~ This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Renee Roeckelein. You can hear the whole sermon, Taking God at His Word, from Agathos Church – a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.
We can be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We can study God’s Word so that the enemy can’t get us in a given area anymore. Smith Wigglesworth said “I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am not moved by what I hear. I am only moved by what I believe, and I believe God’s Word.”
Faith is standing on and believing God’s Word no matter what.
There are two realities: The first is what we see, feel, hear, what we have lived with our entire lives – our senses. There is another realm – the unseen realm. “We look at the things which are not seen” (2 Cor 4:18) Hebrews 11:3 says “things which are seen were not made of things that are visible.” Heb 11:1 says “Faith is confidence in things not seen.” The enemy uses our senses to promote the questioning of God’s Goodness. Don’t let what you see with your eyes take your focus off the Word of God!
Here’s an example. In 2 Kings 19:10-11, Hezekiah, one of the kings of Judah, receives a message that illustrates how the enemy likes to intimidate us away from the promises of God:
So he (the king of Assyria) again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, “Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” Look! You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by utterly destroying them; and shall you be delivered?
Do you see it? The king of Assyria (representing the devil) sends an evil messenger to Hezekiah to dissuade him from the promises of God. And, after saying “don’t let your God in whom you trust deceive you” he tells Hezekiah “LOOK.” He wants to get Hezekiah out of the promises of what is not yet seen and into mere sense knowledge – “Look at how all the other countries fell. How shall you be any different?”
The enemy works similarly with us: “Look at all the other people that are sick. Look at all the other people that have died of cancer. Look at all the other people who were not able to make a difference in the world!” “Look.” No! LOOK AT GOD’s WORD! God’s Word is meant to become our WORLD! If we look too much at the world, we will make the world our interpretation of His Word. We are the ones that are supposed to be transformed! “Be YE transformed by the renewing of YOUR mind.” (Rom. 12:2) We need to change what we think to accommodate God’s Word.
So what did Hezekiah do? He went to God. Hezekiah asked God what He was saying. Hezekiah chose God’s Word instead of his senses. Our faith needs to be developed by being in the Word. Joseph Prince says that the main warfare of the devil is keeping us out of the Word. Being in the Word develops our faith. It reveals the promises of God.
Nevertheless, God will not generally take us directly to the promised land. God wanted the Israelites to stay in the wilderness for about a 2 year period to do a Romans 12:2 work in them . . . renewing their minds for a period of time. As Kris Vallotton says “the process prepares us for the palace.” Graham Cooke talks about seasons of hiddenness preparing us for seasons of manifestation. Same concept – preparation for possession. Promises lead to preparation. Preparation is a process. Possession of the promises is the goal.
Sometimes we need to pull away to learn God’s ways. We need to let him teach us how to walk by faith. We also learn to walk by faith by choosing to declare the Word of God in the midst of difficulty. Sometimes a breakthrough comes immediately. Sometimes the breakthrough comes from follow-through. We need to look for areas of our lives in which we can receive the promises of God. Our revelation of God’s Word is meant for manifestation.
When Moses was first commissioned to go to the Israelites, God instructed Moses to communicate the promise of the promised land. After the promise was communicated, the Israelite’s faith was tested immediately. Pharaoh first stopped supplying straw. Often the promises of God will illicit the resistance of the enemy, but the promise does not change because of resistance. Don’t let go. Go back to God and let Him re-affirm His promise. God is gracious. Go back to His throne, thank Him for His promise and let Him minister confidence to your heart. If your eyes have seen unfulfilled circumstances, go back to the throne and fill them with the Lord and His promises. It’s a process. But don’t let go of His promises. God’s answers are in His promises.