worship is a very important element. We spend forty-five minutes to an hour at every service giving glory to God. Our Friday night service focuses on praise and worship. Most of the time, all we do in that service is praise God. I tell our people, “You cannot do anything about your problems in the next hour. You cannot solve the problem, but you can put it out of your mind and connect with the answer in praise and worship.”

If you are in a real struggle, glorify God. You will be strengthened in your faith until you come to the place Abraham did in Romans 4:21. He was fully persuaded that God would do what he said he would do. Once you are at that point, nothing can keep the promise form coming to pass in your life.

Hope Against Hope

Romans 4:18-19(NKJV) 18who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.

Abraham became our example of how to operate by faith when he believed the promise of God in the midst of impossibility. God promised him that he would be the father of many nations and that through his seed the whole world would one day be blessed. He received this promise at 75 years of age. His wife, who had never been able to have children, was 65. This promise was impossible and yet, in 25 years, it came to pass.

Romans 4 gives us the blueprint for how he received this promise from God. First, he had a promise. We must know what God says he will do if we are going to believe him. In our case, the primary way we receive God’s promise is through the written Word. Second, he ordered his speaking to reflect the promise. God changed his name from Abram, high father, to Abraham, the father of a multitude. Every time he spoke his name, he was speaking the promise. We must learn to use our words to reinforce the reality of God’s promise to us.

Today we will look at the next step. Our verses today say that Abraham “hoped against hope.” What does that mean and how did he do it. First let us look at what hope is. Hope can mean many things but I like to focus on one aspect of hope. Hope represents possibility. If I hear a testimony, it produces hope that God can do something for me. We talked about this on Monday. So what did Abraham do? He chose to see possibility where there could be no possibility.

How could he do that? The Bible tells us clearly how he could have hope in the face of impossibility. First, what was the impossibility? They were too old to have children. Your descendents cannot bless the whole world if you do not have any. Sarah was barren. She could not have children. She could never have children. She was not going to start to have children between 65, when the promise was given, and 90, when the promise finally came to pass.

She tried to address this minor problem by giving Abraham her maid. This was acceptable in their culture. If a child was born under those circumstances, it was considered Sarah’s child. A child was born, but God did not accept that solution. He told Abraham that the child of the promise would come from barren Sarah. This only made the impossible more impossible.

As for Abraham, at one time he was fertile. He fathered Ishmael by Hagar, Sarah’s servant. However, we read in Romans that, at the time of the fulfillment of the promise, Abraham’s body was dead. Now he was still breathing so he was not completely dead. What part was dead? Without being graphic, let us just say he was impotent. He could no longer father children.

In the face of all this impossibility, Abraham still believed in the promise of God. How could he see possibility still believe in his situation? After all the years he had waited for God to fulfill the promise, how could he still think God would do it? The passing years had made it more and more impossible for God to do what he said he would do. What hope did he cling to?

You can have hope in the midst of impossibility. The thing about God is that he delights in doing impossible things. He will extend the situation until it is completely impossible, yet we can still see possibility, hope against hope, if we learn where to look.

In verse 18, Paul tells us that Abraham did not become weak in faith because he did not consider the impossibilities represented by their physical bodies. When it says he did not become weak in faith it must be understood that he did not lose hope. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, so no hope no faith. How did he see possibility where there was none? He chose not to consider the impossibility.

The word, consider is very important to this equation. It has two basic meanings. First, it carries the connotation of giving weight or value to something. Abraham gave no weight or value to the fact that neither his body nor Sarah’s was capable of producing children. To Abraham that fact was not relevant in light of the promise of God. If we want to see possibility in the midst of impossibility, we are going to have to give more weight to the Word of God than any natural circumstance.

This is difficult in the face of natural opposition. Imagine how Abraham felt when he got up every morning and his body had not changed. It would have been an assault on his hope and faith every day. However, it was his choice to look at the circumstance and choose to believe that God could still do what he said he would do. He hoped against hope by placing more value or weight on the relevance of the promise than on the relevance of the circumstance.

When you are going through a difficult time, but you are standing on a promise of God, you must do what Abraham did. Yes, your checkbook is empty. Yes, the bills are due. Decisions have to be made, but it is still possible for God to meet your need. How can I believe that? I can believe it because I have a promise in Phil. 4:19 that tells me God will meet my needs. The circumstances must be considered, but I choose to consider the promise of greater weight or relevance to the situation. The world may call you crazy, but they will stop once the Lord moves to meet your need!

The second part of the meaning of “consider” is to look at intently or to examine something at length. Abraham did not continue to look at or examine his and Sarah’s bodily limitations. That means he did not spend all his time thinking about how old he was or how Sarah had never had children. He did not spend time considering those things. Nonetheless, there is something we need to understand. It is impossible to consider nothing or to not consider at all.

The human mind is a wonderful thing. One thing it cannot do is shut off completely. When you are faced with a situation that must be resolved, you will think about it. That is just the way it is. If you are not going to consider the problem, what are you going to consider. In the case of any faith operation, there is only one choice. You must consider the promise.

I believe Abraham thought about the promise all the time. We saw yesterday that part of the process is to speak in line with the promise. This is part of considering as well. He called himself “Father of a multitude.” He called his wife, “Wife of the father of a multitude.” He went to bed thinking of the promise. When his body would not function he thought, “I still have a promise and God is good for his Word.” Every month when his wife passed through her cycle and when it stopped altogether, he thanked God he still had a promise.

