~ “Too Big For Your Britches” FAITH ~

 After 24 years of learning about, teaching about, and operating in faith. One of the things that I don’t see addressed much is STARTING WHERE YOU ARE IN YOUR FAITH.

So what does that mean? Let me give you a couple of stories that will make the point.

True story: A minister I know is diagnosed with cancer. The doctors said it was very serious and wanted to operate immediately. This minister is a regional director for one of the biggest Faith organizations in the world. He is very comfortable with simply believing God for his total healing and NOT having the operation. After all, he preaches and teaches the Faith message virtually ALL the time. He is not worried. The man is FULL of faith and has no doubt that he will receive his healing.

His wife however could not agree with him. Not because she  doesn’t want to. Not because she doesn’t believe God can do it, she is afraid that He won’t. She is gripped with fear and insists that he get the operation.

The minister sought council with his Elder and received some advice I will never forget. This Elder said: “ Don’t try to get your wife to believe past her capabilities, she will undermine your faith and you will both be in a mess. Find the point where you two can agree and build from there. Your prayers and faith won’t be hindered and in fact, you will be ten times more powerful in your faith.”

Now THAT is practical, sound wisdom. The minister had the operation, his wife was able to agree with him and now he is completely healed some 16 years later.

If he had NOT agreed with his wife and got the operation they would not have been in faith TOGETHER and he would have had to deal with unbelief in his own household, which would have put additional strain on his faith, his marriage, and opened the door for strife and division to come in and possibly make shipwreck of his faith.

Another scenario that I have seen a thousand times concerning finances, and this is important:

You have Christians that are at, or just above poverty level and they are TRYING to believe for huge amounts of money and stuff. God does not have a problem with them believing for stuff, as long as their heart is right. The thing is, they are trying to believe past their capabilities and they are setting themselves up for disappointment.

Growing in faith is a process. Faith is very much like a muscle, the more you work it, the stronger it gets. You have to start with smaller weights and exercise at that level before you can lift the really big stuff. And you need to be able to believe for a pair of shoes before you can believe for a new Corvette. Or believe for healing from the flu before you try to tackle cancer.

This is why it is so important to constantly exercise your faith on small stuff whenever the opportunity arises. Some folks will catch a cold and let it beat their brains out without ever trying to use their faith on it. (ask me how I know) That same person claims to be in faith to pay off all their credit cards and receive a new home completely paid for.  Ummm  …. Sorry, I don’t buy it.

When you try to tackle something in the spirit that is too big for you, you actually HURT your faith. You cripple yourself and hinder your spiritual progress. Your hope gets deferred and you falter in your faith.

Proverbs 13:12 ~ Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the
desire comes, it is a tree of life.

I looked the word “sick” up in the Strong’s concordance; it means “to split apart as with an opening wedge.” That paints a clear picture doesn’t it? Your heart (spirit man) is what you believe with. If that thing is torn in two you got a real problem. Proverbs tells us to guard our heart.

Proverbs 4:23 ~ Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it
spring the issues of life.

Make sure you are not biting off more than you can chew. Reevaluate what you are in faith for and make sure you can really see it through. I am not suggesting that you don’t stretch your faith and believe big. Just don’t bite off more than your spiritual teeth can chew. Don’t be afraid to take baby steps, we all have to start where we are. It is better to start out small and add to it rather than trying to swallow too much and having to spit it out.

Remember that a healthy faith is a growing faith. You should be constantly experiencing faith victories and seeing the results of God honoring your faith. Be selective about what you put your faith on and be diligent to see it through. It is BIG fun to see God supernaturally answer the small prayers. Have faith, but be practical and have fun.

Don’t try to be bigger and stronger than you are. It ultimately hurts your faith and makes it more difficult the next time you have a faith battle. If you acknowledge where you are and operate at that level, God Himself has the right to step in and take up the slack where you need Him too.

JC

14 responses to “~ “Too Big For Your Britches” FAITH ~

  1. After reading your blog post I was immediatly reminded of “When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.” — Napoleon Hill

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  2. nice site, rss following now and hope to see some similar posts soon.

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  3. Where are those crinkley bills?

    “No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man’s recorded history in a time span of but a half-century. Stated in these terms, we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals to cover them. Then about 10 years ago, under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of shelter. Only five years ago man learned to write and use a cart with wheels. Christianity began less than two years ago. The printing press came this year, and then less than two months ago, during this whole 50-year span of human history, the steam engine provided a new source of power. Newton explored the meaning of gravity. Last month electric lights and telephones and automobiles and airplanes became available. Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power, and now if America’s new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight.” JFK

    “This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers. Surely the opening vistas of space promise high costs and hardships, as well as high reward.” JFK

    If you were to ask man 100 years ago: do you think men will ever walk on the moon? You would immediately rise to the top of a short list with the dubious distinction of king/queen of village Idiots. Ask that Question today and the answer returned would be: why,…….. haven’t you heard! The knowledge gleaned within the window of a hundred years made the difference between scoffing at an idea and touching the stars. When God says something to us and we don’t understand it; inability to understand a thing is not reliable ground for dismissing the reality of it, or ignoring the consequences of it.

