Tag Archives: Doubt

Overcome Your Mountain: ‘Speak in Faith’

iStock_000000883811XSmallThere are two kinds of mountains (troubles) we will face in this life: natural mountains (those we stumble upon) and self-made mountains (those we create).

Natural Mountains

Natural mountains are those that Satan places in our path to do us harm and to stifle our God given purpose and in so doing change our predestined path. Whether in the form of a lovely distraction or a deadly circumstance; whether inflicted by sickness or inflicted by people, these are real mountains we encounter simply because we live in a fallen world. Natural mountains represent the trials and tribulations to which Jesus says we shall overcome because He has already overcome the world (see John 16:33). Furthermore, the way we attain victory over these mountains is by introducing faith. Here is how the bible puts it:

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith – 1 John 5:4

Note that this passage does not say faith brings victory. It says that faith is our victory. Hence, faith is victory. It does not say victory (faith) will overcome the world. No! It says that victory (faith) has already overcome the word (past tense). From this, we can no longer call ourselves people of faith without living in victory over the trials and tribulation in our lives.

Self-made Mountains

Man-made mountains are those troubles we heap on ourselves though sin and disobedience. These are the mountains we have built up over time as we refuse to turn back from our evil ways (our heart) and our evil doings (our actions).

Now, it is this particular kind of mountain we have built in the impurity of our inner self (our ungodly hearts) that many of us fail to recognize, for we convince ourselves that God is only interested in what we do (actions). But this is not true! Here is what the bible says:

…For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart… – 1 Samuel 16:7

Hence, God cares as much about our hearts as He does about our actions. It is because of this truth that He calls the Pharisees a brood of vipers. Although they (the Pharisees) were blameless when it came to righteousness that came from the law (works or actions), their hearts needed major reconstruction!

Wait Emmanuel; does God correct us based on what is festering in our hearts? I am glad you asked. Here is what the scripture has to say about it:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart; I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings – Jeremiah 17:9 -10

The answer is yes! Moreover, this correction may come through the actions of other people – such as when God allowed the Chaldeans to take Judah captive as a result of Judah’s sin. While some of the false prophets thought it was the Chaldean’s fault, it was really the fault of the people of Judah for not repenting. Let me put it this way:

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: If people are always causing you trouble, check yourself for you may be the problem. People tend to manifest and become the manifestation of what you have allowed in your heart.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: If you are always climbing one mountain after the other, it is likely that you have put some of the mountains there. Have you?

Overcome Your Mountain – ‘Speak in faith’

Now, no matter the source of the mountain, faith remains the answer. All we have to do to overcome is ‘Speak in faith’. Note, I did not say ‘Speak in hope’. If your mountain is self-made, all you have to do is confess (acknowledge) and repent (turn away) from your sin and ask God in faith to relent in the time He may be found, and He will.

The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it – Jeremiah 18:7-8

Similarly, when you tell the natural mountain that you have stumbled upon to be removed in faith, the mountain will move.

For 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 – Mark 11:23

If in doubt as to the source of the mountain, instead of praying ineffective prayers, ask God to reveal its source (your heart or Satan) and then speak to it in faith. Remember what God has promised:

 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them – Mark 11:24

Food for Thought: We should not be mountain climbers but should be mountain movers

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The Love Position – Is my salvation predestined or do I have free will?

Are some predestined by God to be eternally saved (from eternal punishment) while others are not, or do we all have the option of choosing our eternal home? In other words, do we believe in predestination or do we believe in determination (free-will)? Rather than talk about what we feel, let’s take a look at what God shows us through His scriptures.

In the beginning, God created a perfect abode for man to lay his head. Man had no knowledge of evil in this abode and so there was no shame, fear, or justice to speak of. Man had dominion over every living creature and his only job was to tend the garden. See, God so loved man that he created a world where man could live in perfect and perpetual fellowship with man. How do we know this? He created a world without sin (for sin came with knowledge of evil) and did not keep the tree of life (eternal) away from man. Truly, God predestined man to live the good life forever!