I believe he considered what life would be like when the promise came to pass. He planned how he would raise the son of the promise. He thought about how he would teach him about the Lord and the covenant. He did all of this with the impossibility of his body constantly vying for his attention.

This is the real battleground of faith. However, once we master it nothing is impossible to us. We will be active believers and every challenge of life will be an opportunity to overcome by faith in the God of the promise.

Speak in Line With the Promise

Romans 4:16-17(NKJV) 16Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”)£ in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;

(I want to take a moment to remind everyone that today is the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl. Many of the veterans of that conflict are passing from us at this time. It would be a good day to thank any WWII veterans you may know and to remember the sacrifice made by so many to keep us free. Thank God for those who are willing to risk life and limb for our national security.)

This week we are studying the faith “quick start guide” in Romans 4. Abraham is the father of our faith because he is the first one in the Bible to operate according to a set of principles that are common to every faith victory. Anyone can apply these principles and see the promises of God fulfilled in his or her life. By applying these principles, Abraham was able to believe beyond his natural experience. I believe we can do the same.

The first step in the process of faith is that we must have a promise. Faith is simply trusting someone to keep their word. In the case of faith in the power of God, we must trust God’s word. How can we do that if we do not know what God has to say? Abraham had a promise from God that he would be the father of many nations and that the whole world would be blessed by his descendents. For that to happen he had to have descendents. Since his wife had never been able to have children and he was now too old, this was physically impossible.

The process in Romans 4 tells us how to take an impossible promise and make it a reality in our experience. Abraham had the promise so he knew that it was the will of God to do this for him. We have a book full of promises that cover every area of the human condition. If we will find those promises, read them and meditate on them, we will know the will of God for whatever situation we face.

Abraham was given this promise 75 years of age. The promise was not fulfilled until he was 100 years old. What did he have to do to see this promise come to pass? We know that God was the one who had to provide the power for a one hundred year old man and ninety-year-old woman have a child. Abraham could not do that. However, Abraham did have to do his part. We need to know what his part was so we can follow his example.

First, let me say that an aspect of his part was obviously patience. We live in a “right now” society. We expect everything to be instant. However, God does not operate on our timetable. The Lord told Moses his name was “I am.” That implies and that God is always in the present tense. Past, present and future are all the same to him. In God’s way of seeing things twenty-five years is nothing. To us, it is a very long time. If we are going to receive by faith, we must adjust our thinking and be willing to wait on God’s timing. His timing is always perfect.

In today’s scripture, we see step two in the “Romans 4” faith process. Once we have the promise, we need to speak in line with the promise. There was a time where there was much teaching on “positive and negative confession.” I believe positive is better, but that term can be misleading. Look at what Jesus said about words and faith.

Mark 11:22-23(NKJV) 22So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

Proverbs 18:21 says death and life are in the power of the tongue. James 3:1-4 tells us that the tongue is very hard to tame, but if you do tame it, you can steer your whole life in the right direction. Here in Romans 4, Paul says that God “calls things that are not as though they were. How does this apply to the faith process?

The promise to Abraham was that he would be the father of many nations. When God cut a blood covenant with him, God changed Abraham’s name. He had been known as Abram, which means “high father.” God says his name shall now be Abraham, which means “father of a multitude.” That was the promise.

Every time Abraham spoke his name, he was speaking the promise. Every business deal he made, he made in the name of the promise. His wife’s name was also changed to Sarah. This meant “wife of the father of a multitude.” Every time he called her name or she called his, they were speaking the promise of God.

Once we have a promise, I believe we need to fill our mouth with that promise. We need to order our speaking to reflect what the promise says. Let us look at healing as an example. The Bible says in Isaiah 53 that healing is part of our covenant. This is quoted in 1 Peter 2:24.

1 Peter 2:24(NKJV) 24who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

I believe this is a promise we can stand on by faith. By the stripes of Jesus, we are healed. If I have a cold, I can believe God for healing based on this scripture. Once I see the promise and pray for my healing, what should I do?

I meet someone at work who notices I have a cold. I am stuffy and sneezing. They say, “Wow! You’ve got quite a cold there. How are you feeling?” What should I say? If I say, “No I don’t have a cold.” that would be a lie. If I say, “Yes I do. I feel terrible!” I am speaking in line with the cold not with the promise. If I am talking to a believer who I trust to have faith for my healing I might say, “Pray for me, brother. I am believing God for healing.” What we really want to see is that Abraham cultivated a pattern of speaking that reflected his faith in the promise of God.

If you are standing on the promise of God for healing, you want to speak that promise over your life. You need to declare to yourself and to the devil, “By the stripes of Jesus I am healed.” We need to say things in such a way that they reinforce the promise of God and its reality in our lives. “Thank God for healing.” I am the healed.” “God is raising me up.”

That does not mean we should get into bondage thinking that if we say, “I have a cold.” once we would never be able to be healed. It is the pattern that is important. One confession that supports the promise will not negate a pattern of speaking in line with the sickness. Likewise, one confession in support of the sickness will not negate a pattern of speaking in line with the promise.

Sometimes this seems silly to us. However, have you ever considered how much pressure we feel to tell everyone what is wrong in our lives? I believe that pressure comes from the devil because he knows how powerful it is to speak the Word of God.

Listen to what you are saying right now. I believe it will tell you what you really believe. Begin to change your words and you will change the direction of your faith. Step two is to speak in line with the promise.