    “But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?…We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too” JFK. In 1961 when Kennedy made his now famous pledge to land a man on the Moon, the USA had only 15 minutes piloted spaceflight experience and only 5 minutes of that was in space while the Russians had already completed missions in orbit. Kennedy in the face of virtually impossible odds due to limitations in technology and know how pushed NASSAU beyond their limits of planning a mission to fly around the moon and return, to landing a man on the moon and return; coming form behind the Russians to achieve higher than expected mission goals.

    The difference between limitation and liberty is knowledge. If confronted by limitations, the best course it to seek the know-how. By knowledge you shall be liberated form constraints; whatever the form. When confronted by limitations, if our first recourse is to concede, yield, and embrace them; we might well be going to sleep under a Russian moon, and flying a British flag for a national banner. Limitations by their varied and sundry forms are all the brood of ignorance; wherever found they should be banished. “Ignorance is not so damnable as humbug, but when it prescribes pills (as does the wisdom of men) it may happen to do more harm”— George Eliot. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

    It would serve us well to listen to JFK stir our nation to it’s feet at darker times in our history, to avert the real threat of Russian dominance in the outer space.

    LINK BELOW: (the features a transcript of the inspirational speech, and an audio recording plays in the background)
    http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/jfk-space.htm

    I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, it is the power of God to be delivered from all things which we could before not be delivered from. We seldom discern the wisdom of men which makes void the power of God; because by appearance it often seem wiser than even God’s council which is utter foolishness among men.

    We should raise our awareness to the things that God has said and done, and the world is yet unaware of it. The way the Bible describes brainwashing is stated in (Isaiah 25:7—the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.) This covering, this veil that overspreads the whole world is the wisdom of man. The only way to overcome this is to receive the gift of the mind of Christ whereby by realize that all things are possible with us. If all your lives you are told one thing, in this case the wisdom of man; even if the truth is in front of you, you will not see it because of this veil that covers the face of the world.

    Take this 20-second AWARENESS TEST and see what I mean.

    God has written to us of the great things of his law, but we have counted them as foolishness. Mark 9:23—Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. Luke 18:27—The things, which are impossible with men, are possible with God. Matthew 17:20—. …and nothing shall be impossible unto you. After Jesus rebuked the storm, wind and tempest tossed sea, the disciples looked at him in wonder and asking each other; what manner of man is this. Jesus asked them, where is your faith? He expected them to do the same things he did; Jesus wasn’t the only one that walked on water, Peter did for a short while; this is so symbolic of the short period of time the church got it right after Jesus departed.

    There are two parties identified here with whom it is said that all things are possible, with God and with men who believe. This is the righteousness of God, it transfers to man all the things of God that are given to men by believing, even God himself as the gift first given to Abraham, and promised to we his seed in Christ is transferred to man by the faith of God, that man is supposed to have. Between the impossible and the possible is the knowledge that makes it tangible and real, such knowledge is with God; he gives it to those that fear him.

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  4. Every man has a set of legs to walk on. I was told that way it works in the natural is the way it is in the spiritual. If you wanted to be saved, and your wife didn’t think you could be saved would you believe her or God who agreed with you. Henceforth I will know no man after the knowledge of this world, though he were Christ. I can’t help wondering just how helpful Job’s wife proved in resolving his particular dilemma. Good thing Abraham listened to Sarah about Hagar. Man, isn’t life good now that Adam took Eve’s little suggestion. Mind you I’m not a woman hater, I’m just following the topic that’s opened. I hate the way the flesh works whether in man or woman.

    Oh, by the way; the writing paper is all crinkley on your site. Maybe it’s just my screen, but………. just saying.

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    • @Newgen,
      I think you missed the point. We are talking about faith. Abram and Sarai LEFT faith to pursue their own works. So did Adam and Eve.
      Job’s wife was never in faith. We are talking about NOT trying to believe past your capabilities. The New Testament power of agreement, especially between Spouses is extremely powerful. You need to respect your spouse and where they are at spiritually. I am sure if the Lord told that minister with cancer to stand on his position, he would have. He did not leave faith, but found the point where he could agree with his wife. That is important. And having faith to be saved is another topic and does not apply. OH… the paper is supposed to be crinkley 🙂

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      • Let me see if I get this straight, Abraham the designated FATHER OF THE FAITH, of all those who believe God and never staggered at the promise of God….ADAM of whom it is said was not deceived…. And we know where Job’s wife was with the faith, but we are talking about Job not his wife. These three giants in the halls of faith are scams? Well, you got man. I got nothing to say.