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: God so loved man that He predestined Him to live an awesome life of perfect and perpetual fellowship with Him

Now, since true love is never forced (for anything forced involves control and torment) but is freely chosen and given, God (who is love) gave man free-will to choose. Too bad man chose to end the good life. But when man did this, God was still merciful to stop him from eating of the fruit of life by removing him from the garden and guarding the way to the tree of life with a flaming sword (see Genesis 3:24). You see, if man had eaten of the fruit of life after his disobedience, he would have lived forever in eternal separation from God. God did not want that! So while putting him out the garden seemed harsh, it was actually done out of love. See, as soon as man disobeyed, God already had a master-plan to redeem man from being separated from Him but rather to be redeemed through the shed blood of Christ.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: God so loved man that even after exercising his free-will in disobedience, God predestined him not to be eternally separated from Him but to be redeemed through Christ’s sacrifice

To reiterate, when man exercised his free-will of disobedience, both evil and justice entered the world. Being a just God, He had to mete out the punishment that man’s choice (sin) deserved. But thankfully, He found Abraham righteous enough to make a covenant with him that through his Seed (Jesus) all the nations will be blessed (with the covenant blessings available in the Holy Spirit).

“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” – Genesis 22:18

“Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ” – Galatians 3:16

See, because of Abraham’s faith, God predestined man (all nations) to be blessed through the redemptive work of Christ. Note that is does not say “this” nation or “that” nation, but it says all nations – meaning all peoples or all mankind.  Thus, it is clear that God wants all mankind (all nations) to be saved. But man still has the same free-will to choose Christ, just as the first man (Adam) and subsequent men had the free-will to disobey God in the garden at the beginning. Paul puts it this way:

“For since the creation of the word His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” – Romans 1:20

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: God so loved man after the fall that He predestined all mankind to be saved through faith in Jesus Christ

How much God loves us – that He would have His own son slewed in order for us to be saved from eternal separation from Him when we choose to believe in His Son (see John 3:16). All that is required is belief! It is not based on performance or our own self-accessed righteousness (which is as filthy rags) but it is a free gift which is irrevocable!

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a free gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” – Ephesians 2:8-9

“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” – Romans 11:29

But the above is not the end of God’s love, there is more. For those that choose to believe in His Son, He seals with His Spirit who upon our choosing can direct our path. When we choose to walk in the Spirit and allow Him to lead us, we are lavished with the fullness of the covenant blessings – riches, honor, life, peace, and so much more. We are able to live heaven on this earth just as God designed it from the beginning! We do not have to wait till we get to heaven (our destination once saved) to experiences goodness.That is not to say that bad things will not happen to us (for we still live in a fallen world), but that things are eventually working for our good (see Romans 8:28)

So, looking through the lens of the love of God from the beginning of the world, it now becomes clear what Paul is talking about in Romans 8:29-30:

“For whom He foreknew (all nations or all mankind), He also predestined (through our acceptance of Jesus) to be conformed to the image of His Son……Moreover whom He predestined (all nations), He called (to accept Jesus); whom He called, these He also justified (though the blood of Jesus).

Thus, predestination does not work completely independent of free-will but in conjunction with it. Based on what we know from scriptures, we can conclude the following:

  • God predestined man to live in perpetual and perfect fellowship with Him when He created the world (God’s choice)
  • Man chose to break that fellowship through sin (Man’s choice)
  • God predestined (called) man to be saved from  separation through Christ’s sacrifice (God’s choice)
  • Man can neglect the call to salvation and justification  (Man’s choice)
  • God predestined man to enjoy the benefits of accepting His call to salvation through the Holy Spirit (God’s choice)
  • Man can choose not to walk in the Spirit although they have already accepted Christ unto unnecessary suffering (Man’s choice)

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Predestination is not the problem –  what God predestines is good. Rather, the problem is our choice – for some reason we like choosing death instead of life.  Adam was predestined to live a sweet life, but his choice made him live a “not so sweet” life!

Food for Thought: When we choose love (God), we are predestined to live a blessed life

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