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        • You are right, Abraham is the father of faith. It never said Abram was. God gave a promise to Abram when he was around 75 yrs old. Abram, for the life of him could not see how this promise was going to come to pass, so 10 yrs later they agreed on the Hagar thing and Ishmael was born when Abram was 86. At 99 yrs old God changed Abram”s name to Abraham. Abram DID NOT trust God to perform what he said. Instead he decided to do it on his own, help God, whatever you want to call it. Anyway, when it talks about “Abraham staggered not at the promise” (Romans 4 I beleive) It was talking about the promise he got when God changed his name. From that point on he stayed with faith.
          As for Adam, you are right, he was not deceived. He went into it with his eyes wide open. Which means he definately left faith, he chose to sin. If would have taken his position of authority at that time we may very well still be in the garden today. Eve was not trying to agree with him on anything. She blew it, she knew it, and Adam walked into it with his eyes wide open.
          As far as Job goes. He was not even aware that he had an adversary. We on the other hand do, and that enemy will always try to attack the weak link in the chain. If spouses can find a place to agree, all the devils in hell can’t stop them. Abram was presumtuous, Adam was foolish, and Job was just ignorant of the fact that he had an enemy. All these accounts are here for us to learn from to help us mature in our walk of faith. I can say that I have done or been all three of those and probably all at the same time.
          Blessings JC

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          • That doesn’t change the fact that your paper is still crinkley. LOL! In all seriousness, it isn’t very hard to Monday morning quarterback and analyze these guys to wazoo. As you pointed out, their stories are presented for our admonition lest we fall into the same condemnation where they failed, and our exhortation where they prevailed. About 500 years ago a man came within inches of his life for asserting that the just shall live by his faith; another of his contemporaries was tied, strangled, and burnt at the stake for translating our common language Bible. 500 years later we have the legacy of his labor and can read for ourselves where Jesus said those who believe in me shall do the same works I have done these three years in this ministry of reconciling the world to my father, and even greater shall they do; in fact these are the credentials that shall define them who confess faith in me and shall not be without, but follow the gospel where it is preached. I’m planning to produce not a few Lazarusses by my faith in Christ for I’ve come to see where nothing is impossible to those who believe….NOTHING; even if you can’t find one, but God alone to agree with you. As he said, I called Abraham alone and blessed him, and Jesus couldn’t find one to travail with him even for a single hour.

            Godspeed.

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      • By the way, on the crinkley paper thing I was just doing a little shin kicking, which I think you picked up on. It’s a nice touch. LOL

        Best regards.

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      • sometimes I was thinking the reason why Job’s wife did not die,
        was it to make Job’s life even harder. 🙂 just my opinion. not a doctrine. hold your stones. 🙂

        3 years ago, I got a big credit card debt. I wasn’t really a genuine believer by then. just more than a year ago, I had the revelation of grace. My life transformed. I became a true believer.
        Now I wanted to pay my credit card. Who wants debt in their conscience? but I don’t have the money. one they when I read the bible, I got a revelation that all my debts (i know its sin) were paid.
        So I asked my dad (God), help me pay my debt, because I don’t simply believe it can be paid by me. because the amount is way up high.
        Last month I got an email saying the bank cancelled my credit card debt already.

        I wasn’t even conscious of faith or whatsoever. not even doing work to prove faith. what i did was just believed that my debt has been paid.

        If you are sick, take medicine. don’t think twice. If you believed Jesus healed you already, wait for it to manifest. don’t help Jesus heal you.

        grace and peace

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        • Amen,
          And that is a balanced approach to faith. I have had some pretty amazing healings in my time. Financial miracles too. I have also done a lot of presumptuous stupid things that got no results at all. If our heart is right, and we allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit, we can avoid all that grief.
          My right arm was disabled from a gun shot wound, had to have two opperations and a bone graph, plate pins, screws the whole works. Doc said best case scenario I would get 40% use of my arm if I was lucky and commited to physical therapy for a year. I had been in faith for a year already for my healing and when I got that news. I was in tears. The Lord spoke to me while I was in the car crying about this bad report and told me not to let go of believing Him. So I trashed the physical therapy perscription and turned up the heat on my reading and speaking God’s Word on healing. Within two weeks I was completely healed. 100%. That was almost 20 yrs ago and still 100%. I had been beleiving, but when I got that spoken word from God and acted on it, healing came quick.

          I was healed from a bleeding ulcer (very painful) one time instantly because the Lord gave me Word and I acted on it.
          Other times I have had to tough it out and go the distance. And that is ok too.
          God gave us a brain for a reason, it is a shame more Christians don’t use it.
          Blessings!
          JC

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  5. Exactly. We need to all be growing in the faith. We need to be making those steps. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

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